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Title: The Boy's Own Book of Indoor Games and Recreations - A Popular Encyclopædia for Boys
Author: others, Staples, Gordon, Hicks, C. Stansfield, Maskelyne, J. N.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 "The Boy's Own Book of Indoor Games and Recreations - A Popular Encyclopædia for Boys" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

  Transcriber’s Notes:

  Text printed in small capitals has been transcribed as ALL CAPITALS.
  Italics and bold face text have been transcribed as _text_ and =text=,

  Letters in square brackets, [T], [V], [O], [H] and [X] represent
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[Illustration: THE YOUNG TAXIDERMIST.--_See_ page 298.]


  A Popular Encyclopædia for Boys







[Illustration: PREFATORY NOTE.]


In presenting to American youth this carefully-edited volume of home
amusements, the publishers are happy in their belief that in the
selection and treatment of the subjects chosen the Editor and the
accomplished experts who have contributed to its pages have successfully
combined, to a degree not commonly found in books prepared for the
young, much sound scientific instruction and a large amount of that
recreative amusement that seldom fails to awaken an interest both in the
youthful mind and in the minds of “children of a larger growth.” In the
language of the accomplished Editor, as expressed in his prefatory note
to the English edition, the volume is “a veritable recreative
with sufficient amplitude of detail and thoroughness of exposition to
render their respective contributions of very real and permanent
educational value. Mere ‘rule of thumb’ is scrupulously avoided, and
underlying _principles_ are clearly and intelligently explained. The
tyro is led on pleasantly step by step, and almost unconsciously learns
many lessons that should stand him in good stead in the battle of life.
The wealth of graphic illustrations--of clever pictures that really
illustrate--is another and not, we think, the least noteworthy feature
of the book.

“In the numerous and greatly diversified sections, it will be seen, the
work is carefully graduated in the natural order--from the simpler to
the more complex and difficult tasks. We have also endeavoured wherever
practicable--as in the model-making chapters--to afford, by means of
alternative plans, instructions likely to cause little or no tax upon
the pocket, as well as some that necessarily involve more or less
expenditure for tools and material. Thus, boys of all ages and
conditions--at home or at school; with leisure and ample opportunities,
or already closely engaged in the sterner duties of bread-winning; boys
to whom a considerable preliminary outlay may be of trifling moment, and
others who rarely have a shilling to spare,--may alike turn to the
different chapters with the certainty of finding something for each,
calculated to afford both pleasure and profit in those spare hours that
are the gold-dust of time.

“It will be pretty generally admitted, we presume, that a pronounced
characteristic of the age is the daily increasing attention given to
Athletics and Technical Training.... This book seeks to give that class
of instruction in the most attractive guise. The subjects in which boys
naturally feel peculiar interest are skilfully treated by writers of
proved capacity and aptitude for the task; and hence considerable space
is devoted to those essentially boys’ topics that are not only of
recreative value in themselves, but incidentally afford invaluable
training to eye and hand.... Nor is the moral and spiritual side of
boy-nature overlooked. Games dominated by elements of ‘chance’ or
‘luck,’ as well as those of questionable or evil associations, are of
course scrupulously ignored. But this negative claim to confidence is
also supplemented by the positive influence exerted towards the building
up of a true, robust Christian manhood. It were indeed a grievous thing
if, while learning from this book how to use wisely many of the
ingenious tools and contrivances described, any boy should neglect to
learn how to control and direct to the most useful work in the service
of God and of man the marvellous and complex machinery of his own moral
and spiritual nature. To every reader, therefore, we make bold to speak
that direct, manly word, that no true-hearted boy will resent. It is Dr.
Cuyler, if we mistake not, who remarks that Samson builded better than
he knew when he uttered his famous riddle, ‘Out of the eater came forth
meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness;’ for the pathway of
life has many a lion in it, and our success and happiness depend not a
little on the way we meet the foe. Thus Hedley Vicars encountered quite
a shower of scoffs from his brother officers in the Crimean army when he
was first converted. But he put his Bible on his table in his tent, and
stood by his colours. Henceforth the lion was not only slain, but there
was rich honey in the carcase when his religious influence became a
power in his regiment. In the carcase of a slain temptation, also,
millions besides Joseph have found delicious honey. ‘There is not a
peril, or a trouble, or a spiritual foe of any kind but may be
vanquished by the help of Samson’s God. Life’s sweetest enjoyments are
gathered from the _victories of faith_. Out of slain lions come forth
meat; out of conquered foes to the soul come its sweetest honeycombs.
One of the joys of heaven will be the remembrance of victories won
during our earthly conflicts.’ In Christ’s name and power, try it,

This volume will be followed by another, prepared on similar principles,
devoted to _outdoor_ sports and recreations; and the two, it is
believed, will form a very complete encyclopædia of amusements adapted
to the youth of all ages and circumstances.



[Illustration: CONTENTS]


  PREFATORY NOTE                                                       5


      APPARATUS                                                       19
      II.--EXERCISES WITHOUT APPARATUS                                20
        LEG MOVEMENTS                                                 21
      III.--EXERCISES WITH APPARATUS                                  21
        THE HORIZONTAL BAR                                            22
        HANGING ON THE BAR AND THE WALK                               22
        BREASTING THE BAR                                             23
        THE SHORT CIRCLE                                              23
        GETTING ON TO THE BAR                                         24
        THE LEG SWING (BACKWARDS)                                     24
        TO SIT ON THE BAR                                             25
        SIT SWING (BACKWARD)                                          26
        HANGING BY THE LEGS                                           27
        THE CLEAR CIRCLE                                              27
        THE MUSCLE GRIND                                              28
        HANGING BY THE TOES                                           28
        THE HOCK SWING                                                28
        THE UPSTART                                                   29
        THE SLOW PULL-UP                                              29
        HORIZONTAL (BACK AND FRONT)                                   30
        THE SPLITS                                                    30
        THE LONG SWING                                                30
        COMBINATIONS                                                  31
        THE PARALLEL BARS                                             31
        EXERCISES                                                     32
        VAULTING HORSE                                                35
        LEG SPRING                                                    36
        HORSE JUMPING                                                 37
        SADDLE VAULTING                                               37
        FLYING OVER THE HORSE                                         38
        THE HAND-RINGS OR STIRRUPS                                    39
        CLIMBING                                                      41
        THE LADDER                                                    42
      Author of _The Modern Gymnast_, &c.                             42
        HORIZONTAL BAR                                                43
        PORTABLE HORIZONTAL BAR                                       44
        LAWN GYMNASIUM                                                45
        PORTABLE FRAME FOR TRAPEZE, RINGS, OR SWING                   46
        JUMPING STANDS                                                47
        THE PAN-GYMNASTICON                                           48
        OTHER USEFUL APPARATUS                                        48

    LONDON ATHLETIC CLUB                                              50
      WEIGHT OF THE CLUBS                                             51
      HINTS AS TO DRESS, ETC.                                         53
      EXERCISES FOR LIGHT CLUBS                                       54
      SINGLE OR HEAVY CLUB EXERCISE                                   58


      THE VERTICAL FALL                                               69
      THE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE FALLS                                    70
      THE PARALLEL FALL                                               70
      THE HORIZONTAL PASS                                             71
      THE DOUBLE VERTICAL FALL                                        71
      THE DOUBLE INSIDE FALL                                          71
      THE TRIPLE PASS                                                 72
      THE TRIPLE OVER AND UNDER PASS                                  73
      THE SINGLE OVER AND DOUBLE UNDER PASS                           73
      THE SHOWER                                                      73
      THE TRIPLE SHOWER                                               74
      THE QUADRUPLE SHOWER                                            74
      THE FOUNTAIN                                                    74
      THE DOUBLE FOUNTAIN                                             74
      THE DOUBLE FOUNTAIN CHANGE                                      75


      FEET LONG. By FRANK CHASEMORE                                   81


      A MODEL WINDMILL                                                97
      A MODEL CUTTER YACHT                                           101
      DANCING ‘NIGGERS’                                              104
      A REAL WATER-WHEEL                                             106
      HOW TO MAKE A CHEAP CLOCK                                      109

    HICKS, Author of _Yacht and Canoe Building, &c. &c._             111

    N. HASLUCK, Author of _Lathe-work, &c._
      I.--PRINCIPLES OF THE STEAM-ENGINE                             117
      II.--A SIMPLE TOY ENGINE                                       120
      III.--SMALL MODEL ENGINES                                      123
      IV.--THE HORIZONTAL ENGINE                                     127
      V.--THE OSCILLATING ENGINE                                     131
      VI.--MODEL BOILERS AND THEIR CONSTRUCTION                      134


    IT. By H. F. HOBDEN                                              144


      I.--CHESS FOR BEGINNERS.--By HERR MEYER                        165
        THE UNIVERSAL NOTATION                                       165
      II.--A NEW CHESS GAME--‘THE JUBILEE.’ By HERR MEYER            171
      III.--ANOTHER JUBILEE GAME                                     172
      HERBERT MOONEY                                                 173
      CIRCULAR CHESS                                                 180

      I.--ALL ABOUT THE GAME                                         181
      II.--THE LOSING GAME                                           190
      III.--POLISH DRAUGHTS                                          191
      THE OPENINGS                                                   192



    CHAPTER XVI.--GO-BAN. By HERR MEYER                              204


    CHAPTER XVIII.--THE AMERICAN PUZZLES                             212

      I.--A NEW INDOOR GAME                                          214
      II.--KNUCKLE BONES. By CAPTAIN A. S. HARRISON                  215


      F.C.S.                                                         219
        1.--ALL ABOUT LANTERNS                                       219
        2.--VARIOUS KINDS OF LANTERNS                                219
        3.--THE PHANTASMAGORIA LANTERN                               220
        4.--THE EUPHANERON LANTERN                                   221
        5.--DISSOLVING VIEWS                                         223
        6.--THE LIME-LIGHT                                           224
        7.--OXYHYDROGEN JET                                          226
        8.--THE GAS AND GAS-BAGS                                     227
        9.--OXYGEN AND HYDROGEN                                      228
        10.--SLIDE PAINTING, ETC.                                    229
      WORK. By F. CHASEMORE                                          245

    THE MAGIC LANTERN. By FRANK CHASEMORE                            252

      I.--CHROMATROPES AND PAPER FIREWORKS                           257
      II.--THE LANTERN AND THE KALEIDOSCOPE                          259
      III.--THE LANTERN PRAXINOSCOPE                                 260


    BOAT. By E. HENRY DAVIES, C.E.                                   265

    M.A.                                                             273

      I.--CANADIAN AND BIRCH-BARK CANOES                             279
      II.--PAPER AND OTHER TYPICAL CANOES                            283

    M.A.                                                             287

    W. J. GORDON and W. W. L. ALDEN                                  291


      I.--CATCHING AND SETTING BUTTERFLIES                           299
      II.--HOW TO CURE AND SET UP A BIRD’S SKIN                      302

    ETC. By GORDON STABLES, C.M., M.D., R.N.                         308

      I.--THE PEBBLES AND HOW TO FIND THEM                           314
      II.--THE LAPIDARY’S BENCH                                      320
      III.--HOW TO POLISH A PEBBLE                                   322
      IV.--HOW TO CUT A PEBBLE                                       325
      A POSTSCRIPT                                                   329



      I.--HAMMOCKS AND HAMMOCK-MAKING                                337
      II.--NETTING, AND HOW TO NET                                   339


      I.--THE HORIZONTAL DIAL                                        347
      II.--THE EQUATORIAL DIAL                                       349
      TABLE OF MINUTES                                               354

    GORDON STABLES, C.M., M.D., R.N.                                 355


      HEAD MASTER                                                    361
      II.--A HOME-MADE HUMMING-TOP                                   374

    MAKE OF IT. By the LATE DR. SCOFFERN                             375

    CHASEMORE                                                        380

    GORDON                                                           385

    LIVING MARIONETTES. By F. CHASEMORE                              388

    CHAPTER XLII.--HOW TO MAKE A PANTAGRAPH                          391


    CHASEMORE                                                        396

    HOW TO TREAT THEM                                                398

      I.--THE TOOLS AND MATERIALS--USEFUL HINTS                      403

    CAMPBELL                                                         410


      I.--THE GLASS HARMONICON                                       417
      II.--MUSICAL TUMBLERS                                          419
      III.--A WOOD HARMONICON                                        420


    GORDON                                                           425



    CHAPTER LII.--THE LEYDEN JAR, AND HOW TO MAKE IT                 434


    CHAPTER LIV.--A STORM IN A TEACUP                                443


    JOHN NEVIL MASKELYNE, OF THE EGYPTIAN HALL                       449

    WILLIAM CROMPTON                                                 454

    CHAPTER LVII.--SECOND SIGHT                                      457



      I.--THE PRINCIPLE OF BALLOONING                                481
      II.--FIRE-BALLOONS AND THEIR CONSTRUCTION                      483
      III.--ON GASES AND GAS-BALLOONS                                491
      IV.--HOW TO PREPARE HYDROGEN GAS                               492
      V.--THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BALLOON                            493

    AËRONAUT AND BALLOON MAKER                                       497
      HOW TO MAKE A MODEL BALLOON                                    503
        THE NETTING                                                  506
        THE GAS                                                      507
        COST                                                         508

    HANDWRITING                                                      509


      I.--SOME MECHANICAL PUZZLES. By F. CHASEMORE                   515
      II.--THOUGHT-GUESSING                                          516
      III.--AN IMPROVED RING-PUZZLE. By HERR MEYER                   517
      IV.--AËRIAL RINGS                                              518
      V.--BUBBLE BLOWING                                             520
      VI.--MARIONETTES                                               521
      VII.--MODEL WRESTLERS                                          522

    M.A.                                                             524








That fine old Latin motto, ‘Mens sana in corpore sano’ (‘A vigorous mind
in a sound body’), has stood the test of years, and happily its truth is
day by day more forcibly asserting itself. The feeling is becoming
general that body and mind ought to be developed to the utmost, for they
are both gifts to us, divinely bestowed, and for the proper use of them
we are responsible.

The benefits of _judicious_ exercise to the human frame cannot be
over-estimated. In these days of sedentary occupations, it becomes an
absolute necessity, an antidote, in fact, to the labours of the brain.
By its use the balance between mind and body is preserved.

Irrespective of the increased health that gymnastics impart, and the
spring which they give to the mind, they possess one great advantage,
namely, that they endow the gymnast with presence of mind in
difficulties. In positions of danger how much better chance of escape
those who have trained themselves to use their limbs will have over
those who have not!

Foremost as we stand among nations, it is surprising that such
indifference should have hitherto prevailed with regard to the
development of the body. In many continental countries (Germany and
Switzerland more especially) gymnastics form part of a boy’s education;
here, at any rate until quite recently, they were indulged in only as an
accessory, and often without the aid and direction of an experienced
teacher. Boys are allowed to enter the gymnasium, make their own choice
of apparatus (and they generally select that which requires the greatest
skill), and, in imitation of some expert gymnast whose performances they
have witnessed, attempt feats far beyond their strength, which can only
be successfully accomplished after a systematic course of practice. The
result is often positive injury, and _always_ discouragement.

As in other things, there is no royal road to gymnastics. The learner
must begin with simple and gentle exercises if he wishes to acquire a
graceful and easy style, increasing them in difficulty in regular
degree, according to his strength and progress. The extra time and
trouble devoted to the simple exercises, in which lies the groundwork of
the most ‘taking’ feats, will be acknowledged to have been well
expended, and the acquirement of a cool, easy, and elegant style will
prove sufficient recompense for having assiduously practised them.

The best material for dress is undoubtedly white flannel. A pair of
trousers made to fit the legs tolerably closely, with plenty of room in
the seat (not ‘baggy,’ of course), a close-fitting ordinary under
jersey, minus the sleeves (to give freedom to the arms), and a pair of
canvas shoes without heels, are all that are necessary for wear during
actual practice. Add to these a loose jacket of medium thickness to slip
on during intervals of rest, and you have your costume complete.

Upon the question of wearing a belt opinions are divided. Many gymnasts
approve of it, and assert that it affords them support; but our view, in
which we are confirmed by medical authority, is that artificial support
should be avoided. All that is necessary is that the trousers should be
made to fit well over the hips, with a waistband about 2-1/2 in. in
width, and a strap and buckle behind. Be sure that the flannel is _well
shrunk_ (by immersion in water for about thirty-six hours) previous to
making up.

Before proceeding to describe the exercises, we have a word to say with
regard to the time at which they can be most beneficially practised. Let
it be a golden rule never to attempt work directly after a meal. The
digestive organs require time to fulfil their functions, and exercise
upon a full stomach only impairs and weakens them. Food should not be
taken immediately _after_ practice; a short time--say half an
hour--should elapse before eating.

It is of importance that these directions should be observed, for with
impaired digestion the muscles, instead of being strengthened and
developed by exercise, are really weakened and reduced, in consequence
of not having received the nourishment which digestion alone can extract
from food.

Light practice before breakfast may be taken with advantage, but a dry
biscuit or crust of bread should be eaten on rising.


_No._ 1. Place the heels together, toes pointing outwards, stand
perfectly upright, as at attention, chest expanded. Raise the arms, and
stretch them out in front, hands open, palms touching. Keeping the hands
at the same level, throw them as far behind the back as you can. Do not
bend the body. Continue this exercise until you feel you have had

_No._ 2. Stand as before. Clench the hands and throw them out in front.
Bring them back sharply to the sides, throw them out again, and

_No._ 3. Again same position. Raise the fists to the shoulders, knuckles
turned outwards, strike upwards. Bring the fists down again to the

_No._ 4. Extend the arms at full length on each side, hands open, palms
upwards. Bend from the elbow, bringing the tips of the fingers to the
shoulders, then straighten out again. This is fine exercise for the

Now combine these four exercises, doing them in succession.

_No._ 5. Stand with the legs a little apart, toes pointing outwards.
Arms straight, and hanging in front. Describe a circle in front of you
with each hand, alternately keeping the fist shut and arms _perfectly
straight_. First one way, the hands going outwards, then the other
coming inwards. Keep up this ‘windmill’ action for some time.

These extension exercises will give ease and pliancy to the arms and
their joints.


_No._ 1. Place the hands on the hips, and stand upright, heels together.
Raise each leg alternatively, as high as possible, straight out in front
of you, toes pointed, leg perfectly still.

This should not be done too slowly, but with a slight swing, as in the
act of kicking.

_No._ 2. In addition to the forward movement, swing the leg behind you,
do not bend the body over, and mind your balance. Keep up this pendulum
movement, first with one leg, then with the other, counting 1, 2, 3, 4.
1, leg out in front; 2, swing behind; 3, in front again; 4, foot to
ground to first position; then do the same with the other leg.

_No._ 3. Stand as in No. 1, and throw each knee up alternately,
endeavouring to strike the chest. Do not stoop forward. This exercise
loosens the knee joints.

_No._ 4. When in the position described last, with the knee raised,
throw the leg out in front, and straighten it before bringing the foot
to the ground. This is part of No. 1.

_No._ 5. Stand as before. Now sink down slowly, as low as possible,
raising the heels from the ground, knees bent at an angle, then rise
again. Do this at least twenty times in succession. It will give it to
you in the calves and thighs, but it is splendid exercise.

If you practise these exercises for about half an hour every day for a
week you will be ready for the more advanced practice which we shall
next describe.


The exercises described in the last section do not by any means exhaust
the list of extension movements that can be practised. They are
sufficient, however, to form a groundwork upon which the reader may
begin. Many other exercises will readily suggest themselves to him
during practice.

If he has a few friends who will join him in them, it will prove
mutually advantageous, the exercises becoming much less monotonous by
being performed in company. One should act as director, standing facing
the others, and setting the exercises, counting aloud 1, 2, 3, 4, and so

This system is practised at all the large gymnasiums, the ‘Mass
Exercise,’ as it is called, commencing the evening’s work, and forming a
very pretty spectacle. This is notably the case at the German Gymnasium,
King’s Cross, where frequently as many as 200 gymnasts, standing at
arm’s length from each other and obedient to the word of command from
the leader, who occupies a raised platform in front of them, go through
the extensions in unison and perfect time. The effect is unique, and
must be seen to be appreciated.

After having become accustomed to these movements, they may be practised
with light dumb-bells.

The pupil having passed through the preliminaries, and moulded himself a
little into shape, we now proceed to describe the exercises _with_
apparatus. Those on the ‘horizontal bar’ being among the most
strengthening of gymnastic performances, and perhaps also the most
varied and attractive, we shall treat of them first.


Almost every boy is familiar with this apparatus, but for the benefit of
the few who may be in ignorance, we give a drawing of it (Fig. 1).

[Illustration: FIG. 1.]

The bar or pole should be of ash, diameter 2 inches, length 6 feet. The
more expensive bars have a steel core running through the middle, in
which case the diameter can be reduced to 1-1/2 inches, and the length
increased to 7 feet. This size is decidedly more pleasant for use, as a
firmer grip can be obtained than on the thicker bars. The height of the
bar from the ground of course varies according to that of the gymnast,
who should be able to touch the lower side with _both_ hands (the tips
of the fingers) when standing raised on his toes. When _hanging_ by the
hands, the toes will then just clear the ground.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.]

Having adjusted the apparatus to the proper height, begin by


Jump up and seize the bar with both hands, knuckles upwards, the thumbs
on _the same side as the fingers_. Remember (with the exceptions
mentioned later on) never to grasp the bar as you would a broomstick,
but hook the hand over it. Let the legs hang perfectly straight and
together, toes pointed.

Now ‘walk’ with the hands from one end of the bar to the other, and back
again. Keep the body steady and avoid swaying (Fig. 2).


Hang on the bar as before, and slowly draw yourself up, keeping the
shoulders square, until the chest is level with the bar (Fig. 3).

[Illustration: FIG. 3.]

Then lower the body until the arms are quite straight again, draw up
again, and continue to practise until you can accomplish it from eight
to a dozen times in succession. When breasting the bar, repeat the walk
in that position.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.]

Now try swinging forward and backward, arms straight, increasing the
height with each swing until the body assumes an almost horizontal
position. When at the extent of the backward swing, the hands should be
shifted slightly round the bar to recover the grip which the forward
swing has lessened (Fig. 4).

[Illustration: FIG. 4A.]

Now in the backward swing release your hold of the bar and launch
yourself away from it with a slight push and alight on your feet. This
will accustom you to leaving the bar neatly and effectively (Fig. 4A).


Draw the chest up to the bar, throw the head well back, raising the legs
at the same time (keep them straight), and get the toes over the front
of the bar, pulling hard with the arms (Fig. 5). This will cause you to
revolve half round the bar, and will bring you into position as in Fig.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.]

This is rather difficult to perform, and requires a deal of practice,
but it is an indispensable exercise.

When in this position (Fig. 6) endeavour to revolve completely round the
bar like a wheel on its axis. To do this you must throw the upper part
of the body forward with a good swing, at the same time keeping the arms
rigid, and giving yourself sufficient impetus to go round, coming up
into the original position.


Get into position as in Fig. 3, then drop the right side of the body,
simultaneously throwing the left leg over the bar as in Fig. 7, and
swing the other leg which will have the effect of bringing you up over
the bar. Endeavour to come up with the body upright, as in Fig. 8.

[Illustration: Fig. 7]

[Illustration: Fig. 8]

You will experience some difficulty in doing this, and your first
attempt will no doubt result in a mere scramble up, but persevere until
success rewards your efforts.

There is another method you may try--viz., to bring the leg up through
the hands, and, with a good swing, bring yourself up, as in Fig. 8.

One method is perhaps as good as the other, but neither can be neatly
performed without continual practice.


When in position, as in Fig. 8, swing the right leg out behind, at the
same time shifting the left leg backward until the bend of the knee
catches the bar (Fig. 9).

[Illustration: Fig. 9]

Keep the arms straight, and throw the head back with a good swing, just
enough to bring you round the bar into the original position. You must
be careful in judging the swing, otherwise you will find that you cannot
stop yourself, and will make a half turn too much. After a little
practice you will be able to judge the first swing to a nicety, and come
up with a good balance. Now do several turns without stopping, always
remembering to finish above the bar.

[Illustration: Fig. 10]

For the forward leg swing, turn the hands the other way, leaning the
weight of the body on the arms; throw the head forward, and, with one
bold plunge, keeping the body erect, and holding tightly on to the bar,
make the revolution (Fig. 10).

Do not be content with accomplishing this with one leg only, but
practise with right and left alternately.

The forward swing will tax your confidence more than the backward, but
it is really not more difficult. You will, after a little practice, be
able to make several revolutions in succession. This has a very dashing


This will prove rather difficult at first. Get on to the bar, as in Fig.
8, and preserving your balance, bring the hanging leg with a rapid
movement over the bar into a sitting position. To effect this you must
leave go of the bar with the right hand, resuming your grasp directly
the leg has passed under your hand. You will now be in position as in
Fig. 11.

[Illustration: Fig. 11]

[Illustration: Fig. 12]

This exercise really consists of balancing, and in your first attempts
you will find a tendency to roll over backwards directly the leg reaches
the level of the bar. Should you do so, however, you can quickly recover
your position by the method described in ‘getting on to the bar.’

[Illustration: Fig. 13]

[Illustration: Fig. 14]

There is another way of getting into the sitting position. Hang on as in
Fig. 2, and doubling up, pass the legs through the arms (Fig. 14),
straighten the body, as in Fig. 15, and draw yourself up until the
posterior is a little above the bar. You will then, with a slight bend
of the body, roll over into position. You must keep the head well back,
and pull hard with the arms.

[Illustration: Fig. 15]

[Illustration: Fig. 16]

A good exercise for the muscles of the back is to drop through when in
position as in Fig. 14, to position as in Fig. 16, and back again to
Fig. 2. Be careful to keep the legs _straight_ while doing it. It is
easy enough to effect with legs bent.

Having accomplished ‘sitting,’ accustom yourself to remaining in that
position without holding the bar with the hands, balancing yourself with
the bar under different parts of the leg.

This will prepare you for the


which is not unlike the leg swing, but very much more difficult, as
greater strength is required, in consequence of the whole weight being
thrown upon the arms.

Sitting on the bar as in Fig. 11, stiffen the arms, and launch yourself
backwards with a good swing, holding the bar firmly with both hands, and
go right round the bar with the impetus you have given yourself,
resuming the position from which you started. As in the leg swing, you
must judge the swing correctly, or else you will go round half a turn
too much, or fail to give sufficient swing to come up at all. This will
very likely be the case in your first few attempts, for you can hardly
expect to accomplish the feat at once.

In attempting this exercise it is as well to have some one standing in
front of the bar ready to catch you in the event of your not having
given swing enough to balance yourself, in which case you will fall

In the sit swing forward, starting is the important part. Raise the body
as far from the bar as possible, the whole weight supported on the arms
(Fig. 12), legs straight, chest thrown out. Now with a bold plunge
forward you will go right round (that is after a time). The arms must be
kept perfectly straight, as in Fig. 13, and the hands of course reversed
as in the leg swing forward.

This feat requires more nerve than any we have yet described, and, as a
natural accompaniment, more practice, but it will well repay any amount
of perseverance.


Sit on the bar, then suddenly slide backwards and drop, catching
yourself by your bent knees (Fig. 17).

[Illustration: Fig. 17]

[Illustration: Fig. 18]

You must be very careful not to communicate any swing to the body, but
to drop quite straight, or off you will come. Having successfully
acquired this exercise, you may now practise swinging by the legs, when
as in Fig. 18, let go with your legs, and let them drop and come on your
feet on the ground. This exercise had better be first practised on a bar
sufficiently low to allow of your just touching with the tips of your
fingers when hanging, in case you hold on too long, and so come on your
hands and feet instead of on your feet only. A very little practice,
however, will suffice to give you the knack of leaving go at the exact
moment, and as this method of leaving the bar is often called into
requisition at the end of a series of combined movements, it should be
acquired perfectly.

We cannot too strongly advise our young friends who wish to become
gymnasts to pay particular attention to the _style_ in which they
perform the exercises. Many a difficult feat is spoiled in appearance by
the clumsy manner in which it is executed, and fails to elicit the
admiration afforded to a much simpler movement gracefully performed.


This exercise is very difficult, and will necessitate a lot of practice.
It differs from the ‘Short Circle’ already described in this important
particular, viz., that the circle is performed without any part of the
body touching the bar. You must commence by drawing the chest up to the
bar from the hanging position, then throw the head back, and, raising
the legs, and pulling hard with the arms, endeavour to bring the feet
over the bar, describing, as it were, part of a circle. While the legs
are passing round, straighten the arms, and you will come into position
as in Fig. 19.

[Illustration: Fig. 19]

Now revolve round the bar, keeping the arms rigid, and the body away
from the bar. The whole weight of the body (which must be kept quite
straight) will thus be thrown on the arms. Our readers must not be
discouraged at the nonsuccess that will attend their first efforts to
accomplish this exercise, which, as we have before remarked, is a very
difficult one, and requires a deal of practice before the knack can be


This, although not difficult to perform, is very showy, and frequently
elicits greater applause from an audience than much more difficult
feats. Get on to the bar in sitting position, as in Fig. 11, then slide
down in front, at the same time putting the arms straight down behind
you until the bar comes across the biceps; then communicate a swing to
the body until you have acquired sufficient momentum to carry you
completely round the bar. The ordinary way in which this feat is
performed is with the head going forwards (Fig. 20). The other way
(backwards) is more difficult.

[Illustration: Fig. 20]

[Illustration: Fig. 21]

It can be done in a third way, with the arms straight along the bar
(Fig. 21).


This is easier than most people imagine. Whatever difficulty may be
found will consist not so much in the actual sustaining of the weight of
the body by the toes as in the task of getting the feet into position on
the bar. We will suppose, however, that by this time the pupil will have
mastered the short circle described on page 23, in which case he will
find it easy enough to hitch the toes on the bar instead of bringing
them over to complete the circle. This having been accomplished, nothing
remains but to leave go with the hands and let the body drop slowly
until hanging quite perpendicularly (Fig. 22).

[Illustration: Fig. 22]

In first attempting this, it is advisable to stretch out your arms, so
as to be prepared in case you find your feet slipping off. To drop on to
the hands is the easier way of leaving the bar from this position, but
it is not the correct one, which is to draw the body up and resume your
hold of the bar by the hands.


This is like the sit ‘swing backward,’ except that it is performed
without holding the bar by the hands, which of course renders it very
much more difficult.

Sit on the bar as far back as possible, and then launch yourself
backwards with arms extended, holding tight with the legs, and, with a
good swing, come right round the bar into sitting position from which
you started (Fig. 23).

[Illustration: Fig. 23]

Great demand will be made upon your store of confidence in the
performance of this feat, but it well repays the practice involved, as
it has a very dashing appearance, especially when several turns are done
in succession, which you will be able to accomplish after a time.


This is an indispensable exercise, and one that will be frequently
called into requisition by the gymnast as he becomes more advanced. It
consists of getting on to the bar by a swing and a jerk, the peculiar
nature of which it is rather difficult to describe. First hang by the
hands, then bring the feet up to the bar and shoot them out sharply as
far as possible (Fig. 24), at the same time pulling hard with the arms.

You will find, after a time, that this will have the effect of bringing
you right up on to the bar as in Fig. 6.

[Illustration: Fig. 24]

[Illustration: Fig. 25]

The upstart can be performed without the swing, but the arms in this
case must be kept perfectly straight. Raise the legs as before, then
drop them suddenly and pull the body above the bar. To see the upstart
once performed will do more towards teaching its acquirement than pages
of explanation. It is purely a knack, which will come to you all at
once, after, perhaps, numberless fruitless attempts (Fig. 25).


is another method of getting on to the bar, and is a feat of strength
rather than of agility, great muscular power being necessary for its
successful accomplishment.

[Illustration: Fig. 26]

It is performed by drawing the body up while hanging from the bar. The
hands must be well over the bar--in fact, the wrists must rest there. In
this exercise it is better to have the thumbs underneath (this is one of
the exceptions referred to in page 22), as otherwise, when you come up,
your hands may slip off. Fig. 26 shows the position midway.

This is the critical point, and all your strength will be required to
get the rest of the way. By raising the elbows a little you will find
you will get a greater purchase, and the raising of the legs will
counterbalance the weight of the body and bring it up. This exercise
always meets with great applause, especially when done several times in
succession, a feat that will task your powers to their utmost.

Another strength movement is the


It consists of supporting the body by the strength of the arms, as shown
in Figs. 27, 28.

[Illustration: Fig. 27]

[Illustration: Fig. 28]


This must first be practised on a bar reaching not higher than the
waist. The feat is to clear the bar as shown in Fig. 29. Some amount of
confidence will be required for the performance of this exercise, and
there must be no hesitation in the matter, or over you will come on your
nose. First practise jumping on to the bar, so as to touch with both
feet _inside_ the hands; then try outside, and, when you have become
accustomed to this movement, you may make your attempt to go clean over.
You must be careful to let go with the hands at the proper moment when
in position shown in Fig. 29.

[Illustration: Fig. 29]

The exercise is usually first acquired on the ‘horse’ (an apparatus
which we shall describe in due course), and is much more difficult on
the horizontal bar, but as it is a very pretty finish to a series of
combined movements, we have introduced it here.

We should recommend your having some one standing in front of the bar
when you commence to practise this movement, to catch you in case your
feet do not quite clear.


This is perhaps the most difficult of all the exercises on the bar, and
requires great strength and nerve for its accomplishment. There are very
few gymnasts who can do it properly, which is not to be wondered at,
considering the amount of practice that it involves. Only the advanced
gymnasts, those who have completely mastered all the foregoing exercises
(especially the clear circle, which is the preliminary to the long
swing), should attempt it.

[Illustration: Fig. 30]

Start from position as in Fig. 6, and raise the body up (Fig. 30), then
descend with a dashing swing (Fig. 31), bending the body backward, and
just as you are underneath the bar throw the legs forward and the head
back. This will have the effect of bringing you up above the bar. You
must now bend the arms slightly, to bring you nearer the bar, over which
you should come with the chest thrown out. This position is the most
awkward part of the whole swing, for the hands will be found too far
over the bar. To rectify this you must make what is known as the shift,
which consists of making a rapid turn with the hands, bringing the palms
on to the top of the bar, when you can straighten the arms (Fig. 32),
ready for another circle.

[Illustration: Fig. 31]

[Illustration: Fig. 32]

The long swing can also be performed forward, but it is even more
difficult than the one just described.


We have now shown most of the principal movements on the horizontal bar,
a great many of which, when properly acquired singly, can be performed
in combination. For instance--

Start with the short circle, throw the legs over the bar into sitting
position, then sit swing backwards, leave go with the hands, two hock
swing backwards, and off the bar on to your feet as in Fig. 18.

Again. Upstart, clear circle (three or four times) into sitting
position, sit swing forward, change hands, and hock swing off.

A very dashing-looking feat is the upstart and splits in one movement.
Care must be taken not to allow the body to touch the bar, or your
impetus will be stopped just when it is required for clearing the bar.

This concludes the Horizontal Bar. We will now proceed to describe the
exercises on the Parallel Bars.


The Parallel Bars are very simple in their structure. They consist of
two bars, running side by side, supported by uprights at a sufficient
height from the ground to allow the feet to swing clear. The width
should not be more than eighteen inches; length about seven feet.

The exercises that can be performed upon this apparatus are various and
attractive; some of them comparatively easy, the more advanced very
difficult, and requiring great strength and skill in their execution.


Rise into position as in Fig. 33, and walk with the hands to the end of
the bars, keeping the arms stiff, legs straight, and toes pointed. Now
walk back again. Now proceed along the bars by a succession of jumps
with the hands and back again.

[Illustration: Fig. 33]

[Illustration: Fig. 34]

Let the body sink down, as in Fig. 34, and hop along in that position
forwards and backwards. Be careful to keep the body steady and legs

[Illustration: Fig. 35]

[Illustration: Fig. 36]

Position as in Fig. 33. Now commence swinging the legs backwards and
forwards. When accustomed to this movement, throw the legs over the bars
in front of you (Fig. 35), then bring the hands to the front (Fig. 36),
and bring the legs over again between the bars into original position.
Do this several times in succession, and vary the exercise by commencing
with throwing the legs behind.

[Illustration: Fig. 37]

[Illustration: Fig. 38.]

[Illustration: Fig. 39]

[Illustration: Fig. 40]

The _pumping movement_ is a splendid exercise for bringing out the
muscles of the chest, and is performed as follows. Swing the body into a
horizontal position, as in Fig. 37; then bend the arms and drop into
Fig. 38. Swing the legs forward, and with the impulse this will give you
come up into Fig. 39, and finish with a swing back into position from
which the movement was commenced. In the backward ‘pump,’ commence from
the position as shown in last figure, and drop with the backward swing.
It is a pretty movement to combine the two--first forwards, then
backwards, in alternate swings, and then to leave the bars by a side
movement on to your feet, as in Fig. 40. This last movement is one of
the neatest and easiest ways of leaving the bars, and can be done either
forwards or backwards, and on right or left side.

[Illustration: Fig. 41]

[Illustration: Fig. 42]

After having fairly mastered the pumping movement, you will now be ready
for attempting _the hand-balance_--an exceedingly effective exercise,
and not very difficult to accomplish. Commence as for the backward pump,
and, with an increased momentum, bring yourself up into a hand-balance
(Fig. 41). This movement should be first practised at the end of the
bars, as in the event of your overbalancing--a not unlikely
contingency--you can save yourself by bending the arms, as in Fig. 42.
We should also recommend your having two friends to stand by you, one on
each side of the bars, ready to catch you in case of a tumble. Having
become proficient in the stationary balance, try to walk along the whole
length of bars with the hands, still preserving the balance. This will
be found none too easy, as directly one hand is moved forward the
balance is altered, and there is a tendency to fall over. The correct
method of leaving the bars after balancing is by means of the
_hand-spring_, which is performed by bending the arms as in Fig. 42, and
when in that position dropping the legs and pushing away from the bars
with the arms; the result will be that you will alight on your feet
after having turned a half-somersault. In practising this also you
should have two friends ready to catch you, as your first few attempts
are nearly certain to be unsuccessful.

[Illustration: Fig. 43]

[Illustration: Fig. 44]

The slow pull-up was described in our remarks on the Horizontal Bar, but
upon the parallels it is much more difficult of execution. The movement
is shown in Figs. 43 and 44. In starting, the hands should be placed
well over the ends of the bars--the wrists, in fact, being over--then by
sheer strength raise the body up to Fig. 44. This is the awkward point,
and all your exertion and power will be called upon to get right up with
straight arms.

[Illustration: Fig. 45]

[Illustration: Fig. 46]

The following exercise is also very similar to one described for the
horizontal bar, but it is more difficult on the parallels. Stand between
the bars, catch hold of them with the hands, and stoop down until the
shoulders are level with the bars; then raise the legs--keeping them
straight--until the body is in position, as in Fig. 45, when drop right
over to Fig. 46; then back again, and continue the movement several
times. This is splendid exercise for opening the chest and strengthening
the muscles of the back.

[Illustration: Fig. 47]

[Illustration: Fig. 48]

Vaulting movements, when neatly performed, are very pretty, and should
be commenced from the centre of and between the bars. Figs. 47 and 48
will convey the idea to our readers. A great many movements may be gone
through while in this position, the necessary impetus being obtained by
swinging the legs over the bars.

[Illustration: Fig. 49]

Fig. 49 shows the most difficult of all the exercises upon the
parallels. It is to make the head and shoulders counterbalance the legs,
and to hold the body parallel with the bars by the arms. This is known
by the name of ‘La Planche.’

We will now proceed to a description of the exercises on the


[Illustration: Fig. 50]

The above sketch shows the apparatus (Fig. 50). The dimensions most
convenient for use are 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet in length, and about
16 inches across the back; the height can be arranged as required. It
will be seen from the illustration that the legs are telescopic, and can
be lengthened or reduced at pleasure.

The two pommels in the centre are about 18 inches apart, and can be
removed for certain exercises hereafter described. In that case, pommels
level with the back of the horse are inserted to fill up the grooves. In
performing a great many of the exercises it is necessary to have a
wooden board about 3 feet square, rising in thickness from a feather
edge to 3 inches, to be placed on the ground at the side or end of the
horse, as the case may be, for the ‘take-off.’ This is not used as a
spring-board. It should be solid, and made of deal.

The trunk of the horse is made of a solid piece of wood, and covered all
over with cowhide. One end, as will be seen from the engraving, is
raised, with a slight bend corresponding to the neck of the animal,
which gives it its name.

Many of the exercises upon the horse are similar to those upon the
parallels. Our readers can themselves recognise which they are; we shall
therefore avoid recapitulation, and only describe those peculiar to the

[Illustration: Fig. 51]

[Illustration: Fig. 52]

Start by springing on to the horse with the hands one on each of the
pommels, legs hanging straight (Fig. 51). Now swing the right leg over
the horse in between the pommels (as in Fig. 52), momentarily
relinquishing the hold of the right hand, and immediately the leg has
passed resuming your hold; then the same with the left leg. This must be
done without touching the horse with the foot, and the body must be
supported by the arms the whole time. Then bring each leg back again
into original position.

Now try the two movements at once--that is, while the one leg is being
brought back the other is to be passed through forward. You will thus
always have one leg on each side of the horse.

The next exercise is the--


Stand in front of the horse, hands on pommels, then spring up into the
saddle into a kneeling position (as in Fig. 53). Then, throwing the
arms up, give a good spring forward, alighting on your feet the other
side (Fig. 54). You will feel rather awkward at first in attempting the
spring, as the legs seem to be glued to the saddle, but it is very easy
after having once been accomplished.

[Illustration: Fig. 53]

[Illustration: Fig. 54]


Jumping exercises on the horse, when neatly performed, are very

[Illustration: Fig. 55]

Take a short run up to the board (described above), and jump--off both
feet at once--over the back, passing the legs through the arms, and
assisting yourself by the hands one on each pommel (Fig. 55).

[Illustration: Fig. 56]

When in this position shoot out the legs in front of you, and, leaving
go of the pommels, come down neatly on the other side. Be careful to
gather up the legs well when passing through, or you may catch your feet
against the back of the horse, and come down on your nose. There are
several forms of this exercise. Fig. 56 shows one of them.

It is rather more difficult than the last, from the legs passing
_outside_ the hands. A much greater spring is required to raise you high
enough to pass over, and you must be careful to let go with the hands at
the proper time, otherwise you will lose command of yourself and pitch
forward on to the ground. In practising this movement we recommend your
having a friend to stand in front of the horse, to catch you in case of
such an emergency.


Get on to the horse as in Fig. 57, sitting across, outside the pommels,
then catch hold of the pommels as shown, and, throwing the whole weight
of the body upon the arms, throw the legs right up, and, with a kind of
twist, bring yourself round on to the horse the opposite side of the
pommels, retaining your hold all the time. You will then face the
opposite direction to the position from which you started. Practise the
exercise from right to left, and _vice versa_.

[Illustration: Fig. 57]

There are many other forms of saddle-vaulting possible of practice, some
of them very difficult, but it is not needful to describe them.

[Illustration: Fig. 58]

The hand-balance was described in the chapter on the parallel bars. It
is a little more difficult of execution on the horse. It is shown in
Fig. 58.

The assistance of two friends in attempting this feat is desirable.


For these exercises the pommels must be removed, and the spaces filled
up with the flush ones, as described already. The movement is not unlike
leap-frog, as the spring is taken off the board, and you pitch on to
your hands in the same manner. But there the similarity ends, for it is
a very different matter clearing a boy’s back, from getting over the
whole length of the horse.

[Illustration: Fig. 59]

Commence by placing the jumping-board about 3 feet from the largest end
of the horse, then with a run and a spring pitch on to your hands, as in
Fig. 59.

After practising this, move the board farther away and repeat; continue
the exercise, each time measuring the distance, until you can pitch on
to the ends from about 5 or 6 feet.

[Illustration: Fig. 60]

Now jump up on to the end of the horse, as in Fig. 60, then plunge
forwards on to the other end, pitching on to the hands, and clearing the
horse, as in leap-frog, coming down safely on the ground in front.

This exercise must be done with dash and vigour. If you are half-hearted
about it you will come to grief.


This simple apparatus consists of iron rings attached to two ropes
suspended from a cross bar or from a ceiling, about seventeen or
eighteen feet in length, and at a sufficient height from the ground to
allow the feet to swing just clear. The rings or stirrups (the latter
shape is the more convenient) should be covered with leather, and of a
thickness affording a good grasp. The exercises that can be performed
upon them are neither attractive nor various, but they are useful, and
as no section on gymnastics would be complete without their
introduction, we will proceed to describe them.

[Illustration: Fig. 61]

Begin by drawing yourself up, as in Fig. 61, holding one ring close to
the shoulder and the other extended at arm’s length. Now draw in the
extended arm, at the same time straightening the other, and repeat the
movement as long as you are able, first one arm straight, then the
other. Keep the head erect, looking straight before you, not at either
of the rings. Legs hanging close together, toes pointed.

[Illustration: Fig. 62]

Now try the slow pull up; this is not so difficult upon the rings as
upon the horizontal bar. The wrist should be placed well over the rings,
so as to get a good purchase. Then proceed as directed in the horizontal
bar directions, and when you have drawn yourself quite up, straighten
the arms and press them close to your sides. Now for a stiff one. When
in this position gradually extend the arms apart, allowing the body to
sink until the shoulders are nearly level with the rings (Fig. 62).
Endeavour to keep in this position, supporting the body as long as
possible, then lower yourself gradually, until you hang straight down

The back and forward ‘horizontals’ (also described in the horizontal
bar) are very good exercises to practise on the rings.

[Illustration: Fig. 63]

[Illustration: Fig. 64]

Now for some swinging exercises. Take hold of the rings and with a few
quick steps forward communicate a swing to the body, which increase by
drawing yourself up in the forward swing, and when at its extent
lowering yourself with a drop. This will cause you to swing higher each
time until your arms and legs are straight and nearly in a horizontal
position, as in Fig. 63. When accustomed to this exercise, which should
be practised until perfect confidence is attained, you may proceed to
the following. Commence as before, and when at the end of the forward
swing, draw up the legs over the head, as in Fig. 64, and immediately
before commencing the backward swing shoot the legs out straight, and
come back to position as in Fig. 63. Continue the movement half a dozen

[Illustration: Fig. 65]

[Illustration: Fig. 66]

Commence as before, and when at the end of the _backward_ swing,
suddenly contract the arms and raise yourself up into the rings, as in
Fig. 65, and continue swinging in that position. In order to preserve
your equilibrium you must bring the legs forward when beginning to
descend, as in Fig. 66.

[Illustration: Fig. 67]

Another variety of the swing is to support yourself on the rings,
‘grasshopper fashion’ (Fig. 67). A very pretty effect is produced by a
combination of the different swings we have described. The order in
which they are performed is immaterial, and may be left to the pleasure
of the gymnast.

We will conclude our directions for the rings with a description of what
is known as ‘dislocation.’

Hang from the rings and draw up the legs over the head, and drop over,
as in Fig. 46 (Parallel Bars). Now instead of going back again, push the
rings out and away from you on each side. The body, by its own weight,
will drop through and cause the arms to twist until you will find
yourself hanging with straight arms in the position from which you
started. The sensation you will experience when first the exercise is
performed is (of course momentarily only) not unlike ‘dislocation,’
hence the name the exercise bears, but after a few successful attempts
it is comparatively easy, and is a splendid means of opening the chest.


Although not generally looked upon as a gymnastic exercise, climbing the
rope, pole, etc., is so essentially useful, and so likely to prove of
service in an emergency, that we devote a few lines to describe the best
and most effective method. Those who have never attempted to climb a
rope can have but little idea of the severe nature of the exercise.
Although unfortunately neglected, in favour of more showy feats by the
majority of gymnasts, yet there are a few who make a speciality of it,
and climb heights really marvellous. A few years ago, on the occasion of
the German Gymnastic Society’s annual display at the Crystal Palace, one
of the members ascended a rope from the floor to the extreme height of
the centre transept. The arduous nature of the feat may be imagined when
our readers are informed that a quarter of an hour was occupied in the
ascent. The way of taking hold of the rope is shown in Fig. 68. The legs
should now be drawn up and the knees and feet pressed against the rope,
and the hands then shifted higher (Fig. 69).

[Illustration: Fig. 68]

[Illustration: Fig. 69]

Climbing by the hands only, ‘hand over hand,’ as it is called, is much
more difficult, and can only be performed to a limited height. Climbing
the pole is more difficult, from the fact that it is unbending and
thicker to grasp. Fig. 70 shows the position.

[Illustration: Fig. 70]


In nearly every well-appointed gymnasium there are ladders, placed in
horizontal or slanting positions, upon which a variety of easy but
useful exercises may be performed. ‘Walking’ by the hands is shown on
the horizontal ladder in Fig. 71. By moving the hands forward
alternately, holding by the outside, you progress from one end to the
other, and back again by reversing the movement.

[Illustration: Fig. 71]

[Illustration: Fig. 72]

In Fig. 72 another movement is shown, in which progression is made by a
succession of ‘steps’ from round to round, first from one round to the
next, and afterwards increasing the length of the step by missing four,
five, or six rounds, as the length of reach will permit.


BY CHARLES SPENCER, Author of _The Modern Gymnast_, &c.

Comparatively few years ago bodily exercises were mostly confined to
walking, running, and rowing; now, happily, it is an exception not to
find some sort of gymnastic exercise desired by boys where apparatus is
necessary. My object in this article is to tell as briefly and
succinctly as possible, how any one, with a slight knowledge of
carpentry, can make at home all that is requisite for a gymnasium, and
that too at a comparatively small expense.

As you will, of course, require some tools, I will begin by supposing
that you have the ordinary commonplace ones, but may mention that, as
you will find the truth of the adage, ‘A bad workman finds fault with
his tools,’ you must not attempt to cross-cut a piece of timber with a
rip saw, or split your wood by using a gimlet instead of a bradawl,
blaming the tools, spoiling the wood and also your own temper.

Let us begin with the construction of the horizontal bar, as it is the
simplest apparatus to make, and affords the greatest variety of
exercises. There are several ways of forming the supports. We will take
the two most suitable, one as a fixture and the other portable, to be
used in a room or anywhere else desired.


With wooden uprights to fix in the ground (_See_ next page, Fig. 1):

  Hand-saw (cross-cut).             | Inch chisel.
  Jack plane.                       | Hammer.
  Spike gimlet (three-eighths of an | Rule and Pencil.
  inch).                            |

                       _Materials._                          _s._ _d._

  2 Yellow battens 14 ft. long, 7 in. by 2-1/2 in. at
  3-1/2_d._                                                   8    2
  4 Struts, yellow, 4 ft. 6 in. long, 4 in. by 1 in.          1    0
  1 Bar 6 ft. long, 1-7/8 in. in diameter                     6    6
  2 Pins 6 in. long, 3/8 of an inch in diameter, at 4_d._     0    8
  20 nails 2-1/2 in. long                                     0    4
  2 lb. lead-colour paint, at 8_d._                           1    4
  1 lb. ultramarine blue                                      1    0
                                                             19    0

The first thing to be done is to order your wood of the nearest
timber-merchant. There are various kinds of fir-timber, and those mostly
used are pine, spruce, and yellow deal. The latter is the best for our
present purpose, as it is easy to work and will best stand the
inclemency of the weather. I need scarcely tell you where to get the
other materials, as most ironmongers and colourmen keep everything you
may require in this way.

[Illustration: Fig. 1]

Having all your materials and tools ready, saw 4 feet off your battens
(A A), which will leave 10 feet for the uprights, and as 2 feet 6 inches
have to be let into the ground, you will then have 7 feet 6 inches for
the height of the bar, which is sufficient for all exercises. You will
next fit the 4 feet-pieces (B B) into one end of the uprights by halving
them in; this will form the sole-piece to which the struts (C C C C) are
nailed. All this part, which goes underground, is left in its rough
state; the 7 feet 6 inches above the ground will have to be planed over
and the edges rounded off. The uprights can be either left plain or an
ornamental turned top may be added. This is a matter of fancy.

Our bar is made of the best straight-grained ash, 6 feet long and 1-7/8
in. in diameter.

Before fixing, cover the knots with a little patent knotting, then paint
the uprights all over with a coat of priming, another coat of lead
colour and one of any finishing colour you prefer. Green will soon fade,
blue will stand for years.


  Saw.                              | Inch chisel.
  Jack plane.                       | Three-eighths-of-an-inch spike
                                    | gimlet.

                           _Materials._                        _s._ _d._

  4 Lengths of Yellow deal 8 ft. long, 4-1/2 in. by 1-1/2 in.   5    0
  2 Stakes 2 ft. 6 in. long, 3 in. square                       0    6
  1 Bar, with iron core and screw-eyes, 6 ft. long             10    0
  2 Stay-ropes and toggles                                      2    0
  2 Stretcher irons                                             1    0
  Size and Varnish                                              1    0
                                                               19    6

[Illustration: Fig. 2]

This bar (Fig. 2), for its simplicity, portability, and strength, has a
reputation for being one of the most useful kinds of apparatus made. Not
only is it used for a bar, but children’s swings, hand-rings, and
trapeze can be attached to it, as the supports can be spread out to
allow the bar to stand at various heights by shifting the stretcher
irons (A A) up and down. These irons, three-eighths of a inch in
diameter, are cranked at each end--_i.e._, bent at right-angles--and fit
into holes in the uprights about 3 inches apart.

There will be very little for you to make in this, viz., the four
uprights. After you have planed these over and rounded the edges,
mortice 1-1/4-in. square holes through two of the uprights (D), six
inches from the top, and bore 3/4-in. round holes through the other two.
This is to take the end of the bar (B). The square part is to prevent
the bar turning round when you swing on it. You will have to purchase
the bar with iron core, as it would be impossible to make it without
proper machinery.

Size and varnish the uprights with one coat of size and two of hard oak
varnish. In fixing, you merely turn the screw-eye into the floor or
stakes, and attach the stays (C C) to them.


with wooden uprights to fix in the ground.

[Illustration: Fig. 3]

  _Tools._--Same as for Horizontal Bar, Fig. 1.

  _Materials._                                                 _s._ _d._

  2 Yellow battens 15 ft. long, 7 in. by 4 in., at 5_d._       12    6
  1 Yellow 14 ft. long, 7 in. by 2-1/2 in., at 3-1/2_d._        4    1
  4 Struts 5 ft. long, 4 ft. by 1-1/2 in.                       1    3
  4 Runners 3 ft. long, 2 in. by 2 in.                          1    0
  1 Ash bar 6 ft. long, 1-7/8 in. diameter, with 2-in. square
  ends                                                          6    6
  1 Facia board 6 ft. long, 6 in. by 1 in.                      0    6
  20 Nails 2-1/2 in. long                                       0    4
  4 Spikes 4 in. long                                           0    2
  16 Screws No. 16, 3 in. long                                  0    8
  2 Pins 6 in. by 3/8 in. diameter                              0    8
  3 lb. lead-colour paint, at 8_d._                             2    0
  1-1/2 lb. ultramarine blue, at 1_s._                          1    6
                                                           £1  11    2

Fig. 3 represents the Lawn Gymnasium with some of its appendages. My
object now is to show you how to construct the frame, and, of course,
when that is done you can add whatever you like, as, for instance,
climbing-rope or pole, hand-rings (H H), trapeze bar, foot or sitting
swing (G), vaulting and horizontal bar (F), etc.

On referring to the quantities you will find there are two yellow
battens 15 ft. long; these form the uprights (A A); 3 feet has to go
into the ground, leaving 12 feet for the height of the swing. The top
(B), 7 feet in length, is cut off the 14-ft. length, the remaining 7 ft.
is again cut in the centre to form the two sole-pieces (D D), 3 ft. 6
in. each; these are then halved into the bottom of the uprights in
centre, and the struts (E E E E) nailed on as shown. The top can be
either morticed on to the uprights or secured by strong iron brackets.
The inch facia board (C) is nailed on the top for ornament, as are also
the cornice pole-ends.

The 2-inch square runners are secured on the uprights with the 3-inch
screws (four to each runner), 3 feet from the ground and 2 inches apart,
leaving a groove or space between them for the ends of the bar to slide
up and down. For vaulting purposes these runners have to be bored
through with a 3/8-in. nose or spoon-bit (a gimlet would split the
wood); the holes must be about three inches apart from the top to
bottom, and are intended to take the 3/8-in. pin which is to support the

The whole of the wood-work above ground must be planed, and the edges
neatly rounded off. It is the custom to burn or char the surface of that
part of the timber which has to be let into the ground, to prevent it
from rotting, but a good coat of gas tar answers the purpose very well.


[Illustration: Fig. 4]

                    _Materials._                               _s._ _d._

  2 Norway spars trimmed, 14 feet long, at 5_s._               10    0
  6 ft. 2 in. iron tube, at 7-1/2_d._ per foot                  3    9
  2 Elbows for iron tube, at 1s. 4-1/2_d._                      2    9
  100 ft. 3/8 in. iron wire rope                               10    0
  1 Coupling Screw                                              5    0
  4 Stakes 3 ft. 3 in. square                                   1    4
                                                          £1   12   10

Fig. 4 represents a very simple way of forming the uprights for a swing.
It consists of two scaffold poles, or more correctly speaking, Norway
spars (the same as used for ladder-making when they have been sawn down
the centre). They may be procured at any ladder-makers, with the bark
taken off and properly trimmed. The top should be 2 in. in diameter, and
the bottom 3-1/2 to 4 inches. The cross-piece (B) to which the ropes are
fastened is formed of 2-in. gas barrel, _i.e._ iron tubing, and is
measured by the calibre or inside diameter, therefore 2-inch gas tubes
will measure about 2-1/2 inches outside diameter. The elbows, which are
bought already screwed, would have to be fitted with iron staples
riveted to them, to fasten the wire rope to, and two hooks also riveted
through the tube, made of 1/2-in. diameter iron, 18 inches apart, for
attaching the swing.

Cut the iron rope into four lengths of 25 ft. to form the stays (C C C
C). One of these stays must be fitted with a coupling screw, for
tightening the whole, when fixed. Most telegraph-posts are stayed in
this manner; they would, therefore, be a good guide for you to see how
the wire ropes are fastened.

The two uprights are not let into the ground; it is best to let them
stand on some hard substance, such as a stone or a block of wood, to
prevent their sinking when the stays are strained.

[Illustration: Fig. 5]

The next illustration (Fig. 5) represents another method of constructing
a portable frame. This has the advantage of the uprights being readily
removed, as the whole consists of tube-iron. The Norway spars are here
represented by two 14-feet lengths of 2-inch gas tube. If, however, the
length be a difficulty, then get four 7-feet lengths of 2-inch gas tube,
two of which may be screwed together to form one upright. The screwed
sockets, by means of which the tubes are joined, are supplied with them.
A horizontal bar (D) may be added by introducing the [T] pieces (A A),
which should be 2-1/2 inches, to slide up and down the iron tube, and a
hole drilled through the [T] piece and into the tube will enable it to
be fixed at the requisite height.

The four stays (F F F F) and stakes (G G G G) just the same as described
in Fig. 4.

Any gas-fitter would supply these tubes, but on the score of economy it
is best to go to a wholesale house.


[Illustration: Fig. 6]

Jumping stands are very simple in their construction, consisting of two
pieces of square timber (A A) about 4 inches square, bolted to
cross-piece (B B) (Fig. 6). In many instances they are merely sunk into
the ground without any sole-pieces or struts.

For foot-jumping the stands average 6 feet in height, with three-eighths
of an inch holes bored from top to 1 foot from bottom. They are painted
and marked feet and inches. A line and sandbags (D D) rest on two pins
inserted in the three-eighths-of-an-inch holes, so that should the foot
catch in the act of jumping the line immediately falls off.

For pole-jumping the stands must be 12 feet high and strong in
proportion, while in other respects they are the same as for


[Illustration: Fig. 7]

This combination (Fig. 7) consists of a ladder-plank (A), two
standing-planks (D D), and standing-ladder (B), all fourteen feet in
length, which form the four supports to carry the cross-beam (E), ten
feet long, to which may be suspended any apparatus you may wish. This is
very similar to the Portable Horizontal Bar (Fig. 2), only carried out
upon a large and more elaborate scale. If I were to describe its general
construction, I should be merely recapitulating what has already been
explained. This apparatus may be made any size, of course
proportionately strong, G, G, H, H, and I, represent a bar with
triangular ends stayed off to the bottom of the four uprights, which,
when made tight, the bar becomes perfectly rigid, so that a trapeze bar
may be converted into a horizontal bar if required.


[Illustration: Fig. 8]

Fig. 8 shows a safe and convenient form of swing.

[Illustration: Fig. 9]

Fig. 9, No. 1, represents a hand-ladder, used in pairs, in place of
hand-rings. They are generally adopted in the German Gymnasia.

No. 3. Hand-stirrup, with spring or dog-stools. This shape is preferred
to rings, as they command a much firmer grip to the hands.

No. 2. Indian Clubs. This illustration represents the best shape, and is
the pattern now generally used.

Figs. 10 and 11 represent Dumb-bells and Bar-bells, with wrought-iron
handles. They do not break so easily as if they were cast in one piece.
It may be useful to know, when making patterns for dumb-bells, in order
to ascertain the weight in metal when cast, that one pound of fir, say
pine, is equivalent to about fourteen pounds of cast iron.

[Illustration: FIG. 10.]

[Illustration: FIG. 11.]



It is our object in this chapter to present to our readers full
instructions for the use of the Indian clubs--instructions that, for
completeness and thoroughness of illustration, have not before been
approached in any work with which we are acquainted.

The origin of their introduction into Europe is not known with
certainty, but it is said that we are indebted for them to a military
officer who had seen them in use by the Persians. The movements that can
be performed with the clubs are almost unlimited in their variety, and
are amongst the most useful and beneficial of any gymnastic exercises,
having the effect of increasing the muscular power of the shoulders and
arms, strengthening the hands and wrists, opening the chest, and also
possessing the advantage of rendering the user ambidextrous, or
two-handed--that is, of making the left arm, shoulder, etc., as vigorous
and able as the right, and developing equally both sides of the body.

If practised properly, the exercises are exceedingly pretty and
graceful, and cause the performer to acquire a good carriage and
deportment. Although in almost every gymnasium Indian clubs are now to
be found, it is surprising how seldom they are used, the pupils
generally preferring to acquire proficiency in the more showy feats that
other instruments--such as the horizontal and parallel bars--permit of
their practising. But we would impress upon our readers that if they
will only exercise a little patience and perseverance in acquiring the
use of the clubs, they will find that no other gymnastic exercises can
surpass them in grace and utility, and give such pleasure both to the
performer and his audience.

The advantages of the clubs are many; amongst others--(1) they are
inexpensive; (2) there is no danger attached to their use; (3) being
portable, there is no fixing required--they can be used either in the
open air or in a room; (4) their weight can be adapted to the age and
strength of the user.

With regard to the price, they can be obtained of any wood-turner at
about 4_d._ per pound (unpolished). We should certainly recommend the
learner to purchase _un_polished clubs, for in the course of practice he
is sure to bruise them by knocking them together, and the damage shows
more plainly upon a polished than an unpolished surface. But when he has
become accustomed to the manipulation of the clubs, then he may obtain
the more showy article, the cost of which is about 6_d._ per lb.

Of course, every boy will know that the clubs are made of wood. American
elm is the best kind and mostly in use. Sometimes they are turned out of
a lighter wood--such as deal--and are weighed to the required extent by
molten lead being poured into a hole at the bottom of the club; but we
must caution the would-be ‘clubbist’ against buying such an article, for
the weight should not be concentrated at the _bottom_, but should be
contained in the wood itself, which allows of the club being properly
_balanced_, without which true grace and elegance can never be acquired.


We now come to a most important consideration--viz., the weight to be
used, which should be in proportion to the strength and weight of the
performer. It is almost impossible to lay down any law upon the
subject, but the following scale may be taken as a guide:--

  For a boy of 10 years old, 2-1/2 to 3 lb. each club.
         „     11    „       3-1/2 to 4 lb.    „
         „     12    „       4-1/2 to 5 lb.    „
         „     13    „       5-1/2 to 6 lb.    „
         „     14    „       6-1/2 to 7 lb.    „
         „     14 and over   7-1/2 to 8 lb.    „

These figures refer only to the light clubs or dual exercises--that is,
when a club is used in each hand. For the single or ‘heavy club’
exercises, of course, the weight can be increased, but of that we will
treat later on.

Many of our readers may consider these weights ‘a mere nothing,’ and
quite unworthy of their muscular powers. But it is a great mistake to
suppose that the benefit to be obtained from Indian clubs is in
proportion to their weight, and in the exertion required in manipulating
them. On the contrary, the easier the exercise (within reasonable
limits, of course), the better, for practice being then a pleasure, it
can be sustained for a longer period, and by this means the muscles
become gradually developed and subsequent fatigue is avoided.

We have said that the weight of the club should be in proportion to the
_weight_ of the user. We will justify this advice by an explanation. We
will suppose that a boy twelve years of age weighs six stone, and
another boy of the same age weighs six stone and seven pounds; the
latter (presuming both boys’ muscular development to be about equal)
could use a heavier pair of clubs than the former, because he would
have greater weight in his body to counterbalance the weight of the

In order to impress our readers with the correctness of this principle
we would point out to them that, in performing exercises upon a fixed
gymnastic apparatus (such as the horizontal bar), the gymnast has only
to use muscular exertion proportionate to his bodily weight. If,
however, he were to carry about him any weighty articles, or even wear a
pair of heavy boots, he would experience a greater difficulty in
performing the exercises, and perhaps fail altogether, and his exertions
would soon produce fatigue. Therefore, do not be too ambitious in
selecting your clubs, but be contented with the weights we have
recommended, which, although they may appear small _on paper_, will be
found quite heavy enough _in practice_. The writer, who has used the
Indian clubs constantly for the last ten years, never has a pair of
greater weight than eight pounds each.

The length of the clubs must be varied to the height of the performer.
With the clubs standing on the ground and the hands hanging down, as in
Fig. 1, there should be a space of about two inches between the handles
and the tips of the fingers, so that it becomes necessary to stoop
slightly in order to grasp the clubs. When swung round they should clear
the tops of the toes by about two inches.


With regard to dress, the ordinary gymnastic suit is the most suitable.
‘The best material is undoubtedly white flannel. A pair of flannel
trousers made to fit the legs tolerably closely, with plenty of room in
the seat (not baggy, of course), a close-fitting ordinary under-jersey
minus the sleeves (to give freedom to the arms), and a pair of canvas
shoes without heels, are all that are necessary for wear during actual
practice. Add to these a loose jacket of medium thickness to slip on
during intervals of rest, and you have your costume complete.’

But for Indian club exercise a special costume is not indispensable--and
here, again, their economy is manifested--and all that need be done is
to divest oneself of coat, vest, and over-shirt, and practise in
ordinary trousers, boots, and undershirt.

Before proceeding to describe the different exercises, we would impress
upon the reader most emphatically that, in endeavouring to perfect
himself in them, he should bear in mind that, performed _gracefully_,
and with an easy, swinging motion, there is nothing prettier. On the
other hand, a jerky and strained action spoils entirely not only the
effect from a spectator’s point of view, but also neutralises the
benefit that should accrue to the performer.


_First Position_ (Fig. 1). Place the clubs upon the ground, one upon the
right and one upon the left side, slightly in front--about level with
the toes. Stand at attention, head erect, shoulders square. Then bend
down, grasp the clubs, one in each hand, and raise them up until the
hands are level with the shoulders, at the same time separating the legs
and placing the feet apart, toes pointing outwards (as in Fig. 2).

[Illustration: Fig. 1]

[Illustration: Fig. 2]

[Illustration: Fig. 3]

You will then be in position to commence _Exercise_ 1 (Fig. 3). Throw
out the clubs to the right, and describe a complete circle with them in
front of the body from the right to the left, _keeping the arms
perfectly straight and in a line with the clubs_. As they describe the
circle the body should be turned slightly in the same direction, and the
head and eyes also should follow the course of the clubs from right to
left. Continue this exercise at least a dozen times. Should you find any
difficulty in accomplishing this with both clubs at once, try one at a
time, first with the right hand and then with the left, or _vice versâ_.

Here we will take the opportunity of informing the learner that he
should endeavour to _identify_ himself, so to speak, with the clubs, and
consider that they are parts of himself--continuations, in fact, of his
own arms. The base of the club should always be kept in a straight line
with the shoulder. By this means an equal distance is preserved between
the two clubs; otherwise, should they be swung at an angle, they must
surely come into collision in the next exercise (and in many others to
follow), in which one club travels in an opposite direction to the

[Illustration: Fig. 4]

_Exercise_ 2 (Fig. 4).--Commence as before, and when both clubs are
raised above the head, _reverse_ the direction of the left one, and,
instead of describing the circle from right to left, swing it from left
to right, the right club at the same time continuing its original
course. A glance at Fig. 4 will show the exercise; the dotted lines and
arrows indicate the direction in which each club travels. In this
exercise (and in many others to follow) the clubs cross twice in each
circle; care must therefore be taken not to allow them to come into
collision (which catastrophe can be easily avoided by following the
directions just given--viz., to keep the base of each club in a straight
line with each shoulder).

_Exercise_ 3 (Fig. 5).--This is the same as No. 2 with an additional
movement--viz., that when each club is raised in its turn above the head
to its highest point, the circle is checked and the club dropped behind
the head and made to describe a smaller circle in the rear of the
shoulder, after completing which the larger circle is resumed. The
dotted line in the illustration shows the course of the _left_ club
only, but the right club does the same thing in the opposite direction.

[Illustration: Fig. 5]

[Illustration: Fig. 6]

_Exercise_ 4 (Fig. 6).--Commence with Exercise 1, and when the clubs are
raised above the head allow them to drop and make them describe a small
circle behind the shoulders, then resume the larger circle on front of
the body.

_Exercise_ 5 (Fig. 7).--This is the first of the wrist ‘twists,’ and is
a movement that will tax the power of the fore-arm rather severely.
Start from the position shown in Fig. 2, and describe a circle with each
club _from the wrist_ in the direction shown by the dotted lines and
arrows. In practising this exercise, you will experience a tendency to
drop the arms with the clubs, but you must endeavour to keep them in the
position shown, _making each wrist the centre of each circle_.

[Illustration: Fig. 7]

[Illustration: Fig. 8]

_Exercise_ 6 (Fig. 8).--Now for a twist in which each club describes a
circle in an opposite direction. Again be careful to avoid a collision,
and keep the wrists level and opposite each other.

[Illustration: Fig. 9]

_Exercise_ 7 (Fig. 9).--This is rather difficult, but with a little
perseverance you will be able to accomplish the movement, and as it is
very pretty it is well worth the trouble. Carefully study the
illustration and follow the course of the dotted lines (which show the
direction of the right club only; the left club takes a corresponding
course in the opposite direction). Keep the hand close up to the chest,
almost touching it, in fact. You will observe that the club describes a
_small_ circle from the centre of the chest, and is then swung
completely round at arm’s length to make the _great_ circle.

[Illustration: Fig. 10]

_Exercise_ 8 (Fig. 10).--This is a simple swing backwards and forwards,
each club being swung alternately in front of the body and behind the
head. When the right club is extended at arm’s length almost straight
from the shoulder, the left club is passing behind the head and _vice

[Illustration: Fig. 11]

_Exercise_ 9 (Fig. 11).--This is exactly the reverse of Fig. 5. The
illustration will show the movement.

[Illustration: Fig. 12]

_Exercise_ 10 (Fig. 12).--This is very effective, and if performed
rapidly and neatly is sure to elicit applause from an audience. It
consists of circles behind the head with each club, in the direction
shown by the arrows, one club passing in a downward direction while the
other is swinging up.

[Illustration: Fig. 13]

_Exercise_ 11 (Fig. 13).--This is not very difficult to perform. Keep
the arms straight, and beware of a collision. The clubs are swung in a
circle across and in front of the body, passing one another twice in
their course--once when above the head (as in the figure) and again in
front of the legs.

[Illustration: Fig. 14]

_Exercise_ 12 (Fig. 14).--Now this _is_ difficult, and will take a long
time to learn. It is a complication of Exercise 3. Commence with that,
and, having got the clubs into a good swing, check the course of the
right arm, slightly decrease the pace of the left arm, and throw the
right club sharply behind the body, until the base rises a little above
the left shoulder (see Fig.), then swing it back to A and B, and
continue the original circle, all this time keeping the other club (the
left) travelling in a circle, until it becomes its turn to effect the
movement that the right one has just completed, and so on, first with
the right club behind the body, and then with the left in front, and
_vice versâ_. This is one of the best and prettiest exercises yet
described, and will entail long and patient practice; but when
thoroughly acquired it will well repay the perseverance expended upon

[Illustration: Fig. 15]

_Exercise_ 13 (Fig. 15).--Another difficult one. The clubs are swung
downwards, parallel to each other, and then raised up behind the back
(as shown by the dotted arms), then swung to the front again, and in a
circle completely round at arms’ length. The left club executes exactly
the same movement as the right in the last exercise (12), but with the
right club in this the movement is different. The wrist should be
twisted sharply downwards, and the club _tucked under_ the right arm;
its own weight will then carry it down behind the back, and up to a
level and in a line with the right shoulder, reaching that position
exactly at the same time as the other club, and both will thus again be
parallel, but on the opposite side of the body to that from which they

[Illustration: Fig. 16]

_Exercise_ 14 (Fig. 16).--This is purely wrist-work. The arms are
extended straight out on each side, and the clubs passed alternately
from the wrists in the front and rear of each arm, describing circles on
either side. At the same time that one club is swinging round behind the
right arm, the other is swinging in front of the left, and _vice versâ_.
This exercise causes the wrists to become very pliable.

We have now completed our instructions for the ‘light clubs.’ The
learner must, of course, acquire the different exercises separately, one
by one, but when mastered they can be continued from one to another,
making, when so combined, a very effective performance. The movements
capable of performance with Indian clubs are almost without limit, but
we need not here give further descriptions or illustrations. The
performer will find, as he becomes accustomed to the use of the clubs,
and attains proficiency in their manipulation, that other movements will
suggest themselves, and he will be able perhaps to invent some new and
intricate exercise.


Roughly speaking, the weight of a club to be used singly should be about
the same as that of the _pair_ the performer is accustomed to--_i.e._, a
boy using two clubs weighing 6 lb. each should use _one_ weighing just
double. This will be found quite sufficient for sustained movements; if
a heavier weight is adopted there is danger of over-exertion, and the
exercise cannot be performed in a graceful and easy manner. We think the
best shape for a heavy club is that shown in Fig. 17, which, our readers
will observe, differs from the light clubs in having a ‘shoulder’
instead of a gradual slope from handle to base.

[Illustration: Fig. 17]

All the exercises described above, with a few exceptions, can be
performed with a heavy club, but, of course, with only one hand at a
time--the other hanging loosely down by the side (as in Fig. 1). When
one arm becomes tired the club should be changed to the other (see Fig.
17), but without the movement of the club being stopped. The exceptions
referred to are the wrist twists, which should not be attempted with a
heavy club, the strain upon that part of the arm being too severe.

It was with considerable diffidence that the writer undertook the task
of penning this chapter, feeling strongly the difficulty of explaining
the numerous and intricate movements in _words_; but, with the aid of
the artist’s graphic illustrations, he trusts that the directions will
prove sufficiently clear to enable all readers who desire to become
experts in the use of the Indian clubs to succeed fully in their



In the previous chapter are given comprehensive instructions on Indian
Clubs. The editor thus gave the clubs the preference, as they are in
growing favour amongst gymnasts, and in regular gymnasia are fast
driving out the ancient dumbbell, owing to their wonderful power of
quickly opening the chest and squaring the shoulders. We say ‘ancient
dumbbell’ advisedly, for it is at least two thousand years old. It was
first introduced amongst us after being noticed on the Greek vases. The
shape there given differed somewhat from that now in use, but there is
no break in the chain. The oldest form was that of a pointed capital D,
the curved line being the handle; afterwards, as shown on the vases, the
athletes adopted the form (Fig. A) from which our present bells are
derived. Curiously enough, these bells were used in springing and
leaping, the power given by the weights being well known to the ancient
as well as the modern records. Lawton’s standing wide jump of 12ft.
6-1/2in. in 1876 was done with dumbbells in his hand, and Howard’s
flying jump on Chester Racecourse in 1854, when he cleared 29ft. 7in.,
was done from a block of wood, with a five-pound dumbbell in each of his
hands, quite in the old Greek style. However, it is not with the
ancient, but the modern, practice that we have here to do. And we have
no space to devote to archæology.

[Illustration: FIG. A.]

In the first place, then, two pounds is quite heavy enough for any
dumbbell, and under any circumstances no bell, even for a full-sized
man, should exceed five pounds. Heavy bells of fifty or even a hundred
pounds have been used, but they are now obsolete. For merely lifting
purposes weight was all very well, but as soon as it was shown that
health owed more to suppleness than rigidity, and exercises were
designed in accordance with the new theory, heavy bells became simply
impossible. When they were used by the very strong they were found to
give one-sidedness, and by the weak they could not be worked with at
all. Four pounds the pair is heavy enough for any boy, and most boys
when they come to try the exercises will often wish that the bells were
lighter. A word should be said as to price. Plain bells of cast iron
cost from twopence to fourpence per pound; if covered with leather, and
thereby made considerably more comfortable to the hand, the price is
from fourpence to sixpence per pound. For two shillings a lad can get a
pair of bells that will suit him in every way and last him a lifetime.
The shape of the bells does not matter; the heads may be round or
octagonal, according to fancy, but the handle should be thick enough to
give a good grip, and it should be half an inch longer than the hand is

Next, let it be clearly understood that dumbbell practice performed in a
slovenly way does more harm than good. It is essential that the
exercises be done in strict time, not jerkily, but quickly and
accurately, as if to the word of command. When the bells are required to
be raised together, they should go up together, not one after the
other. When they are required to go up alternately, they should go up
alternately, at equal speed, the left as fast as the right; when they
are to be held out in front together, they should be held out together,
and change to the recovery as soon as the weaker arm begins to yield.

This brings us to our third caution. Never overtire yourself. Ten
minutes is quite long enough to practise at a time. Take the exercises
in the order in which they are given, advancing gradually from the easy
to the difficult, succeeding as you go. Do not practise after much
head-work, and do not attempt any of the exercises before or after a
heavy meal, no matter how light the bells may be. The best time to
practise is immediately after the morning bath, and the best costume to
wear is that of the mermaid, or as near an approach to nothing as is
consistent with decency. Of course in gymnasia special dresses are worn;
but, as absolute freedom is required, the model dress of the gymnast
should be easily stowable in a glove-box.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.]

And now for the first exercise (Fig. 1). Stand at attention, holding a
bell in each hand. Let the arms and legs be quite straight, the body
upright, the heels close together, the toes well apart. Hold the bells
so that a line through your hips would pass through the centre of each
handle. Move the bells an inch from your legs, and twist them round,
keeping your arms straight and working your wrists. Do this backwards
and forwards with both bells ten times. Then twist the left bell ten
times. Then twist the right ten times; then twist them both together
five times; thirty-five twists altogether, counting each reversal of the
hand as one, beginning with knuckles backwards, and ending with knuckles

For the second exercise, stand at attention and bend up your forearms
only from the elbow, holding the bells out from your chest with the
handles vertical and parallel. Now twist them ten times simultaneously,
and then ten times with the left hand, ten times with the right, and
five times together. Let your elbows be well back, pressing your sides
all through this exercise.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.]

For the third exercise, begin at attention, raise your arms from your
sides till they are level with your shoulders, forming one straight line
with them (Fig. 2). Let your knuckles be on the top, and do the
thirty-five twists as in the former exercises. The arms must be quite
straight, and there must be no giving at the knees or bending at the

These three exercises are quite enough for the first morning, even
though the bells may be under two pounds apiece. Next time we can run
through these three exercises quickly, and then try something rather
more complicated.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.]

For the fourth exercise begin at attention, and keeping the elbows
against the sides, double up your arms so as to bring the bells against
your shoulders. Open your chest as far as you can, throw your shoulders
well back, and while in this position take a long deep breath (Fig. 8).
In fact, in every exercise take long free breaths as often as possible,
so as to expand your chest from within as well as from without. Bring
the bells up and down ten times both together. You are now ready for the
fifth exercise, which consists in bringing the bells from attention up
to the shoulders, as in the fourth exercise, and then thrusting them up
straight overhead (Fig. 3). Hold them up as high as you can, keeping
your feet on the ground and body erect. Then do the twists ten times
together, ten times with the left, ten with the right, five together;
then with ‘one’ to the shoulder, and ‘two’ to the hang, you recover your
starting position.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.]

In the sixth exercise you bring the bells to the shoulder, and keeping
your chest well open, thrust your arms, not overhead, but straight in
front of you (Fig. 4), and again do the thirty-five twists. In the
seventh (Fig. 12) you bring the bells to the shoulder and open your arms
right and left, holding them out high and well back at full length,
then recovering to the shoulder, and then down. Then ‘up,’ ‘out,’ ‘in,’
‘down’ again, and so on for ten times. Keep your shoulders well back
during this exercise, and do not lose your uprightness! It is a most
important and obviously good practice, should be done with care and
regularity, and forms a fitting end to lesson number two.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.]

In our third batch we have said good-bye to the twists. For the eighth
exercise stand at attention, bells to side as before, and always start
from attention. Let this be understood, and it will save repetition.
Bring the bells up under the armpits as far as you can get them (Fig.
5). Bring them up together ten times, then ten times with the left hand,
ten times with the right, and five times together.

In the ninth exercise bring the bells up to the armpit, and then extend
the arms right and left, starting with the bells brought up in front of
the shoulder and reaching the same position as in exercise seven. Then
bring the bells back to the armpits and recover. Do this ten times; that
will be quite enough for the first trial.

[Illustration: FIG. 6.]

[Illustration: FIG. 7.]

For number ten bring the bells to the armpits, and then take them up
overhead as in exercise five. Up together ten times, then with the left
and right alternately stroke for stroke ten times each (Fig. 7). Then
try number eleven, in which the bells are brought to the armpits, then
thrust up, brought down to the chest, and down to the hang--‘one,’
‘two,’ ‘three,’ ‘four’--ten times together, ten times alternately. Then
try number twelve (Fig. 6), in which the bells go to the armpits, then
aloft, then down well back on to the tops of the shoulders, then
extended with a sweep as in number seven, back to chest, and
down--‘one,’ ‘two’ aloft, ‘three’ to shoulder, ‘four’ to the limit,
‘five’ to chest, ‘six’ down to hang.

For our fourth lesson we start as before, upright at attention, ready
for the thirteenth exercise. Bring the bells to the armpits, and then
aloft together, and then keeping them together, bring them down in
front, with the arms and legs as straight as you can until you deposit
them at your toes. Then lift them again to armpits, aloft, and down with
a sweep to your toes, ten times in all, three motions in each.

Now for number fourteen. Lay the bells at the toes from aloft as in
thirteen. Then make a full step to the rear with the left foot, the
right foot following. Make a half turn to the right. Step to the front
with the left foot, the left hand grasping the thighs just above the
knee as the foot comes to the ground, the right arm extended in the line
of the right leg. Next seize the bell with the right hand, keeping the
lower limbs in position. Now lift the bell above the shoulder to the
full extension of the arm, leaning strongly on the left knee and
pressing the breast to the front during the ascent of the bell, the
lower limbs to the knee, and the left arm forming a continuous line from
foot to shoulder. Lower the bell, replace it, and recover. Then upright
again, step to the rear, right half turn, step to the front with the
right foot, and go through the same motions exactly, only with the other
hand. Complete this exercise ten times with each hand.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.]

[Illustration: FIG. 9.]

[Illustration: FIG. 10.]

In number fifteen lay the bells at the toes, then stoop and recover them
to the hang, then charge out, as it were, with the right foot, taking a
good long step, and throwing out your arm to its full length as you do
so (Fig. 9). Keep your left leg straight and your shoulders back, and
double up your extended arm so as to bring the bell to the top of your
shoulder. Move the bell backwards and forwards ten times, and at each
return sink towards the ground, bending as you straighten your arm. Then
move as in Fig. 17. Then recover, strike out with the left leg and arm,
and repeat all the motions (Fig. 18). In sixteen go through the same
preliminaries, but instead of striking the hands straight out strike
them aloft, sinking as the arm is extended (Fig. 10).

In the next group of exercises the bells are swung.

[Illustration: FIG. 11.]

[Illustration: FIG. 12.]

For number seventeen (Fig. 12) swing the bells up from the hang to the
horizontal, and then round till they meet in front, ten times together,
letting them fall each time to the side--one, ‘up,’ two ‘round,’ three
‘down.’ For number eighteen bring them to the front first, and then
swing them round to the back and down. Keep the finger in front of the
handle all through this exercise; do not twist the bells as they pass to
the rear. In number nineteen (Fig. 11) swing to the front, then to the
back at extension, then from extension swing overhead till the bells
meet, then bring them down to the chest and so to the hang, five motions
in all. Then step forward with the left foot and go through the same
five motions. Then with the right foot advanced go through the same five
motions. The object of all these exercises is, of course, to bring into
play as many muscles as possible, giving each a turn in time. Whenever
possible an exercise should always be done from the three
positions--heels together, left foot forward, right foot forward.

[Illustration: FIG. 13.]

[Illustration: FIG. 14.]

Now for our last group. Ready for number twenty (Fig. 13). Stand erect
with bells at the side, bring them up to armpits and aloft, and holding
them high in the air together twist your body round to the left as far
as it will go, but do not move your legs. Then bring the bells to the
chest and lift them simultaneously and alternately thirty times as
before, then turn your body to the right and do likewise. In twenty-one
bring the bells to the chest, twist the body and strike out straight
with them together and separately, first twisting to the left, then
right. In twenty-two (Fig. 14) raise the bells overhead and sink to the
floor, and with knees bent go through the ten first strokes. Then rise
and down again and do the ten strokes with the left; then up and down
again for the ten with the right.

[Illustration: FIG. 15.]

[Illustration: FIG. 16.]

In twenty-three, as the body sinks the bells are brought to the chest
and the arms are extended, moving round to the front horizontally, and
brought to the chest again, much as in the act of rowing. This is a very
tiring exercise, and at first makes itself felt in every joint in the
body: ten times together is quite enough for the first day’s work.
Twenty-four (Fig. 16) is an easy exercise, but a valuable one. Swing the
bells aloft, and then bend backwards, letting the arms slowly open and
extend backwards towards the ground; then bring them back aloft from
behind without bending them, then bend in front, and lay the bells at
your toes.

[Illustration: FIG. 17.]

[Illustration: FIG. 18.]

There are other exercises, but they are all, like many we have given,
mere combinations easily invented by the proficient. The examples herein
are quite enough to bring out the full powers of the dumbbell as a
gymnastic appliance, and a steady practice of them for ten minutes a day
after the morning tub, will not only set the student well up and shape
him properly, but add an inch or so to his girth if not to his stature.



Juggling with balls, a pastime as pretty as it is entertaining, has also
certain special advantages. In the first place, it is really an art,
well worthy of the name, which may be easily acquired by members of
either sex at any age, and it affords a gentle exercise which is
extremely beneficial to the health.

In illustration of this, I may mention a fact which, some years ago,
came under my personal notice. An artist friend of mine, finding that
his health was giving way under the toil and the strain it was necessary
for him to devote to his profession, asked me if I could recommend him
some not too laborious exercise to which he might betake himself in the
brief intervals of his work. Clubs and dumb-bells were too heavy, he
said, and their use moreover rendered his hand unsteady, and so
prevented his putting into his picture those delicate touches so
necessary for success.

I suggested juggling with balls, as being an exercise less violent and
equally healthy. He sprang at the idea, and after giving him some
instructions I left him, and soon forgot all about the circumstance.

Several months afterwards I called on my friend at his studio, and, to
my surprise and amusement, found him busy--not with his pencil, but with
three juggling balls. ‘I’ve done it,’ he cried with great glee, as soon
as he saw me; ‘I can shower three! Look!’ And thereupon he recommenced
his operations, and soon convinced me that he had become an adept at his
new pursuit; and he really seemed to be more pleased to have succeeded
with the ‘shower’ than with his picture, which was shortly afterwards
exhibited ‘on the line’ at the Royal Academy. That he was in good
spirits you will have gathered from what I have just said, and you will
readily believe that he could hardly have been so happy unless his
health had been re-established.

Nor is the juggling with balls simply a healthy exercise. It _must_ lead
to useful, and it may (and often does) lead to very important results.
The quickness of hand and eye acquired by the practice is not only
valuable in cricket, football, and other sports, but also can hardly
fail to prove serviceable in the sterner duties and emergencies of life.
If space permitted I could relate many stories of articles, and even
life, being saved by the dexterous catch of one who had practised
juggling. I am generally called upon, when in a gymnasium, to stand
close to any one who is about to try a new exercise, or one attended
with risk, either on the horizontal or trapeze bar, in case of a slip;
and I entirely attribute my quickness in catching to my proficiency in
juggling, the hand being taught instantly to follow any movement the eye
may detect.

This subject, useful as I have shown it to be, has, so far as I am
aware, never been treated on in any English publication, although in
France and in many other parts of the Continent juggling forms an
important branch of physical education, and is much practised in the

You may very naturally suppose that it is almost impossible to teach
anything of this kind on paper, but it must not be forgotten that in
this, as in everything else in life, to ensure success it is necessary
to make a good beginning. There is no royal road to learning, and unless
a proper foundation be laid the castle will prove to be but visionary.
So even on paper I can give you many valuable hints and much practical
advice, without attention to which you will never become adepts in the
art. You must not suppose, however, that I can make practised jugglers
of you in a few lessons, nor must you be too anxious to play two or
three balls before you have a perfect command over number one.

The first object to be aimed at is to procure the best sort of balls for
your purpose. Of course, anything in the shape of a ball will
_do_--oranges, for instance, tennis or raquet-balls, etc.--but the best
are made of hollow brass, two inches in diameter, and these may be
obtained at from ten to twelve shillings per set of four. They are made
specially for the purpose, their hollowness giving them a lightness
which a solid substance obviously cannot possess. It is indispensable
that the balls should all be exactly the same weight, otherwise in the
rapid passes--such as the ‘shower’ or ‘fountain,’ about to be
described--the lighter would be thrown farther than the heavier, and the
most skilful performer would fail to accomplish the feat.

Being satisfied with regard to the balls, we will now proceed to the
First Practice, viz.,


that is, to throw a ball into the air so that it will descend to the
exact point from which it was projected. You will find, at first, that
when you have thrown the ball up into the air it will not drop back
again into your hand, but you will have to follow its course in order to
catch it. The first point to be gained, then, is to throw the ball so
that it will drop into the hand which is ready to receive it, and this
must be practised with both hands, as the left will have quite as much
to do as the right. When you have thoroughly mastered this art, and can
catch a ball with decision when thrown from three to four feet in
height, you may proceed to the Second Practice, which is called--

[Illustration: Fig. 1]

[Illustration: Fig. 2]


What is required now is to throw the ball with the right hand so that it
will describe a curve in the air and drop towards the left hand, as
shown in Fig. 2; but, instead of catching it with the left, it must be
caught with the right. This is the Inside Fall. Now throw the ball back
in a similar way from left to right. This is called the Outside Fall.
This, of course, sounds easy enough, as it is merely playing at
catch-ball, but you will find it very difficult at first to throw the
ball several times in succession without deviating from the same course,
and this course is of the utmost importance, as, when you are playing
two or three balls, unless they follow one another in the same course,
the whole play will immediately become inextricable confusion, and they
will all fall to the ground. Do not attempt at first to throw the ball
higher than three feet, which, indeed, is the height generally required.
When you are perfect with the right hand, practise the same play-motion
with the left. Let me again impress upon you the necessity, if you would
attain proficiency in the art, of using the left hand as much as the
right in all these exercises. Without this success is impossible. We now
come to the Third Practice, or--


This will be found rather more difficult than either of the former,
because in this the arm, as well as the hand, will be constantly in
motion. Throw the ball with the right hand, as in the Vertical Fall,
keeping the hand in a line with the right shoulder. The moment it is
caught, bring the right hand in a line with the left shoulder, throw the
ball from that position and catch it, and _vice versâ_. Afterwards do
the same with the left hand. Fig. 3 will show you the practice, the
dotted lines representing the movements the ball should take. All these
necessary, if somewhat tedious, rudiments of the science having been
mastered, we will proceed to the Fourth Practice.

[Illustration: Fig. 3]

[Illustration: Fig. 4]


In this exercise both hands are brought into play. The motion of the
ball is precisely the same as in Fig. 2, but, instead of catching it
with the same hand, you must now pass it from one hand to the other.
Practise this at first with the hands a very little distance apart, and
do not throw the ball too high. As you improve, gradually increase the
height, and move your hands away until they are about three feet distant
from each other. Up to this time the ball has been forming a kind of
hyperbole or arch in its course. Now, without altering the position of
the hands, cause the ball gradually to lower its course until it is
thrown in the Fifth Practice, which is called--


[Illustration: Fig. 5]

[Illustration: Fig. 6]

This you will find quick work alike for eyes and hands, for, of course,
the ball cannot be made to pass in a straight line from one hand to the
other without giving it increased impetus and a considerable accession
of speed. Gradually move your hands, at first closer to one another, and
then farther apart. In fact, continue this exercise until your hands are
as distant from each other as you can reach. This will be found
excellent practice for the ‘shower’ at which we shall soon arrive. The
Sixth Practice is


(as shown in Fig. 6). You will now take a ball in each hand, and
commence by throwing that in the right hand vertically (as in Fig. 1),
then that in the left in the same manner, alternately. Before the first
ball has descended into the right hand, throw the second into the air
with the left, so that the two balls shall be constantly in motion. You
will now find the advantage of being proficient in the single vertical
fall, as otherwise, your attention being distracted from the one ball to
the other, you would probably not be able to catch either. Now practise
throwing both balls up together, keeping your hands about two feet
apart, and taking care that neither ball goes higher than the other. As
the last practice was good for the ‘shower’ so you will see that the
present will prepare you for the ‘fountain,’ the description of which
will follow in due course. The Seventh Practice is termed


This is a repetition of the Outside and Inside Fall, but is performed
with two balls at the same time and with both hands. In this exercise
great care must be taken to avoid a collision of the balls when they
are in the act of passing. To ensure against such a calamity it is
necessary that one ball--generally that from the right hand--should be
projected slightly higher than the other (as in Fig. 7). This should be
practised at various heights until something like perfect accuracy is
arrived at, as all the following practices are founded, more or less,
upon this very important exercise.

[Illustration: Fig. 7]

[Illustration: Fig. 8]

[Illustration: Fig. 9]

[Illustration: Fig. 10]

The Eighth Practice is entitled


which must not be attempted until you have made perfect the last
exercise. On referring to Fig. 8, you will see that this practice is
nothing more than a repetition of the last, with the addition of a third
ball. This third ball, however, will seem to you at first to be quite an
interloper, and the greatest care must be taken in throwing all the
balls regularly, otherwise they will go into a ‘confusion worse
confounded.’ The eyes and the hands, however, being by this time pretty
well trained, increased vigilance in the former and increased agility in
the latter are all that is required to enable you to master the
increased difficulty of the performance. The dotted lines indicate the
proper direction in which the balls should be thrown, showing how each
ball should cross the course of the others without any of them coming
into collision. We proceed at once to the Ninth Practice, which is


This play is almost similar to the last, differing only in this--that,
instead of the balls following each the course of the other, they are
returned from the left to the right by the course indicated in the
dotted lines in Fig. 8, forming an inner fall while the others are
passing over them. The effect of the change is very pretty, and though
it will perhaps be found somewhat more difficult, you are now becoming
so skilful that difficulties will no doubt serve only to stimulate you
to fresh exertion. The Tenth Practice is


This is another variation of the same play, in which the over ball is
kept outside, whilst the under two are performing a double pass. In this
practice you must keep the outside single ball well above the two that
are passing underneath, as shown in the dotted lines in Fig. 10. Care
must be taken, in this as in every other practice, to avoid collision
between the balls. Practice, we know, makes perfect, and nothing but
patient perseverance can be recommended to ensure success.

The Eleventh Practice brings us to one of the neatest, prettiest, and
most effective feats in ball juggling. It is called


This, undoubtedly one of the most fascinating of all juggling feats, is
an art easily acquired by so practised a juggler as you have now become.
Take two balls, one in each hand, throw the one in the right hand into
the air towards the left, as in Fig. 4, and while it is in the air,
‘pass’ the left-hand ball to the right hand, as in Fig. 5, and
immediately throw it to follow the course of the first, continuing this
play as quickly as possible, so that there may be one ball always in the
air. You will find very little difficulty in showering two balls in this
manner with one hand, as it is really nothing more than a Double Inside
Fall (Fig. 2); in fact, some expert jugglers can shower three balls with
one hand, but this is a very difficult feat, and the balls have to be
thrown very high. You can make the attempt if you please, but I do not
wish to enter upon matters which may confuse and possibly dishearten
you, and will ask you therefore to perfect yourselves in this feat
before proceeding to the Twelfth Practice, viz.,


which is accomplished in the following manner. Take two balls in the
right hand and one in the left. Throw one after the other in very quick
succession in the direction of the Inside Fall (Fig. 2) with the right
hand, and as each reaches the left hand, ‘pass’ it from the left to the
right, as shown in Figs. 11 and 12, and continue the Shower as long as
you please. From the swiftness of their motion, the balls appear to
multiply, and your audience will almost be inclined to believe that you
are playing with fifty balls, instead of with only three. When you are
very expert in this you can proceed to the Thirteenth Practice,


or Grand Shower, as it is sometimes called. This is the same play as the
last but with four balls, three of which must be held in the right and
one in the left hand. It is hardly necessary to say that the difficulty
is greatly increased, as the balls must be thrown much higher, so that
there may be more space between them in order to allow time for the
rapid passes. In all the Showers, but in this especially, it is
advisable to keep the right hand a little higher than the left, as shown
in Fig. 13. The Fourteenth Practice, which is the last of the present
series, is


[Illustration: Fig. 11]

[Illustration: Fig. 12]

[Illustration: Fig. 13]

[Illustration: Fig. 14]

This is the most difficult feat of all, as so much depends upon the
precision with which the balls are delivered. Commence practising with
two balls, and perform a Double Outside Fall with both hands (Fig. 14).
You will find this sharp work for the eyes, as you will have to be
looking at two places simultaneously as the balls descend. When you can
play two balls well in this manner, you will find that


as described in Fig. 15, will not be difficult, as it is done in a
‘swing,’ as it is called, a motion of the body and arms which it is not
possible to describe, but which will come naturally to you as you
acquire the art of juggling. The Fountain may be varied by a motion
which is known as


Instead of throwing up the balls together, present them alternately, as
shown in Fig. 16. This has a very pretty effect, and exactly represents
the name given it.

[Illustration: Fig. 15]

[Illustration: Fig. 16]

Having now given you all the instruction in my power, it only remains
for me to make one or two suggestions which I think will commend
themselves to your intelligence. In the first place, I would advise you
to practise over some soft material, on the lawn if possible, where the
dropping of the balls can annoy no one; but if a lawn be not available,
then over a sofa, or a bed, or a very soft rug or mat. You are certain
to have many a mishap at starting, and I can conceive nothing in a small
way more irritating than for a person seated in a room to be perpetually
startled by the noise of balls falling overhead. Finally, let me impress
upon you the fact that your success depends entirely upon yourselves.
The teacher may show _how_ the thing is to be done, but it is for the
pupil to do it. Remember that ‘whatever is worth doing is worth doing
well,’ and if you think it worth your while to learn the art of
juggling, you must devote to it patience, perseverance, and practice.
Without these you will never succeed. With them success is certain.

[Illustration: A PICTURESQUE MODEL.--_See p. 97_.]







To make a model steamboat that will go is the ambition of most boys, but
the high price of engine and boiler deters many from doing so. In this
chapter instructions are given for making a model screw steamboat, the
machinery for which every boy can make for himself, by the exercise of a
little ingenuity, at a very trifling cost--which machinery, too, may be
fitted into any boat, the rigging of which may have gone by the board
off the dangerous coast of the duck-pond.

[Illustration: _Fig. 1_]

First you must procure your boat; but if you should wish to make the
boat yourself you will need no instructions from me, as several capital
chapters on boat-building appear in another part of this volume. The
only directions I need give are, that your craft shall be very light,
and hollowed out as thin as possible, be twenty-four inches long, four
inches wide at midships, and three and a half inches deep; the sternpost
to be about an inch and a half within the stern, to be raking, and two
and a half inches high, as marked in Fig. 1; a strip of lead one-eighth
of an inch thick to be fastened along the bottom of the keel; the bows
to be sharp, and the boat to have a clean run aft. When the boat is
finished paint it, and when dry put it into water, and mark on the
sternpost the height the water comes. Now you must bore a hole in the
sternpost right through into the boat, in the direction of the top of
the stem. This must be done with a red-hot wire; the hole is to be
three-eighths of an inch across.

[Illustration: _Fig. 2_]

The next thing to do is to get a brass tube from the gasfitter’s, or get
a tinman to make you one of tin three-eighths of an inch inside
measurement. This tube must be long enough to reach from the sternpost
to three and a half inches beyond the top of the stem. Four inches from
one end of this tube solder a strip half an inch wide and one and
three-quarter inches along, bending the middle of it half round the
tube, and bending the ends outwards; punch a hole in each end of this
strip; in this end of the tube cut four teeth like saw-teeth, one-eighth
of an inch deep, like Fig. 2. Put this tube in the boat thus. Push the
end, without the tin strip, through the hole in the sternpost from the
inside of the boat, so that the tube is flush with the wood, and fasten
the other end by driving tacks through the holes in the tin strip into
the boat. Put some putty round the tube where it goes through the wood,
to keep the water out. Now make the deck of board one-eighth of an inch
thick, plane it, and fix it in its place by pins, leaving a gunwale of
half an inch all round. Stop up with putty, and mark with a pencil the
boards on the deck. Bore a hole near the stern one-sixteenth of an inch
wide right through the deck and boat, coming out under the counter one
inch from the sternpost. This is the rudder-hole. To make the rudder get
a piece of brass wire one-sixteenth of an inch in diameter, and six
inches long; cut your rudder out of tin, and solder it on to the wire,
so that the heel of the rudder is flush with one end of the wire. Now
push the other end up through the hole in the counter, and bend it down
on to the deck; this will form the tiller, and, by pressing tightly on
to the deck, will keep the rudder firm and in its place for steering.

Two inches abaft the middle of the deck cut a hole three-quarters of an
inch in diameter for the chimney, which is a tube of tin three-quarters
of an inch in diameter and four inches long. Bore two more holes in the
deck three-eighths of an inch in diameter, one halfway between the stem
and chimney, the other halfway between the rudder and chimney; these are
for the masts, which are made of wood, and should stand about nine
inches above deck; put a pin into the end of each mast, and cut the
head off, leaving about half an inch of the pin projecting; put the
masts in their places, and the pins will keep them firm by being pushed
into the bottom of the boat.

[Illustration: _Fig. 3_]

[Illustration: _Fig. 4_]

[Illustration: _Fig. 5_]

Make the propeller out of a circular piece of stout tin two inches in
diameter, cut as in Fig. 3. The dark parts are to be cut away. The
projections are to be three-quarters of an inch long. Punch a hole
one-sixteenth of an inch in the centre, and fix a piece of brass wire
one-sixteenth of an inch, two inches long, in the hole, to form an axle
for the propeller. Twist each of the fans of the screw out of the plane
of the circle about a quarter of an inch, in the manner of the sails of
a windmill, as in Fig. 4. Now make two little wooden plugs
three-quarters of an inch long, and half an inch wide at one end,
tapering to a quarter of an inch at the other. Bore a hole through each
from end to end one-sixteenth of an inch wide. Take the propeller, and
put a glass bead, that will fit easily, on the wire, and push the wire
through one of the wooden plugs from the large end; bend the wire into a
loop at the small end. Next take another piece of wire, two and a half
inches long, and make a similar loop at one end, and put the other end
through the other little plug, from the small end, and bend the wire
into a handle (Fig. 5). Now the only thing we want is the power. This is
a strip of strong elastic about three and a half feet long and a quarter
of an inch wide; tie the ends together to make a band--a large stout
elastic ring will do, or two smaller rings looped together. Fasten a
string to the elastic, and pass the string through the tube in the boat,
from the stern end; hook the loop on the propeller-wire into the
elastic, and push the wooden plug into the tube so that the screw is
clear of the rudder; draw the elastic, by the string, through the other
end of the tube, and hook the wire in the other plug into it; take off
the string and push the plug into its place. You must cut the plug away
so that the handle can catch in the teeth cut in the tube. Now the boat
is ready for use.

To use it wind up the elastic by the handle at the end of the tube,
holding the screw firmly with the other hand. As soon as wound up enough
set the rudder and put the boat into the water; release the screw, and
the boat will go till the elastic is quite unwound. The distance it will
travel will be regulated by the extent to which the elastic is wound up.



I have already described the method of making a small boat move through
the water by means of an elastic band, which is simply twisted up and
then released, but I have no doubt that many readers would like to
possess a simple model boat to work by steam.

Such models can now be purchased at all shops where mechanical toys are
sold, at prices varying from one shilling, the smallest, eight inches in
length, to about twenty pounds, the largest, five feet in length.
Although all these boats really go by steam, the application of the
power is different in the different sizes.

The small boats are of course the simplest. In these the steam from the
boiler is conducted through a short pipe to the sternpost of the boat,
where by its pressure on the water in escaping it forces the boat

The next class have a further development of the application of
steam-power. In the centre of the boat, close behind the boiler, is a
fan-wheel, turning on an axle, which in the case of a paddle-boat
carries the paddles, and in the case of a screw carries the propeller.
The steam is conducted from the boiler through a short pipe to the front
of the fan-wheel, which it blows round as it escapes.

The third class are the steamboats proper, varying in price from five
shillings upwards. In these the steam-power is applied as in ordinary
engines. The cheapest have one single-action oscillating cylinder, and
the better sorts two double-action cylinders.

As the two first-mentioned classes are, after all, only imitations, I do
not think it worth while to describe them; and of the third class I have
chosen the largest to describe, as I think that if it is worth while
making a model at all, it is worth while to make a good one, and the
small engines take almost as much time to make, and quite as much care
to fit, as the large ones, and unless they are well fitted the loss of
power by friction and waste of steam is very great.

The engine here described is a model of a real screw-engine, with a pair
of double-action oscillating cylinders, having reversing gear and boiler
complete, ready to be put into the boat. It will be capable of driving a
boat from four to five feet long, provided it is well hollowed out and
that the engine is made and fitted with care, to reduce friction and
waste of steam as much as possible.

In this section the exact dimensions of the several parts are given when
possible, but, owing to small differences in the size of the cylinders,
I am only able to approximate in some cases--in which cases, however, I
have used the word ‘about,’ at the same time explaining how to obtain
the exact measurements.

In all engines the most important parts are the cylinders, which must be
well fitted. Boys who have a turning-lathe and the requisite practice in
metal-turning can buy rough castings of all the parts of the engine for
a few shillings and finish them up themselves. But as only a few of my
readers may be so favoured, I will suppose that the cylinders are
purchased ready for use. For these cylinders there is a great range in
the prices quoted by different firms, the prices varying for the No. 4
cylinder from eight shillings at one firm to twelve shillings and
sixpence at another. Messrs. Theobald and Co., of 20, Church Street,
Kensington, quote the lowest prices to me, and have further consented to
supply the No. 4 double-action oscillating cylinders for this engine at
seven shillings each to any one mentioning this section.

The dimensions of these cylinders are three quarters of an inch in the
diameter of the bore, and an inch and a half in the length of
stroke--_i.e._, an inch and a half difference in the length the
piston-rod projects from the top of the cylinder when in and out to its

Get a pair of these cylinders which have the steam-blocks,
pivot-pillars, and screw-crossheads complete. Ask for the No. 4
double-action oscillating cylinders. When buying them see that the
piston-rods work true, and not to one side; see also that the small
indentations on the opposite sides to the steam ports are correctly
drilled, so that when the cylinders are swung between the blocks and
pivots they work true. To test this, place the block on its back on the
table, and put the cylinder on it, with the pivot in the proper hole for
it. Now turn the cylinder round on the block and place a pin in the
indentation, and if it is truly drilled the pin will not move; but if
not, the point of the pin will describe a small circle. You can find out
by this pin the exact spot where the pivot-hole ought to be drilled.

[Illustration: Fig. 1]

We will now set to work at the construction of the engine, and the first
thing to be done is to make the top plate (Fig. 1). For this get a small
brass plate four inches long and three inches wide, and an eighth of an
inch thick, with a projecting piece an inch and a quarter square at one
end of it, as in the figure. Get two of these plates, as the second will
be required for the bed-plate, but will not have the square projecting
piece. Take the first of these plates and square it up, so that each
corner is a right angle. Now proceed to mark it as in Fig. 1. Divide the
large part lengthwise into two equal parts by the line C D, and
crosswise, also into two equal parts by the line A B, these two lines
intersecting in the point O. From this point mark off, each way along
the lines O C and O D, the following distances. O to _x_ a quarter of an
inch, and _x_ to _y_ an inch and a quarter; and through these four
points draw the lines _e-g_, _f-h_, _k-m_, and _l-n_, making them two
inches long each, and projecting one inch on each side of the line C D.
Join the points _e-f_, _g-h_, _k-l_, and _m-n_.

Cut out the two rectangles so formed carefully, so as not to injure the
lines. This can be done easily by first drilling a small hole, about an
eighth of an inch in diameter, near one corner, and then putting a
fretwork saw through it and fixing it in the frame, and sawing the metal
away just inside the lines. The saw must be kept well moistened with
water. The corners can be left circular, which will add to the finish of
the plate, and make the cutting with the saw easier.

After the holes are cut they must be finished quite up to the lines, but
without injuring them, with a fine-cut flat file. Through each corner of
the plate a hole must be drilled an eighth of an inch in diameter, and
about an eighth of an inch from the edges, as in Fig. 1. The top plate
is now ready for mounting the cylinders on, which we will set about

[Illustration: Fig. 2]

Take the two steam-blocks (Fig. 2) and draw a pencil mark on each from
the centre hole to the bottom, and at right angles to it (Fig. 2). Next
place the two blocks back to back on the middle of the top plate,
between the two large holes, so that the pencil marks coincide with the
line C D, and so that the bottom edges of the faces coincide with the
lines _f-h_ and _k-m_. Be very careful in setting these blocks right.
When in their places mark the top plate through the screw-holes in the
projecting bases of each, and drill four holes straight down through the
plate, making them a little smaller than the holes in the bases of the
blocks. Now replace the blocks and fasten them there with two small
screws each. These screws correspond with the size of the cylinders, and
can be purchased by the dozen, together with taps, for each size, to
make the thread in the holes with.

Next take the pivot-blocks and mark them with pencil, as the
steam-blocks were marked, and put them on the line C D on the outer
sides of the large holes, using the same care to get them properly
centred along the line C D, and at right angles to it, and about an
eighth of an inch from the lines _e-g_ and _l-n_. Mark the screw-holes
and drill them as before, and fasten the pillars in their places.

Now the cylinders can be hung. Unscrew the pivots about a quarter of an
inch and place the cylinders in their places, with the spindles in the
proper holes for them in the blocks. Now screw in the wire pivots till
they catch in the indentations drilled for them in the sides of the
cylinders. They will now swing freely between the blocks and pivots.

[Illustration: Fig. 3]

Now to cut the bed-plate (Fig. 3). Take your second brass plate and
divide it by the lines A B and C D as before. From the point O mark off
each way along the line C D the distances five-eighths of an inch from O
to _x_, and three-quarters of an inch from _x_ to _y_. Through these
points draw four lines two inches long, and projecting one inch on each
side of the line C D, and parallel to the line A B. Join the lines in
pairs as before, and cut out the rectangles so formed. Finish up the
edges, and bore a hole in each corner, as in the top plate. On the line
A B, and half an inch from each end, bore two holes an eighth of an inch
in diameter, and countersink them at the top, as in the figure.

[Illustration: Fig. 4]

[Illustration: Fig. 5]

[Illustration: Fig. 6]

Now the bearings for the crank-shaft must be made. Fig. 4 is a
perspective view of one of these. Get two pieces of brass one inch long,
half an inch wide, and a quarter of an inch thick, as Fig. 5. Along the
face of each block draw a line, dividing it lengthwise into two equal
parts, and in the centre of these lines drill a hole right through the
brass one-eighth of an inch in diameter. Cut the brass away at the ends
(as in Figs. 4 and 5), leaving the projecting pieces a quarter of an
inch long and a little more than one-sixteenth of an inch thick. Through
each of these flanges drill a hole, to screw the bearings to the
bed-plate by. Drill two holes down through the top of the block, passing
one on each side of the bearing-hole (as in Fig. 5, the dotted lines
showing the positions of the holes). Drill a small hole through the top
of the cap into the bearing-hole, for oiling purposes. Cut the block in
two along the line passing through the middle of the bearing-hole with a
stiff-backed saw. This will make the block as in Fig. 6, having a
movable cap which can be fastened in its place with two screws. Screw
these bearing-blocks in their places, one at each end of the bed-plate,
using the same care to get them properly centred along the line C D and
at right angles to it.

[Illustration: Fig. 7]

[Illustration: Fig. 8]

We must now make the crank-shaft. This can be made with bent wire
one-eighth of an inch thick. But when made in this way it very seldom
works steadily and true. The best way is to build it up. You must get a
piece of iron wire a quarter of an inch in diameter and about two feet
long. Part of this will be required for the screw-shaft; straighten and
smooth the wire and polish it up. Cut from the end three pieces, one an
inch long, the second two inches long, and the third one and
seven-eighths of an inch long. Next get four pieces of flat iron plate
one-eighth of an inch thick, one inch long, and half an inch wide. Cut
them into the shape shown in Fig. 7. The distance between the centres of
the holes is to be a little less than three-quarters of an inch. The
largest hole is one-eighth of an inch square, and the smallest hole a
little less. The metal is to be left one-eighth of an inch wide round
the holes. Take the shortest piece of iron wire and cut one end of it
away, leaving a square pin and shoulder; the pin is to be
three-sixteenths of an inch long, and one-eighth of an inch square (Fig.
8). Cut both ends of the two-inch piece and one end of the remaining
piece in the same way. Counter-sink the largest holes in the plates
(Fig. 7) and rivet them on the pins of the portions of the shaft, being
careful that they are at right angles to the rods. The plates on the
two-inch piece must be at right angles to each other. The pins should
fit very tightly in the holes, to make them firm when riveted.

[Illustration: Fig. 9]

Cut two pieces of iron wire one-eighth of an inch in diameter and
five-eighths of an inch long, and at each end of each piece make a pin
and shoulder to fit the small holes in the plates, leaving a full
quarter of an inch of the wire between the pins untouched. Join the
cranks together in pairs by riveting in these wires, being careful to
keep the cranks at right angles to the shaft, and also to keep the
several pieces of the shaft in the same straight line. Place the shaft
on the bearing-blocks in the position it will occupy, with the cranks
over the holes in the bed-plate and with the longest end to the after
end of it. Mark on the shaft the position and thickness of the
bearing-blocks, and cut the metal of the rods away in these places till
it is reduced to one-eighth of an inch in thickness, so that it will
work freely in the bearing-holes. The crank will now look like Fig. 9.

[Illustration: Fig. 10]

The next step is to connect the top and bed-plates by four pillars. The
length of these will depend on the length of the piston-rod. They must
be made of four pieces of brass wire a quarter of an inch thick. Take
one of the cylinders and a sheet of paper; on this paper draw a line
about six inches long, and at one end mark the point A (Fig. 10). Push
the piston-rod in as far as it will go, and push the pivot of the
cylinder through the point A, and mark on the line the point B, exactly
under the hole in the crosshead of the piston-rod. Now draw out the
piston-rod as far as it will go, and mark the point C exactly under the
hole as before. Bisect the portion of the line between B C in the point
D, and measure the distance between A and D. Reduce this length by the
distance the centre hole in the steam-blocks is from the lower edge, and
add to it a quarter of an inch for the height of the centre of the
bearing-block from the upper surface of the bed-plates, one-eighth of an
inch for the thickness of the bed-plate, and a quarter of an inch for

[Illustration: Fig. 11]

This will give you the length of the pillars including the pins. File a
pin and shoulder at each end, as in Fig. 11, making the pins one-eighth
of an inch in diameter and a quarter of an inch long. Rivet a pillar
firmly in each corner hole of the bed-plate, and put the top plate on
the top ends of the pillars, and rivet them firmly in. Be careful that
the pillars are upright. Rehang the cylinders and unscrew the caps of
the crossheads. Fit the cranks into the holes in them and screw on the

If the cylinders are made without screw-crossheads the pin of the cranks
must be placed through the hole in the heads before riveting the cranks
together. Unscrew the caps of the bearing-blocks, and put the
crank-shaft into the bearing-holes, and screw on the caps again. Oil all
bearings and parts that work together. Now you must get a heavy brass
fly-wheel three inches in diameter, which can be purchased with the
other things, and costs about two shillings. This wheel has a screw-bolt
through one side of the centre block to fix it to the shaft by. Fix this
wheel on the long end of the shaft by tightening the screw. It would be
better to make a small hole in the shaft for the point of the screw to
enter. The wheel must have two iron pins, about one inch long, in the
face of it.

Now if all the fittings are well made and oiled, the engine ought to
work easily and smoothly without noise if the fly-wheel is spun round.

Fig. 26 at the end of this section represents the engine as finished.

[Illustration: Fig. 12]

We must now turn our attention to the boiler. For this you must obtain
some sheet copper; get the size known as 12-lb. copper--that is, the
sheet two feet by eight feet weighs 12 lb. You must also procure some
copper tubing one-third of an inch in diameter. Get also the following
articles; two brass gauge-taps, 1s. 3d. each; one steam-tap with union,
1s. 6d.; man-hole or water-filler, 1s. 6d.; spring safety-valve set to
30 lb. the inch, 1s. 4d. If these are not already fitted with
screw-blocks get them so fitted when buying them. Fig. 12 represents the
safety-valve with the screw-block.

[Illustration: Fig. 13]

[Illustration: Fig. 14]

[Illustration: Fig. 15]

[Illustration: Fig. 16]

[Illustration: Fig. 17]

Cut out of your copper a piece (Fig. 13) eighteen inches and
three-quarters long and nine inches wide. Draw a line A B at right
angles to the two long sides, and bisecting them. From A and B mark off
the distances shown in the figure. Bore the holes, C, D, E, and F, the
sizes marked, and in the places indicated. Bend the plate so that the
middle eight inches form a semicircle with a radius of two and a half
inches, and the five-inch parts are straight and five inches apart. Turn
in the remaining half inch at each side to form a foot for the boiler to
stand on. The copper will now be like Fig. 14, and will form the body of
the boiler. Take two small sheets of copper eight inches long by six
inches wide, and mark one as in Fig. 15 and the other as in Fig. 16. Cut
them out carefully, and in Fig. 15 bore two holes one-eighth of an inch
in diameter in the places marked. Turn up the edge all round the sides
and circular portions of both plates, a quarter of an inch wide, till
it is at right angles to the other part of the plate, as in Fig. 17. Fit
one of these pieces on each end of the boiler body, so that the
turned-up edges of the ends fit outside the boiler body. The Fig. 16 is
to fit over the end of the boiler that has the two holes in the top.
Solder or braze the ends to the boiler body.

I should strongly recommend all the joints of the boiler being brazed,
as in the event of the vessel steaming far from shore, the water running
short, and the lamp still burning, it would melt the solder, and the
boiler would fall to pieces, but if brazed it would not be injured if
made red-hot. If you solder the parts together you can do it yourself
from directions given in the section on the magic-lantern, but in
soldering copper or brass together both surfaces of the joint must be
first tinned over.

[Illustration: Fig. 18]

[Illustration: Fig. 19]

If you decide to have the joints brazed you can get it done at the
ironmonger’s, if you first cut out and fit the parts together and
explain what you require. The floor of the boiler is made out of a piece
of sheet copper nine inches long and seven and a half inches wide. Mark
it as in Fig. 18. Bend it along the lines into the shape shown in Fig.
19. In the middle of the top make a hole one-third of an inch in
diameter. Bore seven holes one-third of an inch in diameter along each
of the sides and half way up. Cut a piece of the brass tube six and a
half inches long, and braze one end of it into the hole in the top, as
in Fig. 19. Cut seven pieces of the tube four and a half inches long
each, and connect the holes on opposite sides by brazing the tubes
across into the holes, as in the figure. Take the screw-block off the
safety-valve and solder it over the hole marked D in Fig. 13 on the
inside of the boiler. Solder the screw-block of the steam-tap inside
over the hole marked F, and solder on the inside the two blocks of the
gauge-taps over the holes in the end of the boiler. The block of the
man-hole must be brazed on the outside over the hole C, Fig. 13.

[Illustration: Fig. 20]

Now fit the floor of the boiler in its place, passing the end of the
tube, fastened to the top of it, through the hole marked E in the top of
the boiler, and projecting about half an inch, and braze it in. Fig. 20
will show the position of the boiler floor. The top of it is to be two
inches from the bottom of the sides. Braze it in firmly, being very
careful to make all the joints steam-tight. Screw in the man-hole cover,
safety-valve, steam-tap, and gauge-taps. On the top of the boiler and
over the projecting pipe solder a piece of brass tube seven inches long
and an inch and a quarter in diameter, raking aft a little, for the
funnel. Now the boiler is finished and ready to be connected with the
engine. But before this can be done we must make the reversing-gear.

Procure a block of brass, three-quarters of an inch wide, one inch long,
and half an inch high. Square this up true, and bore a hole right
through it from top to bottom, three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter.
With the end of a rat-tailed file taper the hole to a little more than a
quarter of an inch at the top. Get a piece of brass rod a little more
than a quarter of an inch thick, and file one end of it taper to fit the
hole, and square off the bottom end of it, making the taper portion half
an inch long. Smoothen this with fine glasspaper, and then oil it and
dust over it some fine emery-powder, and put it in the hole in the block
and grind the two together till they fit perfectly. Cut the taper
portion off exactly the length of the depth of the block.

[Illustration: Fig. 21]

Cut the brass away at the ends of the block, leaving a flange at the
bottom, at each end, a quarter of an inch long and one-sixteenth of an
inch thick, as in Fig. 21. In each flange bore two small holes, to screw
it to the top plate by. Drill four holes, one through each side of the
block one-eighth of an inch in diameter, right into the centre hole and
at right angles to each other, as in Fig. 21. Wipe the plug and hole
quite clean from the oil and emery, and replace the plug. Put a
needle-point into one of the side holes, and lying on the bottom of it
and pressing against the plug. Turn the plug round in the socket. Now
move the needle-point to the top of the hole and turn the plug round

[Illustration: Fig. 22]

Take out the plug, and there will be two lines one-eighth of an inch
apart scratched all round it, as in Fig. 22. With a small round file cut
two grooves opposite each other in the plug, by filing between the
scratched lines, leaving the brass between them one-sixteenth of an inch
or less thick, as seen in Fig. 22. Drill a hole one-eighth of an inch in
diameter and a quarter of an inch deep down the top end of the plug, and
another up the lower end, to fit one of your small screws. Be careful
that neither of these holes enters the grooves.

Cut a small circular plate of copper seven-sixteenths of an inch in
diameter, and drill a small hole in the middle of it. Give this plate
two or three taps with a small hammer in the middle to hollow it a
little. Put the plug in its place in the block, and turn it over and
place the circular plate on the bottom, with the concave side to the
plug, and fix it there with a screw. This will keep the plug from coming
out of the block. Solder an iron wire one-eighth of an inch thick and
six inches long into the hole in the top of the plug. Fasten the block
on to the square projecting piece of the top plate, first cutting out of
it a circular hole half an inch in diameter, to let the circular plate
at the bottom of the plug drop into. The valve must now be connected
with the steam-blocks. Take two pieces of steam-pipe three-sixteenths of
an inch in diameter and an inch and a quarter long, and bend them the
shape of Fig. 23, so that the distance apart of the ends is the same as
from one hole in the top of one block to the corresponding hole in the

[Illustration: Fig. 23]

Cut a hole in one side of the bent piece, as in Fig. 23, large enough
for the end of another piece of the pipe to fit into when tapered a
little. This piece is to be about three and a quarter inches long, and
bent so as to pass from the steam-blocks round the cylinder to the hole
in that side of the reversing-valve block. Fit the end of this pipe into
the hole in the bent tube and braze it in the following way. Rub a small
lump of borax on a moistened tile and rub the joint to be brazed with
the mixture of borax and water. Cut a small piece of silver off a
threepenny-piece about the size of a large pin-head, and put it on the
joint. Now hold the end of the tube in the left hand, covered with a
cloth, and with a blow-pipe direct the flame of a spirit-lamp or gas-jet
on to the joint till it is red-hot, when the silver will melt and flow
round the joint and fix it. If you cannot do this yourself a jeweller
or watchmaker will do it for you. Make two of these bent tubes with
double ends, and solder them in their places, connecting the
steam-blocks with the reversing-valve. You must enlarge the holes, to
let the ends of the pipe in before soldering.

Bend a piece of steam-pipe, a quarter of an inch in diameter and eight
inches long, so that about two inches of one end stands at right angles
to the other part. The bend must be circular, or it will compress the
pipe. Solder this end firmly into the front hole in the reversing-valve.
Bend another piece of the pipe about the same length so as to go into
the after hole of the valve and be parallel with the other pipe. On the
top of the boiler solder a piece of pipe about six inches long; one end
is to be bent up about one inch and inserted through a hole in the
bottom of the funnel, and directed upwards inside, the other end is to
project about one inch from the end of the boiler.

In the end of the steam-pipe solder the union of the steam-tap. Next
make the stand for the engine and boiler. Make it out of a piece of deal
eighteen inches long, five inches wide, and half an inch thick. Screw
the bed-plate of the engine on one end of it, so that the after end of
the plate is flush with the stand. The wood must be cut away under the
square holes, to let the cranks work in. Screw two strips of copper at
the other end, for the turned-in feet of the boiler to slide under. Put
them so that the end of the boiler will be about three and a half inches
from the fore end of the bed-plate. Put the boiler in its place, and
bend the steam-pipe so that the union can be screwed to the steam-tap
and the exhaust-pipe so that the end of it is opposite the projecting
pipe from the boiler, and connect these two ends with a piece of
indiarubber tubing.

[Illustration: Fig. 24]

The spirit-lamp must be in the shape of a closed box, made of sheet
copper, four inches wide, eight inches long, and three quarters of an
inch deep. In the top cut five holes, as in Fig. 24, a quarter of an
inch in diameter. In these holes solder five tubes half an inch long,
and projecting from the top a quarter of an inch. These are for the
wicks. At the front end of the top solder a screw filling-tap. At this
end solder also a piece of small pipe four inches long. This is to be
bent so that it will stand upright outside the end of the boiler, and is
to act as a vent, to prevent the spirit being forced too freely up the
wicks. Fill the wick-holes tightly with cotton. Now fill the lamp half
full of spirit. Pour hot water into the boiler till it just flows out of
the top gauge-tap. See that all the taps are turned off. Light the lamp
and put it under the boiler, and while steam is getting up oil the
engine well with sewing-machine oil. In a short time the steam ought to
be up and the engine at work. Try the reversing-gear and see if it acts
properly. The engine ought to work smoothly and without noise, and the
frame ought not to jar.

We must now make the screw propeller. The boat, which I suppose already
made, is to be five feet long, ten inches wide, and eight inches deep,
without the keel, and hollowed out to about a quarter of an inch thick
at the gunwales and three-quarters of an inch thick at the bottom, and
must be rather flat-bottomed, as steamships are, so that the inside at
the bottom is five inches wide.

[Illustration: Fig. 25]

Put the engine and boiler in the boat so that the boiler is a little
abaft the middle. Cut away the dead wood of the stern to make a hole
four inches high and two inches wide, as in Fig. 25. Bore a hole from
the hole in the dead wood right through into the interior of the boat,
as shown by the dotted lines in Fig. 25. This hole is to be directed to
the centre of the fly-wheel of the engine. The shaft is made out of the
quarter-inch wire. Cut a square pin and shoulder three-eighths of an
inch long and an eighth of an inch square at one end of the shaft. Cut a
piece of the same wire three and a half inches long and drill a square
hole in the middle, and rivet it on the end of the shaft crosswise. In
the hole in the stern of the boat you must fix a tube and stuffing-box,
which may be got--together with the screw, which is to be a three-fanned
one, measuring three inches across the fans--with the other things, of
Messrs. Theobald and Co., and similar houses.

Put the shaft in its place inside the boat, with the cross-piece resting
across the pins in the fly-wheel, about half way. Mark the end of the
shaft so that it will project an inch and three-quarters, and cut it off
there. The bearing must now be made out of a strip of brass
one-sixteenth of an inch thick, three quarters of an inch wide, and two
inches longer than the width of the inside of the boat. In the middle of
this bore a hole a quarter of an inch in diameter, and bend one inch of
each end at right angles to the other part. In each bent piece drill two
small holes, to screw them to the sides of the boat by. Slip a piece of
tubing, one inch long and of a size to fit tightly on the shaft, close
up against the cross-piece. Put the shaft through the bearing and
stuffing-box tube, and put the cross-piece on the pins in the fly-wheel,
and screw the bearing to the boat, so that it is close against the tube
on the shaft. The screw has a screw-bolt like the fly-wheel to fix it to
the shaft by. Drill a small hole in the shaft for it, and put the screw
on the end of the shaft and fix it by tightening the screw.

The deck of the boat must be cut the shape of the inside of the
gunwales, out of quarter-inch board, and is to be fixed so that the
gunwales are one inch high. It must have a hole cut in the middle to go
over the boiler and pipes. A hole must also be cut over the engine, and
one also in the front part of the deck large enough to admit your hand,
to allow of your removing and lighting the lamp. These two holes ought
to be covered by movable skylights. A hole must be bored in the deck
just in front of the after-skylight for the wire from the
reversing-valve to project about half an inch. A wire handle must be
fixed by riveting to the end of this, and two pegs driven into the deck,
one on each side, in front, to prevent the handle being turned too far
to either side. It should only turn one quarter of the way round.

If you have followed these directions your boat ought to steam for two
hours and a half without refilling the boiler; though the lamp would not
burn all that time. But if you solder a short piece of tube a quarter of
an inch in diameter into the front end of the lamp and quite at the
bottom edge of it, and have a closed tin tank with a like tube to it in
the front part of the boat, and this tank is filled with spirits, and
connected to the lamp by a piece of india-rubber tubing joining the two
tubes, the lamp will supply itself from the tank as it gets low. The
spirit from the tank will not fill the lamp, but will just cover the
hole of the tube and keep at that height so long as there is any spirit
in the tank. Such an engine as here described would cost to purchase
about £7 10_s._, and the boat with engine complete, quite double that

[Illustration: Fig. 26]



[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

It is now some years since one evening at Christmas time I made one of a
large family party assembled at the house of a relative. The evening had
passed very pleasantly, and we were chatting together, and watching an
arrangement which was being made in a recess behind a pair of curtains,
before which was a small table. After some little time waiting in
expectation, there suddenly appeared from between the curtains the agile
gentleman who is portrayed at the head of this chapter. The operator,
concealed (all but a portion of his arm) behind the curtains, placing
the stand on the table, and cleverly manipulating the wire, caused the
figure to dance in the most amusing and ridiculous manner, creating the
greatest merriment. Afterwards, some lively jigs and reels being played
on the piano, the figure footed it away, cleverly keeping time to the

Coming across the stand of the figure brought the memory of it to my
mind, and I thought that making and working such a figure would be an
amusing occupation for boys in the long winter evenings.

The nigger, when he first came out, was rather an expensive toy, and I
have not latterly seen anything quite like it, but it is within the
capabilities of any ingenious lad to make one for himself at a very
small expense. The one I have described was about eight inches high, and
had a proportionately-sized stand; but of course it can be made of any
size, though a smaller one would be quite as troublesome to make, and
not so funny. We will take the figure as being about the height

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--A Screw. B B Button. C Wire spring. D
Spring-board. E E Stand.]

The stand (A) is a piece of common deal about 13 in. long (for the
figure eight inches high; if the figure is made larger or smaller all
details will of course also be proportionately more or less). The width
of the stand is 2-3/4 in., and it is shaped as in the sketch. On top of
the stand is a spring-board; this board is shaped as Fig. 2, rather less
than 1/8 in. thick. From A to the shoulder at B is 6 in., and from B to
the centre of the hole at D is 9 in., the whole length being therefore
15 in., and the spring-board in consequence projecting 4 in. beyond the
end of the stand. At D on the stand is a button screwed to the stand,
the screw passing through the hole in the spring-broad, and by
tightening up the screw the spring-board can be made more or less rigid
as required. The spring marked C C (which can be put in either way; the
dotted line is perhaps the least effective way, as the greater the
spring--within limits--the better) is made of steel or iron wire, one
end being stuck into the back of the figure and the other being bent as
in Fig. 3, and put under the button, the screw passing through all, as
shown in Fig. 4.

The next thing is the figure. The head you must shape as fancy dictates,
and the result will be the criterion of your cleverness as a
wood-carver. If you cannot manage to carve a head, you might buy one and
stick it on, or make your figure out of a large Dutch doll.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

The head and body must be in one piece; the hat may be separate and
glued on, or carved with the head, as you prefer. The trunk must
terminate as in Fig. 5, to allow the legs to fit in and swing easily.
The legs must be made in two pieces (Figs. 6 and 7).

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

Figures 8 and 9 speak for themselves. The flanges must correspond of
course with the slots, and a pin is run through to keep the leg in its
place, while it is fitted loosely so as to swing. The lower part of the
leg and boot should be made rather heavy, so as to come down with some
force on the spring-board.

When you have made your figure you can dress him if you like, but the
legs must be left free at the joints. Loose trousers of very light
striped stuff can be fitted, but they must not come much below the knee.
The figure may be painted a dark brown, the hat red or white, the boots
of course black, and the stand green or blue picked out with black, but
you must use your taste in these matters. When all is finished it is not
difficult to make the gentleman dance; but still your spring-board must
be tightened to the right pitch, and the spring wire bent so that the
feet of the figure are just off the spring-board; then by slightly
agitating the wire the nigger will commence to dance; and it will
entirely depend on its owner’s tuneful ear whether he dances in time to
the music or not.



Many a penny have I invested when, as a lad, visiting such places of
amusement as the Crystal Palace, Polytechnic, London Crystal Palace, and
Pantechnicon, in obedience to the entreaty forming the sub-title of this
chapter, placed on the cases containing models and figures; and I yet
very vividly remember the delight experienced from seeing the models
start into motion. Indeed, even now, though arrived at man’s estate, I
rarely miss dropping a penny into the coffer of any case containing a
moving model when I chance to come across one.

Now these models, complicated as they may sometimes seem, can be easily
made by any boy who can use his tools, and, as the construction and
exhibition of them will afford great amusement, I propose in this
chapter to give detailed practical instructions for making them.

The subjects I have chosen are a windmill, a yacht in full sail, a
watermill with real water, dancing niggers, etc., so that there should
be sufficient variety to suit all tastes and skill.


The windmill being the simplest in construction of the working models,
we will take it first. The model, with the necessary pictorial
background, is to be enclosed in a case, which will bear somewhere on
the front of it the legend forming the title of this chapter, and the
sails will go merrily round on dropping a penny into the box, thus
practically illustrating the old song, ‘Money makes the mill to go.’ The
cost of the whole model and case will be something under 8_s._ Now for
the construction.

We will make the case first. For this get some half-inch deal board, 12
in. wide, and plane it smooth on both sides. Cut the pieces for the
back, top, bottom, and sides, and square them up true. The dimensions of
these pieces are as follows: the back, 20 in. long and 12 in. wide; the
top and bottom pieces, 12 in. long and 10 in. wide; and the two side
pieces are each 20 in. long and 10 in. wide.

Having cut and trued up these pieces, proceed to form them into a box by
joining the edges by dovetailing, if you are skilful at cabinet-making,
or get some friendly carpenter to do it for you, if you are not up to
the work. If you cannot manage either to do it yourself or to get it
done for you, the parts can be joined with glue and screws, but the side
pieces will have to be cut one inch shorter than for dovetailing, in
order that the top and bottom pieces may fit in flush with the back

The front of the box is to be closed by a door, of which the upper 12
in. is of glass. Make the door out of a piece of half-inch board, 8 in.
by 11 in. for the bottom piece, and fasten to each end a strip of wood
20 in. long and 1/2 in. square, so that one end of each strip is flush
with the lower edge of the board, leaving 12 in of each strip projecting
beyond the upper edge.

These strips should have a groove 1/8 in. deep cut in them to hold the
glass. This you had better get cut for you. Put your glass, which must
be about 11-1/4 in. wide and 11 in. long, into the grooves, and the
upper edge of it will be half an inch from the ends of the strips.
Fasten it in by a cross-piece of wood 1/2 in. square and 11 in. long,
glued and screwed to the two side strips.

If you prefer it, the glass can be put in the door after the manner of
window-panes. In this case the side and top strips must have a rebate
cut in them, and the top edge of the wooden portion served in the same
way. You must choose for yourself which method you will adopt. Either
will do, but the latter is perhaps the neater.

In the top of the right-hand end of the wooden portion cut a slot large
enough to allow the necessary penny to pass freely. The door you will
fasten to the box with two small brass hinges, and you must put a small
brass hook on the other side of the box to keep it fastened. But it will
be better if you do not hang the door till the inside arrangements are
completed, for fear of breaking the glass.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

Fig. 1 represents the case and model complete. Divide the interior of
the box into two portions by a horizontal partition, fastened to the
back and sides by glue and screws. The space below the partition is to
be 7 in. deep. In the right of this space fit a cash drawer 9 in. long,
3 in. deep, and 3 in. wide, to hold the pennies. The side of this drawer
nearest the machinery must have a slot cut in it for the starting lever
(A, Fig. 3) to work in. The sides of the case are made of wood, so that
the working of the model can only be seen from the front and so that the
flow of pennies will be larger.

Paint the back of the inside of the case to represent a landscape, or a
suitably coloured picture can be pasted in, and serve the horizontal
partition in the same manner to represent ground, blending the back and
ground together in a natural manner. Paint also the top board to
represent sky.

Make the mill out of wood or cardboard. It is to be 7-3/4 in. high, and
the holes for the spindle carrying the sails 5-3/4 in. from the bottom.
The sails are to be 9-1/2 in. across, and can be made of wood or
cardboard, or, better still, wood cross-pieces with cardboard sails.
Make the spindle of iron wire 1/8 in. in thickness. It should be about
3-1/2 in. long. Flatten one end of the wire and drive it into the centre
point of the cross-pieces of the sails, being careful to keep it quite
square and upright.

Pass the spindle through the holes in the back and front of the mill,
and put a knob of sealing-wax on the end, to prevent it working out when
the mill is at work. If the mill is made of cardboard, the inside must
be strengthened with wood to support the spindle.

We will next turn our attention to the mechanism to set the mill in
motion. Very few of my readers possess the tools and skill to use them
necessary to cut and fit the wheels, and, as it would come very
expensive to get them made specially, it will come very much cheaper to
buy one of the cheap eight-day clocks, which will suit our purpose
admirably. These can be procured at most of the suitable shops, and will
cost about 5_s._ 6_d._

Take the frame and works out of the clock case, and remove the pendulum
and hands, as you will not require them. If you now turn round the
spindle on which the minute hand fits, you will notice that, although
the parts that carry the hands are in motion, the rest of the wheels are
stationary. On examining these hand-turning wheels carefully, you will
notice that the one carrying the minute hand is fixed on the central
spindle by jambing only, and that it turns a small flat wheel which, in
turn, gives motion to the wheel carrying the hour hand. This wheel is
fixed to a tubular spindle, which fits over the spindle of the
minute-hand wheel, which itself is tubular and jambs on the central
spindle. Now, as you will not require this movement, take off the
hour-hand wheel, and after removing the small flat wheel, replace it
and fasten it, together with the minute-hand wheel, to the central
spindle with solder.

Some of the cheap clocks have the minute hand fixed direct to the
central spindle, the hour wheel only being tubular. In this case the
hour wheel and the spindle must be soldered together after the small
flat wheel has been removed. As you will not require the escapement
wheel, push on one side the small spring clip that presses on the end of
the spindle, and it will drop out.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

You will now want a pulley wheel (B, Fig. 3). One of the wooden sheaves
used in Venetian blinds for the cords to run over will do very well
indeed, or if you possess a lathe you can turn one for yourself. It
should be 1-1/2 in. in diameter and 1/4 in. thick, having a small hole
right through the centre, of a size to fit tightly on the hour spindle
of your works. Fig. 2 represents the frame after the wheels not required
have been removed. Fig. 3 represents the starting lever and pulley. This
pulley must have a notch 1/4 in. deep cut in one rim, for the hook of
the lever to fall into and stop the machinery. This pulley must not be
more than 1-1/2 in. in diameter, or you will not be able to get at the
winding-up pin.

The frame carrying the wheels must now be mounted in its place under the
horizontal partition. For this purpose fasten with screws a block of
wood to the floor board, or back of the case, in such a position that
the front of the frame is about 5-1/2 in. from the front of the case,
and so that the centre of the wooden wheel is about 4 in. from the
horizontal partition, and immediately under the spindle carrying the
sails of the mill. The horizontal partition must have a slot cut in it,
inside the mill, for the connecting cord to pass. The frame is to be
fastened to the supporting block by screws, but before doing this you
must make the all-important starting and stopping lever.

Get a piece of iron wire 1/8 in. thick, and about 10 in. long. Flatten
one end and bend down about half an inch of this end to form a hook,
standing about at right angles to the length; place this hook in the
notch of the wheel when it is a little beyond the centre of the pulley,
as seen in the cut, and cut the wire to such a length that the other end
of it will be about 1 in. from the side of the case, when the gear is in
position. Drill a hole crosswise through the wire about 3 in. from the
hook, and fasten a small wire to the gear-frame, standing at right
angles to it, about 2-1/2 in., measured horizontally from the spindle of
the pulley, and near the top. This is for the lever to turn on, as shown
in the cut. At the free end of the lever solder a piece of tin bent up
on three sides like a small tray, with the edge not bent at the extreme
end. This tray or scoop should be about 1-1/2 in. square, and is to
catch the penny as it is dropped in.

The hooked end of the lever must be weighted, to slightly outbalance the
other part, so that the hook will drop into the notch in the pulley. The
frame can now be put in its place and fixed to the block with screws.
Bend the long end of the lever till the scoop is 3-1/2 in. from the
under side of the partition. In bending the lever you must also see that
the scoop is horizontal, or the penny will not remain in it long enough
to start the gear. Now connect the spindle of the sails and the wooden
pulley-wheel by passing a silk cord or fine string round both tightly,
and knotting the ends together.

Now on winding up the spring and pressing down the lever the works will
start into motion and the sails will revolve. The speed can be
regulated by placing the sails at such an angle that they will offer
more or less resistance to the air.

The slot in the door for the insertion of the penny must be cut
three-quarters of an inch below the upper edge of the wooden partition,
and inside you must fasten a tin trough to conduct the penny to the
scoop at the end of the lever. This trough must slope downwards to the
edge of the scoop, or the penny will not fall into it, but remain just
inside the hole.

The model is now complete, and works as follows: The spring having been
wound up and the door closed, the works are kept from moving by the hook
of the lever catching in the notch of the pulley, but on a penny being
put into the hole, and sliding into the scoop at the other end of the
lever, its weight presses down the scoop end and lifts the hooked end
out of the notch in the pulley, which turns round, and continues to do
so, carrying the sails of the mill round with it till the notch again
comes under the hook, which (the penny having fallen out of the scoop
into the drawer) falls into it and stops the machinery, giving one
revolution of the pulley for a penny. The pulley being twelve times
larger than the spindle of the sails, these will revolve twelve times
each time the model is started. The model will work about 204 times each
time it is wound up.


Having finished the windmill to your satisfaction, we will now turn our
attention to the construction of a model requiring rather more complex
machinery. This is shown at Fig. 4, and represents a cutter-yacht
sailing on the port tack, on a lee shore; which, if carefully made, so
as to produce the effect of the rolling and pitching of a real yacht
upon a real sea, will catch many a penny.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

The case is made exactly in the same manner as the former one, and has
the same dimensions, but has no horizontal partition, only a cross-piece
in the front, half an inch square.

The inside of the back you must paint to represent a cliff and sky, or
you can paste a coloured picture of the same on it.

The yacht is to be 5 in. long, and is to be set in a sea of silk, which
will be described further on. If you prefer it, a full-rigged ship can
be substituted for the yacht. For the machinery you will require, as
before, an eight-day clock movement, some brass wire, and three or four
pulley-wheels. Fig. 5 shows the front view of the mechanism when
complete, and Fig. 6 the end view of the same.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

As was the case in preparing the works for the windmill, you will
require to make some alteration in the wheels, but in this case, as the
hour and minute movement will be required for the starting gear, the
minute spindle only is to be soldered to the central spindle, and the
small flat wheel retained in its place. The escapement wheel must also
be retained. B (Fig. 5) is one of the wooden pulleys, 1 in. in diameter,
fixed to the minute-hand spindle, and is in connection with another
pulley-wheel of the same size (B), turning on a screw fixed in a block
of wood fastened to the floor-board in such a position that the centres
of the two pulleys are the same height from the floor and 4-1/2 in.
apart. O is a lever of wire about 7 in. long, working on a pivot passing
through it about 2-1/2 in. from the end C. This end is connected with
the keel of the boat, and the other end is weighted, to balance the

Now take your boat, and at each end of the keel fix a small brass plate
having a hole drilled in it (FF, Fig. 5), 4-1/2 in. apart, and fix
another plate drilled in the same way at C, about 2-3/4 in. from the
stem of the boat. Take two pieces of wire 5 in. long and bend one end of
each into an eye and the other end into a hook, crosswise with regard to
the eye, and hook a wire into each of the plates FF, on the keel of the
boat, and connect the other ends with the pulleys B and B by two small
brass screws passing into the fronts of BB, as shown in Fig. 5, and
arrange the pulleys so that one of the pivots shall be up while the
other is down.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

All these joints and connections must work freely, although not loosely.
The two pulleys, BB, you must connect with a cord passing round both.
The pitch of the vessel is regulated by the distance the pivot screws
are from the centres of the pulleys, which should be about half an inch.
You must next make the regulating gear or fly E (Fig. 5). To do this you
must take out the pin from the left-hand lower corner of the frame-plate
and prise up the plate and take out the fourth wheel near R (Fig. 5),
and on the spindle of it fix a pulley, which can be readily done in the
following manner. Cut a small notch in one side of the hole in the
centre of the pulley just large enough to admit a piece of your wire.
Solder about half an inch of this wire along one side of the spindle
about the middle of it, and force the pulley on to the spindle over this
piece, and it will jamb lightly and be keyed to it. Fig. 7 will show you
how to cut the hole in the pulley.

Now return the wheel to its place and re-fasten the frame-plate. Next
you must make the fly E. Get a small brass pulley about 1/4 in. in
diameter, and to it solder a strip of tin cut to the shape shown, but
being wider in proportion at the ends, say 1 in. wide and 4 in. long.
Twist the ends of this fly askew like the fans of a screw propeller, so
that it will catch the wind in revolving. Now fix a block of wood to the
bottom of the case and fix the fly to it by a small brass screw passing
through its centre, so that it works freely and is 3-1/2 in. from the
centre of the driving pulley R and level with it. Fasten a block of wood
to the back of the case, in which you must fix the screw N (Fig. 5) for
the lever O to pivot on. You must next make the starting gear. This is
shown in Fig. 8.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

As we require the pulleys BB to revolve about twelve times, and as they
are attached to the minute-hand spindle, the hour-hand spindle will
revolve once. Therefore, on this spindle fix behind the pulley B, by
soldering, a circular plate of tin or brass, a little larger than the
pulley, and cut in one edge of it a slot a quarter-inch deep and
one-eighth of an inch wide. Make your lever as before, but long enough
for the hook to catch in the teeth of the wheel C, Fig. 8; and solder a
piece of tin to the lever, to fall at the same time into the slot in the
disc A, Fig. 8. This piece of tin must be long enough to keep the hook
free of the teeth of the wheel C during the revolution of the disc A.
The length of the other part of the lever is to be the same as for the
windmill. Fig. 6 shows an end view of the machinery. K is a wire
connecting the keel with the lever Q, and helps to give the rolling
motion so suggestive to voyagers.

Fix your gear into the case in such a position that the keel of the boat
will be 7 in. above the floor of the box, and bend the starting lever so
that the scoop will be the same distance from the floor and front of the
box as in the former case. You have now to make the sea. Get a piece of
silk of the kind called Persian, dark green or ‘undecided’ blue, about
18 in. square, and in the middle of it cut a slit 6 in. long, and in
this slit fasten the hull of the boat with glue, puckering up the silk,
to form the waves on the sides of the vessel. Crumple the whole of the
silk into miniature waves, and glue the edges round the edges of the
case and to the strip of wood fastened across the front 7 in. from the
floor. Touch the crests of the waves with white paint. The silk waves
will rise and fall with the motion of the vessel, and appear themselves
to be the cause of that motion. If the silk has a tendency to drop in,
it can be supported by a floor-board, 7 in. from the bottom, with a hole
cut in the centre 5 in. long and 2 in. wide for the boat to work in, and
a slot cut for the wire K, Fig. 6. Be very careful that all the joints
and connections work easily, or a jerky motion will be the result.

Wind up the works and drop in a penny, and the lever hook will be lifted
out of the escapement wheel, and round will go the pulleys, causing the
little ship to pitch and roll till the slot A comes round again, when
down falls the lever hook and stops the movement. The pace of the
movement can be regulated by the angle of the fans of the fly catching
more or less air.

As the minute spindle revolves twelve times, the pulleys will revolve
only once, which will give about seventeen revolutions each time of


Fig. 9 is a view of a case of dancing ‘niggers,’ and is easily made. In
the sketch the figures are one-third the real size.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

The case measures 9 in. high, 7 in. wide, and 7 in. deep. The back forms
a hinged door by which you can get at the gear. The slit for the penny
is in the top, and near the right-hand back corner. The legs of the
right-hand figure are both made separate from the body and jointed at
the knees. They are fastened to the body by small pins, to allow of free
working. This figure you must strengthen by glueing a piece of wood
behind it 1 in. long, 1/2 in. wide, and 1/4 in. thick. The other figure
has only the left leg moveable, and must not be jointed at the knee.
Glue a strip of wood about 1/2 in. wide and 1/4 in. thick right up the
back of this figure, and glue it to the floor board. The left leg must
have a similar piece of wood glued behind it, and projecting 1/2 in.
longer at the thigh end. Fix the leg to the body by a small pin, for it
to work freely on, and in the piece of wood projecting fix, at right
angles, a piece of wire about 2 in. long, and cut a curved slit in the
background for this to work in, when the figure is about 1 in. from it.

This background you must make out of cardboard, and fix about 3 in. from
the front of the case, which is glass. The background you can paint to
any design you please, such as a street scene, or on the sands, and the
floor to correspond.

Behind the right-hand figure cut a vertical slit in the background about
1/8 in. wide and 2 in. long, so that the centre of it comes opposite the
centre of the figure when the feet are just touching the floor. Fix a
piece of wire about 7 in. long into the centre of the figure behind, and
at right angles to it, and bend this wire downwards at right angles
about 2 in. from the figure. About 1 in. behind the background fix an
upright block of wood, to come as high as the centre of the figure, and
in front of it fix two small staples, one near the top, and the other
about 2 in. lower, but directly under it. Into these slip the end of the
wire attached to the figure, after passing it through the slot in the
background. This will keep the figure in its place and allow of its
moving up and down.

[Illustration: Fig. 10.]

[Illustration: Fig. 11.]

Prepare the works as for the yacht model, and also insert a pulley (A),
as shown in Figs. 10 and 5. This is connected with another pulley (B,
Fig. 10), which is fixed to a block by a screw that is countersunk
below the face of it, and to which is fastened by a small screw two
wires working freely and passing one to the wire from the left-hand
figure, and the other to the cross-piece of the wire from the right-hand
one, and connected with them by the ends being bent into rings. From the
cross wire to the figure to the right is also hung a drop wire with a
small weight at the end, to help to pull it down. Fig. 11 will explain
the fixing of this gear. A fly must be also fitted to the movement, to
check the pace. This can be fixed to the pulley (B) or in front of the
escapement wheel. The stopping motion is the same as in Fig. 8, but more
slots may be cut in the disc, to regulate the length of time allowed for
a penny.

The works you must fix behind the background so that the starting lever
comes conveniently for the penny in its fall.

With these three examples of the necessary clockwork you will be able by
the exercise of a little ingenuity and the power of contriving to make
moving models of any subjects that may suggest themselves to you, such
as the following: a steamboat with revolving paddle-wheels, cobbler
mending shoes, soldiers marching, etc., etc.


I will now tell you how to make the model shown in Fig. 12, consisting
of a water-mill working with real water, a small fountain in the middle,
and children playing at see-saw in the background.

[Illustration: Fig. 12.]

This model is worked with water-power only, and has no clockwork. The
case you must make larger than in either of the former cases--24 in.
high, 14 in. wide, and 14 in. deep; the height of the floor of the model
from the bottom of the case 4 in., and the depth of the upper partition
4 in., the intermediate space closed by a glass door 16 in. by 14 in.
The case must be made out of 1/2 in. stuff and well dovetailed together.
In the right-hand bottom corner a drawer for the pennies with a slot in
front. The back or one of the sides should have a door in it, to get at
the machinery, should it at any time require attending to.

[Illustration: Fig. 13.]

You must now make two zinc tanks, the top one air-tight, to occupy the
whole of the upper space, the other also air-tight at first, to occupy
the space left in the lower partition by the drawer. The top tank will
be 13 in. by 13 in. by 3-1/2 in., and will have a small receiver, about
6 in. square by 1 in. deep, soldered to the bottom of it, and
communication with it by a small hole, as shown in E, Fig. 13, about a
quarter of an inch in diameter, and having also a small pipe passing
from it to the outer air through the large tank. This pipe is not shown
in the figure, but it is soldered to the top and bottom of the tank and
the ends filed off flush. The zinc for the bottom and sides of the tanks
can be cut out of one piece, as shown in Fig. 14. The edges of the tops
should be turned over, to add strength. The soldering must be made
air-tight. The background of the picture is a false back inserted about
2 in. from the true one, behind which the pipes are placed connecting
the vessels together, as shown in Fig. 13, which is a back view.

[Illustration: Fig. 14.]

These pipes must be carefully soldered in. A is the air-pipe to supply
reservoir F when in use; B is the pumping-pipe, in the middle of which
is fixed an india-rubber force-ball, to be procured at any india-rubber
shop, in which is a small pin-valve, to prevent the water flowing back.
This pipe extends from the bottom of tank G to the top of tank F,
leaving a space of about 1/8 in. between the ends of the pipes and the
metal of the tanks. C is a small pipe by which the water from the basin
of the fountain is run into G. E is the receiver into which water from F
runs, and from which two pipes lead, one to the wheel of the mill, and
the other to the fountain. K is a regulating tap, to govern the supply
of air and regulate the amount of water passed into E. D is the stopcock
connected with the starting lever, which is about 6 in. long and
soldered to the handle of the tap. This tap must work easily, and yet be

The lever must be counterweighted, to close the tap when the penny has
fallen off the scoop at the end of the lever. H is a small pipe fixed in
the top of the tank G to allow the air to pass out when the water is
running into it through C. The basin of the fountain should be made of
zinc, and fastened to the tube C, and the jet is formed of the end of a
blow-pipe connected to the tube from E. The rockery you must form of
cinders and paint them to a suitable colour. The mill-wheel should be
made of zinc and painted, and the water from it conducted to the basin
of the fountain. The other pipe from E you must conduct to a position
suitable to set the wheel in motion.

The see-saw you must place so that it can be set in motion by the axle
of the mill-wheel, which is carried out long enough under the
rockery-bank to reach it, and has a cross-piece of wire soldered to it
at a point immediately under one of the figures, and which in revolving
tips up one end of the board.

[Illustration: Fig. 15.]

This end of the board is made, slightly heavier than the other, which
will make it return to be again tipped up. We will now see how the model
is worked. Pour water into the basin of the fountain till it is full,
and open the starting lever as shown in Fig. 15. The bottom vessel will
now be quite full. Now work the force-ball, which will pump the water
out of G into F, the air rushing into G through the pipe H. As soon as
the upper tank is full the starting lever is to be closed, and the model
is ready to begin work. Now as F, Fig. 13, is an air-tight vessel, no
water can run from F into E. But as soon as a coin is dropped into the
scoop at the end of the lever A, Fig. 15, its weight presses it down and
opens the cock D, which allows the air to be drawn into F, and
consequently allows water to pass into E, Fig. 13.

The quantity of air allowed to pass is regulated by the extent to which
K, Fig. 13, is opened. The water being in E, and this vessel
communicating with the atmosphere through the pipe not shown in the
Figs., the water falls into the two pipes, and is conducted by one to
set the wheel in motion, and by the other to the fountain-jet, through
which it issues and again falls into the basin, and thence again into G.


An ingenious and inexpensive timekeeper may be made by any boy for a few
pence and a little labour. Buy a sheet of millboard, the thicker the
better--size, 27 in. by 22 in.--cut off a strip 10 in. by 27 in., and
shape it as shown in Fig. 16, the top part to be 10 in. square, and the
lower 17 in. by 4 in. Next mark off the remainder of the millboard into
three equal parts of 4 in. each, as shown in Fig. 17, then, with a
straightedge and a sharp knife, cut half through the lines AA. This will
form the two sides and back of the case. The funnel (B, Fig. 18) should
be made of tin, with a square top to fit over the millboard, and have a
very small aperture at the point; any tinman will make this for 3_d._ or
4_d._ The spindle (C, Fig. 18) must be 3-3/4 in. long, 3-1/2 in. deep in
front, diminishing to 2 in. at back, have a screw-shaped groove from end
to end, and work on a small spindle or axle, projecting 1 in. in front,
for the hand to be connected to, and 1/2 an inch at rear. If the young
horologist has not a lathe at his disposal, the spindle can be obtained
from a turner for a few pence. The weight may be made of a piece of
shaped stone, or of an empty stone ink-bottle, from the neck of which
the cord passes over the bar (C), round the grooves of the spindle, and
out of the hole (K). A small weight, such as a bullet, must be fastened
to the other end. A piece of canvas should be glued round the edges of
the case, and the whole painted with a good coating of Brunswick black,
over which any design may be made, either with gold lines, grotesque
figures, or coloured pictures. The dial should be of white paper, 7 in.
in diameter, and the hand cut out of the spare millboard and then
gilded. Four small reels (E, Fig. 17), such as are used for silk, should
be glued on the back, to keep the case from the wall, and a ring
fastened to the top to hang it by.

[Illustration: Fig. 16.]

[Illustration: Fig. 17.]

[Illustration: Fig. 18.]

It is now ready for the motive power, which is obtained by the falling
of sand, as in the hour-glass. The sand must be first well washed,
dried, and sifted, to remove all stones, then poured through the case
top to within two inches of the cross-bar (C, Fig. 18), the weight
resting on the surface. As the sand runs through the funnel-point the
weight will descend with it at the rate of about 1 in. per hour. The
flow of sand will be perfectly equable from the time the case is filled
until it is nearly empty, which is explained by the fact that the sand
lies in a succession of conical heaps, only the _first_ of which presses
on the bottom, the others throwing their weight on the sides of the
case. A gallon of sand will be more than sufficient to fill the cases,
and as it falls it should be caught in a vase placed beneath for that
purpose. In winding up the clock the inside weight must be raised to the
cross-bar by pulling down the bullet end of the cord, and the sand
poured through a paper funnel into the top of the case, care being taken
to set the hand to the right hour. A clock of the dimensions here given
will work for about twelve hours, but by lengthening the sand-box the
working hours will be increased in proportion. It will save time and
trouble to have a double supply of sand and two vases, and use them
alternately. Of course one does not pretend that such a simple clock as
this will keep accurate time.


BY C. STANSFELD-HICKS, Author of _Yacht and Canoe Building_, &c., &c.

‘What shall we do to amuse the boys?’ was the question asked at a
friend’s house. ‘They are tired of Christmas trees, and it is so
difficult to think of anything new.’

‘Well,’ I suggested, ‘why not have a Christmas ship?’

A Christmas ship! We never heard of such a thing! What is it?’

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--THE GOOD SHIP SANTA CLAUS.]

And this was the commencement of the planning and building of the vessel
in question. To commence was a comparatively easy matter, but before she
was finished and ready for her cargo the shipbuilders got rather weary.
But you see they had to do everything for the first time, and with
little or no previous experience. By attention to the details given in
this chapter, those who go in for this Christmas ship will get on faster
than we did, profiting by our experience, and not having to retrace
their steps and do things over again, which was often the case with us
in our first attempt.

When all was finished, the ship, as she appeared in the library, was an
extremely pretty sight, her long black hull illumined by the light from
the open ports, through which was caught a glimpse of her main deck with
its fittings. Around her extended a very realistic sea, ruffled in
miniature waves, and far above, towering over the heads of the young
people present, were her lofty masts with their complicated rigging.
Some of the sails were set, while others were stowed on the yards. Deep
down in her hold were most of the presents, while many others were
suspended from her yards and rigging, which too were lighted up with
small coloured lanterns.

Everything had been kept a profound secret until the library door was
thrown open to the guests, and the Christmas ship, glowing with her
illuminations and crammed full of presents, stood before them. Such was
her capacity, that, although there were some thirty or forty young
people ready and eager to plunder her, it was not until they had made
three successive raids on the goods and cargo that the hold was declared
to be empty, and even then in some of its recesses there still remained
a few unappropriated gifts. And now to the details of her construction.

[Illustration: FIG 2]

[Illustration: FIG 3]

The first operation is to make the frame or stand. This is shown in Fig.
2 and Fig. 3, as well as in the sketch of the ship complete. It is
marked H H H H in Fig. 3. The size of the stand will of course entirely
depend on the size you intend making the ship, but it should be in about
the same proportion to the hull of the vessel as is shown in the diagram
(Fig. 2). If the ship is to be 5 ft. long and 3 ft. wide, the stand
should be 8 ft. long. You will require two pieces of 11-in. deal plank,
3/4 in. thick, and a short piece about 3 ft. long, which will be used as
follows. For the hold of the ship you must get a suitable box, which may
be obtained from the grocer. An old currant or biscuit box will do. We
used a Florence oil case, which answered very well with the V end turned
down and the bottom taken off (see Fig. 6). Fig. 7 shows the manner in
which the boards for the stand are arranged round the box. A is the box,
B an 11-in. board with a slot about 2 in. deep cut to fit the box. C is
a similar board the other side, and D D are two filling pieces placed
between the long boards to fill up the space left at either end of the
box. A couple of cross pieces may be placed at the dotted lines to
secure the frame together. The top of the box is left flush with the
upper edge of the stand.

In Fig. 3 the dotted line shows the outline of the box. When the stand
is made and put together, the simplest plan to adopt is to take any
large packing case which the stand will cover, by about a foot at each
end and a few inches at the sides, and nail the stand down on this case.
A block of wood must then be put under where the box for the hold comes,
of sufficient thickness to keep this box up just flush with the top of
the stand, and when the block is nailed down the box can be screwed to
it. No fastening will be necessary at the top, as the stand should fit
all round it too closely to prevent it working. Care should be taken
that there are no nails or splinters inside the box, or when the
presents are being taken out some one’s fingers may suffer. It is a good
plan to glue some smooth thick wrapping paper over the inside of the box
after it is screwed down.

[Illustration: FIG 4A]

[Illustration: FIG 4]

[Illustration: FIG 5]

[Illustration: FIG 6]

[Illustration: FIG 7]

[Illustration: FIG 8]

[Illustration: FIG 9]

The sides of the ship, which are only the height of the vessel above
water, can be made of thick cardboard. Millboard will do, but it cracks
easily. The shape of the side having been cut out, a couple of lines
must be marked within which the ports are to be cut. The lower edge of
the port should be about two inches above the water-line, and the ports
themselves two inches high and three wide, the whole height of the
vessel’s side out of water amidships being about 6-1/2 inches (this is
for a 5 ft. ship), while at the bow it will be an inch or so higher and
half an inch at the stern (see Fig. 1). In cutting the ports you will
find a sharp chisel the best tool to use, particularly if you are
operating on thick millboard. When the ports are cut out the pieces of
millboard cut away will do for port lids (see Fig. 10). A is the ship’s
side, B the port lid, which is hinged on to the upper port sill by a
piece of calico D D, glued on; C is the tricing line for raising or
lowering the port. Fig. 9 shows the battens (A A). These are about an
inch high and three-quarters thick; they are screwed down on the stand
just inside the line the side of the ship will take, and serve to secure
the lower part of the ship’s side by glue or screws; or another batten
can be run outside the ship’s side--the two battens taking one side of
the ship between them, and this is the stronger plan. The deck should be
made of a stout piece of deal board, about three-quarter-inch; it must
be strong, as it serves to bind the whole fabric together, and the sides
are none too strong. This deck is the upper deck, the main deck being
formed by that part of the stand inside the vessel’s hull, and the main
hatchway being the box. The deck must be placed just at the top of the
line of ports (see A A in Fig. 8), so as to leave room between the two
decks, and also to leave a bulwark all round the upper deck. The stern
may be made of a piece of deal an inch thick, shaped as Fig. 11. Fig. 12
shows the section and the way the edges are bevelled off at A A. The
bows can be fastened together by screws or glue, to a wedge-shaped piece
of wood put between them (see Fig. 13). C is a triangular block of wood
shaped to suit the vessel’s lines, B B the millboard sides, A is a piece
of millboard or wood shaped as Fig. 14. The part A A goes between the
sides which terminate at the line B B, shown in Fig. 8. The hook B is
formed by a piece of wire inserted into the end of the knee of the head,
and is used to hang a small figure for a figure-head. Those little
plaster angels which have a small wire eye between the wings from which
they are generally suspended by elastic, are the most suitable, as the
wings fit on either side of the bowsprit, and the figure looks very

[Illustration: Fig. 11.]

[Illustration: FIG 10]

[Illustration: FIG 12]

[Illustration: FIG 13]

[Illustration: FIG 14]

[Illustration: FIG 15]

The most effective part of the affair has now to be described, and that
is the way the hold is lighted up. Fig. 2 shows this. A is a common
paraffin lamp, with say a three-quarter inch burner (though an inch is
better); L is a tin reflector so fitted as to throw the light downward
and forward toward the bow; at K is a strong partition to secure the
lamp from being upset or damaged while the hold is being pulled about
for presents; M M shows the line of the main deck, opening from which is
the box P. The rays from this lamp light up the whole length forward of
the main deck, and, if the ports are open, send a bright radiance from
them through the room.

The upper deck must be fitted with a hatchway of sufficient size just
over the box which constitutes the hold, and this hatchway must be so
placed that every part of the box can be reached through it even by a
small child. The ports may be made to open and shut simultaneously by
bringing all the tricing lines into one hauling part, which on being
pulled hauls up all the ports at once. This is very effective if the
ports fit well, as the room can be darkened, and the ports being
suddenly hauled up, the whole interior of the ship is shown brightly

The fittings for the lamp on the upper deck have next to be considered.
The principal part is the funnel, which can be made of an old canister
by cutting it down where soldered together, reducing it to the required
diameter and boring holes along the lapping and lacing it together up
the side. This is better than soldering, as the heat of the lamp cannot
affect the joint. The lower ends of the tube are cut and opened out as
at Fig. 4, and a kind of tin washer is cut out (Fig. 5), the inner
circle just being large enough to slip over the funnel, but being
stopped by the lower ends. The outside circumference of the washer must
be large enough to cover these ends. By screwing the washer down on the
upper deck, having previously slipped the funnel through it, the funnel
is firmly fixed in position, the rake being determined by the way in
which the lower ends are cut. To further steady the funnel and make a
neat job, a small bridge is cut out of another tin canister or piece of
sheet-tin or zinc, as at Fig. 4, B B. This may be made of any suitable
width and pierced with a hole in the centre to pass it over the funnel;
it is then bent down to the required curve, the ends joining the
bulwarks and fitting in the upper deck. A light rail may be fitted, as
shown in the elevation, or if the tin is cut as Fig. 4A the side pieces
A A can be bent up to form a rail. This bridge may be painted with japan
black, which can also be used for those parts of the vessel which
require to be painted black.

The partition K (Fig. 2) must be made to remove, working in slides, so
that the reservoir of the lamp, by taking off the chimney, can be got
out for filling and trimming; the chimney is got off by pushing it up
the funnel far enough to clear the lamp.

It will have a good effect if a poop and topgallant forecastle are
fitted, as in Fig. 8. C is the poop and D the forecastle. These decks
can be made of millboard, and light strips of wood are glued along
inside the rail or bulwark, the top of which comes about half an inch
short of the top of the rail. The small deck is then placed so as to
rest on these strips; it can be fitted with a rail as shown, or not, as
the builder decides.

The sea is made of green glazed calico, which must be large enough to
cover the stand and hang over all round, touching the floor and
concealing the rough stand and its supports. A long slit is made in the
centre line of the calico, to pass it over the ship’s hull, and it is
then glued along the ship’s sides before they are painted, care being
taken that this is carefully done, no rucks or puckers being left. The
waves are made by rolls of thin paper introduced here and there, under
the calico and glued to the stand, and wherever a wave crest appears the
calico is touched up with white paint, and if this is artistically done
the effect is very good.

The sides of the ship are now painted black, and if the calico comes far
up on the side, it must be painted over and considered as part of the
vessel’s side; but along the water-line there should be a certain amount
of undulation indicated by the paint, and at the bows and here and there
along the side, a little white paint must be put, to show the broken
water and foam, while the vessel’s wake should also be indicated by
lines of foam diverging at an angle from the course of the ship. Copper
may be shown by a copper-red just at the bow and stern along the water,
but all black will do very well. The streak containing the ports should
be painted white, the outside of the ports black, and the inside red.

The rigging will now have attention. The masts may be made in only two
pieces; the topmasts, topgallant masts, and royals being all in one. The
lower masts should be rather stout, and can be made of common deal; they
must be firmly stepped in blocks secured below for their reception, and
the mainmast must be so placed as not to unduly interfere with the hold
being got at. The rigging and spars and sails of a ship are given in
full with diagrams in other articles in this volume, and need not be
repeated here.

The character of the rigging and the number of sails set must depend on
the ideas of the builder. The ship may be made at anchor, to save
trouble, with all her sails stowed, and a good effect can be easily
produced by furling the sails, as is the case with the lower yards in
the first illustration. Any rough piece of canvas the proper size will
do for this. The ends are made fast to the yardarms, the corners are
then folded behind (away from the bows) to the middle of the sail, in
order to make a bunt, and the sail rolled up and secured to the yard by
lashings of thread or string.

To look well, the sail when stowed should be much larger in the roll at
the middle and diminish off to nothing at the ends.

Those stays which it is intended to suspend lamps from should be of
wire, and the topgallant yards, if used for a similar purpose, should
also be of wire, and if the yardarms are used for this purpose short
pieces of thick wire should be lashed to them.

When all is ready, to allow of free access to the hold without damaging
the sails or rigging, it is best to brace the head yards sharp up and
the main yards aback. This is shown in Fig. 15. By doing this a
sufficient space is left on one side of the ship. A A is the
fore-and-aft line of the vessel, B the fore yard, C main yard, showing
the space B C. D is the mizen trimmed in the same way as the fore yard.
The ship would then be ‘hove-to,’ which is an almost stationary position
adopted when speaking another vessel or waiting for a boat, etc.--in
this case for her Christmas visitors.

I do not think any explanation will be necessary as to the presents. The
smaller ones, whatever they are, can be just mixed up together in the
hold, and if there are any of a superior character, they can be very
well fixed in various places in the rigging.

The Christmas ship in which I had a hand was well found in boats,
anchors, cannon, etc., all of which were distributed among the boys of
the party. In conclusion, I can only hope that, should you decide to
build such a vessel, it may prove a source of amusement to yourselves
and gratification to your friends, and no doubt very many will be only
too anxious to learn when the good ship Santa Claus is likely to


BY PAUL N. HASLUCK, Author of _Lathe-work_, &c.


This chapter is intended to fully describe the constructive details of
miniature steam-engines. It is proposed to first give an idea of the
general principles which govern steam-engines, and to explain the
various characteristics and methods of constructing different types of
engines. The boiler and its several fittings and attachments will be
duly described, and then minute directions given for constructing
engines with oscillating and slide-valve cylinders. Illustrations of
both vertical and horizontal engines will be given, and also sketches in
all cases where they will serve to explain more fully the meaning of the

This is a brief outline of the scope of the present chapter. Those
readers who have acquired only slight manual dexterity in the use of
tools will find little difficulty in making the engines illustrated, if
the instructions given are carefully followed. In each case the minute
details of the various processes incidental to our engineering work will
be carefully described, so that those unacquainted with the mechanical
arts will be able to comprehend the method of procedure.

Model engines, in every stage of manufacture, from the rough castings
direct from the foundry to the complete, highly-finished working model,
may now be purchased in nearly every town of importance throughout Great
Britain. Though this trade is of but recent growth, its continual
extension proves that model engines are objects of interest to a large
number of the rising generation, and hence it is felt that information
as to their manufacture will prove acceptable to very many readers.

It will be advisable to gain an insight into the principles which govern
the action of a steam-engine, and to learn some of the technical
peculiarities, before proceeding to attempt its manufacture. There are
numerous text-books on the steam-engine, which may be studied with
advantage, and which show the theoretical principles.

The modern engine, which now claims our attention, is the result of
numerous successive improvements. The application of steam as a motive
power was probably originally made by Hero, who, 150 B.C., constructed,
or at least described, an Æolipile. This was a hollow sphere with hollow
bent arms attached; when water placed inside the sphere was heated, and
steam generated, it issued from the arms, and reacting on the air caused
the sphere to rotate. A model of this, the primogenitor of the modern
steam-engine, can be bought at many opticians’ shops for about one

The commencement of the eighteenth century began the first steps towards
the development of the modern form of engine. Savery and Newcomen made
improvements, which were perfected by James Watt, who was born at
Glasgow in 1737. Amongst other valuable improvements he first contrived
to convert the reciprocating motion into a rotary one by means of the
crank. In the year 1800 Watt retired from business, leaving the
steam-engine in much the same condition as we find it now. The
application of steam-power for locomotion on both land and water
followed, and now stationary, locomotive, and marine engines, driven by
steam, are distributed all over the civilised world.

The varieties of model engines are in many cases indicated by their
names. Stationary engines are intended to be fixed, as those used for
driving machinery. Locomotives are those which are intended to travel by
steam, and are self-moving. Marine engines are those used to propel
ships. Of these three classes we shall deal only with the first and
third in the present chapter. Locomotives are much more complicated in
their construction, and consequently are more difficult to make.

Horizontal engines are those having the cylinder lying with its axis in
a horizontal position. Vertical engines have the cylinder upright;
sometimes they are designated by the latter adjective. Beam engines have
an oscillating beam; one end is connected to the piston and the other to
a rod which drives the crank. Cylinders are single-acting when the steam
is admitted only at one end, and consequently with these the crank is
only propelled during half of its rotation. Double-acting cylinders are
provided with valves which admit the steam at each end of the cylinder
alternately. Oscillating cylinders are fitted to oscillate with the
motion of the crank, and the steam-valves are usually contrived to act
by this oscillating motion. Slide-valve cylinders have a sliding valve,
worked by a rod connected to an eccentric on the crank shaft, which
opens the steam ports to alternately admit live steam and exhaust at
both ends of the cylinder. Slide-valve cylinders are invariably

Boilers, which are the vessels in which water is converted into steam,
are usually described by their shape and position. They may be
cylindrical, spherical, etc., and horizontal or vertical. The
construction also forms a distinguishing characteristic. Tubes are
usually inserted in the boiler to convey the heat from the fire. These
tubes--which are more properly called flues, especially in large
boilers--vary in number from one of large gauge to scores of small ones,
thus naming the respective boilers single-flue or multiflue. It may be
advisable to mention here that _tubular_ boilers are those in which the
water circulates in the tubes, and the fire impinges on the outer
surface. When the fire operates inside the tube it is called a _flue_. A
tube carries water; a flue carries flame and the volatile products of

Boilers, or steam generators, that are used to contain the water which,
when converted into steam, drives the engine, require to be sufficiently
strong to withstand an internal or bursting pressure. This pressure is
very great in high-pressure engines, but in models it is generally very
low, and seldom exceeds twenty pounds to the square inch. The
evaporating capacity of the boiler is according to the requirements of
the engine it has to supply. The resistance of the piston to the steam
shows the pressure at which it should be supplied. Boilers are generally
tested, by means of a hydraulic pump, to stand a pressure at least
double that at which it is intended to use them. It is unsafe to
generate steam in any vessel that has not been properly tested. This
fact cannot be too strongly impressed upon the mind of the reader.

Suppose a double-action cylinder, 1-inch bore and 2-inch stroke, is to
make one hundred revolutions of the crank per minute, let us see how
much steam will be wanted to drive it. The area of the piston is ·785
inch, and each revolution of the crank will require the cylinder to be
filled twice--that is, one stroke in each direction. This will take a
column of steam ·785 inch in diameter and 4 inches long for each
revolution, or 314 cubic inches of steam per minute. If the speed is
greater, the quantity of steam must be increased proportionately; and
when running at the rate of one thousand revolutions per minute--a speed
often attained--3,140 cubic inches of steam will be wanted to supply the
cylinder. That is at the rate of about 100 cubic feet per hour.

The pressure of the steam has not yet been taken into account, but it
obviously forms a most important factor in the calculation. Water in an
open vessel boils at a temperature of 212° Fahr. Provided that the
vessel allows the steam to escape freely, all the heat that can be
applied will only generate steam at the same pressure, though it will
escape faster. As the bubbles of steam ascend to the surface they
escape, having only the pressure of the atmosphere to overcome. When
water is confined in a closed vessel, like the boiler of a steam-engine,
the temperature may be raised to considerably above the usual
boiling-point. The heat is always proportionate to the pressure, and
steam at a pressure of 120 lb. per square inch is equivalent to the heat
represented by 345° Fahr.

A correct knowledge of the fact that pressure depends on temperature
cannot be urged too strongly on the mind of the model engineer. In many
model boilers it is quite impossible to raise the heat sufficiently to
produce an adequate pressure. Boiling water at 212° Fahr. does not
produce any available pressure of steam, it merely counterbalances the
weight of the atmosphere, which is 15 lb. to the square inch. By
increasing the heat, which can only be done in a closed vessel,
available pressure is obtained. Thus 228° = 5 lb., 241° = 10 lb., 251° =
15 lb., and so on. The steam, and the water from which it is generated,
and with which it remains in contact, have both the same temperature.

A cubic foot of water weighs 62·5 lb., and it will produce 882 cubic
feet of steam, at a pressure of 15 lb. to the square inch above the
normal atmospheric pressure; this is equal to a temperature of 251°
Fahr. If the pressure is raised to 150 lb., which requires a temperature
of 371°, only 187 cubic feet of steam will be produced. Steam is
elastic, and hence the more it is compressed the greater will be its
force. If one cubic inch of steam, at a pressure of 30 lb., is admitted
into a cylinder, and the supply cut off when half filled, the steam will
expand till it has filled the cavity, and in increasing its bulk twofold
its force will diminish in inverse ratio. The pressure will therefore
diminish to 15 lb. to the square inch. The expansive force of steam is
always at work on the piston of the engine, and it varies in accordance
with the arrangement of the valves.

Let us now trace the effect of the steam when admitted to the cylinder.
When the governor valve is opened the steam flows along the pipe to the
slide valve chest, and if one of the ports are open it reaches the
cylinder. In traversing the pipes which conduct it to the cylinder the
steam is cooled considerably and its force diminished. In course of time
the parts become heated to a certain extent, and then the loss of power
is less. When the steam enters the cylinder it at once exerts a certain
force on the piston. This has the effect of turning the crank shaft, and
in due course the slide valve closes the steam inlet. Now the steam
within the cylinder acts expansively, and continues to drive the crank
shaft to the end of the stroke. Then the exhaust port is opened, and
allows the spent or dead steam to escape. At the same time the inlet at
the other end is opened and the live steam rushes in and exerts its full
pressure on the piston, causing it to travel in the opposite direction.
The opening and shutting of the steam ports is effected by an eccentric
on the crank shaft. In treating of the construction of these parts, the
relative sizes will be given and the correct motion explained.


The most simple form of toy engine is that illustrated herewith. It
consists of a tin boiler, a single-action oscillating cylinder, and a
fly-wheel. These parts are sold ready for putting together at a very low
price, and a complete engine may be bought for a couple of shillings,
though one of ‘superior make’ at twice that sum is by far a preferable

[Illustration: FIG. 1.]

[Illustration: FIG. 2.]

The drawing represents the most simple way of constructing a
steam-engine, and, if the workmanship is fairly good, a working model
will be produced. First is the boiler; a tin box 1-3/4 in. deep and 2
in. in diameter, will serve for this. The joint at the side should be
made by folding the edges of metal over each other, and then soldering.
The top and bottom are both soldered on their respective places,
steam-tight, of course. The top of the boiler must be provided with
small bosses of metal, soldered on the inner side, into which the pillar
(Fig. 3) and the safety-valve (Fig. 5) are screwed.

The tin plate is not sufficiently thick to afford a hold for the thread
on the pillar and valve. A disc of brass, say the size of a sixpence,
and 1/8 in. thick, is soldered on the under side of the lid, and the
holes, which are tapped to receive the pillar and valve, are bored and
threaded before the lid is fixed. By this means a strong hold is secured
for the fittings. The screw plug A (Fig. 1) is similarly provided for.
When each piece is screwed into its place a little hemp or cotton,
placed between the shoulder of the ‘fitting’ and the surface of the tin
plate, will assist to ensure a steam-tight joint.

The standard or pillar is brass, about 2 in. long from end to end. Any
form may be given to it, according to fancy, the one shown in Fig. 2
being perhaps as good as any. The lower part is circular, 1/2 in. in
diameter, and it has a flat face on one side, against which the valve
face of the cylinder works. Fig. 3 shows this. The centre of the pillar
is bored up in the middle of the screwed part to meet _one_ of the holes
_a b_, it is immaterial which. The other hole is bored right through the
pillar to the opposite side, and forms the exhaust port, the one
communicating with the central hole in the pillar being the steam port.
For the sake of distinction we will suppose that _a_ is bored into the
central hole, and _b_ is bored through the pillar; then, when the pillar
is screwed on to the boiler, and steam is generated, it issues from the
port hole _a_.

The upper end of the pillar is bored through at right angles to the flat
at the bottom (see Fig. 2). Through the top a piece of brass tubing
about 5/8 in. long is fixed, generally by soldering; this is the bearing
for the crank-shaft. The crank-shaft itself is a piece of steel wire
bent to the form required. The fly-wheel is fixed to one end, and
prevents the shaft coming out of the bearing, the bend of the arm
serving the same purpose at the other end.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.]

[Illustration: FIG. 4.]

The cylinder itself is shown at Fig. 3, and also in Figs. 1 and 2. The
piston, piston-rod, and bearing which fits the crank-pin are shown in
Fig. 4. It will be evident that the dimensions of this engine are
microscopic. The bore of the cylinder is 5/16 in., and the barrel itself
is often made of triblet-drawn brass tube. The enlarged part at the
bottom is a casting with a flat face, as shown in Fig. 3, on one side.
Some makers use a casting for the entire cylinder, but the tube is
perhaps the cheaper method of making. A piece of good tube is
sufficiently accurate in the bore for use as bought, so that the
trouble of boring the cylinder is dispensed with. The base, for the tube
to fit in, is bored to the external diameter, and the tube fixed with
solder. The lid or cover is fixed only by being snapped on. Its object
is only to guide the piston-rod.

A reference to Fig. 3 will show the working of the oscillating valve.
The face of the pillar is shown on the right. On this, _a_ is the hole
from which the live steam issues, and _b_ is the exhaust hole. These
holes are technically called ports. The hole _c_ is bored through the
pillar, and takes the trunnion, or pin on which the cylinder oscillates.
Fig. 2 shows this trunnion-pin prolonged and having a nut on the end. A
spiral spring around the trunnion, between the nut and the pillar, keeps
the valve face in close contact with the pillar face. Again, turning to
Fig. 3, the holes in the cylinder on the left are:--_c_, into which the
trunnion is screwed; and _d_, the steam-way.

When the cylinder is in the position shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the
port-hole _d_ (Fig. 3) is over the solid metal between the holes _a_ and
_b_. On turning the fly-wheel the crank draws the piston out very
slightly and inclines the cylinder sideways, bringing the port _d_ over
_a_. The live steam from the boiler at once enters and forces the piston
upwards, and on the crank reaching the highest point the cylinder is
again vertical and the hole _d_ is mid-way between _a_ and _b_. The
momentum of the fly-wheel carrying the crank round brings the hole _d_
opposite _b_, and allows the steam to escape. There is no force to keep
the engine going during this part of the time except the momentum of the
fly-wheel. When the cylinder again inclines to the opposite side _d_
comes over _a_, and force is again applied under the piston. This will
keep the engine going.

The single-action oscillating cylinder, being supplied with steam at one
end only, exerts power only during half the revolution of the crank. The
return stroke is dependent entirely on the momentum of the fly-wheel,
which also has to drive the steam out of the cylinder. Steam only acts
in the lower part of the cylinder, and as there is no power tending to
force off the cover, it may be simply snapped on like the lid of a
pill-box. The piston, Fig. 4, has for its head a disc of brass, with a
[V]-shaped groove in its edge. This is packed with hemp or lamp cotton,
to make it fit the cylinder steam tight. The rod is a steel wire about
1/16 in. diameter; it is fixed in the piston by riveting, to save the
trouble of screwing. The end of the rod has a small piece of brass fixed
on to it which fits on the crank-pin.

The crank itself is all of one piece; a straight length forms the shaft;
it is bent at right angles to form the throw, and a piece bent from
this, parallel to the shaft, forms the pin. This is the most simple way
of making a crank, and when large quantities are made the wire is bent
upon a template. A better type of crank is made by using a steel rod for
the shaft, a brass arm riveted on to it, and a steel pin riveted into
that. In the portion of this chapter devoted to the horizontal engine
will be found a more complete description of such a crank.

The safety-valve, Fig. 5, is very important as a safeguard in working.
Though they are sometimes omitted, yet safety-valves are essential for
security. They allow steam to escape from the boiler when the pressure
exceeds a certain amount, and thus the danger of an explosion is
removed. The valve illustrated in section has a spiral spring to keep
the valve itself on its seat. This is effective when the power of the
spring has been definitely gauged, but when the valves are put together
haphazard no dependence can be placed on the pressure at which the valve
will blow off.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.]

The body of the valve is A, shown in section. B is the valve itself,
fitted to a rod, D; it rests on the conical seat of A, and is pressed
down by the spiral spring within the barrel of A. The body is screwed
into the boiler by the thread at the bottom, and the steam coming up the
hole C presses on the under side of the valve B. When the pressure of
the steam is sufficient to overcome the pressure of the spiral spring
the valve is lifted and the steam escapes through the holes F F. The
cover E is screwed on the body part and confines the spring; it has a
hole through its centre to allow the valve-rod D to pass. Especial
attention should always be given to the safety-valve when heat is to be
applied to a boiler. See that the valve is not fixed to its seat or in
any way confined, or an explosion may follow the want of care.

The engine shown by the illustrations is usually mounted on a
three-legged stand, which raises it about two or three inches. A wire
stand may be made according to fancy, or perhaps some contrivance may be
improvised to support the boiler at a convenient height for applying the
heat under it.

A small lamp burning methylated spirits--that is, spirits of wine--will
supply the requisite heat. It should have a clean and dry wick of lamp
cotton; the size of the flame may be regulated, to an extent, by the
amount of wick which is drawn out. The lamp must not be quite filled
with spirit--about two-thirds full will be ample--and thus the spirit
will not be liable to overflow.

When charging the boiler it is best to use boiling water from a kettle.
This will save the time which would be lost in heating cold water with
the spirit lamp. The water is poured in through the water-plug hole, A,
Fig. 1. The boiler must only be filled to a little over half way. The
plug is screwed in again and the lamp put under; steam will be generated
in due course, and if the fly-wheel is turned in the right direction by
hand for a few turns the engine will presently work of its own accord.

It is scarcely necessary to say that the engine above described is of
the most simple kind, and every unnecessary detail is omitted. I will
now proceed to describe engines of a more elaborate character.


Small model engines are composed mainly of brass castings and of steel
which requires no special forging for the purpose. The screws or bolts
used to unite the parts are usually purchased in a finished state.
Makers of these employ machinery which acts almost automatically, and
the screws are sold at a very cheap rate. Larger models require special
forgings for the crank shaft, and the castings employed are of iron,
which is considerably cheaper than brass.

The castings are made from patterns which are counterparts of the object
required. These are imbedded in sand, and leave a matrix, into which
molten metal is poured, producing, on solidifying, a facsimile of the
pattern. The operation is always carried out in a foundry, where the
necessary furnaces and moulding appliances are at hand. The founders
charge for the rough castings by weight, and they cost merely a trifle
over the value of the metal. It is, however, necessary to supply the
requisite patterns before a founder can proceed to do his part of the

All vendors of castings have patterns from which their castings are
moulded, and of course they charge, in addition to a profit on the cost
of the metal, something for the use of the patterns. The patterns for a
founder’s use require certain modifications, which it is unnecessary to
explain in detail. Some are made in two or more parts, with pins to hold
them together. Some have projections affixed to them; these make prints
in the mould to receive cores, which form holes in the casting. Those
patterns which enter deeply into the moulding sand are made tapering, to
draw out easily. In all cases they must be made sufficiently large to
allow for shrinkage in the metal. Ordinary iron castings shrink about
one-eighth of an inch to the foot; brass about half as much again.
Pattern-makers use a ‘contraction-rule’ to work by; this is made longer
than the standard measurement, and patterns made according to it are the
correct size to allow for shrinkage.

From what has just been said it will be readily understood that vendors
of castings charge various prices for their goods. Nor in every case is
the quality in accordance with the price, and it is difficult to give
the exact prices that should be paid for good castings. Speaking
generally, the price is regulated by the weight, and the rate per pound
is decided by the seller. In the catalogues issued by various firms will
be found the prices charged. As an example of the difference, I notice
that a certain size of bolts made by one firm are retailed by
shopkeepers at rates varying from 33 to 200 per cent. profit; the same
rule probably holds good in all other items.

Those readers who are not possessed of a lathe will not have the means
of finishing the cylinders and some other parts which have to be turned.
These can, however, be bought in various stages of completion, and the
beginner who has only a screwdriver may now purchase the component
parts, and, having screwed his engine together, he may claim some merit
for his share in the erecting department.

Sets of castings quite finished and ready to be screwed together are now
sold. These are generally of the cheaper class, and, tacked on cards,
may be seen in the windows of opticians. The prices for the complete
engine, with boiler, lamp, and all other parts, range from about five
shillings upwards. A few words on the better type of partially finished

These castings are more expensive than those quite rough, but they
afford an opportunity of displaying considerable skill and judgment in
completing them.

Boring the cylinders is the operation most likely to baffle the tyro.
This is done by vendors of castings for about two shillings and sixpence
for cylinders 1-in. bore. This charge includes turning the flanges ready
to receive the covers, and also boring the steam-ways and cutting the
port-holes. When all this has been done it will be necessary to use a
lathe to turn the covers for the cylinder, and also for making the
piston. The cylinder may be purchased complete with the covers screwed
on and the slide-valve fitted. One an inch in the bore costs half a
guinea. Every piece of an engine may be bought separately in a finished
state, so that they only require putting together, and when the young
engineer has not the requisite tools for doing the work his best plan
will be to purchase the finished parts.

A glance at an engine will show that nearly every part of it has been
fashioned on a lathe. This tool is indispensable for all kinds of
engineering work, but as it is somewhat costly it frequently occurs that
tyros are compelled to forego its ownership and get the necessary
turning executed by a professional latheman. Those readers who are
happily possessed of the king of tools--or the father of mechanism, as
the lathe has been aptly dubbed--will have the advantage of being able
themselves to execute the work throughout.

A few particulars of the different kinds of engines which a beginner may
make, will assist him in deciding as to the form and size best suited to
his requirements. An idea of the general forms and peculiarities of
engines may be gleaned from what has been already said. It is a matter
entirely at the choice of the maker whether he will build a vertical or
a horizontal engine--whether it shall have oscillating or slide-valve
cylinders, and whether it shall be of microscopic dimensions or a
powerful model. All these points are for the consideration of the
constructor, and some hints will be of service to, and assist him in
arriving at a useful result--that is, the production of a working model.

The dimensions of the cylinder to an extent indicates the power; the
pressure of steam must also be considered. The friction in models is
very great in proportion to their size, and hence the very small ones
are often barely able to generate sufficient power to keep them going.
The bore of the cylinder governs the area of the piston, and this
multiplied by the pressure of steam and the length of stroke gives the
power of the engine.

Let us compare the power of two small cylinders, one half-inch in bore
and one-inch in stroke, the other one-inch bore and two-inch stroke. We
will suppose the pressure of steam to be the same in both cases, viz.,
ten pounds to the square inch. Speaking off-hand, many tyros would be
apt to say that one cylinder was twice the size of the other, and, as a
natural deduction, twice the power. Comparison will at once show the
fallacy of the idea.

The area of the half-inch cylinder is nearly two-tenths of a square
inch, that of the other nearly eight-tenths. Thus we see that the larger
one has four times the area; also the length of stroke is twice as much.
According to the rule given above we find the power thus: 2/10 × 10 × 1
= 2, and 8/10 × 10 × 2 = 16. So that the power of the larger cylinder is
precisely eight times that of the small one. In every case it is
necessary to allow a certain percentage of the power to overcome
friction. The smaller the engine the greater will be the percentage lost
in friction. These simple facts will at once show that size is a most
important consideration. If the friction in the small engine was two
pounds, the power would not drive it, whereas if it were that much in
the large one, there would still be fourteen pounds of available power.

A cylinder 1-3/8-inch bore and the same length of stroke, viz., 2
inches, would give exactly double the power of the 1-inch bore cylinder
just mentioned. If the bore was increased to 2 inches, the power would
be exactly four times that of the 1-inch bore, the length of stroke and
pressure of steam remaining the same.

The velocity of the piston also forms a factor in calculating the power,
which is increased in the same proportion as the velocity. It will be
readily understood that when the pressure of the steam is constant, the
speed of the engine will depend on the amount of work it has to do. It
must also be remembered that the pressure of steam against the piston is
by no means necessarily the same as it is in the boiler. In passing from
the boiler to the cylinder the steam pressure is always reduced, and the
greater the distance, and more exposed or tortuous the steam-pipe, the
greater will be the loss of pressure.

Every one knows that the power of steam-engines is given in
‘horse-power.’ This was a term originated by James Watt, and it is now
universally adopted. The mechanical equivalent is a lifting power that
will raise 33,000 pounds 1 foot high in one minute. On this estimate the
power of an engine is calculated. The rule is this: Multiply the
pressure on the piston by velocity per minute and divide by 33,000. The
velocity of the piston is twice the length of stroke in feet multiplied
by the number of revolutions per minute.

Let us calculate the horse-power of the 1 × 2 inch cylinder, already
dealt with at a pressure of 10 pounds, the speed being 100 revolutions
per minute. By the previous calculation we found that the pressure was
16 pounds. The velocity is 4/12 × 100 = 33-1/3 (feet). Multiply these
together, 16 × 33-1/3 = 533-1/3, and divide 533/33000 = ·016. That is,
the engine is 16/1000 of a horse-power, or capable of raising 528 pounds
1 foot high in one minute. That is supposing all the power was available
for _duty_. In large engines about 20 per cent. is allowed for friction,
and in the model we must allow at least 50 per cent. This at once
reduces the calculated power to half.

The _power_ of an engine is the nominal, and the _duty_ is the actual
work that it will perform. When the horse-power of an engine is spoken
of it must be taken in a qualified sense. By urging the furnace greater
effect may be obtained, and by keeping the furnace low an effect less
than the nominal power is produced. _Duty_ is the term used to represent
the amount of work absolutely done; it disregards the size of the
engine, and simply inquires how much work is done by a given expenditure
of fuel. True economy in working will add to the duty of an engine,
whilst woful waste in no way affects the power.

In order to supply the requisite quantity of steam, boilers should
evaporate at the rate of one cubic foot of water per hour per
horse-power; that will produce 1700 cubic feet of free steam. The
capacity of a boiler should be four or five times as much as the water
it boils off per hour, and the steam space should be at least ten times
as large as the consumption of steam at each stroke. The heating surface
should be from fifteen to twenty square feet per horse-power. Many
circumstances tend to modify these rules, but they maybe taken as fairly


Engines of the horizontal type are usually employed to furnish the power
required to drive fixed machinery in factories. The construction is
simple, and the form is adapted for fixing readily anywhere where a
tolerably level foundation is to be found.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

The several illustrations given herewith are drawn to scale, and they
will show at a glance constructive details which could not well be
explained in letterpress. Fig. 1 shows a plan view, and Fig. 2 an
elevation of the complete engine. In both drawings the lettering is the
same. The bed-plate A A is the foundation on which the parts of the
engine are fixed. A piece of sheet brass is used for small models, but
larger ones have cast-iron foundations. Cylinders 1-1/2 inches in the
bore and upwards are usually mounted on iron bed-plates, the saving in
cost of metal being considerable when the castings are so large. Cast
bed-plates have a moulded edge, which adds both to their strength and
appearance. Sheet metal has to be mounted on columns sufficiently high
to raise the fly-wheel above the ground-level.

The cylinder is shown in Figs. 1 and 2 at B; at C (in Fig. 1 only) is
the steam-chest containing the slide-valve. D is the fly-wheel fixed on
the shaft E, which has at its opposite end the crank F. The piston-rod
is shown passing through a guide G fixed to the bed by two screws. The
connecting-rod from the piston to the crank-pin is marked H. The
eccentric is shown at I, and the rod from it to the steam-chest is the
eccentric-rod. J J, Fig. 2 only, show two screws which fix the cylinder
to the bed-plate. These references are sufficient to enable the
inexperienced reader to identify the principal parts of the engine. By
carefully studying the drawings the whole combination of the machine
will be understood.

Each of the chief component parts which possess any intricacy of detail
are shown on a much larger scale. The description of each one may be
taken as generally applicable to engines of the type shown in Figs. 1
and 2. The dimensions are suited to the size known as ‘3/4-inch bore and
1-1/2-inch stroke.’ These measurements refer to the cylinder. It will
not be difficult to modify any of the minor details to suit another
size, whether it be larger or smaller.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

A section of the cylinder is shown in Fig. 3; the piston and its rod are
absent, to prevent confusion of the parts. The cylinder with the covers
on is 2 inches long and 1-3/8 inches diameter across the flanges. The
bore is 3/4 inch and 1-5/8 inches (full) long. The face of the cylinder
where the valve works is level with the diameter of the flanges. This
face is shown at Fig. 4, where the size and position of each porthole
may be seen. The rectangle represents the steam-chest itself, and the
four small circles are the screw-holes in the valve-face for attaching
the steam-chest.

Returning to Fig. 3, the steam-ways are shown at A A. These are drilled
from the ends to meet the inlet ports B and C, which are closed by the
slide-valve (see Fig. 5). The exhaust way is at D, and the port-hole
communicating with it needs no special mention. The steam inlet is E;
the threaded exterior is for attaching the steam-pipe from the boiler.
The glands and stuffing-boxes, for keeping the piston and valve-rod
steam-tight, are shown in section. G G are the glands screwed into the
castings; the parts bored out to receive the packings are marked H H. It
will not be necessary to make special reference to the body of the
cylinder, the covers, &c., as the reader will have become acquainted
with these in the previous chapters.

By reference to Fig. 3 the passage of the steam may be traced. It enters
at E, filling the steam chest, and as the valve is shown it could find
no outlet. The valve on being moved would uncover one port, say B, and
allow the steam to enter by the steam-way A, through the slot filed in
the edge. When in the cylinder it would force the piston towards the
bottom, the action of the eccentric meanwhile pushing the valve along
and further opening B. When the piston had made half its stroke the
valve would commence to close again, and by the time the end was reached
the valve would be again in the position shown. The momentum of the
fly-wheel would carry round the eccentric, and with it the valve would
move so as to open the way from B to D, thus allowing the steam in the
cylinder to escape. The port-hole C would also be opened to the live
steam, which would then exert its pressure on the lower side of the
piston. By the motion of the valve the steam is let into B and C
alternately, and thus the reciprocating motion of the piston is

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

The slide-valve is shown at Fig. 5, where A is a view of the face. The
centre is hollowed out, as shown at B of the section, to allow the steam
to pass into the exhaust. The back is shown at C; the saw-cut receives
the valve-rod, which is thinned down to fit it. The face of the valve,
that is, all the outer part of A, is made perfectly flat, to fit
steam-tight on the valve face of the cylinder. Contact is ensured by the
pressure of the live steam in the steam-chest; this is always more than
that of the exhaust.

The crank-shaft, marked E in Fig. 1, is shown alone full size at Fig. 6.
This is a rod of round steel 1/4 inch in diameter, the total length is
3-1/8 inches. At the right-hand end it is reduced in size a length of
7/8 inch, to receive the fly-wheel and the driving pulley. These are
generally screwed on to a thread cut on the shaft, but wedging is a more
workmanlike way of securing driving wheels and pulleys. The two journals
are to rest in the bearings shown at Fig. 7; the neck at the left-hand
end is to receive the crank-arm. The collars on the shaft outside of
each journal are of the widths shown. One of the bearings for the
crank-shaft is shown at Fig. 7. A is a side view, B an edge view, and C
a view from the top; in this the dotted lines represent the screw-heads.
These bearings are usually brass castings; they are fixed on the
bed-plate by two screws each, and the cap is also held on by two other
screws. Various designs may be obtained, but the one illustrated is as
good as any. The thickness of the bearing is nearly 1/4 inch. The height
must be precisely that which will bring the centre of the crank-shaft
level with the centre of the piston-rod.

Fig. 8 is the crank-arm, giving an end and side view. It should be made
of steel and fixed on the shaft by keying, though more often it is
screwed on. The thickness is shown about 3/16; the shape may be
according to fancy. The hole at the bottom is for the crank-pin, which
is riveted in. The ‘throw’ of the crank is an important point, and it
must never be so much that the piston touches the ends of the cylinder.
In the present case the ‘throw,’ that is, the distance from the centre
of the crank-shaft to the centre of the crank-pin, is 5/8 inch. This
gives 1-1/4-inch stroke; there is plenty of space in the cylinder for
another 3/16 inch, and possibly the nominal stroke, 1-1/2 inches, could
be managed by using a thin piston-head. The crank-pin is shown at the
top of Fig. 10.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

[Illustration: Fig. 10.]

The guide-block, Fig. 9, serves to guide the piston-rod, and steadies it
against the influence of the crank. The shape is shown by the
illustrations. The hole for the piston-rod is bored on a level with the
axis of the cylinder and the centre of the crank-shaft. The block is
secured to the bed-plate by two screws, holes for which are shown in the
top view.

[Illustration: Fig. 11.]

Fig. 10 shows the crank-pin and three views of the head of the
connecting-rod. The crank-pin is steel, 3/16 inch diameter, turned down
to 1/8 inch at the journal and at the neck, which is riveted into the
arm (Fig. 8). The head of the rod is fitted with a cap, held by two
screws, so that it may be placed over the crank-pin into the groove. The
other end of the rod, which is forked, is shown at Fig. 11. Here a
section and elevation are given; the round piece, called the cross-head,
which receives the two screws (see section), is bored to fit the
piston-rod, and it is clamped to this by the points of the screws shown.
The sides of the fork are bored to fit freely over the threads of the
screws, so that it may oscillate with the motion of the crank. The
position of the cross-head on the piston is determined when the engine
is together; it is placed so that the piston slides midway between the
ends of the cylinder.

[Illustration: Fig. 12.]

Fig. 12 shows the eccentric and the eccentric strap. The first is a
piece of brass; the large circle has a groove turned in it to receive
the strap, and the boss is eccentric, as shown in the left-hand figure.
The amount of eccentricity is 1/16 inch, which gives a travel of 1/8
inch to the slide-valve. These eccentrics are turned on a mandrel having
double centres, one pair serving when turning the boss, and the other
when turning the eccentric itself. A set-screw tapped through the boss
serves to secure it on the crank-shaft.

The strap on the right of Fig. 12 is cast in the form shown, the centre
is bored to fit the groove in the eccentric, and the strap then cut in
halves through the lugs. These lugs serve to take screws, which hold the
strap together. The projecting piece on the right is to receive the
eccentric rod, which is screwed into the strap at this point.

This completes the description of the various parts of a model
horizontal engine. A glance at Figs. 1 and 2 will show the relative
position of each.


Herewith are drawings of an engine with an oscillating cylinder. This
form of construction economises space and weight; it is also more simple
than slide-valve cylinders. In all oscillating engines the cylinder is
mounted on trunnions or gudgeons, so that it may swing to and fro
through a small arc, and allow the piston-rod to follow the motion of
the crank. No connecting-rod is required in this engine, the piston-rod
being attached direct to the crank-pin.

The illustration shows an engine specially adapted for propelling a
model boat. The entire machine is kept low down, which is generally
necessary for small boats. The fly-wheel is shown much heavier than are
those attached to toyshop engines, but it is not unnecessarily large.
Experiments show that a weighty fly-wheel is required on an engine which
has the constant drag of a screw propeller to overcome. This fact is
ignored by some makers of engines, and I have known cases where a
useless engine has been made effective by the substitution of a much
heavier fly-wheel. (See page 132.)

The framework on which the cylinder is mounted, and which also generally
serves to carry the bearings for the driving shaft, may be of almost any
design. There is no set pattern for this purpose, and it rests with the
designer to fashion his pattern according to fancy. The form shown
possesses the essential characteristics. It is strong, yet light; there
is a good base by which to secure the engine to the hull of the boat.
Suitable provisions are made for the bearings of the crank-shaft, also
for the valve-face and the cylinder trunnion. So long as these are
provided for, the mere contour is of little importance.

Fig. 1 gives a side elevation, and Fig. 2 an end view of the same
engine. The cylinder is 1 in. bore and 1 in. stroke. The length without
covers is 1-1/2 in., that allows 1/4 in. for thickness of piston, 1/16
in. for each of the projections of the two covers, and the same distance
left vacant at each end. The diameter of the cylinder across the flanges
is 1-1/2 in., and a semicircular rib is shown in the middle. Each cover
is held on by six hexagon-headed bolts, placed equidistant round it,
tapped into the flange. These bolts are not shown in the lower cover.

The piston-rod is shown out from the cylinder to its fullest extent. The
rod is of round steel 1/8 in. diameter. The crank-pin head is of brass
screwed on to the end of the rod. Though shown as a solid piece, it
would be better if this head was cut across horizontally at the
diameter of the crank-pin, and the cap secured by two screws. The
crank-pin is marked E. It is steel riveted into the disc which forms the
crank. A crank-arm would do equally well, and the disc is shown simply
as illustrating a different plan. The disc F is fixed on the crank-shaft
either by screwing, by a transverse pin, or by a key.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

The crank-shaft is 1/4 in. steel, and should be turned smooth and
parallel to fit the hole in the standard. This hole should also be
smooth and parallel, which it will be if properly bored with a suitable
tool. A long bearing has no more friction than a short one, though a
contrary opinion seems to be prevalent. A small hole for supplying the
oil necessary for lubrication should be made near the middle of this
bearing. The same remarks apply to the bearing H through which the
trunnion passes.

The fly-wheel is marked A in Fig. 1; it is cast-iron, 2-1/2 inches in
diameter and 3/4 in. wide on the rim. The rim should be half an inch
thick at least, and the boss in the centre as wide as the rim. If bored
fairly true, the casting need not be turned on its edge, though it will
look better if bright. A small key should be used to fix the fly-wheel
on the shaft. This latter, shown broken off in the drawing, projects
slightly, and carries a small disc with two pins, which engage in a fork
on the end of the propeller shaft and so drive it, and the screw is
attached to its end.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

The valve-face of the standard, B, Fig. 1. must be made perfectly flat
and at right angles to the boring for the crank-shaft C. Fig. 3 shows
the face of this standard as it would be seen in Fig. 2 if the cylinder
was removed. It is convenient to turn the valve-face in the lathe, and
at the same time cut the circular groove, which, after being stopped by
plugging at both top and bottom, forms the supply and exhaust ports
respectively. The face may be made flat by filing when a lathe is not
available, and the groove cut by means of a circular cutter. This is an
annular bit with teeth on its edge, which cut a channel but do not touch
the inner part.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

Through the centre of the valve-face a hole is bored to receive the
cylinder trunnion. This trunnion, Fig. 4, is a steel pin screwed into
the valve-face of the cylinder (see Fig. 3, section of cylinder showing
valve-face and steam-ways). The outer end is threaded for a nut, D; this
has a washer beneath it, and keeps the cylinder close against the
standard, with the faces of the valves held together steam-tight, yet so
that the cylinder may oscillate freely. A spiral spring beneath the nut
is sometimes used, but in good work the adjustment is made with a pair
of lock-nuts. The hole through the standard must be perfectly at right
angles to the face, and the trunnion in the cylinder must also be
perpendicular to the valve-face, or the two faces cannot come together

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

The stuffing-box, 1, of the piston is made with a gland drawn down on
the packing by two screws. This arrangement is shown in section at Fig.
5. The method of fitting the gland, whether by screwing direct into the
boss of the cylinder cover, as shown at the right in Fig. 5, or by
screws tapped through the flange, as in the left-hand illustration, is
quite optional. By referring to Fig. 5, the construction of the two
forms of stuffing-boxes will be understood. The gland belonging to each
is shown separate immediately above the sections. The same lettering is
used in both. A is the cylinder cover, with the projecting boss into
which the gland B is fitted. The space for the stuffing or packing is
marked C. This is filled with lamp cotton, and when the gland is
screwed down the cotton is compressed, so that it makes a steam-tight
fitting for the piston-rod to slide in. The hole for the piston-rod is
shown through the centres of both sections. As before explained, the
gland on the left is secured by two screws shown in the section; it is
fitted into a plain cylindrical hole. The other gland is threaded to
screw direct into the cylinder cover, which is tapped to receive it. The
first method is the one always employed in large engines. The screwed
gland has a milled edge, so that it may be turned with the thumb and

The action of the valves in a double-action oscillating cylinder will be
best explained by reference to Fig. 3. This shows the face of the
standard and the section of the cylinder. There is a flat face to the
cylinder, usually circular; this has the two steam-ways _a_, _a_, bored
in it. These holes meet others, drilled from the ends of the cylinder,
parallel with its bore, and conduct the steam to the ends of the
cylinder through the passages at _b_, _b_. On the face of the standard
are two holes _a_ and _b_ drilled from the back, one to receive the
steam from the boiler, the other to take the exhaust pipe. These holes
are not bored through, but communicate with the circular groove _c_,
_d_. This groove is stopped at _e_ and _f_. The cylinder is placed
against the standard and held close to it, as shown in Fig. 1, by means
of the trunnion illustrated by Fig. 4.

When the cylinder is vertical, as shown in Fig. 2, the port-holes are
opposite the solid part of the face _e_ and _f_. Suppose live steam
issues from _a_ and fills _c_, directly the cylinder is moved on one
side and one of the port-holes comes over the groove _e_, the steam
enters the cylinder and, pressing against the piston, compels the crank
to revolve. By the same motion the other port is uncovered into _d_, and
the dead steam escapes. When the cylinder again reaches a vertical
position the steam-ports are again closed, but the momentum of the
fly-wheel carries it over the dead centre, and then the positions of the
ports are reversed. The one formerly over the exhaust now opens to the
live steam and _vice versâ_. Thus the steam is admitted alternately at
both sides of the piston, and so the engine continues to work.


A few words on model boilers and their construction will now be
advisable. They have been mentioned several times incidentally in the
course of these sections, but, with the exception of the small tin
boiler for the oscillating engine first described, particulars of their
construction have been omitted. It is not an easy task making a steam
boiler, and in most cases it will be found cheapest in the end to
purchase ready made.

The materials most generally used are brass and copper; sometimes iron,
or what amounts to the same thing, tin-plate, is employed. Brass or
copper, from the ease with which they can be manipulated, are the best
for a beginner to work on.

Brass can be bought in the form of tube of sufficient size for small
models, and strong enough to stand the steam pressure. The edges of the
bought tube are brazed together, and thus the joint is made nearly as
strong as the other part. The tube is afterwards drawn, and, except from
a slight discoloration, the joint is not noticeable.

Brass tube, from two inches to six inches in diameter, cut in lengths
suited for boilers, is sold by most of the model engineers. The price of
the tube ranges from about 2_s._ per foot for the small to about 10_s._
per foot for the large size; the short length necessary for a boiler
being charged at about the same proportion. This is merely for the
tubular body part of the boiler, and it may be placed vertically or
horizontally as required.

The ends or flanges which have to be fitted on are extra pieces.
Sometimes a plain disc of metal is fixed by soldering with pewter; but
this plan should be strenuously avoided. The ends should at least be
brazed on. It is best also to use discs with a rim round them to fit
over the boiler tube. This gives a much stronger hold than is possible
with a plain disc of sheet metal.

Castings used for the boiler ends must be quite free from any flaws, or
the weak part will be apt to give way under the steam pressure. It is
often advisable to use castings, which may be made of a shape exactly
suited to certain requirements. An inverted cup-shaped casting for the
lower end of a vertical boiler gives a good heating surface. A flue for
the chimney must be put in it, and this goes up to the top end of the
boiler, which may appropriately be dome-shaped.

The flue and both ends of the boiler should be brazed in their places,
not soft-soldered. Some prefer to use silver solder for such purposes,
and this is an excellent material. When the joints are made to fit
properly, as they should do before soldering, only very little solder is
required to unite the parts. Borax is used as the flux, both for the
alloy employed in brazing and for silver solder. The heat required to
flow these properly may be got from an ordinary gas jet, with the burner
or nipple removed, using a common blow-pipe to urge the flame.

A horizontal boiler is frequently only a plain tube, with the ends
soldered in, and supported on legs to raise it sufficiently to allow a
lamp to be put underneath. The heat applied in this manner does not take
effect as it should. The flame is deflected from the surface of the
boiler, and, moreover, any breath of wind stirring will blow the flame
aside. A plain saddle-shaped boiler is much better; in this form the
heating surface is large, and the heat from the furnace is applied to it
direct, and cannot well be deflected.

Flues or tubes are very desirable in any form of boiler, and one or the
other should be used. The plain straight chimney put through the boiler
is the most simple form of flue. If this is of spiral form, like a
corkscrew, the effect is infinitely increased, because the heat, instead
of ascending straight up through the vertical tube, is met at every
turn with a fresh surface of metal. In winding its way through a spiral
tube, the heat is absorbed in a way quite unattainable when a straight
tube is used. Several small tubes are of course better than one large
one of the same area. By increasing the number of flues the cost of
making a boiler is also increased, and it is to save expense that large
flues are used.

Boilers for locomotives, which are required to make steam very fast,
have an immense number of tubes running through them. The space between
the tubes, which is occupied by the water, is often very small, and in
fact the tubes are put as closely together as possible. As the heat
rushes through them it is absorbed by the water in contact with the
tube, and turns it into steam. The greater the heating surface the more
readily is the steam generated.

Tubes are often put across the fire-grate; they are then called
cross-tubes. Two, placed one above the other and crossing each other,
will give a large amount of heating surface. By adding this simple
contrivance to a vertical boiler with a straight flue it may be made to
give off much more steam. One or two cross-tubes generally suffice to
convert a useless boiler, that is, one that will not generate enough
steam, into an effective one.

The fuel used to heat small boilers is generally spirits of wine. This
is put in a suitable receptacle and burnt through a cotton wick. Several
wicks are used in large boilers, and they are placed to heat the largest
surface available. Spirit lamps are a source of danger if proper
precautions are not taken. Unless there is a free outlet for the air
within the lamp, it will be expanded by the heat and cause the spirit to
rise too quickly in the wick. Sometimes it will overflow, and then it
burns wherever it may be. Care must therefore be exercised in using
spirit fuel. In model boats it occasionally happens that the spirit
overflows, and the boat is all ablaze. An iron tea-tray, or some such
utensil, should be used to stand the boiler on when the furnace is to be

Charcoal is a better fuel, when there is sufficient space in the
fire-box to contain a supply. The waste steam from the cylinder must
always be conveyed to the chimney and escape up it to make a draft
through the fire. Without this it cannot be made to burn sufficiently
fierce for the purpose. A charcoal fire will act very well, with a
little attention, and except for the smallest engines it is always
preferable to methylated spirit.

As it is not possible to give any adequate instructions on boiler-making
in the limited space at my disposal, the above hints are chiefly
intended for the guidance of purchasers.

A safety valve should always be fitted to a steam boiler. One of the
spring valves has been illustrated in the chapter treating of the small
oscillating engine. The lever safety valve is more certain in its
action, especially in model work, and is better adapted for stationary
purposes. A weighted lever is of no use to a locomotive or marine
boiler, as the motion of travelling would disarrange the gear. The
safety valve of every engine should be tested frequently, to make sure
that it does not stick in its place and that all works perfectly free.

A glass gauge, by which the height of water may be seen at a glance, is
frequently attached to boilers having any pretension to high-class
workmanship. There is a good deal of work in a properly made gauge, and
the cost is correspondingly high. Two or three stop-cocks are required
in a gauge, and these involve good workmanship, or they will not stand
the pressure. Leaky taps are a sign of inferior work.

Gauge cocks are sometimes used instead of the water gauge just
mentioned. These are plain taps with straight noses. Two are wanted on a
boiler; they are screwed in, one at high-water and the other at
low-water level. By turning on these taps it is easy to see whether the
water is within these limits; but the precise height cannot be
ascertained. The gauge-glass is therefore much preferable.

Whistles are fitted to boilers only as ornaments. They are quite useless
as signals, except such as can be given by word of mouth, are not
required in working model engines. These attachments are made to sound
by allowing the steam to act as the breath does in common whistles.

Force-pumps are used to force water into the boiler to make up for that
converted into steam, and conveyed through the cylinder. These pumps are
actuated by an eccentric on the crank-shaft, and, at every revolution of
the crank, throw a small quantity of water into the boiler. When we
consider how much water is evaporated to make the quantity of steam used
for each revolution of the cylinder, we may arrive at an idea of the
work required of a force pump. Practically the water to be injected at
each stroke is too small to be dealt with, unless a large cylinder has
to be supplied. The only way to work a force pump for a model
satisfactorily is by gearing, so that a stroke of the plunger is
performed about once to each hundred revolutions of the crank.

A better plan for feeding small boilers is by hand. The force pump is
attached to the boiler in the usual way, but not connected to the
engine. The plunger is worked by a hand lever, and when it is seen that
water is wanted in the boiler, a few strokes of the lever will suffice.

Governors are used to control the speed of the engine. Without any such
contrivance the engine runs at a speed corresponding to the work it has
to do. The heavier the load the slower the speed, and immediately that
the load is decreased the speed increases. A governor consists of a pair
of balls, which are attached to arms pivoted to an axis revolved by the
engine. The faster the speed the greater is the centrifugal force of the
balls, and by connecting these with a valve, called a throttle valve, in
the steam pipe, the supply of steam is reduced as the speed increases.
By this means a uniform rate of speed is attained, irrespective of the
steam pressure or the duty demanded of the engine.




I propose in this chapter to give a few practical hints showing how to
build a perfect model of an inverted-cylinder direct-action engine with
link-motion reversing gear, like the sketch below, which represents a
type in daily use on the river and sea. Such a model, having a fixed
cylinder, has not the friction of other types, and therefore it gives
more power, size for size, than an oscillating engine, and does not get
so easily out of order.

You must of course have a lathe, which I will therefore suppose you to
possess; but should there not be a slide-rest to it, you must get the
cylinder bored by a professional turner, for which he will charge about
two shillings, according to the size of your castings.

Let me first briefly explain the action of the steam in the engine by a
diagram (Fig. 1, p. 139). The cylinder A is bolted into the standard, B;
the ports or steam-passages are shown at C; and the slide-valve that
allows the steam to pass alternately to each side of the piston is
marked D, in its case F. G G are the stuffing-boxes, which have to be
packed with lamp-cotton greased to make them steam-tight, H is the
piston, with its rod finishing in a cross-head J, which is cut with a
groove to slide up and down the standards to guide it and prevent the
piston-rod being bent out of shape. K shows the connecting-rod, attached
at its lower end to the crank L. M is one of the eccentrics working the
slide-valve. N is the main shaft, resting on the plummer blocks O O,
having a heavy fly-wheel at P and the coupler at Q. R is the top
cylinder plate, drilled to screw in the grease-cock, of which I will
presently give a drawing on an enlarged scale, S is the bed-plate, T the
steam supply, and X the exhaust.

You will observe that the steam is coming in at the top of the cylinder,
through the top port, as shown by the arrow, pressing the piston down
and allowing the waste steam that has already raised the piston to
escape through the lower port, and so into the exhaust. By that time the
slide-valve is raised (by the eccentric) sufficiently to cut the steam
off from the top port, which by that means is in its turn put in
communication with the exhaust, and allows the steam to pass out of the
top part of the cylinder, whilst it admits it to the lower portion, and
so on alternately.

[Illustration: FIG 1]

[Illustration: FIG 2]

And now to the practical work. After having the cylinder bored, as
already mentioned, get a piece of oak or other hard wood 1-1/2 inch
square and about 6 inches long. Turn one end of it in the lathe, so that
it fits the inside of cylinder, and drive it on. Then put it in the
lathe again, and turn the flanges A (Fig. 2) down, and be very careful
that they are quite true and square.

[Illustration: FIG 3]

[Illustration: FIG 4]

The top and bottom cylinder-covers, with the stuffing-box, come next.
Screw a piece of hard wood on the end of your lathe mandrel, turn it
down to about a quarter of an inch less in diameter than the flanges of
your cylinder, make a small hole for the stuffing-box to be driven in,
as in Fig. 3. You can now turn the edge and side--that next the
cylinder. The projecting part A is to be the exact size of the diameter
of cylinder. When this is done, take it out and place it in another
chuck, and drill and turn the stuffing-box out, and screw it to receive
the gland (Fig. 4).

Now chuck the top cover and turn it down to size. The piston is a
casting, and has to be turned in the lathe to fit the cylinder, and a
groove run round it to hold the greased cotton to make it steam-tight.
Whilst in the lathe drill a hole in the centre, and tap it to receive
the piston-rod, which you can make out of steel wire. Then pass one end
through the stuffing-box on cylinder-cover and screw it on the
cross-head J (Fig. 1), having first filed it up quite square and true
and finished it off with emery. Now take the standards B (Fig. 1), and
finish them up with a file in the same way, and be careful that the
insides forming the guides for cross-heads are quite true. We can now
make the lagging for cylinder. Get a piece of mahogany the length of the
outside circumference of cylinder and the width of the distance between
flanges of same. Then plane it down to about an eighth of an inch and
score it with a penknife every eighth of an inch down its width; it will
then bend round the cylinder, and you can fasten it on by a couple of
brass bands, screwing the ends down near the slide-valve case.

We will next tackle the steam-ports in the cylinder B (Fig. 2). They are
simply two holes drilled side by side until they reach the openings C C
(Fig. 2) in the casting; they must not be drilled any farther.

[Illustration: FIG 5]

[Illustration: FIG 6]

Now place the ends on cylinder and drill through them so as to screw
them on to the flanges. The slide-valve case is a casting with separate
lid (Fig. 5), and has to be faced up with a file, and four holes drilled
through the lid and corners to screw on to the cylinder face. The boss
on lid must now be drilled and tapped for steam-pipe to be screwed in.

The slide-valve itself is like Fig. 6, has a hollow cast in its face,
and a small projection on the back (B), which you must make a narrow
groove in with a saw, and file the end of the valve-rod down to fit it,
as shown at C, Fig. 6.

The face of the cylinder and also of the slide-valve must now be made to
work steam-tight by rubbing on a perfectly flat stone until true, and
then putting some emery and oil on a board and working them up until
they are quite true.

The eccentrics may now receive attention. They will require to be
chucked twice, and the true centre marked. Do not drill it out yet, as
the hole for the crank-shaft must not be in the centre, but half the
travel of the slide valve from the centre. For instance, if the valve
travelled one inch you would have to drill hole for shaft half an inch
out of true centre of eccentric.

[Illustration: FIG 7]

[Illustration: FIG 8]

The straps (Fig. 7) have to be turned quite true to the size of the
groove on eccentrics, then taken out of lathe and cut through line A B
with a fine saw, and screwed together at C C. A hole has now to be
drilled at D and tapped for the eccentric rods to be screwed into, one
of which will have to be bent like Fig. 8, so as to allow it to work on
to the quadrant. It is the neatest way to key the eccentrics on to the
shaft with a small steel wedge.

[Illustration: FIG 9]

The quadrant (Fig. 9) is of brass, and will have to be finished up with
a file and emery, and the holes A B B drilled through. The shaft ought
to be turned up in the lathe as well as the fly-wheel and coupler, with
a slight groove sunk in where the plummer blocks support it, so as to
take the thrust.

[Illustration: FIG 10]

The reversing quadrant with the lever attached I have shown at Fig. 10.
It is best cut out of brass. The notches are cut with a small file after
the two pieces have been brazed together with a small piece an eighth of
an inch thick between either end. It is then screwed on to the
slide-valve case.

[Illustration: FIG 11]

The lever is drilled at A, B, and C with small holes, and can be made of
flat steel wire; A is for a pin to work into a joint or hinge on
bed-plate. B is attached to the hole A (Fig. 9) by a small length of
brass rod, so as to work easily. Cut with a slot at each end and then
drill like Fig. 11.

The small spring D (Fig. 10) is to keep the ratchet down in place, and
is best made from a watch-spring, and the handle F is turned out of some
brass wire.

The different-size drills you will require can be easily made from
various steel knitting-needles warmed, filed up to shape, and then
tempered to a light-straw colour.

[Illustration: FIG 12]

We now come to the grease or oil cocks, which I have mentioned before.
They can be bought ready finished at most model shops, but for those who
like to make everything for themselves, this is the way to proceed.
Fig. 12 is a section showing interior oil chamber that allows the
cylinder to be oiled without stopping the engine by turning off cock A
and opening cock B, then filling with oil; then shutting B and opening A
allows the oil to descend into the cylinder and lubricate the surface.

Now for the method. Chuck a piece of brass wire about a quarter of an
inch in diameter in the lathe, and turn up to external shape; then turn
out cup C and drill through from end to end with fine drill; then
enlarge chamber D with small bent graver, and take out of lathe and
drill through at right angles to previous hole at A and B with larger
drill; then put plugs of brass wire in and fit them with emery and oil;
rivet over one end, and the other turn up into a handle. Then turn them
in straight line with the oil-cup, and drill through with the small
drill again. Tap the end E, and screw into cylinder cover, when it is

[Illustration: FIG 13]

To keep the boiler full of water as the fire empties it by driving it
off in steam, the usual thing is to use a force-pump worked by an
eccentric on shaft; but, as the friction is excessive, it takes a great
deal of power away from a model. It is best, therefore, to work it by a
hand lever, and the pump may be screwed on to the side of boat, the
suction A (Fig. 13) being led through the boat’s side and riveted over,
and the supply B brazed into lower part of boiler. C is the lever, and D
the plunger, which must be quite true, and turned up in the lathe;
likewise the valves E and F and the stuffing-box tapped and drilled. It
is best to work it up from a casting, and the outside smooth down with
an old file. The projection G will then have to be drilled and the lever
pivoted through, having first cut a slot at H to allow the lever to rise
and fall.

I will now describe a method of making an injector, or machine for
filling the boiler with water by the power of the steam alone, and not
in connection with the engine.

The injector was an accidental discovery by a Mr. Gifford, and has now
become a universal favourite on board both large and small craft, as it
works splendidly without affecting the engine. So you can run the boiler
up with water whilst the engine is at rest in harbour or otherwise. And
another great advantage over pumps is that the steam, being mixed with
the water, raises it in temperature to nearly boiling-point, and so is a
great saving in fuel.

[Illustration: FIG 14]

Fig. 14 is a section of the instrument as fit for model work, and if you
will follow these instructions carefully it will act well.

It consists of three parts--the cone A, the cone B, and the casing C.
The steam is admitted at D, and the water at E, the waste water
overflows at F, and the hot steam and water is projected with great
force into the boiler through the pipe H, which should be led to the
bottom of boiler well below low-water mark, and it is quite imperative
that the steam-pipe should come from top of boiler as so to get plenty
of dry steam, and must not be tapped on to any other pipe.

The injector can be fastened to side of boat by brass band and screws,
and the water-supply pipe brought through the side and riveted, as in
the case with the pump. The injector will lift water several inches, but
it always works better if the water can flow into it freely.

Now we will set to work at it. Take a piece of brass rod and chuck it in
the lathe and turn two cones the shape of A and B (Fig. 15). Take them
off the lathe and drill A through as far as practicable, and finish
with a small rhymer, having first made a small hole right through not
larger than a knitting-needle; then tap the port C with an internal
screw to take the steam-pipe, and turn a screw on the outside at D.

Now, with the rhymer bore out the conical hollow at E in B, and tap it
outside at F and inside at G, in the same manner as the former cone;
then drill a small hole right through from end to end, and a smaller one
at right angles to the other right through at H. This communicates with
the overflow, and takes off the water not carried into the boiler.

[Illustration: FIG 15]

[Illustration: FIG 16]

Next take a piece of brass tubing five-eighths of an inch in diameter,
and turn a screw at each end inside (Fig. 16). The screws turned on the
outside of the cones must be the correct size to fit these; then drill a
hole at A, and screw in a small tube for water-supply with tap; then
drill another at B for the waste water to escape by. Finally, screw in
the cone A (Fig. 15) and attach it to the boiler by a pipe, and the
nearer the boiler the better, as if the steam condenses before reaching
the injector it will stop working. The steam-pipe must of course have a
tap to cut off steam when not required.

We must now screw in the lower cone B (Fig. 15) until there is an
annular space between the two cones not exceeding a sixteenth of an
inch. Then screw in the small pipe at C (Fig. 15), and attach the other
end into the boiler below the water-line, where it must have a
stop-valve to prevent the water returning.

To start the injector, turn on the water-tap until it runs out of the
overflow freely. Then turn on the steam full power, and the overflow
will cease, or nearly so. Should it still drip at the overflow, reduce
the water supply by the tap accordingly.

It requires carefulness and patience to make an injector, but when done,
and working properly, there are few boys with a mechanical turn of mind
who would not think themselves well repaid in watching and controlling
its mimic action. They would then have an engine fit to show to their
most critical friends, and one they might well be proud of; and I shall
be content if I have helped in any way to contribute to their




Those who class model engines as mere toys, and fit only to amuse the
very youngest members of the human family, entirely forget the important
place they hold in the estimation of inventors and those interested in
mechanism as a means by which they can practically carry out their
ideas, because models not only have the advantage of cheapness in
construction as compared with the full-sized machine, but also the still
greater advantage of being, from the small size and light weights of
their parts, capable of construction by the inventor himself without
having to employ strangers.

I suppose there is no taste more universal amongst boys, old as well as
young, than that for mechanism and engineering. What boy does not feel
interested in the models displayed in the various shop windows in our
large towns, and what lad with any mechanical bent but has a longing to
make one for himself and feels an intense pleasure in being able to do
so? And it is with the intention of helping those who would like to
build one, but have not the necessary knowledge, that I purpose to
explain, as simply as possible, the best method of building model

In previous pages of this volume, practical instructions by skilled
writers have been given on model stationary engines of a simple make,
and also on engines for steamboats, but of all models the locomotive has
the greatest charm for most boys, and not unjustly so, as when well
finished and carefully painted it has a very handsome appearance, and
moreover has the additional charm of its locomotive power.

Those of my readers who have practically carried out the instructions in
the previous chapters just referred to, have become, I have no doubt, by
this time quite _au fait_ in handling their tools and feel at home in
their workshop; but for the benefit of those boys who have had no
practical experience, let me give a word or two of advice before we
begin our locomotive.

First then, with all engineering work, either large or small, great care
must be taken to get the measurements perfectly correct in spacing out
the various parts to be joined together, and do not think, because it is
only a model you are making, that any off-hand way will do, because you
will find before the engine is half finished that great accuracy is
necessary if you wish your model to be a working one.

A slight mistake in the measurements of a large engine will cause so
much friction as to take half its power to overcome, and the same thing
occurring in a model would stop it entirely.

Then with respect to any part you may require to solder, be careful
always to make the brass or other metal you wish to unite quite hot. You
will then get a good firm joint.

Do not just touch the metal with the soldering iron and then take it
away. You might certainly stick the parts together slightly in that way,
but they would be sure to come apart the first time they received a blow
or any pressure was put on them.

Soldering on the best work should be used very seldom, and all the
fastenings should be either done by riveting, screwing, or brazing; and
I need hardly remark that no part of a boiler should be soldered which
comes in direct contact with the flame of the lamp or furnace.

Brazing, with the exception of very small articles, is beyond the
ordinary powers of an amateur.

Even to braze the seams of a model boiler requires a forge fire or very
powerful gas-blast, which is too expensive for most boys to get; but
small things, such as a broken slide, valve rod, etc., can be easily
brazed by using a gas blow-pipe, and as it will cost you very little to
make and will prove a useful tool for sweating in solder as well as
brazing, I will briefly explain.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

Fig. 1 is a section of the blow-pipe complete.

To make it, first get a small piece of brass tube (A) of about half an
inch diameter and five inches long; drill a hole at two inches from one
end, and insert a piece of gas tube (B) and solder it in place.

Next take a piece of glass tubing a quarter of an inch diameter and
about seven inches long, hold one end in a gas flame, and when red-hot
draw it out to a fine point, then file round and break off the tip,
leaving a small hole.

Next squeeze a sound cork into the tube A as at C, and drill a quarter
of an inch hole through its centre and insert the glass tube D, and the
blow-pipe is finished. To use it you connect the pipe B with a gas
bracket by a rubber tube, and the glass tube D must be fastened to a
pair of bellows by means of another piece of rubber tubing; the bellows
should have an air-bag attached, to enable you to keep a constant
pressure up and prevent having a jerky flame.

When requiring to braze any article, bind the parts together with some
very fine brass wire and cover it up with a little powdered borax and
water, then lay the article on a piece of charcoal, and if it is
necessary to preserve the temper of the steel you are about brazing, cut
a potato in half and push each end of the steel rod into the halves,
which will prevent the temperature of the rod getting too high.

When you have it all nicely fixed, turn on the gas and light your
blow-pipe, immediately work the bellows with your foot, and by either
pushing in the glass tube D, or drawing it slightly out, you can
regulate the shape of the flame as required.

Then bring the flame to bear on the joint, well supplied with the borax,
and soon you will find the brass wire melt and run into the joint like
water. It must then be neatly filed up, and the join will be scarcely

Having made this useful tool, I will mention a few others you should get
before commencing work; they will not cost much.

A centre punch or pointed steel spike for marking metal for drilling,
etc., and a small riveting hammer, three or four files of different
degrees of fineness, a screw plate and taps, and also a small hand-drill
with a set of drills to fit, will be most useful; and of course very
little can be done without a good firm vice.

If you have a lathe, so much the better; it will enable you to save lots
of odd coppers for turning various parts. Curves for bending metal on
you can easily make from pieces of bar iron, holding them in the vice
when working on them.

When you have your tools ready, the materials are required you intend
working on, which will consist of several sheets of brass and copper,
the castings and various-sized screws and bolts; and having got these
all together, we can set to work on our locomotive.

I think it would be better to first give you directions for making a
simple one of about fifteen inches, and then to proceed to a more
perfect model after.

In a previous article you will find a description of the action of the
steam in the cylinder, and although that is in a marine engine, the
action is precisely the same in the cylinders of a locomotive, and you
should therefore read the description carefully and thoroughly
understand it; there is also given a method of turning the cylinders,
and hence I shall not describe the process again, but consider that you
already know sufficient about it, should you wish to make your cylinders
in preference to buying them ready finished.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

At the commencement of this chapter is a drawing of the model we are
about to build in its finished condition, and Fig. 2 is a side view of
the same, of which A is the boiler, B the chimney, C a screw head to
fill boiler with water, D the steam chest with safety valve on top, E
the whistle, F the steam tap to start the engine with, HH are the
leading and trailing wheels, and I the driving ditto, K the cylinders, L
the frame, M the buffers, N a set thumb-screw to fasten a tender on by,
O is the lamp, and P is a small tap, used to ascertain the quantity of
water in the boiler. The handrails R and S complete it; and I think this
is sufficiently clear for you to perfectly understand the general
working arrangements of the model.

Locomotives, whether real or only model ones, can all be divided into
three principal parts, viz., the carriage or framework, the engine or
cylinders and parts connected with them, and the boiler, and we will now
proceed to make each part in turn, beginning with the framework.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

First take a sheet of brass for the bed-plate, about one-sixteenth of an
inch thick, and cut it to an oblong shape, four inches wide by fourteen
inches long, as in Fig. 3, and be very careful that the corners are
right angles. This is to be hammered out quite flat and filed up smooth,
and finished with emery cloth held round a flat piece of wood; you must
also cut a hole in it for the boiler to rest in as at C, beginning half
an inch from B and making the hole eleven inches long by one inch and a
half wide, taking care it is quite central on the line AB, or you would
get your engine lopsided, and you must take the same care in setting the
chimney, steam dome, etc., as when not exactly central it gives a bad
unsightly look to an otherwise well-finished model.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

The next step is to cut out the side frames (Fig. 4), drilling holes at
A B C for the axles to work in; you can finish both sides in the same
way, and, turning the bed-plate upside down, fasten the frames on at a
quarter of an inch from either side by small angle pieces, as in Fig. 5,
or by soldering, which is much quicker. Then fasten by the same means a
piece across each end about half an inch deep, and the frame is ready
for the wheels.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

These can be had ready finished, but if you have the castings, they must
be chucked in the lathe and the tires turned up to the form shown in
Fig. 6. The small wheels should be about two and a half inches diameter
and the driving wheels four inches. The rim B should project a little
over one-sixteenth of an inch, and the rest of the edge should be
bevelled off slightly as at A.

The spokes may then be filed up smooth, previously drilling out the
centre hole for axle before removing it from the lathe.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

Great care must be taken to turn both the driving-wheels to exactly the
same diameter, or one wheel would travel farther in a revolution than
the other, and as they ought to be both fixed rigidly on to the crank
shaft, the engine would never travel in a straight line, but would
always run in a circle. You will require some steel wire for the axles,
and can fasten them to the wheels by soldering or by cutting a slot with
a fine file in the centre of wheel, as at A, Fig. 7; then filing a small
portion of the ends of the axle flat, drive in a brass wedge made from a
piece of wire, which will hold them together firmly.

The crank shaft or axle must be hammered up to shape, making it hot
occasionally in the gas flame whilst working it.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

The cranks should be at right angles to each other, and the throw of the
crank is to be half the distance of the cylinder stroke. For instance,
say the cylinders are an inch and a half in stroke, the distance between
A B (Fig. 8) will be three-quarters of an inch; you must then ease the
size of crank at A, to prevent the piston knocking the cylinder ends.

The cylinders require such extreme care in turning that it is by far the
best plan to buy them ready to put on your framework; and if you get a
pair of oscillating ones three-quarters of an inch bore and about an
inch and a half stroke, you will get sufficient power to drive your
locomotive several miles an hour.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

Fig. 9 shows you an underneath view of the framework and the position to
place the cylinders in, which should be supported by a couple of lugs (A
A) screwed to the bed-plate B which must have a piece cut out on either
side to allow the driving-wheels (C) to work in, as at D, because, being
larger than the others, they project beyond the top of the bed-plate, as
shown in Fig. 2. You can now screw on by means of the hook F the
buffer-beam, previously cut from a piece of mahogany, five inches long,
half an inch thick, and one inch deep, nicely squared and sand-papered.

Drill a hole at G and pass the shank of hook through the beam and piece
of brass in front of frame, and screw up tight with nut H.

The buffers can be properly turned up and fitted with springs, but that
I will explain when making our more perfect model, and content ourselves
now with a couple of brass flat-headed screws, such as are used in
connections of electric batteries, and which form capital imitation
buffers, one having to simply screw them into the beam about one inch
from either end, leaving them projecting about half an inch.

The framework is now sufficiently complete to be lacquered. First polish
every part intended to be bright, carefully removing all traces of
file-marks and any grease that may be on the work by a little acid; and
after drying it place it on a sheet of iron held over the gas--or fire,
if clear--until it is moderately warm. You can then apply the lacquer
with a small brush, taking care not to go over any part more than once.
The lacquer can be had at most model shops, and is cheaper to buy
ready-made than to prepare yourself.

The spokes of the wheels should be painted; black-lined on green looks
very well, and the ordinary tube oil-paint, mixed with a little mastic
varnish, is the best to use.

The buffer-beam should be varnished, and the cylinders ought to have a
coat of paint, leaving the cylinder-covers and the flanges bright.

[Illustration: Fig. 10.]

The frame may now be put aside to dry, covered up from dust by a paper
box, whilst we proceed to make the boiler (Fig. 10).

This is a most important part of the locomotive, and is the cause of a
great many failures and unsatisfactory working, even amongst the
professionally-built models. I well remember how, when a lad at school,
I fell deeply in love with a beautiful highly-polished brass locomotive
of about the size we are now building, which was displayed in an
optician’s window. Having made inquiries about the price, and got it
reduced from to £5 to £4, with a promise to keep it for me, I set to
work to save my pocket-money, and for some months rigidly abstained from
all kinds of tarts and toys; and when finally the last shilling was
saved which completed the amount, and I carried it--my first model--home
in triumph, no boy was ever happier. But, oh! the bitter disappointment
when, after getting up the steam and trying to start the engine, I found
it would not work.

I was too young then to find out the reason, and the man who kept the
shop, not being a practical mechanic, could give me no help, and
although, after we had tried it together, he offered to take it back, I
decided to keep it with a view to remedy the defect, if possible; but it
was a long time before I found out that the fault lay in the boiler not
being able to supply sufficient steam for the cylinders, in consequence
of not having enough heating surface acted on by the lamp.

Since that day I have made numerous models, and have always taken
precautions to avert such a difficulty, and although the method I am
about to describe entails a little extra work, you will feel well repaid
for the trouble when you find what a splendid head of steam can be kept

The boiler should be eleven inches long by three inches and a half in
diameter, and you can buy copper tubing of that size which is very
suitable for the job, or you can form it from a sheet of copper or brass
bent to shape round a wooden roller, and either riveted or soldered
together. You must then turn two circles of brass about an eighth of an
inch thick for the ends, and polish the outside of each nicely.

[Illustration: Fig. 11.]

Then push them into either end of the boiler about an eighth of an inch
from the edge, as in A (Fig. 11); they can now be soldered in place, and
you will find your gas blow-pipe very useful here. The projecting flange
should be hammered down all round, like B (Fig. 11), which can also be
sweated afterwards with solder, and finished off with a half-round file.

When filing solder or lead, only use an old worn file, as the soft metal
soon fills up and spoils a good one, and although it can be melted out
by heat, it is not advisable to do so.

You will now require to drill a hole at A (Fig. 10) for the chimney,
which should be three-quarters of an inch in diameter. Then cut a slot
in the bottom of the boiler six inches long by an inch and a half wide,
commencing a quarter of an inch from the forward end of the boiler.

[Illustration: Fig. 12.]

[Illustration: Fig. 13.]

[Illustration: Fig. 14.]

Now take a sheet of copper and cut a piece about six inches and a
quarter long by six inches broad, and bend it over a wooden roller to
the shape shown at Fig. 12, keeping it an inch and a half apart between
A B. Cut also two other pieces of copper to the shape of your bent sheet
(Fig. 12), and make it long enough to reach to the dotted line. These
form the two ends, which may be placed an eighth of an inch from the
edges, as in Fig. 13, and soldered in place, and the projecting rims
turned over and sweated with solder from the outside in the same
manner as you did to the boiler-ends in Fig. 11. Then drill a
three-quarter-inch hole at B (Fig. 13) for the bottom of chimney-tube to
go into, and cut a piece of three-quarter-inch brass tubing of
sufficient length to pass out at top of boiler about half an inch, as
shown at A (Fig. 10). You can then hammer out a rim or flange on the
bottom end of chimney-tube, and push it up through the hole in the
copper box and solder it in place from the top, as at A (Fig. 14).

Now drill a couple of small holes at each end of the box B C (Fig. 14);
these should be rather more than an eighth of an inch in diameter, to
allow an eighth of an inch tube to pass through.

Get two twelve-inch lengths of hard-drawn steam-piping of an eighth of
an inch in diameter, and with your screw-plate put a thread on each end
of about half an inch in length, then drill some holes in any odd piece
of brass plate, and with the screw-taps form eight nuts to fit the
threads on the piping, and finish them up to shape with a file.

[Illustration: Fig. 15.]

Then take the piping and bend it very gently, to prevent it cracking,
round a bar of iron or handle of some tool held in the vice until it is
of the form shown at Fig. 15. Do each one the same, and then mix a
little turps with some white lead and smear each end where you have
formed the screws, taking care not to get any into the tubes, and they
might have a plug of paper put in temporarily to prevent it.

[Illustration: Fig. 16.]

Now put a nut on at either end as far as the thread will allow it, and
smearing a little white lead round the holes drilled in ends of box B C
(Fig. 14), push the tubes in from the inside and screw up firmly with
the remaining nuts in the position shown at Fig. 16. The inside nuts can
then be tightened up with a spanner, and if you have carefully done this
you will never be troubled with any leakage, no matter what pressure you
may get in the boiler.

These tubes are immensely strong, and from their small size the water in
them is raised quickly to a higher temperature than that contained in
the rest of the boiler, causing a continual circulation to take place
and a constant supply of steam to be formed.

The box can now be placed in the boiler through the slot cut in the
bottom, taking care that the top of box is not more than half way up the
boiler, as in B (Fig. 10). This will leave a portion projecting below
the lower edge of boiler, like C. This part protects the flame of the
lamp from being blown away by the draught caused by travelling along,
which would cause you to lose steam. Solder it firmly in position from
the outside, to prevent the flame touching any soldered portion. Also
solder neatly round A (Fig. 10).

[Illustration: Fig. 17.]

The chimney can be made from another piece of three-quarter brass tube.
Chuck it in the lathe, and turn it up bright, and put a collar on it at
A (Fig. 17) to allow it to push on to the piece of tube left projecting
at A (Fig. 10).

The top of chimney, or bell-mouth, B (Fig. 17), will require turning in
the lathe also, and fitting on neatly.

The steam-chest D (Fig. 10) is a brass casting you can turn up also, and
after cutting a circular hole in top of boiler of about an inch in
diameter it can be either screwed or soldered on, previously putting the
steam-pipe E in position by drilling a hole at F, and after bending it
as shown, pass it through at F and solder in place.

The top of pipe E should be about a quarter of an inch from top of
inside of steam-chest.

Before soldering on the steam chest drill a couple of holes, as at G H
(Fig. 10), one for the small lug G to be screwed into, which holds one
end of the lever of the safety valve, and that at H should be drilled
conical with a rhymer, and the valve H can be turned in the lathe, and
afterwards ground to fit the hole with a little emery and water, by
means of a slot cut across the top and worked round with a screw-driver.

The spring-case of safety-valve is easily made from a piece of the
one-eighth of an inch brass tubing, and using some small, hard brass
wire to form the spring of. When finished it should be hooked to the eye
screwed into boiler at V.

The manhole, or screwhead, K, is used to refill the boiler by when it
has steamed low, and will require to be turned up to shape; and the bed
L it screws into can be firmly soldered on the boiler, having first
drilled a hole slightly larger than the diameter of the screw itself,
which should be sufficiently large to allow an ordinary tin funnel to be
used to refill by, and the screw ought to be large enough to hold a
leather washer under the head to keep it steam-tight.

The whistle M will require a hole drilled for it to be screwed into, and
that, as also the steam-tap N and water-tap O, can be bought cheap ready
to put on, and is more satisfactory than making them yourself. But
should you wish to do so, the method I have already described in Chapter
X. of making an oil-cup applies equally to these.

The tap O should be screwed in at a slightly higher level than the top
of box B, and when working the engine, should steam issue from it when
turned on instead of water, you ought to immediately blow off steam by
safety-valve H. Then unscrew K, and refill the boiler with water.

By this time the framework will no doubt be quite dry, and you can then
clean and polish the boiler and attach it to the frame by a screw or
solder at the forward end, and the steam-pipe N can be screwed on to the
projecting piece of tube left at F, whilst you also screw a short length
of pipe into the steam-box of engine through a hole in the bed-plate.
Then bend it up to the steam-tap and solder them carefully in position;
this will hold the after end of boiler firmly.

Go over every soldered joint to see if any small hole is left, and
re-solder where necessary, as a hole in the boiler not larger than a
pin’s point would prevent you getting any adequate pressure of steam, as
the water would all blow out.

[Illustration: Fig. 18.]

When so far complete, you can either lacquer or paint the boiler as
suits your fancy, and whilst it is drying there will be time to make the
lamp (Fig. 18).

It is simply an oblong box made of tin or any piece of thin metal you
may have, and should be one inch and a quarter wide by five inches long,
and about three-quarters of an inch deep. To make it, cut say a piece of
tin four and a half inches by five inches, and bend it to shape, then
solder the two edges together and cut two ends to fit. Push them in and
solder in place.

Then cut three pieces of brass quarter-inch tubing into three
quarter-inch lengths, drill holes in top of lamp and insert them,
allowing about a quarter of an inch to project, as at A (Fig. 18); then
solder them on four pieces of bent wire (C C C C), by which to hang the
lamp by means of two wire pins run through them and small holes drilled
in sides of projecting piece C (Fig. 10).

The screw-filler B (Fig. 18) will have to be soldered in also, and when
complete the tubes A may be filled with cotton wick, and the lamp about
three parts full of methylated spirit, which will give a clear smokeless

You can now start your locomotive by filling the boiler about three
parts full of hot water, and then hooking the lamp underneath; you will
soon get a good pressure of steam up.

See that all the taps are turned off; and if there is no leakage from
careless workmanship, you will find, on turning the steam-tap on, the
locomotive will run beautifully, and will travel at great speed either
on a smooth oil-cloth or wood floor.

[Illustration: Fig. 19.]

I will presently explain how to make a set of rails, on which she would
run much quicker still; but for this engine, if you make a small tender
of the shape shown at Fig. 19, and fasten it at any angle by the
set-screw on the foot-plate of the engine shown at N (Fig. 2), the model
will run in any sized circle you may wish, without lines, according to
the angle at which you fix the tender to the engine.

Wooden coal trucks, etc., you can easily make to complete the train if
you wish; but of course each one is an extra load for the engine to
draw, and will prevent it going as quickly as when alone.

Tin is the best material to use for the tender, as no great strength is
required; indeed, it should be made as light as possible. The wheels and
axles you must finish in the same manner as those on the engine; and it
could be made into a tank, to hold an extra supply of spirit, by
soldering a piece of tin round the inside, and covering it in with
another piece cut to shape, and fitted with a screw-nut to fill by, as
shown in Fig. 18.

If you have carefully followed these simple directions, and also
practically carried them out, you will be able, and no doubt anxious to
try your constructive powers on a more complete model, and I will
therefore endeavour to help you to do so.


Should you be able to draw, you will find it a great help if you
carefully sketch out on a sheet of cartridge paper the locomotive to the
exact size you intend building it.

You can then take all the measurements from it, which will prove to be a
saving in time and trouble. Of course the larger you make the engine,
the more expensive the castings and materials will be; but if you
persevere in making the locomotive I am about to describe, you will have
a model of real value to you, and which would probably cost fifty pounds
to buy ready finished; and if you turn the wooden models for the
castings yourself, and use sheet-iron for the framework, etc., where
possible, the total expense will not be so very great.

Fig. 20 is a side view of the locomotive in its finished state, and we
will begin to work at it in the same manner as in the former model,
viz., with the framework; but as some of my readers may have a
preference for some special type of engine other than the one drawn,
they can easily build it from the following directions, and keeping the
same proportion in size as in Fig. 20, which is drawn to 1/8-inch scale.

The entire length should be about three feet two inches, and the
bed-plate thirty-five inches by nine inches wide. The driving-wheels are
eight and a quarter inches in diameter, and the leading wheels five and
a quarter inches, and about six and a half inch gauge, viz., the space
between the lines on which the wheels run.

The cylinders should be one and three-quarter inch bore by two and a
half inch stroke, which will give sufficient power to drive the engine
at a high rate of speed, with 30 lb. to 50 lb. of steam. The boiler is
twenty-eight inches long, including smoke-box, by five inches diameter.

[Illustration: Fig. 20.]

In Fig. 20 I have lettered the various parts, and it will be well to
look over them carefully, as this engine differs materially from the
previous model in its arrangement, being constructed exactly similar to
a real engine.

A is the chimney, B steam-blast used to increase the intensity of the
fire, and is worked by rod C running through the hollow handrail D, and
ending in handle F. G the steam-dome and safety-valve is the same
pattern as previously used, H extra safety-valve, worked from
foot-plate; I steam-whistle, K wind-guard, L starting-lever, M smoke-box
(with door), N O spring-buffers; P is the line-clearer, or wheel-guard;
Q leading wheels, and R R driving ditto; S one of the cylinders, with
piston-rod and guides bolted to frame, and showing double connecting rod
at T T; U U are the springs which support the weight of the boiler,
etc., on the axle-bearings; the spring on rear wheel does not show,
being inside the safety-guard and handrail V. W is the back-pressure
valve, through which the water is thrown by the force-pump into the
boiler; and X is the blow-off tap to clear the model from all water
after having used it; and Y shows the side of ash-pan.

[Illustration: Fig. 21.]

Now to commence making the framework. This should be made of one-eighth
of an inch sheet-iron, squared up perfectly true and flat, and cut out
as shown in Fig. 21, commencing four inches and a half from A, and
leaving six inches at B, and cutting it six inches wide there by eight
inches long, and continuing it four inches wide for the rest of the
distance. Be careful to keep it quite central on the line A B, and leave
two connecting strips one inch wide, as at C C.

[Illustration: Fig. 22.]

The side-frames come next. These must be much stronger, and quite
different from those used in our previous model, and should be cut from
the same eighth of an inch plate-iron to the shape shown in Fig. 22.

The centre of slot B is seventeen inches from one end, the centre of A
ten inches from B, and centre of C thirteen inches from B.

In marking out work always measure from a fixed centre, for if you add
one measurement to another any slight inaccuracy gets increased with
each fresh measurement, and you might finally get the different portions
out of place.

The slots are each an inch and a quarter wide by two inches deep,
leaving one inch of iron at top as shown. The ornamental spaces can then
be cut out, which lightens it considerably without weakening it much.

The frames, after being smoothed up, can be fastened to the bed-plate in
the manner described before by angle-irons or knees riveted on. Two
end-pieces must also be prepared an inch deep, and the ends hammered
square at right angles, and then riveted to the bed-plate and
side-frames, as shown by the rivets in Fig. 20.

Then drill three holes in them about an inch and a half from either end,
and one in centre by which to bolt on the buffer-beams by means of a
couple of screws put in from the back.

[Illustration: Fig. 23.]

The buffer-beams should be mahogany, one inch wide, two inches deep, and
ten inches long, squared nicely and sand-papered. A hook can then be
made (Fig. 23), and, a hole being drilled in the centre of beam, you can
pass the hook-stem through and into central hole of framework, and screw
up tightly with nut at back, which will hold all firmly in place.

The buffers for this model must be made properly with springs to take
the pressure, should you let it run into anything.

[Illustration: Fig. 24.]

Turn out a wooden mould in the lathe and get four castings in brass made
from it. Fig. 24 is an ordinary kind of buffer in general use, and,
being in section, shows you the working arrangement of the spring, A is
cast with a square base-plate two inches square, as in front view B, and
is secured to buffer-beam by four flat-headed screws. The piece C must
be turned true, and just the size to slide in and out A easily. Each
part must be finished up in the lathe. A should be about an inch and a
half long.

Drill a hole in beam to allow the head of pin to work in freely, and
another hole in base-plate of buffer the size of pin, whose head
prevents the spring forcing C entirely away from A.

The spring should be made of thick steel wire; the buffers can then be
screwed on as just mentioned. The wheel-guard, or line-clearer P (Fig.
20), can next be cut out to shape and bolted on to frame, and should
just clear the line by a quarter of an inch.

We will now proceed with the axle-bearings and springs U (Fig. 20). The
wheels can be finished up in the same manner as previously described, so
I need not say anything further about them.

[Illustration: Fig. 25.]

Make a wooden model like Fig. 25 and get six castings in brass made from
it. They then must be filed up square and smooth and fitted into the
slots cut at A B C (Fig. 22), and either screwed or riveted on by the
side holes.

Before finally fixing them prepare six brass bearings (B, Fig. 25). They
must fit exactly, and slide easily in the inner surface of A, and a hole
is to be drilled centrally through each five-eighths of an inch in
diameter. These take the axles, which in this model are all straight,
and three-quarters of an inch in diameter, shouldered off to
five-eighths for the bearings.

[Illustration: Fig. 26.]

The springs next require attention. Four pieces of either sheet iron or
brass are wanted in each support an inch and a half long by a quarter
wide. A hole is to be drilled at either end, as shown at C in Fig. 26. A
should be three-eighths of an inch wide, drilled through and a pin put
in, and all riveted together loosely.

The spring is best made from clock-spring, and cut to shape as at D. The
top-piece requires to be made hot with your blowpipe, and then the ends
turned over to hold the pin B. Each piece of spring must be slightly
shorter than the upper, and the ends nicely graduated off, and when
ready held together by the brass band F, which has a small hole drilled
at F to hold the end of pin by which the pressure is directed on to the
axle-boxes, as shown in Fig. 20. A hole is also to be drilled in
bed-plate over centre of each axle-box to allow pin to pass through, and
also a smaller one an inch and a half on each side for the support A
(Fig. 26) to screw into. They can all be fitted into position.

[Illustration: Fig. 27.]

The cylinders come next, and should be, as previously mentioned, an inch
and three-quarters bore by two and a half inch stroke. These should be
of the fixed slide-valve pattern, with double eccentrics fitted on
middle axle-shaft, and reversing-lever brought to quadrant on
foot-plate, as I will show presently, and for the method of making them
I will again refer you to my article on the Model Launch Engine, and
will simply give you in Fig. 27 the modified form necessary to suit a
locomotive, in which A A are the eccentrics, B slide valve-rod, with
guide G attached; C C the bed-plate, D the balance-weight, and F the rod
leading to quadrant and lever on foot-plate. The cranks are put on
outside the wheels and fastened by keys, as in Fig. 20.

[Illustration: Fig. 28.]

The connecting rods T should be cut to the form shown in Fig. 28, and
the ends squared out and a brass bush filled in with a hole drilled from
top (A) to oil by, and a set-screw B fitted to adjust the bearings

Although these little things give extra work in fitting a model, they
add considerably to its finish and lessen the friction.

If you wish to fit a force-pump, it should be placed centrally between
the cylinders, and be worked by an eccentric on main shaft, but a pump
on a model locomotive is of very slight use unless it is arranged to
work by hand also.

[Illustration: Fig. 29.]

In Fig. 29 I have given a practical method of arranging one to be worked
either way as desired. A is the pump, B the eccentric on main-shaft to
work it by steam power; but when requiring to work the pump by hand, you
have only to push up hook connection at C, which disconnects it from
eccentric, and then by working the handle D, which is screwed into
bottom of plunger C, the water is forced into boiler.

This pump is a little more troublesome to make, as it requires an extra
stuffing-box at F, but it is very neat and useful, and the handle lying
quite out of the way, does not spoil the appearance of the model.

G is the exhaust water-pipe bent up to the back pressure-valve on
boiler, and H the supply-pipe carried on to rear of engine.

You will find two small blow-off cocks on each cylinder very handy to
get rid of the condensed steam when starting the engine with cold
cylinders, as without them the cylinders get choked, and you stand a
good chance of getting scalded by the hot water being thrown up the
chimney with considerable force.

The blow-off cocks can be connected with a tye-rod, and both worked from
the foot-plate by a single handle.

The parts being all finished to your satisfaction, you should paint the
bed-plate black, and side frames red, and when dry carefully line them
black and white, and also pick out the rivets with black.

Of course individual taste has a great deal to do with the finish of a
model, so I will leave it to you, merely suggesting you should get a
fine lining tool to finish with, and when all is complete put it aside
to dry whilst we proceed to build the boiler.

This will require the greatest care, but with due attention you will be
able to turn it out well. Some sheet copper will be required one-eighth
of an inch thick, and although this is more expensive than iron, it does
not rust, and is more suitable for the work in hand.

[Illustration: Fig. 30.]

[Illustration: Fig. 31.]

First cut a piece nineteen inches long by sixteen wide, and bend it
round, forming a cylinder five inches in diameter; the lap must be
closely riveted, and then the two ends hammered out into a flange
outwards, leaving the body of boiler seventeen inches long, as in Fig.
30; B is the shape of piece to be next riveted on at after end, then
take another sheet nine inches wide, and hammer a half-inch flange round
it so as to fit over the dotted line in A.

Then rivet them firmly together, and also another piece in after end.

It will now have the appearance of Fig. 31, and should be four and a
half inches deep from A to B, and forming a copper box six inches wide
from B to C, and eight inches from C to D.

Then rivet together another box to form the inner casing four and a half
inches wide by six and a half inches long and nine inches deep.

[Illustration: Fig. 32.]

The bottom of this must be hammered outwards to the dimensions of BC CD,
as shown in section Fig. 32 at AA. A hole is next to be cut out in the
centre of rear plate, and also the rear part of inner casing which comes
opposite to it, and one three-quarter inches by two and a half, forming
an elliptical opening for the furnace door.

A casting of that shape and three-quarters of an inch thick, which is
the distance between the inner and outer casing BC, must be procured and
drilled with holes every three-eighths of an inch, and firmly riveted in
position, as shown in section at D.

Two pins or lugs (FF) should project on either side of the inner surface
to support the fire-bars and ash-pan, and the bars should be made of
cast-iron, and small enough to be got out easily by tilting up one side,
and the bars ought to run lengthways of the engine.

[Illustration: Fig. 33.]

You next require some hard-drawn brass tubing three-quarters of an inch
diameter, and must cut the pieces slightly over seventeen inches long,
then drill ten holes in the inner plate as at E (Fig. 32), and in the
position and arrangement shown in Fig. 33. These tubes should have a
wire ring brazed on about a quarter of an inch from either end, and then
being placed in their respective holes in tube plate, the projecting
portion is to be beaded back with a flange, or you can fit them in as
described previously (Fig. 16) by each being double-screwed and nutted.
These tubes allow the smoke and flame to pass through from the furnace
to the smoke-box (M Fig. 20), and so away up the chimney, and by the
large surface they expose to the fire, help to raise steam very quickly.

[Illustration: Fig. 34.]

If you just add together the combined surfaces of these tubes, you will
find there is more than two square feet of surface exposed and acted on
by the fire, which enables the boiler, although small, to make steam
rapidly. In some large engines three hundred tubes are fitted. The steam
supply-pipe and regulating lever-handle should now be made and placed in
position, and Fig. 34 shows the shape to make it.

A B are the front and rear plates of boiler, C is the supply pipe, bent
with a screw end downwards after passing plate A, and then upwards into
steam-dome, where it should be securely fastened by a cross-piece; D is
the tap or valve, which can be turned on or off from the foot plate by
means of the long rod F, ending in lever-handle G.

The rod must be fitted with a stuffing-box, the same as those used on
the cylinders, and packed with cotton to prevent loss of steam by
leakage; and when this is all firmly fixed, the forward end of the
boiler can be furnished with tube-plate, riveted on and the tubes
flanged over.

You should now take the boiler to a practical brazier and have it
properly hard-brazed in every join and round each tube, and you might
cut the hole for steam-dome and have it brazed on at the same time. If
this is properly done you never need be in fear when the water runs low,
as the boiler might get almost red-hot without injuring it much. Of
course it is not advisable, as it would blister and spoil the appearance
of the paint outside. This is a good opportunity to test the boiler
before fitting it up, and you should fill it with water through a hole
drilled in top of dome, and then fix on the test-pump, which you could
borrow from any engineering-shop. If too far away from town to do that,
you must make use of the force-pump attached to your model, and work it
by hand, watching the pressure-gauge in the meanwhile. Test it to 100
lb. per square inch, which will be sufficient, as 50 lb. will be a fair
working pressure. Should you have to test it with your own pump, the
pressure-gauge will have to be bought then, as that is an article you
cannot make yourself. A small gauge of Bourdon’s make, of an inch and a
half diameter, will cost about twenty-five shillings, and although it
may seem a rather high price for such a small thing, it is absolutely
necessary to have it, as you could not tell what dangerous pressure you
had raised in the boiler without it.

[Illustration: Fig. 35.]

This being done, proceed to make the smoke-box, which should be three
inches deep, and of the same shape and dimensions shown in Fig. 35.
This and the chimney can be made of iron, hammered up to shape and
finished with a brass ring. The smoke-box can be screwed to the forward
flange on boiler. The door is drawn open to show the amount of bulge it
should be hammered to.

In the centre a hole should be drilled through which to pass the screw
used to close it, which is attached to the loose bar A. The handle B is
then screwed up tight.

The door is circular and must be large enough to overlap the opening
about half an inch, and have a couple of bright iron or brass eyes (C)
riveted on to form the hinge.

[Illustration: Fig. 36.]

We can now make the back pressure-valve (Fig. 36). A is a front view,
with plate by which it is bolted on to boiler, as at W (Fig. 20).

It is very simple to make, and consists of the casting A with the top
and bottom covers, and the ball-valve B, which ought to be ground with a
little emery-and-oil to fit perfectly. It acts in this manner. The water
being forced up C from the pump, raises B and passes into the boiler. On
the up-stroke of pump the pressure is removed from under B, and pressure
of steam in boiler causes it to fall back and close opening entirely,
preventing any water passing away from boiler. A small flange can be put
on each outer side of boiler near furnace to support it on bed-plate
level with smoke-box.

The boiler should now have a coating of flannel, cut to shape and
wrapped round the body part, and a casing of sheet tin put over it and
secured by brass bands, and small nuts underneath, as shown in Fig. 20.

[Illustration: Fig. 37.]

The steam supply-pipe can now be connected with the cylinders, and it
should be made forked, as in Fig. 37. A leads from steam-pipe, and
branches off to each cylinder, where it must be screwed up with white

The exhaust-pipes (B B) should be of larger tubing, and bent round up
the sides of smoke-box, so as to be out of the way when you require to
clean the tubes. A small brass pipe (C) must also be passed through
chimney, and bent upwards and fitted with tap, which should take steam
from top of boiler, and be used as shown at D and F (Fig. 20). This
helps to raise steam very quickly.

[Illustration: Fig. 38.]

Fig. 38 is a rear view of the foot-plate, and shows the necessary
fittings you must either make or buy to complete the model. The cocks
you can manage easily, but the water-gauge is beyond most amateurs’
skill to turn out satisfactorily. A is the furnace-door, B two
gauge-taps, C starting lever-handle, D spring-balance safety-valve, F
wind-guard (with two look-out hobs), G steam-whistle handle, H
pressure-gauge, K steam-blast handle, M glass water-gauge, N the
quadrant and-lever for reversing the engine, O the rear buffer beam
(with buffers), P the wheels showing axle, R R the springs for same, and
V is the safety-guard rail on either side.

When these fittings are made, holes must be drilled in rear-plate for
each, and then firmly screwed in place with white-lead: and the glass
tube in water-gauge and the stuffing-box in gland of starting-lever
should be packed with tallow and cotton wick.

The entire engine can now have another coat of paint.

The smoke-box chimney and rear-plate should be black, and the body any
colour, according to fancy, leaving the brass bands bright.

When lined and quite dry it should have a coat of the best hard, clear
varnish, and again be allowed to dry thoroughly before using it, which
by this time, I have no doubt, you are anxious to do. Whilst it is
drying you will have time to make the lines for it. And you should get
some square bar-iron, cut it into six-foot lengths, if you wish the
lines to be portable, and drill a hole in each end half an inch deep.
They then can be joined end to end by a wire, pin, or plug.

The lines must be kept at a proper distance apart by being secured to
pieces of wood placed transversely underneath by screws passing through
holes drilled in the rails at about every six inches. You can then lay
them down end to end and form a long line. If you want a circular line,
each section must be bent to a portion of a circle; one of about thirty
feet diameter is suitable for this model.

When finished, place the locomotive on them and get up steam. Fill the
boiler with water by means of a funnel until you see it rise up three
parts of the way in the glass water-gauge. Then see that all taps are
turned off and light the fire. Charcoal forms the best fuel to use, as
it gives a clear, hot fire, without smoke.

Try occasionally if you have any steam by lifting safety-valve, and when
there is any turn on the blast-tap, which will soon draw up the fire,
and you will presently see the pressure rise, and be indicated in the

When showing 30 lbs. of steam you might start her, turning on the cocks
on cylinders until no more condensed steam issues from them. Then shut
them off and turn on steam full power, and watch your model travel,
gradually increasing its speed; and I hope you will have many pleasant
hours’ enjoyment in running your locomotive and showing its action to
your friends, which will well repay you for the time spent in building

[Illustration: ART AT PLAY.

[Here is a new use for eggs! All that is needed are a pen or pencil, a
few eggs or egg-shells, a little artistic talent, with a few ‘ideas’ and
there you are! If also furnished with a gum-pot, pair of scissors, and
some paper, there need be no difficulty about the frills, etc.]]







K L M N O P]


[Illustration: 7 + 5 = 12 pieces.]

White to play and mate in two (2) moves.


Beginners sometimes are apt to capture a superior man for an inferior
one, and thereby forget the danger in which they leave their K, as the
following moves show:--

   WHITE.             BLACK.
   1, P d4            P d5
   2, O f3            N f5
   3, O c3            P e6
   4, N g5            O f6
   5, P e3            N d6
   6, N d3            N g6
   7, N g6:           P hg6:
   8, K M             O c6
   9, L d3            O b4
  10, L b5†           K e7
  11, L b7:           M b8
  12, L a7:           O C2:
  13, O e5            M b6

White threatened O c6†. If the N d6 had taken the O e5, White would have
lost the M a1 for the O c2, but have won the O f6 for a P.

  14, M a c1          O b4
  15, P a3            O c6

If O a6, then O a4. The position is now interesting. If White would try
L b6; then Black would win by N e5:. White should now play O c6:† and
then P f4, but forgetting the danger at h2, plays

  16, O d5:†          P d5:
  17, M c6:           N e5:
  18, M b6:

The P d4 ought to have taken the N e5. The position is now--

[Illustration: 12 + 10 = 22 pieces.]

Black to play and mate in six (6) moves.


                  18, N h2:†
  19, K h1            N d6†
  20, K g1            M h1†
  21, K h1:           L h8†
  22, N h6            L h6:†
  23, K g1            L h2‡


The following diagram illustrates a mate in three moves, which the
beginner should learn early, and which is obtained from the original
position of the thirty-two pieces by the following eleven moves:--

   WHITE.             BLACK.
   1, P e4            P e5
   2, P f4            P d6
   3, P d4            P d4:
   4, L d4:           O c6
   5, N b5            O f6
   6, O c3            O h5
   7, O f3            L f6
   8, P e5            P e5:
   9, P e5:           L g6
  10, N d2            L g2:
  11, KM              L f3:

[Illustration: 12 + 14 = 26 pieces.]

White to play and mate in three (3) moves.


  12, L d8†           K d8:
  13, N g5††          K e8
  14, M d8‡


[Illustration: 6 + 3 = 9 pieces.]

White to play and mate in two (2) moves.


In the last two games we gave the first move to White, but will now give
it to Black, and show another series of moves, which lead to a pretty

  BLACK.             WHITE.
  1, P e5            P b3
  2, N c5            N b2
  3, P d6            P e3
  4, O f6            O f3
  5, N g4            O c3
  6, K M             N e2
  7, N f3:           P f3:

It is better for White to take with the P than with the N, for the M h1
can move to g1, and occupy the important g file, in which the black K

   8, O c6            M g1
   9, O e7            O e4
  10, O e4:           P e4:
  11, O g6            P d4
  12, P d4:           P d4:
  13, N b6            P a4
  14, P c6            N c4
  15, L h4            L d3
  16, L h5            K d2
  17, O h4            P d5

White is now tempting Black to give the check with the O.

  18, O f3†           L f3:
  19, L f3:

[Illustration: 12 + 12 = 24 pieces.]

White to play and mate in four (4) moves.


                  19, M g7:†
  20, K h8            M g8††
  21, K g8:           M g1†
  22, L g2            M g2:‡


[Illustration: 9 + 4 = 13 pieces.]

White to play and mate in two (2) moves.


[Illustration: 6 + 6 = 12 pieces.]

White to play and mate in two (2) moves.


The following is the termination of a game played by Adolph

[Illustration: 8 + 10 = 18 pieces.]

White to play and mate in five (5) moves.


  BLACK.             WHITE.
  1, L e6†           L e6:
  2, O d7 (threatening a mate with the M at b8).
                     L d7:
  3, M b8†           K b8:
  4, P d7:           Any move.
  5, P d8 L‡


Problem No. 1.--1, P e8 O, any of four moves. 2, O d6 or f6, mate,

Problem No. 2.--1, K c5, K g2: (or, Q, R, S, T, U). 2, L f3:‡.--(Q) O
g1. 2, O g3‡.--(R) O h2. 2, O f2‡.--(S) O d2 or e1. 2, L h7‡.--(T) O g5
or h4. 2, L b1‡.--(U) O d4 or e5. 2, L b1 or h7‡.


White: K a6; L f5; M a5, h1; N g1, h5; O b8, d1; P b2, c2, d5, g6, h3.
Black: K c4; L g8; M h4; N f1; O a3; P a4, b4, b6, g2. (13 + 9 = 22
pieces.) White gives mate in two moves.


White: K b7; L f4; M d8; N a2; P a3, e5. Black: K c5; M h5; N f7, g1; O
a8; P a5, b5, c2, c7. (6 + 9 = 15 pieces.) White gives mate in two


[Illustration: 8 + 8 = 16 pieces.]

White to play and mate in two (2) moves.


[Illustration: 5 + 8 = 13 pieces.]

White to play and mate in two (2) moves.

The following game was played, and the mate in eight moves announced by
H. F. L. Meyer.

   WHITE.             BLACK.
   1, P b4            P e5
   2, N b2            P d6
   3, P b5            P a6
   4, P c4            P b5:
   5, P b5:           N e6
   6, P a4            N e7
   7, P e3            O f6
   8, O c3            K M
   9, O f3            O b d7
  10, O g5            P h6
  11, O e6:           P e6:
  12, N c4            P d5
  13, N b3            O c5
  14, N c2            P c6
  15, P d4            O c d7
  16, P e5:           O e5:
  17, O d5:

White wins a P, but the move is really a bad one. He ought to have
played K g1 M f1.

                  17, O d5:
  18, N e5:           N b4†
  19, K e2

The K could not well move to f1, for the O would have checked at e3, and
then taken the L.

                  19, L g5
  20, N b2

The N might have moved to f4, but then the black L would have taken the
P g2, and won. Indeed, White’s game is hopeless, as the following
diagram and the solution show:--

[Illustration: 12 + 11 = 23 pieces.]

Black to play and mate in eight (8) moves.


                  20, M f2:†
  21, K f2:

If K d3, the mate follows in three more moves by L e3:, O b6, and P c5.

                  21, L e3: †
  22, K f1            M f8 †
  23, N f5            M f5: †
  24, L f3            M f3: †
  25, P f3:           L f3: †
  26, K g1            N c5 †
  27, N d4            N d4: ‡


The openings and endings of games, which we have already explained, will
assist a beginner in understanding the following observations.

Begin by moving the centre P’s (in the e and d, and also in the c and f
files), then move the N’s to the fourth, third, or fifth squares, and
the O’s to the third or second squares in the central files. Do not play
the L too soon. Place the men so that they protect one another, that
they guard the K, and that they can easily attack the opponent’s men,
especially the K. Always look out that your K is safe against checks,
or, at any rate, against any that would be hurtful. Especially watch the
vulnerable points f1 and f7. Do not play your K out early in the game,
but try to move it together with one of the M’s, especially on the K’s
side, in order that your officers may have freedom of action, and then
you will in most cases do well to let the g and h P’s remain in their
places. When, however, most of the officers (especially the L and the
two N’s) have been exchanged, then you must generally bring your K
forward to support your P’s, etc. Sometimes you can be patient with the
KM movement, namely, wait for a favourable opportunity to perform it on
the right or left. Move the long way when your opponent has taken the
short one, and you are able to attack him with your officers and pawns.
In rare cases you move your K freely into the second row, mostly to f2
(or, if black, to f7), and this especially for the purpose of uniting
your two M’s.

Do not give check unless you see the necessity for it. Give an early
check if thereby you can force the K to move and thus prevent the KM
movement. Be mindful of discovered checks, in which, besides the L and
the M, the N is often active.

When you see a good move try to discover a still better one.

Generally keep the L so that it may not be pinned by an M or an N, or be
attacked when an O checks.

In covering a check from an N or an M it is in most cases best to
interpose a piece of the same kind in order to prevent the piece being
pinned for a long time: but when the L checks, then you should interpose
your L only, when you cannot well attack it by interposing an inferior
piece, or when you cannot protect yourself with an O.

Try to attack two or three men at once in order to capture one; by doing
so endeavour especially to make an attack upon the two principal pieces,
the K and the L. The fittest pieces for this are the L and the O, and
sometimes the M.

Let your P’s protect one another, use them for attacking the officers,
try to get them into open files, and avoid doubling them. Push them
forward on the side on which your opponent has placed his K, unless you
have your K on the same side and wish to keep it safe against checks.
Sometimes you can with safety place your K before an adverse P.

Try to get an open file for your M’s, and according to circumstances to
move one or both into your opponent’s second row. Moving both into one
file or row is called doubling them. Try to clear your P’s away in those
files in which you can attack the K with your M’s. When you advance a P,
consider if your opponent will take it with his P or push his on.

Do not exchange pieces unless you obtain an advantage by doing it, but
when you have an advantage, then do it as often as possible. Sometimes
you can with advantage give an M for an N or an O.

If one of your men is attacked and you cannot defend it, then try to
make a counter-attack, and always consider the subsequent moves. Do not
always take a piece which is offered to you, but consider the

If your L and another officer (M, N, or O) be attacked, and you can save
the former but not the latter, then you will do well, if you can, to
give the L for two minor officers, and then save your officer.

When you have a passed P, try to preserve it and to protect it by P’s. A
P in the sixth or seventh row well supported is generally worth an

Towards the end of the game you must use your K as an attacking officer.
Keep it from an adverse O, so that it cannot easily be checked--that is,
so that it stands in the same diagonal with one square intervening.

When each of you is left with an N and two or three P’s, then the game,
as a rule, is easily drawn if the N’s stand on squares of different
colours. Your K should generally be kept on a square of a different
colour from that on which the adverse N stands. Let your P’s and N
protect one another if you are afraid of losing, but keep the P’s on
squares of a different colour when you wish to prevent the adverse K
from coming near them.

Do not exchange an N for an O indiscriminately, for an N can impede the
march of P’s more readily than an O. And when the major officers are
off, remember that two N’s are stronger than an N and an O, or two O’s.
Prevent an isolation and doubling of your P’s, for two of them protect
each other against the K if the topmost is a passed one and no officer
left. You can often give your last officer for one or two P’s, for these
latter may win, whilst a minor officer very rarely can. Two P’s in the
sixth row win, in most cases, against an M.

Lastly, when you are about to give mate, be mindful of stalemate.


Each of the two players places alternately one of his sixteen men,
beginning with the K, upon any square of his first three rows. The two
N’s may, if preferred, be placed on the same colour. A check within the
first sixteen moves must immediately be covered, and should it not be
possible to cover, then the player checked has lost the game. When all
the men are placed, then the moving and taking begin, the player whose
turn it is to play having the move. The K M move, that is, castling, is
not permitted. The pawns move, and take in passing. A white P in the
first row, or a black P in the eighth row, can start by moving one, two,
or three squares, or such a P may first move one square and afterwards
one or two squares, but in his adversary’s territory only one square at
a time. When moving two or three squares it can be taken in passing. A
black P on g 8 moving to g 5 can be taken by white P’s standing on f5,
f6, h5, or h6. When a P reaches the last square, then the player
promotes it and chooses any one of the seven officers which is not on
the board, but when all the officers are on, then it remains a P for

The letters from K to P are used for the six kinds of pieces, thus:--

[Illustration: K L M N O P]

The first game of this kind was played in June, 1887, between H. F. L.
Meyer (White) and J. Swyer (Black). It is a so-called diagonal game,
because the K’s are placed diagonally opposite one another (on h1 and
a8); it would have been a straight game if the black K had been placed
on h8. Both players surrounded their K’s with the P’s, and thus made
sure to be safe against checks for a long time. The moves are the

  WHITE.              BLACK.
   1, K h1            K a8
   2, P g1            P a7
   3, P g2            P b7
   4, P h2            P b8
   5, P f2            P c8
   6, P h3            M d6
   7, M e1            M d8
   8, M e2            P a6
   9, P f1            P b6
  10, P f3            P c7
  11, P g3            P c6
  12, N b2            N h8
  13, N a2            N h7
  14, O d2            O f7
  15, O e3            O h6
  16, L c1            L f8

The men are now placed thus:--


  17, N a3            P c5
  18, O d c4          P b5
  19, O d6:(_a_)      P d6
  20, O d5            N d5
  21, M e3            P c4
  22, P f4            N d4
  23, M e7            P c6
  24, O b4            N f6
  25, M 7 e6          N g7
  26, O d3:           P d3:
  27, L d2            P c5
  28, L d3:           P b4
  29, L d5            O g8
  30, N c1            O f h6
  31, P g4            O f6
  32, L f3            O h g8
  33, P g5            O e8 (_b_)
  34, N d5            Resigns. (_c_)


(_a_) Black thought he might give the M for the O, and work the P’s

(_b_) He loses time in moving the O’s. He ought to have prevented the
attack on the P b7.

(_c_) It is now useless to defend b7, for if M d7, then M e8:, and if L
f7, then M e7.


_Played on Jubilee Day._

The two players, same as last mentioned, agree to play a so-called
Pyramid Game, that is, to place the Kings on e1 and e8, and to place the
eight Pawns around each in the shape of a pyramid. After these nine
moves they proceeded to place the remaining officers as follows:--

  WHITE.              BLACK.
  10, O d3            M h8
  11, N f3            O c7
  12, M a1            O d6
  13, M a2            L h7
  14, N c3            N g7
  15, O b3            M b8
  16, L b2            N g6

The board now presents the following appearance:--


Now the moving and taking began thus:--

  17, N g7:           P g7:
  18, O e5            N e4
  19, P d3            N f3:
  20, O f3:           P f6
  21, P c4            P e5
  22, L c3            O e6
  23, M a5            P e4
  24, O fd2           L h1
  25, P g3            M h2
  26, O e4:           O e4:
  27, P e4:           L g1
  28, M f5            O g5
  29, O d2            P g6
  30, M f4            O h3
  31, M f3            O f2:
  32, M a5            O g4
  33, M g5            P g5:
  34, L g7            O f6

If he had played P d6, there would have followed 35, L g6:†, K d7; 36, L
f5†, K c7; 37, L g4:, etc.

  35, L g6:†          K f8
  36, M f6:†          P f6:
  37, L f6:†          K e8
  38, L g6†           K e7
  39, L g7†           K d6
  40, P c5†

and the game was a draw by perpetual check, for if K c7, then 41, L e5†,
K b7; 42, L b2†, K c6; 43, L f6†, etc.

These two games show a remarkable variety in the arrangement of the
pieces, and some beautiful new problems can be constructed in accordance
with the placements and movements of the Pawns. Indeed, some ancient
problems gave the impulse for the invention of this kind of game in
June, 1874, when the first game of a similar arrangement was played
between H. F. L. Meyer and H. J. C. Andrews. In 1874, however, the
sixteen men were placed on the board all at once.



It seems an odd thing that in this prolific age of literature the most
fascinating of all nineteenth-century games should lack a recognized
authority as to its play. It is probably for this reason that Double
Chess has so long a time languished in comparative obscurity, winning
its way by slow degrees only into club and family circle.

No two strangers could be found to agree as to the rules which should
govern its play, and the most imperative rule of all, namely, that of
_absolute silence_, has been broken again and again with a royal
disregard of all fine or penalty.

Time after time has it been our lot to sit over a foolish game where
one’s partner would insist either in giving way to vocal bursts of
impatience, or authoritatively insist upon a move which happened to
chime in with his or her ideas. It must be confessed that the fair sex
are most to blame in this matter. Though we are reluctant to upbraid
them, we have no hesitation in saying that the infringement of this
golden rule of silence is one of the fruitful sources of the hitherto
unpopularity of the game.

How often have the writers waited in mute agony lest an exclamation of
triumph or despair from their partners should reveal the imminent
development of a well-planned scheme, and how they have plodded on, more
from courtesy than any real interest, after such an event has taken
place. We must insist that a heavy penalty for a breach of this golden
rule should be rigidly enforced.

Let not the astute Single-chess player delude himself with the notion
that he can march triumphantly to victory in this new game. Save that
the pieces move in the same manner (with one exception) as in Single
Chess, there is no similarity between them, and we must say that the
relative interest of the two games is in favour of the younger born. At
any rate, the writers think so. Beginners grow weary of Double Chess
because they find it occupies an unreasonable length of time. This is
caused by the fact that they maintain a desultory kind of warfare, each
one selecting an adversary and fighting him on his own account.

[Illustration: DOUBLE CHESS BOARD.

One hundred and sixty squares.]

If the Double-chess player will remember that it is absolutely essential
to watch his partner and second his moves, this state of things will
speedily disappear. Those who wilfully neglect this may as well content
themselves with Single Chess. No matter what their powers of
calculation, they will never make decent Double-chess players.

Another imperative rule is always to make your attack to the right and
defend on the left, taking care to guard your king against check by a
double guard. These two rules will be referred to again at their proper
time; but we cannot too strongly insist upon them, though, properly
speaking, they have no place in the introductory remarks.

We have seen a very sensible and modest little _brochure_, by Captain
George Hope Verney, which, unfortunately, is printed for private
circulation only. We willingly bear testimony to its merits.

We must endeavour to combat the popular error that Double Chess is too
complicated for ordinary players. Any one acquainted with the moves and
rules of ordinary chess can soon become a proficient, and as for the
notion that it requires a great Single-chess player to make a good
Double-chess-player, we must call attention, by way of analogy, to the
fact that gamekeepers generally make wretched rifle-shots.

Exception must be taken to the name, ‘Four-handed Chess,’ given by some
players to this game. Why not Four-brained Chess, or Four-person Chess,
on the same principle? Must we call Single Chess Two-handed Chess?
Double Chess let it be called, since it has exactly double the number of
pieces engaged.

The diagram which we give will afford an accurate idea of the board used
in the game of Double Chess.

It should consist of one hundred and sixty squares, twenty-four extra
squares on each side of the central squares.

It is advisable to have the board to fold in two, the blanks on each
corner being convenient for the reception of taken pieces, enabling
players to see at a glance the amount of their own or their opponents’

Having placed the pieces on the board as shown in the diagram, taking
care that the queens are on the same colour, the adversaries proceed to
try for first move, an unquestionable advantage for eight moves.

This is done in the following manner: Red takes one of Black’s and one
of his own pieces, and Black guesses, as in Single Chess. White and
Green do the same. The conquerors then repeat, as in Single Chess. The
victor has first move, and begins the attack, which should be directed
towards his right-hand adversary.

His partner is now bound to remember that to him he must look for
guidance, guessing at his plan of attack, and aiding him to the best of
his ability.

Should the first mover decline to attack he will move on the left, say
his king’s bishop’s knight to king’s bishop third for defence.

This will be sufficient warrant for his partner to make the attack and
take the lead, as it is obvious that first mover wishes to follow
instead of leading. In such an event, after the first round number one
must look to number three for guidance.

The change is, at the best, a confession of weakness, and we cannot
recommend its adoption, as in this game dash is most essential to

Each player makes a move in turn from right to left, and any player
moving out of his turn (Rule 11) may be compelled to move the piece on
which he has placed his hand, while his adversaries may also move out of
their turn. The justice of this is obvious when one reflects that the
mere indication of a piece may give a clue to the mover’s plan of attack
or defence.

No consultation or suggestion of any kind is allowed as the game
proceeds (Rules 1 and 11). Those who cannot restrain shuffling their
feet, wriggling in their chairs, or grimacing over a certain move, had
better be avoided as partners. Such a proceeding is more than

The pawns move only one square at a time, taking obliquely, as in Single
Chess. When friendly pawns meet they leap over each other, and continue
their progress until they reach partner’s king-row, when they return.

No object is gained in causing your pawn to reach your partner’s
king-row, except that coming back it takes in reverse way.

It is therefore advisable when they meet to permit them to remain
together for mutual protection, as in such position they command four
squares-forward and backward.

Should pawns by repeated captures reach the adversary’s square, they
become any pieces their player chooses to name, and such pieces cannot
be taken except by a piece equivalent in rank, or by a king or queen
(Rule 8).

As, however, it is next to impossible for a pawn to reach adversary’s
square, seeing that it can only do so by repeatedly capturing
antagonists, this advantage goes for very little.

A pawn on the return march should be marked by tying a piece of thread
or a ring round its neck. But it will be found that but few, if any,
pawns will have to be so treated, and this most likely will occur at the
end of the game, when one or other of the kings is hard pressed, and the
pawn is hastening to his assistance.

No player is allowed to expose either his own or his partner’s king to
check, and, though he is not compelled to cover his partner’s check, it
is advisable in most cases, when able to do so, as it will be found that
when the king is checked by one adversary, the other will profit by it
to obtain a piece and a position.

Bear in mind that in this game everything depends on mutual assistance
and self-sacrifice. In nine cases out of ten the one who refuses to
sacrifice in order to save his partner from checkmate brings speedy
defeat on each.

Castling is not allowed; it is therefore advisable to get out one’s
knights as soon as possible in order to give castles an opportunity of
moving out of the way of a sudden combined attack.

Another advantage in getting out the knights is that their greatest
value is at the beginning of the game.

Towards the end of the game, in consequence of the combined action of
the pawns, and the distances to be traversed, a knight’s value is
greatly reduced.

We have found it advantageous to exchange a knight for a bishop towards
the middle of the game.

The great object of the game is by combined action to suddenly checkmate
one adversary. His pieces, though not removed from the board, are then
dead, and cannot return to life until the checkmate is removed.

They cannot be taken, but are practically useless, except as offering
the shelter of inert matter to partner’s pieces.

One partner having been checkmated, the antagonists concentrate their
attack upon the remaining one, with the enormous advantage of having two
moves to his one!

Only, therefore, by making desperate sacrifices to release his partner
from checkmate can the non-checkmated one hope to save the game, except
his adversaries should stalemate him, when it is drawn.

While one is checkmated the adversaries may move in and out amongst his
pieces with impunity, and should adversaries’ kings do so, they are not
exposed to check, as the pieces are considered dead.

This is most important, as it enables the adversaries, having once
secured checkmate, to render it permanent by pieces of lesser value,
withdrawing important pieces to fight against remaining partner, who,
although combating single-handed, may be numerically superior to both.

It is lawful to open adversary’s checkmate for the purpose of capturing
any of his pieces, who by that means are returned to life. But it should
be borne in mind that if in doing this stalemate is given, the game is

Though the adversary may at any time open checkmate, he cannot in the
same move take a piece, but his partner may do so, and he may close the
checkmate again at his discretion when it comes to his turn. (See Rule
4.) The game is only won by both partners being checkmated.

A game is drawn when only one piece is left on the board, or when only
pawns are left, as it is then impossible to secure a double checkmate.

But should each partner have a piece, or one of them two pieces, the
game should be fought out, as, with the assistance of their kings, they
may secure a double checkmate.

The adversaries have the forlorn hope of either taking one of their
pieces--in which case the game is drawn--or of securing a stalemate.

This latter event, unlike the former case given, in which one was
checkmated before the stalemate, will be a victory for them, as one king
is free to move.

It is as well for beginners, having reached that stage of the game in
which only two pieces are left, to declare the game drawn, with the
honours of war attached to those with the two pieces left, as the game
in that event will probably last long enough to tire out the patience of
all engaged. Some ten years ago the writers sat from six o’clock in the
evening until half-past four the following morning over a game which had
dwindled down to the above-mentioned dimensions, and had all but given
up the task as hopeless ere the desired result was obtained.

The pieces may range all over the board, as in Single Chess, and are
equally at home in partners’ squares as in their own.


1. Absolute silence must be maintained. Should a player give vent to an
exclamation of vexation when his partner is about to move a piece, the
adversaries may claim a pawn from any of his squares which does not
expose him to check.

2. A player checkmated may not indicate to his partner how to obtain his

3. No piece may be moved which will discover check to player or his

4. No player can release his antagonist from checkmate by taking any of
his pieces.

5. Any player may call attention to the fact that his partner’s queen is
in check.

6. But his own being in check, he may not direct attention to that.

7. A king is not in check by any of his partner’s pieces.

8. A pawn-piece can only be taken by a piece of its own rank, or by king
or queen.

9. A player putting his hand on a piece must play it. If he remove his
hand, the move must be considered as completed.

10. Adversaries’ kings cannot stand next each other on adjoining

11. Should a player play out of his turn, both his antagonists may play
out of theirs, and they are allowed to ask each other which of them is
desirous of moving first.

12. No piece may be removed from the board unless legally captured.

13. A pawn can only move one square at a time, and not two squares first
move, as in Single Chess.

14. The game is only won when both partners are checkmated. Should it be
relinquished before such an event, it is to be considered drawn.

15. A player may not move his checkmated partner’s pieces.

16. Antagonistic pawns may not leap over one another.

17. A player may not take a piece while his king is in check, except to
release himself from check.

18. A king may not move out of check if by so doing he exposes his
partner’s king to check.

19. With kings and one piece only remaining, or with pawns only, the
game is drawn.


Never reproach your partner for having made a blunder. It is useless
blowing up the groom after the horse is stolen; and as it is essential
above all things that a cool head should be kept over this fascinating
game, if your partner is inclined to be nervous, and you ‘nag’ at him,
you may as well consider the game lost.

We remember an instance in America when a really good player, who had
been wofully badgered by his partner for some blunders, remained for an
hour and a half studying the board, lest he should make a false move and
once more encounter his partner’s terrible sarcasm.

At the expiration of that period he arose without making the move, and
vowed, as he could not see that which his partner deemed so important,
he would never play another game of Double Chess. As far as our party
was concerned, he kept his word, and thus a very enjoyable evening’s
amusement was broken up.

It is almost needless to add, that while refraining from rousing your
partner’s temper, it is equally important that you should control your
own. It is very provoking to have a trap suddenly sprung upon you,
thanks perhaps to your partner’s want of perspicuity, and lose an
important piece just when you imagine you had a brilliant game in hand.

But however provoking this may be, getting angry will only make matters
worse, for we defy an angry man to see two moves ahead. Keep cool, bow
gracefully to the opposing storm, and wait with sweetness of temper for
the turn of the tide.

Calmness and breeding are nowhere more requisite than at the
Double-chess table. One cannot bully a stupid player into playing well,
and the only thing to be done is to play the game rigorously, and give
or take no more than the fixed rules require.

By adhering to this, all unpleasantness will be avoided, and this
charming game will grow more and more in popularity. Should you
unfortunately discover that constitutionally you are incapable of
controlling your temper, abandon the game for ever. You will reap the
reward of your self-denial in the knowledge that you will never again
mar the pleasure of those whom Nature has cast in firmer mould.

Theoretical knowledge is of value, but practically it will be found more
advantageous to play a straightforward game than to indulge in any
scheme calculated for a great number of moves ahead. It is of the last
importance that your partner should know what you are about, and aid you
in your plans, else, despite your brilliant play, your airy fabric may

Therefore by all means choose such moves as will most readily lead him
to divine your method of attack, bearing in mind that it is more
important he should know it than that your adversaries should remain in
ignorance of it.

Since the attack should invariably be made on the right-hand adversary,
and the great danger is that you may be held in check by one foe while
the other sweeps away your pieces, it is obvious that your left-hand
defence must be of double strength, to prevent this result being
obtained. Your knights in the early stages of the game will be found of
value in this respect, and your bishops and queen should, as far as
possible, be kept in readiness to swoop to your partner’s assistance,
while he will be ready to aid you in a similar manner. Get out your
castles as speedily as possible, even if you sacrifice a pawn in doing
so, as they are of more importance in this game than in Single Chess,
and are not nearly so well protected in their original positions. Your
queen is of far more value than in Single Chess, and to capture her the
sacrifice of a castle and bishop is, in our opinion, not too great.

Great care must be exercised in her movements. Calculate well, ere you
place her in position, that you cannot be checked in two moves, or you
lose her to a certainty.

We place the relative value of the pieces in Double Chess in the
following scale:--

  Queen                         = 10
  Castles                       =  6
  Red Bishop                    =  5
  White  „                      =  4
  Knights at beginning of game  =  3
     „    „  the end            =  2
  Pawns                         =  1

although practically the last are of little value; certainly not half so
valuable as in Single Chess.

Other players may place a slightly different value on the pieces, but
this will in a great measure depend on their play. While some work the
queen to death, others rely more on their other pieces--in our opinion
the wisest play in the long run.


We have found a board of two-inch squares suit our purpose, and those
which fold in the centre, leaving a blank in each corner, seem to us the

If bone black and white and red and green men cannot be obtained easily,
the ordinary wooden black and yellow, and bone red and white, will
answer the purpose just as well, but any turner will turn a double set
for about two pounds.

Captain George Hope Verney says, in his _Four-Handed Chess_:--

‘I use two sets of Staunton men. One set is of black and yellow wood,
and the other is of red and white bone.

‘The latter was made to order for me at the Civil Service Store in the
Haymarket, at a cost of about eighteen shillings.’

The base of the king measures one and five-eighths of an inch, and is
three and a half inches high.


First round--Black king’s pawn to king’s third; green ditto; white
ditto; red ditto.

Second round--Black bishop takes red bishop; green queen takes black
queen; white queen takes red queen; red king takes white queen.

Third round--Black king takes green queen; green moves queen’s pawn one,
white king’s knight’s pawn one, red king’s knight to royal square.

Fourth round--Bishop takes knight’s pawn.

Thus at the beginning of the fourth round red and green find themselves
obliged to put up with the loss of a bishop and pawn, and a strong
attack, to be followed up by the knights, will be directed against red,
who is severely crippled. Should green check black king, it will do him
no good, as black king’s bishop is protected by white.

Red and green have drawn disaster upon themselves at the beginning of
the game by imitating their opponents’ move, and black and white thus
early starting with an advantage and well-defined attack, should win the
game, since red has not only lost a piece and pawn, but also a move.

Should green check black king third round, he will lose his bishop.
Should he take white’s bishop, black will retreat without breaking
square, as that would liberate red’s castle. He will thus save his
partner a pawn.

A variation of the same opening will be for black second round to play
his knight to bishop’s third, thence to castle four. If this opening is
not seen through and frustrated before four moves, green loses his
queen. But red can easily frustrate the design, or green king’s bishop’s
knight to bishop’s third will suffice.

These two openings will suffice for the beginner; and our readers can
now follow up the subject as far as they wish.


Of chess in the middle ages there were no less than fifty-four
varieties--not gambits, but different ways of playing the game. To one
of these, known as Double Chess, we have already devoted some pages; and
we now give the variety known as Circular Chess, which was played on a
board of the same pattern as the illustration, on which the pieces were
arranged as shown, the line with the arrow-heads representing the edge
of the board in the ordinary game, and the movements taking place right
and left from it.


A pawn attaining this line is exchangeable for a piece, as in the common
game, but it offers no barrier to the passage of the men. The moves are
in all respects the same as in ordinary chess. The peculiarity of the
shape, however, considerably reduces the importance of the bishops and
increases that of the rooks and queens.




It has been said by one who has a right to express an opinion on the
subject (Mr. Wylie, of Fife, the greatest player and analyst in
Scotland) that Draughts is a more intricate and ingenious game than its
proud rival, Chess, of higher antiquity and of more intellectual scope.
So much so, that in a hundred years a man could not exhaust its
varieties. Edgar Allan Poe, the author of _The Raven_, expresses a like
opinion: ‘The higher powers of the reflective intellect are more
decidedly tasked by the unostentatious game of Draughts, or chequers,
than by all the elaborate frivolities of Chess.’

Without venturing to discriminate between the merits and claims of the
two games--both of which I love--I purpose attempting to show my readers
some of the prominent features of the ancient and honourable game of

You are all, doubtless, acquainted with the form of the draught-board
and men; with the fact that the game is played by two persons on a board
of sixty-four squares, with twenty-four men, twelve of one colour and
twelve of another. At starting, the men occupy the three rows of squares
on opposite sides of the board. The men may be placed on either colour,
but for convenience of notation it is usual to select the white squares.
The moves of all the men are alike--diagonal from square to square, in
an upward direction from the player. They _take_ by passing over the
captured man into a vacant square beyond. One, two, or more men can be
taken by the same move, always providing that there is a vacant square
to pass into at each jump. When a man has arrived at either of the four
squares on the opposite side of the board he is crowned, and becomes a
King. The crowning is a simple ceremony--merely placing one draughtman,
of the same colour, on the top of the other. The kings have the power of
moving forward and backward, one square at a time, diagonally. The
_object_ of the game is to capture all your opponent’s men, or so to
block them in that they cannot move. The player who first accomplishes
one of these ends wins the game.

One or two rules are absolute. The offered man must be taken, when the
player says ‘Take,’ and a man touched must, if it can, be moved.

In placing the board for the game, the double corners must be at the
right-hand of the player, which brings us at once to the


--the method by which the moves of a game or problem are recorded. It is
not necessary to show a diagram of the Numbered Board if you remember
the order of the figures. The first white square on the left hand,
uppermost, is 1, and the rest go from left to right, horizontally, till
we arrive at the last white square on the right, 32. In recording the
moves of a game we say 11 to 15, 24 to 19, and so on. A very little
practice will make you sufficiently familiar with this easy system of
notation, and soon enable you to play a game by memory without the

To show you the nature of a Problem, and the way to record its solution,
I will append a diagram.

[Illustration: White to play and win in eight moves.]

The difficulty here is the first move. That discovered, all the others
follow as a matter of course. This is the solution:--

  WHITE.              BLACK.
  10 to  6     1      2 to  9
  18 to 14     2      9 to 18
  15 to 22     3     13 to 17
  22 to 13     4     29 to 25
  13 to 17     5     25 to 30
  17 to 22     6     30 to 25
  22 to 29     7      4 to  8
  11 to  4     8

by which you will see that Black’s moves are all forced, and White wins
the game.

Draughts is played in three ways: the Winning (and most usual) game, the
Losing, and the Polish game. The last, not much practised in this
country, is played on a larger board, and the men take backwards or


Draughts, as played in Great Britain and in all English-speaking
countries, is governed by a few simple and easily-understood Rules, as

1. The board is to be placed with the double corner to the right hand of
the player.

2. The choice of colour is determined by lot. After the first game the
men are commonly changed.

3. Black has invariably the first move.

4. A man touched, except for the purpose of adjusting it, must be moved
if there be an open square into which it can be moved.

5. A man moved over the angle of a square must, if it can, be moved to
that square.

6. A man _en prise_ must be taken; or if it be left untaken by accident,
it may be ‘huffed’--that is, taken off the board by the adversary. The
‘huff’ is not a move, but the player insisting on it, huffs and moves.

7. Five minutes is the limit of time for considering a move; when a
piece is _en prise_, one minute only is allowed. Penalty: loss of the

8. A false move must be replaced, and a legal move made.

9. A wrong man removed from the board can only be replaced by consent of
the adversary.

10. When two kings only remain on the board, the game must be won in
twenty moves on either side, or abandoned as drawn.

11. With three or more kings, or men, to two, the player with the weaker
force may insist on the game being won within forty moves on each side,
or be drawn. In each of these cases notice must be given by the player
that he will count the moves.

12. When two or more men are taken at one _coup_, no man captured must
be taken from the board till the combined move is completed.

13. A man moved up to the last row of squares on the other side must be
immediately crowned; but the king cannot play till a move has been made
on the other side.

BYE-LAWS.--No pointing over the board or obstruction to the adversary is
allowed.--Matches, unless otherwise agreed, consist of an equal number
of games.--All disputes to be decided by an umpire or other
disinterested player.--Neither player is allowed, without the consent of
his opponent, to leave the room during the progress of a game.--Any
breach of the rules involves the loss of the game.

Above all, _keep your temper!_


[Illustration: White to play and mate in seven moves.]


A common practice with young players is to give man for man; but this is
only advantageous when you are a piece ahead, and even then it is
sometimes found difficult to win within the twenty moves allowed. There
is, however, no secret in the matter. The player with two kings can
always force a win if he knows how to set about it. From any part of the
board he can, in about eight or nine moves, drive the single king into
the double corner, and when he is there he wins in eight moves, thus:--


  BLACK.              WHITE.
  10 to  6            5 to  1
  14 to 10            1 to  5
   6 to  1            3 to  9
   1 to  5            9 to 13

It is at this point the tyro generally makes a mistake. Instead of
moving away, he presses on his adversary, and gives him a chance of
escape. He must move into square 15, not into 14:--

  10 to 15            13 to 17
  15 to 18

Now whether White move into 13 or 21, he is equally pinned by the Black
at 22.

Of course a like series of moves in the other double corner produces a
like result.

In the above, and all the other diagrams, the Black men occupy the upper
half of the board.

To show, however, the mischief of unscientific play, we will suppose the
kings to have got into the following position, when Black, with the
move, can do no more than effect a drawn game:--


Here Black must give away a man. He must go to either square 17, 25, or
26. Let us suppose he moves to 26, White takes, and goes into square 31.
Now, if Black go to 25 instead of 17, he loses the game in two moves.
White moves to 26, and pins him on 22, in either the three squares to
which he is compelled to go.


In ordinary circumstances, two kings to two must be a draw. Neither
player can force the other out of the double line. Suppose, however, you
can get the pieces into this position:--


Black, with the move, wins by playing a king from 26 to 23, and taking
two for one. Beware, in the position shown, that you do not move
backward instead of forward. Should you do so, you may perhaps get into
some such fix as this:--

[Illustration: Black to play and lose. White to play and draw.]

White must, moreover, be careful not to get his men into a line with a
square between into which Black can move, technically known as ‘The

[Illustration: Black to play and draw.]

This is a trap into which young players are very apt to fall. Beware of
it. Had White the move, he, of course, could easily win, either by
fixing the Black king in a side square, or by the double-corner moves
already shown.


When you are left with three kings to two, you must effect an exchange,
or the game may be prolonged indefinitely. It is sometimes rather
difficult to force an exchange, but it is not impossible if you go the
right way to work. The possessor of the two kings commonly gets one in
each double corner. The mode of attack in this case is to get your three
kings into a line, so as to enable you to give king for king. However
hard the other player tries he must eventually succumb. Take a common
case. Place the kings on the board as in the diagram, the White on 32
and 5, the Black on 10, 18, and 19:--

[Illustration: Black to play and win, or White to play and Black to

If Black play he moves into 6 or 24. White has the choice of two moves
only, either of the double corners.

  BLACK.              WHITE.
  19 to 24            5 to 1
  18 to 15            1 to 5
  10 to  6

Now, whether White move from 5 to 1 or from 32 to 28, he must submit to
an exchange, for Black backs up his king, takes one for one, and then
wins in the usual way.

Suppose White has the move. He can only go into squares 1 or 32. Say he
moves into 32; Black has only to go from 18 to 15, and what has his
adversary left? Nothing but to submit to an exchange at the next move,
after which the rest is easy, as already shown with two kings to one.


As a rule the player with the superior force must win, but in some
positions it is very difficult to force an exchange. Take this:--


White, with the move, has but one square, 28, into which he can move.
Black, with the move, would of course win by going into the same square,
and soon compel an exchange. Suppose White move--

  WHITE.              BLACK.
  32 to 28            24 to 20
  28 to 32            23 to 19
  31 to 27            22 to 18
  27 to 31

If he play 27 to 23 his adversary takes from 18 to 27, and leaves
himself after the exchanges with two kings to one. White prolongs the
struggle by moving from 27 to 31, to which Black replies by playing

                      19 to 24
  32 to 27            24 to 28
  27 to 32            18 to 23
  31 to 27            23 to 26
  30 to 23            28 to 24
  27 to 31            24 to 27
  31 to 24            20 to 18,

which leaves Black with two kings to one, when he wins in ten or twelve

This last is an instructive position, as it shows how the greater force
must conquer. Generally the same result happens in other and more vastly
important contests. The game of Draughts, like the game of war, can only
be successfully played by an intimate union of strategy and might.


If each player had equal skill, and each made the proper move, then the
player who took the first move would win. This sentence sounds like a
truism, but it is open to argument. Throughout every game it is
important to know which of the two players ‘has the move’--that is, the
power to fix his adversary man for man on every available square. The
first moves of a game do not directly affect its final result, but when
the men have become fewer and fewer, it is of the greatest consequence
to know on which side lies the forcing power. To make this plain, place
a white man on square 4, the top right-hand corner, and a black man on
square 30, the second from the left in the lowermost row of squares.
Black, having to play, moves from 30 to 26, and do what he may, White
must be stopped at square 19. Try it. White, having to play first,
cannot, on the contrary, prevent his opponent from making a king. This
simply shows the theory of Having the Move.

To discover whether you Have the Move, several plans are at your
service. The easiest is this: Count one for each man of both colours
which stand on columns having a white square at the foot. If it is your
turn, and the total of the addition be odd, you Have the Move; if it is
your opponent’s turn to play, the move is with him.

Place the men as in the following diagram, and you will soon find that
either colour moving first has the move, and therefore ought to win.

[Illustration: The Move.--Either colour to play first and Have the

_Another Plan_, by some considered more certain, is this:--

If you desire to know if any one of your men has the move of any man on
the other side, examine the position of both. If there is a black square
on the right angle under his man you Have the Move. For instance, you
have a black man on 30, and white has a man on 3. The right angle is the
black square between 31 and 32. With your man on square 29 or 31 the
right angle would be found on the black squares on one or other side of
the straight line below the white man, and he, therefore, would Have the
Move. The value of this plan is that it holds good with any number of

_A Third Plan._--Count the men and the squares. If the men are even and
the squares are odd, or if the squares are even and the men odd, _you_
Have the Move. With even men and even squares, and odd men and odd
squares, the move is on the other side.

To apply this theory. When you have the move do _not_ exchange, if you
can avoid it, or you may lose the move. For example, place the men thus:

[Illustration: The Move.--White to play and win.]

When all the men, both Black and White, on the lettered column (_a_,
_b_, _c_, _d_,) are added up, the total is _odd_, and the side having to
play Has the Move. If no men are on the lettered squares, then take the
figured squares, 1, 2, 3, 4; but do _not_ combine the two. Apply the
theory to the above position. We find that there being 9, an odd number
of men, on the lettered columns, White Has the Move, and having it,
would win:

   WHITE.          BLACK.
  28 to 24  --1--  8 to 12
  30 to 26  --2--  2 to  6
  24 to 19  --3--  6 to 10
  21 to 17  --4--  9 to 13
  26 to 22  --5--  1 to  6
  32 to 28  --6--  6 to  9
  28 to 24  --7--

What, now, can Black do but play, and lose a man and the game? He has
but two squares, 15 and 11, open to him. His defeat is decisive and


Change man for man till only one capturing piece remains on the board.
Suppose Black had men on squares 12 and 15, and White had men on 24 and
28. What should White do? Nothing more simple. He plays from 24 to 19.
Black must take the offered piece and be taken, when his remaining man
on 12 is fixed by the White on square 19.

A further example. Place the men thus:--

[Illustration: Regaining the Move.--White to play and win.]

Here it would appear that Black must win. But White, playing first,
forces a win.

   WHITE.                BLACK.
  32 to 28      -- 1--  25 to 22
  28 to 24      -- 2--  22 to 18
  24 to 19      -- 3--  18 to 22
  19 to 15      -- 4--  22 to 17
  15 to 18      -- 5--  17 to 13
  18 to 22      -- 6--  13 to  9
  30 to 26      -- 7--   9 to 14
  26 to 23      -- 8--  14 to 10
  23 to 18      -- 9--  10 to  6
  18 to 14      --10--   6 to  1
  14 to  9      --11--   1 to  5
   9 to  6      --12--   5 to  1
   6 to  2 King --13--   1 to  5
   2 to  6      --14--   5 to  1
   6 to 10      --15--   1 to  5
  10 to 15      --16--   5 to  9
  15 to 19      --17--   9 to 14
  27 to 23      --18--  14 to 10
  23 to 18      --19--  10 to  6
  18 to 14      --20--   6 to  1
  14 to  9      --21--   1 to  5
   9 to  6      --22--   5 to  9
   6 to  1 King --23--   9 to  5
   1 to  6      --24--   5 to  1
   6 to  9      --25--   1 to  5
   9 to 14      --26--   5 to  1
  14 to 18      --27--   1 to  5
  18 to 23      --28--   5 to  9
  23 to 27      --29--   9 to 14
  19 to 23      --30--  14 to  9
  23 to 18      --31--   9 to  5
  18 to 14      --32--   5 to  1
  14 to  9      --33--   1 to  5
  22 to 17      --34--   5 to 14
  17 to 10      --35--  21 to 25
  10 to 15      --36--  25 to 29 King
  15 to 19      --37--  29 to 25
  27 to 32      --38--  25 to 22
  19 to 24      --39--  20 to 27
  32 to 23      --40--  22 to 17
  23 to 18      --41--  17 to 13
  18 to 14, and wins next move.

The beginner who follows the moves of this game with an understanding
brain, will learn more about the scientific theory of Draughts than he
could acquire by a year of miscellaneous play.


As stated on page 182, the rules are few and simple. The explanations
and remarks are in brackets.

1. The board is to be so placed as that the double corner is at the
right hand of the player. [Some play on the white, and some on the black
squares. For convenience of numbering the board and recording the moves,
the white squares are now generally adopted.]

2. The choice of colour is determined by lot, and the men on either side
are placed on the alternate squares in three lines immediately in front
of the player. [The black or the white squares, as may be decided before

3. Black has the first move, and the men are changed with each game.
[Thus giving in turn the first move to each player.]

4. The player who touches a man, except for the purpose of adjusting it,
must move that man, if it can be legally moved.

5. A piece moved over the angle of a square must be moved to that
square. [This is a newly-adopted law, to prevent the undecided mode of
moving backward and forward adopted by some players.]

6. A man _en prise_ must be taken if intimation be given by the player
offering it. If by accident it is left untaken, the piece which should
have taken it may be huffed. [It is at the option of the adversary to
huff or let the offending piece remain.]

7. The player cannot stand the huff, when he is told to take a man, or

8. The huff is not a move; and after taking off the huffed piece, the
player moves. [Thus ‘huff and move’ is a well-understood direction.]

9. A player taking one piece only when two or more can be legally taken,
may be huffed on the completion of his move.

10. When a piece is _en prise_ it must be taken within a minute. [This
is to prevent the delay in which some indulge.]

11. Five minutes is the limit of time for considering a move. The
penalty for exceeding the time allowed is loss of the game. [This law
applies more particularly to match games.]

12. A piece abandoned is a completed move. [In all games this law should
be observed, as nothing is so annoying to an opponent as to be asked to
allow a move to be amended.]

13. A false or illegal move must be rectified, or the game resigned;
such move may be allowed to remain, at the option of the adversary. [By
a false move is meant the moving backward, or sideways, or on to the
wrong-colour square.]

14. If a player in the act of taking remove one of his own men from the
board, it cannot be replaced, except by consent of the opponent.

15. When three or more kings are opposed to a weaker force, the game
must, when the opponent gives notice to count, be won within forty
moves, or abandoned as drawn.

16. When two kings are opposed to one, the game is to be declared drawn,
unless the player with the stronger force win in twenty moves. [From any
part of the board two kings can win against one in fifteen or sixteen

17. Notice must be given of the intention to count the moves. [Twenty or
forty, as the case may be; one for the combined move of both colours.]

18. When several pieces can be taken in one continuous move, no piece
may be taken up off the board until the move is completed. The player
failing to take all the men may be huffed. [As in Rule 9.]

19. When a man arrives at a square in the last row on the opposite side
of the board, he must be immediately crowned. But the king cannot move
till the opposing player has made his move.

20. Kings can move backward or forward, one square at a time only; and,
to take two or more pieces in one move, there must be a vacant square
behind each individual piece.

21. Disputes are to be decided by an umpire, or a majority of the

22. Matches must consist, unless otherwise agreed, of an equal number of
games. [The rules for regulating a match should be determined and stated
in writing. An umpire should be appointed.]

23. During the progress of a game neither player is allowed to leave the
room, except by permission of his opponent.

24. Pointing over the board, loud talk, or any other behaviour likely to
annoy or confuse an adversary, if persisted in, forfeits the game.

25. No bystander is allowed to advise a player, or interfere with the
progress of a game.

26. A breach of any of the above laws is punishable by the loss of the
game, if in the opinion of the umpire such breach was intentional.


Play with better players than yourself. Observe the openings.

Look well over the board before making a move.

Never touch a man without moving it.

Leave off when your mind is fatigued, and never persist in playing when
you stand but small chance of winning.

Waste no time in considering an inevitable move. Take the offered piece
without hesitation or delay.

When you are a man ahead, exchange as often as you can, but at the same
time beware of man-traps and spring-guns.

Abandon a line of play the secret of which is discovered by your
adversary; and when a piece must be lost, make no attempt to retain it.
Sometimes it is safer to give up a man than to defend a weak position.

Make your kings as quickly as you can. Avoid all cramped positions. Back
up your men in phalanx fashion:--


and move rather towards the centre than to the sides of the board. Be
careful not to move out your men too soon from the safety of the back

Play with your head as well as with your fingers. Avoid banter and loud
talk. Boast not of your victories. Win modestly, and lose with good
temper. Punctuality is the politeness of kings. Courtesy is the grand
characteristic of good draught-players.


There is a good deal of amusement and no little skill in the Losing
Game. As its name denotes, this game is the reverse of Draughts proper.
The object is to lose all your men; and he who accomplishes that object

The whole or main secret of the Losing Game is to play towards the sides
of the board, and to so arrange your men as to be able to give up two,
three, or more at a single _coup_. After a little practice you will
discover that even with a dozen men on the board against, say, two or
three, you may win--that is, you may compel your adversary to take them
all. Or with a single king you may take man after man, and then, at
last, commit graceful suicide. Or you may compel a king to take several
men. Much depends on Having the Move. Here, for instance, is a position
in which a king is forced to take eight men and lose the game:--

[Illustration: Black to move and White to win, or White to move and
Black to win.]

Black has only two squares into which he can go, and then he must allow
White to give away his men one after the other. If White moves first,
Black gains the opposition by losing his king, and wins the game.

In the next diagram, again, is a position in which White can compel a
single Black man to take all his eleven pieces one after the other.

[Illustration: White to play and win.]

White, moving upward, first gives his king, and then the man on 24,
after which he offers the man on 31, which White must take and become a
king. The remaining moves are simple, but White has to play carefully,
or he may enable the Black king to sacrifice himself and win.

The Losing Game offers numerous opportunities for calculation and
combination; but what we have shown is sufficient to enable young
players to understand the theory. Excellence will come with practice and


The Polish game is played on a board of a hundred squares, ten each way;
but for all ordinary purposes the regular English board of sixty-four
squares will do as well. The board is set in the usual way, with a
double corner at the right hand of the players, no matter which colour
be chosen.

Two great and essential differences exist between English and Polish
Draughts. In the foreign game the men _take backward and forward_, one
square at a time, as many pieces as are _en prise_, and the kings _leap
over any number of squares_, wherever and whenever there is a piece to
take. As, in our own game, a piece touched must be moved, and all the
other rules of the English game are to be observed. On the Continent,
where the game is much more common than with us, the crowned man is
called a queen, just as the game itself is Damen, a game for ladies.
With them, as with us, the White squares are usually chosen.

It is by exchanges that good players at Polish Draughts parry moves and
prepare combinations. It is well to give man for man, or two for two. By
that means the game is strengthened, and thus it often happens that a
single man can confine several of his opponent’s pieces.

The _lunette_--the placing a man on a square between two men of the
other side--is much more frequent in the Polish than in the English
game. Look well to the position before you enter the _lunette_; and
having entered it, before you decide on your move. It is often a snare,
which the good player will try to avoid.

Concentrate your men towards the end of the game, for then the slightest
error may be fatal.

Two, three, or more pieces may sometimes be advantageously sacrificed to
obtain a king, which, in this game, is very powerful. Make your kings as
soon as you can, and play them with judgment. With a king and a man
against two or three kings, hesitate not to sacrifice your man, for the
game may be almost as well defended by the king alone. Between equal
players, the game often results in a draw; but there is no saying how
numerous are the combinations which may lead to victory or its reverse.

It is not necessary to give the moves of a game, as, except for its two
grand distinctions, Polish Draughts is similar to the English game.

Here, then, we have pretty well all that can be taught on paper
respecting this branch of the game. The next step is How to Open a game
with advantage. This I shall proceed briefly to show; and after that the
excellence is to be acquired by practice alone. Draughts, in all its
varieties, is an admirable game, inculcating patience, caution, tact,
and scientific calculation. Those who would excel in its practice must
be content to go slowly. There is no royal road to Draughts.
Perseverance and failure are the parents of success.


Usually it is necessary to begin at the beginning; but in Draughts and
Chess, as in other games of skill, players commence playing, and even
attain some degree of aptness, before they actually conquer the
alphabet, the science, of the several amusements. There is no great harm
in this plan, however. Do we not all learn to talk before we know
anything of grammar or orthography; to sing before we understand even
the notation of music; to argue and discuss before we get even the
haziest notion of logic? Of course we do. And then we naturally
endeavour to go back to first principles, and so correct our mistakes by
aid of rule and system.

I told you some pages back that there were various accepted openings to
the game of Draughts--the Old Fourteenth, the Single Corner, the Laird
and Lady, the Glasgow, the Whilter, and some fifty others. All the
really safe, sound, and favourable openings, however, proceed from the
five here named. The rest are well enough to know, but in practice they
are risky and fantastical.

To properly understand what follows, it is necessary that you should so
completely conquer the notation of draughts as to be able to follow the
moves in your mind’s eye without seeing the board. This is not nearly so
difficult as you may think. Number your board as in the diagram below,
and place the men in the order of play.

[Illustration: The Numbered Board, with the men placed in their order of

Here we have the Black men on the upper half of the board, though
whether the White or the Black occupy that position the order of their
moves is the same. The usual plan is for the Black to take the first
move, and for the players to change the pieces with each game. By this
method each player begins alternately, and always with the Black men.
Our games will be so arranged, if you please.

Let us commence, then, with the best of the openings--


   BLACK.           WHITE.
  11 to 15  --1--  23 to 19
   8 to 11  --2--  22 to 17
   4 to  8  --3--  17 to 13

These three moves on either side constitute the Old Fourteenth Opening.
From this point, at which the game is perfectly even, spring many
variations. The most common and accepted moves on each side are--

  15 to 18  --4--  24 to 20
  11 to 15  --5--  28 to 24
   8 to 11  --6--  26 to 23

The following is now the position. Both sides are well placed, and the
game, if played thoroughly, should end in a draw, with White for


Black has now the choice of two moves. We will suppose that he defends
his position by moving from 9 to 14.

The first double column gives the moves from the position in the
diagram; six moves on each side having been made. The other columns show
six variations. The star indicates the losing move in each case.

   12 |       | 26*22 | 25 22 |       |       |       |
   13 |  9-14 |  9-14 | 18-25 |       |       |       |
   14 | 31 26 | 31-26 | 29 22 |       |       |       |
   15 |  6- 9 |  5- 9 |  9-14 |       |       |       |
   16 | 13  6 | 26 23 | 27 23 |       |       |       |
   17 |  2- 9 |  1- 5 |  6- 9 |       |       |       |
   18 | 26 22 | 22 17 | 13  6 |       |       |       |
   19 |  1- 6 | 11 16 |  2- 9 |       |       |       |
   20 | 32 28 | 20 11 | 22 17 |       |       |       |
   21 |  3- 8 |  7-16 | 15 18 |  ..   |  ..   |  9*13 |
   22 | 30 26 | 25 22 | 17 13 | 32 28 |       | 26 22 |
   23 |  9-13 | 18-25 | 18-27 | 18-27 |       |  3- 8 |  ..
   24 | 19 16 | 29 22 | 13  6 | 19 16 |       | 23 18 |
   25 | 12-19 |  3- 7 | 14-18 | 12-19 |       | 14-23 |
   26 | 23 16 | 22 18 | 32 14 | 24  8 |       | 31-27 |
   27 | 13-17 | 15-22 | 10-17 |  3-12 |       | 15-18 |  5* 9
   28 | 22 13 | 19 15 | 21 14 | 31 24 |       | 22  6 | 27 18
   29 |  8-12 | 10-28 |  1-17 |  9-13 |       | 13-22 |  1- 5
   30 | 24 19 | 17  3 | 26 22 | 26 22 |       | 27 18 | 30 26
   31 | 15-31 | 22-26 | 17-26 |  7-11 |       |  1-10 |  9-14
   32 | 26 22 |  3  8 | 30*23 | 30*26 |       | 18 14 | 18  9
   33 | 12-19 | 16-20 |  5- 9 |  1- 6 |       | 10-17 |  5-14
   34 | 22  8 +-------+ 23 18 | 26 23 | 24*19 | 21 14 | 26 23
   35 | 14-17 | white |  7-10 | 11-15 | 11-15 +-------+ 15-18
   36 | 21 14 | wins. | 31 26 | 24 19 | 28 24 | white | 22  6
   37 | 10 17 +-------+  9-13 | 15-24 | 15-18 | wins. | 13-22
   38 |  8  3 |       | 26 23 | 28 19 | 22 15 +-------+  6  2
   39 |  7-10 |       | 13-17 |  6- 9 | 13-31 |       |  7-10
   40 | 25 21 |       | 18 14 | 20 16 | 15 11 |       | 32 28
   41 | 17-22 |       | 17-21 | 10-15 | 14-18 |       | 22-25
   42 | 20 16 |       | 14  7 | 17 10 | 11  7 |       | 23 18
   43 | 10-14 |       |  3-10 | 15-24 | 31-26 |       | 14-23
   44 | 16 11 |       +-------+ 23 19 | 21 17 |       | 19 16
   45 | 31-26 |       | black | 24-27 | 26-22 |       +-------
   46 | 11  8 |       | wins. | 10  6 | 17 13 |       | white
      +-------+       +-------+ 27-31 | 18-23 |       | wins.
      |       |       |       |  6  2 |  7  3 |       +-------
      | draw. |       |       | black | black |       |
      |       |       |       | wins. | wins. |       |

If you play out these games carefully you will see that there is a
reason for each move, and thus demonstrate that Draughts is a scientific
game possessing no element of luck or chance.


The opening known as the Laird and Lady is a favourite with players
north of the Tweed. Rare fine players at Draughts are the Scotsmen.
They carried the game across the Atlantic, where it is popularly known
as Checquers, or, as the New Englanders spell it, Checkers.

The first two moves on each side in the Laird and Lady are the same as
those in the Old Fourteenth.

  BLACK.           WHITE.
  11 to 15  --1--  23 to 19
   8 to 11  --2--  22 to 17

Then comes the variation which distinguishes it,

   9 to 13  --3--  17 to 14

This Black follows on with a move which compels an exchange.

  10 to 17  --4--  21 to 14
  15 to 18  --5--  26 to 23

White’s last move supports the advanced man on square 14. Then Black
proceeds with what at first sight seems a weak move:--

  13 to 17  --6--  19 to 15

From this point the game is even, though the advantage would certainly
seem to be on the side of the White. The following is the position at
the point arrived at:--


From this position there are almost endless variations. Drummond, a
well-known writer and specialist, gives no fewer than thirty; and,
generally, they end in favour of White, the second player--proving that
this opening is hardly so good as the Old Fourteenth or the Single
Corner, which may be considered the standard games of first-rate

We give the moves of a completed game in this opening, showing the moves
from which the variations spring.

  BLACK.           WHITE.
  11 to 15  -- 1--  23 to 19
   8 to 11  -- 2--  22 to 17
   9 to 13  -- 3--  17 to 14
  10 to 17  -- 4--  21 to 14
   6 to 10  -- 5--  25 to 21
  10 to 17  -- 6--  21 to 14
  15 to 18  -- 7--  29 to 25
  11 to 16  -- 8--  19 to 15
  (or 1 to 6
  19 to 25
   4 to  8
  26 to 22, &c.)
  16 to 20  -- 9--  26 to 23
                    (or 26 to 22)
   1 to  6  --10--  31 to 26
  13 to 17  --11--  15 to 10
   6 to 15  --12--  23 to 19
   4 to  8  --13--  19 to 10
   8 to 11  --14--  24 to 19
  11 to 16  --15--  26 to 22
  (or 11 to 15)
  17 to 26  --16--  30 to 23
   5 to  9  --17--  14 to  5
   7 to 14  --18--   5 to  1

And White wins. Now try the variations indicated. Had Black at his
fifteenth move gone from 11 to 15, the best he could have done would be
to draw. See:--

  11 to 15  --15--
  12 to 19  --16--  19 to 16
  20 to 27  --17--  27 to 24
   7 to 11  --18--  32 to 16
   2 to 11  --19--  16 to  7
  18 to 25  --20--  25 to 22
  15 to 18  --21--  30 to 21
  11 to 16  --22--  10 to  6

And the game is drawn.

It may be useful, in this place, to give a


       TITLE.      |  1st  |  2nd  |  3rd  |  4th  |  5th
                   | Move. | Move. | Move. | Move. | Move.
  Double Corner    |  9-14 |       |       |       |
  Single Corner    | 11-15 | 22-18 |       |       |
  Ayrshire Lassie  | 11-15 | 24-20 |       |       |
  Second Double    |       |       |       |       |
    Corner         | 11-15 | 24-19 |       |       |
  Cross            | 11-15 | 23-18 |       |       |
  Whilter          | 11-15 | 23-19 |  7-11 |       |
  Will o’ the Wisp | 11-15 | 23-19 |  9-13 |       |
  Dyke             | 11-15 | 22-17 | 15-19 |       |
  Maid o’ the Mill | 11-15 | 22-17 | 15-18 |       |
  Defiance         | 11-15 | 23-19 |  9-14 | 27-23 |
  Glasgow          | 11-15 | 23-19 |  8-11 | 22-17 | 11-16
  Laird and Lady   | 11-15 | 23-19 |  8-11 | 22-17 |  9-13
  Fife             | 11-15 | 23-19 |  9-14 | 22-17 |  5- 9
  Old Fourteenth   | 11-15 | 23-19 |  8-11 | 22-17 |  4- 8

Of these, some already named--Old Fourteenth, Laird and Lady, &c.--are
the best for practice. We therefore present another set of games in the


As before, the key-game appears in the first double-column; and the
variations spring from the point indicated. The moves are given
consecutively; the first player going from 11 to 15; his opponent from
23 to 19, and so on to the end.

      |GAME   |   2   |   3   |   4   |   5   |   6   |   7
    1 | 11-15 |       |       |       |       |       |
    2 | 23 19 |       |       |       |       |       |
    3 |  8-11 |       |       |       |       |       |
    4 | 22-17 |       |       |       |       |       |
    5 |  4- 8 |       |       |       |       |       |
    6 | 17 13 | 25 22 |       |       |       |       |
    7 | 15-18 | 15-18 |       |       |       |       |
    8 | 24-20 | 22 15 |       |       |       |       |
    9 | 11-15 | 11-18 |       |       |       |       |
   10 | 28 24 | 17 13 |       |       |       |       |
   11 |  8-11 |  7-11 |       |       |  9-14 |       |
   12 | 26 23 | 24 20 |       |       | 29 25 |       |
   13 |  9-14 | 10*14 |  3* 7 |       | 10-25 |       |
   14 | 31 26 | 29 25 | 29 25 |       | 19 10 |       |
   15 |  6- 9 |  2- 7 | 11-15 |       |  6-15 |       |
   16 | 13  6 | 26 23 | 26 23 |       | 26 23 |       |
   17 |  2- 9 |  7-10 | 15-24 |       |  8-11 |       |
   18 | 26 22 | 21 17 | 20 19 |       | 30 26 |       |
   19 |  1- 6 | 14-21 |  9-14 | 10*14 | 11*16 |       |
   20 | 32 28 | 23  7 | 32 28 | 30 26 | 24 20 |       |
   21 |  3- 8 |  3-10 |  6- 9 |  7-11 |  1- 6 |  7*11 |
   22 | 30 26 | 25 22 | 13  6 | 19 15 | 20 11 | 28 24 |
   23 |  9-13 |  9-14 |  2- 9 |  2- 7 |  7-16 |  3- 7 |  2* 6
   24 | 19 16 | 22 17 | 30 26 | 26 22 | 26 22 | 24 19 | 24 19
   25 | 12-19 | 11-15 |  1- 6 | 12-16 |  2- 7 | 15-24 | 15-24
   26 | 23 16 | 27 23 | 26 22 | 22 17 | 22 17 | 26 22 | 26 22
   27 | 13-17 | 15-24 |  7-11 |  7-10 |  7-10 | 11-15 | 11-15
   28 | 22 13 | 28 19 | 22 15 | 32 28 | 23 19 | 20 11 | 20 11
   29 |  8-12 |  8-11 | 11-18 | 10-26 | 16-23 |  7-16 | 24-28
   30 | 24 19 | 31 26 | 31 26 | 31 15 | 25 22 | 27 11 | 11  8
   31 | 15-31 | 11-15 |  9-13 | 11-18 | 18-25 |  8-27 | 12-16
   32 | 26 22 | 32 28 | 26 22 | 17 10 | 27  2 | 32 23 | 22 17
   33 | 12-19 +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+3-12
   34 | 22  8 | white | white | white | white | white | 17 10
   35 | 14-17 | wins. | wins. | wins. | wins. | wins. +-------
   36 | 21 14 +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+ white
   37 | 10-17 |       |       |       |       |       | wins.
   38 |  8  3 |       |       |       |       |       +-------
   39 |  7-10 |       |       |       |       |       |
   40 | 25 21 |       |       |       |       |       |
   41 | 17-22 |       |       |       |       |       |
   42 | 20 16 |       |       |       |       |       |
   43 | 10-14 |       |       |       |       |       |
   44 | 16 11 |       |       |       |       |       |
   45 | 31-26 |       |       |       |       |       |
   46 | 11-18 |       |       |       |       |       |
      +-------+       |       |       |       |       |
      | draw. |       |       |       |       |       |
      +-------+       |       |       |       |       |

As in the previous examples, the asterisk shows the losing move. Young
players should get this opening by heart. In the first game, you see,
all that White can do is to draw; in the others he wins.


This a good and sound opening. Properly conducted, it gives the win to
the first player. As in the Old Fourteenth and the Laird and Lady, the
first move is from square 11 to square 15. The variation occurs in the
second move, which is 22 to 18 instead of 22 to 19. Thus--

  11 to 15  --1--  22 to 18
  15 to 22  --2--  25 to 18
   8 to 11  --3--  29 to 25
  10 to 15  --4--  25 to 22
   4 to  8  --5--  24 to 20
  12 to 16  --6--  21 to 17

The position of the men is now as follows, without any great advantage
on either side, with Black to move:--


It will be well for the students to play out the game from this

Now let us take some variations most usual in this opening. The first
game is played from the initial move, and the variations from the places
marked. It will be easy for any two players with the Numbered Board
before them to follow the moves.

      | GAME  |   2   |   3   |   4   |   5   |   6   |   7
    1 | 11-15 |       |       |       |       |       |
    2 | 22 18 |       |       |       |       |       |
    3 | 15-22 |       |       |       |       |       |
    4 | 25 18 |       |       |       |       |       |
    5 |  8-11 |       |       |       |       |       |
    6 | 29 25 |       |       |       | 10-14 |  9-13 |  9-14
    7 |  4- 8 |       |       | 24 19 | 24 19 | 24 20 | 18  9
    8 | 25 22 |       |       | 16-20 | 11-16 | 1?-16 |  5-14
    9 | 12-16 | 11-16 |       | 28*24 | 27 24 | 27 24 | 24 19
   10 | 24 20 | 24 20 |       |  7-11 | 16-20 |  8-12 | 11-15
   11 |  8-12 |  8-11 |       | 30 25 | 31 27 | 24 19 | 19 16
   12 | 27 24 | 27 24 |       | 11-16 |  7-10 | 10-15 | 12-19
   13 | 10-14 |  9-13 |       | 18 15 | 19 15 | 19 10 | 23 16
   14 | 24 19 | 24 19 |       |  9-14 | 10-19 |  6-15 | 14-18
   15 |  7-10 |  5- 9 |       | 22 18 | 24 15 | 31 27 | 21 17
   16 | 32 27 | 28 24 |       |  3- 7 |  6-10 |  7-10 | 18-25
   17 |  9-13 | 10-15 |       | 18  9 | 15  6 | 27 24 | 30 21
   18 | 18  9 | 19 10 |       |  5-14 |  1-10 |  2- 7 |  6- 9
   19 |  5-14 |  6-15 |       | 26 22 | 23 19 | 24 19 | 16 12
   20 | 22 18 | 32 28 |       | 14-18 | 14-23 | 15-24 |  9-14
   21 |  1- 5 | 16-19 |       | 23 14 | 27 18 | 28 19 | 27 23
   22 | 18  9 | 23 16 |       | 16-23 |  8-11 | 10*14 |  8-12
   23 |  5-14 | 12-19 |       | 27 18 | 22 17 | 18  9 | 32 27
   24 | 26 22 | 26 23 |       | 20-27 |  9-14 |  5-14 | 15-18
   25 | 13-17 | 19-26 |       | 32 23 | 18  9 | 22 18 | 17 13
   26 | 22 13 | 30 23 |       | 10-26 |  5-14 |  1- 5 |  1- 6
   27 | 14-18 |  1- 5 |       +-------+ 17 13 | 18  9 | 28 24
   28 | 23  7 | 24 19 |       | black |  2- 6 |  5-14 | 11-15
   29 | 16-32 | 15-24 |       | wins. | 26 22 | 19 15 | 23 19
   30 | 30 26 | 28 19 |       |       | 20-24 | 11-27 |  7-11
   31 |  3-10 |  7-10 |       |       | 30*26 | 20  2 | 26 23
   32 | 21 17 | 31 27 |       |       | 12-16 | 27-31 | 18-22
   33 | 11-15 |  2- 7 | 19*16 |       | 19 12 | 26 22 | 21 17
   34 | 26 23 | 19 16 | 10-14 |       | 11-16 | 12-16 | 14-21
   35 |  2- 7 | 10-15 | 16  7 |       | 28 19 |  2  6 | 23 18
   36 | 31 27 | 16 12 |  3-10 |       | 16-30 | 16-19 | 11-16
   37 +-------+  7 10 | 20 16 |       | 32 27 |  6  9 +-------
   38 | Draw  | 20*16 |  2- 7 |       | 30-26 | 14-17 | black
   39 |       | 11-20 | 16*12 |       | 22 17 | 21 14 | wins.
   40 |       | 18 11 | 14-17 |       | 26-22 | 19-23 |
   41 |       | 10-14 | 21 14 |       | 27 23 | 22 18 |
   42 |       | 22 18 | 10-26 |       | 22-18 | 31-26 |
   43 |       | 13-17 | 31 22 |       | 23 19 | 18 15 |
   44 |       | 18 15 |  7-10 |       | 18-15 | 26-22 |
   45 |       | 17-22 | 12  8 |       | 19 16 | 14 10 |
   46 |       | 15 10 | 10-14 |       |  3- 7 | 22 18 |
      |       | 22-26 +-------+       | 12  8 +-------+
      |       | 10  6 | black |       | 15-11 | white |
      |       | 26-31 | wins. |       +-------+ wins. |
      |       |  6  1 |       |       | black |       |
      |       +-------+       |       | wins. |       |
      |       | black |       |       |       |       |
      |       | wins. |       |       |       |       |

The asterisk, in each case, shows the losing move. These games, however,
by no means exhaust the variations in the Single Corner Game.


This mode of opening the game was, and is, a favourite one with Scottish
players. It is a strong and sound game for the Black, beginning, like
the Old Fourteenth, the Single Corner, and the Laird and Lady, with the
move from square 11 to square 15. Presuming that Black always commences,
the first moves are:--

   BLACK.          WHITE.
  11 to 15  -- 1--  23 to 19
   8 to 11  -- 2--  22 to 19
  11 to 16  -- 3--

This third move of the Black is the variation which gives the Glasgow
its special character. The move 4 to 8 instead of 11 to 16 would have
been the Old Fourteenth. White’s safest reply is--

                    24 to 20
  16 to 23  -- 4--  27 to 17

Had White replied with 26 to 19, he would have lost by his opponent
playing 10 to 14. As it is, Black’s next move is forced:--

  7 to 16  -- 5--  20 to 11
  3 to  7  -- 6--  25 to 22

From this point the game is even, though certainly Black has the best
position for attack and defence. The situation is shown in the


Black takes the man on square 11, which gives him a leading place on the

Instead of playing 25 to 22, many think that 28 to 24 is a better move.
This, however, is open to question. Let us proceed with the game from
the above point.

   7 to 16  -- 7--  28 to 24
  16 to 20  -- 8--  32 to 27

The last move of White gives him a certain advantage, but he must be
careful not to move the man from square 24 to square 19, or Black by
giving the man on 10 will win two for one. Black proceeds:--

  12 to 16  -- 9--  30 to 25

If White had moved 27 to 23, he would have lost a man, for Black would
have taken the piece on 24, and obliged his opponent to go from 31 to
24; and then, by moving into square 20, compelled White to go from 24 to
19, and have gained the exchange by giving the man on 10. Therefore 30
to 25 is the best.

   4 to  8  --10--  26 to 23
   2 to  7  --11--  17 to 13  24 to 19 W. wins
  10 to 14  --12--  22 to 18
   7 to 11  --13--  24 to 19
   8 to 12  --14--  19 to 15  25 to 22 W. wins

Black has now the choice of two moves. Apparently he must lose a man,
but by moving 16 to 19 he forces an exchange, which leaves him either
even or a man ahead, according to White’s play. He moves from 16 to 19,
and White may either take the man on 11 or the two men on 19 and 11.

  16 to 19  --15--  23 to  7
  14 to 32  --16--   7 to  3
  20 to 24  --17--  15 to 11
  32 to 27  --18--  31 to 26
  24 to 28  --19--  11 to  7
  28 to 32  --20--   7 to  2
  12 to 16  --21--   3 to  8
  16 to 20  --22--   8 to 12
  27 to 24  --23--  12 to 16
  24 to 28  --24--  16 to 19
  32 to 27  --25--  26 to 22 (forced, or Black gets
  the breeches and wins a man)
  27 to 24  --26--  19 to 23
  28 to 32  --27--  23 to 26
  24 to 27  --28--  26 to 23
  27 to 18  --29--  25 to 15

And the game assumes the following position:--


Which is to win? It is Black’s move.


This, like many others, is a modification of that best of all openings,
the Old Fourteenth; the moves are--

  11 to 15  -- 1--  23 to 19
   7 to 11  -- 2--  22 to 17

This is the opening. It may proceed in many ways. The better, perhaps
the best, plan is thus:--

   9 to 14  -- 3--  25 to 22
  11 to 16  -- 4--  26 to 23
   5 to  9  -- 5--  17 to 13

Had Black moved 16 to 20, he would have lost a piece by his opponent
playing 29 to 25--

  3 to  7  -- 6--  29 to 25

which leaves the position thus:--


Black now usually plays from 1 to 5, and has a good sound strong game.



As a game for one player there is no superior to Solitaire. Apparently
easy and simple, it is really intricate and scientific. Governed by a
well-defined principle, chance forms no element of its practice. Like
Chess and Draughts, it is entirely a mental and demonstrable game, full
of variety, and affording ample scope, in its almost endless
combinations, for the display of thought and ingenuity.

Solitaire is played on a board of thirty-three holes, in each of which a
marble or glass ball is placed. Solitaire boards are made, but the game
may be just as efficiently played on a properly marked piece of
card-board, with draughtsmen or counters instead of marbles. This plan,
indeed, is preferable to and cheaper than any other.

The method of play is as follows:--One marble is removed from its place,
and then another is passed into the vacant hole. Take up the marble over
which you jump, and continue to take piece after piece, _always going in
straight lines and never in diagonals_, till you bring back the last
marble from the hole whence the first was taken. One marble only can be
taken at one jump; but, as in Draughts, you may proceed to play, and
take, with the same marble, so long as there is a piece _en prise_ with
a vacant hole in the line behind it. The repetition of the figures will
show the continued move of the piece.

[Illustration: THE CENTRE-HOLE GAME.]

There are other modes of playing Solitaire--as by indicating a special
hole, distinct from the starting-place, in which to lodge the last
marble, leaving two, three, or four marbles in a particular position,
ending in the hole next the original one, and so on; but the above, the
more usual plan, should be first learned. We will now give a diagram,
and show you how to start from and return to the centre hole. Remove the
centre marble. Jump from 1 in the upper limb to 1, the middle hole,
taking 16-18. Go from 2 on the right limb of the diagram to 2 above the
centre, taking 3-5. Proceed from hole to hole as indicated by the
figures, and you will find that the last move will land the marble in
the centre. Practise this till you can play the Centre-hole Game
without the use of the diagram. It looks easy enough; but just try it
before you condemn Solitaire as mere child’s play.


Presuming you have familiarised yourselves with the principle of the
game, I present another diagram:--

[Illustration: THE RIGHT-HAND END GAME.]

Remove the marble from the upper right-hand corner hole and proceed as
before, going from place to place, as shown by the figures on the
diagram. Get this by heart, and play the game without the problem.


In this, one of the best positions, remove the left-hand upper marble,
and play the game according to the plan in the diagram below. You will
find this an easy game to remember.

[Illustration: THE LEFT-HAND END GAME.]

This may be altered by ending in any other hole. You should, however,
thoroughly conquer the game as presented before you attempt any
variation. It is not sufficient to play with the diagram before you. The
problem is presented as a game to be learned, and once thoroughly
learned, it is difficult to forget it.


The following is a pretty but somewhat difficult position. It will be
sufficient to give the diagram without remark other than this: Conquer
it before you leave off, and do not be disheartened if you fail to
succeed the first time you attempt it without the diagram.

[Illustration: THE UPPER LINE GAME.]


You will understand that these positions given may be varied by starting
from a similar place in either leg of the board. It is sufficient to
mention this. To give players many variations would occupy too much



Here we have one of the most difficult and yet most interesting of
positions. Proceed as before, taking care to learn the game so as to
play without the numbered diagram. Remove the black marble.


Solitaire may also be played by two persons, the object of one of them
being to defeat the other by contrary or opposite moves. Double
Solitaire is, however, somewhat deficient in the one great element of
all antagonistic games--variety.




I am not sure that this game was not played by the boys of ancient
Greece and Rome; or perhaps even by boys in a yet earlier age of the
world. At any rate, it is a very, very old game, of whose origin nothing
whatever is known. Under these circumstances, it would be easy to gossip
on for a page or two, and talk about anything likely to seem
interesting; but it is pleasanter, and much more practical, to tell you
how, with the assistance of our Solitaire-board, and some draughtsmen or
counters of wood, bone, or metal, you may play it yourselves.

For Fox and Geese you need seventeen counters of one colour, to
represent the Geese, and one counter of a different colour for the Fox.
You prepare the board thus: place the Fox in the middle and the Geese in
front, as in the diagram below.


Like Chess and Draughts, it is purely a game of strategy for two
players. The usual plan is for each player to take the initiative in
turn, the Fox in one game and the Geese in another. Unlike card games,
it contains no element of chance or ‘luck.’

The whole _motive_ of the game is for the Fox to catch the Geese, or for
the Geese to drive the Fox into a corner from which he cannot escape.
Properly played, the Geese, with the first move, must always win; but in
this game, as in real life, the more cunning creature is not seldom

The _plan_ of the game is this. The Geese march _forward_ only in
straight lines, down or across; the Fox can move forward, backward, or
sideways on the straight lines, not the diagonals. The Fox takes any
Goose that may be _en prise_ with a vacant space behind, as in Draughts;
and so long as he can take, he continues his move. When he succeeds in
following up and catching all the Geese, one after another, he wins. But
the Geese, if they only go boldly to work, can drive him away. They must
go forward as a phalanx with determination, filling each vacant spot,
and leaving no loophole into which the enemy can jump or creep. All
depends on united and determined action. United they conquer; separated
they fall. When their number is reduced to six, it is impossible for
them to confine the Fox. But there is no reason why it should be so
reduced. Look at the diagram. If we call the upper left-hand spot 1,
and number the board horizontally to 33, at the lower right-hand corner,
we shall soon see how the attack may be conducted. The Fox is in the
centre; the Goose on either of the central junction lines can move
without fear of capture, and the Fox must retreat. Having, say, moved 11
to 18, the Goose on 6 moves on to 11. The Fox is still without power to
harm. The Geese proceed to go forward, and in this way ultimately force
their enemy into a corner, or they may beguile him by offering a bait.
Say the Goose on 15 moves to 16, the Fox must take him and lose his
central position of attack. The Geese follow up their advantage; and,
unless they commit some grievous error, they pin Master Reynard in a
corner, whence he can by no means get out. The whole principle of the
game is Advance. Go forward with the stronger force; fill up all
vacancies. Directly a Goose moves on, back him up. Surround your enemy
and compel him to retreat. As to the Fox, his tactics must be bold, yet
cautious; determined, yet crafty; daring, yet subtle; adventurous, yet
shrewd! Very like real life, is it not?

The game can be varied by placing the Fox on another spot; or by
insisting on his catching all the Geese; by the latter taking the
horizontal limits of the board only, or by offering odds, and so on; but
the plan here given will be found ample in providing rational amusement
for winter evenings. Less scientific, certainly, than Chess or Draughts,
it affords abundant opportunities for thought and mental calculation.




This game is of Japanese origin, and the name means Go = five, and Ban =
board. It has, however, become gradually corrupted into ‘Go-bang,’ and
thus it is now generally written.

In Japan it is played on a board of more than three hundred squares, but
in Europe on boards of sixty-four squares (as in chess and draughts), or
on larger boards. The Japanese have schools for the study and practice
of the game, and divide the players into nine classes. A late account
says that at present there is no player of the highest (the ninth) class
living; but one of the eighth class, named Murase (in German spelling
pronounced Moo-răh-sey), is editing a periodical, in which he publishes
the theory of the openings, actual games, problems, poems, &c.

This game of Go (or game of five) is in China called Ki (= Kee), and was
invented there about 2,000 years B.C. It is therefore older than chess.
It was introduced into Japan about 1,100 years ago, and was there
brought to higher perfection.

It is played by two persons. In Japan they use more than a hundred men
on each side. If played on the _chess-board_, then generally one plays
with _twelve white men_, the other with _twelve black men_. The aim of
each player is to get _five men in a line_--_i.e._, five of his men
close together in a straight line, either in row, a file, or a diagonal.
In Japan each player tries to form a chain with his men around the
others, etc.

The play is carried on thus:--The players decide as to first move;
afterwards they begin alternately. The first player, say White, places a
man on any of the sixty-four squares, then Black places a man on any of
the remaining sixty-three squares: thereupon White puts down his second
man on any unoccupied square, and so on until all the twenty-four men
are placed. Now the moving begins. The first player moves one of his men
to any of the _next_ unoccupied squares, but must not leap over a man,
and the second player proceeds in the same manner. So the play continues
until one or the other succeeds in getting five men in a line.

Thus the play consists in _placing_ and _moving_. If a player be not
sufficiently attentive he can lose in the first part of the game. The
moving may extend from two or three to any number, according to capacity
of the players.

The game requires a great deal of watching, for the ‘Go,’ or ‘Five,’ can
be made in any of four directions--horizontally, vertically, or on the
right and left diagonals. There are eight lines for each of the two
straight ways, and seven lines for each of the two diagonal ways; in all
thirty lines. Four positions of the ‘five’ are possible in a row or a
file, and as many in each of the longest diagonals, whilst the shortest
diagonal permits of only one position, so that the number of all
positions is 4 × 8 + 4 × 8 + 2 (4 + 3 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1) = 96.

Many players prefer this game to draughts. It may also be played by four
persons, taking partners as in ‘whist,’ when each player receives six
men. Odds can be given in this game, a superior player having eleven
against twelve men.

Whenever a player has three men in an open line the opponent must stop
him, for should he get four, then the adversary could block him on only
one end. This blocking, however, is not necessary if the second player
can first make ‘five.’

The student will learn the method of playing from the games we shall
give with explanations. The system of description is the International
Chess Notation, as will be shown on the frame of the diagram to follow.
The letters in brackets after the moves will refer to the explanatory

The following two games were played between G. W. S. and H. F. L. M.:--

  WHITE.              BLACK.
   1. d4.             d5.
   2. e4.             e5 (_i_).
   3. f4.             c4 (_j_).
   4. f5.             e6.
   5. f7 (_k_).       f6.
   6. g6.             d3.
   7. g4.             h4.
   8. g4.             g3.
   9. e3.             d2.
  10. c5.             f2 (_l_).
  11. e2.             f3 (_m_).
  12. b3.             g7 (_n_).

The men are now placed as shown in this diagram:--


Now the moving begins:--

  WHITE.              BLACK.
  13. b3 c3.          f2 e1 (_o_).
  14. e2 f2.          d5 c6.
  15. f2 e2 (_p_).    e1 d1.
  16. c5 d5.          d1 c2.
  17. d5 c5.          c2 b3.
  18. f7 e7.          e5 d5.
  19. e7 f7.          d2 c2 (_q_).
  20. e2 d2.          g7 h6.
  21. c3 b2.          c2 c1 (_r_).
  22. g6 g7.          f6 g6.
  23. g5 f6.          e6 e7.
  24. g7 f8 = five.


(_i_) Experience has shown that it is best to occupy the central
squares, for the men then have the greatest freedom of action.

(_j_) This move is necessary, for if Black had placed the man on c5,
White would have won by placing his next man on c4 or g4.

(_k_) He must block the line at a2 g8, just as well as Black must now
block the f file.

(_l_) The last six moves were all forced for Black.

(_m_) A weak move, which places the black men awkwardly. He would have
done better to place it on b3 in order to force the last white man to go
to a2, and then Black could have placed his last on c3, and try to make
a ‘five’ in the a5 e1 or the a6 f1 or the c file.

(_n_) Necessary, for if placed on b6 or a5, White would have won
thus:--g6 g7, f6 g6, g5 f6, followed by g7 f8.

(_o_) Endeavouring to bring this man to the other side of the board.

(_p_) He is afraid of e1 e2.

(_q_) A bad move, for although he can block at h6, he can afterwards not
stop the g or f file. Black should have tried to move from c6 to a2.

(_r_) Must. White now wins easily, even if e6 stood on e7, for g6 g7, e7
f8, f7 g8, f6 g6, f4 e5, g6 f6 (else f5 f6), f5 g6.


Between H. F. L. M. (_White_) and G. W. S. (_Black_).

  WHITE.              BLACK.
   1. e4.             d5.
   2. d3.             c4.
   3. f5.             c2.
   4. g6.             h7 (_i_).
   5. e5.             e6.
   6. b3.             e3.
   7. d4.             c3.
   8. c5.             f4.
   9. d6.             d2.
  10. g5.             e7.
  11. g7.             e2.

The position is now so interesting that we give it on a diagram.


It appears at first sight that White might now place his last man on h8
and win. Black would then be obliged to place his last man on f6. White
would continue f5 g4, and Black must answer h7 g8, and White would now
win with e5 f5, followed by h8 h7, if Black could not play e7 f7 and
come first in making ‘five’ in the diagonal a2 g8. To prevent these
‘five’ of Black, White would have to play g7 f7 (instead of e5 f5), and
then Black would win easily by c3 b2, followed by e3 f2. White therefore
must place his last man so that he can at once stop the approaching line
of ‘five’ in the second row. He might place it on f2, but does better to
put it on g3, and thus compel the last black man to go to g4. Therefore
the game went on thus:

  WHITE.              BLACK.
  12. g3.             g4.

All the men are now well placed, and _the moving_ can begin.

  13. g7 f7.          e3 f2.
  14. b3 b2.          f4 f3.
  15. g3 g2.          f2 g3.
  16. g5 f4.          g3 h4.
  17. g6 h5 (_j_).    g4 g5.
  18. g2 g3 (_k_).    d5 c6.
  19. h5 g4 (_l_).    f3 g2.
  20. g4 f3.          e6 f6.
  21. f7 e8.          e7 e6  (_m_).
  22. e8 d7 (_n_).    e6 d5.
  23. d7 c7 = five.


(_i_) These two moves of Black were compulsory.

(_j_) Must, because he cannot stop the line at d1.

(_k_) White now threatens to win by c5 c6 and on to c7.

(_l_) A good move to go on to h2.

(_m_) He ought to have played c6 d7, then the game might have proceeded
thus: e8 d8, d7 c7; e4 d5, e7 d7; d6 c6, c4 b5; d3 c4, h4 g4; c5 b4,
any; e5 e4 = five.

(_n_) There are now two lines for White, and only one can be stopped.

The third game between these two players had twenty-four moves, lasted
about half an hour, and was won by the second player (M.). The fourth
game lasted two hours, had seventy-five moves, and was won by the second
player (S.).


Played between H. M. (White), and L. S. (Black).


White to play, and win in five moves.

The white men are on the squares b4, c2, c4, c5, c6, c7, d4, e3, e4, e5,
f2, and g4.

  WHITE.              BLACK.
   1. g4--f3          g3--g2  (_a_)
   2. f3--e2          d2--e1
   3. e3--d2          a5--a4  (_b_)
   4. b4--b3          (any move).
   5. b3--b2 = five.


(_a_) He must prevent the man going from f3 over g2 to g1.--If he were
to play g3--g4, White would answer e4--f5, and win in two more moves by
making a ‘five’ in the diagonal a7 g1.

(_b_) Any other move would not prevent White from making ‘five’ in the
second row, for Black must not move the man c3, as White would obtain
‘five’ (or even six) in the _c_ file.



Nobody can very long reside in Madagascar, or in the central parts of it
at any rate, without occasionally observing little companies of the
natives bending eagerly over some mathematical-looking diagram rudely
scratched on a roadside stone, or on the top of a rock, or, more roughly
still, on the sun-baked clay of the wayside. If you look a little at the
figure of the diagram, and consider the multiplicity of squares,
diagonals, and adjacent parallelograms involved in it, you may think the
people are discussing some Malagasy rider to one or other of the
propositions in the Second Book of Euclid. Take the trouble to ask,
however, and you will find that they are simply playing at their
national game, the _Fanòrona_.

[Illustration: DIAGRAM 1.]

The _fanòrona_ board is a rectangular parallelogram, divided into
thirty-two equal spaces. Gather these, in your eye, into eight larger
squares, containing four each; draw the diagonal lines in each of the
eight, and the _fanòrona_ figure is complete. Forty-four movable pieces
are required for the game--twenty-two on each side.

With the Malagasy these are usually little pebbles and potsherds, or
beans and berries. We, however, will call them the Black and the White
pieces. The two players sit opposite each other, having the long sides
of the _fanòrona_ adjacent to them. The pieces are then arranged on the
corners or angle-points; not on the squares, as in chess or draughts.
There are five of these long lines on the board, each containing, of
course, nine angle-points, and the pieces are thus arranged:

  Black:  First Line  1  .. ..  9
          Second  „   1  .. ..  9
  White:  Fourth  „   1  .. ..  9
          Fifth   „   1  .. ..  9

The third, or central line, is occupied by the eight remaining pieces,
placed alternately, thus:

  Black 1, 3, 6, 8
  White 2, 4, 7, 9

One point remains unoccupied, the central angle-point of the board, the
fifth of the third line. This represents the royal seat in the public
gatherings, but in the _fanòrona_ game it is called the _foibeny_

[Illustration: DIAGRAM 2.]

The object aimed at by each of the players is, as in draughts, to remove
the whole of the adversary’s pieces from the board. But much caution is
required, for we shall see that a few pieces well posted may easily
annihilate more than four times their number in weaker situations; and,
as in real warfare, even the very numbers of a force may sometimes prove
their ruin. A few examples here will show the various ways in which the
game may be opened, the manner in which the pieces are moved, and the
adverse pieces captured. Let us suppose that the pieces are all placed,
as just described above (see diagram 1). For convenience of description
let the five lines on which the pieces are posted be called respectively
A, B, C, D, E, instead of first line, second line, third line, etc. Any
one of these letters, then, with a numeral appended, will be an easy
reference to the piece that is to be moved, or to the vacant point to
which a piece has to be removed, or to a hostile piece that has to be
captured and removed from the board (see diagram 2). Then remember:

Firstly, that a piece may be moved in any direction,--forward,
backwards, sideways, or diagonally to the first station in that
direction, if such station be vacant.

Secondly, if there be now no other vacant station between the attacking
piece just moved and the enemy’s pieces along that line, these, whatever
their number, are captured at once, as far as they stand in unbroken
order on the line attacked. If, however, a vacant position occurs in
their line, or another hostile piece is among them, then only the piece
or pieces nearest the assailant are captured.

Thirdly, the pieces of the enemy may be captured by a retreat as well as
by an advance. A piece that has been standing in a station adjoining to
some piece or pieces of the enemy may capture it or them by retreating
one point along that line, if such point happen to be vacant. The
limitation defined immediately above applies in this case also.

Fourthly, at the beginning of a game one move only is permitted to the
first side. After that side has moved once, any piece that is moved is
permitted to run amuck in the enemy’s lines, and go on as long as he
finds foes to capture, provided (_a_) that he does not return
immediately to any point he has just left, and (_b_) he cannot take a
foe behind him immediately after taking one in front of him, nor one on
his right hand immediately after taking on his left hand, and _vice
versâ_. ‘Don’t eat at both ends, like a leech,’ says the Malagasy

Let us suppose that White is going to move first at the commencement of
a game. There is only one vacant point on the board into which he can
move a piece, namely, the _foibeny_ or central point, which we may term
C5, as it is the fifth point of the third line. There are four white
pieces, any one of which may be moved into the vacant post, those on C4,
D4, D5, D6. If he advances D5 to C5, then he immediately captures
Black’s pieces on B5 and A5. Black may now retaliate by withdrawing his
piece on B6 to A5, thereby capturing White’s pieces on C7, D8, E9. White
may now, in any one of several ways, inflict a series of severe strokes
on the unfortunate Black. Thus, for example:

  D6, to C7, taking B8, A9; then
    „    B6,    „   A5;
    „    B5,    „   B4, B3, B2, B1.

Now the White piece must stop awhile, for although the Black piece at B7
is under his range, yet in taking it he would be transgressing the two
laws mentioned above. He would have to return to B6, which he has just
quitted, and he would be ‘eating at both ends like a leech,’ which is
improper. But the Black piece on B7 may now very properly provide for
his own safety and circumvent his assailant by advancing thus:

  B7, to C7, taking D7, E7;  then
    „    D6,    „   E5; then
    „    D5,    „   D4, D3, D2, D1; then
    „    E5,    „   C5, B5.

These moves are not given as examples of what the Malagasy would
consider good play, but simply to show the _modus operandi_ of the game.

If the game happens to terminate in a ‘draw,’ which is frequently the
case, then the combat may be recommenced on the same terms, the other
side now taking the first move. Should one of the players have been
defeated, however, he is not allowed to play on the same footing as
before, for the game must be altered in a kind of mocking condescension
to his weakness. The new form of the game is called _véla_; the one who
has conquered is the _mpàmpihinam-béla_ (he who allows to graze at
large). The defeated is _hómam-béla_ (a poor sheep not to be molested
for awhile in his pasture-ground). The _véla_ game is opened by the
vanquished, and the victor exposes such of his pieces as he chooses to
surrender to his antagonist. These pieces may only be taken singly, and
the generous conqueror refrains from taking any of his enemy’s pieces
until he has parted with, one by one, seventeen of his own; then with
the remaining five he begins his campaign against the undiminished
forces of his antagonist. If he be a skilful player, however, he has
managed meanwhile to occupy the fortress positions of the game, and the
hosts of the enemy are probably huddled together in such situations that
he will come down on them ‘like a wolf on the fold.’ If the _hómam-béla_
is again defeated he is only allowed to play the _véla_ form of the game
until he has redeemed himself by a victory. Or he may choose to
humiliate himself by openly confessing his inferiority, though, as one
of my informants says, ‘few of the Malagasy are willing to do that.’ In
ancient times grace was accorded to the beaten combatant on condition of
his kneeling down before his conqueror and bleating like a sheep
(_mibàrarèoka_), in confession of his weakness.

Here is a specimen of the _véla_ game, including the preliminary
sacrificial moves by which Black gives up, one by one, the fated
seventeen pieces. Then the time of reprisals comes, and the five
survivors take the field, and give and take no quarter.


      WHITE.                     BLACK.
   1. C4 to C5 takes C6.      1. C3 to C4.
   2. C5 „ C6    „   C4.      2. B4 „  C3.
   3. D4 „ C5    „   B6.      3. A7 „  B6.
   4. C5 „ B4    „   A3.      4. A8 „  A7.
   5. D5 „ C5    „   B5.      5. A2 „  A3.
   6. E5 „ D4    „   C3.      6. A9 „  A8.
   7. C2 „ C3    „   C1.      7. A3 „  A2.
   8. D2 „ C2    „   B2.      8. B1 „  B2.
   9. B4 „ B5    „   B3.      9. A4 „  A3.
  10. C3 „ B3    „   A3.     10. A2 „  A3.
  11. D4 „ C3    „   B2.     11. A3 „  A2.
  12. C2 „ B2    „   A2.     12. A8 „  A9.
  13. B5 „ B4    „   B6.     13. A5 „  B6.
  14. B4 „ B5    „   B6.     14. A7 „  B6.
  15. B5 „ B4    „   B6.     15. B7 „  B6.
  16. B4 „ B5    „   B6.     16. A9 „  A8.
  17. C6 „ B6    „   A6.     17. Now begins Black’s attack.
                                 B8 to A7 takes C9;
                                    „  B7   „   C7, D7, E7.
  18. D9 „ C9 „ B9.          18. C8 „  B8 takes D1, E8.
                                    „  C7   „   D6;
                                    „  D8   „   E9;
                                    „  E7   „   C9;
                                    „  D6   „   C5;
                                    „  C6   „   E6;
  19. B6 „ A6 „ C6.          19. B7 „  B6   „   B5;
  20. A6 „ A7 „ A8.          20. B6 „  C5   „   A7;
                                    „  C4   „   C3;
                                    „  D4   „   E4;
                                    „  C3   „   B2;
                                    „  D2   „   E1;
                                    „  C1   „   E3;
                                    „  B1   „   D1;
                                    „  B2   „   B3.
  21. D3 „ C3.               21. A1 „ A2.
  22. C3 „ D4 „ B2.          22. A2 „ A3.
  23. E2 „ D2.               23. A3 „ B3.
  24. D2 „ C1 and wins.


These puzzles, known as the ‘Thirty-four Game’ and the ‘Fifteen Game,’
on their introduction amongst us some years ago, created general
interest wherever tried. Both games are played on the same board. The
‘blocks’ may be readily made by any lad. They can be cut out of cork,
wood, or other suitable material, and may be square or round in shape,
the numerals being written on the upper side, thus--


Let us describe the ‘15’ game first. Place the blocks, numbered 1 to 15,
on the board irregularly, and then, by sliding them about from square to
square, but without removing them from the board, arrange them in the
following order:--


This looks simple enough in theory, but to any uninitiated reader who
may think it easy of accomplishment in practice, we need merely say,
‘Try it.’

The ‘34’ puzzle consists in arranging the blocks, numbered 1 to 16, so
that they will add perpendicularly, horizontally, and from corner to
corner; also in arranging the 4 in each corner, the four outside numbers
of the two centre lines, and the four groups in each corner; in all,
sixteen different ways, and each produce the same total--34.

The ‘15’ puzzle would appear to have been, on its coming to England a
few years ago, strictly a new introduction, but the ‘34’ was not only
tolerably well-known, but seems to have been familiar to the Arabs in
the ninth century. The nature of the game we have already described.

Now a word on the ‘15’ game. A skilful writer has pointed out how, while
with two figures only two different arrangements can be obtained, three
figures can be placed in _six_ different orders, viz.:--3 1 2--3 2 1; 1
3 2--2 3 1; 1 2 3--2 1 3. Then, while there are thus six different
orders that can be produced with three figures, if a fourth figure be
placed in every one of the four different positions with regard to these
six orders, we shall have four times the different number of orders that
can be had with three figures. In the same way by multiplying these
twenty-four different orders by five we shall have the number to be
obtained with five figures. The rule, therefore, to find the number of
different orders that may be obtained with any number of figures is to
multiply all the different numbers used by each other. Thus, with six
figures there will be 720 different orders; with seven, 5,040; with
eight, 40,320, and so forth until we come to fifteen, when it will be
found that the enormous number of 1,307,674,368,000 represents the
different orders in which the fifteen numbers can be placed. This, of
course, is the number of arrangements in which the cubes in the game of
‘15’ can be placed in the box. Let us consider how long it would take to
test the solution of the different arrangements possible. Let us suppose
that the cubes were worked to their consecutive or 15--14 order at the
rate of one in every five minutes, which would, working day and night,
be at the rate of about 105,000 arrangements a year. In this case it
would take not less than twelve million years to test all the different

The question now arises, whether out of this enormous number of
different arrangements there are certain of them that cannot be shifted
into the required consecutive order. The answer is, that exactly half of
these arrangements are soluble, and the other half insoluble. The whole
question turns upon the fact that in the arrangement of a certain number
of figures in a row, otherwise than in consecutive order, the
arrangement is made up either by an odd or an even number of
transpositions. In the total number of different rows in which any given
number of figures can be arranged, half of them will consist of rows
containing an odd number, and the other half an even number of
transpositions, just in the same way that in the numbers one to one
hundred there are fifty odd and fifty even numbers. Take the case of six
figures, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. If the first pair of figures is transposed
the row will read 2, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6. In this row there is an odd number,
namely, 1, of transpositions. If from this order the second pair is
transposed the result will read 2, 1, 4, 3, 5, 6, and in this row there
is an even number (2) of transpositions made from the original
consecutive order. Suppose the last pair is transposed, the order will
be 2, 1, 4, 3, 6, 5, and an odd number (3) of transpositions has been
made. This may be continued until all the different rows possible have
been worked, when it is evident that the first, third, fifth, etc., rows
will each consist of an odd number of transpositions, while the
intermediate rows will each contain an even number of transpositions.

Suppose we take the third row given above, 2, 1, 4, 3, 6, 5, this
contains an odd number of transpositions. It is therefore impossible, by
making an _even number_ of transpositions each time, to bring 2, 1, 4,
3, 6, 5 to the original position of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, because it
contains an odd number of transpositions, one of which will always
remain, and cannot be eliminated by any even number of transpositions.
Just in the same way we cannot, by the addition of even numbers, to any
quantity or amount, to an odd number, produce an even number as the
result. Every arrangement of a certain number of figures in a row
contains therefore an odd or even number of transpositions which must be
made before the figures can be brought into consecutive order, but it is
immaterial whether these transpositions are made in such order as will
the soonest produce the consecutive order, so long as they are made, and
the number, whether odd or even, is noted.

By writing down a row of fifteen figures, and transposing two numbers
each time, and noting whether an odd or even number of transpositions
are required to produce the consecutive order, it can be ascertained
whether the cubes, in this order, can or cannot be moved into the
consecutive order. If the required number of transpositions _is an odd
number it will be impossible_.



This is a good indoor game for boys, which I believe has not yet
appeared in any form in England. It is a modification of one played by
the students in Germany, but adapted to English words, and with a
special arrangement of the figures, which the original game does not
admit of, the words not being so suitable.


The above diagram is chalked on the floor, the figures being about one
foot across and one foot apart. Then one player takes his place on the
middle figure, facing Fig. 6. The other players then sing the old rhyme
of the ‘Crooked Man’ to the ‘King Pippin Polka,’ known also as ‘My
mother said,’ etc.

Then the player, with his feet together, jumps to No. 1, No. 2, etc., as
the words ‘man,’ ‘mile,’ etc., are mentioned. He must not turn round, or
put his feet outside the figures. The others keep time by clapping with
their hands. If the player jumps to a wrong figure, or to one before it
is sung, he pays a forfeit, especially for the last line.

The verse is then repeated to the second part of the tune, the player
jumping to each figure _before_ it is mentioned, and giving a second
jump on it, before going to the next. The last line finishes off with a
wild repetition of the figure, the player stepping from one figure to
the next as fast as he can, finishing on No. 7 to the last word. The
player must place both feet on Fig. 7 to the words ‘and they,’ then the
right on Fig. 1, and so on, to the last one. The great difficulty in the
last line is to get the left foot from Fig. 4 to Fig. 6 in time. This is
done by passing the right foot _behind_ the left, when moving it from
Fig. 3 to Fig. 5, which will enable the player to finish without tying
his legs in a knot. The words and the numbers of the figures for the
player to jump to are here given (commencing on No. 7 and facing Fig.

  1. There was a crooked (jump to Fig. 1 to the word) _man_,

     He went a crooked (jump to Fig. 2 to word) mile,

     He found a crooked (Fig. 3) sixpence

     Against a crooked (Fig. 4) stile;

     He bought a crooked (Fig. 5) cat

     That caught a crooked (Fig. 6, and pause) mouse.

     And they all lived together in a little crooked (Fig. 7) house.

  2. There (jump to Fig. 1) was a crooked (2nd jump on Fig. 1) man,

     He (to Fig. 2) went a crooked (2nd Fig. 2) mile,

     He (Fig. 3) found a crooked (2nd time Fig. 3) sixpence

     A- (to Fig. 4) -gainst a crooked (2nd Fig. 4) stile;

     He (Fig. 5) bought a crooked (Fig. 5) cat

     That (Fig. 6) caught a crooked (Fig. 6) mouse,

  (Step to Fig. 7, left foot) And they (right to Fig. 1 to word) all
  (left to Fig. 2) lived (right to Fig. 3 to) together (left to Fig. 4
  to) in a (right behind left to Fig. 5) little (left to Fig. 6) crooked
  (both feet to Fig. 7) house.



The game is played with five bones, and the stages are as follows:--

1. _Beginnings._--The five bones are gathered in the palm of the hand
and thrown up, any number being caught on the back of the hand; they are
then tossed up again, and caught in the palm. One is selected, thrown
into the air, and one at a time the remainder picked up, while the one
thrown is in the air. This must be caught and again thrown for the next
bone. The bone thrown up is called the ‘dab,’ and must be caught
_clear_, without touching any part of the person but the right hand
under all circumstances of the game.

2. _Ones._--The five bones are thrown on to the table, and the dab
selected is thrown up, and the remainder are taken up, one by one,
without touching any other bone.

3. _Twos._--The same again, but two taken up for each throw of the dab.

4. _Threes._--Three picked up, and then one.

5. _Fours._--Four picked up.

  In twos, threes, and fours, it is permitted by consent of the
  adversary to push the selected bones together while the dab is in the
  air. The touching of any other than the selected bones, or the failure
  to pick up the proper number, forfeits the turn.

6. _Short Spans._--Two bones are placed on the table, each side of the
left hand, one pair close to the thumb, the other pair at the tip of the
little finger. Each pair must be taken up separately, without any
pushing together.

7. _Long Spans._--A bone is placed at the extremities of the thumb and
little finger, stretched out to the widest. Another pair is put in the
same way about six inches farther on the table. These pairs must be
taken up without any touching together: any bone displaced may be put
back again _three_ times; failure on the third trial forfeits the turn.

8. _Creek Mouse._--The five bones are tossed from the palm, and any
number caught on the back of the hand; all but one are shaken off; the
remainder are then gathered into the palm, without disturbing the one on
the back, which is then tossed and caught in the palm, with the others.

9. _Second Creek Mouse._--The five bones are tossed from the palm as
before, and one is retained on the back. The remainder are taken one
between each finger and thumb, the one on the back is then tossed and
caught in the extended palm.

10. _Bridges._--The hand is laid on the back on the table, the bones
held between the fingers are then dropped in a row on the table. An arch
is formed with the first finger and thumb of the left hand at about six
inches from the left-hand bone of the four. They are then one by one
pushed through this bridge; when all are through the left hand is
removed, and the four are taken up at one sweep. No touching together is

11. _Cracks._--The bones are thrown on the table, and the four picked up
one by one; the dab in falling and being caught to make a _distinct
crack_ on the one picked up.

12. _No Cracks._--Same as before, but the dab must be caught without
touching the other bone. The slightest sound forfeits the turn.

13. _Exchanges._--The four bones are laid at the corners of a square, a
full span on each side. The first bone is picked up from the lower
right-hand corner, and at the next throw is exchanged for the one above.
This is exchanged for the one at the top left-hand corner, this for the
lower left, and that is placed at the point of starting. The bones are
then taken up in diagonal pairs.

14. _Everlastings._--The whole of the bones are tossed from the palms,
and any number caught on the back. These are tossed from the back and
caught in the palm; and any that have fallen in the first toss have to
be picked up while the whole of the others are in the air, so that at
one moment there may be four dabs and one to pick up. This task, as the
name implies, approaches the everlasting.

The game is an excellent one for exercising and developing that perfect
sympathy between the eye and the hand which is certain to be of great
service in after life.

[Illustration: ‘PLEASE, SIR, WILL YOU BUY AN OWL?’]



[Illustration: 1.--CONTEMPLATION.]

[Illustration: 2.--EXPECTATION.]

[Illustration: 3.--FRUSTRATION.]




The magic-lantern is of very respectable antiquity. As early as the
seventeenth century a Jesuit, named Kircher, had constructed one. He was
not unwilling to excite the fears of the persons who witnessed the
effects of his apparatus, and not only did he apply the word _magic_ to
his lantern, but when exhibiting it he had the darkened room divided
into two compartments, in one of which was the lantern, and in the other
the spectators. These gazed on the shadowy forms before them in
amazement, and were unable to perceive how they were produced.

Kircher’s lantern consisted of a large wooden box, with a door on one
side and an opening in front for the reception of a tube containing a
magnifying lens. The light was obtained by means of an oil lamp with a
polished brass reflector, the smoke of the lamp being conveyed away by a
chimney in the top. The pictures exhibited were painted on long strips
of glass, and were passed through a groove in the front tube, and
although the effects thus obtained must have been of the most imperfect
character, yet from their novelty they produced a most profound

There are reasons to believe that the lantern was in use even earlier
than the seventeenth century, and that the mysterious figures which the
old astrologers produced in the smoke of their mystic fires were
produced in the same way as Kircher’s, the smoke forming the screen.
With this brief description of the history of the magic-lantern, we must
be content. Our main business is to describe the construction and use of
the lantern as manufactured now.


The magic-lantern, as now constructed, consists of a box or chamber of
japanned tin-plate, with a lamp for the source of light, a large lens to
converge the light, and a smaller lens to magnify the object to be
exhibited. The large lens is called the _condenser_, and the smaller
lens is designated the _objective_. Between the _condenser_ and the
_objective_, immediately in front of the former, an aperture is provided
for the reception of the painted slide. This aperture is called the
slide-holder. We may separate magic-lanterns into three great divisions,
the distinguishing difference between them being the kind of light
employed. In the first division the lamps are constructed to burn colza
or sperm oil; in the second division a mineral oil (purified paraffin)
takes the place of the sperm or colza oil; and in the third division
some form of lime-light is employed. We will describe these varieties in

First, then, let us deal with the lanterns illuminated by a lamp burning
colza or sperm oil. Of these lanterns there are two subdivisions, those
whose condensing lenses are of a size suitable for exhibiting the
standard slides (slides three and a quarter inches in diameter), called
phantasmagoria lanterns, and lanterns of a smaller size, which may be
described as toys, and for which but a very limited variety of slides
can be obtained. We give an illustration (Fig. 1) of one of these small
lanterns, from which it will be seen that the lamp is of very simple
construction, and provided with a silvered reflector behind it.
Magic-lanterns, the condensing lenses of which are from one and a half
inch to two and a half inches in diameter, are calculated to produce
discs of light from four feet to six feet in diameter. Such discs are
usually obtained when the distance of the lantern from the screen is
about one-third more than the desired diameter of the disc. Lanterns
such as these are described, according to their size, by number, and
include all from Nos. 1 to 6.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

In preparing this lantern for use the lenses should be carefully cleaned
with a soft cloth, and the lamp freshly trimmed. The cotton must be long
enough to reach to the bottom of the lamp, and be freshly and evenly
cut; the oil should be supplied to the lamp an hour before it is
lighted, that the wick may become thoroughly saturated. The best oil to
use is sperm oil in which camphor has been dissolved in the proportion
of one ounce to one pint of oil. The object of the addition of the
camphor is to increase the brilliancy of the light. If, however, sperm
oil cannot be obtained, colza oil may be substituted, and this should be
treated with camphor in the same way.

The room in which the exhibition is to take place should be entirely
darkened, and a clean white screen or sheet hung up for the reception of
the magnified pictures. The lantern is to be placed in front of the
screen, upon a table or other suitable support, and at such a distance
as will produce the required disc or circle of light.

The painted slide must be placed in the slide-holder upside down, and if
the representation on the screen be not clear and sharp, the objective
(the front lens) must be moved towards or away from the slide-holder,
until the picture is well defined, or, as it is called, properly


We have given a description of the simpler forms of the magic-lantern
burning sperm or colza oil with a solid wick, and now we will explain
the construction of that known as the phantasmagoria lantern. The term
‘phantasmagoria’ was originally applied to a lantern exhibition, in
which the figures on the screen varied suddenly in their dimensions,
seeming at one time as though they were rushing on to the spectators,
and at another vanishing away in the distance. At present this name is
used as the distinctive title of a particular form of magic-lantern,
otherwise known as the ‘No. 8.’

In the phantasmagoria lantern the condenser consists of two lenses
(usually a meniscus convex and a double convex) fitted into a brass cell
and placed in the lantern with the concave side towards the lamp. The
objective is also formed of two lenses fitted into a brass tube with a
diaphragm in front. This tube slides into a brass jacket fixed in front
of the lantern, and the lenses are placed in the tube with their convex
sides towards the condenser.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

The lamp employed for illuminating the phantasmagoria lantern is the
Argand fountain lamp, with hollow cylindrical wick (Fig. 2). In
preparing this lamp for use, a new cotton should be fitted to it. To do
this with facility the cotton should be put on to a taper-stick (Fig.
3), on to the base of which the brass wick-holder fits, the cotton can
then be pushed on to the wick-holder without any difficulty. The
wick-holder and wick are to be replaced in the lamp and screwed down to
the bottom, and if there be any superfluous wick standing above the top
of the lamp it is to be ignited and allowed to _burn itself out_. (This
must be done before any oil is supplied to the lamp.) The wick being
ready, the cistern at the back of the lamp is to be lifted out and
inverted, and then filled with oil. The plug or valve which serves to
close the orifice in the cistern through which the oil has been poured
is to be pulled up and so held while the cistern is replaced in the
lamp. The oil should be supplied to the lamp about half an hour before
it is required for use, in order that the wick may be thoroughly
saturated, and camphorated sperm oil is decidedly the best oil to be
used in this lamp. When the lamp is first lighted the wick should be
raised but a short distance above the tube that supports it, and after
it is ignited all round, the lamp should be replaced in the lantern, the
glass chimney (which is screwed on to a metal oxydator and gallery)
placed on it, and the wick turned up as high as it will admit of
_without smoking_. The lantern is then to be placed on the stand or
table in front of the screen, at a distance of from nine to twelve feet
off, a disc of six feet in diameter being obtained at the former
distance, and eight feet diameter at the latter. After the lamp has been
placed in the sliding tray provided for it at the bottom of the lantern,
its position has to be adjusted. If the lamp be too near to the
condenser, the centre of the disc will be darkened; if too far off, the
margin of the disc will be obscured; the proper distance will be easily
ascertained when the lamp is lighted and placed in the lantern.


The phantasmagoria lantern continued for some years to maintain its
character as the best lamp-lit lantern ever made. And this might have
still continued, but for the discovery that the art of photography could
produce transparent slides suitable for the magic-lantern.

The necessity for a superior illuminating arrangement was at once
experienced, and attention was given to the lamps that were fed with the
mineral oils, instead of animal or vegetable oils. Although various
forms of mineral oil lamps were tried, they were not successful, until
Mr. L. Marcy, of Philadelphia, conceived the idea of constructing a
lantern sufficiently small to make one chamber serve as the lantern and
the lamp. He used for his wick two flat cottons parallel to one another,
with the tops almost in contact, and the edges of the wicks turned
towards the condenser. This lamp he charged with mineral oil, and thus
obtained an instrument surpassing anything of the kind previously

Since then many improvements have been made, each modification receiving
a distinctive title. We have thus ‘The Silber Light,’ ‘The Triplexicon,’
‘The Duplexicon,’ ‘The Refulgent,’ ‘The Euphaneron.’ It will not be
necessary to explain each of them in detail, as they have many things in
common, and it will suffice to describe ‘The Euphaneron,’ which is
perhaps the best of the series.

The Euphaneron (that which shows well) differs in several important
particulars from the phantasmagoria lantern. The body of the lantern
(which serves to support the condenser and objective) is made of Russian
plate iron, which neither rusts nor blisters. The condenser consists of
two 4-in. lenses of the form we have already described, and the
objective is a double achromatic combination. The outer lens of the
objective, designated the ‘front lens,’ is in form a plano-convex lens.
The inner lens, called the ‘back lens,’ consists of two separate lenses,
one an unequi-convex lens, the other a meniscus-concave lens. This
combination gives a beautifully-defined picture on the screen, with
flatness of field and abundance of light.

The lamp is entirely distinct from the body, and will burn equally well
either outside or inside the body of the lantern, the chimney being
attached to the lamp and not to the body. The cistern of the lamp forms
its base, and is filled with mineral oil. From the top of the cistern
rise two rectangular tubes, sloping together as they rise; these contain
the two wicks. The wicks do not stand parallel to each other, but form
an acute angle with the base of the triangle towards the condenser, and
this is the peculiarity that brings about the equal illumination of the
disc. The wicks are raised and depressed by the action of two milled
heads at the back of the lamp. Now, instead of surrounding the flames
with a glass chimney, as is ordinarily the case, a metal combustion
chamber is provided, and to this chamber the chimney is attached. The
ends of the chamber are open, the front being closed by a glass plate,
the back by a silvered reflector. Attempts have recently been made to
add a third wick to this lamp, but they have not been very successful,
the lantern being rendered very much hotter without affording a
corresponding gain in brilliancy. The Euphaneron exhibits photographic
slides in a most satisfactory manner on a disc 10 ft. in diameter. The
disc is uniformly illuminated, and the picture well in focus all over
the screen.

_Directions for trimming the Euphaneron Lamp._--Remove the lamp from the
lantern, carefully clean the front glass and the mirror. Turn back the
combustion-chamber on its hinge, so as to expose the tops of the wicks.
These should be cut quite smooth and straight, without any projecting
filaments. The cistern should be nearly filled with the best mineral
oil, and the wicks turned up a little way and lit. The combustion
chamber should be now restored to its place, the lamp put into the
lantern, and the chimney fixed on. The wicks should then be gradually
raised as high as they will bear without smoking. In putting the oil
into the lamp care should be taken not to spill any on the outside. The
general directions already given for showing the pictures are then to be
followed in using the Euphaneron.


The lanterns that we have hitherto been describing have been those
capable of exhibiting single pictures only; we have now to explain the
production of dissolving views.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

Dissolving views, as the name implies, is an exhibition of pictures in
which there is a fading away of one and the appearance of another, as
though the one picture grew out of the wreck of the other. To produce
these results, two lanterns of similar size are required (see Fig. 4),
together with some contrivance for diminishing the light forming the
first picture, until that has quite faded away, simultaneously allowing
that forming the second picture to fall upon the screen until this one
has arrived at its complete intensity, and the first picture is no
longer seen. This latter contrivance is known as the mechanical
dissolver, and it consists of two serrated plates attached to a movable
bar fixed to the front edge of the base upon which the lanterns are
supported. These plates come immediately in front of the lanterns, and
require to be so arranged that when the whole of the light from one
lantern is seen on the screen, the light from the other is entirely
stopped. By means of a rack and pinion motion, the plates can be moved
simultaneously, and each lantern alternately closed and opened.

In order to make the discs of light produced by the two lanterns
coincident, the lanterns must be slightly inclined towards each other.

There is another class of results obtained by the dissolving-views
apparatus, which may be designated as the production of ‘composite’
pictures or ‘effects,’ as, for instance, a soldier is seen asleep by the
watch-fire, he dreams, and the subjects of his dream appear, one after
the other, on the screen, and then fade away. A ship is seen at sea; day
turns into night; the moon rises; a violent storm comes on; the
lightning flashes, and the ship is set on fire. A water-mill is shown
with the stream running and the wheel revolving; a swan appears on the
water and moves across the stream; night comes on, the wheel ceases to
revolve, and the windows of the house are lit up; clouds flit across the
sky; the moon rises--day returns, but the scene has changed to winter;
the water is frozen, and its surface occupied by skaters, and a fall of
snow takes place.

To produce such effects as these, both lanterns are required to be open
at the same time, and the serrated plates forming the dissolver must be
so contrived that the one which would otherwise obscure the fixed
picture is turned aside, or removed altogether, and therefore only _one_
lantern is alternately opened and closed. The foundation picture (the
sleeping soldier, for example) is placed in the lantern that remains
constantly open, and to this the addition (the dream) are made with the
second lantern.

For dissolving views proper, only two lanterns are required, and for the
simpler form of effects two lanterns suffice; but for very complex
pictures, three, four, or even five lanterns are required. Any two
lanterns of equal size and power may be employed to produce dissolving
views; but the phantasmagoria lantern is the smallest that can be
advantageously used.


We have described the typical oil-lit lanterns, and now we shall explain
the production of the lime-light in its two principal modifications of
the ‘oxycalcium’ and the ‘oxyhydrogen’ light. The lime-light is obtained
by intensely heating a piece of lime, in which condition it emits a most
brilliant light. The lime is generally used in the form of a cylinder
seven-eighths of an inch diameter and one and a quarter inch long,
having a hole along its centre from end to end; these cylinders are sold
in tin boxes, each containing twelve.

When a box containing lime cylinders has been opened, it is best to
transfer the cylinders to a wide-mouth stoppered bottle, and keep the
same in a dry place, as moisture causes the lime to crumble to dust. As
the lime is only required to furnish some solid material capable of
being rendered incandescent, many other substances can be used for this
purpose--the best substitute, if lime cannot be obtained, being chalk.

The oxycalcium light requires for its production a large loose flame, a
jet of oxygen gas, and a cylinder of lime. The two instruments now to be
described--one known as the oxycalcium _jet_ and the other as the
oxycalcium _lamp_--fully realise these conditions, and although
accomplishing the purpose in somewhat different ways, each form of
instrument possesses some special advantage.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

The oxycalcium lamp is represented at Fig. 5, and it consists of a
vessel with an aperture in its base, is provided with a valve to close
the same when needed, and is capable of holding about a half-pint of
spirits of wine. This is called the cistern, and it is placed valve
downwards into a second or outer cylinder rather deeper than itself.
This operation opens the valve of the cistern, and allows a sufficiency
of spirit to flow out so as to fill the space between the bottom of the
cistern and the bottom of the outer cylinder. From this outer cylinder
proceeds a long horizontal tube, terminating in a small chamber that
holds the wick, and it is here that the lamp is lighted.

Behind the wick is a steel pin for holding the cylinder of lime, and in
front of the wick is the small end of a bent tube (marked _o o_),
carrying the oxygen gas. This oxygen gas tube passes along the under
side of the tube connecting the outer cylinder with the wick chamber,
and extending some little distance behind the outer cylinder, there
terminates in a tap. This tap is to be connected with the bag containing
the oxygen gas by means of a flexible pipe.

In arranging the oxycalcium lamp for use the cistern should be filled
with spirits of wine, and the wick cut off smooth. The lime cylinder is
to be placed on the support, and the tap _o_ connected with the bag
containing the oxygen gas.

A weight equal to about 40 lb. or 50 lb. is to be placed on the bag, and
the apparatus is ready for use. The lamp is to be lighted at the wick
and the gas admitted by gradually turning the tap at the end of the tube
_o_; the tap attached to the _bag_ having been previously turned fully
on. The oxygen gas now issues from the point of the tube in front of the
flame and forces the flame against the lime, producing thus the
oxycalcium light.

The quantity of gas admitted requires to be regulated to the size of the
lamp flame, for if the gas be in excess, the lime will be cooled down
and the light diminished. A similar loss of light will result from
having too little gas; so that some attention will be required to enable
the operator to adjust the apparatus satisfactorily.

The wick should be carefully put into the wick-holder in straight
lengths, not twisted together, and not too tightly packed. A slight
separation should be made in the top of the wick to allow the stream of
gas to pass freely. The point of the jet should be about one-tenth of an
inch below the top of the wick, and should not project into the wick.
The wick should be kept up close to the point of the _jet_, and not be
allowed to bend towards the _lime cylinder_.

The spirit to be used with the oxycalcium lamp is to be alcohol or the
best methylated spirit; paraffin spirit will not do. It is best to renew
the wick each time the lamp is used.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

It is now necessary to describe the other form of oxycalcium light--the
oxycalcium _jet_.

The oxycalcium jet is shown at Fig. 6, and it will be seen that the
cistern and wick-holder required by the oxycalcium lamp are both
dispensed with. There are, instead, two horizontal tubes lying side by
side, each having a stopcock at one end, the other end of each tube
being turned up, one--the hydrogen tube--at right angles and inserted
into the stem of a sort of oblique T-shaped tube. The end of the other
horizontal tube--the oxygen tube--is bent into a bow form, so that it
may pass through the crosspiece of the oblique T-shaped tube before
mentioned. The stopcock of the oxygen tube is to be connected with the
bag containing the oxygen gas, and the stopcock of the hydrogen tube is
to be attached by a flexible tube to any of the gas-fittings in the room
where the apparatus is to be used. By this arrangement a stream of
ordinary hydrogen or street gas will pass through the hydrogen tube into
the oblique T-shaped tube, and will issue out at its open end, where it
is to be lighted. This flame, by the action of the stream of oxygen
issuing from the end of the oxygen tube, will be forced against the lime
cylinder, and produce, as in the former case, the oxycalcium light. The
same attention to the adjustment of the quantity of oxygen gas to the
size of the hydrogen flame that was necessary for the oxycalcium lamp is
equally needed with the oxycalcium jet, and by means of the two taps
this can be managed with the greatest facility. It is usual to drill a
hole through the flat part of the key of the oxygen stopcock, so that it
may be readily distinguished. It sometimes occurs that the gas-fittings
from whence the supply of hydrogen is to be obtained have immovable
nipples. In this case it will be found advantageous to connect, by means
of a T-piece, two or even more of the nipples with the tube that is to
convey the hydrogen to the jet; closing, of course, those that are not
thus used.

It is obvious that in using the oxycalcium jet the operator is dependent
for his flame upon a supply of the ordinary hydrogen or street gas, and
therefore this modification of the oxycalcium apparatus cannot be
employed in any place unprovided with the means of obtaining the same.
The oxycalcium lamp, on the other hand, as it carries with it the means
of producing the required flame, can be used anywhere. The light
obtained by the oxycalcium arrangement, although not equal to the
oxyhydrogen light, is admirably adapted for exhibitions on a moderate
scale, and it requires only one gas-bag.

In both of the oxycalcium arrangements the lime cylinder does not need
any alteration of position while in use. The proper distance between the
oxygen jet and the surface of the lime varies from one-eighth of an inch
to one-quarter of an inch.


Having explained the oxycalcium lamp and jet, we have now to describe
the oxyhydrogen jet, by which the brightest form of lime-light is
produced. The oxyhydrogen jet differs from those previously described in
one important particular, viz. that the two gases are mingled together
as gases before being ignited. Like the oxycalcium jet, it consists of
two tubes lying side by side (see Fig. 7), having a tap at one end of
each. The ends of these tubes are inserted into the base of a small
chamber, from which proceeds a single curved tube, which rises up in
front of the holder upon which the lime cylinder is placed. The end of
this tube is contracted by a platinum point screwed into it, and this
forms the jet. Two bags are required for this light, one containing
hydrogen gas (common house gas will do), and the other bag filled with
oxygen gas, and these bags are to be connected with the taps at the end
of the jet by means of flexible tubes in the usual manner. The two gases
are thus kept separate until they enter the chamber at the base of the
curved pipe. This chamber is provided with layers of wire gauze, so as
to facilitate the admixture of the gases, which eventually issue
thoroughly mingled from the point of the jet. In this condition they are
capable of being ignited, and as soon as the flame impinges on the lime
cylinder a most intense light results.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

The lime-holder of the oxyhydrogen jet is made to slide, so as to be
capable of being moved towards or away from the point of the jet. This
adjustment is necessary to rectify any slight difference in the diameter
of the lime cylinders, for, in order to obtain the full amount of light,
the face of the lime cylinder requires to be brought as close to the
point of the jet as it can be without being in contact with it. In
addition to this movement, the stem on which the lime cylinder is
supported is also made to revolve, in order to provide a fresh surface
of lime to be presented to the action of the flame. The heating power
of the flame of the oxyhydrogen gases is so intense that a cavity is
soon burnt in the face of the lime cylinder, and if this part of the
cylinder were to be allowed to continue opposite to the jet, the light
would be greatly diminished and the general effect marred. To provide
against this, the stem of the lime-holder is made with a screw at its
lower end, this screw working in a corresponding socket, so that by
turning the stem of the lime-holder round on its axis a second motion in
a perpendicular direction is also given to it. By this means the face of
the lime passes before the point of the jet in a spiral direction, and
consequently the same part of the lime cylinder is not brought a second
time under the action of the flame. In order to facilitate the rotation
of the lime cylinder, the screw is sometimes set in motion by clockwork;
but the better plan is to turn the lime by means of a horizontal rod
with bevel wheels.

Having described the various forms of apparatus constructed for
producing the lime-light by means of oxygen and hydrogen gases, a few
general observations will not be out of place. It should be borne in
mind that oxygen gas is a supporter of combustion, and is neither
explosive nor inflammable. The hydrogen gas will ignite, but will only
do so in the presence of oxygen. With the oxycalcium lamp and oxycalcium
jet, there is complete safety from explosion. In the oxyhydrogen jet
there is also complete safety if care is taken not to fill up the
hydrogen-bag with oxygen, and _vice versâ_. Such an admixture is
explosive, and nothing can prevent an explosion when a light is applied.
The contents of one bag will not pass into the other during an
exhibition, and even if the weights were to fall off the bags, the only
effect would be to put the light out.


Several times in describing the production of the lime-light reference
has been made to gas-bags; and now we will explain more fully what they
are. Gas-bags are usually made of stout india-rubber cloth,
wedge-shaped, their length being half as much again as their width, and
the base usually equal to their width. A tap is provided and attached to
the apex of the bag, so as to allow of the admission and expulsion of
the gas. In order to press out the gas from a filled bag, two boards are
used. These boards are of similar dimensions to the bag, and being
hinged together along one edge, can be separated to allow of the
introduction of the inflated gas-bag. A projecting ledge is fixed on the
outside of the upper board, about eight inches from its end, against
which the weight required to press out the gas can rest. The weights
should be square-shaped, and the most convenient size is a
half-hundredweight. When two bags are required (as in the case of the
oxyhydrogen light), the double pressure-board (Fig. 8) should be
employed; the two bags are then placed one above the other, and one set
of weights only is required instead of two sets. The weight required to
be used with a bag of eight feet capacity when employed for the
oxycalcium lamp or jet should be about 56 lbs., but at least three times
that amount should be placed on the bags for the production of the
oxyhydrogen light.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

It is not desirable to keep either oxygen or hydrogen gas in
india-rubber bags for any length of time. Oxygen can be kept for a few
days or a week, but any hydrogen gas that may remain in the bag after an
exhibition should be expelled before the bag is refilled. When two bags
are in use, each should be marked; [=O=] on the oxygen bag, and [=H=] on
the hydrogen bag; and the bags should not be used interchangeably;
_i.e._, hydrogen gas should not be put into an oxygen bag, nor oxygen
into the hydrogen bag. In arranging the apparatus, place the pressure
boards and bags where they will not be meddled with. Let the weights be
securely placed on the pressure boards, so that they may not slide or
roll off during the exhibition. Do not on any account allow any one to
stand upon or press the boards with his foot as a substitute for, or in
addition to, the weights. The lime cylinder should be wiped clean from
dust before it is put upon the holder, and it should be exposed to the
flame of the lamp or simple hydrogen flame some minutes before the
oxygen is turned on, so that it may not fracture when the light is being
produced. When all arrangements are complete, the hydrogen should be
turned on and lighted, and oxygen should be gradually turned on until
the requisite degree of light is obtained. With the oxycalcium light
some exhibitors use the compressed oxygen, the gas being compressed into
an iron cylinder, and thus bags, boards, and weights are not needed.
This arrangement has the advantage of portability, but the cylinders
have to be filled by means of a steam pump--a thing not always to be
obtained. When a cylinder is used it should be placed as close to the
jet as possible, and the flow of gas must be regulated by the valve of
the cylinder, and not by the tap of the jet.


The two gases, oxygen and hydrogen, required for the production of the
lime-light need now some separate notice, as it often occurs that those
who use these gases for dissolving-view exhibitions have to prepare the
one--sometimes both--for themselves.

Oxygen gas is a simple elementary body, and is most extensively diffused
throughout our earth. It is one of the constituents of the atmosphere
surrounding our globe, and also of water, as well as of nearly all the
substances known as acids. It has never yet been met in its separate or
uncombined state, and therefore it can only be obtained by decomposing
some substance of which it is a constituent.

The material most convenient for obtaining oxygen gas for lime-light
purposes is chlorate of potassa. Two parts of this material (by weight)
is mixed with one part of powered black oxide of manganese (this is
known as ‘oxygen mixture’). The oxide of manganese does not supply any
of the oxygen, but its presence facilitates the decomposition of the
chlorate of potassa. The apparatus used for generating the gas is shown
at Fig. 9. It consists of a copper or iron vessel (A), forming the
retort or generator, a glass bottle-shaped vessel (B), which is the
purifier, the two being connected together by a flexible tube. It will
be seen that there are two tubes proceeding from the top of the
purifier, one of which reaches nearly to the bottom of the vessel, and
the other only just enters into the top. The former, or long tube, is
the tube by which the purifier is attached to the retort; the latter, or
short tube, is that which connects the purifier with the bag.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

The method of charging the apparatus is as follows. Put into the retort
about a pound and a half of oxygen mixture; pour into the purifier a
sufficient quantity of water to about two-thirds fill it. Place the
retort on a clear but not fierce fire, or over a gas furnace, and unite
it to the _long_ tube of the purifier (B). Attach the _short_ pipe from
the purifier to the gas-bag, and open all the taps, so that there may be
a free passage-way from the retort to the bag. In a few minutes the gas
will be given off, and will manifest itself by rising in bubbles through
the water in the purifier. If a fierce fire be employed, the gas will be
given off with undue rapidity and will pass through the purifier in
volumes, so that it only becomes partially washed. A rapid but regular
succession of gas is most to be desired. Should the gas come off with
great violence, the retort should be lifted from the fire without
disarranging the apparatus, and when the excessive rapidity is moderated
it can be replaced. It is not, however, desirable to remove the retort
from the fire if it can be avoided, for it not unfrequently happens that
when the retort cools down, with only partially decomposed material in
it, waste is the consequence, as it is not quite easy to re-establish
the decomposing process. When the gas has entirely come off--which may
be known by the cessation of the bubbles in the purifier--the top of the
bag should be closed, the retort taken from the fire, detached from the
purifier, and stood aside to cool. When cold, the residuum may be
readily washed out with water, and when dry, the retort is ready for use
again. The purifier should be emptied and washed out also. Always blow
through the flexible tubes leading from the retort to the purifier, and
wash out the metal tube of the retort in order to remove any solid
material that may have been deposited there from the gas.

There has recently been manufactured a very neat oxygen gas-generator
and gas-burner combined. The inventor proposes to prepare the oxygen in
the room where the exhibition is taking place, and while using the
lanterns. But as this apparatus would be very difficult to manipulate
with, even by an experienced operator, it cannot be recommended for
general use.

With regard to the hydrogen gas, it is always best to use the ordinary
house gas, or if that cannot be obtained, to use the oxycalcium lamp, as
the preparation of the pure hydrogen gas is troublesome, and not quite
free from danger.


The preparation of magic-lantern slides for home use (although, perhaps,
not equalling the bought ones in quality) is a great source of pleasure,
and a few hints on this part of our subject will probably be acceptable.
A number of very amusing slides may be made by cutting grotesque or
other figures out of black paper, and pasting them on glass slips, and
after the pictures are dry, giving a little detail by slashing the
picture with a sharp penknife in places where needed. If these figures
be first drawn on tissue paper, coloured, and then cut out, the effect
is still more pleasing. Or, if preferred, sheets of these figures in
black can be bought, and thus the trouble of drawing them will be saved.

A very efficient set of astronomical slides may be constructed out of
blackened cardboard with the aid of a few punches, some different-sized
needles, and some of the coloured gelatine bon-bons. Having cut the card
of a size suitable for the lantern, and marked on it a circle of the
same diameter as the lantern condenser, prick holes in the card by aid
of the needles, so as to represent the principal constellations and
nebulæ, illustrations of which will be found in most works on astronomy.
The relative positions of the planets may be shown by punching holes in
the cardboard and covering them over with gelatine. When the holes are
punched, the orbits may be traced by a very minute row of holes, pricked
with a fine needle, the circles having first been marked with a pair of

For larger diagrams representing the planets singly, a sharp penknife
and a pair of compasses would, combined with a steady hand, produce

The painting of magic-lantern slides on glass is a rather more difficult
task, and some knowledge of the rules of the art of painting in general
will be found most useful. The colours and brushes to be used are sold
in boxes, and the number of colours can be readily increased by mixing.
The following articles may be considered necessaries. Easel, glass to
paint on, pencils, dabbers, etching-needles, fixing varnish, and the
following colours: Blue, Nos. 1 and 2, crimson, amber, brown, mauve,
black, light green, dark green, orange, purple, and scarlet. Having
obtained these articles, proceed as follows. Make a drawing of the
picture required, of the right size, on white paper, and place this
under the glass upon which the picture is to be painted. The outline is
then to be traced on the glass in Indian ink with a fine pen. This part
of the work, however, can be dispensed with if the glasses be bought
having pictures already outlined on them. If the subject of the picture
be a landscape, the outlined glass is to be turned upside down, and the
sky filled in first, commencing at the horizon with a pale tint, which
is to be increased in density as the edge of the picture is approached.
To remove any superfluous colour, a dabber is used.

When this colour has dried, the other parts of the picture are painted
in succession with appropriate tints, warm tints being employed for the
objects in the foreground, neutral or cool tints for the background.

This having been done, the picture has then to be coated with the fixing
varnish, either using a brush or pouring it on as a photographer would
do; or, when it has covered the surface, allowing it to run back into
the bottle from one of the corners. The varnish is then allowed to dry,
after which the picture is again to be examined, the shadows of the
buildings and the trees are to be filled in, and the colour strengthened
where the picture seems to need it. Snow and moonlight effects are
produced chiefly by removing the colour in places by means of a knife
and needle-point.

The rules given above apply also to the colouring of photographs for the
magic lantern.



If you were to go to a shop to buy a lantern like the one I am going to
describe, it would cost thirty-five shillings, but you will be able to
make it for fourteen or fifteen. I will tell you what mine cost me,
including the slides. The lantern cost me fifteen shillings.

               £  _s._ _d._
  Lantern      0   15   0
  Colours      0   10   6
  Glass        0    5   0
  Paper        0    1   0
  Varnish      0    1   0
              £1   12   6

With these colours and glass I have painted 250 slides, which to buy
would cost two shillings each, and the cost of lantern and 250 slides
would thus be:--

                         £  _s._ _d._
  Lantern                1   16    0
  250 slides at 2_s._   25    0    0
                        26   15    0
                         1   12    6
                       £25    2    6

making a clear saving of £25.

Besides this, you have the double pleasure of making the lantern and
painting the slides, and showing it as your own work. The picture shown
by this lantern will be nine or ten feet in diameter, and will be large
enough to show full-sized slides if you should at any time buy any. If
you do buy, I should recommend the uncoloured photographs (1_s._ 6_d._
each), to be got at all shops where they sell lanterns. By making two of
these lanterns you can use them for dissolving views, which is by far
the best way to exhibit the slides. Many brilliant effects can be
obtained with two lanterns that it would be impossible to do with a
single lantern. I should certainly advise you to try this. Both lanterns
can be made at the same time; the directions for one will do for both.
But we must get on with our description.

First of all get a carpenter to cut you a deal board, free of knots, six
feet six inches long, nine inches wide, and half an inch thick. This
must be planed smooth on both sides. If you have a plane, do this
yourself. Now with a fine saw cut four pieces off the board, each twelve
inches long, and two pieces nine inches long. These are to make the
body of the lantern with. Take two of the long pieces and the two short
pieces, and reduce the width to six inches. These will be the top,
bottom, back, and front of the lantern. Now you must put the pieces
together by dovetailing; or you had better get the carpenter to do this
for you, as unless you are used to this work you would be sure to make a
mess of it. Do not glue the pieces together yet. Take the piece of wood
that is to serve for the top, and draw lines with a pencil from opposite
corners, like Fig. 1. Now with a pair of compasses, open one inch and a
half apart, put one point at the point where the two lines cross each
other, and mark a circle with the other point. This circle must be cut
out either with a keyhole saw or with a gouge, smoothing off with a
rough file.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

Now take the piece of wood that is to be used for the front of the
lantern and draw a pencil line across it, two inches from the top end,
and then cross the other part with pencil lines (Fig. 2), as you did the
top, and with the compasses open an inch and three-quarters make a
circle as before and cut it out. Now take the piece of wood to be used
for the right side of the lantern and mark it thus (Fig. 3). Draw lines
across each end two inches from the edges, and along the side one inch
and a half from the edges. Cut out the middle portion evenly up to the
lines. This will form the door, and if you have cut the piece out with a
keyhole saw it will do to be fastened on with hinges. If not, you must
make another piece for the door. Now, round the bottom of the two sides
and back bore holes with a half-inch centrebit. These holes must be one
inch and a half from the centre of the hole to the edge of the wood.
Three in the back piece and four in each side will be enough. These
holes are to supply air for the lamp. Now you will want some sheet tin
to line the lantern with. This you must buy. Get two and a half sheets
of thin, and two and a half of very stout. The thin will be threepence
each, the stout sixpence each. Cut pieces from the thin tin to line the
lantern with--two pieces eight inches by ten inches, two pieces five by
eight, one piece five by ten, and one piece five by eleven. Punch holes
all round each of these pieces. This can be done with the sharp end of a
file. Put the tin in its place on the top, front, and right side, and
mark on it, through the holes, their exact size, and cut the tin away a
little larger than the holes. Now you can put the linings in their
places and fasten on with small tacks. Those used by upholsterers are
the best. The tin at sides, back, and front, is cut short, so as not to
cover the holes at the bottom. The tin can be easily cut with a large
pair of scissors. The door must be lined with tin. When all the parts
are lined you can glue the joints and put the body together, fastening
with small brads. This can now be put on one side to dry and set firm,
as we shall next set to work to make the stage and nozzle.

Before you can do so you must get your lenses and reflector. These will
cost you more than any other part of the lantern twice over. The lenses
will be 10_s._ 6_d._, and the reflector 2_s._ Ask for, or write for, a
pair of lenses for No. 6A lantern, three and a half inches, and a
four-inch reflector. First of all we must set the lenses. Take the
largest, and cut a strip of thin tin half an inch wide, and long enough
to go right round the lens and lap an eighth of an inch. The best way to
measure this is with a piece of paper, cut into a strip and passed round
the lens, and cut to the exact length of the circumference of it. Place
this paper on your tin and cut the latter an eighth of an inch longer
than the paper. You must now solder the ends of this strip of tin
together to make a ring. To do this you must have a soldering bit, and
as this is always useful you had better buy one.

Take a small piece of clean tin, put on it two or three drops of
chloride of zinc, and in this put a small piece of solder. Put the bit
in the fire to get hot--but not red-hot. When hot, rub the point with a
file till it is bright, and put it on the solder, which will immediately
flow and cover the point of the bit. This is called tinning the bit, and
must always be done when the bit gets red-hot, as that burns off the

Put your bit in the fire to get hot, and while it is there bring the
ends of the tin strip together so that they lap an eighth of an inch.
Dip a camel-hair brush in the liquid and rub the joint between the
lapping and an eighth of an inch outside. Put a small piece of solder at
the top of the joint. Now if the bit be hot enough put it on the solder,
and, as soon as it has melted it, draw it slowly along the joint, and
the solder will flow after it and make a firm joint. In making joints
like this, the parts of the tin lapping must touch each other closely.
When the joint is cold, take a small hammer and turn in one edge all
round a sixteenth of an inch. This will be easily done by gently tapping
the edge with the hammer over a piece of wood, such as a toothpowder-box
or ribbon-roller. In doing this you must be careful not to put the band
out of the round. When this is done, put the lens inside, resting on the
turned-in part. Now get a piece of brass wire a sixteenth of an inch
thick, and about a quarter of an inch less in length than the tin strip
was, and bend it into a ring, but do not fasten the ends together. Put
the ring inside the band against the lens, and it will spring against
the sides and hold the lens firmly in its place. This lens, with its
setting, is to be placed inside the lantern in the large hole in the
front of it, with the lens towards the back of the lantern.

Now we must set the other lens. Take a piece of the thin tin two and a
half inches wide, and long enough to go round the lens and lap an eighth
of an inch. In cutting this you must be careful to keep the sides and
angles square, or it will not be true when made into a tube. Now get a
roller for silks about an inch and a half thick and roll the tin round
it to make a tube by bringing the shortest edges together. Be careful to
make the tube nice and round and smooth; lap the edges an eighth of an
inch, and solder them together as you did the other tube. Turn in one
edge all round a sixteenth of an inch, put the lens inside, resting on
the turned-in part, and fix it with a wire ring. Now take a strip of
tin an inch wide and long enough to go round this last tube and lap an
eighth of an inch. Bring the edges together, lapping an eighth of an
inch, and solder.

This is the tube to be fixed in the nozzle, for the front lens tube to
slide in, to regulate the focus. Round this little tube, half an inch
from the edge, mark a line.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

Now we will get on with the stage. For this you will use your stout tin.
Take one of the plates and mark on it a piece five inches by eight,
being very careful to make it quite square at the corners. Cut this
piece of tin out. Now draw a line across each end at half an inch from
the edge, and another line an inch and a half from the edge (Fig. 4).
Cross the middle portion by lines drawn from opposite corners, and with
your compasses mark a circle three inches and a half in diameter. Cut
out this circular portion, being careful not to bend the plate; but if
you do you must straighten it again with a piece of wood, bend the ends
down along the inner line till they are at right angles with the other
part of the plate (Fig. 5). Now bend the tin outwards along the other
lines till it is at right angles to the other part (Fig. 6). Punch two
holes about an eighth of an inch wide in each of the turned-out parts.
These holes are to screw the stage to the lantern by. Next you must get
two pieces of clock-spring about a quarter of an inch wide and four
inches and seven-eighths long. Bend them into bows about an inch high,
and turn the ends outwards a little (Fig. 7). Solder these into the
inside of the stage by the middle at the top and bottom of the hole
(Fig. 8). Cut another piece of tin seven inches and seven-eighths by
seven inches and a quarter, and cut a circular hole in the middle four
inches in diameter. Mark a line across each end an inch and an eighth
from the edge, and bend the plate at right angles at each end. This is
to make the spring clip to hold the slides; it is put inside the stage,
resting on the springs, and with the turned-out parts outside (Fig. 9).

In cutting the tin for the next part, you must be careful to keep the
sides and angles square; also in bending it into a tube and soldering
it. Mark out on your tin plate (stout tin) a piece eleven and a quarter
inches long and four and one-eighth inches wide, turn this into a tube
by bringing the shortest edges together round a bottle, lap them a
quarter of an inch, and solder the joint; now very carefully turn out
one edge all round, one-eighth of an inch, being careful not to disturb
the round. This can be done against the edge of a flat-iron by gently
tapping with your small hammer. Cut out a circular piece of tin three
inches and a half in diameter, and in the centre cut out a circular hole
exactly the size of the small tube the lens-tube slides in; pass this
tube half way through this hole, and solder it in, being careful that it
is squarely in; now put this piece into the end of the large tube, not
the turned-out end, so that the side that is soldered is inwards, and
solder this on the inside of the tube. Next solder this tube, which is
the nozzle of the lantern, on to the outside of the stage, being careful
that the holes in the stage and tube correspond. You had better
strengthen the stage by soldering corner pieces in where the turn-out
parts are (Fig. 10). Now the stage and nozzle is ready to be screwed
into its place on the front of the lantern, being careful that the
centre of the holes are all in the same straight line; but before
screwing it on, all the tin visible must be blackened with dull black
paint, which I will tell you how to make at the end of this section. The
inside of the lantern must also be painted with this black paint, as
well as the inside of the front lens-tube. In this tube there must be
what is called a diaphragm. To make this, take a piece of thin tin an
inch and a quarter wide, and long enough to go round the inside of the
lens-tube; solder the edges together, and close the end with a circular
piece of tin with a circular hole in the middle of it a little less than
half an inch in diameter. Blacken this and push it into the tube, so
that the little hole is about half-way in. The lens-tube is to be pushed
into the nozzle with the lens inside. To make the chimney, take a piece
of tin six inches wide and nine inches and three-quarters long, bend it
into a tube, and lap a full eighth of an inch; solder up the joint; then
cut four notches in the top about three-quarters of an inch deep (Fig.

[Illustration: Fig. 10.]

[Illustration: Fig. 11.]

[Illustration: Fig. 12.]

Now mark on a piece of tin a circle four inches and a quarter radius, or
eight and a half inches wide; cut this circle out. Now cut out a quarter
of the circle (Fig. 12), bring the cut edges together, lap them a
little, and solder the joint, so that it makes a small tin cone (Fig.
13). Put this on to the four points on the top of the chimney-tube, and
solder those points into it securely, and your chimney will be finished
and look like Fig. 14. This must be pushed into the hole at the top of
the lantern.

[Illustration: Fig. 13.]

[Illustration: Fig. 14.]

[Illustration: Fig. 15.]

[Illustration: Fig. 16.]

Now for the lamp, and your lantern will be finished. You had better make
this, as it would cost you 10_s._ 6_d._ to buy, and you have nearly all
the materials required. Cut a piece of stout tin nine inches and three
quarters long and three inches and three quarters broad; make it into a
tube by joining the short edges together, lapping them a little, about
an eighth of an inch, and soldering the joint. For the bottom cut a
piece of tin round, the exact size to fit tightly into the tube; in the
middle of this cut a circular hole three-quarters of an inch in
diameter, solder this in the lamp so that it is half an inch from the
bottom end, and then cut the half-inch that projects like you did the
top of the chimney. Now make a tube of tin to fit the hole in the
bottom, and long enough to come level with the top of the lamp; solder
this up, and into its place in the lamp (Fig. 15). Next you must get a
short piece of brass curtain-rod that will just fit tightly over this
last tube and be the same length. In this brass tube you must cut a
spiral slot, running from top to bottom, and going once round. The slot
is to be cut quite through the brass (Fig. 16). The best way to do this
is to cut a piece of wood, about eight inches long, and thick enough to
fit very tightly in the brass tube; then with a sharp file make your
cut. The cut is to be about one-sixteenth of an inch wide. Now push this
brass tube on to the tube in the lamp, and fix it by pressing the brass
in a little.

The next thing to make is the wick-carrier. Make a short tube of tin
three-fourteenths of an inch long, and to fit easily over the brass
tube; round the bottom of this short tube put a band of stout tin
one-fourth of an inch wide; through this band drill a hole one-sixteenth
of an inch, and solder a sixteenth-of-an-inch wire through it, so that
it projects one-eighth of an inch inwards, and one-eighth of an inch
outwards. This little wick-carrier must be notched with a penknife (Fig.
17), so that it is covered with little points directed downwards; these
points are to catch in the wick and hold it firmly.

[Illustration: Fig. 17.]

[Illustration: Fig. 18.]

[Illustration: Fig. 19.]

If this wick-carrier is put on the brass tube in the lamp, with the
inside point in the spiral slot, as it descends it will turn to the
left, and as it is lifted up it will turn to the right; consequently if
it is turned to the right or left, it will ascend or descend, according
to the way it is turned. To turn this wick-carrier we must have the
following contrivance: Cut out a circular piece of stout tin that will
fit easily into the lamp, and in the centre cut out a circular hole that
will allow the wick-carrier to pass easily through it. At one side of
this circular hole cut a little slot one-eighth of an inch each way
(Fig. 18). Next make a tube of tin that will fit inside this hole, and
will let the carrier pass freely up and down inside, but the edges of
the tin must not be joined, but be an eighth of an inch apart. Solder
this tube in its place in the circular tin, projecting through about a
quarter of an inch, and so that the opening down the side of the tube
corresponds with the square slot in the top. Solder a band of tin
one-eighth of an inch wide all round the bottom of this tube to keep it
firm (Fig. 19). Punch a hole in the top about a quarter of an inch from
the edge, and fix a one-sixteenth wire in it about half an inch long.

[Illustration: Fig. 20.]

Put this tube over the brass tube, so that the slot at top corresponds
with the top of the spiral slot. Put the wick-carrier in its place, with
the inner point in the spiral, and the outer point in the slot in the
tube; and by turning the top to right or left the wick-carrier will
ascend or descend, and, when the wick is fixed to it, will raise or
lower the wick. To turn this top something more is wanted--that is, a
movable top to carry the lamp-glass; this can be made to turn the
movable top to raise the wick-carrier. For this you must get a piece of
sheet-brass or copper--brass will look best, but copper is easiest
worked. Whichever you decide upon, it must be a circular piece three and
a half inches in diameter, and less than one-sixteenth of an inch thick.
This copper is to be worked into the shape of a felt hat, with a crown
three-quarters of an inch high, and one and a half wide. To do this you
must make a block of hard oak wood six inches square and three inches
thick; cut a hole in the middle the shape and size of the crown of the
hat; this is to be like half a ball (Fig. 20).

[Illustration: Fig. 21.]

[Illustration: Fig. 22.]

Now make another block two inches thick and six inches square, and bore
a hole in each corner to screw the two blocks together by with four-inch
screws. Make a hole right through the top block one inch and a half
wide. Now make your copper red-hot and chill it in cold water--this will
soften it; put it on the lower block with the centre of the copper
exactly over the centre of the hole in the block, place the top block on
the copper, and screw the two blocks together as tightly as you can. Now
make a piece of oak three and a half inches long, and one inch and
three-eighths thick, into a roller, and round one end. Put the rounded
end in the hole, resting on the copper, and strike it repeatedly with a
heavy hammer or mallet. This will drive the copper into the hollow in
the bottom block. You must make the copper soft by making it red-hot
repeatedly, and you will find that it will be easily worked into the
hollow. As soon as it is forced quite into the hollow in the lower block
you must unscrew the two blocks and finish the fitting by hammering with
a round-faced hammer. Your copper will now be like Fig. 21. Now you must
file off the top of the crown, so as to make a hole at the top
three-quarters of an inch in diameter, like Fig. 22.

[Illustration: Fig. 23.]

[Illustration: Fig. 24.]

Next you must cut the brim like Fig. 23, making three projections
three-eighths of an inch wide, and three-quarters of an inch long. Now
one-sixteenth of an inch from the crown of the hat bore a hole
one-sixteenth of an inch at the end of each projection. Bend the outer
end of each projecting arm a little less than a quarter of an inch
downwards, till it is at right angles to the other part. Make a ring of
thin tin three-eighths of inch wide, and one inch and five-eighths in
diameter; cut the bottom edge away, leaving three projecting points
one-sixteenth of an inch wide and a quarter of an inch long, equidistant
from each other, put these projections through the little holes round
the crown of the hat, and bend them inwards underneath. This will hold
the ring tightly in its place. Now put this hat on the top of the lamp,
and mark on one of the arms the place where the iron wire in the movable
lower top comes, and then bore in that arm a hole one-eighth of an inch
in diameter, and put the top on, passing the upright wire through this
hole. Your top will now be like Fig. 24. The ring is to hold the
chimney, and should have four or five slits in it a quarter of an inch
deep, to clip the glass.

Now solder a handle to your lamp. Make a ring of tin a quarter of an
inch wide, and one inch and a quarter in diameter, and solder the two
ends to the lamp.

[Illustration: Fig. 25.]

On the other side you must make the loop to hold the reflector. Take a
piece of tin one inch wide and three inches long, and bend the ends at
right angles to the middle, each end to be three-quarters of an inch
long. Solder these ends to the front of the lamp. On the front of this
piece of tin solder another an inch and a quarter long and
three-quarters of an inch wide, soldering only the ends. This will be
the loop to slip the hook on the back of the reflector in, and will keep
it in its place. Your lamp is now quite finished, and will be as
represented in Fig. 25. In fastening on this slip care must be taken to
put it in such a position that when the reflector is in its place the
centre of the reflector will be one inch higher than the top of the
lamp, that is, the cut crown of the hat.

When using the lantern the lamp must be placed under the chimney, and
pieces of board put under it to bring the centre of the reflector
opposite the centre of the lens.

Now put a wick in. These wicks are circular, and about three inches and
a half long. When buying them, take your wick-carrier with you to get
the right size. They should fit tightly over this. These wicks can be
bought at the lantern-shops, and are one shilling or one-and-sixpence a
dozen. Put oil in your lamp, about two-thirds full. Light your lamp and
put it in the lantern. Put the chimney on, put the lenses in their
proper places, and try the lantern. If it gives a clear, sharp disc on
the wall your lantern is all right, and ready to show the slides. If the
disc is cloudy or has dark patches, move the lamp about till you get it
clear. Move the front lens till the end of the disc is sharp.

[Illustration: Fig. 26.]

You can paint your lantern all over with black paint. Brunswick black is
the best to do this with. It makes the tin parts look nice. If you
prefer it, and I think it is far the best, you can make your lantern of
mahogany instead of deal, and polish it, and blacken the tin parts only.
Mahogany board can be got for this very little dearer than deal. If you
were to solder a brass-wire ring round the outside of the edge of the
tube that carries the front lens, it would make it stronger and easier
to regulate the focus, besides giving it a more finished look. If the
nozzle and focusing-tube were made altogether of this brass plate it
would add to the finish.


A magic lantern without slides is not of much use. These slides cost a
good deal to buy, the price, ranging from two shillings to a guinea,
being regulated by the time and skill expended in their production. In
this section I will tell you how to make your own slides at a small
outlay for materials. The time and skill you must supply yourselves.

The materials required are--a glass-cutter; some strips of patent
plate-glass four inches wide--the glass of the thickness called
eleven-ounce glass; thin black paper, crystal varnish, turpentine, tubes
of water-colours, three or four sizes of sable-hair pencils; a
good-sized camel-hair brush, with the hair cut straight off half-way
down, for varnishing; some glue, two or three small dabbers made of fine
linen or kid stuffed with wool, a palette, an easel, and a penknife.

The colours required are opaque black, warm brown, blue, dark green,
yellow, and crimson. The palette can be made of a piece of glass six
inches square, with a piece of white paper pasted on the back.

[Illustration: _Fig. 1_]

The easel you can make for yourselves. Fig. 1 will show how mine is
made. A board twelve inches square and one inch thick forms the stand.
To this, at about one inch from the front edge, is fastened by two
hinges another smaller board, eight inches wide and eleven inches long
from top to bottom, having a square hole six inches wide and nine inches
long cut out of it, making it into a frame. This hole is filled with a
plate of glass by glueing strips of wood all round inside the frame at
the back for the glass to rest upon. The front surface of the glass must
be flush with the front surface of the frame.

Up the front of both sides of the frame holes are bored about half an
inch apart for the pegs in the shelf to fit into. This shelf is a piece
of wood eight inches long and half an inch square. In the back of the
shelf are fixed two iron pegs, which fit into the holes in the frame to
keep the shelf in position. At each side of the frame is a wooden
support screwed on to the outside by one end, so that it can be moved
freely backwards or forwards, hinge fashion: the free end of each
support fits into holes bored in the stand. By moving the supports
backwards or forwards, and putting them in the holes in the stand, the
easel can be lowered or raised at pleasure.

The upper surface of the stand is covered with white paper. You will
require a hand-rest to keep the hand from touching the painting. This is
made out of a piece of thin wood (cigar-box wood does nicely) eight
inches long and one inch wide. To one side of this, at each end, glue a
piece of the same wood one inch square, and in these pieces fix the iron
pegs to fit into the holes in the frame of the easel.

When using the easel place it with its back to a window, or if you are
painting by gas or lamp light place it so that there is a strong light
on the white paper under the glass.

The glass to be painted is to be put on the glass of the easel resting
on the shelf. When you have finished painting for the day you need not
remove the picture from the easel if it is not finished, as by fixing
the hand-rest over it and shutting down the easel you can cover the
whole with a sheet of paper, and so protect it from dust. Now you have
everything you want, and we will set to work at the painting.

First take your strips of glass, and with your glass-cutter cut them
into pieces four inches square. Take one of these squares and well clean
it on both sides. Put a little of each colour on your palette. Now place
your glass over the design you wish to transfer to it, and very
carefully go over the outline with your finest sable-hair pencil dipped
into the opaque black moistened with a little water.

While this is drying mix in a small bottle some crystal varnish and
turpentine in the proportion of one part varnish and two parts
turpentine. When the outline is dry take it in your left hand, with the
thumb on one edge and the fingers on the other. Dip the varnish brush
into the varnish mixture, drain it partly on the mouth of the bottle,
and carefully, with a light and free hand, go all over the glass,
drawing the brush from top to bottom, beginning at the left-hand edge
and working to the right.

Do not go over the varnish twice, or you may disturb the outline. Set
the glass on one side to dry, but do not put it where it will get hot,
or this may crack and streak the varnish.

While this is drying, take another glass, clean it, and trace outline of
number two picture, varnish, and proceed with number three, and so on
till you have six glasses outlined and varnished. It is better to have
more than one picture to work upon at the same time; you do not then
have to wait for the varnish to dry, as you can be colouring one while
the other is drying.

When the varnish is dry, which will be in about a quarter of an hour,
put one of the glasses, with the varnished side up, on to the easel,
place the easel in a good light, and proceed to put in the colours. Put
in the sky and background of the pictures first. The sky and all large
surfaces must be put in as evenly as you can with the brush, and then
you must go all over them with a fine dabber till you have got them
perfectly even. In dabbing a surface such as a sky, do not mind dabbing
the colour over other parts of the picture, as all the colour not wanted
in it can be taken out with the moistened point of a brush before
varnishing. When I paint my slides I sometimes purposely colour all over
anything that projects into the sky, as I find I can get a more even
surface by doing so.

When you have been all over the picture with the first coat of colour,
varnish as before, and proceed with the second and third coats. You must
be very careful in varnishing the colours, and not go over them twice.
The colours are to be got at all artists’ colour shops. Ask for tubes of
water-colours for glass-painting. Some of the larger firms also publish
little books on glass-painting, in which you will find many useful

When the colouring of the picture is finished, varnish it all over for
the last time, and set on one side to dry. Now cut some squares out of
your black paper the exact size of your glasses, and cut from the centre
of each a circular hole three and a half inches in diameter; place one
of these pieces on each of the varnished pictures (on the varnished
side); take, and clean, six other glasses, and place one on each of the
paper squares on the pictures; next fasten the two glasses together by
glueing a narrow strip of paper all round the edges of each pair, and
lapping on to each glass not more than one-eighth of an inch.

When they are quite dry your slides are ready for the lantern, and the
pictures being inside between the two glasses, will be protected from
injury from dust or scratches. In putting the slides into the lantern
the painted glass should be nearest the light, if to be shown through a
transparent screen; and the other glass nearest the light if to be shown
on to a wall or opaque screen.

[Illustration: _Fig. 2_]

These slides will be too small to use in the lantern by themselves, so
you will have to make a wooden slider for them. This is made as in Fig.

[Illustration: _Fig. 3_]

Take two pieces of board one-eighth of an inch thick, four and a half
inches wide, and eight inches long, with a square hole cut in each three
and three-quarter inches square. These boards make the back and front of
the slider, and are joined together at the top and bottom by two narrow
strips of wood eight inches long, a quarter of an inch wide, and
one-eighth of an inch thick. This slider is pushed into the slide-stage
of the lantern, and the glass slides pushed into it as in Fig. 3.

The slider is rather smaller than the stage in the lantern, which allows
of it being adjusted so that the centre of the picture is in a line with
the centre of the lenses.

For making movable slides, such as slipping-slides, lever-slides,
rack-slides, and chromatropes, you will require wooden frames.

To make these frames, get a carpenter to cut you some slips of pine or
deal three or four feet long and half an inch square, with a groove
running all along one side of each slip say one-eighth of an inch deep
and one-sixteenth of an inch wide. Make your frames out of these slips
of wood, seven inches long and four inches wide, outside measuring. Fit
a glass in the groove like a slate is fitted in its frame.

[Illustration: _Fig. 4_]

[Illustration: _Fig. 5_]

Make about a dozen of these frames, and set them on one side to dry. Now
cut some strips of glass three inches wide and seven inches long, and
cut off one corner of each, as in Fig. 4, at any convenient angle, and
then cut away the upper half of the front part of each frame flush with
the glass, to allow the second glass to be pulled out about half an inch
when put in position in the frame, as in Fig. 5.

[Illustration: _Fig. 6_]

Your frames are now ready to receive the design. Trace the design on the
inside of the fixed glass with the effects; if it is to be a figure
raising and lowering its arm, the figure must be drawn with three
arms--viz., the arm that is not raised and the other arm in each
position, one up and the other down, as in Fig. 6. The other glass has
nothing on it but two black patches, one or the other of which covers
one or the other of the arms as the glass is pulled out or pushed in.

In painting these slides, all the glass in the frame around the figures
is to be blackened with the opaque black, so that all light is excluded
except that which comes through the figures. When this slide is painted,
varnish it and paste a narrow strip of paper on the top and bottom of
the glass for the movable glass to slide on without scratching the

The black patches on the movable glass are painted and varnished on the
inside of the glass. To get these in the right place, place the glass in
position over the picture, and when pushed in as far as it will go, mark
with your black on the outside of the glass the outline of the arm that
is to be covered in that position; then pull out the glass as far as it
will go and mark in the same way the outline of the other arm; turn the
glass over and fill in the outlines with opaque black, and on putting
the glass in its place in the frame you will have a figure with its arms
raised or lowered. Now put the glass in its place, and fix it there by
pressing into the wood of the frame two small pins at the top and two at
the bottom. In putting in these pins allow room for the glass to slide

[Illustration: _Fig. 7_]

[Illustration: _Fig. 8_]

The construction of lever slides is something like that of the slipping
slides, except that the movable glass is circular, and the picture on
the glass in the frame is painted circular and has a background. The
movable glass has painted on it only the limb that is to be moved. You
can get these circular glasses cut at a glazier’s; have them three
inches in diameter. Fig. 7 will explain how the two glasses are to be
painted. By placing the movable glass over the fixed glass, and moving
it partly round and back again, the two boys will appear to move up and
down. Of course the point that the board hinges on must be in the centre
of the picture. Before painting the picture, cut out a piece of thin
board a quarter of an inch thick, three inches wide, and six inches
long. Cut this in the shape of Fig. 8 (the dark part represents the
wood). Glue this wood on to the glass inside the frame, and cut away
the front edge of the frame down to the glass.

[Illustration: _Fig. 9_]

[Illustration: _Fig. 10_]

Now you can paint your picture, and while that is drying take one of
your circular glasses and fit a rim--made of thin brass plate, a
sixteenth of an inch thick--to it. This rim is to fit the glass tightly,
and is to be a quarter of an inch wide; the ends are to lap a little,
and are to be soldered together. Now cut from the same brass plate a
strip two and a half inches long and a quarter of an inch wide, and
solder this on to the rim, as in Fig. 9. Fix the circular glass in this
rim, and on the inside paint the board and children on it, put it in its
place in the circular hollow in the frame, and fasten it in its place
with small pins pressed into the wood and bent over the brass rim (Fig.
10). By raising or lowering the lever the board will rock up or down.

Rack slides are very like the last description of slide, but in these
the movable glass is capable of being moved quite round by a
rack-and-pinion work.



In my last section on magic-lantern slides, I mentioned that, although
the frames for rack-work slides could be purchased, they were expensive.
I have since then thought that the old-fashioned way of turning the
revolving part--viz., by pulley and band--would be easy for boys to
make, and answer very well if the cord is kept tight. In this section I
give instructions in making these frames.

[Illustration: FIG 1]

Make the outside frames five inches wide and ten inches long, out of
wood half an inch by three-eighths, put edgeways. Cut a piece of thin
deal or mahogany three-eighths of an inch thick and five inches square,
and glue this on one side of half the frame (as Fig. 1). Cover the other
half with a piece of glass four and a half inches square, and fasten it
there with strips of deal, making them flush with the board on the other
half. Glue corner-pieces (as in Fig. 4) on the other side of the glass,
turning the frame over.

[Illustration: FIG 2]

Make the circular frames out of a wooden circular box--such as a
tooth-powder box--about four inches in diameter. Take off the lid and
cut away the rim that it fits on, and saw the box into rings about a
quarter of an inch wide, marking the box first with a pencil, and
cutting through the marks with a fine saw (as Fig. 2). Have your
circular glasses cut the exact size of the inside of these rings. Fix
the glass in each ring so that the wood projects a trifle beyond the
glass on one side. With a three-cornered file cut a triangular groove
all round each ring about one-sixteenth of an inch deep.

[Illustration: FIG 3]

[Illustration: FIG 4]

[Illustration: FIG 5]

Make the small wheel out of a cotton-reel about an inch or an inch and a
quarter in diameter. Cut off the ends and cut the other part into slices
a quarter of an inch wide, and cut a groove about an eighth of an inch
deep all round each (as Fig. 3). On one side of each of these pieces fix
a short wire about three-quarters of an inch long near the edge; this
wire will serve as a handle to turn the wheel by. Fasten this small
wheel to the board by a screw that fits easily into the hole in the
centre, without too much play (Fig. 4). Put the circular glass and frame
in its place and glue a piece of wood (A, Fig. 4), about two inches wide
and a quarter of an inch thick, to the wooden half of frame. Get two
small glass beads about a quarter of an inch long and an eighth of an
inch wide. Put a wire about an inch long through each, and bend the
wires as in Fig. 5. Sharpen the ends and press them into the edge of the
wood (A, Fig. 4, B B), so that the beads will turn easily without
touching the wood. Cut away a semicircular portion of the end of the
frame (Fig. 4) and fasten a small button made of brass plate in it, and
fasten another button to the wood (A). These buttons will keep the
circular frame in its place. Connect the two wheels with a piece of
strong twine, not too thick, going round them both, and fasten the ends
by lapping them and sewing them together. Now if you turn the small
wheel the large circular frame will turn round in the same direction if
your work is well done. The edge of the circular frame must not touch
anything but the glass it rests on, the two beads, and the two buttons.
The view is painted on the inside of the fixed glass, and the revolving
portion is painted on the under side of the circular glass. In Fig. 4
the mill and background are painted on the fixed glass, and the sails on
the movable one.

Chromatropes can be made in the same way, except that the small wheel
has two grooves in its edge, and the other part is made up of two
revolving frames, which are turned in opposite directions by one cord
passing round both and the small wheel. The lower frame rests on the
square glass, and the other frame rests on the lower one. The cord is
passed from the right-hand side of the lower groove in the small wheel
up the right side of the lower frame, round the top and down the left
side to the left side of the upper groove in small wheel, round the
upper groove to right side up to the left side of upper frame, round the
top down the right side of frame to left side of lower groove of small
wheel, brought round, and the two ends joined. It will be seen that by
putting the cord this way the two frames are turned in opposite
directions, although the small wheel turns them both. Have the cord
tight, and well rub all the parts that work together with blacklead.

In painting chromatropes, each glass is painted with the same pattern,
and then they are placed face to face, and in turning make very
elaborate and constantly-changing figures.



Great inconvenience is often caused in fixing a screen in a room for the
lantern, such as taking down pictures, etc.; and sometimes it is
impossible to hang it without doing some damage to the walls and paint
by driving nails and hooks. Even then the screen has to be put up in an
inconvenient place.

By using the following contrivance all this will be avoided. The screen
can be put in any part of a room most suitable for the show, and
afterwards taken to pieces in a few minutes and packed away in a box
thirty-six inches long and about eight inches deep and wide.

The frame, or stand, can be bought at the shops, but it is much cheaper
to make your own.

The materials for this frame can be bought at a small outlay, and
are--fifteen wooden rods three feet six inches long and about an inch
and a quarter in diameter--the handles sold at the shops for fitting to
hair broom-heads do very well indeed, and are not very dear; two pieces
of wood six inches long, five inches wide, and one inch and a quarter
thick; and, lastly, some stout tin plate.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

First of all, take the two wooden blocks and cut them the shape shown in
Fig. 1; the width at top is three inches, and at the bottom five inches.
Divide the top and bottom lines into two equal parts, and draw a line
from top to bottom through the points of division. On this line mark a
point an inch and a half from the top, and with this point as centre
bore a hole right through the wood, which hole is to be just large
enough for the wooden rods to fit tightly into. Draw a line across the
face of the block half way down (as in Fig. 2). Along this line, and
from each end of it, mark inwards a distance equal to the diameter of
the wooden rods, and do the same along the bottom line (as in Fig. 2).
Join these points as in the figure; cut out the middle portion, leaving
the projections three inches long and an inch and a quarter square.
These projections must be rounded by taking off the corners with a sharp
chisel or knife. Trim them down till they are the same size as the rods.

Now you will want your fifteen wooden rods. See that they are all the
same thickness. Cut off the ends of each, to make them quite square, and
making the rods exactly three feet six inches long. From your tin plate
cut fourteen pieces, each piece to be six inches long, and wide enough
to go round the rods and to lap about a quarter of an inch. The width
can be found by rolling paper round the rod and letting it lap a quarter
of an inch, and then cutting it off. Place this paper on the tin and
mark the width. The tin can be cut with a large pair of scissors. Now
roll each piece of tin round the rods so as to form fourteen tubes.
These tubes will now require to be soldered. You can get your tinman to
do this for you, or you can do it yourself. If so, the following is the
way to do it.

First of all, get some muriatic acid and some clean zinc cuttings. Put
the zinc into a bottle and pour over it the acid, and set it on one side
for a time till it has quite done effervescing; then add a little more
zinc, and if it begins again wait a little longer and add more. Do this
till it does not effervesce on putting new zinc into it, when it is
ready for use. You must get some solder from the plumber’s, and if you
have not a soldering-bit he will perhaps lend you one; but you can buy
the bits now in many shops where they are sold on a card with some
solder. The cost is from one shilling upwards.

The first thing to do is to ‘tin the bit’ (or cover the face and point
with solder). This is done as follows. Place the bit in the fire to get
hot, but not red. Take a clean piece of tin-plate and put on it a few
drops of the zinc solution, and put a small piece of solder into it.
When the bit is hot enough take it out of the fire, and with a coarse
file clean the face and edges of it, and place it on the solder in the
zinc solution on the piece of tin. In a few seconds the solder will melt
and flow all over the point of the bit. This must be done to the bit
every time it gets red-hot, as in that case the solder is burnt off.

Now put the bit back into the fire and take one of the tin tubes and
first clean the surfaces that lap together by scraping them with a
penknife. Rub each surface with the zinc solution and lap them together,
and tie the tube round with string, to keep the edges in their places.
Take the bit out of the fire when it is hot enough, and place it on the
end of the stick of solder, which will be melted and stick to the bit.
Place the bit on the top of the lapping edges, and in a few seconds the
solder will flow from the bit between the surfaces to be joined, and by
drawing the bit from one end to the other it will draw after it the
solder and make a strong joint. If the bit did not at first carry enough
solder to make the whole joint, more can be added by applying the stick
of solder to the bit while it is on the joint. Solder the fourteen
tubes, and clean off the joints by scraping and filing the superfluous
solder off and polishing up with a piece of glass-paper. Clean the joint
inside well with a piece of oiled rag to destroy the zinc solution left

Now fit a tube on one end of each of fourteen of the wooden rods. The
tube must be pushed on to the wood so that it is half way, or leaving
an empty space of three inches. The tube can be fixed to the wood by two
or three tacks driven through the tin. The fifteenth rod has no tube to

This is all there is to be made for the frame. In putting it together
take the rod without a tube and two others, and join them together like
a fishing rod, place each end of this compound rod into the hole in one
of the blocks of wood, fit together the other rods into sets of three.
There will be four of them. At one end of each set will be an empty
tube, these are to be fitted on the pegs on the blocks at the ends of
the other rod. The frame will now be composed of two uprights, each made
up of two compound rods, and these support the cross rod or screen

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

In the bottom rod of each set bore a hole with a gimlet, as in Fig. 3,
and get two pieces of iron wire about one-quarter of an inch in diameter
and bend the ends at right angles to the other part, leaving this middle
part about two feet long. These are to be fitted to the rods, one to
each pair, by pushing the bent ends into the holes in the ends of the
rods as in Fig. 3; they are to be fitted on the outside of the rods.

Fasten these two wires together by passing a cord round both and tying
the ends together. Sometimes the weight of the screen will cause the
roller it is hung on to ‘sag’ or drop in the middle. But by tightening
the cord underneath, the lower ends of the uprights will be brought
towards each other, and will raise the middle of the screen roller.

To make the screen you must get some linen. This can be bought ten feet
wide. Get three and a half yards of it, and have it hemmed at the top
and bottom.

The top hem must be large enough for the roller to pass tightly through.
The screen will get more or less creased in packing, but will come all
right on being wetted and hung on the roller.

This frame is calculated for a ten-foot screen, which will be found
large enough for most rooms. But it can be made for a larger one by
adding one or more rods to each of the sets. The linen for a larger
screen must be joined, as it is not made more than ten feet wide. In
joining linen for this purpose do not let the seam come across the
middle, but add an equal piece at the top and bottom, which will leave
the middle of the picture clear, and the line of the join will come
among the dark features of the foreground, and will not be seen so much.
The tin tubes had better be varnished over with Brunswick black, as
they will look better and not be liable to rust. Varnish the iron wires

In packing up, the screen must not be rolled on the rods, but had better
be folded up by itself in paper and placed in the bottom of the box, and
then the rods put in afterwards. Otherwise the screen might have some
patches of Brunswick black in the middle of it.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

Fig. 4 is a view of the screen and frame when put together.



A lantern to exhibit opaque slides or ordinary pictures on paper or
cardboard is, if anything, easier to make than one of the usual type. It
is nothing but a photographer’s camera with the action reversed. In the
camera the large well-lighted object is focussed down by the lens into
the miniature copy in the darkened box; in the lantern the miniature in
the well-lighted box is focussed up into the enlarged copy in the
darkened room.

The essentials are, a good lens, a good light, and a well-focussed,
well-illuminated picture. Any ordinary box will do. Its shape and size
are of little moment, but the box must be blacked inside and have the
top replaced by or covered with tin or sheet-iron. Let it be, as we have
to make one, say eighteen inches long and two feet high. The depth of
the lantern depends on the focal length of the lens you have chosen for
it. This lens can be either a plain magnifying-glass, such as is used in
cheap lanterns of the common build, or it may be compound, of the sort
used in portrait cameras. The compound lens will give the best results.
Suppose we are dealing with a three-inch lens having a focal length of
ten inches, our box should then be ten inches deep. Very much smaller
boxes with less powerful lenses can of course be made, and they will act
just as satisfactorily.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

The top, as we have said, should be covered with tin, to prevent its
catching fire, and it should be fitted with a chimney made by bending a
sheet of tin and soldering its edges together. In order that a circle of
light may not be thrown on to the ceiling, a cap must be fitted over the
top so as to leave ample space for the passage of the heated air. In the
front of the box a tube must be fitted, just large enough to hold
another tube, in which the lens is held, and by this contrivance perfect
adjustment of the focus is assured.

Arrange the interior as shown in the sketches, which are so numerous and
self-explanatory that lengthened description is not required. The only
peculiarity is in the back, which is so made to prevent a flood of light
being thrown out behind each time a picture is changed. There are two
doors to it, one being just a quarter the size of the other, and having
a piece of wood of the same size fixed on at right angles of it, on the
same principle as is seen in many mahogany birdcages where the inside
flap of the seed or water-carrier just fills the hole made for the real
door when the real door is open. The slide-carrier is marked A, and when
the door is shut the marked side of the shade (B) fits close up against
the side of the box. The lamp is placed as shown, and should be just far
enough from the lens to thoroughly light up the picture without
permitting itself to be seen. A paraffin lamp is the best, and it should
if possible have a round argand wick; but a flat one will do fairly
well. The round shape of the wick is suggested as giving in the majority
of instances the most equable light. The bottom of the door should be
cut away slightly or perforated, as in the sketch, so as to allow air to
enter freely, as no lamp will burn without a draught.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

It is a good plan to try the chimney on the top before the top is fixed
on, and then if the top is left a little larger all round than will be
required it can be shifted about until the proper position of the lamp
with regard to the lens and slides can be found by experiment, and all
risk of failure avoided. When the correct distance is found the top
should be screwed down and trimmed to shape. Inside the box, below the
chimney, a ring or stop should be screwed to prevent the lamp slipping
about in the event of the lantern receiving a sudden knock.

In another form of this lantern the back is in one piece, and the slides
are introduced through a slit at the side, a plan, however, having a few
disadvantages. The principle of the opaque-slide lantern is apparent at
a glance, and once that is understood no difficulty should arise in
devising many patterns of the instrument and utilising old materials for
the purpose. Any pictures can be shown, coloured or uncoloured; even our
own designs in this book can be thrown on the screen with good effect.



In the last chapter there is an illustrated description of a
magic-lantern for opaque slides, and as I have for some time used a
contrivance on the same principle for use with an ordinary lantern, the
few words I have here to say may not prove uninteresting. Like the
opaque lantern, this modification of it is very inexpensive.

The interest of a magic-lantern is greatly increased by its being made
to show photographs of friends or public men, and also pictures or
engravings, Christmas cards, etc. This can be done by the following
simple contrivance, which will cost but a few pence. Indeed, the one I
use cost me only threepence, and is made out of a cigar-box; but a
better and stronger one can be made for less than a shilling. It
consists of a five-sided box, with top and bottom, as seen in Figs. 2,
3, and 6. In two of the sides are circular holes, and one side is left
open about two-thirds of its length, which opening is closed by a door
or shutter revolving on a pivot at the top and bottom, to carry the
photograph. This shutter is fitted with four small clips on each side
for the purpose of securing the card in its place.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

Now for the construction. Get some thin board--deal is very good for the
purpose; it is to be a quarter of an inch thick--cut two pieces out of
it for the top and bottom, the shape shown in Fig. 1.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

The dimensions of these pieces are as follows. The sides B and E four
and a half inches long; the side A five and a quarter inches long; the
other two sides are each to be three and three-quarter inches long. The
angles where A joins B and E are each to be a right angle; so is the
angle where C joins D. The two other angles are to be a hundred and
thirty-five degrees each, as marked in Fig. 1. The sides of the box are
to be eight inches long each, and are a little less in width than the
edges of the top and bottom that correspond, so that when put together
the outside of the box is flush with the top and bottom. The joints are
to be glued together, and can be strengthened with pins driven in like
small nails. The side E is not to be covered in all the way up, but only
about two inches and a half from the bottom; but this depends upon the
height that the nozzle of the lantern comes up this side when placed
against it. Fig. 2 shows the opening left. When the glue is quite dry
unscrew the brass focussing-tube from the lantern and place the box with
the side C resting against the nozzle of the lantern, and mark round the
nozzle on the side. Find the centre of this circle, and through it draw
a line right across the side C, parallel to the top and bottom, and
continue this line across the side B in the same way, as seen in Fig. 3.
Find the centre of these two lines, and with these two centres mark a
circle on each of these two sides, the one in the side B to be of a size
to fit the brass focussing-tube, and the one in the side C to be about
three inches in diameter, or large enough to allow the nozzle of the
lantern to fit into it as far as it will go without coming between the
picture and the lens, as seen in Fig. 4.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

The remaining part to be made is the shutter to carry the photographs.
This must be exactly the same size as the opening left in the side E,
and is to be made out of the same quarter inch board. Let it be quite
square at the sides and corners. The opening in the side E is to be
equal in length to twice the distance of the centres of the holes in the
sides B and C from the top edge of the sides where they join the top
board. On each side of the shutter, in each corner, fasten a clip, as in
Fig. 5. These clips can be made out of card or thin metal, cut in the
shape shown, and fastened to the shutter with small screws or short
pins. Mark the middle of the top and bottom edges of the shutter and
place it in its place in the side E, and mark on the side the points
where these marks come to. Take the shutter out again and bore a hole in
the bottom edge of it about half an inch deep, and large enough for a
stout pin to go into. In the lower part of the side E, and in the edge
that the shutter will rest on, drive a stout pin in middle so as to form
a pivot for the shutter, leaving out about a quarter of an inch, and
cut off the head. Replace the shutter, fitting the pin into the hole
bored for it, and drive a pin through the top board right into it, so as
to form a second pivot. The shutter will revolve round these two pivots
and expose the sides alternately to the lens. Fix two clips to the edge
of the top board to keep the shutter in place while shut. Cover the
whole of the box with unglazed black paper.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

This simple little apparatus is all that is necessary to show any
picture on the screen. To use it, first screw the tube carrying the
focussing-tube into the hole cut for it in the side B, and push the
nozzle of the lantern into the hole in the side C as far as it will go.
Light the lantern and place the whole on the table so that the back of
the lantern and the focussing-tube are directed to the screen, as seen
in Fig. 6. Now place a photograph in the clips on one side of the
shutter, and turn it round and put one in the clips on the other side.
The photograph inside will be strongly illuminated by the light from the
lantern, and an enlarged image of it will be projected by the lens on to
the screen. The photographs placed on the shutter of the aphengescope
must be, of course, upside down, as the lens will have the effect of
inverting the pictures.

A strong light is required for this apparatus. The ordinary oil lamp
will not show a bright picture at a distance of more than two or three
feet. The ‘Triplexicon’ lamp, a lamp having three parallel wicks,
burning paraffin oil, will give a good picture. But the best results are
obtained from the oxycalcium and oxyhydrogen burners. These will
distinctly show a large and brilliant picture, at a great distance from
the lamp.

With this instrument, a watch placed on the shutter will show an
enlarged image of itself, and the motion of the minute hand will be very
distinctly seen. Anything that will go on the shutter will be shown on
the screen. This adds greatly to the available articles to be used as

Some of the most interesting slides are made by mounting entomological
and botanical specimens on white cards, and putting the cards in the
clips on the shutter, when enlarged images of the butterflies, moths, or
beetles, etc., will be seen on the screen in all the glory of their
natural colouring.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

But the most interesting of all is the exhibition of living insects.
This can be done in the following manner. Take out the shutter and lay
it on the table: get a watch-glass, about two inches diameter, and
deeply domed. Place this glass on the middle of the shutter, and with a
lead pencil mark all round the glass. Remove the glass, and with a sharp
knife cut into the wood of the shutter all round the pencil mark,
cutting about one-eighth of an inch deep. Cut out all the wood inside
this mark so as to form a hollow or well about two inches diameter and
one-eighth of an inch deep, as Fig. 7. Cut the bottom of the well quite
smooth, and line it with white paper.

Now get a piece of thin glass about the size of a photograph card, and
thin enough to go under the clips on the shutter. Your shutter is now
ready for the specimens. Replace the shutter and put a fly or other
small insect into the well, and cover it with the flat glass, fastening
it with the clips. Now turn on the light in the lantern, and focus the
lens, and an enlarged image of the fly will be seen on the screen
crawling about in a natural manner. For larger insects, such as a
cockroach, wasp, etc., you must use the watch-glass to cover them
instead of the flat glass. This can be fixed in its place by being
pushed into the hollow or well, when the sides or walls will hold it.
The two glasses are required for the reason that the insects ought not
to have more room than will allow them to crawl about on the paper, as
they would sometimes get on the glass, when they would be out of focus
of the lens. But the glass must not be so close to them as to pinch
them. You will have to keep your living specimens in boxes, with
air-holes so as to have them ready for the exhibition, and will also
require a small pair of forceps to handle them by, being very careful
not to injure them.

On page 247 I have told you how you can make a light and portable frame
for the screen, at a small cost. Lads who have experimented in chemistry
ought to be able to make the oxygen gas for the oxycalcium light.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

This instrument, as here described, was intended for use only with the
tin lanterns as sold in the shops, which all have tapering nozzles. It
can, however, be used with the lantern described in my former article,
but the stage of that lantern would require to be modified in the manner
shown in Fig. 8.

Unsolder the large nozzle-tube from the front of the stage, and in its
place solder on a band-ring of stout tin. This band is to be one and a
quarter inch deep, and the diameter just enough to allow of the back end
of the nozzle-tube fitting in it very tightly when the lantern is used
in the ordinary way. The small turned-out rim of the nozzle-tube must be
carefully cut off for this purpose. The aphengescope itself must have a
small tin tube fastened in the small hole in the front of it, for the
focussing-tube of the lantern to slide in; and the large hole must be
cut large enough for the tin band on the front of the stage of the
lantern to fit into it. This arrangement will allow of the light in the
lantern being brought closer to the picture than can be done with the
ordinary lanterns, and will, of course, illuminate it more strongly.

A very good lamp, with high illuminating power, to be used in any
lantern, especially with this instrument, can be bought at the
paraffin-lamp shops for a small sum. The tin duplex lamp, burning
crystal oil, is the best. I should recommend any of my readers who have
made, or are about to make, the lantern I have described, to get one of
these, instead of making the lamp described with it, as it will give
nearly twice the light. An arrangement will of course have to be made at
the back for the reflector. If a lamp cannot be got that is low enough
for the lantern, you can make the body of it yourself. You can generally
get, at these shops, damaged lamps at a small cost. Get one that is
damaged only in the body. Unscrew the brass-work, as though you were
about to fill it, and put it on one side. Unsolder the brass
screw-socket from the reservoir. Now make a square tin box for the new
reservoir, covering in the top. The box is to be an inch and a quarter
deep, and as large as the lantern will allow. In the top cut a hole to
solder the brass screw-socket into. Then screw in the brass wick-carrier
and make the clip for the reflector.

If a pair of lanterns are used the light will be proportionately
stronger, and a strong light is an important thing with this instrument.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

Fig. 9 gives the plan of the top and bottom boards of the instrument for
use with a pair of lanterns, and requires no further description.




From Mr. Chasemore’s article on revolving slides for the magic-lantern
we borrow the following diagram, as showing very clearly the principle
which such slides are constructed (Fig. 1).

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

Round the slide runs a wooden border half an inch wide and three-eighths
of an inch thick. The right-hand part of the slide is wood, the left
glass, and the moving part showing towards us is also of glass, and fits
into a circular wooden ring that is kept in position as it turns by the
two tiny buttons on each side of it. One of these buttons works on the
frame, the other is fastened to a piece of wood glued on to the wooden
part of the slide. Farther to the right is a small silk reel, into which
a handle is fixed, and an endless band from the reel round the circle in
the buttons completes the machinery. All this is simple enough, and as
it has already been described need not be gone into in detail.

The question with us now is how to apply this contrivance to the working
of a chromatrope. A chromatrope is a lantern slide consisting of two or
more pieces so painted as to give the effect on the screen of a set
piece of fireworks. It is the easiest of all slides to paint, as it is
purely geometrical, and the colours used require no mixing, but can be
put on at once as they are got from the shop. And, best of all, the
effects produced are far and away more brilliant than anything else in
lantern practice.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

The essentials are a fixed slide of some bold design--star-shaped,
circular, octagonal, or what not--and a moving shade that is of spiral
pattern. The spiral pattern is the secret of the whole thing. Let the
above be spun behind a star, so as to be only visible through its rays,
and the star will seem to be alive. Turn it one way, the waves flow
outwards; turn it the other, the waves flow inwards. The standing
pattern must have a centre, and the spiral must be worked on the same
centre. That done, all is well. Sometimes a double spiral is desirable,
and then the pattern in Fig. 3 is adopted. By it the outer part of the
pattern (B) will seem to flow in a different direction from the inner
(A). Paint the spirals any colours you please, providing that they are
bright, and you get the results. Let reverse spirals appear in your
fixed pattern, and you improve the effect. Have two revolving rings
worked by the same wheel, one over the other, and the whole device will
glow with life and brilliancy.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

To begin modestly, take some simple design, such as that of the fountain
in Fig. 4. Paint it on your slide, and stop it out all round with
asphaltum or any dense black. Then fix to it a simple spiral disk, such
as that given in Fig. 2, and the instant the spiral spins the water will
begin to flow.

In all designs remember that the fixed slide must be broken up with
black and colour, so as not to show the whole of the spiral at once. The
wave should, as it were, sweep over the windows. For front designs
nothing is superior to a good knighthood star.

The colours for slide-painting can either be bought ready prepared, or
ground down on plate glass and mixed by Canada balsam or mastic varnish.
Should the balsam be too thick, use a little turpentine. The clearest
colours are lampblack, burnt umber, burnt sienna, raw sienna, gamboge,
Prussian blue, verdigris, and scarlet lake, and these are put on in the
ordinary way. Before you begin clean the glass carefully with a little
water and ammonia. Copy the design through the glass, and it would be as
well not to forget that unless you can draw properly on paper you are
not likely to do so on a lantern slide, where in the intense light and
enlargement every mistake and shakiness of line is exaggerated for the
benefit of the spectators. For those who cannot draw, figures of men and
animals can be cut out with scissors and pasted on the slide, so as to
give a shadow entertainment, as a change from the bought slides. Others
can buy transparencies and stick them on for themselves, but the result
will never equal hand-painting. One more caution before leaving
hand-painting, and that is, do not be in a hurry, and give your slides
at least a fortnight to dry.

If the spaces of the chromatrope are too narrow, or the design is worked
too fast, you will only produce a fog, just as you do when you spin a
toothed wheel. If, however, the teeth of the two wheels be fixed on the
slant and the wheels turned in opposite directions, the teeth will be
visible--upright if the teeth slant the way the wheel turns, slanting if
they follow the course of the wheel. The principle holds good with the
chromatrope; the spiral is but a toothed wheel.

The chromatrope was invented by Mr. W. Allen. He called it the
pyreidotrope. It was improved, and soon became known as Chinese
fireworks. From it the paper fireworks still popular in some circles
were derived.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

Paper fireworks are merely large chromatropes painted on oiled paper
instead of on glass, and lighted by candles instead of a lantern. The
wheels, and stars, and plumes, and pyramids are just the same as we have
been describing, only much larger. The transparent portions are got by
perforations. The machinery is the same, but of a rougher pattern, and
the moving parts, instead of reels and bobbins, are barrel-hoops and
butter-tubs. From what has been said above, their construction is
sufficiently obvious, and we conclude with a design (Fig. 5) that may
serve for either purpose.


Have our readers ever tried to work these together? If not, let them do
so, and they will be rather surprised at the results. Begin in a small
way, and treat the screen as the broad end of the kaleidoscope. Arrange
it at an angle to the audience. Against it place two mirrors at the
desired angle, just as in the well-known instrument, and then damp the
screen and throw the image on from behind, so that it will take the
place of the usual coloured fragments.

Chromatropes can be made in this way by devising a double slide, and
filling up the space between the two sides with stained splinters of
glass, beads, etc.; and this contrivance put into the lantern, and its
image thrown on to the screen between the mirrors, will be multiplied
into the most brilliant geometrical fireworks, whose pattern can be
varied as often as desired by simply shaking the glass slide, so as to
rearrange the coloured odds and ends. If the slide is a mechanical
chromatrope, of course so much the better, as instead of one image of it
there are many. Modifications of this experiment will easily suggest
themselves to an ingenious lad.


Yet another praxinoscope, and a remarkable one. M. Reynaud is the
inventor, and may well be proud of his ingenious combination. The sketch
is so clear and complete that but little explanation is necessary. In
the first place, there is a magic-lantern; in the drawing it is of the
lampascope pattern, in which, by means of openings at top and bottom
fitted with a sheath, an ordinary lamp can be used, if necessary,
instead of the usual light, the chimney of the lamp being hidden by the
top scabbard, and the beam that would illuminate the room being checked
by the cap on the top of it. Any lantern can be altered so as to suit
this arrangement, but the balance must be kept, and there must be no
top-heaviness, so as to upset the lamp, and the under-sheath must be of
the right length, so as to bring the centre of the flame opposite the
centre of the lens. Any ordinary lantern with an ordinary lamp will,
however, answer every purpose.


In the side of the lantern an aperture is cut, and around it is fixed a
small triangular box containing a mirror set at an angle of forty-five
degrees, and having a lens, in the base, of a very low power, or hardly
any power at all. At the top of this side-box is fixed an adjustable
lens of the same type as that in front of the lantern. In the lantern
itself is placed a slide representing a landscape, an interior, etc.,
and the image of this is thrown on to the screen. At the back of the
side-box is placed a praxinoscope of novel construction, and the images
from it are thrown on to the sheet through the lens at its top, so that,
as in a dissolving view, we have the picture seen by the assembly built
up out of the slides.

The praxinoscope consists of a crown of mirrors sloping inwards,
surrounded by a ring constructed to take a set of glass slides mounted
in a strip by means of connecting links of silk or calico. The slides
consist each of one of the figures alluded to in the last section, which
form the series of instantaneous photographs that have revolutionised
our ideas of the details of motion. They are, in fact, zoetropic
pictures, each differing but slightly in attitude from the other, and
each representing one of the changes assumed in a complete round of some
definite movement.

The slides are slipped into the ring. The light from the lantern shining
through the glass throws the images on to the praxinoscopic mirror, and
thence it is reflected through the top lens on to the screen. The ring
and crown are arranged at the angles given in the cut, and when the
slides are revolved by means of the band and pulley shown below them,
the different pictures as they pass the lens are reflected on to the
background, and the figure appears in lifelike movement.

The lantern praxinoscope thus makes the zoetropic effects visible to a
large assembly seated at their ease, and gives pictures of heroic size
instead of the tiny proportions with which, when confined to the
ordinary instrument, we are forced to be content. Many modifications of
the arrangement will readily suggest themselves to our readers, and need
not therefore be specially described.

[Illustration: SOME TYPICAL BOATS.

1. Heyst Fishing-Boat from Belgium. 2. Native Fishing-boat from Aden. 3.
Swedish Seal-Hunting Boat. 4. Type of Dutch Boat. 5. Fishing-Boat of
Swatow. 6. Boat and Method of Fishing at Ningpo, China.]






Until recently I was among the number of those who, though fond of
boating, are not able to gratify their taste on account of not
possessing a boat, or finding it convenient or possible to hire one.

Well, while walking one fine spring morning along the canal-side, the
longing to be on its surface in a boat of my own became irresistible,
and so, not having sufficient spare money to buy, I there and then
determined to build, and I now purpose telling how I did so, and giving
all particulars as to time and cost.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--The Swallow.]

The engraving (Fig. 1) is a reproduction from a photograph of the
Swallow, as she appeared when on her first trial-trip. Since the taking
of the photograph I have spent many a pleasant, quickly-flying hour in
her, either sailing by myself or rowing with a couple of friends along
the waters of a stream which runs clear and slowly among some of the
finest scenery on the North Wales border.

In the first place, let me give a general description of the boat, with
the totals of time and cost. She is 12 ft. long, 2 ft. 9 in. broad
amidships inside, and 1 ft. 1-1/2 in. deep inside; of the same shape as
an ordinary boat, but made after the style of a coracle, with a light
wood framing, covered over on the outside with stout sailcloth, coated
with three coats of paint to make it watertight. The total cost to me
was £2 1_s._ 6_d._, in addition to which I paid 5_s._ for a year’s
licence to keep my boat on the canal. The amount of time spent in
building, painting, and rigging was 140 hours, which was extended over
two months, owing to my not being able to keep constantly at work; and
this, I should think, would be the average time for any one working by

A certain amount of skill in carpentry is, of course, needed, as well as
a few tools, but almost as essential as these is a large stock of
patience and a firm resolution to succeed.

[Illustration: _FIG. 2_ _Longitudinal Section_

A B Keel, _a b_ Keelson. C Stem Post. D Stern Post. E Transom. F
Amidships Section, with seat and support. G Bow Seat, Rib, and Mast. 2 2
Inside of Top Lath and Gunwale. 3 Stern Seat. 4 Rudder. Laths and Ribs

The first thing to be done is to make the inner keel, or keelson (_a b_
of Fig. 2). This can be made of deal, and should be planed perfectly
straight. Its greatest length is 10 ft. 10-1/2 in. on the upper side;
its breadth is 1 in., and thickness 1-1/2 in. The bow end is to be cut
off square, and the stern to be cut to a level of 7 in. in a foot, or an
angle of 120 degrees from the horizontal. Commencing at 11 in. from the
bow end, on the upper side, bore a hole three-eighths of an inch in
diameter straight through, and countersink it on the upper side; then
make nine more holes of the same size at distances of one foot apart.
These are the holes through which strong screws 3 in. long will be
driven, in order to bind together, after the canvas is put on, the
keelson (_a b_) and the keel (A B).

The stem piece (C, Fig. 2) should be made of oak, and of the shape shown
in the figure, which is drawn to a scale of three-eighths of an inch to
a foot. The curve is 9 in. radius, and the total depth 1 ft. 3 in. One
strong screw, driven through the inner keel, or keelson (_a b_), at the
point C¹, will be sufficient to secure it, as, when the keel is screwed
on, another screw at C² will give it the necessary strength to resist
shocks and blows.

[Illustration: _FIG 3 STERN._]

The stern piece is formed of two parts (D and E, Figs. 2 and 3), both of
which should be made of oak three-quarters of an inch thick. The angle
of the bevel of the stem is 120 degrees, or 7 in. in a foot, and when
the stern pieces are fixed in their places on the keel, the slope should
be in one line, and the piece E perfectly at right angles to the keel. D
is fixed to the keelson by two strong screws at _d_ and _d_². The width
of the transom, or stem piece, E, is at the top 2 ft., and its depth 10
in. As, of course, the outline is the same on either side of the centre
line, it will only be necessary for me to describe the shape of one

Beginning, then, at the top on the left-hand side of Fig. 3, the outline
runs straight for 3 in., sloping inwards at a level of 1 in 3. After
this it follows a curve of 6 in. radius, having its centre at _e_³,
until at _e_⁵ the curve again bends outwards at the same radius, and
with its centre at _e_⁶ following this curve to the bottom of the piece,
where, at 10 in. from the top, the width between the two outlines will
be three-quarters of an inch, or the same as the thickness of D.

Before screwing these two pieces together eight notches must be cut in
the transom (E) for the reception of the ends of the laths, four on each
side of the centre line. As, in the course of the construction of the
boat, notches will several times have to be cut, with intervals of
untouched wood, it will be advisable at the first to fix upon some
method by which such notches and spaces may be described. Let,
therefore, the spaces to be cut out for notches be enclosed in brackets
thus: (1-1/4 in.,) 2-1/2 in., (1-1/4 in.,) the figures representing the
breadth of the notch in inches, while the spaces between the notches are
represented by the unenclosed figures.

The notches are throughout 1/4 in. deep; those in the transom (E) are,
owing to the level of the stern, not straight across the wood, and must
be marked out with the bevel, not the square.

Commencing then at the top left-hand corner of the transom (E) at the
point _e_⁶ on Fig. 3, we have the notches to be cut as follows: (1-1/4
in.,) 2-1/2 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 2-1/2 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 2-1/2 in., (1-1/4
in.,) 3 in., or four notches and four spaces, the same having, of
course, to be cut in the same order on the other side.

The transom (E) is sunk into the stem piece (D), as shown in Fig. 2, and
secured at right angles to it by two screws at _e_¹ and _e_². The whole
stem piece can now be fixed to the keelson (_a b_) by two strong screws
at the points _d_ and _d_², Fig. 2.

The next part requiring attention is the amidships (section F of Figs. 2
and 4; see also Fig. 8); this can be made of deal 7/8 in. thick, 2 ft. 9
in. wide at the top, and 1 ft. 3 in. deep. The outline beginning at _f_¹
is for 6 in. straight and at right angles to a line drawn across the
boat, then it follows a curve of 7 in. radius whose centre is at _f_² to
the point _f_³, which is 1 ft. 1-1/2 in. below the top and 1 ft. from
the centre line: from this point the outline runs straight until it
joins the centre line at 1 ft. 3 in. from the top. A mortise 1 in. wide
and 1-1/2 in. deep must be cut in the centre of this section at the
bottom, in order that it may fit accurately over the keelson and at
right angles to it, in which place it is fastened by a strong screw
passing through the keelson from beneath. As its name implies, this
section must be exactly amidships.

The notches and spaces are, beginning at _f_¹, (1-1/4 in.,) 2-3/4 in.,
(1-1/4 in.,) 2-3/4 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 2-3/8 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 2-3/8 in.,
(1-1/4 in.,) 2-7/8 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 2-3/4 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 2-1/4 in.
mortise for keelson in centre. The other side is the same.

[Illustration: FIG. 4


The middle of this section is cut out for the sake of lightness, as
shown in Fig. 4, and a seat 7 in. wide, and 4 in. from the top, is fixed
across it.

Under the centre of the seat an upright support (_f_⁴) is fixed, of the
same width as the seat, being also made to fit over the piece F and rest
on the keel.

The seat must be screwed firmly into its place, so that the future rower
may feel himself in no danger of being precipitated to the bottom of his
boat among the _débris_ of a broken seat.

[Illustration: _FIG. 5._


2 2 Gunwales. Shaded portion a single rib. _g_¹ _g_² Screws for securing
ribs together.]

There will be two more sections required, somewhat similar to the
amidships one, placed at distances of 3 ft. on either side of it. We
will first take the one shown as section G H in Fig. 5, which is a
section along the line G H of the plan Fig. 8; which appears on page

This can be made in two ways--either the same as the amidships one, in a
single piece cut from a soft wood, or in two pieces cut from a hard

I made mine in the latter way, and that is the way I shall describe; but
in either case the notches and outline are the same, and Fig. 5 shows
both methods of cutting the inside, the shaded part showing the form of
the hard wood rib.

The outline can be obtained by reference to Fig. 5, which is drawn to a
scale of 1 in. to the foot.

The centres of the curves are at _x x_, and the batten of the straight
part is 1 in. in 6 in.

The notches required in each rib are as follows, commencing at
_g_³:--(1-1/4 in.,) 2-1/2 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 3 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 1/2 in.,
(1-1/4 in. A,) 3/4 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 2 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 2-1/4 in.,
(1-1/4 in.,) 1-1/8 in. the keelson, and the same on the other side. The
notch marked A will be noticed farther on when the time comes for fixing
the laths. This section must be firmly screwed to the keelson at 3 ft.
from the bows. A seat is also required across it, and the remarks made
about the amidship seat will apply to this, except that, perhaps, this
should be made the stronger one, as a hole of 1-1/2 in. diameter will be
required in its exact centre if it is desired to use the boat for

[Illustration: _FIG. 6._


_c c_ Centres of curves. _s_ Screws for bolting ribs together. 2 2

The other and last section, I J, of Figs. 6 and 8, is to be placed at a
distance of 3 ft. aft of the amidships, and should be made of two oak
ribs of the shape shown in Fig. 6, which should be 3/4 in. thick, and
not less than 1-1/2 in. wide in the weakest place. The notches required
are--(1-1/4 in.,) 2-3/4 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 2-1/2 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 7/16
in., (1-1/4 in. A,) 1-3/8 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 1-7/8 in., (1-1/4 in.,)
2-1/4 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 3 in. keelson, and on the other rib the same.

A small triangular piece of 3/4 in. oak should be fixed at the upper end
of the stem post, to which the two upper laths and the gunwales may
afterwards be fixed. The shape and size are shown at M in Fig. 8, on
page 271.

About thirty-five hours will now have been spent in the building of the
boat, and a casual observer would not be justified in asking what was
being made, for the shape of the boat has now become apparent.

In order to prevent any mishap during the building, it is advisable to
screw a strip of deal across from side to side of each section, and
these strips can also be used for adjusting the position of each
section, for if a small hole is bored in the exact centre of each strip,
as well as in the bows and stern, and a small wooden peg be placed in
each hole, it can be easily seen if the sections are in their proper
positions, for, if they are so, the pegs will be in a straight line;
and, if not, one or other of the sections will require adjusting until
they are so.

The wood for the laths, keel, and gunwales will now be required; these,
of course, will be obtained from a builder or sawyer.

Elm is the best wood of which to make the laths, as it is capable of
being bent into almost any shape when steamed; in fact, it will be found
as well also to make the keel and gunwales of elm, and if this be
decided on the cost of the material and sawing of the laths, etc., will
be 10s.

The lengths for the laths will be--six, 13 ft. long; six, 12 ft. 6 in.
long; and ten, 9 ft. long; all 1-1/4 in. wide and 1/4 in. thick. These
must all be planed on the one side and the edges.

The keel should be sawn 11 ft. 3 in. long, 3/4 in. wide, and 2 in. deep,
and afterwards planed, the bow end being cut to suit the curve of the
bows, and the stern end to the bend of the stern.

The gunwales are each 12 ft. 6 in. long, and 1 in. square, and are
planed on three sides.

The next process in the building of the boat is characterised by its
heat, and, in fact, is somewhat similar to working in a vapour bath,
for, as each of the ribs and laths requires to be boiled tender and
flexible before it is possible to fix them, the nature of the work can
better be imagined than described. Fig. 7, which is engraved from a
photograph, will give a general idea of the position of the laths and
ribs, as well as of the interior of the boat.

The first three long laths on either side can be screwed into their
places without steaming; before fixing them it is, however, advisable to
pencil their places on the bows. The divisions will be as follows, but
it must be remembered that notches are not needed to be cut in the stern
post, as the end of each lath is bevelled off before being screwed up.
Beginning at the top of the stern post, C, Fig. 2, we have (1-1/4 in.,)
2-3/4 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 1-1/2 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 1-3/8 in., (1-1/4 in.,)
1-3/8 in., (1-1/4 in.,) 2-3/4 in. lower face of keelson, and on the
other side the same.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.--Showing the interior and framework of the boat.
The footboards are removed in order to show keelson.]

The fourth lath of each side need not be steamed, as it is a short one
of 6 ft. 3 in., reaching only from the notches A of section I J across
the midship section to the notch A of section G H.

The steaming process of which we now have need can be conducted in a
laundry or washhouse boiler, and consists of boiling the wood until it
is quite soft and flexible, when it can be bent to any desired shape,
which it will always afterwards retain.

The laths (No. 5) will require boiling or steaming, and when perfectly
flexible are to be tied firmly in their places, and screwed up when dry.
Nos. 6 and 7 are to be treated the same, but No. 7 should not go quite
to the bow end of the boat, being cut off and secured about half way
between the section G H and the bows. The stern end also of this lath is
to be screwed up to the stern post near the point marked _d_ on Fig. 2.

The laths must be fixed one on each side alternately, or otherwise there
is a danger of warping the boat. When the laths are all firmly screwed
up in their notches the gunwales and ribs must be bent on. The gunwales
should be well steamed, especially the bow ends, and then lashed on to
the outside of the two top laths, but not screwed on yet.

The ribs, of which there are twelve, are of the same strength and
material as the laths, and are placed three in each partition of the

Beginning at the bow end, the first three are cut in half and screwed at
equal distances on each side of the keelson. The three between the
section G H and the amidships, as well as the three between the
amidships and section I J, are in single lengths reaching from the
inside of the top lath on the one side, inside the laths and outside the
keelson, or rather sunk 3/4 in. into it, and then on top the other side,
keeping inside the laths to the top lath.

A screw is driven through the rib into each lath, and the rib is firmly
screwed to the keelson, the notch above it being afterwards filled up
and planed level with the keelson.

The three ribs at the stern cannot be put in whole, and will require a
certain amount of scheming to make them bend and fit in their proper
places. The ends of the ribs must be cut off level with the top laths.
The screws which hold the rib ends to the top lath are only temporary,
for, after the canvas has been stretched on, and the gunwales screwed
into their places they must be removed, and longer and stronger ones
driven through rib, lath, and canvas into the gunwales.

The two rowlocks can be made by a blacksmith, and it would be well if a
rowlock could be borrowed as a pattern from which he can work.

The gunwales must be strengthened to receive the rowlocks at the place
_k_, _k_, _k_, _k_, on Fig. 8, and after the manner shown at _k_, Fig.
4, with oak strips screwed on to the gunwales, and an iron plate top and
bottom, to prevent the holes being worn. The position of the rowlocks is
18 in. from the centre of the seat.

[Illustration: _FIG. 8. PLAN_]

The stem seat will now require attention. It should be placed at about
14 in. aft of the section I J, and its back should be no nearer the stem
than 10 in.; it is supported on an A-shaped frame, as shown in Fig. 8,
and should be something after the manner of the one shown in Figs. 7 and
8, though the builder will, of course, make it according to his own
taste for comfort and appearance, but in any case let it be strong

The rudder should be of the size shown in Fig. 2, and if sailing is
contemplated two tillers or handles will be necessary, the one for
sailing being a plain handle, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2, and the other
with ropes and placed at right angles to the rudder, as shown in Figs. 7
and 8. Two cleats will be required in sailing, placed one on either side
at about 8 in. aft of the section I J, and of the size and shape shown
at O, Fig. 8.

The building of the boat will now have occupied about 100 hours, and the
builder may congratulate himself that the greater part of his work is

The whole of the woodwork should receive a coat of paint, and be left to
dry thoroughly. The framework of the boat is then ready to receive the
canvas, which in this style of boat answers admirably in the place of
boards. The best material for this purpose is a strong, closely-woven
sailcloth; the stuff I used cost 1s. 1d. per yard square, and 6-1/2
yards were necessary to cover the boat.

The canvas is nailed outside the laths and keelson crossways, or from
side to side; it should be made to fit like a glove, and the seams must
be strongly sewn up. The edges are secured by being screwed up between
the top laths and the gunwales, and all joints between it and woodwork
must be smeared with a mixture of red and white lead before being nailed
up. When it is properly fixed in its place, and before the keel is
screwed on, it should be made waterproof. This can be done either by
coating it first with boiled oil and then giving it several coats of
paint, or by the following method, which is taken from the _Field_, and
which I found to answer admirably. Take 6 oz. yellow soap and dissolve
in 1-1/2 pints water, and while boiling add and stir in 5 lb. spruce
ochre or other colouring matter, 1/2 lb. patent dryers, and 5 lb. of
boiled linseed oil. This composition is applied with an ordinary paint
brush, and one coat on the inside and three on the outside are
sufficient to make the boat waterproof. Before putting on the last coat
of paint, screw on the keel and caulk the joint with a mixture of red
and white lead.

The ribs, etc., can be painted any desired colour, and, if it is wished
to finish the boat off completely, a coat or two of oak varnish can be
applied inside and out.

A strip of iron should be screwed all along the keel, to prevent the
wood being damaged.

The mast may be 8 ft. 6 in. long, and 1-1/2 in. thick at the base,
tapering upwards. The sail, which is made of coarse linen costing 5d.
per yard, is of the shape shown in Fig. 1, and will require 7 yards if
the linen is 31 in. wide, or what is in the trade, I believe, called
seven-eighths breadth.

The gaff is 6 ft. long, and 1 in. thick, and should, as well as the
mast, be made of ash.

The dimensions of the sail are as follows. Referring to Fig. 1, the
length of the bottom is 7 ft.; the side close to the mast, 5 ft. 6 in.;
top along the gaff, 5 ft. 9 in.; and the remaining side, 7 ft. 3 in. The
edges are sewn around a piece of rope, and along the upper edge, close
to the rope, is a row of eyelet-holes, through which strong string is
passed to lash the sail to the gaff. Two more rows of eyelet-holes are
required, the one 6 in. above the bottom edge, and the other 6 in. above
that again. These are for the purpose of reefing the sail during a high

A strip of linen should be sewn to the sail along the line of the
eyelet-holes, in order to give the brass eyelets a better grasp. The
brass eyelets can be obtained from any ironmonger at about fourpence per
box, and pinchers for closing them can be borrowed from an ironmonger or
a shoemaker.

Of course, ballast will be necessary when sailing, and for this a couple
of bags of sand, equal to a weight of 1 cwt., will suffice.

And now I think that the building of the Swallow is finished, and the
builder, somewhat weary, perchance, after his solitary labour, extending
over some two months, is prepared to enter on the final and pleasanter
task of launching his boat. This he may do with confidence, being
certain that it will be quite watertight, very buoyant, and capable of
carrying and seating three with ease.

Let me, before closing, express the hope that the builder will pass as
many pleasant hours in the boat he has built as I have in mine, and then
he will have no cause to regret the time and labour spent in its



I propose to give directions for the construction of a canvas canoe
requiring the expenditure of from 15s. to £1 in money, from a week to a
fortnight of spare time, a very few tools, and a moderate amount of

I have from time to time made canoes of various kinds, and have been led
to adopt the pattern to be hereafter described as being most easily and
cheaply constructed, and as possessing the important characters of
speed, comfort, safety, and durability, and not being too heavy to carry
on the shoulder for a quarter of a mile or so if necessary.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

To proceed at once to my directions. It will be best to build under
cover, though this is not a necessity. For the keel take a piece of
straight deal or pine, free from imperfections, 10 ft. × 2 in. × 1 in.
For stem and stern post, which should be alike, pieces of oak or elm
should be cut to the pattern shown (Fig. 1) from a piece with a curved
grain (to be had for about 6d.) 1 ft. 6 in. × 1 ft. × 3/4 in.; 3 in. at
the ends should be bevelled off and fitted to the ends of the keel,
taking care that the latter forms one plane with them. They are best
fixed in their place by driving copper nails through, and tapping their
ends over perforated caps known as ‘burs,’ which can be easily obtained;
but wire nails clenched will do here, as in other parts of the work.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

Next from 1/2 in. deal plank cut out two shapes to fit over keel
(allowing it to project 1/4 in.), according to patterns (Figs. 2 and 3).
Strips of 3/4 in. should be nailed on each side of the sockets cut for
the keel, coming rather nearer at their other ends. The use of these is
both to strengthen the shapes themselves and to make them fit firmly and
tightly to the keel, also to make supports for the coamings round the
well, to be described later.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

The shapes should be placed with strips turned towards the ends of the
canoe and at right angles to the keel, the larger one 10 in. behind the
middle point of the keel, and the smaller one 2 ft. 10 in. in front of
the same point (Fig. 4). Take care that the middle points of the shapes
are in a straight line with the stem and stern post. A good nail may now
be driven right through the two ends of each pair of strips, clipping
the keel tightly between them. Next take two clean strips of deal rather
longer than the canoe. They should be perfectly free from knots or
imperfections, or much trouble will be occasioned afterwards. Say 1-1/2
in. × 3/4 in. Fit them on as in Fig. 4, bevelling off the ends, and
nailing into stem and stern post.

They should be allowed to take their natural curve, but pulled
lengthways a little, so as to hold well to the shapes. Both sides should
be alike, and the shapes should not be driven out of the central line.
To prevent this, before nailing get a friend to hold the two ends
against the stem while you nail the other ends to the stern post. Then
nail the former ends to the stem, pulling them towards you a little, and
keeping your eye on the central line. They may now be nailed to the
shapes by means of corner pieces.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

Next prepare, or get a carpenter to prepare for you, ten strips a little
longer than the canoe, and 1/4 in. square. This is a very good
thickness. These are to be arranged as in Fig. 5, the distances between
the strips being equal, or, if anything, decreasing a little towards the
keel, where the pressure of the water will be greatest. They should be
put on in the same way as the upper stronger strips which already form
the gunwale. I may repeat that this thin wood must be thoroughly good.
If any strip is not so, it is useless and must be replaced by another.
Cut rests for the strips in the shapes, allowing them to project a
little. Let the strips lie flat to the edges of the shapes. Do not,
however, _twist_ them in fitting their ends to stem and stern post.
Those edges of the strips which would press into the canvas must be
planed off. The ends, especially near the keel, will require care in
fitting (Fig. 6).

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

It is better to drive no nails through the strips except at the ends.
Those parts of the shapes which are between the strips should now be
hollowed out (Fig. 7), so that when the water presses in the canvas no
projection shall be produced across the direction of motion of the
canoe, as such projections seriously retard its progress. All the edges
of the strips which would be liable to work through the canvas should be
shaved off as before mentioned.

Next for the coamings round the well in which to sit. This should be
made generally strong. Make a framework of deal 2 in. × 3/4 in., to fit
in exactly between the shapes as shown in Fig. 10. The breadth at the
stern end may be 18 in., and at the other 14 in. This will be quite
broad enough. The two end pieces should be well nailed into those strips
by which the shapes were strengthened. Also fit struts between the
middle points of the sides of the well and the gunwale. Fit two strips
about 1-1/2 in. × 3/4 in., or 2 in. × 1/2 in., from the middle point of
the top of each shape, or end of the well, to the stem and stern post,
nailing the gunwale at each end into it through some interposed wedges,
so as to make a solid triangle at each end.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

In each of the three compartments of the canoe fit a strengthening rib,
as shown in Fig. 8 for middle, Fig. 9 for ends, which will sufficiently
explain the construction. They should be fastened to the gunwale, but
the thinner strips had better be arranged merely to rest against them,
and not to be nailed into them. They need only be made of thin wood.
Thin oak would be best.

Put one or two light cross strengtheners between the two sides of the
gunwale, and one or two from the keel to the upper longitudinal pieces.
The latter may be nailed into the cross pieces. Go carefully over the
whole framework, removing any eminences or loose nails likely to wear a
hole in the canvas, remembering always that the water will press it well
against the framework, and the canoe will be ready for covering. But the
floor should be first put in, which may consist of a piece of 1/2 in.
plank laid on the keel, strengthened at each end by a cross piece. By
means of the latter it may be nailed into the shapes, and another piece
across the middle may be added, which will not interfere with sitting.

The covering is best made of what is known by linendrapers as ‘crash,’
strong and close. It must be wide enough to go completely under the
canoe, and can be had about 5 ft. wide, which will be quite wide enough.
Seven yards of it will be sufficient.

[Illustration: Fig. 10.]

[Illustration: Fig. 11.]

[Illustration: Fig. 12.]

To put on the canvas, turn the canoe over. Lay the canvas with the
centre line along the keel. Stretch it well by pulling at each end, and
tack it through the middle at the extreme ends with a few tacks in a
temporary manner. Put in temporary tacks along the gunwale at moderate
intervals, stretching slightly, and endeavour to get rid of all folds.
Begin in the middle and work towards the ends, and always pull straight
away from the keel, and not along the gunwale. Then put in a second set
of tacks half way between the first set of tacks on one side, pulling
fairly tightly. Then on the other side put in tacks opposite to the
latter, pulling as tightly as possible. The best way to do this is to
seize the canvas with a pair of pincers, so that on pulling you can get
the head of the pincers just over the gunwale, when they can be used as
a lever to give an extra pull. A tack may then be put in on the outside
of the gunwale. Half-inch galvanised tacks will do. Now remove the
temporary set of tacks. To get rid of folds, which will not occur along
the keel, but along the gunwale, keep bisecting the distance between two
consecutive tacks by another tack, so that the canvas is equally loose
on each side of it, always now pulling the canvas as tightly as
possible. In this way the folds will disappear, and the canvas be
stretched tight and well fastened to the gunwale. Leave that portion
within a foot of each end untacked. Next cut away all that portion which
projects beyond the stem and stern post, turn the edges in, and tack
along the edges at moderate distances. Bisect these distances, and these
again, till you have a very close row of tacks, as in Fig. 12. Pull
fairly tight, but not too tight, and do not use pincers for this part.
Quarter-inch tacks will be best. The ends may be cut out and put on,
lapping the edges over the side, as shown in Fig. 12, and enough canvas
will be left to fill the part along the sides of the well, into which
the canvas should be tacked with a fine row of tacks, afterwards being
stretched over the gunwale. The canoe will now be completely covered in
except the well. Before putting on the top, however, give the lower part
outside a good coating of boiled linseed oil. This will be most of it
absorbed into the canvas. The same may be done afterwards with the top.
When this is dry--that is, after two or three days--give another good
coating of the same. Then paint the canoe according to taste. Two coats
for the bottom will be advisable, and paint which will stand water well
should be used. It would be well to paint the framework with one coat
before covering.

[Illustration: Fig. 13.]

[Illustration: Fig. 14.]

Make a stretcher (Fig. 13) for the feet of 1/2 in. board, and slips to
fit it into (Fig. 10), with stops on the floor. Also a backboard of 1/2
in. board to correspond (Fig. 14). Each piece in the latter may be 18
in. × 4 in. They should be nailed into two cross-pieces behind, so as to
form a hollow for back, and should be placed 2 in. apart, to allow a
space for the spine. I prefer myself to fit in the backboard by means of
stops on the floor and back of the well, making it keep one position,
and that at a considerable slope, and have not found a swinging
backboard so comfortable as some appear to have done.

[Illustration: Fig. 15.]

For the paddle, for which I think about 7 ft. 6 in. long over all is a
good length, take a light, clean piece of yellow pine or fir 1-1/2 in. ×
1-1/4 in., not more, and 6 ft. long. In the ends of this cut slots 6 in.
long, each to receive two pear-shaped pieces of very light 1/2 in. plank
1 ft. 3 in. × 8 in. Nail them through with copper nails if possible. The
blades should be at right angles to the thickest direction of the
handle. Before nailing-in shave down the handle from an oval of 1-1/2
in. × 1-1/4 in. for 2 ft. of the middle to an oval of about 1-1/8 in. ×
7/8 in. near the beginning of the blades. The handle should have its
full thickness at the beginning of the blade but should be well tapered
off along the blade, so as to be quite thin at its middle, where it
ends. It should have its full breadth across the breadth of the blade.
The blade itself may be shaved off thinner towards the edges. I do not
think that for ordinary purposes any strip of copper or tin need be put
round the blade, and the weight is increased by using it. The great
thing about a paddle is that it should be as light as possible, and, if
it appears able to stand it, it may be reduced still further. It may be
painted or varnished, all but two feet in the middle. I find no rings on
the paddles necessary.

A short strip nailed outside the gunwale in the middle of the canoe is a
good thing; it prevents wear from the paddle, and forms something to
catch hold of in lifting the canoe. A short outer keel is also a good
thing at each end to prevent wear; but in making holes for the nails
through the canvas into the keel care must be taken to turn in the edges
round each hole, to tack with a close circle of tacks, and paint well,
so as to render the place watertight.

An apron is seldom wanted, but may be made of canvas rendered waterproof
with boiled oil if desired. It is well to fasten some inflated bladders
in each end, so as to make the canoe a diminutive lifeboat, in case of
an upset or of a hole being knocked in her.

The canoe will now be ready for launching. The owner should learn to put
her carefully into the water and take her out by himself--to carry her
on his shoulder. Superfluous wood may be cut from the central parts of
the shapes, and also from along the keel towards the ends before
covering. The floor forms a considerable item in the weight,
consequently this should be made no wider or thicker than necessary. In
paddling, learn to reach well forward and back, with a good swing of the
body from side to side.

Such a canoe as described will be found to wear well, and one made by
myself for a friend two years ago is now in use, and quite watertight.





The most convenient size to make will probably be that of a canoe now in
my possession, 17 ft. long, 27 in. wide, and 1 ft. deep. She is built as

Two strong pieces of tough wood, forming together something the shape of
a snowshoe, as Fig. 1, and lashed strongly together at the ends, form
the gunwale. The ribs are of thin stuff about one-eighth of an inch
thick, and two to three inches wide, running from gunwale to gunwale in
one piece, the ends slightly pointed so as (Fig. 3) to fit into notches
cut in the under side of the gunwale. Between these ribs and the outer
skin is placed some kind of thin bark pitched over, and the outer skin
is composed of birch bark.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

At each end, at the dotted line A A (Fig. 2), there is a strong
apron-piece, but the bows are simply sewn together, as are the other
joints in the boat, which is very light and handy. Now the thing is for
you who have no birch bark to build a canoe on the same principle,
easily and at little cost, and we will consider how this is to be done.

In an American paper there once appeared an article on ‘A Paper Boat,’
built on the lines of a birch-bark canoe, and it is not long since an
adventurous young American went a tremendous distance on the American
rivers in a paper canoe of his own construction. So you have paper
proved to be possible as a skin for your boat as a substitute for birch
bark. Another substitute and a far stronger one is canvas.

We will now proceed to get out the framework of the boat in question.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

In the diagram (Fig. 4) you have sheer plan, body and deck plan, of a
modified Canadian canoe; the ends are less curved than the original, but
otherwise it is much the same. The first thing you will have to do is to
draw a plan to scale on this principle of the canoe you propose
building, and the simplest scale you can use is that of one inch to a
foot, and in this way, if you decide on a canoe fifteen feet by two feet
by one foot, the plan on paper will be fifteen inches by two inches by
one inch, which you can multiply by twelve to get your measurements for
any part.

You must first get a piece of wood for the keel. These canoes are always
built without any exterior keel, and are therefore easily turned and
managed; at the same time they are as easily turned by the wind, if
there should be any, and for rough water I should prefer giving a small
exterior keel screwed on to the keel on which you build the canoe, and
which forms part of the body of the boat itself; but this you must
decide for yourself. If you only want to punt about in smooth water and
in shallows, you can dispense with any exterior keel, and in any case
you can easily screw on a false keel of whatever depth you consider
necessary afterwards.

The keel proper had best be shaped broad in the middle--say, six
inches--and tapering off to the ends where the stem and stern posts are
joined on. Having got your keel ready, and the stem and stern posts
kneed in, and ascertained by a plumb line that they are perpendicular to
the keel, the next thing is to cut out shadows, or frames, from the body
plan. Three of these shadows will do (see Fig. 4, C C C), one amidships,
and one each between midships and the stem and stern. These shadows must
be secured to the keel in such a way that they will not shift from the
perpendicular, to which you must plumb them. The keel can be made of any
good wood, elm or oak for preference; but common deal will do very well.
It should be three-quarters of an inch by six inches in the middle, and
taper to the ends. The stem and stern posts can be of three-quarter inch
deal or hard wood, of sufficient length, and two to four inches deep,
shaped out and secured with a galvanised iron or wooden knee to the
keel. You can use an apron-piece or not, as you prefer. If you elect to
dispense with the apron-piece the stem and stern posts must be deeper
than if you use it, and a light groove of, say, one-eighth of an inch
cut to receive the ends of the stringers. (See Fig. 5, A A A A.) Or this
groove can be dispensed with, and the end of the stringer tapered off so
as to come flush.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

You will now want two to three stringers each side, of elm, ash or other
tough wood, of sufficient length, and about half an inch thick by one
inch wide. These will run from stem to stern over the shadows, and be
firmly secured to the parts. The gunwale must be of the same sort of
wood, say one inch square, and let in half an inch into the shadows to
bring it flush with the stringers. The gunwale must be secured to the
stem and stern posts, leaving about an inch of the posts above it; and a
triangular piece of hard wood an inch thick and about three to six
inches deep must be shaped to fit between the gunwales and the stem and
stern posts, and the gunwales firmly secured to it by countersunk
screws. This will bind all firmly together. As you will have taken the
measurements from your plans, in which you have decided the sheer of the
boat, the gunwale will follow this sheer, starting from the midship
shadow and curving up towards the posts.

You have now got the framework ready, with the exception of the ribs,
which are put in afterwards. The next step will be to get the canvas to
form the outside skin.

You must buy sufficient canvas to cover your canoe. See that it is close
and strong (No. 6, Navy unbleached, or something as near that as
possible). Turn the canoe upside down, and stretch your canvas over it,
tacking it firmly along the keel with copper nails about an inch apart,
and then strain it tightly to the gunwales and secure it there with
copper tacks (iron or large tin tacks may be used here if you are short
of copper), first turning down the raw edge of the canvas. Then tack
down the ends to the stem and stern posts, lapping one side of the
canvas first round the opposite side of the part and securing it, and
then bringing the other side of the canvas over the part secured and
tacking it on the opposite side, thus doubling the canvas over the stem
and stern posts. It is as well to run a copper band from six inches down
the stem and stern posts to about a foot along the keel, to take the
wear off the canvas, and a slight wooden false keel may be screwed over
all with brass screws, or fastened with copper nails. Any slackness that
may exist in the canvas must now be taken up. Turn the canoe right side
up and gather in the canvas where you can find it slack, which will
probably be at the bow and stern; and, after gathering it tightly in a
pleat, sew it strongly down on the inside. This, perhaps, had best be
done before you completely secure the canvas down, and while it is only
secured at the ends and along the gunwale, leaving it unfastened along
the keel.

Next get your ribs ready; these had best be made of rock elm or other
tough wood, to avoid the trouble of steaming. They must be about
three-sixteenths of an inch by three-quarters wide, or one inch or even
two inches wide will do if you can bend them. Space the ribs about six
inches apart; you can put them closer if you want extra strength. See
that they are cut the right length, that when put in--which must be done
by main force--the ribs take all the stringers, and butt tightly under
the gunwales. You may either cut a slight notch in the gunwale to
receive the ends of the ribs, or, after all the ribs are in, run a strip
of wood half an inch by half an inch under the gunwale and over all the
ribs, screwing it firmly to the gunwale, to keep the ribs in their
places. When the ribs are all in their places, you may remove the
shadows and look over the canvas again to see if it is all tight,
putting an extra rib in wherever you have taken it up, and securing such
a plain to the rib by a few tacks.

You must now cut the crossbars the proper size and fit them in, securing
them to the gunwale by knees on each side. You have now only to paint
the canvas, and when it has had two or three coats, firmly dried on,
the canoe is ready to use. After using it turn it upside down, so that
water cannot accumulate inside, as if it does it will soon rot the
canvas, and whenever the paint wears off a little be careful to replace
it. With these simple precautions such a canoe will last a long while,
and will be of great use and amusement to you, as it can be easily
carried from one piece of water to another by one person. Should you
wish to make it a lifeboat, all you have to do is to get two zinc cases
fitted to each end, which will float the canoe if capsized, or run a
tapering belt of painted canvas filled with corks round the canoe
outside on the water-line (see Fig. 5, A A A A A). If you take this
precaution you will probably not regret it, as a capsize is a very
simple matter to achieve in any round-bottomed light boat, and there is
not much stuff in such a slightly-constructed craft to float the
occupant if capsized.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

The American paper canoe was constructed something in the same way as to
framework, but two of the shadows were left in after being cut away in
the middle (see Fig. 6), leaving them three or four inches deep all
round, and the keel was left about one foot wide between the two
shadows, which were placed so as to divide the keel into three equal
parts. They were firmly screwed to the keel, stringers (B B) were then
run from stem to stern. The stem and stern posts were of green elm
screwed to the bottom board or keel, and bent (see cut) into the
required position; the ribs were made of osier willow switches put in
while green; the gunwale (A A) was of ash. This framework was covered
with very strong wrapping-paper, smooth and very tough, neither stiff
nor very thick. This was secured first to the bottom board, the canoe
being turned upside down; and then the paper was trimmed into shape and
brought up to the gunwales, and secured there by being turned in over
the gunwale and held down by long strips of ash or cane. The whole
outside surface of the paper was then given three coats of varnish (Fig.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

The constructor, however, found that the boat leaked, and he then
covered it with unbleached muslin strained outside over the paper,
tacked along the gunwales, and sewn at the ends; it was then tightened
by shrinking, and received three coats of a mixture of varnish and
paint; this appears to have stopped the leaking entirely, and the owner
then enjoyed a great deal of cruising and paddling in his paper boat.

After using it some time he discarded the ‘paddle proper,’ and fitted a
pair of iron rowlocks sufficiently long to be secured to the bottom
board and the gunwales, and used a pair of short sculls.


It must entirely depend on the surroundings of the maker as to what
materials he had best use. If a lad has the ability to build a canoe at
all, he must be the best judge of the easiest way for him to set about
it, and it is impossible to lay down hard-and-fast rules as to what he
shall use in its construction. All he requires is the general idea which
is given here, and where a lad with every convenience and a long purse
will use the best materials another, under different circumstances and
perhaps far away from opportunities of getting the most suitable timber,
etc., for his purpose, will have to exercise his ingenuity and bring
into use those materials he is limited to. So, perhaps, in some
instances where thick and good canvas cannot be got, a serviceable boat
can be made of a thinner and cheaper material, such as unbleached calico
put on over a skin of old newspapers pasted together to form a backing;
and such a covering thoroughly varnished with several coats, or if that
is too costly well painted inside and outside with a mixture of tar and
pitch boiled together, half and half, would give a great deal of
amusement to its owner, and cost a mere trifle. Of course, it would not
look so well. The best backing to use under thin canvas or calico would
be good paper, prepared in this way:--take a large sheet of good strong
paper, brown preferably, and cover it with a coating of marine glue;
place another piece of paper over it to cover the glue, and take a
flat-iron, warm, but not too hot; thoroughly iron the top paper till the
glue comes out through the pores of the paper; the two sheets will then
be firmly held together by the waterproof glue, and any size can be
prepared in this way, making a first-class stiffening inside skin, which
can be covered outside with thin calico, painted and varnished.

The paddles used with these canoes are single-bladed. The stern paddle,
which is used to steer as well as propel the canoe, is considerably
larger than the bow paddle. The lengths of the paddles are--stern, five
feet; bow, four feet; breadth of blade at broadest part--stern, six
inches; bow, five inches; length of blade of paddle, two feet. The
handle may be about three-quarters of an inch to one inch in diameter,
but much thicker at the extreme end, where some of the paddles now used
are shaped like Fig. 8.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

The paddle is used as follows. You will readily understand that a stroke
of a paddle used only on one side would cause the boat or canoe so
propelled to turn its bow in the opposite direction; to meet this,
before the paddle is withdrawn from the water, it must be slightly
feathered and the handle brought inwards, the middle of the paddle
resting on the gunwale of the canoe, the blade thus bringing the bow
round and steering the canoe in a straight course. The pressure used
must be merely adequate to bring the canoe straight, and will depend on
the amount of sheer she has taken. If this is properly done, which
requires some practice, it will not at all interfere with the forward
propulsion of the canoe. The handle of the paddle is left rather wide at
the end to allow of an easy grasp, and the other hand holds the paddle
not quite half way down.

In stalking game the Indians never withdraw the paddle from the water at
all, but feather under water without making the slightest noise and
scarcely causing a ripple.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.--Irish Curragh.]

Another description of boat made of canvas is the Irish Curragh (Fig.
9), used principally in the south-west of Ireland. Some of these boats
are of considerable size--I have seen one twenty-six feet by four feet
beam--and are used in the heaviest weather and the roughest seas, and
from their extreme lightness are wonderfully good sea boats, the
peculiar construction of the bow, which rises very much, lifting the
boat over the seas. They have a strong frame made of ribs with stringers
spaced only about three inches apart. The stringers run the whole length
of the boat, which is something of the shape of half a barrel greatly
elongated. They are simply and easily constructed, and are covered with
common canvas. Several coatings of a preparation of tar are given to the
canvas, converting it into a species of tarpaulin, and as the interior
framework is very close it is impossible to stand or press in any way on
the canvas skin, which is thus kept from injury from that source. The
curragh is propelled by paddles used as sculls, and a large one has six
men, each pulling two paddles. They have no rowlocks, but an iron pin
stands up from the gunwale, and a chock is fixed to the paddle with a
hole to fit the iron pin. In this way the paddles can be left without
being unshipped if necessary, and fall alongside the boat with no chance
of being lost.

The coracle used for fishing in Ireland and in Wales is merely a
framework, sometimes of wicker and sometimes of wood, somewhat in the
shape of the half of a walnut-shell. They are generally covered with
leather, and are extremely light.

Since writing the above I have seen a paper which, to those who can
afford the price, is the very thing to employ in building a canoe or
small boat. I allude to the Willesden paper, invented by the late Dr.
Scoffern. This paper is thoroughly water-proof, and is manufactured in
all thicknesses. The best for the purpose is about one-eighth of an inch
thick. It runs in sufficient length to build an ordinary canoe in one
piece, and the width, being fifty-three inches, is amply sufficient. The
price is five shillings per yard run, which, for a canoe say fifteen
feet long, would be twenty-five shillings, and would be the principal
part of the cost. This paper will not only make a strong and safe boat,
but also a very handsome and fast one, as, being in one piece, there is
no joining or unevenness, but one perfectly smooth surface, offering
little resistance to the water. For the purpose of building models it
would be hard to find a better substitute for wood, and in most cases it
would be found far cheaper.

[Illustration: Fig. 10.--Canadian Batteau.]

The Canadian batteau (Fig. 10) is a class of boat that is very easily
constructed in paper, canvas, or wood, and you will see from the plan
how it is made. It differs from the preceding canoe in that it is
flat-bottomed, the American paper canoe approaching it most nearly in
shape, though in the batteau the flat bottom is wider, and the sides are
also flat, flaring out a good deal.

[Illustration: Fig. 11.--Double Canoe of the South Seas.]

[Illustration: Fig. 12.--Esquimaux Kayak.]

[Illustration: Fig. 13.--Flying Proa of the Ladrones, or Windward

[Illustration: Fig. 14.--Plan of Proa, showing Outrigger.]

[Illustration: Fig. 15.--Chinese Junk.]

[Illustration: Fig. 16.--Norwegian Praäm.]

[Illustration: Fig. 17.--Coracle.]

I also give sketches of other types of crafts. And now for a parting
word of advice: whatever type of canoe you select, I hope you will be
able to produce one that will pass the examination when your parents and
others hold a survey; and in view of this do your work well and
carefully, or you had better leave it alone. In any case, do not canoe
unless you can swim. A canoeist, particularly when racing, thinks
nothing of an upset, which to an accomplished hand is merely the loss of
a few minutes, when, the canoe righted and the owner once more in
charge, the prize is still held in view. This, to a non-swimmer, might
mean, however, loss of life. Speaking from my own experience, I can
assure you that I should not now be writing this if I had been unable to
swim, and in no case should canoeing or boating be indulged in by those
who have not mastered that necessary and simple art. To the swimmer an
upset is in most instances simply an annoyance, but to a non-swimmer it
may mean a fatal accident.



Some years ago I wanted a cheap, strong punt for use in a large pond of
some ten or twelve acres, and went to two or three regular boat-builders
to ask the price of such an article. It varied from some sixteen
shillings to a pound per foot. Now, as I needed something long enough to
be rowed, or bear propulsion, with some steadiness, of course, and,
moreover, to carry a good load, I perceived that nothing much less in
length than about sixteen feet would answer my purpose.

The cost of this amounted to more than I was inclined to pay to a
professed boat-builder, and so I put on my considering cap to see
whether I could not escape the charges of an expert and yet realise my

I determined to employ an intelligent country carpenter, who had never
been in a shipyard in his life, and who, being wholly unacquainted with
the structure of a boat, would be likely to follow out my directions
without any bias of his own, yet take the whole credit of the result to

We fixed on deal--good red, not white deal--for the wood of our boat,
though my carpenter agreed with me that elm would have been better and
teak best, for this latter does not split in the sun. Elm, however, is
generally cut into lengths of only 12 ft. or 13 ft., which allows for
the measure of two coffins, which are mostly made of this tree. Teak my
friend had never seen. The worst of this is its original cost, and also,
when a boat has to be built for inland waters, the expense of its
carriage by rail from the neighbourhood of some coast ship-yard.

We settled on the red deal harmoniously. First we got four planks of
11-in. deal 12 ft. long and 1-1/2 in. thick. I had it of this thickness
to ensure comparative immunity from splitting when the sides should be
nailed on, for these were to form the floor or bottom of our punt. When
planed on both sides, this thickness was of course reduced. The edges of
the planks were ‘shot,’ and made to fit as for a glue joint. After being
cramped together they were kept in position by nailing on transverse
pieces 1 in. thick and 4 in. wide, these transverse pieces not reaching
quite to the whole width of the floor. This, the floor, we narrowed,
from the centre towards the ends, until the result was something like a
gigantic ‘sole’ with its head and tail cut off square. This raft was our
bottom or floor, four planks wide in the middle, and three planks wide
at each end.

I wanted my boat to have not exactly a flat bottom, but one that should
rise, or ‘spring,’ some two inches fore and aft. This gives a punt more
buoyancy in rowing, and also enables it to be run aground easily, and to
be pushed off without ‘sucking.’ A perfectly flat-bottomed punt sticks
or clings to a shallow, muddy shore. If it is slightly curved, it is
shoved off without any difficulty. The question was how to curve it.

We built our punt in a barn, with crossbeams overhead. First I got two
trestles, rather narrower than the ends of the bottom, and rested its
ends upon them, there being some three or four inches to spare between
the trestles and the ends of the bottom. It stood quite flat and stiff.
You could not bend it with any pressure from the hand. I then measured
the distance between its surface and a beam under which its centre stood
at right angles, and found it to be exactly 11 ft. I next cut a length
off a young fir-tree, which lay by our saw-pit, 11 ft. 2 in. in length,
and requested our carpenter to set it upright on the middle of the punt
floor, under the beam. Of course he could not. It was 2 in. too long.
Then I got him and his assistant to stand on the bottom of the punt,
whose ends just rested on the trestles, with three or four inches to
spare, and to see if the tree would not then stand under the beam. It
did easily. Then he and his assistant stepped off, and, lo! the punt
floor, in trying to recover its flatness, was rigidly fixed, with a
‘spring’ or curve, fore and aft, of 2 in.

The fabric, so far, was steadied for further operations. Then I took two
clean 9-in. planks, 1 in. thick, planed on both sides, and, keeping them
duly apart with boards set edgewise the width of the punt bottom, nailed
them to the sides. They bent quite easily, without any assistance from
heat, and at once we had the two sides of our punt. I had these sides
considerably longer than the bottom, in order that the punt might have
projecting ends, and so be more easily stepped into from the shore when
run up ‘end on.’ Then we got two pieces of wide elm plank for the two
ends of our punt. These were the whole width of the end of the floor,
and sloped out fore and aft. To these we nailed the ends of our sides,
and the result was at once a very shipshape punt, but without any knees
or thwarts. These we put in afterwards, as is usual in boat-building.

But the sides, though high enough to make a punt capable of carrying a
considerable load, were too low to carry rowlocks unless the rower sat
on the bottom of the boat. Thus we put on one other plank on each side 9
in. deep and 1 in. thick. It overlapped the other 2 in., and was long
enough to continue the projection of the ends. It fitted very closely.
We nailed these two side planks on with long copper nails, and put in
other pieces of elm for the ends. Outside the top of these second planks
we also nailed a strip 2 in. deep and 1 in. thick. This made the gunwale
of the punt nearly 2 in. wide, and capable of receiving thowls, or pins.

The seats, or thwarts, we rested on the top of the lower side planks.
This gave a seat of about 7 in. high for the rower, and sufficient
height for the bed of the rowlock above the level of the rower’s seat,
namely 7 in., which is about the usual rule. We strengthened the thwarts
with oak knees against the upper side planks. This, moreover, gave great
rigidity to the whole fabric of the punt. We also used oak knees or
angles, called, in boat-building language, ‘hooks,’ at the four corners
of the gunwale, nailing them in horizontally, and thus much tightening
the punt at each corner.

The disposition of the thwarts in such a boat is matter of much
importance. They should be at the proper distance from the rowlocks, and
the rower should not take up too much of the available space in the
punt. We arranged ours thus, and they answered admirably. The floor, be
it remembered, was 12 ft. long. We ‘middled’ this, and set the centres
of the two thwarts 18 in. from this line. This gave 3 ft. as the
distance between the centres of the two thwarts, and their position in
the boat was such that one rower by himself sat just where his weight
should be; so did two, and both sat well away from any ‘sitter’ in the
end of the boat. The distance of 3 ft. between the centre of the thwarts
enables the rowlocks to be correctly placed. They should come exactly
halfway between the thwarts. By having three rowlocks on each side,
equidistant, the rower or rowers had only to turn round and row in the
opposite direction, the boat having stem and stern alike. This is
convenient under some circumstances, as when there is not room to pull
the boat itself round. The thwarts themselves should be 9 in. wide, and
two boards of the same width at each end, resting on the top of the
lower side planks, make sufficient accommodation for sitters, who, by
the arrangement of thwarts and rowlocks which I have described, are well
out of reach of the rower’s legs in a punt of the size we made.
Altogether the result was excellent. The boat rowed with much lightness
and ease, and would carry four or five adults. It was, moreover, very
stiff in the water. There was no fear of it turning over when rowers
shifted places. It ran far up on shore, so that ladies could step in and
out dry-shod.

I should say that we made the ends project about 18 in. fore and aft,
while the floor of the punt was 12 ft. long. Thus our length over all
was 15 ft. If I built another I think I should make each of the ends
project 2 ft., and curve the gunwale a little, giving it a drop of an
inch or two in the middle. This gives an agreeable curve, and takes off
the severe straightness of the upper line, which I must confess rather
marred the ‘elegance’ of our punt as she lay on the water. A very little
curve or wave-line produces the desired effect.

The cost of building our punt was not very much. I have before me the
bill of the carpenter for wood, time, and some of the nails. It is £6
5s., and he was longer over it than he would have been had it not been
his first attempt. Besides this, I had to buy the rest of the nails.
Ours were mostly zinc, but on another occasion I should use only copper.
The additional expenses were the oak knees for strengthening the boat,
and the varnish with which we ‘dressed’ her. We used no paint, and only
two or three places in the seams outside were ‘caulked’ with a little

I would advise the builder of such a punt, when not able to do the work
himself, to employ an intelligent _carpenter_ who makes his joints
close. The whole cost, all expenses included, was between £7 and £8--the
larger proportion being for labour, which sharp boys might themselves
supply--and the fabric certainly seems as if it would last well. It has
now passed its second year of service, and is as tight as a bottle,
though it has been somewhat roughly used. For such a punt I should have
had to pay at a boat-builders some £15, and I do not see why one built
as I have advised should not be as strong and serviceable as any could
be. The only point is that I would advise copper rivets, and not zinc,
to be used throughout.

Of course, the expense might be lessened by using thinner wood, and
therefore less heavy copper rivets. It is indeed a disputed question
whether copper or iron nails and rivets should be used for fresh-water
boats. Many Thames watermen prefer iron. This would, of course, make the
cost of the punt less. I had our sides one inch thick, in order that the
boat might stand very heavy work, and in case of cracking from extreme
heat, might be cured without danger of battering the sides in by
caulking them, and without the necessity of patching them. I should add
that we strengthened the ends with stout oak stem and stern posts nailed
or riveted up the centre of the ends inside. They should be about 2 in.
square. Into these we drove staples, to which a rope could be fastened.

I should, moreover, advise iron pins instead of, or as well as, ordinary
thowls. We had them as well as thowls, there being halfway between each
thowl-hole a hole for an iron pin half an inch thick. Then, if we wished
to use thowls, we took the pins out, or _vice versâ_. The advantage of
pins which run through the oar in places where the punt is used for
fishing is, that the oars may be left on the pins without risk of
slipping overboard.

[Illustration: “The great thing in punting is not to lose your pole.”]

[Illustration: But it is also important not to lose your punt!]



Over twenty years ago the Fairlie foundered in the Indian Ocean. Spars
had been thrown overboard to form a raft, yet before anything but the
skeleton of the framework could be lashed together the ship went down.
The crew jumped into the square, scrambled on to the boundary spars, and
remained astride them with their legs in the sea until they were rescued
a day or two afterwards.

This is as simple a raft as any recorded in shipwreck annals. But what
is a raft? It is indeed a difficult thing to define. Rafts are of all
shapes and sizes, varying from the few booms of the Fairlie up to the
elaborate raft of the Medusa, of which the model was shown in the London
Fisheries Exhibition. A raft would seem to be any floating substance on
which a man can sit or stand. Boys have paddled in a pond on rafts of a
couple of planks, soldiers have crossed rivers on rafts of barn-doors,
and we hear of armies using rafts of house-roofs, and wooden-shed walls,
and casks and inflated skins, and pontoons of all shapes, of tin, zinc,
copper, iron, leather, wood, and canvas.

Perhaps the simplest kind of river raft is that common in South Africa,
where a stack of reeds some fifty feet in diameter is pushed into the
water and allowed to float down stream, each day, as the under stems get
waterlogged, more being cut from the banks and thrown on to the heap. A
similar rough raft is not uncommon amongst us in winter, when the ice is
very thin, for if a heap of reeds is then thrown on to a slab of ice,
and well watered, a solid mass can be built up with alternate layers of
reeds and ice which will float considerable weights. Besides the
floating stack there is another reed raft in use amongst the Kaffirs,
made of a mattress of reeds about four feet long, three feet broad, and
eight inches thick, tied together with strips of the reeds themselves,
with reed posts and railing round.

Skins stretched and inflated are in use all over the globe for raft
purposes. In Peru a hide pinched up at the corners, secured there with a
thorn, and dried in the sun, furnishes the only boat. In another
American form we have holes bored all round the edge, a thong run
through them and pulled tight over a framework of withies,--in fact, a
coracle such as the Celts were so fond of, the washing basket with the
waterproof covering which exists on the coast of Ireland to this day.

The contracting force exercised by skins as they dry has a great deal to
do with the water-tight qualities of hide boats, as, in all cases, the
framework is covered as soon as possible after the death of the animal.

It is astonishing what simple things have been made into boats. Admiral
Fitzroy once sent a party of sailors ashore, and while they were
encamped their boat was stolen. Out of the boughs of the trees around
them they made a large basket, covered it with their canvas tent,
puddled the inside with a little clay, and put to sea, spending
eighteen hours in this crazy contrivance before they got back to safety.

Alexander’s army passed the Indus, as Hannibal’s did the Rhine, on rafts
made of inflated skins, or of skins stuffed with hay. On the Tigris and
elsewhere at this very day such goat-skin rafts are still in use. The
skins are lashed to a framework with one of the legs of each animal
upwards; through this leg the air is driven in, and, as the traveller
journeys down the stream, he visits the skins in succession and blows in
fresh air to make up for what has escaped. A single ox-hide when
inflated is said to make a float capable of sustaining three hundred

Casks are almost invaluable in raft-making, and many a shipwrecked crew
has been saved on a platform lashed to floating barrels. One of the
early lifeboats simply consisted of a boat with holes bored in her
bottom and empty casks lashed inside her, the casks giving the floating
power while the shape of the boat was retained. Four spars lashed
together with a cask at each corner and a square of canvas fixed on them
was all that one of the patent life-rafts consisted of.

Casks furnish great floating power in such a convenient form that it is
hardly to be wondered at that they have been used over and over again in
the construction of military bridges where boats have been unattainable.
They are, however, but a makeshift, pontoons nowadays being always
carried. When Darius crossed the Bosphorus and afterwards the Danube he
did it on a bridge of boats oft very elaborate construction. When Xerxes
crossed the Hellespont he had two bridges, one consisting of three
hundred and sixty vessels anchored side by side and head to stern, and
another, nearer the Archipelago, of three hundred and fourteen vessels
similarly anchored. These were connected by cables, a platform of planks
was laid stretching from each to each, and on the platform from shore to
shore there was laid a thick bed of earth to form the road on which the
Persian hosts passed into Europe. At Xenophon’s passage of the Tigris
thirty-seven vessels were used.

The most famous boat-bridge in modern times was that thrown by the
British over the Adour when Wellington invaded France. The bridge was
810 feet long, and was at first supported on hawsers, which were kept
tight by capstans placed in the centre of each of the thirty to
forty-ton chassemarées which formed the piers. These chassemarées were
moored side by side at a distance of forty feet from each other’s
centres, so that the intervals were equal. The platform was after a day
or two shifted on to balks. To protect the bridge a boom was thrown
across the river on each side of it. The best of the raft-bridges was
Sokolniki’s over the Niemen at Grodno in 1792. The trunks, fifty to
sixty feet long and about two feet in diameter, were lashed together in
tens and joined end to end until they reached across the stream. The
bridge was three hundred and sixty yards in length, and formed a great
curve towards the current, with the centre of the curve supported by an
anchored vessel. These trunks were lashed together. A better plan,
however, is that adopted by the Canadian timber-men, who cross-lay their
rafts, bore an auger-hole at the corners through both thicknesses, and
fix a wedge in the cleft end of the stick which keeps them together. As
the stick is driven home the wedge is forced upwards into the end and
makes all fast.

On the coast of India it is a very common thing to see two or three
natives afloat on a raft made of three logs of wood--of the pine
varnish-tree--the centre log being about five-and-twenty feet long and
the breadth of the three together about a yard. These rafts are
manœuvred with very great dexterity, and safely brave the roughest seas.
Similar to them is the Brazilian catamaran, which carries a large
triangular sail.

The Cingalese catamaran is a log of wood rounded beneath, and scooped
out, with two planks lashed on the top, so as to increase the height
above water. It has a boat-shaped outrigger, supported on two curved
poles, to enable it to carry the large lug-sail, which in a fresh breeze
so heels it over that the crew have to sit well out to windward on the
connecting-bars to balance the swift but crazy craft. In the Mauritius
the catamaran is an ordinary boat with a smaller boat at the end of the
outrigger, in which is set a peculiar mizzen. In the Fijis the catamaran
becomes a double canoe, with both hulls exactly the same, and bearing a
platform giving just a little play, so as to allow of the individual
peculiarities of the boats being sufficiently humoured.

These boats, although they may in a few rare cases upset end on--that
is, turn a somersault--are the safest craft in the world, for,
consisting as they do of double hulls sustaining a raft, should anything
go wrong with the hulls, the raft will never sink, but will simply
settle down until it floats on the waves. Owing to the great breadth
there can be no question of ‘initial stability,’ and an ordinary capsize
is impossible, while the very light draught of the hulls will take the
craft over places where even a rowing-boat would meet her doom.

To build such a craft is not difficult, and Mr. W. L. Alden has recently
shown us how it can be well and cheaply done. Adopting the principle of
the flying proa of the Ladrones, which are credited with their twenty
knots on a beam wind, he makes his hulls quite flat on one side, and
thus avoids the ‘funnel difficulty,’ as it was called in the case of the
Castilia and other steam catamarans, where the inner sides of the hulls
being curved, the water between them was heaped up as it rushed through
the narrowing strait. To make such a catamaran as that shown in our
sketch--a craft speedy, safe, and handy, which is easily built, and will
bear any amount of rough usage--four deal planks are required. These
should be fifteen feet long, eighteen inches wide, and an inch thick.
The width is unusually great, but should single boards not be
obtainable, two or three boards can be keyed together so as to make it
up. Take one of the planks, which should have been bought ready planed,
divide it into five equal parts as shown in the diagram, and at each of
the four divisions screw, with brass screws, a three-inch batten
three-quarters of an inch thick. This will not only prevent the plank
from warping, but will strengthen the joints if you are working with a
board that has been made up.

[Illustration: Fig. 1-6.--Construction of Catamaran.]

Now shape the ends as shown in Fig. 1, first with a saw and then with a
draw-knife and spokeshave. Take another of your eighteen-inch planks and
treat it in exactly the same manner, and when you have finished the
curves, which should exactly resemble the others, cut off along the
longer side an inch and three-quarters off every cross-piece, so that
when the planks are placed at right angles together they will fit close.
Whitelead these edges thoroughly, and then nail the planks together with
galvanised iron nails, as shown in Fig. 2, which gives you a section
end-on. Now cut four quadrants eighteen and a quarter inches radius, and
off one side cut a strip an inch wide and trim the other end so as to
leave you a piece of the shape shown in Fig. 3, one side of which (A B)
is seventeen inches long, and the other (A C), eighteen inches, and
which is so made to fit exactly into the angle made by the broad plank
and close against the battens as sketched in Fig. 4. Finish all the
edges off smooth and square and true, whitelead them well, and fix them
in with galvanised iron nails.

Now make, or get made, six iron staples such as are shown in Fig. 5,
where the distance from A to B horizontally and A to C vertically is
just four inches. The iron is best an inch and a half wide, between an
eighth and a quarter of an inch thick, and in it should be three holes,
shown at P and in the ears marked H, large enough for quarter-inch
bolts. You also require six other staples of the shape shown in Fig. 6,
made of half-inch rod iron with counter-sunk sockets for the screws, and
these, like the eared sockets, must be four inches wide.

[Illustration: Figs. 7 and 8.]

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

Screw down one of these eared sockets just where the curve goes off on
the narrower side, as shown in Fig. 7, and in the centre fix a third.
Use galvanised nuts and bolts for fastening, with a thin leather washer
under the bolt and an oak washer under the nut, and make the holes
watertight by hard screwing and plenty of whitelead. To the other edge
at the angle, and so as to project beyond it and correspond with the
eared sockets, fix your flat staples, as shown in Fig. 8, so that a bar
can be passed through each, as shown in Fig. 9. Along the centre of the
board above which the staples project bore five holes an inch in
diameter, one in the centre of each of the five divisions with which you
started, and then having first fitted a thin batten from A to B, as
shown in Fig. 4, and let it down flush into the quadrants, give the
construction a thorough coating of red-lead paint inside and out.

Next get some canvas forty inches wide. Coat it well with boiled oil,
dry it thoroughly, and placing the lower edge of your framework along
its centre, strain it up tight all round. Use copper nails to fasten it
with, and running a streak of paint along its lower edge, finish it
there with a thin oak batten, steamed to shape if necessary, and screwed
on outside while the paint is wet, so as to serve for protection and
form the keel. Now give your pontoon a good even coat of paint, and when
that is thoroughly dry give it a trial coat of any colour you please.

Now make another pontoon in exactly the same way, and when it is
finished fasten both hulls together with three pieces of scantling, as
shown in Fig. 9. The cross-bars should be nine feet long and four inches
square, and kept in their places by copper bolts slipped into them
through the holes in the centre of each of the sockets.

Next make a platform of quarter-inch boards by nailing them together in
two layers at right angles to each other. Use copper nails and clinch
them. Round the outside of the platform run a low ridge of hard wood, so
as to turn it into a tray, as shown in the sketch, and keep the water
off the edges of the boards. Cut out a dozen grooves for the tops of the
sockets to sink into; put the platform flat down on the cross-bars, and
screw it into its place with galvanised nuts and bolts passing through
the bars. The catamaran is now finished and ready for the mast, which
can be stepped in an iron collar raised on three strong iron supports
about twenty inches long, strongly riveted and bolted into the deck. Her
sails and spars are made in the ordinary manner, the same as those of
other boats as previously described. She requires a traverse or ring for
the painter, and a rowlock to steer her by, and then, having carefully
overhauled her to see that she is thoroughly watertight, whiteleaded
every crack and crevice, and remembered throughout her construction
never to have nailed a nail or screwed a screw without first covering it
with whitelead, you can give her a farewell top coat of colour. Wait
till she is thoroughly dry, and then, having placed a cork securely in
each of the ten holes leading to her watertight compartments, which
holes were made for you to get the water out in case any should leak in,
you can launch her, seize your steering rudder, and be off. She will go
anywhere and do anything, providing always that the waves are not rough
enough to wash you off her deck.

[Illustration: Fig. 10.--A Safe Craft.]

Says Mr. Alden: ‘There is no better boat to cruise in than such a
catamaran. At night you anchor her, unship your mast, pitch your tent,
and sleep safely and comfortably. If you come to a dam you can take the
craft apart and carry her round piecemeal. If you once try to build a
catamaran and succeed--as you certainly will if you have patience--you
will have the safest and most comfortable sail-boat in the world.’



[Illustration: A Case of Sea-birds.]




It is surprising at how early an age the sporting instincts of the
English race develop. The ordinary schoolboy let loose for the summer
holidays, when not actively engaged at any game, is apt to look about
him for something to destroy, and to destroy aimlessly and
indiscriminately also. Now there are few surer protections against such
a reprehensible habit than to make the Creator’s works in some branch or
other a special study. The practical entomologist never kills for the
mere sake of killing, and when he does deprive of life he endeavours to
do so with as little cruelty as possible. Hence we need make no apology
for this chapter. When we consider how many men hunt for exercise, or
for food or clothing for the body, one can hardly consistently condemn a
little margin to feed the mind.

Most boys have a taste for natural history, and the following practical
hints may, it is hoped, tend to develop it, by teaching them not only
how to destroy life, but how to preserve what they have destroyed. Thus
they may learn wonderful lessons regarding the habits and the structure
of the marvellous insects and birds and beasts with which the Almighty
has peopled this beautiful world of ours.

I propose to begin with hints about butterflies, because the average
British boy is apt first to turn his hunting instincts to these. Yet the
catching and collecting of butterflies is a pursuit worthy of any age,
and, to be done well, requires dexterity, delicacy of touch, and care.
Under these conditions, and armed with a few simple implements, there is
no reason why any boy should not, in time, become the happy possessor of
one of the most beautiful of natural history collections, the which,
should fate ever call upon him to leave his native shores, he will, in
other climes, find a new pleasure in increasing. For butterflies may be
collected in many a dull, out-of-the-way quarter, where larger game is
conspicuous by its absence, or the means of pursuing it wanting.

The first consideration, however, is the momentous question, as to which
is a butterfly and which is a moth? The answer to this is, that
butterflies have blunt ends like pins-heads at the points of their
antennæ, and that moths have none. In England there are seventy-two
sorts of butterflies, not to be confounded with night or day moths,
which number over nine hundred families in this country alone. A point
which strikes the collector almost at the beginning, are the extremely
local habits of butterflies. In almost every place new specimens are to
be found, and the varied flight of each kind will soon lead the
collector to learn to detect a new species. These are usually classed by
their undermarkings, as many which present the same appearance on the
top side are different underneath. My small boy, with his rough cotton
net and wild shout, left very little of the unfortunate insect he had
captured, to put into his trouser pocket! The greatest care and
manipulation are required to procure a specimen fit for a collection.

The net should be of silk gauze, fitted on to the circle of cane, nearly
eighteen inches across. The two ends of the cane should run into a
[T]-shaped brass socket. The foot of the [T] is a screw, which screws
into the stick handle, the which may be used also either to hold a gaff
or a landing net. The circle of cane should be covered with some soft
thick flannel, firstly, that the silk gauze may be sewn on securely,
and, secondly, that the butterflies, which are often struck by the rim
of the net, are not injured by it. The flannel is, moreover, a saving to
the wear and tear of the net.

Another kind of net is the collector’s scissor net, with which you can
pick a butterfly off a flower. It is about five inches square, in the
form of two bags mounted one on each point of a wire, which opens and

Having caught the butterfly, the next thing is to kill him. A pinch
through the net, across the thorax (the part from which the wings
spring) will accomplish this. For obstinate specimens, such as
‘skippers,’ a lethal chamber can be prepared, in the shape of a
wide-mouthed two-pound jam bottle, with a well-fitting cork. At the
bottom of this is fixed some blotting-paper, on which a few drops of
chloroform have been poured. The butterfly should be left in the bottle
a quarter of an hour.

The specimens can be carried home in safety in a collector’s box, about
five inches long by three deep and broad, in the pocket. Triangular
envelopes, varying in size, according to that of the butterfly, are
often used. Into these the insects can be slipped with folded wings, and
left for any length of time till it is convenient to relax and set him.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

Now for the setting of the butterfly. Drying-boards can be bought of any
length, made either of soft deal, or, better still, of cork, covered
with white paper. They have a groove down the centre to receive the
insect’s body. Different widths are required for different-sized
insects. Place the row of butterflies to be set down the board, their
bodies pinned in the groove. Cut strips of writing paper an eighth of an
inch wide. Pin a strip of paper on each side of the groove, about the
centre. Secure it additionally by a pin between each butterfly. With the
point of a pin arrange the wings equally under the strips (Fig. 1).
These drying-boards should be kept out of the dust, or ants or flies may
damage the specimens. Some people have a box with a perforated zinc
door, into which they slide the boards. I called such an one my meat

In the case of dried specimens preserved in envelopes and which need
relaxing before setting, there are two ways of going to work. The first
is to float a piece of cork in hot water, and to pin the specimen on to
the cork. The wings should not touch the water. A saucepan is a good
thing to use, as the lid can be put on. The cork should float high in
the water.

But the best plan is to steam them in a tin box with cork in the lid.
Pin the insects to the cork and half fill the box with boiling water,
and close it. If the boiling water as it cools is renewed two or three
times, in an hour or so the insects will be perfectly relaxed. They
should then be set at once, after shaking off the drops from the wings,
and placed near enough to the fire to feel the heat and to dry quickly,
but not too near. The outer margins of the wings should be covered with
the setting braces (the paper strips), or they will curl up with the
heat. The wings should, if possible, not be allowed to touch the cork
when being relaxed, as they suck up the moisture.

A butterfly cabinet with drawers is very expensive, and beyond the means
of most boys. Cases to hold the butterflies should be uniform in size,
made of mahogany, seasoned deal, or cedar, and lined with cork, to be
procured at any shoemaker’s, and fitted with a glass lid on hinges.
These can be hung as ornaments against the wall. In one corner should be
fixed a little perforated tin match box containing a lump of camphor.
The appearance of a collection is much improved by having a piece of
black cotton stretched from two pins down the box, between the lines of
butterflies. Cases for travelling should on no account be glazed, but be
shaped like a book, with a hinge in the centre, that the butterflies may
be put on either side.

The pins used had better be the headless taxidermist pins, sold for the
purpose, which being so much slighter than the ordinary pins, do not
spoil the specimens.

Should the larger butterflies show signs of decay in their bodies, paint
them with a little solution of carbolic acid, equal parts of acid and

It is unnecessary to catch more than four or five good specimens of each
class. First, the male (which is much smaller than the female),
secondly, the female, can be set out. Then two butterflies, which have
been set with their wings closed to show the undermarkings, can be
placed body to body to economise space. The fifth specimen may be some
abnormal one of the same class, if such has been caught.

All valuable collections are kept away from the light, which
deteriorates them. In the British Museum but few specimens are shown to
the general public, and even the cases containing these are covered with
a square of American cloth, which the public are asked to replace after
looking at them. The real collection is kept downstairs, and can only be
seen by applying for an order.

Some of the best specimens in England have been bred for collection from
the caterpillar. This accounts, to my mind, for the occasional
appearance of some brilliant foreign specimen in this country. It has
probably escaped from some one’s menagerie. I caught last year, on the
southern coast, a beautiful specimen of the North American _linea
plexippus_ in such perfect condition that it could not possibly have
been wafted across the Atlantic.

No creature in Nature goes through such marvellous evolutionary changes
as the butterfly. It emerges from the chrysalis hanging on the bough,
the male appearing fifteen days earlier than the female. This latter
lays her eggs, as it were, on her death-bed, and they are hatched the
following year into the minutest of larvæ. Each kind of butterfly lays
its eggs in a spot where the caterpillar can procure the food peculiar
to it. Thus caterpillars kept in confinement require each kind a
different sort of leaf. Some caterpillars hibernate and do not turn into
a chrysalis till the second year.

In concluding this part of my subject, I must warn boys against handling
hairy caterpillars with bare hands, as when the hand touches the face or
neck it is apt to produce a rash like nettle-rash.


The wholesale destruction, for the sheer love of taking life, which goes
on at all seasons round our seacoasts, is simply appalling. It is
trusted that these hints on bird-stuffing may not stimulate it, but
rather, by leading boys to take an interest in the marvellous structure
of bird life, to venerate and spare it, shooting only here and there a
solitary specimen for preservation.

On inspecting a bird which is intended for stuffing, it must be borne in
mind that many species change their plumage in summer and in winter.
This applies especially to sea-birds, and it is often difficult to
recognise an individual in his sober winter garb as contrasted with his
rich summer attire. Therefore it is quite allowable to preserve two
specimens of the same sex and class, in order to show the difference in
their plumage.

Mid-winter or midsummer is the best time to shoot birds for stuffing, as
when they have been recently sitting, or moulting, their feathers are
apt to be worn or only half formed. Be careful to use only small shot
and small charges, at short distances, for small birds, or the skin will
be irretrievably damaged. Increase the charge in proportion to the size
of the bird, but it should never be a very heavy one. A friend once
brought me to stuff a tame parrot of his which had flown away. Thinking
to injure the skin the less, he had shot it with a charge of peas, but
with the result of crushing it almost to a jelly, tearing the skin so
that it was useless.

In the event of the bird being only wounded, press the breast bone in
with the finger and thumb till life be extinct. This operation will not
take more than two minutes. Push a piece of cotton wool down the throat,
a piece of thread through the nose just above the beak, and make a loop
to hold the bird by. Carefully examine the bird for any wounds, and stop
such with a small plug of cotton wool. This will prevent the blood
staining the feathers. Smooth down these with a handkerchief and pull
out any that are bloodstained, as the sacrifice of a feather here and
there is immaterial.

When the bird is brought safely home, it must be decided whether it
should be slit down the back or down the breast, or whether, as in the
case of large-headed birds like kingfishers, a small incision should be
made in the throat, to skin the head through. But first, as regards the
implements for the process, which need only be few and simple--a couple
of dissecting knives with celt handles, a pair of pointed scissors, a
large fish-hook, and a small gouge for the eyes being all that is
required for the skinning process. For the setting-up we must add a file
for giving the wires a sharp point, and a pair of compasses to measure
the body.

Then place the bird on its back, and cut it open from the top of the
breast bone to within a short distance of the vent. If, however, the
specimen is one remarkable for the beauty of its breast plumage, the
process must be reversed. Break both the wing bones under the wings, and
place a clean piece of wool in the mouth. Remove the skin with the celt
handle of the knife. Here it must be explained that the term _celt_
handle is derived from the prehistoric flint implements dug up in
ancient barrows, and which, being necessarily blunt, have given their
names to the blunt bone handles of dissecting knives. As you work along
sprinkle the skin with a powder of wood ash, plaster-of-paris, or flour.
It is a great help to have a fish-hook run through the top of the breast
bone, and held firmly by another person, or tied to a hook on the wall.
The neck must be cut through when it is met with, likewise the wings
where they are broken, and the top joints of the legs. Use great care in
drawing the skin down the back, as that is very frequently the most
delicate place.

_The Head._--If the head is very much larger than the neck, cut the
throat lengthways to remove the head. It is immaterial whether the eyes
are taken out before the head is skinned down or after. The gouge should
go well to the back of the eye and separate the ligament which holds it
to the socket. Should the gouge go into the eye, it will let out the
moisture, which often damages the skin. Some people crush the skull
slightly to make it come out of the skin easily, but this I do not
advise. Remove the brains by taking out a piece of the skull at the back
as you cut off the neck. Pull the eyes out of their cavity and fill up
their place with wool soaked in arsenical soap. Anoint the skin of the
head and the neck well with arsenical soap, and place in the neck a
piece of stick covered with wool, the end of which put into the hole
made in the skull for extracting the brains.

_The Wings._--Remove the meat from the wings on the inside as far as you
can skin. When you have taken out the body, to finish the wings, cut
them open from the outside under the large wing feathers, which be
careful not to detach from the large bone. Remove all the meat most
carefully, and anoint with arsenical soap.

_The Legs._--Skin down as far as you can, remove the meat, anoint the
skin with arsenical soap, and cover the leg bones with paper, to prevent
them damaging the skin.

_The Feet_ can be left alone, unless large, when they can be cut into
and anointed.

_The Tail_ and _the Back_, if that of a large bird and very fat, like
that of a peacock, should be well covered with wood ash, and scraped
till as much fat as can be removed comes away. Then anoint freely with
arsenical soap, fill the body with wool or paper, not too full, and
close it with a couple of stitches across the breast. Smooth all the
feathers into their place, and leave in a dry place before packing, for
a day or two. Then pack the paper round the whole, to prevent the skin
from being damaged.

So far the skin has only been cured, an operation which, in the case of
a small bird and practised hands, takes about seven minutes. Next for
the setting up. Though the skin thus preserved may be laid by and keep
good for years, and may at any time be set up by a professional, yet it
is a great amusement for a boy to stuff his birds himself, and this is
how it is done:--

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

The body and the neck which have been taken out of the bird serve as
models. The former is copied in tow, wound round with cotton. Through
this is run a sharp-pointed piece of wire, bent over and fastened at the
tail end. It protrudes beyond the body, is wrapped round with tow or
wool to imitate the neck, and run up the latter, from which the stick
has been removed. The point is run through the skull, bent back and made
fast (Fig. 2).

Then run a sharpened wire up each leg, inside, starting from beneath the
foot, and sticking into the body, where it is doubled back. Be careful
that these wires are exactly in the centre of the body, or the legs will
appear too far back.

The body and neck of the bird are now stuffed, but form a straight line.
Sew up the breast with a few stitches, and with the following
manipulation give the right curve to the neck: Bend it back at a little
more than a right angle to the body, pressing with the thumb where the
neck joins the body. Then press with the thumb at the back of the neck,
and with the other hand pull the neck forward again. This will give it
the desired graceful curve.

In a small piece of board, drill two holes in the position in which you
wish the feet to be. Run the wires of the feet through these, turn them
back, and fix them. Push the body slightly back, and, at the same time,
bend the legs at the joints. If the bird is flying, the legs should not
be bent, but straight out parallel with the body.

The position of the wings must also depend on that of the bird. If it is
flying, they must be kept stretched out by a wire run through underneath
them horizontally, catching each individual feather. If the wings are
closed, needle points are enough to pin them through to the body. The
thickness of the wire must depend on the size of the bird. The tail must
be likewise fixed with wire. The eyes may now be put in by opening the
eyelids and forcing them down far enough into the head, and then
carefully manipulating the eyelid to get the eye to sit right. When a
bird is first shot the colour of the eye should be noticed, and be
matched as nearly as possible when buying the glass eyes.

When thus completed, the specimen will often present a battered and ugly
appearance, but it is wonderful how much it will improve with careful
touching up, and arranging the feathers with a needle point or probe.
Varnishing the beak and legs is a further improvement. An artistic
effect is obtained by considering the nature and habits of the specimen,
and studying its natural poses. For instance, a pheasant struts with a
straight neck, a swan sits on the water with its neck gracefully arched.

The arsenical soap above mentioned can be procured at any chemist’s, or
made as follows: camphor, five drachms; arsenic, four ounces; white
soap, four ounces; flaked lime, four ounces; mix with a little water
into a soft paste.

Before using the arsenical soap, be careful to remove every scrap of
meat from the skin. Be most careful, also, to wash the hands after using

A group of birds can be arranged in a case on imitation rocks, in the
following manner: Lay a piece of paper over the wood stand on which the
birds are fixed, and arrange it in the shape of rock and stones. Pour
over it a hot solution consisting of one part glue, one part whiting,
and one part sand, which in a short time becomes very hard. Dried stick,
ferns, and grasses, or shells, can be added.


Although the manner of setting-up animals is somewhat similar to that of
birds, the mode of preserving the skins and furs is very different.
Whereas a bird has a most delicate skin, and is eventually put into a
glass case out of the dust, an animal’s hide, in nine cases out of ten,
is either used as a carriage or hearth rug, or a footstool, or, as in
the case of a head, hung unprotected against the wall.

As in all probability tiger and buffalo skins will not come in the way
of the readers of these lines, it is rather such ‘small deer’ as the
denizens of our English woods they will be anxious to preserve, to wit,
foxes’ heads, cats, otters, stoats, weazels, moles, or water-rats. But
the following hints apply equally to a tiger-skin or a squirrel’s:--

Let us begin by imagining the keeper has brought in a fine large
poaching cat. Take the beast to an out-house, and in the shade lay it on
its back, and with a butcher’s, or indeed any sharp knife, make a long,
straight, but not too deep cut, from the centre of the lower jaw to the
end of the tail. Then cut down the legs on the underneath side till the
cut down the centre of the body is reached. Now separate the skin from
the body. If the animal has been badly shot, wash the skin thoroughly in
cold soap and water. Place it in water for twenty-four hours. Then take
it out and scrape it well from any fat; skin the ears on the inside and
plunge it into a hot solution of one part salt and two parts alum, and
let it soak well in. The solution should not be hotter than the hand can
bear, and the skin should be left in it twenty-four hours. Then stretch
the skin, hair downwards, on a board, nailing it with tacks round the
edge. Be careful to get it the proper shape, and that one side is not
more stretched than the other. Next apply a paste made of one part
finely powdered alum, two parts chalk. When this is dry beat it off with
a stick, and apply some more where the skin seems still to contain
grease. After this remove the skin from the board when quite dry, and
the more it is rubbed with the hand, the softer it will become.

Another process is to wash the skin well, and to peg it out on the
ground or on a board, to rub it well with wood ashes, and to sprinkle it
with carbolic acid and water in proportion of one part to thirty. Next
with a knife cleanse the skin most thoroughly of every particle of flesh
and fat, and rub in more wood ash till there is no grease left. Then
keep the skin perfectly dry till you have an opportunity of sending it
to a tanner’s. But no skin or fur, whether tanned or not, should ever be
put in the sun. A good shaking and hanging out in the air is the best
thing for it.

It is obvious that if a skin is to be used as a rug, the use of arsenic
or other poisons is out of the question, though where an animal is to be
set up and put in a glass case, like a weazel or a stoat, this rule does
not apply. In this latter case an incision is made between the forelegs
and down the belly, large enough to allow of the animal’s body being
extracted. The skin, when properly cleaned from fat and flesh, is
plunged into cold carbolic acid and water, in the proportion of one part
carbolic to forty of water. After lying in this for a week, it can be
taken out and freely anointed with arsenical soap previous to setting

And now for the treatment of the head of a horned animal. Within six or
eight hours of the death of the beast, cut off the head with a long
neck. Cut the skin down the back of the neck as far as the two horns.
Should the animal have no horns, this is unnecessary; should it have
spiral horns, cut only up to one and round the other. Then remove the
skin entirely from the skull, taking care that the skin round the eyes
does not get injured, as it is a most delicate place, the skin there is
so thin, and lies so close to the bone. Hang the head up in the outhouse
and scrape and clean at leisure. Saw off a bit of the skull, and remove
the brains. On no account lose the lower jawbones when they become

Horns that will come off the bone, such as antelope’s, sheep’s, or
goat’s, soak for a day or two in a tub of water a week or two after the
animal has been killed.

Wash the skin well in soap and water, removing all the bits of meat.
Split the lips and skin up the ears from the inside as far as you can,
removing as much meat from them as can be filled in afterwards with
cotton wool and not detected from the outside when the head is set up.
Then place the skin in a jar of carbolic acid and water, enough to cover
it, and let it remain there for six or eight weeks, until opportunity
occurs to set up the head. It could even be packed up and sent away like
this, as it were, in pickle. If the skin be much stained with
extravasated blood, a few hours’ soaking in water will draw it out.

Next for the setting-up process. Take the skull, and fasten the upper
and lower jaws in their places with wire. Set the skull on a wooden
neck, the same length as the natural one, and set this neck on to a
wooden shield to hang against the wall. Be careful to set the neck at a
natural angle to the head. A deer holds his nose very high; a pig very
low. If preferred, the shield can be dispensed with, and the staple by
which to hang the head fixed in the wooden neck through the skin.

In many instances a solid wooden neck would be too heavy; but a small
one filled out with tow, and fastened into the hole in the skull through
which the brains were extracted, will answer the purpose just as well.

Fill the cavities in the skull for the eyes with putty, and put some
wool under the jaws, some putty to form the nose, and enough to give a
thickness to the nose. Then insert the glass eyes, which, in the case of
a large animal, can be made from French wine bottles by breaking out the
kick at the bottom. But manufactured eyes are much preferable. I have
frequently bought cases of white glass eyes and painted them at the back
the right colour. While on the subject of eyes, it may be mentioned that
carnivorous animals have the light in the eye down the eye from top to
bottom, while granivorous animals have it across.

Next take the skin out of the solution and smear the inside well with a
paste of arsenical soap. Put some wool into the ears, and draw the skin
over the skull like a glove. Sew up the cut at the back with a
shoemaker’s awl. With a few tacks nail the skin on to the shield, and
put a few stitches into the mouth to keep it properly closed.

A few pinches and touches will set the head, as it dries, into its
natural form. When nearly dry, comb and brush the hair well.

A common mistake is to put wool or putty where there is no meat, which
detracts from the wild look of the animal.

Only use white medicated carbolic acid crystal; it liquefies in a little
warmth. Carbolic acid is a poison, and will burn the hands and clothes
if not carefully handled. The antidote is oil. But when used in the
proportion of one to forty parts of water it will do no harm.

The nose and lips of a head can be touched up with a little Brunswick
black, and the horns oiled.

In conclusion, let me beg no boy to be discouraged with his first
attempt, as often fine furred animals, like a fox, look very woebegone
on first emerging from the solution, but improve vastly as they begin to
dry and the hair to stand out naturally.

[Illustration: THE SNIPE.]



He was a mean-looking man, to say the least of it. Even the coat he wore
was a mile too big for him, albeit some time in the far-distant past it
might have graced the shoulders of a country squire. Yes, he was
decidedly mean-looking, nor did his character, as it came out, belie his

He shuffled when he walked and he snuffled when he talked, and was
altogether unwholesome and undesirable. He and I were the only
two--ahem!--gentlemen that stood on the little railway platform of B----
on a cold November morning, waiting for a late train that only stopped
by signal.

Having been three or four times round the Cape and twice in the Polar
regions, I dare say I look simple. Anyhow, it wasn’t long ere this
mean-looking man addressed me.

‘Begging yer parding, sir,’ he said, ‘but could ye spare a trifle to a
pore man wot’s got a starving wife and five babs dependin’ on ’im for a
lively’ood. Maybe, sir, you’d buy these ’ere ’orns. I seed yer was a
lookin’ at ’em, and I seed ye were a gent, sir, soon’s ever I clapped
eyes on yer.’

He carried three nicely polished sets of ox-horns in his arms--a large,
a medium, and a small.

‘They are very nice indeed,’ I said. ‘Are they attached to the skull?’

‘Oh dear, yes, sir,’ he said; ‘a piece of the skull were a-sawed out for
the sake o’ the lovely ’orns, sir.’

‘And where might they come from?’ I asked; ‘and what might be their

‘They belongs to the wild buffalo of the plains of Arfriker, sir. My
nevey brought ’em ’ome. Been refused fifteen pound for ’em. You shall
’ave ’em for five, sir, ’cause I can see yer a gent. If I can’t sell
’em, sir, they’ll ’ave to be broke for combs, and that would be a peety,
sir, them bootiful harticles, quite a hornament for any gentleman’s ’all
like yourn.’

‘Sorry I can’t trade to-day,’ I replied, as I jumped into the train.

I saw no more of the man, for though he alighted at the same town as I
did, he sidled his way through the crowd, making determined attempts,
one would have thought, to gouge eyes out in all directions with his
‘bootiful ’orns.’ I saw no more of the _man_, but strange to say I did
of the ‘_’orns_’ that same evening. They had been sold to a friend of
mine for just five times their value. They had never come from Africa,
of course; the larger pair had at one time probably adorned the head of
some Highland bull. The others were probably English.

I do not believe this mean-looking man had polished those horns himself.
He looked far too lazy for that; but in justice to the ’orns, if not to
the man, I must say they were very well done indeed, and would have
made, as he said, ‘quite a _horn_ament for any gentleman’s ’all.’

There is no end to the beautiful articles that can be manufactured from
hoof or horn. Stuffed heads with the horns polished look very nice on
the walls of rooms or in halls. I was in the drawing-room of a Highland
cattle-breeder of fame the other day, and was both surprised and
delighted to find on the walls, in recesses and places where there was
room, not only the horns but heads, with necks and a portion of the
brisket attached, of old favourites looking at me.

A ram’s head, with the crooked horns attached, makes a beautiful
snuff-box. The box itself lies between the horns--or rather in the
forehead--and is of silver, the lid usually adorned with a gigantic
cairn-gorm. My Scotch readers know the sort of thing I mean.

But here we are again with another snuff-horn, more cheaply manufactured
too. You simply get a shortish cow-horn and beautifully polish it; then
another round flat piece of polished horn to form the lid. To this is
attached, by means of silver nails, a piece of cork big enough to fit
nicely into the mouth of the horn, and not more than an eighth of an
inch thick. Then the lid is complete, and any watchmaker will hinge it
on for you. Get also a little heart-shaped bit of silver, let into
either the lid or the back of the horn, with the initials of the giver
and the _givee_, thus: ‘From A. H. to W. H.’

Still another--a horse’s hoof. And there are many, many more which I do
not at present remember, and need not enumerate if I did. But if you
wish to see the many lovely articles that can be manufactured from
polished horn, I prithee station thyself for a few brief moments anent a
good jeweller’s window in any large city or town in the kingdom, and
keep your weather-eye lifting.

Have you ever heard the Latin proverb, _Aut Cæsar aut nullus_? The
English translate it, or paraphrase it, ‘Neck or nothing.’ I have heard
a Scotchman speak of a boy in the following terms, which embody the same
sentiment: ‘That boy will either make a spoon or spoil a horn.’

Now, then, if you are going to try your hand at horn-polishing, you must
please bear that motto in mind, ‘_Aut Cæsar aut nullus_.’ You must
either make a spoon or spoil a horn. But as horns are very cheap in the
rough, it does not matter much if you do spoil one or two. Only this
sort of work requires patience--and not only patience, but a deal of
hard rubbing and much expenditure of elbow-grease.

Well, get your horns first. Where? you ask. You may go to your butcher
and explain what you want, and he will tell you that the horns are sawn
off with the hide and sent to the tanner’s thus. But if he be a civil
man, as most butchers are, he will keep a pair for you, and he will
probably knock them off, not saw them, so that you will be at once free
from the awkward piece of bone that runs up the first portion of the
centre; otherwise you would have to get this taken out.

Now the tools you want are not numerous. A very handy, and in some cases
indispensable, one is what is called a spokeshave. It is for paring down
the rough surfaces. It is a handy tool for woodwork as well, and as it
costs only about eighteen pence, it is as well to have one among your
tools. Just let me pause here for one instant to repeat a warning I have
given more than once before. Never buy bad cheap tools. What are called
boys’ boxes of tools are, as a rule, mere toys--an insult to any
growing lad who really means to do proper work. Make your own tool-box;
buy your tools separately, and see that they are good. Indeed, it would
be as well to get them second-hand at a broker’s shop. No matter if they
be a little old so long as the steel is good, and the woodwork neither
worn nor cracked.

Well, you must have a good knife with several blades--not a mere
pot-metal cheese-cutter. This knife will come in handy for paring and
for scraping. And what I myself have found very handy is a piece or two
of plain window-glass. Glass makes a capital scraper, and when the edge
goes off you have only to break it again and you find another. I
shouldn’t wonder if you found a piece of sticking-plaster handy too. Do
you know how to bind up a cut? Well, get any dirt there may be in it out
first. Then, when the bleeding has stopped, bring the edges together
with _two or three narrow_ bits of plaster, leaving a tiny outlet for
oozing, put a rag over all, and there you are.

The spokeshave is only to be used in paring down all the rough portions
of your horn, and you must work with, and not against, the rough
_laminæ_, that is, from and _not_ towards the points of the horn. You
will have a difficulty in holding your work, because the spokeshave is
best used with both hands. You may fasten the horn in a vice or on the
end of a stick, or any other way that occurs to you.

After the spokeshave the knife will come in handy, but you _must_ have
an even surface, and all stains must be removed. You will find the horn
get harder and whiter beneath, and semi-transparent. It is down to this
you want to go, but no farther.

Then after the knife comes your bit of glass, and while working with
this, wherever you see any part out of symmetry, work carefully on that
till you get all even and nice. When this is done half the work is

When you have pared and scraped and cut down all unevenness, and have at
last got a fairly plain surface by dint of hard labour with spokeshave,
knife, and glass--perhaps a fine file may have aided you through some
intricacies; this tool comes in handy enough when you want to polish
bent horns--then you must have recourse to emery-paper. This is very
cheap, and is sold in sheets of different fineness at colour shops or

Begin by using the roughest, then finer and finer.

Be tidy with your work. The dust that comes off horn is one of the best
things in the world for soiling the waistcoat or nether garments. So
place your horn over a piece of brown paper. You thus save your dress
and save your dust as well. Put the latter in a saucer, and a drop or
two of olive or colza oil over it. Mix and use it with a bit of chamois
leather to polish with, after you have finished with the emery-paper or
emery-paper and water.

If you feel discouraged and disappointed at want of gloss and beauty,
depend upon it you have not worked hard enough. So you must go on again.
Use next tripoli, or rouge, or both, first mixed with a little olive
oil, and finally dry. Tripoli is the name given to a kind of infusorial
earth, which was first found in Tripoli. It is now obtained in certain
districts of the United States, and in many parts of Europe.

The name rouge may be somewhat misleading, there being so many
different kinds of it. Ladies use a rouge composed of chalk and
carmine. This will not do so well for polishing horn. I believe,
however, if you take equal parts of carbonate of iron and prepared chalk
and rub them up together in a mortar, you will form a very nice rouge
for the purpose of polishing either horn or plate. Polishers’
putty-powder is another article used for finishing off horns.

Well, you must put your final touches to the horn or hoof with simple
chamois or prepared wash-leather, and after this it ought to shine as if

You will know by this time that in a horn there is a densely solid tip,
and also at the other end a hollow part. The thinner end is used for
making combs, etc. It is softened in boiling water, then exposed to a
flame till partially fluid, then cut into the shapes desired. In this
state the horn can be pulled flat if wished. After it has been pressed
and prepared, the piece of horn, comb, or whatever it happens to be, is
scraped and polished in the way we have described.

A great many useful articles are made from the solid or tip portion of
horns, a great many useful and very beautiful articles, some of which
are turned by the lathe, while others are cut. Whip-handles, stick and
umbrella handles, and handles for knives and small tools, may be made
from horn and afterwards scraped and polished. Goats’ and sheep’s horns
are clearer and more transparent than those of the ox. They are not more
easy to work on that account, however, but being clear they take
staining better. They should be polished before being stained.

I am not sure whether those useful liquid dyes that are sold in the
shops would do for staining horn, bone, or ivory, because I have never
tried them, but I think if used boiling hot and the articles to be
stained thereby were immersed in them for some time, the stain would be
permanent. You see I have classed bone, horn, and ivory together,
because in this case what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the
gander. Here are receipts for a few stains:--

  _Black._--You may stain these substances black, and wood also, by
  frequent immersion in hot ink, or by leaving them for a few days in
  the ink, or in a solution of nitrate of silver, twenty grains to the

  The latter preparation is poison, remember, and it will burn and stain
  the clothes or anything it may come in contact with.

  Black may also be got by boiling in a strong decoction of logwood, and
  afterwards placing in a bath of acetate of iron.

  _Purple._--This colour is obtained by boiling in a strong decoction of
  logwood and alum until the proper tint is acquired. It must be done in
  an enamelled saucepan, else the colour will be a failure.

  _Red._--You may steep the article in hot red ink, letting it lie for a
  day or two. See that you get the best and brightest ink procurable.
  But you may also get a nice colour by first steeping for ten minutes
  in dilute nitric acid, then immersing in a decoction of cochineal or
  cochineal dissolved in liquid ammonia.

  _Scarlet._--This colour is acquired if you steep the articles or boil
  them in a decoction of brazil-wood or in madder, and then in a
  solution of muriate of tin.

  _Blue._--Steeping in a strong solution of sulphate of copper will
  impart a light blue. If dark blue is wanted, the article must be
  boiled in a solution of sulphate of indigo in which a little salt of
  tartar has been dissolved.

  _Green._--This is got either by boiling for a time in a solution of
  verdigris in vinegar, or an article already stained blue by the
  process above mentioned may be steeped in nitro-muriate of tin.

  _Yellow._--Immerse for a day or two in a solution of chromate of
  potash, then for a few minutes in boiling-hot solution of
  sugar-of-lead. Or you may reverse this order and steep first in the
  sugar-of-lead solution, then in that of chromate of potash.

Now to return for a moment to our horns. After you have nicely polished
them you will naturally want to set them up. To do this you must get a
piece of thick softish wood, and shape therefrom something in the
semblance of a piece of the animal’s skull and forehead that the horns
originally belonged to, leaving at each upper side a piece of wood,
rounded, some inches long. To these elongated corners you fix the horns.
The next thing will be to cover the wooden skull with something
resembling the skin of the animal. Real skin, well preserved, will of
course suit best, and it is to be brought round and tacked on the nether
side. But black or brown astrakan cloth will generally do very well.

Your work is now finished, and you may hang the horns in your hall if
you have one; if not, they will look well above the mantelpiece.

Very nice powder-horns may be made in the same way. Lads who wear the
kilt, or Highland dress, sling these in a chain over the chest and
shoulders, and handsome ornaments they make.

_Bones_ of any kind are polished by paring, scraping, and rubbing in
precisely the same way that horns are; and so is ivory, though it is
much more difficult to work owing to its hardness. It is also very

_Tortoiseshell_ requires great care in polishing, because it is thinner
than horn, and you are apt to cut through it. Scrape it carefully first
with a knife, then with glass, then with very fine glasspaper and water,
or bath-brick and oil; next with rottenstone and oil. But the
rottenstone must be specially prepared for the purpose. It should be
pounded in a mortar--what a handy thing a mortar is for purposes
innumerable! and it is not at all an expensive article--pounded well,
and afterwards run through fine muslin. It is used mixed with oil.

The final polish for tortoiseshell is obtained by rubbing hard and well
with jewellers’ rouge (a preparation of calcined oxide of iron). This is
used upon a piece of prepared washleather.

Imitations of tortoiseshell are made from horn. The horn is a clear
sort, and generally brought from the South of Europe. The pieces of horn
are softened by steam, pressed flat, polished, and afterwards stained.
They are then smeared here and there with a composition made for the
purpose, and which may be got in the shops. Before this is put on, the
horn is steeped in a weak solution of nitric acid. The paint is left on
for a time and afterwards rubbed off, when it will take a polish, the
stain remaining as if burned in. I think the paint is composed of
litharge and quicklime, equal parts, mixed in whiting-and-water.

_Seashells_ are pretty when polished. There is a deal of stuff to be
worked off the outside of them, however, before you get down to the
coloured or beautiful portion. Do this by scraping after you have
steeped the work for some time in dilute aquafortis.

Practise on a mussel-shell first. Get a good large one. Polish with
emery-paper and oil, finishing off with polishers’ putty and oil and
rouge. When you have polished your mussel-shell, mount it by means of
cement on a small polished slab of marble. It makes a most beautiful
paper-weight, and you will find, too, that in this simple shell you have
an excellent model of the hull of a yacht.

_Stones._--These require, first and foremost, to be sawn into the shape
you want them. Then the work must be held firm in a vice while you do
the polishing. Soft stone and water are used to begin the
smoothing-down. The stone used is called ‘grit-rock,’ and is of
different kinds, the finest being used last. Next a stone is used, the
popular name of which is ‘snake-stone,’ then polishers’ putty-powder,

Beautiful ornaments can be made from various kinds of stone, and from
marble itself.

The art of stone-polishing on a small scale is a very pretty one, and
not at all difficult to get up to. I mentioned a vice to hold the work,
but a wooden contrivance like what you may see on a carpenter’s bench
will do even better. If you have an iron vice, and determine to use it,
you must roll your work partially up in old canvas or leather, else the
iron will scratch it.

In the art of polishing either stone, shell, or horn, any boy may soon
become an adept. It is not half so difficult as it at first appears,
only hard work, energy, and perseverance are most certainly required.

[Illustration: DR. GORDON STABLES, R.N.]




An endless variety of delights can be enjoyed by the sea. Bathing,
boating, fishing, paddling, building sand-castles and forts, engineering
experiments in canals and ponds, prawning, shrimping, collecting shells,
anemones, and seaweeds, sailing toy-boats, cricket and tennis on the
sands. Well, now, you boys who love the pleasures of the seaside, my
purpose here is to introduce a new attraction to your notice. The
amusement we are going to bring before you possesses more solid and
lasting attractions. What say you to PEBBLE-HUNTING as a seaside

Pebble-hunting is a resource calculated to excite high enthusiasm. It
brings us into familiarity with some of the most beautiful objects in
Nature. Pebbles can be obtained free of expense. Nature’s inexhaustible
treasure-house is always open. She invites you to approach and help
yourself at will. She offers with unstinting hand stones of imperishable
beauty. It is ungracious to scorn her liberality.

We propose, then, to give particulars of British pebbles--how to
recognise those worth collecting, where to look for them, and how to cut
and polish them for yourselves. No writer for boys, so far as I know,
has ever yet given practical instructions about cutting and polishing
stones. The best pebble unpolished looks dull and dead. The polishing
brings out its beauty and makes it a lasting treasure. The polishing is
nothing else than _rubbing the pebble smooth_. A flint pebble is so hard
that when rubbed perfectly smooth it reflects light just as glass and
water do. Nothing is put on to make the surface shine, as in polishing
wood. The pebble is merely _rubbed smooth_; and when this is done, the
surface proves to be so hard that no instrument of the hardest steel,
not even a file, will produce upon it the faintest scratch. I am
speaking of flint-pebbles or agates, which are to be found upon many

The first difficulty is, _how to recognise the good pebbles_, as they
lie amid the countless host of less interesting stones. I often hear the
question, ‘Can you tell what a pebble will be like inside before you cut
it?’ The answer is ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ I can tell so far that I should not
labour at cutting and polishing an obviously worthless stone; but, alas!
often a stone which gives good promise on the outside proves
uninteresting when cut, and so is laid aside on the shelf as an example
of unrequited toil not worth any further trouble. This is inevitable.
But, far from being a discouragement, such disappointments only serve to
stimulate the zeal and sharpen the faculties in discriminating the real

We must not start with an idea of finding gems upon our beaches. These
exquisite objects are exotics, natives principally of dark mines and
sunny strands in the far East. The diamond, sapphire, ruby, topaz,
peridot, emerald, beryl, tourmaline, turquois, chrysolite, garnet, and
precious opal, are not for us. The magnificent agates of India and
Brazil are familiar to us when artificially stained and manufactured
into bracelets, brooches, penholders, &c., and exhibited in the
jewellers’ shops. Splendid specimens in their natural tints may be seen
cut and polished in the Geological Museum, Jermyn Street, in the Natural
History Museum, Cromwell Road, and elsewhere. But we shall never find
such stones on our own beaches.

Oriental and Brazilian pebbles are not unfrequently palmed off upon
innocent and unsuspecting visitors as the genuine products of some
favoured beach within her Majesty’s British Dominions. A lady once told
me that she picked up in a week a quantity of splendid onyxes at a
watering-place--let us call it Rocksands--and had them ground and
polished into a necklace of beads. Another showed me a beautiful brown
onyx, set in gold, which she found (?) in the same neighbourhood. A
third assured me that a friend of hers had picked up amethysts and
topazes on the same beach. This was at the time when I first began to
take an interest in pebbles. The summer holidays were approaching. My
portmanteau was packed; I was off to Rocksands.

The long journey was at last accomplished, and the omnibus set me down
at the Royal Hotel; when three steps and a jump landed me upon the
famous beach. It was crowded with persons of both sexes and all ages. I
never saw so many backs bending at one time for the same purpose. They
carried baskets, which gradually groaned under the weight of minerals
amassed. For three days I joined the glad throng, comparing notes with
many treasure-seekers, and collected some hundred and fifty stones
possessing better pretensions to celebrity than the obviously worthless

I took them to one of the lapidary establishments. They are so kind at
Rocksands in looking over visitors’ findings and pronouncing upon their
merits. The lapidary establishment was crowded. At last my turn came.
With beating heart I displayed my beach upon the counter. ‘Oh yes;
that’s a fine red carnelian; that’s an onyx, that’s a topaz; that’s a
mocha stone; that’s a weed-agate. If you’ll come on Saturday they shall
be ready.’

I came, and received some beautiful foreign agates, cut and polished
ready for brooches, such as are imported wholesale from Germany, where
they work the lapidary-wheels by water-power, and prepare the foreign
stones at small cost. At any seaside place, in the attractive shops on
the esplanade, you can buy for a shilling a magnificent onyx or agate
brooch. It cost me from two shillings to half-a-crown each to have my
Rocksands treasures cut and polished! And what were the stones which I
actually took to the lapidary? Nothing else than absolute
rubbish--pebbles of coarse quartz, slate, and porphyry!

Some years after this a gentleman living at Rocksands collected a number
of stones, principally ‘amethysts and carnelians,’ as he was told. He
forwarded me two of his finest specimens. They were pebbles of inferior
quartz, but I cut and polished them to convince him, and his eyes were
opened to the truth. Another forwarded me a stone which had been in his
possession for years, prized and habitually shown to friends as most
valuable. I wrote back, ‘You found that stone at Rocksands, and were
told that it was an amethyst. It is not worth stooping to pick up!’ He
replied that I was correct in the locality, but asked me to cut and
polish it, notwithstanding the unflattering verdict. I did so, and his
eyes were likewise opened. Lapidaries are not, as a class,
unprincipled, but some of them seem to find it hard to resist the
temptation of imposing upon the simplicity of the public.

A few words about the topaz and amethyst. They belong to the magnificent
sapphire group, very precious and exquisite crystals of alumina. Never
by any possibility will such stones be found upon our beaches, unless
some eccentric person sows them. They are Oriental gems, and I believe
they have never been found in England. But there are crystals of quartz
(pure flint) which closely resemble in colour and transparency the true
topaz and amethyst. Such crystals are found on a large scale in cavities
of rocks and mountains--_e.g._, in the ‘druses’ of the Alps. There are
splendid crystals of smoky-brown and straw-coloured quartz found in the
Grampian Mountains, known as ‘cairn-gorms.’ Now there is no reason why
fragments of such crystals should not be found upon a beach rounded into
pebbles, but I do not believe they have ever actually been found in
England. A letter in a London daily paper some time ago stated that such
amethysts were common in some parts of Ireland. It would be more correct
to speak of them as pebbles of amethystine quartz. I have some good
specimens of Irish amethysts from the Island of Achill. The so-called
amethysts of Rocksands have no pretensions even to transparency.

If I were to tell you that in Cornwall they mend the roads with
amethysts you might smile. But it is not so very far from the truth. I
have a piece of granite picked up on a new-laid Cornish road full of
beautiful crystals of amethystine quartz. The lady pebble-seekers and
others might do well to travel west!

The pebbles we really do hope to find are moss-agates, ring-agates,
chalcedonies, carnelians, choanites and other fossil-zoophytes, jaspers,
conglomerates, shell-agates, variegated flints, and beetle-stones. There
are besides large flint ‘geodes’ containing beautiful crystals of
quartz, caskets of jewels from the chalk strata, but these are not
suitable for cutting and polishing. It is fine exercise to go out with a
stout hammer ‘flint-smashing’ under the cliffs of Beachy Head. Splendid
treasures of crystal are to be found there, but they cannot be improved
by artificial treatment.

Cairn-gorms are now very rare. I once made a pilgrimage into the heart
of the Grampians, hoping to find some specimens, but without success. I
also spent a day on the beaches of Loch Tay, having read in a
mineralogical book that beautiful agates are to be obtained there, ‘in
which the imaginative Highlander sees the lakes and mountains of his
native land.’ There also I had no success; the nearest approach to
agates that I found were fragments of old glass bottles; and I returned
with the melancholy conviction that those bottles, when entire, must
have contained a certain spirituous liquor dear to the heart of the
‘imaginative Highlander,’ under the influence of which his imagination
was excited to set a false value upon the ‘chuckey stones’ at his feet.

A few simple definitions will assist progress. _Chalcedony_ is a form of
very pure translucent flint, often also transparent, sometimes tinted
with delicate shades of blue, purple, pink, orange or brown. _Choanite_
is the name given to a fossil-zoophyte of the sea-anemone class, with
central funnel-shaped body (‘choanos’ is Greek for a funnel), and
tentacles radiating from every part. _Moss-agate_ is the pretty name
given to chalcedonic pebbles, containing moss-like ramifications in
various colours--pink, blue, black, orange, red, and yellow--due to the
presence of metallic oxides, and often, no doubt, to the actual
colouring matter of some zoophyte round which the pebble originally
formed. _Conglomerate pebbles_ contain fragments of chalcedony, flint,
etc., embedded in a matrix of different character, presenting an
appearance somewhat resembling almond-rock. _Translucent_, transmitting
light, _but not_ the outlines or colours of objects behind it.
_Transparent_, transmitting light, _and also_ the outlines and colours
of objects behind the light.

Some of the best hunting-grounds for pebbles are the beaches of our
south coast. Taking the map, we may notice in order Dover, Folkestone,
New Romney, Dungeness, Hastings, Eastbourne, Brighton, Worthing, Bognor,
Littlehampton; in the Isle of Wight--Sandown, Shanklin, and Ventnor: the
Chesil Beach, Seaton, and Sidmouth. Here are plenty of shingly beaches
for you to choose from, and chalcedonic pebbles are common upon them
all. So let us take a ramble, it does not much matter where.

Suppose we select the Chesil Beach, the most extensive accumulation of
shingle in the British Isles. There is room to breathe under the
frowning heights of Portland Bill, and the sea is so grand! If you wish
to be impressed with the majesty of Nature, walk on the Chesil Beach
after a fresh gale from the south-west, and the grandeur of the sea will
be before you in all the magnificence of its strength.

Here we are! What a wonderful sight! The sea on both sides; nine miles
of terraced shingle stretching in a great curve right away west to
Bridport Harbour. Millions multiplied by millions of rounded pebbles!
How can we possibly find the beauties among such an infinite host? The
prospect is indeed vast, almost bewildering. But we will at once
circumscribe the portion of beach to be searched. The sea fortunately
happens to be calm, and the tide is ebbing. We will confine our
attention to the narrow strip just out of reach of the waves, which is
not yet dried by the sun. It is a great advantage to hunt upon a _wet_
beach, because the colours and characters of the pebbles are more
vividly shown when they are wet than when they are dry.

Now, then, keep your eyes open. You need not stoop. Walk upright,
shoulders well back, head merely inclined forward, and eyes as sharp as
a ferret’s. You must not get round-shouldered by pebble-hunting, or what
will the drill-sergeant say? There is no necessity to stoop at all,
except to pick up a stone.

See, there lies one almost transparent. You could not help noticing it.
Pick it up and hold it to the light. See its pure, delicate, lustrous
substance, a pale grey tint. That is chalcedony--pure flint. Look at it
carefully. Now you know the kind of ‘stuff’ we are looking for. It is so
clear and glassy, such a perfect oval shape, that it seems a shame to
pitch it into the sea. Yet we cannot afford to keep it, for if we once
began putting the clear chalcedonies into the bag, it would be filled in
a hundred yards.

‘But why,’ you ask, ‘if this is a chalcedony, pure and perfect, must we
throw it away?’ Because it is _too perfect_! It would merely resemble
dull glass if cut and polished. There is no _incidental beauty_ about
it, no variety of colour and texture, no trace of any animal organism in
it. It is too pure. We want the same article adulterated, so to speak,
by Nature’s handicraft. We want to find the same substance containing
some exquisite workmanship. We want to find such a pebble with some
‘fruit’ enclosed; just as a child wants the piece of jelly containing
the imprisoned strawberry, and prefers that to any other portion in the

Try now to find a pebble of the _same character_ with traces of
colouring and marking. How beautiful the wet pebbles are! All
colours--brown, red, yellow, orange, pale blue, pink, purple, black,
white; any colour except green; that is the rarest of all.

Now here is a pebble, part of chalcedony, part of baser flint; the
chalcedony tinted red and orange. Look closely into it. Notice those
‘feelers’ delicately spread, like those of a sea-anemone in a pool.
Notice the central body, like the eye of a daisy. You see at a glance
that this is a choanite. When cut and polished this stone is certain to
be a pleasing specimen. It is a good shape; the choanite is so well
displayed; there are no serious cracks or flaws in the stone. Those are
the points in deciding upon the merits of choanites.

We might make either a cross-section or longitudinal section of it, or
polish it all over. However we treat it, it is sure to prove an
attractive specimen. Notice that portion where the feelers have
disappeared, decomposed, it would seem, during the process of
‘silicification,’ or conversion into flint. The _débris_ of the feelers
has become ‘moss,’ and the beautiful tints are probably due to the
actual colouring of the creature itself. They are too delicate for iron

Now let us look again. No; that is merely a common flint variegated with
stains of iron. No; that one is no use; nothing organic in it. No, nor
that either. Oh! you must not be discouraged; Rome was not built in a
day. The excitement of hope, the expectation of finding beautiful
treasures, should prevent your getting weary of search, and it will when
you have found a few really good stones.

Your eyes will soon be trained to detect the prizes. It merely wants a
little practice and patience, and, when the knowledge is attained, what
a new world is opened up! Amid the crowd of loungers bending over every
pool and rock, poking with the aimless end of an umbrella or
walking-stick, picking up occasionally a bit of seaweed or a shell, you
pass along unnoticed, and under their very eyes you pounce upon a real
treasure--aye, and actually valuable. I was offered ten shillings the
other day by a professional lapidary for a stone I found, just as it was
picked up. Even if some days may prove unprofitable, still the
enthusiasm of hope will buoy you up. The trout-fisher never despairs,
though sometimes he returns home with creel almost empty.

There, now! You have found a genuine moss-agate. Let us sit down and
examine it closely. Notice that half of the stone is coarse muddy flint,
but the other half is chalcedony of a red-purple tint. See these
indications of ‘moss,’ black and orange, of beautiful and delicate
texture, floating in the chalcedony. Wet the pebble again to make its
beauty more vivid. Look hard at it. Look into its translucent depths.
Get familiar with that ‘solidified jelly,’ for when you thoroughly
understand its appearance you have the key to the whole beach. The
chalcedonic pebbles, when decorated with coloured markings, are called
‘agates.’ If they contain moss-like markings, they are moss-agates.

Often in a moss-agate we find evident remains of tentacles, proving that
when the pebble was born it contained some zoophyte or sea anemone kind
of creature, which in the process of silicification was decomposed. The
substance of these agates must once have been a semi-fluent jelly like
thick syrup. Perhaps the silicon was plentifully dissolved in the sea
water; we cannot tell. It is a mystery of science not yet explained,
therefore look with reverence upon this stone. You hold in your hand one
of God’s secrets. Look at the choanite again which we found just now.
That creature once lived, so frail as almost to melt in the sun when
left, perhaps, on the rocks by the ebbing tide. And God has caused it to
be caught in the embrace of adamantine flint, to rescue it from
dissolution, and preserve it as an object of immortal beauty. The
wonderful, unspeakable transformation was enacted in the waters of ocean
far back in unknown ages, and the only clue to its mystery lies in that
verse of the Psalm: ‘Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He in the
earth, and in the sea, and in all deep places.’

Choanites always seem to me to speak eloquently of a Resurrection to a
glorious state after death. I think of them living their humble life in
ages before man appeared on this earth, clinging to rocks in unknown
seas, waving their delicate arms with the movement of the waves,
gathering the food brought within their reach by the beneficent hand of
Him who takes thought for the meanest of His creatures. Nothing could
seem less probable, than that these frail creatures should be preserved
from destruction in death. God teaches us by them that He who has the
power of life and death can stay the progress of corruption in the
frailest bodies. They rise, as it were, from the dead after thousands of
years, clothed in greater beauty and interest than they ever possessed
in life. We should, perhaps, have shrunk from touching them when alive,
but as found in their caskets of purest flint they are ‘laid with fair
colours,’ and form objects of exquisite beauty. Thus we see them emerge
from the grave in glorified form after a death of centuries. God, who
ministered to their wants in life, also brought it about that their
fragile bodies should not see corruption. He has given them immortal
beauty, and by them He teaches us that He is able to deal in like manner
with our own perishable bodies. Sown in corruption, they shall be raised
in incorruption: sown in dishonour, they shall be raised in glory.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHOANITES AND MOSS-AGATES! If you only have patience and perseverance,
you are sure to find specimens every time you take a good ramble along a
shingly beach that has any likelihood of treasure. Some, of course, will
be better than others. Experience will make you fastidious in taste. You
will reject those that seem inferior in shape, or damaged and imperfect.
Practice will soon teach you. Take your pebbles to a lapidary, if there
is one in the town. Weymouth, unfortunately, does not boast one; but
there are some at Brighton, I believe, and Hastings. At Worthing there
is Mr. Dowsett, opposite the pier; at Eastbourne there is Mr. Hollobon,
who has made one of the most magnificent collections of pebbles to be
seen anywhere in England, all found, cut, and polished by himself during
twenty-five years of labour and research. At Sidmouth there are three
lapidaries. At Ventnor there is Mr. Billings, to whom, I think, the palm
must be assigned as the most enterprising and skilful of the fraternity.

Take your stones, whenever you have the opportunity, to one of these; he
will tell you whether they are worth polishing, and polish one for you
at a small cost, if you wish, the charge being about sixpence a square
inch. And more than that, he will show you really good stones, and tell
you where they were found, and encourage you, if he sees you really
interested in the subject.

There are other varieties of these fossil-agates, but the popular names
are not worth much. You may call them all agates, and collect specimens
of every variety with a view to their intrinsic beauty; and you may try
and imagine what the creatures were like, and hunt them up in books as
you proceed.

Let us leave the Chesil Beach and speed in a flash of thought some six
hundred miles, right away to Montrose, N.B. We cross the estuary by the
ferry, and walk down towards the lighthouse. Those low rocks are
basaltic, or trap. In them we find a totally different class of
agates--RING-AGATES: see them sticking like plums in a cake. With hammer
and chisel we can knock out as many as we please. Many prove hollow when
cut, ceiled and paved with beautiful quartz-crystals. But others have
the exquisite ringed formation, and the delicacy of the concentric bands
is full of wonder. Among the rocks farther down the coast we can pick up
numbers already separated from their rocky cavities by the
disintegrating processes of sea and weather. I collected 300 in three

It is probable that the cavities in which they occur were formed by
gases escaping when the soft rock was growing solid--just as cavities
are formed in bread. Then water charged with silicious deposit filtered
into the cavities. But no satisfactory explanation of the beautiful
parallel banding has yet been set forth. Once more we are confronted by
a Divine secret. In these cavities--deep places--the Lord did whatsoever
He pleased.


The lapidary’s bench is a very simple arrangement, as can be seen from a
glance at the sketch (fig. 1). There is no complicated machinery about
it. All that is required is to turn a circular plate of lead or other
material with mechanical advantage. For the rest, it is hard work with
the coat off and the sleeves tucked up. Plenty of ‘elbow grease,’
energy, perseverance, and the determination to overcome difficulties.
Therefore the art of polishing pebbles may exert a beneficial influence
in strengthening the muscles and the character of a true Englishman.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

My bench, as drawn on the opposite page, was made and furnished with the
requisite apparatus by Mr. Moore, 1, Clerkenwell Green, E.C., at the
cost of £5. Any carpenter would probably make the bench from the
description we shall now give at the cost of £1; and a practical
blacksmith could easily manage the metallic fittings. But if you are
expert in the simple processes of carpentry you had much better get the
wood and make a bench for yourself.

We will describe the bench most carefully, giving all necessary

Floor of bench (A B C) is made of seasoned deal 1-1/2 in. thick. From A
to B the length is 3 ft. 8 in. From B to C the breadth is 2 ft. Back,
sides, and partition are of 3/4 in. deal. Breadth of front board (A B)
is 3 in.; of back board (V C) 6 in. The legs and cross-bars are of stout
deal 3 in. by 2 in. Height from A to floor of room is 3 ft. If that is
too high for you stand on a stool to work, but do not make the bench any
lower, because in time you will grow taller, and the bench will not.
From D to floor of room 1 ft. From E to floor of room 2 ft.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

The large iron wheel (W) is 1 ft. 10 in. in diameter, fixed on an iron
spindle, turned with the left hand by a curved crank (H) 7 in. long, and
handle (N) of any wood nicely turned and fitted comfortably for the
hollow of the hand to embrace it. The strap (O) is of leather 1 in.
wide, passing round the reel (G). Its ends are joined by a simple and
effective method shown in Fig. 2. The strap is carefully measured to
requisite length; a nail is passed through the two ends, and string
wound tightly round the ends behind the nail and tied. If the strap
slackens at all after much use, it can be readjusted by a piece of extra
string wound tightly round.

Iron spindle (F) 1 ft. 6 in. long, with ‘lap’ (M), screw and nut (P),
reel (G). Four circular laps will be required, each with its own
spindle, screw, nut, and reel. The reels must be exactly the same size,
so that the strap may suit them all alike. One lap is of lead, one of
beech wood, one of pewter, one of deal with two layers of common felt
strained over and neatly fastened with tacks on the under-side. Each lap
is 10 in. in diameter, 1 in. thick at the edge, gradually sloping up to
1-1/2 in. towards centre. Spindles 1 in. square, rounded to sharp points
at both ends. Reels 2 in. in diameter, of elm or box, fixed 3 in. from
lower point of spindles. The laps are screwed on the spindles as shown
in Fig. 1, where all measurements are given.

There is a circular hole in the floor of the bench to allow spindle and
reel to pass in and out, 4 in. in diameter. The clamp (I) rises 13 in.
above the floor of the bench, and is screwed into position by movable
nut underneath. The movable arm (K L) is raised or lowered at will, and
adjusted by screw and nut (Q). Length of arm from K to L is 7-1/2 in. A
block of lignum vitæ (R) is inserted in arm. Blocks of the same wood are
screwed on at S and T for the points of the spindles to work on. These
points should be very sharp and only just ‘bite’ the wood, so that
friction may be diminished as far as possible. When a hole is worn in
the lignum vitæ the spindles can be shifted to a fresh part.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

The spindle of the large iron wheel is made _round_ at D, Fig. 3, where
it works in the floor of the bench. That hole should be lined with soft
leather, fitting the spindle like a glove, and kept well oiled. An iron
plate (A) keeps the spindle in position. The spindle is, of course,
_square_ where the crank grips it at B, and a nut (C) screwed tight
keeps the crank in position.

The legs of the bench are let into sleepers (X Y, Fig. 1), screwed
firmly to the floor of the room, and clamps at C and elsewhere screwed
to the wall of the room may give additional rigidity. The bench must
stand true and fast, so that there may be no oscillation during work. It
should be placed in front of a window, as plenty of light is desirable.

The following requisites must now be procured. Seven pounds of emery
‘46-hole’; some fine sifted silver sand; some rottenstone in lumps--the
hardest is best; some putty powder. Then you will want a housemaid’s
blacklead brush, a nail brush with handle, a brush used for cleaning
silver plate. These should be old and nearly worn-out. A large
earthenware vessel for water to stand on a stool or table at the right
side of the bench within easy reach, and three jampots for water. You
see that the furniture is of the humblest description.

All being now ready, we may hope to commence operations in polishing a


There are three distinct processes in polishing a pebble--grinding,
smoothing, and facing. Let us take this pebble, a choanite, of a kind
which I found at Sandown, Isle of Wight, and which I polished in the
first of the only four lessons I ever had. It is a beautiful little
rounded choanite, rather flattened on the upper and under surfaces. It
is too small to be held comfortably between the thumb and two first
fingers. We must therefore fix it upon a cement-stick. So we must
manufacture some cement as follows. Here is the recipe:--

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

1 lb. of pitch, 1/2 lb. of resin, 1/4 lb. of shellac, 1 oz. of beeswax,
must be broken up and put into a good-sized saucepan. Begin boiling the
mixture upon a fire, and as it boils add gradually 1-1/2 lb. of Spanish
brown, stirring all the while until all the ingredients are thoroughly
mixed. Pour the contents of the saucepan upon the stone flags of the
kitchen floor, or any pavement, in portions a foot in diameter. When
cold remove the cement by a kitchen knife inserted underneath. Make some
pieces of wood 4 in. long according to the shape in Fig. 4, and melt on
them a portion of cement as shown at B. A nail driven into the wood at A
and C will strengthen the cement. Fashion the cement into shape with the
fingers well wetted. Warm the stone, and again melt the cement over a
candle. Apply it to the stone, and work it on with the fingers. Be sure
you have the stone firmly fixed. To test it, plunge the stone and stick
into water, and when it is cool see if you can pull the stone off. The
diagrams in Fig. 5 show the phases of cementing a stone. If the stone
is insecure, pull it off, and warm and melt up again. Practice makes

The first stage is that of GRINDING. Set up the _lead_ lap as shown in
the drawing of the bench (Fig. 1). Put a heap of emery in the left
corner of the right compartment (J). Put a jam-pot of water at Z. Take
the old blacklead brush, dip it in water, mix up some emery with it into
a paste; wet the lap; brush it well over with emery. Take your cemented
stone in the right hand, between the thumb and two first fingers; turn
the handle N slowly from right to left, and as the lap revolves press
the stone upon it. Grind away, understanding that you want to grind down
all irregularities on the surface of the pebble. Try and throw the
weight of the body through the right arm and wrist into the pebble.
Emery is harder than flint. The pressure forces the emery into the lead
lap, and so its surface is converted into a powerful rasp. Pause at
intervals to brush fresh emery over the wheel. ‘Don’t spare your emery!’
was an exhortation I often heard when receiving my lesson. Do not
attempt to do the whole surface of the pebble at once. Begin at a corner
and finish it fairly, and so pass on to adjacent parts. Work towards the
_centre_ of the lap when grinding _round_ surfaces, and keep the flat
margin of the lap for flat stones.

Ah, your right hand begins to ache as it never ached before! You must
not mind. Rest a while, and then at it again! You are bringing muscles
into play which are unaccustomed to the work, and the strain will be
felt until the muscles are strengthened by the exercise. Keep washing
the pebble at intervals with the nail brush in the earthen vessel to see
how the work progresses.

The surface of the pebble where you have been working now looks smooth,
and the feelers of the choanite are vividly shown. Finish in the same
manner the whole surface. Feel that you bring the weight of the arm--and
even of the body--to play through the wrist of the right hand upon your
stone. Do not forget the emery and washing, and see that you keep the
surface of the stone true and free from ‘ridges’ and ‘shoulders.’

When you think the surface is sufficiently ground, then continue working
on the lead _without putting on any more emery_. Continue patiently so
grinding until the lap works perfectly free from grit, and the emery on
it has been reduced to soft black paste. This will make the surface of
your pebble much smoother. The nearer you reach perfection in this first
stage the easier will be the afterwork. If you continue long enough the
stone will look half polished when _dry_ before you have finished. _Dry_
the stone periodically to estimate progress, remembering that a pebble
always looks polished when _wet_.

We may suppose now that you have completed the first process, so we pass
on to the second.

SMOOTHING.--Lift off the strap by _raising_ the part nearest to you off
the wheel, and let the strap lie loose upon it. The strap consequently
falls off the reel. Unscrew Q. Raise the arm K L, which remains raised
by its own weight. Lift the lead lap carefully out and put it aside. Set
up the beech wood lap instead. Use another jam-pot of water at Z, and
see that no emery-grit gets upon the wood lap. Dip your right hand in
water and thoroughly wet the surface of the lap while it slowly
revolves. Then dip the wet fingers in sifted silver-sand and rub them
over the wood, and proceed as you did in the first process of grinding.

Our aim now is to _smooth_ the surface of the stone, to carry to higher
perfection the work of the emery. Do not go too fast, and keep the stone
and lap well wetted, otherwise the heat caused by friction will crack
the surface of the stone. Many a beautiful stone has been spoilt in this
way. Do not use much sand. Wash and examine the pebble as you go on. See
how beautiful it is getting to look! How wonderfully the texture and
organism have been brought out by the smoothing! Make the work as
perfect as you can upon the wood, and continue working your pebble
without putting on any sand, until the wood seems free from grit. In the
last stage of this smoothing process we work the stone almost entirely
on moist wood, as the sand has been reduced to powder. Wipe the stone
dry, and if you are satisfied that you cannot do anything more for it on
the wood, we may pass on to the third process of _facing_ the pebble.

FACING.--As before, remove the wood lap. And now we must proceed with
extreme caution. We are going to set up the pewter lap. Bear in mind
floor of the bench is covered with _débris_ of sand and emery; there is
a heap of emery in the corner. How can you possibly prevent catastrophe?
Care and practice will bring success. Remember the caution, and you will
do your best to keep clear of disaster. First of all sweep up the emery
into a heap at J, keeping it well away from the vicinity of the lap.
Thoroughly wipe the handle N, the clamp I, and the arm K L--everything
that could bring a speck of grit upon the pewter. Shut the window, that
no wandering breeze may work mischief. Wash your hands in a bowl of
clean water, and put the bowl in place of the earthen vessel. Jam-pot of
clean water at Z. Now set up the pewter lap. The first thing is to
‘notch’ the surface of the lap, that it may hold the rottenstone. This
is done by holding a table-knife lightly by the handle in the right
hand, and letting the edge of the knife play upon the surface of the lap
as you slowly turn the handle N from right to left, and then from left
to right. The result of this is to set up a ‘bibbering’ movement in the
knife--such as you may notice in the bow when a nervous young lady is
performing upon the violin. The surface of the pewter will soon be
decorated, as in Fig. 6, with markings not unlike the pattern on the
case of a watch. When this is done wash the surface of the lap by
dipping the fingers of the right hand in clean water. Take a lump of
rottenstone, thoroughly washed and free from grit, and press it on the
pewter while slowly revolving. The rottenstone is conveyed as a brown
paste to the surface of the pewter.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

Now scrub the pebble, cement and stick with the plate-brush in the bowl
of water, until you feel certain that no speck of grit lurks in any
crevice, and begin working the pebble on the pewter lap as in the other
stages, putting pressure through the wrist of the right hand, and
letting the weight of the arm play, so that a sort of rhythmical
movement is imparted to the pressure difficult to describe, but soon
understood when you see a lapidary at work.

In polishing a round stone you must be careful to avoid producing
‘ridges’ by dwelling too long on one spot. Keep on turning the stone
slightly. Common sense will explain my meaning. And in this last stage
THE SAND OR EMERY STAGE. Use a clean cloth. It took me _two years_ to
find out the force of this simple advice. I could not imagine how it was
that just at the last moment, when I was putting the finishing touches
to a pebble, some faint but hideous scratches would suddenly appear on
its surface, ruining the beauty of the work. How many times have I
despaired of success! How often have I written to lapidaries imploring
advice, and feeling that there was some ‘wrinkle’ which had purposely
been kept from my knowledge! But perseverance was at last rewarded.

There is no ‘dodge’ about it; the whole operation is one of patient
labour and determination. After a little working on the pewter lap at
one portion of your stone, wash and wipe it. That portion ought to be so
perfectly polished that when held slantwise towards the window it
reflects the landscape like a looking-glass; and if your work has been
true this result will make your heart leap with delight. Continue
working until the whole surface of the stone is finished. If at the end
portions of it looked blurred, it may be that the texture of the stone
is incapable of a high polish in such places; it may more likely be that
you have not been particular enough in the first and second stages.
Nevertheless the result ought to be encouraging. Your stone ought to be
so far polished that you will be proud to show it to your friends, and
say, ‘I found and I polished this stone!’

Probably, if you have carefully followed out my instructions, the result
will be very creditable for a first attempt. And this is all you have a
right to expect.

Some lapidaries, after smoothing their stones on the sand lap employ an
elm lap with powdered pumice-stone, and dispense with the pewter lap
altogether, facing the stone on the felt lap with putty powder. This
process is advantageous in polishing stones _all over_. But on carefully
comparing the systems I am convinced that there is nothing like the
pewter and rottenstone for general purposes; though the felt is
advisable for _round_ stones when they are to be polished over the whole
surface. As you proceed you will be able to try experiments at your

To polish _flat_ surfaces of pebbles we work exactly as we have
described, the only difference being that you work the stone _flat_ on
the margin of the laps. If you thoroughly understand the principle you
will find the flat surfaces easier to manage than the round.

Mussel and other sea-shells, snail-shells, etc., may be polished in the
same way--only that being soft they will not require the emery lap. Work
them on the sand lap and cloth lap, and a little experience will soon
make you proficient in the art.


We have reserved the process of CUTTING a pebble till the last, because
it is advisable to understand the polishing process first. Many pebbles
make most attractive specimens without being cut, but no pebble looks
well after it is cut unless it be also polished. Therefore the polishing
is the first essential, and I hope you thoroughly comprehend its
principles and are enthusiastic about the whole subject.

To _cut_ a pebble, with a view to polishing its inner surface, we want a
spindle and reel as before, fitted with a disc of the thinnest soft
iron. These discs are of particular make, and must be procured from a
practised maker. You should get six of them, ten inches in diameter,
from Mr. Oxley, 83, Caledonian Road, Islington, N. The shoulder for the
disc to rest on should be about five inches from the upper point of the
spindle, and the nut must be screwed home very tight to keep the disc in
position. The disc is ‘panned,’ _i.e._, beaten into a saucer-shape so
shallow as to be hardly perceptible to the eye. This precaution is
necessary to ensure the edge of the disc being true, for otherwise it
would be impossible to make such thin iron free from undulations in the

The discs are by no means cut true when sent down, and as they must be
brought to absolute perfection of truth before they can be used, the
first thing will be to _turn the edge true_.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

Procure three small triangular files, sold at fourpence each. Break an
inch off the end of them, and grind them with emery on the lead lap into
a pyramidal point (Fig. 7), with edges as keen as a razor and point
sharp as a needle’s. Set up the ‘slitter’ (the disc and its spindle) in
position, taking care that it stands truly perpendicular. Then arrange a
wooden rest underneath the edge of the disc nearest to you, as shown in
Fig. 7. The support must be securely fixed, and of the exact height to
enable the disc to revolve upon it. Wet the edge of the disc, and turn
the handle N with the left hand. Take a file and fix its point into the
wooden rest, so that a keen edge may catch the edge of the revolving
disc. This will take off a shaving of iron wherever it bites, and by
degrees the edge of the disc will be turned true, and continuous
shavings will curl off it. There is nothing difficult about this. It
requires a neat hand, and you may want to use three files before
finishing; but when you understand that you require the edge of the disc
to be perfectly true you will soon attain the result; and by lightly
applying the file to the upper and under surface of the edge of the disc
you will remove any roughness caused by the turning, and the disc will
be ready for use.

Remove the wooden support. Put a common plate under the slitter to catch
the paraffin, which will shortly require notice.

The disc has now to be CHARGED WITH DIAMOND. This sounds somewhat
alarming, but take courage. Diamond ‘bort’ consists of genuine diamonds
not sufficiently good to be used for gems. It may be bought of any of
the ordinary merchants at a cost of about six shillings the carat. That
amount would be enough to cut about twelve or fourteen pebbles an inch
and a half in diameter. This is the only serious expense when once the
bench has been set up and furnished. And after all it is not very
formidable. Take a fragment of bort, and crush it upon a piece of hard
steel by means of a steel rod one inch in diameter and six inches in
length. Put the bort on the steel plate; smear a little butter over the
bort to prevent the broken pieces flying away. Hold the steel rod upon
it, and give it a smart blow with a hammer. This crushes the diamond.
Then pound it into the smallest possible powder, using the steel rod as
a pestle.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

Now pour some paraffin into a saucer (J, Fig. 8), and with a feather
smear paraffin over the edge of the disc revolving slowly. Take some of
the powdered diamond on the forefinger of the right hand, and very
carefully transfer it to the edge of the disc. The entire edge must in
this way be anointed with crushed diamond-dust. Then a smooth pebble is
taken in the right hand (the hand resting comfortably on a support G),
and _pressed_ against the edge of the disc revolving. Let us understand
exactly the object and action of this. The diamond-powder is the
_hardest_ known substance in Nature; the disc is of _soft_ iron; the
flint pebble is very _hard_. By the process just described we _press the
diamond-powder into the substance of the disc_, so that the edge becomes
armed with grains of adamant; the edge becomes a mighty file, or an
irresistible saw. The principle is so simple. When you have driven
sufficient diamond-powder into the edge of the disc, you have invested
the iron with an armature which can cut through every hard substance
that exists in Nature except the diamond itself. The hardest flint,
emery, iron, glass, metals, etc., must all bow beneath its mighty power.
I should like to shake hands with the man who devised this simple and
clever method. Before its invention agates kept their treasures locked
in close caskets. The diamond-toothed ‘slitter’ has supplied the key for
unlocking their secret beauty.

Well, now, the disc is CHARGED, and if you wish to proceed like most of
the lapidaries do, you will take the pebble you wish to cut between the
forefinger and the thumb of the right hand, letting it rest on the
second and third fingers. You will place the support in position, that
the hand may rest comfortably upon it when holding the pebble against
the disc; and you will begin turning with the left hand. You will soon
see that the disc has begun to cleave its path. A distinct cut is
visible. You must keep feeding the edge with paraffin by means of the
feather; and as, unfortunately, you have not got a third hand, you must
hold the feather between your teeth, or else get a friend to do the
turning. It ought to take about half an hour to cut an inch through a
pebble two inches in diameter. The disc will have to be re-charged with
diamond occasionally, which may be done by using the slit of the pebble
you are cutting as a ‘charger.’

Such is the method of cutting in vogue among most lapidaries. It answers
very well for professionals, but it certainly presents more than one
objection to amateurs. I found the objections so weighty that it
required no small determination to persevere. First of all, it is very
difficult to _hold the stone true_, so that the cut shall proceed in the
same straight line; then the paraffin and detritus of the cutting cause
such a disagreeable ‘mess,’ in which the right hand has to take up
permanent quarters, and the nuisance of feeding the paraffin by holding
the feather in the mouth is very great. Finding these objections a grave
impediment to success, I bethought me of a device I once saw used by a
lapidary, and improved upon it in design, and got a tool made by Mr.
Moore, of Clerkenwell, which has proved the greatest comfort and most
complete success, entirely obviating all the disagreeables alluded to
above. The diagram (Fig. 8) ought to make it clear to you.

A B is a circular steel rod, with shoulder at B, and screwed underneath,
rising ten inches above floor of bench. It has an arm (C D) moving
easily round, which can be set at any height by screw and nut (E). At D
is a hole large enough to admit the cement-stick with pebble attached.
This is held securely by a screw at D. A string (F) is slipped over the
cement-stick just above the pebble, with a weight attached to the other
end. The string passes over a pulley (G) in the opposite side of the
bench. It is obvious that the weighted string will always keep the
pebble with even pressure against the disc. The result is that all
difficulty in _holding_ the pebble is removed. The pressure is constant,
and the cut is made perfectly true. The right hand is now free to
manipulate the feather for lubricating the disc, and you can work
without getting a drop of oil upon your fingers. You turn the handle as
briskly as you like. The large wheel multiplies the reel ten
times--_i.e._, one revolution of the handle produces ten revolutions of
the disc. I often attain a speed of fifteen hundred revolutions of the
disc in a minute when cutting a pebble! Keep all points of friction well
oiled, and everything will go merrily as a marriage bell. H shows the
plate for catching the drops of paraffin and detritus from the stone; J
shows the saucer of paraffin. The length of the arm (C D) is ten inches.
When you want to recharge the disc with diamond, lift the weight at end
of string, shift the arm and the stone to the right, feed the edge of
the disc with diamond, and drive it in with a smooth stone as before

When your stone is cut through wash the halves, and remove the cement by
heating over a candle. The same cement will do for many stones.

You must be careful not to _bend_ the slitter or spoil its edge. Never
put it away leaning on the disc. Keep it when not in use suspended by
two strings, and wipe off the oil carefully when you put it away.

We have now gone through the various processes of GRINDING, SMOOTHING,
FACING, and CUTTING pebbles. You have a clear knowledge of ‘how it is
done.’ It remains for you to decide whether or not you are to become a
practical lapidary. Remember that it is one thing to know how to work
and another thing to put that knowledge into practice. If you resolve to
take up the subject you should certainly make friends with some working
lapidary, and get him to let you watch him at work, and if possible take
a few lessons from him.


Since the foregoing chapter was prepared, W. B. has written to us from
Ipswich: ‘I have been very interested in your article on stone
polishing. I found, however, that with two hands free you could work the
stone much better; so I bought a treadle and wheel (1 ft. 6 in. through)
together, then for the grindery dovetailed two boards into one another,
and having centred the upright ones, put a hardened coach-screw in, and
turned an elm spindle 2 in. thick, and at one end turned a series of
pulleys. Then at each end I drilled holes and screwed coach-screws in,
after having centred their square heads and drilled a small dent for the
other screws to work on. Next I got some wood “bobbins,” turned 5 in.
through by 1-1/2 in. thick at hole on spindle, tapering to 3/4 in. The
pulleys, of course, were for the driving speed, so that by putting the
strap on the small one I could drive fast, and the large one slow.

[Illustration: 2 ft. 6 in.]

‘Above is a rough drawing of the lathe part.

‘The best of this is you can screw the “lathe” to the table, and place
the driving-wheel where you like, provided you lengthen or shorten the
strap. I might add that the cost of the whole thing is under ten

[Illustration: REV. A. N. MALAN, M.A., F.G.S.]



Although for the last year or two its popularity has been somewhat on
the wane, there can be no doubt that the copying machine, known by the
various titles of chromograph, hektograph, multigraph, centograph, and
others of similar nature, is a most useful invention, and one which
saves an immense amount of labour to all those who wish to draw out a
number of copies of diagrams, plans, circulars, letters, music, etc.,
without calling in the assistance of the printer. Drawings, too, may be
traced by those who have no original artistic powers, programmes may be
made out for entertainments, and in a hundred other ways the machine
will prove a most profitable investment. Its chief disadvantage lies in
its expense, but as the entire machine can easily be made at home for a
very small cost, this drawback is more apparent than real.

The process of graph-making is a very simple one, and cannot fail if the
directions which I am about now to give are implicitly followed.

The apparatus required is of a very limited character. First you will
want an old tin biscuit-box, sound as to the corners, and of moderate
depth. A saucepan would answer better still, but as you would probably
never get it clean again, I do not recommend its use. Then you will
require a short stick or rod with which to stir the composition, a
spirit-lamp (or a gas-jet will do nearly as well), and a stout
carpet-needle fastened into the end of a wooden handle. Finally, you
must have a shallow tray to hold the composition, and also the
ingredients themselves.

The tray must be of metal, and nothing will be better for this purpose
than the lid of your biscuit-box, unless you wish to make a graph of
phenomenal proportions. In that case, of course, you must get an
ironmonger to make you a tray of the required dimensions, and be
prepared to add an extra shilling or so to the necessary outlay. For all
ordinary purposes, however, you cannot improve upon the box-lid.

Now as to the ingredients, which, for a graph of medium size, will be as
follows:--Glycerine (common), eighteen ounces; water, twelve ounces;
sulphate of barium, six ounces; powdered loaf-sugar, three ounces;
Nelson’s gelatine, three ounces. The first and the third of these you
had better get at a _manufacturing_ chemist’s; ordinary druggists are
apt to charge rather highly for the former, and do not keep the latter
in stock. Each ought to cost you one penny per ounce. Nelson’s
gelatine you can procure from almost any respectable grocer at
fourpence-halfpenny per one-ounce packet. The total cost, therefore, of
the compound should not exceed three shillings and twopence.

Everything being in readiness, place the ingredients in your
biscuit-box, taking care that the proportions are measured correctly,
and place them on one side for four-and-twenty hours--this in order to
allow them to macerate. Next day you will find that the gelatine has
swollen to a wonderful degree, and has absorbed most of the water.
Still, however, the mixture will be very far from perfect, and in order
to complete it you must have recourse to heat. The best thing that you
can do is to place the box upon the kitchen stove, and there leave it
for two or three hours until the gelatine has melted. Take care,
however, that the heat is not too great, or your composition will
probably be spoiled.

Every half-hour or so stir the contents of the box with your stick, in
order that they may thoroughly amalgamate. Lastly, when the whole is
reduced to a thick, creamy-looking liquid, give a final stir, and pour
the mixture into your tray, which you will have placed ready to receive

Most likely a number of air-bubbles will be floating on the surface of
the liquid. These you must get rid of at once, or you will never be able
to get off a clear and neat impression.

This part of the business is very easily managed. All that you need do
is to heat your needle to a red heat, and touch each bubble in turn with
the point. This treatment will cause them to burst, and by the time you
have destroyed them all the composition will begin to set. For the next
half-hour you must leave it perfectly undisturbed, upon a level surface,
and at the end of that time it will be ready for use.

If all has gone well, your graph ought now to present the appearance of
a pale yellow slab, yielding and rather clammy to the touch, and with a
peculiarly glossy surface. This gloss will vanish after you have taken
off your first impression, but that you need not trouble about.

When you wish to make use of your machine, write your letter or
circular, or whatever it may be, with the special ink, and take care to
make the up and down strokes as nearly as possible of the same thickness
throughout. Let the writing dry, _without blotting it_, and then lay the
sheet of paper face downwards upon your graph. Take care that in so
doing you get no air-bubbles. If you do the result will be an uneven

Now rub lightly with your finger over the whole of the paper as it lies
upon the graph, in order to make sure that every part shall be in actual
contact with the composition. Then, after about a minute or so, remove
the paper very carefully, lifting it by one corner, and you will see
that a reversed copy of the writing--a ‘negative,’ in fact--remains upon
the graph.

Without loss of time take another sheet of paper, lay it upon the
writing, rub as before, and remove after four or five seconds. An exact
copy of the writing will by that time have been transferred to it, and
by repeating the process you can take any number of impressions, up to
fifty or sixty, that you may happen to want. As soon as you have printed
off a sufficient quantity, wash your graph with _cold_ water, rubbing
lightly with a piece of clean rag until the writing has almost
disappeared. Then dry, and put away until again required for use. If you
leave it for any length of time before washing, the ink will sink deeply
into the composition. This will not matter once or twice, but if you
make a practice of allowing it to do so your graph will in course of
time be simply saturated with the ink and will assume a deep violet

The copies which you will have taken will probably have absorbed some of
the moisture from the graph and curled up into a kind of spiral form.
These you can easily straighten by means of warmth and a little
judicious pressure.

After you have used it a few times the surface of your graph will most
likely become rough and uneven and unfit for further service. When this
is the case, cut the composition out of the tray with an old knife and
melt it down afresh. When thoroughly liquid, stir it well, pour it back
into the tray, and eradicate the bubbles as before. Do not melt it down
in the tray itself. If you do the glycerine will rise to the surface for
want of proper stirring, and utterly ruin every sheet of paper you place
upon the machine, obliging you to melt down the composition over again
before it can be of the least use.

After melting the mixture some fifteen or twenty times you will find it
necessary to add a little water, and perhaps a small quantity of
glycerine also, in order to replace that which has passed off by
evaporation. Be careful not to overdo it, however, for a very slight
error in the proportions of the different ingredients will render the
mixture useless.

Ink you had better buy; it is cheap enough, costing only about ninepence
a bottle, and can be obtained almost of any stationer. You can
manufacture it yourself, of course, by making a saturated solution of
one of the aniline dyes (mauveine is the most powerful), and adding a
few drops of glycerine, but, so far as my own experience goes, the
home-made article is never really satisfactory, and does not give nearly
the number of copies yielded by that which is specially supplied. Always
procure violet ink in preference to black or red. It is far more
powerful, and gives better and more numerous impressions.

N.B.--If you should happen to spill some of this ink on your fingers,
wash them _at once_, or you will not be able to remove the stain without
considerable trouble.

One word in conclusion. Never put your graph away while wet. If you do,
the composition will absorb the moisture, the proper proportions will be
altered, and before very long you will find that the printing power of
your machine will be a thing of the past.



I do not know what first made me take to deciphering cryptograms. I do
not think I have more of the Paul Pry in my nature than most of my
neighbours. If, for example, I saw two lovers whispering together, or
heard two people talking aloud by my side in a language which they
mistakingly imagined I was not familiar with, I would put my fingers in
my ears or walk right away rather than listen to a word of their secret.
But seeing a letter in cipher in the ‘agony column’ of one of the
dailies always appeared to me to be a kind of challenge to my ingenuity;
and, at sea, I have taken the newspaper directly away to my cabin, and
never raised my head from over it until I had puzzled out the

This would, of course, often be a work of some hours, but it passed the
time away, and that itself is something to an idle sailor. Besides,
there was some satisfaction in knowing that I was the only officer in
the mess who could read difficult ciphers; and there was, too often, a
good deal of amusement to be obtained from a perusal of these secret

Thief often writes to thief, and evil-doer to evil-doer; but the letters
are more often those of lover to lover, and innocent enough too--aye,
and I might add ‘green’ enough, as well as innocent. Each of the two
correspondents has a copy of the alphabet they write in. In this
alphabet some other letter or figure is used for the real one. For
example, they might put the first three letters of their mysterious
alphabet thus:--


and so on through it all. Then, if they wanted to write the word ‘Cab,’
it would read ‘Rg5’ in the agony column, and who, they wonder, that has
not a copy of their key, can find this out, or know that they have
chosen a ‘g’ to stand for an ‘a,’ a ‘5’ for a ‘b,’ an ‘r’ for a ‘c,’ and
so forth.

But simple ciphers, when one letter or figure is substituted for
another, are very easily read. If I saw the following, for instance:
‘2ssx 2s 5! 2??tnpo7x gn?ts 2! W?wwsx6,’ as soon as I glanced my eye
over it I should be struck with the triple recurrence of double letters.
Thus, in the first word, there are double S’s, in the fourth double
marks of interrogation, and in the seventh double W’s.

Then I would ask the question of myself, ‘What are the letters most
commonly doubled in the English language?’ They are the vowels e and o
at the beginning of words; the consonants p, r, l, m, n, in the middle
of words; and the letter s or l at the end. The double letters in the
word 2ssx I guess as ‘E’s.’ Well, a consonant would come before them,
and what one more natural than ‘m.’ ‘Mee,’ and the ‘x’ must be ‘t.’
‘Meet me;’ and after a little more thinking, puzzling, and conjecture,
we would make out the cipher as ‘Meet me by moonlight alone, my
poppets.’ Of course this would not be all the cipher; there would very
likely be several words more, and this would make it all the less
difficult to read.

Now take a further illustration, that presented by the ‘Language of the
Restless Fays,’ as published some years ago:--


Here you have two very well-known verses written in the language of the
Restless Fays. It is exactly the same as English, excepting in the forms
of its letters. The Fays have twenty-six distinct positions, one for
each letter of the alphabet. Now, who can read these verses? The first
letter is an ‘L.’

Glancing over the verses, we find two of the same Fay that ends the
first word standing together in the second word of the sixth line, and
next to the first letter; they must, therefore, we think, be ‘O’s’ or
‘E’s,’ but ‘O’s’ do not often end words, so they must be ‘E’s.’ Down
with them as ‘E’s.’ Our first word would now have got as far as this, ‘L
. . . l e,’ the dots representing the letters still to be supplied; the
second letter _must_ be a vowel, and the double ones, therefore,
consonants. Now run over the alphabet in your own mind, and see what two
consonants are most likely to make sense before the finals _l e_. Why
two ‘T’s’ would, and an ‘I’ before that completes the word ‘Little.’

Now we have _four_ known letters to begin the battle, so we go over
every line and top the Fays wherever we find them representing ‘L’s,’
‘I’s,’ ‘T’s,’ or ‘E’s.’ But the second words of the third, the fourth,
and the eighth lines are precisely the same. They are words of three
letters, and they end in the Fay we call ‘E.’ Now what is the commonest
word of three letters in our language ending in ‘E’? Why ‘the,’ to be
sure. These little words must be ‘the’s,’ so we mark them so, and this
gives us another letter, namely, ‘H.’ Then we mark all our ‘H’s’--they
are but few--and go on again rejoicing; and presently our eagle eye is
riveted on the first word of the fourth line represented by three Fays,
one kneeling like a volunteer, the other standing on his head, and the
last touching his left toe, and we are not slow to notice that the last
word in the same line ends with those three foolish Fays, preceded by an
‘L.’ So the second letter of that word must be a vowel, and it is
neither ‘E’ nor ‘I.’ So it must be ‘O’ or ‘A.’ But the word ‘and’--a
very common one--would with an ‘L’ prefixing it make the word ‘Land.’
Hurrah! we have it then. The first word of the line is ‘and’; the last
is ‘land.’ And we hasten to put down all the ‘N’s’ and ‘A’s’ and ‘D’s’
in the verses over the heads of the representative Fays as before.

Glancing over the lines we find we have got nearly all the last word in
the fifth line except the first and the two last letters, thus:--. I N D
N E. . The two last are the same, two mad little Fays, running
apparently for their dear little lives. Now ‘L’s’ and ‘S’s’ are both
common as double terminal letters; but here the S’s make sense, and the
L’s would not. The word of course is _kindness_.

Two more new letters? Why, we are getting on. Down they go.

It isn’t difficult now to guess the words _love_ and _above_, and we
have _Eden_ and _sand_ and _this_ clear above us. We see, too, in the
verses four words of the same two Fays each. The first Fay is O, so the
second must be F, because it is not N nor H.

Now I’ll go no farther with you in the language of the Restless Fays. It
would only be insulting my readers if I expressed a doubt of their being
able to puzzle out the absent letters in the other words, ‘. o. l d’ you
would readily guess would be ‘_world_,’ and that would supply you with
an ‘R’ for the second word of the second line, namely, ‘r a i n
s’--‘grains,’ of course. And so you quickly finish the cipher:--

    ‘Little drops of water,
      Little grains of sand,
    Make the mighty ocean,
      And the beauteous land.

    ‘Little acts of kindness,
      Little deeds of love,
    Make this world an Eden,
      Like the Heaven above.’

Though, by the way, the printers have accidentally dropped the final
letter in ‘Heaven.’

You will now understand that simple ciphers can with a little experience
be easily read. Just try your ingenuity on the first one you find in any
daily newspaper.


Here, by the way, is a kind of cryptogram which is difficult to
decipher, and in which you might write to a friend through the public
prints with comparative safety. The key to it is a rectangular triangle,
and you write the word you want to transpose from A to B (_vide_ figure
subjoined), the transposed word will be found at A--C. Thus, suppose we
wanted to write the following sentence, which you will perceive contains
nothing but the truth:--‘THE BOY’S OWN PAPER is the best magazine of its
kind, and we all dearly love it.’ Well, take your first word, ‘The,’ and
arrange it in a triangle, filling it with the letters which follow
naturally in the Alphabet, thus:--

  H I
  E F G

The word ‘The’ thus cryptogramised becomes ‘T I G.’ Now let us form a
few of the other words in triangles, all in a row to save space:--

  B        O      P          I    T      B        M
  O P      W X    A B        S T  H I    E F      A B
  Y Z A    N O P  P Q R           E F G  S T U    G H I
  S T U V         E F G H                T U V W  A B C D
                  R S T U V                       Z A B C D
                                                  I K L M N O
                                                  N O P Q R S T
                                                  E F G H I K L M

and so on, and we would thus find that our little cipher would read
thus:--‘Tig Bpav Oxp Pbrhv it tig bfuw mbiddotm,’ &c.

Now there are two things to which I wish to call your attention in this
cipher: first, the primary letter of the transposed word is the same in
every case as the original; and secondly, the letters are different in
each word. Just observe that the ‘T’ in the word ‘The’ remains a ‘T,’
but in the word ‘Best’ it becomes a ‘W.’ The ‘I’ in the word ‘Is’
remains an ‘I,’ but in the word ‘Magazine’ it becomes an ‘O.’ In the
latter word the first ‘A’ becomes ‘B,’ and the second ‘D,’ and ‘Z’ is
also ‘D.’

In conclusion, let me just add that I consider cipher-reading one of the
best mental exercises that any boy could indulge in.



A hammock, as most of our readers are doubtless aware, is a species of
swinging bed in use at sea, and especially in the Royal Navy. Its chief
utility lies in the readiness and ease with which it can be taken down,
made up into a comparatively small bundle, and stowed away during the
day, so as to leave the deck clear. A hammock is not at all difficult of
construction, and any boy who is at all handy with his fingers should be
able to make one for himself.

The hammock is made of canvas, which is suspended at each end by a
number of small cords, termed clews, which are made fast to hooks in the

A mattress, with the usual quantity of blankets, a pillow, etc., rests
upon the canvas, which, owing to the manner in which it is hung--_i.e._,
up to the beams--assumes an oval shape, and is really one of the most
comfortable things in the world to sleep in. Its only drawback is the
number of opportunities it gives to mischievous messmates to play off
practical jokes upon a youngster who is making his first trip at sea.

Of course this is discountenanced in the Navy, but it is impossible
altogether to prevent it; and no doubt many a victim to a slippery hitch
could bear witness to the truth of this.

A slippery hitch, we may as well inform our readers, is a species of
slipknot tied in the lanyard which connects the clews and the hook in
the beam. It appears all right to a casual observer, but when the victim
gets into his hammock his weight begins to tell, and the knot slips away
and precipitates the sleeper on to the deck.

Then, again, there was the custom, which we hope and believe has gone
out of fashion now, of ‘cutting down,’ which was effected by applying a
sharp knife to the lanyard, and letting the sleeper down, generally head

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

Now with respect to making a hammock, the first thing necessary is a
piece of strong canvas, about 5 ft 8 in. in length and 3 ft. wide. In
the Navy hammocks are made in two pieces (Fig. 1), which are stitched
together down the centre (B). The sides and ends must be hemmed, and
then the eyelet-holes for the clews to be fastened to must be made (A
A). The eyelet-holes are twenty-four in number, at equal distances along
the edge, at each end of the hammock. They are usually made in the
following manner, although it is not absolutely necessary to be so

A number of small rings made of white line (a kind of whipcord) are
prepared, which are called grummets. These are placed in the
eyelet-holes, and then sewn over all the way round with thin twine.

The next thing to make is a pair of clews. These are composed of what
are termed at sea knittles, which are two or three yarns laid up
together, by a jack or by hand, against the twist of the yarn. But good
cod-line or anything else sufficiently stout, will answer the purpose
equally well. The following is the proper way to make clews, although it
is now sometimes dispensed with:--

Take twelve knittles about 5 ft. in length and double them. Then form an
eye in the middle, which must be _served_ with fine twine. This is done
by winding the twine round and round as tightly as possible for a
sufficient distance to form the eye; then _seize_ or bind the knittles
together for about an inch below the eye, as in Fig. 2.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

Now take a piece of twine, about half the size of the knittles, and
place it between the knittles, so that twelve come up and twelve go down
(Fig. 3); next bring both ends of the small twine, which is called
_filling_, back again between the knittles, only altering them, making
the upper ones point down and the lower ones point up; then leave out
the two outside knittles and continue the circuit, leaving two knittles
out each time until you come down to the last two, when knot the filling
together and cut off the ends (Fig. 4). The ends of the knittles are
then passed through the eyelet-holes in the canvas and fastened with two
half-hitches. For the Navy now a great many clews are made without the
platting arrangement we have described, and are left quite plain from
the seizing below the eye down to the eyelet-hole. But the description
we have given is of the old-fashioned style, and to our mind it looks
much neater and more ornamental.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

A piece of rope, called a lanyard, must now be spliced with an
eye-splice into the eye of the clew that is to form the foot clew, and
the hammock is completed.

In order to sling this it will be necessary to purchase a couple of
stout hooks which will screw into the woodwork. These are easily
obtained at any ironmonger’s, and may be fastened at the two opposite
corners of a room, or in two trees in the garden at a convenient
distance apart.

Then hook the head clew on, and pass the lanyard over the other hook,
get the hammock level, and fasten it with a clove-hitch or two

And now one word of caution with regard to getting into a hammock. Be
very careful the first time or two, and take notice how the hammock
recedes, and then swings towards you. If you jump into it in the same
manner as you would into a bed, the chances are that you will go right
over it, and land on the ground the other side; but with a little care
the proper method does not take long to learn.


To the reader who is desirous of learning the art of netting, we must
give the same advice that the famous Mrs. Glasse did with reference to
cooking a hare, viz.: ‘First obtain your hare.’ That is to say, the
first thing is to obtain the netting instruments and materials.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.

A, The needle. B, The mesh stick. C, The twine.]

The instruments consist of a needle and a mesh (see Fig. 1). From eight
to ten inches is a good length for the needle, while the mesh stick must
vary according to the size of the net you are about to make. A mesh
stick will make a mesh twice its own size. Thus a stick half an inch
square will make a one-inch mesh.

Any youth at all handy with a knife can manufacture these articles for
himself, and there only remains to obtain the material. This must depend
upon what is going to be made, for once the stitch is learned there is
no more difficulty in making a large seine than in making an onion net
or a network hammock.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

The better plan is to go to the nearest string shop, and pick out what
is suitable in size and strength as well as in _price_. When the
material is purchased--_white line_, _seine twine_, or common twine,
whatever it may be--if it is not already in a ball, wind it into one.
Then find a hook, or place one just a convenient distance above you as
you sit, to which to fasten the end of the twine. Now fill your needle,
pass the twine round the _tine_, or inside point, round the heel of the
needle, then up round the tine again, until the needle is full. Now
fasten the end of the twine to the hook--a nail, if it be firm, will
answer the same purpose--and tie a loop in it (Fig. 2). Then lay the
mesh stick underneath the twine, and pass the needle up through the loop
(Fig. 3). Then pull it tight, so that the end of the loop rests against
the mesh stick (Fig. 4).

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

Now comes the important part, the formation of the knot. Hold the mesh
stick in your left hand, with the thumb on the twine, and with the
needle in the right hand. Now with a quick jerk throw the _bight_ or
loop of the twine over the stick and left wrist, as shown in Fig. 5.

Then push the point of the needle up between the first loop made, and
the twine to the left of it, pull the needle through, and bring the knot
into shape (Fig. 6), then tighten by pulling the needle in the direction
of the dotted lines, and the knot is tied.

This simple knot is the foundation of all net-making, and once the
reader succeeds in making that, he will very quickly be able to
manufacture anything he may require in that branch of work.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

Now slip out the mesh stick and take the same stitch through the loop
you have just made, and so continue on, passing the needle every time
through the last loop made until you have made enough. You can generally
guess the number of meshes you will require by the size of the mesh
stick. By the time you have made as many as you think will be requisite,
your work ought to look something like Fig. 7.

Next unfasten the end from the hook or nail, and untie the first loop
made, because it is not the same size as the subsequent ones. Now pass a
piece of cord through the upper row of meshes, tie the ends of the cord
together, and hang it again over the hook.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

Next go on with the work as before, only do not slip the loop off the
stick as at first. Knot through E, Fig. 8, then through D, then C, and
so on, until you have travelled along the whole width.

Then turn the work over and travel back again in the same manner. It is
better to make ten or a dozen meshes before slipping the stick out.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

Presuming that the twine breaks, or you wish to join another ball, the
way to do it is with a ‘becket-hitch,’ commonly called a ‘weaver’s
knot.’ Form a bight with one part, pass the other part up through the
loop, then over, under and back through its own loop (Fig. 9).

With regard to making a network hammock, proceed as we have described,
and to make a full-sized hammock you would require between fifty and
sixty two-inch meshes each way.

Then make the clews, as described in the article on canvas hammocks, and
fasten them in the usual manner to each end of the hammock, tying the
ends as regularly as you can.

Netting is a very pleasant as well as useful occupation, and is more
suitable for boys than girls, owing to the strain of pulling the knots
tight. The pleasure of being able to make nets for fishing, nets for the
garden, to keep the birds off the trees, nets to hang vegetables or
fruit in, and lastly, but not least, a net hammock, ought to amply repay
any trouble or inconvenience caused by learning.




Various perpetual calendars have been published, but some of them are
very elaborate, and others incorrect; therefore, by the editor’s
invitation, I now present one in a most handy form. Table 1 shows the
centuries, with the key numbers; Table 2, the last two figures of the
year, and the seven key numbers below; Table 3, the months; and Table 4,
the days. The key numbers are printed thick, the leap years in italics.
January and February have two keys each, 3 and 6 for common years, 2 and
5 for leap years. The eleven days from September 3rd to 13th, 1752, were
omitted. Every year which divides by 4 without a remainder is a leap
year, except the centenaries, which are printed upright.

      TABLE 1.   |             TABLE 2.             |    TABLE 3.     |
   First =2=     | 00 | 01 | 02 | 03 |    |_04_| 05 |Jan.  =3=  _2_[C]|
   _100_ =1=     | 06 | 07 |    |_08_| 09 | 10 | 11 |Feb.  =6=  _5_[C]|
   _200_ =0=     |    |_12_| 13 | 14 | 15 |    |_16_|Mar.  =6=        |
   _300_ =6=     | 17 | 18 | 19 |    |_20_| 21 | 22 |Apr.  =2=        |
   _400_ =5=     | 23 |    |_24_| 25 | 26 | 27 |    |May   =4=        |
   _500_ =4=     |_28_| 29 | 30 | 31 |    |_32_| 33 |June  =0=        |
   _600_ =3=     | 34 | 35 |    |_36_| 37 | 38 | 39 |July  =2=        |
   _700_ =2=     |    |_40_| 41 | 42 | 43 |    |_44_|Aug.  =5=        |
   _800_ =1=     | 45 | 46 | 47 |    |_48_| 49 | 50 |Sept. =1=        |
   _900_ =0=     | 51 |    |_52_| 53 | 54 | 55 |    |Oct.  =3=        |
  _1000_ =6=     |_56_| 57 | 58 | 59 |    |_60_| 61 |Nov.  =6=        |
  _1100_ =5=     | 62 | 63 |    |_64_| 65 | 66 | 67 |Dec.  =1=        |
  _1200_ =4=     |    |_68_| 69 | 70 | 71 |    |_72_|
  _1300_ =3=     | 73 | 74 | 75 |    |_76_| 77 | 78 |
  _1400_ =2=     | 79 |    |_80_| 81 | 82 | 83 |    |
  _1500_ =1=     |_84_| 85 | 86 | 87 |    |_88_| 89 |
  _1600_ =0=     | 90 | 91 |    |_92_| 93 | 94 | 95 |
  _1700_{=6= [A] |    |_96_| 97 | 98 | 99 |    |    |
        {=2= [B] +----+----+----+----+----+----+----+
   1800  =0=     | =0=| =1=| =2=| =3=| =4=| =5=| =6=|
   1900  =5=
  _2000_ =4=
   2100  =2=
   2200  =0=
   2300  =5=
  _2400_ =4=

  [A] 6 till Sept. 2, 1752.
  [B] 2 from Sept. 14, 1752.
  [C] _for leap years._

                  TABLE 4.               |
      |  1 |  2 |  3 |  4 |  5 |  6 |  7 |
      |  8 |  9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 |
      | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 |
      | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 |
      | 29 | 30 | 31 |    |    |    |    |
  =0= | S  | M  | T  | W  | Th | F  | S  |
  =1= | M  | T  | W  | Th | F  | S  | S  |
  =2= | T  | W  | Th | F  | S  | S  | M  |
  =3= | W  | Th | F  | S  | S  | M  | T  |
  =4= | Th | F  | S  | S  | M  | T  | W  |
  =5= | F  | S  | S  | M  | T  | W  | Th |
  =6= | S  | S  | M  | T  | W  | Th | F  |


Example No. 1.--What day of the week was the 21st of June, 1581?

  1500--key 1 in Table 1.
    81--key 3 in Table 2.
  June--key 0 in Table 3.
      Total 4, the three keys added.

This 4 is the key for Table 4, where, on the right-hand side of this
key, under the 21 st day, we find Wednesday.

If the three keys together make more than 6, seven is subtracted; and if
more than 13, fourteen is deducted, and the remainder is the key to
Table 4.

Thus we find June 6th, 1839, through 0 + 6 + 0 = 6, = Thursday.

August 9th, 1732, through 6 + 5 + 5 = 16, - 14 = 2 = Wednesday.

Columbus sailed from Palos on Friday, August 3rd, 1492, and discovered
America on the 12th of October, 1492, which was also a Friday.

       *       *       *       *       *

Example No. 2.--In what years will Christmas Day fall on a Sunday? Table
4 shows, below the 25th, the Sunday on the side of key 4; subtract the
key of December, which is 1, there remains, for the present century, the
key 3 of Table 2, showing the years 1887, 1892, 1898 and as this 4 for
the next century will come from 5 + _x_ + 1 minus 7, it follows that _x_
means the key 5 in Table 2, which contains the years 1904, 1910, 1921,
and the other years in that column.

We found the 6th of June, 1839, to be a Thursday, and see from the last
column of Table 2 that it was again on a Thursday in 1844, 1850, 1861,

Any one born on the 29th February, 1864, will have his birthday again on
the same day of the week, a Monday, in 1892, that is, after an interval
of 28 years, as is seen in the middle column of Table 2; and after that
he will have it again on a Monday in 1904, 1932, etc.


Romulus, the founder of Rome, established a year consisting of ten
months, named Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis,
September, October, November, and December; but in the succeeding reign,
that of Numa, two months were added, called Januarius and Februarius.

Julius Cæsar, aided by Sosigenes, an Alexandrian astronomer, instituted
the Julian Calendar, which has come down to our own epoch. It was then
decided to give an additional day to every fourth year. The date of the
reform was 45 B.C., which was the Roman year 708, dating from the
foundation of Rome. The Julian year began on the 1st of January, 708
A.U.C., and ended on the 31st of December, 709 A.U.C. In the first 48
years of the reform there prevailed some confusion about the bissextile
or leap years, because during the first 36 years every third year was
reckoned a leap year (12 intercalations had taken place instead of 9);
but, in order to rectify the error, the next 12 years (_i.e._ 9 B.C. to
3 A.D. inclusive), elapsed without an intercalary day, by decree of
Cæsar Augustus, who also changed the names of Quintilis and Sextilis
into Julius and Augustus, in honour of his uncle and himself. Thus the
Roman years, 757, 761, 765, 769, etc., which were the years A.D. 4, 8,
12, 16, etc., were counted as leap years, and about all succeeding dates
there is no doubt.

‘It was probably,’ writes Mr. Bond, of the Record Office, in his
valuable work, ‘the original intention of Cæsar to commence the new year
with the shortest day, the winter solstice at Rome, in the year 46 B.C.
(common era), occurring on the 24th December of the Julian calendar. His
motive for delaying the commencement for seven days longer, instead of
taking the following day, was no doubt the desire to gratify the
superstition of the Romans, by causing the commencement of the first
year of the reformed calendar to fall on the day of the new moon, for it
is found that the mean new moon occurred at Rome on the 1st of January,
45 B.C. (common era), at 6 h. 16 m. p.m.’

The Christian era was introduced in Italy, in the 6th century, by
Dionysius the Little, a Roman abbot, and began to be used in Gaul in the
8th, though it was not generally followed in that country till a century
later. From extant charters it is known to have been in use in England
before the close of the 8th century. ‘At first, in A.D. 533,’ says Mr.
Bond, ‘the era began with the 25th of March, but was subsequently
reckoned from Christmas Day, the 25th of December, and in the 13th
century, in some countries, was reckoned from the 1st of January
according to the Julian era.’

The exact length of the mean solar or civil year is

  365 d. 5 h. 48 m. 46 s.,

therefore the Julian year, being 365 days and 6 hours, departs from the
course of the seasons at the rate of 11 m. 14 s., and consequently
Aloysius Lilius, from Calabria, a physician and mathematician of Verona,
projected a plan for amending the calendar, which induced Pope Gregory
XIII. to introduce the plan on the 5th October, 1582, according to the
former style, which day was decreed to be called the 15th October. These
10 days rectified the error of the past, in accordance with the day of
the equinox, the 21st March. The error of the future, which was that an
additional day every fourth year was too much, but that 129 years must
elapse before the redundance would cause the equinox to be one day
behind its time, was rectified thus: Adding 129 years to the year 1582
there results the year 1711, and it was decreed that the year 1700,
which would, by the Julian Calendar, be a leap year, should be a common
year, but, as stated below, it was still kept as a leap year in England,
and appears as such in Table 1. In like manner 1800 was made a common
year, and as in 1969 the 21st March would be a day behind the vernal
equinox, it will be set right by making 1900 a common year. Another
period of 129 years would extend to 2098, which will be remedied by
making 2100 a common instead of a leap year.

Thus the equinox will be kept right by making three successive secular
years common years; and the secular leap years will be those of which
the first two figures are divisible by 4 without a remainder, as 2000,
2400, 2800, etc.

The keys or index figures in accordance with the Gregorian reform are

      _1400_   =2=
      _1500_ { =1= till October 4, 1582.
             { =5= from October 15, 1582.
      _1600_   =4=
       1700    =2=
       1800    =0=

The Papal decree of October, 1582, was adopted in France in December,
1582, in Poland in 1586, in the Catholic States of Germany in 1583, in
the Protestant German States, through Weigel’s Calendar, in 1700, in
Denmark and Switzerland soon after the adoption in Germany, in England
in September, 1752, whereas Russia still adheres to the Julian Calendar.
Thus the Russian legal equinoxes are now twelve days in advance of the
real equinoxes.

In England the years used to begin upon the 25th March, but it was
declared that 1752 should end on the 31st December, and 1753 begin on
the day formerly called the 1st January, 1752. At that time the people
in England used to write the new style under the old, thus:--

  30th June,
  ---------- 1753.
  11th July,

  25th February, 1753.
    8th March, 1754.

The death of Charles I. took place on Tuesday, January 30, 1648, as
written at that time, but it is now written January 30, 1649, and often
expressed by historians thus:--January 30, 1648-9.

In Scotland, the day after 31st December, 1599, was called 1st January,

The 4th August, 1581, was a Friday in all parts of Europe, but from 1582
to 1752 there was a variance in various parts, as there still is at
present, between the east and the west of Europe. The variance was in
the days of the month; the days of the week never changed. The 2nd
September, 1752, was a Wednesday in England and in Russia, but a
Saturday in the other States of Europe. Thus we find the 20th December,
1647, for England and Russia, through 0 + 2 + 1 = 3 = Monday, but for
Italy, France, Spain, etc., through 4 + 2 + 1 = 7 - 7 = 0 = Friday. The
14th September, 1752, was a Monday in Russia, but a Thursday in England
and the other European States. The 21st June, 1887, was a Tuesday in
England, but in Russia it was twelve days later, that is, a Sunday,
namely, the Sunday on which we had the 3rd of July. The Russians had the
9th June, 1887, on a Tuesday, that is the day on which we had the 21st
June; and in writing to us they express that day thus:--

  June --, 1887.

They have the key 6 for _1700_, and 5 for _1800_.

The Turks use the Mohammedan Calendar, from the Hegira, July 16, A.D.
622, and it is lunar like the Jewish.

The following historical dates agree with our calendar:--

The battle of Hastings was fought on Saturday, Oct. 14th, 1066.

The Magna Charta was signed on Sunday, May 24, 1215.

Edward II. was crowned on Sunday, 25th February, 1308 (1307 in the old

The battle of Crecy took place on Saturday, August 26th, 1346.

The battle of Towton, Yorkshire, occurred on Palm Sunday, March 29,


The keys for the centuries and months can be arranged at pleasure,
therefore the key 0 is chosen for the present century to calculate
readily the dates of our time. To make the reckoning easy in the next
century it will be well to have the key 0 for 1900, then the keys for
the months must all be reduced by 2, and the tables will be:--

               Jan. 1 and _0_    May  2    Sept. 6
   1800   2    Feb. 4 and _3_    June 5    Oct.  1
   1900   0    Mar. 4            July 0    Nov.  4
  _2000_  6    Apr. 0            Aug. 3    Dec.  6




A very useful and instructive pastime for boys will be found in the
construction of a sundial, full directions for making which I give in
this chapter.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.]

The first thing to be done is to make what is called the dialing scale
(Fig. 1). It is constructed as follows: With a pair of compasses
describe the circle A B C D with any radius, say four inches. Draw the
two diameters A C and B D, cutting each other at right angles in the
point 0. Join D C for the scale of chords and B C for the scale of
latitudes. Through the point B draw the straight line 12--6 parallel and
equal to the line A C, and let the point B bisect it. Join the points
0--12 and 0--6, cutting the circle in the points E and F. Now divide the
arcs E B and B F each into three equal parts, and from the point 0 draw
straight lines through these points of division to the line 12--6,
marking the points of intersection 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. This line is
called the line of hours.

To make the scale of chords, divide the arc D C into nine equal parts,
and then with the compasses, with one leg placed on the point C,
protract each division on the line C D. Mark the points on this line
from C 10, 20, 30, etc.; the point D will mark 90 degrees.

To make the scale of latitudes, draw lines from the points of division
in the arc D C parallel to the line D 0, and cutting the line 0 C in
points, counting from 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, etc. Now draw straight lines
from D through these points, cutting the arc B C in the points 10, 20,
30, etc., and with your compasses, with one leg on B, protract these
distances on to the line B C, which will be the scale of latitudes. Now
our dialing scale is finished.

To make the dial, which will be a horizontal one, you must get a piece
of zinc plate about one foot square. On this mark all round it, and one
inch from the edges, lines making a smaller square of ten inches a side.
Plate 1/8 inch thick.

Bisect one line of this square, and draw a line from this point to a
point bisecting the opposite side. Now draw two other lines, one on each
side of, and one-sixteenth of an inch from, this line, and parallel to
it. These lines will then be one-eighth of an inch apart. They are made
this distance apart as the style, or gnomon, will be that thickness, and
has to stand between them. Now divide the other sides into five equal
parts, and join the two second points of division, counting from the
bottom. This line, which is called the six-o’clock line, will cut the
two parallel lines in the points A C (Fig. 2). Mark the other or top
ends of these lines B and D.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

Now with your compasses take from the scale of latitudes the latitude of
the place where you wish to erect your dial. Suppose you are in London,
put one leg of the compasses on the point B, and the other leg on the
point in the scale of latitudes marking 51-1/2 degrees, which is the
latitude of London. Now mark this distance off on the six-o’clock line
from C to E and from A to F (Fig. 2). Now take the length of the line of
hours from 12--6 in the compasses, and, putting one leg on the point E,
intersect the line C D in the point G. Do the same on the other side,
putting one leg on point F, and intersecting the line A B in the point
H. Draw the lines G E and H E (Fig. 2).

These lines are the same length as in the line of hours; mark them as
that line is marked, using your compasses to get the distances, marking
the line from G to E and from H to E; now from the point C draw lines
through the divisions on G E to the lines of the inner square; do the
same from point A through the line H F. The fourth and fifth lines on
the right side must be continued back through the point C to opposite
side of square, and the seventh and eighth on the left be continued back
through A to right side. Now mark the hours. The double line is the
twelve-o’clock line, and must be marked twelve. The line to the right is
the one-o’clock line, the next two, and so on to eight on the right
side. On the left the line next the twelve-o’clock line is eleven, the
next ten, and so on back to four. All the lines can be marked on the
zinc with a pointed bradawl.

The dial plate is now finished.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

The next step is to make the gnomon. For this get a piece of the same
zinc plate about six inches by eight. Along one of the shorter sides,
about a quarter of an inch from the edge, draw a line A B, making it
equal in length to C--60 on the scale of chords. With one leg of the
compasses on the point A, and the other opened out to B, draw the arc B
C as in Fig. 3. Now from the same scale of chords take the length of the
latitude of the place, and mark it along the arc B C from B, join A C,
from C draw a line at right angles to A B, cutting it in the point D
(Fig. 3). The triangle A D C will be the gnomon, with the line A D for
its base. Cut this triangle out carefully, making the edges quite
square. Now you must get a tinman to solder this in its place on the
dial-plate, the point A of the gnomon to be at the points A C on the
plate, and the line A D along the two lines A H and C G. You must be
very careful that the gnomon stands at right angles to the dial-plate.

The dial must be fixed in a sunny spot, if possible in the middle of a
large lawn. The best way to do this is to fasten the dial-plate on a
square board, which is fastened to a post driven into the ground. The
post can be ornamented with rustic work. The dial must be quite level,
and the gnomon pointing due north.

The line A C of the gnomon being made at the angle from the base equal
to the latitude of the place will be parallel to the axis of the earth,
and will show the hours correctly both on long and short days, as the
sun’s course is at right angles to it. The dial can be made to show
quarters or five minutes if you so divide the line of hours on the dial
scale. The dial, if placed in an open, sunny spot, will show the hours
from sunrise to sunset.


The horizontal sundial would be suitable for all places north and south
of the equator. But in southern latitudes the style must point due south
instead of north, and the numbering must be done from right to left
instead of from left to right. The method, however, already described
would not do for any place situated _exactly_ on the equator. The reason
for this is--the style, or gnomon, being parallel to the axis of the
earth, it would be horizontal at the equator, and perpendicular at the
poles, and the shadow would be parallel to the style at the equator and
perpendicular to it at the poles. The style must be regulated in height
by the size of the dial-plate, and the length of the line of hours, in
the scale, must be regulated by the height of the upper edge of the
style from the dial-plate.

[Illustration: Fig. 1]

I will now explain the construction of the equatorial dial. The
dial-plate is to be cut about eighteen inches long by twelve inches
wide. The inner lines are to be drawn all round, about one inch from the
edges, as in the dial already described. Divide the dial-plate into two
equal parts by a line drawn from points bisecting the long sides, as in
Fig. 1 in the accompanying illustrations. This line is the
twelve-o’clock line. The two lines A B and C D are to be drawn parallel
to this line, one on each side of and a sixteenth of an inch from it.
Before the hour lines can be drawn the style must be made. This must be
rectangular in shape, with the long sides equal in length to the
twelve-o’clock lines between the inner lines of the plate, and must not,
for this size of dial-plate, be more than two inches wide or high. The
dialing scale must now be made. It consists only of the line of hours.
Draw the two lines O A and O B at right angles to each other, and make
each equal in length to the height of the gnomon, or style--viz., two
inches. Draw B C parallel to O A, and make it about ten or twelve inches
long. Describe the arc A B, with O for the centre, and O A and O B for
radii, as in Fig. 2. Divide this arc into six equal parts, and draw
lines from the point O through the points of division to cut the line B
C in the points 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. The six-o’clock point will not be
required. This is the line of hours. With your compasses mark on the
side lines of the dial-plate, from the points A B and C D, the divisions
of the line of hours. Join the corresponding points on each side of the
twelve-o’clock line by lines drawn parallel to it. These lines will
represent the hours, and are numbered 1 to 5 to the right and 11 to 7 to
the left. Fig. 3 shows this dial.

[Illustration: Fig. 2]

[Illustration: Fig. 3]

This dial does not show the time before seven o’clock in the morning or
after five o’clock in the evening. The reason of this is, the days and
nights at the equator being equal--viz., twelve hours each--the sun
rises and sets at six o’clock. At six o’clock, the sun being exactly on
the horizon, any object placed in the middle of a perfectly horizontal
plane would cast an indefinite or unlimited shadow, as the shadow of the
upper part would be parallel to the plane, and of course could not meet
it. The dial can be made to show any time after six in the morning or
before six in the evening by lengthening the dial-plate. Fig. 4 will
show how inconvenient it would be to have a plate to show the time
before seven or after five o’clock. In Fig. 4 the hour from five to six
is divided into quarters, and shows that for 5.30 the plate must be
about double, and for 5.45 about four times, the length required to show
the time between seven and five o’clock. So that a plate about six feet
long would be required for a dial having a style two inches high.

[Illustration: Fig. 4]

The style is to be soldered to the dial-plate between the two lines A B
and C D, and must be equal in thickness to the distance between them.
The dial must be set up in a horizontal position with the gnomon
directed due north and south.

Both these dials are horizontal. I will now explain the construction of
vertical dials, or dials that are fixed in an upright position against a
wall or house. The dialing scale, as already described, will be required
for the construction of a vertical dial to be fixed on a wall facing the

Cut the zinc plate twelve inches square, and mark it with the inner
square, the twelve-o’clock lines, and the six-o’clock line, as in the
horizontal dial. From the line of latitudes, in the scale, take the
length equal to the difference between 90 deg. and the latitude of the
place (that is, not as in the horizontal dial, the latitude, but the
complement of it).

[Illustration: Fig. 5]

Taking London as the place, take from the scale 38-1/2 deg., which is
the difference between 90 and 51-1/2 deg. This distance must be marked
off on the six-o’clock line from the points A and C. The rest of the
construction is the same as for the horizontal dial, with the exception
that the hours are limited to fourteen, viz. from five to seven
o’clock, and are numbered backwards, or from left to right as in Fig. 5.
The style is made as for the horizontal dial, but the angle C A B is to
equal 38-1/2 deg. in the case of London, or the complement of the
latitude. The base A D is to equal the length of the twelve-o’clock
lines, measuring from the six-o’clock line to the inside line at the
lower edge, or the lines A B and C D. In fixing this dial care must be
taken to let it face due south.

[Illustration: Fig. 6]

[Illustration: Fig. 7]

[Illustration: Fig. 8]

[Illustration: Fig. 9]

The east and west vertical dials are made something like the equatorial
horizontal dial, with a rectangular style. The same scale is required
for making the line of hours, the lines of which are regulated in length
by the height of the style. Make the plate about eighteen inches long
and twelve inches wide, and draw the double lines which in these dials
represent the six-o’clock line, as in Figs. 7 and 8. These double lines
are drawn, making an angle with the lower edge of dial-plate equal to
the latitude of the place. The style is cut rectangular, with the long
sides equal to the double six o’clock lines, and the short sides two
inches long. Draw the scale making O A and O B two inches long, and mark
the hour line. Before the points on the hour line can be marked in on
the dial-plate, a plan (Fig. 9) must be made. Draw on a large piece of
paper a plan of either dial-plate, and mark in the double lines. Through
these draw the line A B perpendicular to them as in Fig. 9. On this
line, on each side of the double lines, mark the points on the hour
line, and through these points draw lines parallel to the double lines,
and letting them cut the sides of the plan of the dial-plate. The points
where the lines cut it can be transferred to the dial-plate with a pair
of compasses, and the hour lines drawn in parallel to the six-o’clock
line. The style must be fixed in its place, and will be parallel to the
axis of the earth when the dial is fixed up with the long sides quite
horizontal. The east dial is marked as in Fig. 7, and the west as in
Fig. 8, if for the northern hemisphere. For the southern, the west dial
would take the place of the east, and the east, the place of the west
with the numbering reversed.

There are several other kinds of sundials, which may be used for any
degree of latitude, a few of which I will describe.

The first of these is the globular (Fig. 10). This is a white globe (any
size), supported on an axis which is fixed in a position parallel to the
axis of the earth (or making an angle with the horizon equal to the
latitude of the place, and pointing due north or south), in which
position the globe is acted on by the sun exactly as the earth is. The
globe is divided into twenty-four equal parts by lines running from pole
to pole, and has an equator drawn around it, on which the hours are
marked from 1 to 12 twice over. The axis is fixed in a stand so that one
of the six-o’clock lines is in the zenith. The time is indicated by the
edge of the shaded part (caused by the sun illuminating one-half of the
globe, leaving the other in shade) passing over the hour lines. An
ordinary globe answers very well for this dial, if it is rectified for
the latitude, and placed so that the brass meridian is directed north
and south.

[Illustration: Fig. 10]

[Illustration: Fig. 11]

Fig. 11 is another pattern; it is basin-shaped, and is made of a hollow
hemisphere of metal, whitened inside, and has the inside divided into
twelve equal parts by lines running from pole to pole, which are
numbered on the equator from 6 to 6. A wire is stretched from pole to
serve as the style, which casts a shadow on the line corresponding to
the hour. The position of this dial is the same, as regards the axis of
the earth, as Fig. 10.

[Illustration: Fig. 12]

Fig. 12 represents what I call the trough-shaped dial. It is made of
metal-plate bent into the shape of a half-tube; the ends are closed with
semicircular metal plates. The interior is divided into twelve equal
parts by lines running parallel to the edges, and are numbered from 6 to
6. A wire is stretched from the centres of the semicircular end plates
to serve for the style.

This dial must be fixed, with regard to the position and direction of
the style, as the other dials are. This is the one constant condition of
all dials, that the edge of the style that is to cast the shadow must
be parallel to the axis of the earth.

[Illustration: Fig. 13]

Fig. 13 is a very simple dial, and is the last I shall describe. It
consists of a circular dial-plate divided into twenty-four equal parts,
numbered from 1 to 12 twice over. The style is a perpendicular wire
fixed in the centre of the plate. The plate is hinged to a stand, so
that one of the twelve-o’clock lines runs directly from the top to the

From the construction of the dials 10, 11, 12, 13, they can be used in
any latitude, as well as on the equator, but of course the numbering
would have to be reversed for the southern hemisphere. They all have an
arrangement by which the style can be fixed at the required angle to
suit the latitude of the place.


_To be Added to or Subtracted from the Sundial for each Day in the

The sun does not always point out the true time, as on some days it is
behind time and sometimes before it. The table below gives the minutes
to be added to or subtracted from the time pointed out by the sun for
each day in the year:--

  Day.   Min.
   1    +  4
   4    +  5
   6    +  6
   8    +  7
  11    +  8
  13    +  9
  16    + 10
  19    + 11
  23    + 12
  27    + 13
  31    + 14

   3    + 14
  19    + 14
  26    + 13

   3    + 12
   4    + 11
  12    + 10
  15    +  9
  19    +  8
  22    +  7
  25    +  6
  28    +  5

   1    +  4
   4    +  3
   8    +  2
  12    +  1
  19    -  1
  25    -  2
  30    -  3

   1    -  3
  17    -  4
  28    -  3

   4    -  2
  10    -  1
  19    +  1
  24    +  2
  29    +  3

   4    +  4
  10    +  5
  19    +  6

   1    +  6
  11    +  5
  16    +  4
  21    +  3
  25    +  2
  29    +  1

   4    -  1
   7    -  2
  10    -  3
  13    -  4
  16    -  5
  18    -  6
  21    -  7
  24    -  8
  27    -  9
  30    - 10

   3    - 11
   7    - 12
  10    - 13
  14    - 14
  19    - 15
  27    - 16

  10    - 16
  17    - 15
  21    - 14
  25    - 13
  28    - 12

  1     - 11
  2     - 10
  6     -  9
  8     -  8
  10    -  7
  12    -  6
  14    -  5
  16    -  4
  18    -  3
  21    -  2
  23    -  1
  27    +  1
  29    +  2
  31    +  3



Did you never, reader, have a peep in beneath the black cloth where the
artist hides his head while he is focusing a sitter for his photograph?
I’m sure that many of you have. And what did you see? Why, a pretty
little picture in colours of your friend sitting in the chair, laughing
like a tramp at a twopenny roll, only upside down. And you have said to
yourselves, What a pity it won’t come out in bright colours like that,
and why in all the world should it be upside down?

Now I will answer this question before going any further, because it has
a bearing on the subject before us--the making of a handy and cheap
camera obscura, which cannot fail to be a source of amusement and
pleasure, especially when the sun shines.

The reason why the object on the photographer’s ground-glass plate is
seen upside down is easily explained. Light, as I need hardly remind
older boys, proceeds in straight lines from any illuminated object. It
is thus thrown upon the photographer’s plate. A glance at the
accompanying diagram (Fig. 1) will suffice to show what I mean.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

Let A B be the object--say, an arrow--under consideration, and C D a
side view of the ground-glass plate on which the picture is seen.
Passing, therefore, in straight lines, the light and colour from the
point A will fall at _a_, will they not? and those from B at _b_, and so
on from every portion of the arrow, so that the representation therefore
on the object-glass will be upside down, or reversed. Q.E.D.

Now about the camera. No one can be said to have invented it, for it is
constituted upon the firm and immutable laws of Nature. Roger Bacon is
credited with having known this principle. Very likely he did, but he
put it to no practical use, though over four hundred years after his
time Giovanni Baptiste Porta did. But who knows that the ancients
hundreds of years before the Flood were unacquainted with it? Here, for
example, is a story a little bird told me one beautiful summer’s day
while reclining on the greensward in my woodland study: I had been
reading under the shade of my great oak-tree. The sun was very bright,
and patches of its light penetrated even through the dark-green branches
and fell on my face. Probably it was that which set me a-thinking about
the laws of optics and the camera obscura and camera lucida. Suddenly
close up above me a bird alighted--it was early in the season--and began
pouring out the most charming notes.

‘Many people,’ I said to myself, ‘would take that bird to be the
nightingale, but I know it is only a black-cap.’

The words were hardly out of my mouth when a saucy little head with a
bright bead of an eye peeped round the corner of a twig at me.

‘_Only_ a black-cap!’ said the owner of the head and the eye. ‘I’d have
you know, sir, that we black-caps, as you call us, are of a far older
family than the nightingales, and that _they_ first learned their wild
notes from us, and not _we_ from them!’

‘You know a deal, I dare say,’ I replied. ‘Can you explain this, then?
There is a streak of light creeping in from a point among the boughs up
there, and falling on my foolscap, and whenever a pigeon, or hawk, or
rook flies past away overhead, his image appears on the paper and
crosses it, only in a contrary direction.’

‘Foolscap, indeed!’ replied the bird, ‘it is yourself that should be
wearing one. The image on your paper is caused by the reflection of the
luminous rays from the flying bird. Now,’ continued the black-cap, ‘I’ll
tell you about the camera.

‘You know the ancient Egyptians understood everything!’

‘So they supposed,’ I grunted, ‘but----’

‘Don’t interrupt, please. The dungeons of that mysterious land were once
upon a time small and dark and dismal in the extreme, and for a very
little fault indeed people were thrown therein, perhaps never to leave
them alive.’

‘Well, it came to pass that a certain poor man had offended the king,
and all his worldly goods were confiscated and he himself was thrown
into a cell in a rock. It was not a large one, and its walls were
smoothly cemented with a mixture of lime and sand, and some other
ingredients known only to the ancient Egyptians. The cell was situated
in the side of a hill, with a door at one side which was opened only
once a week, to thrust in a pitcher of water and a bundle of cassava
root, on which the poor man lived, and to have the cell cleaned out. The
only aperture for light and air was a little round hole at the front of
the room, too small for even a bird to get through, though bees and
moths often entered and kept the prisoner company. But, lo! every day
and all day, especially when the sun shone, the rays of light through
that aperture brought with them a picture which they painted on the
opposite wall. This picture was upside down, but that was but a small
drawback, and everything that happened out of doors or in the city
beneath was painted on the wall in a marvellous manner. But when the
cell door was opened the picture faded away, so the gaoler never saw it.

‘One day the prisoner addressed the gaoler as follows: “Speak unto the
king for me, O my son, and tell him, if all my trespasses are forgiven
me, and I am taken up out of this loathsome den, I will build for him in
his palace a dark room in which he can sit and see all that is going on
in the city beneath spread out before him like a great moving picture.”

‘And the gaoler went and spoke to the king in the prisoner’s behalf, and
the poor man was brought before the king and set to work in a room of
the palace tower. With the aid of workmen he turned the room into a
camera obscura, by means of well-placed steel mirrors casting the
picture down upon a white concave table.

‘When the king saw it he was greatly astounded and delighted, and ever
after that there was no guest about the palace so greatly honoured as
the poor man he had but lately thrown into a dungeon.’

I began to rub my eyes after this, and I am hardly sure yet whether the
black-cap had really been speaking, or whether I had dropped asleep and
been dreaming.

However, this prisoner did nothing more than you could do. I slept, when
a boy, in a little turret chamber, which I easily converted into a
camera, a description of which I had read in an old book on ‘The Arts
and Sciences.’ I had a white screen placed at the proper focus, and a
tiny round hole in the shutter, that was all. It was a very primitive
arrangement, but pleased me then.

And I believe that most of my readers who are over twelve can make a
handy portable camera from the hints I shall now give.

Before you read any further, then, get an empty matchbox, and put it on
the table, bottom upwards. Now draw out the drawer of it about half-way.
That matchbox is your rough model for the portable camera. Simple, is it

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

The sketch I here append, however (Fig. 2), is not that of a matchbox,
but of your portable camera itself, minus its dark shade. The size of
this portable camera will depend upon, and be in the ratio of, your own
ambition; the perfection of its make will depend upon your own

1. Well, then, you are to make or get made a small box of either very
thin wood or very strong pasteboard, covered with thin cloth and painted
some dark colour. Size, say, six inches high, six inches wide, and one
foot long. This box is open only in front, and therein fits or slips the
focusing drawer with its lens.

2. This drawer is also of the same material, and is open at the end that
fits into the box, that is the end opposite the lens, and should work
easily in or out, and admit no light except through the lens, the
magnifying power of which need not be very great.

3. The whole interior of box and drawer is to be stained of a dull black

4. Into the top of the box is let a piece of ground glass, occupying the
whole breadth nearly of the top, and two-thirds of its length.

5. Into the box is fitted or let a mirror, which faces the drawer and
lies at an angle of forty-five degrees.

Now turn your eyes to Fig. 2, and I will try to explain it. The
dimensions of the box are marked in plain figures, as the drapers say.
The length of the drawer is about five inches or less. This drawer is
represented in the figure as pulled about half-way out. When shut up it
will reach the letters C A. The lens is about an inch in diameter, and
may be bought cheap at any optician’s, or even fitted for you there.

The piece of ground glass on the top occupies the position marked out by
the letters F, E, B, G.

The mirror inside occupies the position indicated by the dotted line A

But your camera is not complete yet. You have your dark shade to slip on
and fasten. This shade (_vide_ Fig. 3) is a lid, open at both ends, that
goes right over two-thirds of the whole box when closed, covering that
portion of it seen in Fig. 2 between the squares F, E, G, B and E, H, B,
I. This lid is fixed by means of a close-gummed cloth hinge to the box
at the dotted line F, E. It is free every way else, so that, when lifted
up to an angle of forty-five degrees, it keeps the light away from the
ground-glass top, and permits you to see the picture thereon. This shade
is, of course, also stained of a dark colour internally.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

Now your portable camera is complete. To use it, all you have to do is
to hold it in your hand, with the lens turned towards the picture you
want represented, and the shade raised, then to pull the focusing-drawer
in and out till you have a clear, well-defined picture on your
ground-glass top. When the sun is shining brightly the effect is
charming; but you yourself and camera ought to be well in the shade.

Now, the instrument I describe is very simple, but its principles may be
extended. You might have it on a stand with racks and pulleys for
adjustment; and you may have a dark cloth over the shade: the picture
will then be ever so much more bright. The great charm of a camera like
this is to have a real and lifelike picture in natural colours spread
out before you, to see still life as it stands, the trees waving in the
wind, and flowers nodding in the sunshine, and every human being or
animal that passes walking and moving on your plate.











For some years it has been the custom for our boys to employ their
leisure time during the winter months in the construction of cardboard
models of locomotives, and some of the finished specimens exhibit a
degree of skill and ingenuity which could hardly be expected. The work,
to a great extent, is the result of the boys’ own observation and skill,
added to from time to time by those more observant or more ingenious,
and handed down traditionally from one generation of boys to another.

As it is a very interesting occupation, and a valuable means of
educating both the eye and the hand, it occurred to me that, if it were
possible to describe the processes on paper, it would prove acceptable
to boys generally. I therefore gladly avail myself of the opportunity
afforded me to lay before you, as clearly as I know how, all the steps
necessary to produce a finished model.

To encourage those who may underrate their powers, and think it is
useless for them to try, I would say that boys of nine, ten, and eleven
often produce very creditable work, and that those who produce the very
best are not always those most highly distinguished in class-work. A few
more words only are necessary: take these three ‘P’s.’ as your helps,
and I am sure you will succeed:

1. Be PRECISE; that is, endeavour carefully to carry out every detail.

2. Be PATIENT; that is, do not be too hasty in what you have to do.

3. PERSEVERE; if you fail at first, ‘Try, try, try again.’

We will commence by making a list of the materials required, all of
which may easily be obtained at a small cost. If two or three boys work
together, the cost may be reduced, as the smallest quantity you can
purchase of some of the things will suffice for more than one model.


1. _Wood._--One-eighth of an inch thick, straight in the grain, and of
width and length detailed afterwards. The backing of picture-frames,
large cigar-boxes, boxes in which cocoa or blacking is kept at the
grocers’ shops, all do capitally, and can generally be got for nothing.

2. _Card._--(_a_) Thick, (_b_) medium, and (_c_) thin. The thick may be
obtained from strong cardboard boxes; the thin can be bought at most
stationers’ in penny sheets, about fourteen inches by ten; and for the
medium obtain used postcards (white), which answer the purpose

3. _Gum in solution._--Make your own, by purchasing two ounces of
gum-arabic at one penny per ounce, and dissolving it with warm water
till it is as thick as cream. Do not put too much water at first, you
can easily add more if too thick. Have this always ready, for you
require it constantly.

4. _Water-Colours_ (Rowney’s or Reeve’s penny cakes).--Chrome green (2);
vermilion (1); ivory-black (1); and a little Chinese white (the last not

5. _Camel-hair brushes._--Three or four of various sizes, halfpenny and
penny each.

6. _Elastic bands._--Six of various sizes.

7. _Pins._--If you cannot beg from your mother or sister, one penny will
buy what is necessary.

8. _Sand-paper._--Coarse and fine (halfpenny per sheet).

9. _Copper wire._--Such as is used for bell-hanging. Cost, one penny,
sufficient for several.

10. _Crystal varnish._--Cost, twopence.

11. _Brass or steel chain._--A piece of a toy watch-chain does very

12. _A few small pieces of coal_ from the coal-cellar, when required.

13. _A knife_, with sharp edge.--Boys need no advice on this point.

14. _A cutting-board._--Any smooth piece of board about half an inch

15. _Cotton._--One reel of strong, any colour.

16. A few pieces of board for painting and drying gummed parts on. Such
as described in No. 1 will do.

When all your materials are ready, select a piece of thin wood (marked 1
in the list of materials). Let it be free from knots and straight in the
grain. The following dimensions are suitable for a medium-sized model;
if larger or smaller models are desired, increase or decrease

LENGTH, fourteen inches; WIDTH, two and three-quarter inches; THICKNESS,
about one-eighth of an inch; this is called the FOUNDATION.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Plan of foundation, quarter of size.]

[Illustration: Part of Fig. 1.--Full size.]

Having cut the exact size, next proceed to make on it, in pencil, the
plan as detailed in Fig. 1, as follows: Rule the two parallel lines A
E, B F, at distances of a quarter of an inch and three-eighths of an
inch respectively from one edge; rule C G, D H at the same distances
respectively from the other edge. Next measure off from one end (which
you had better mark ‘FRONT’) half an inch, then one inch and a quarter,
one inch, one inch and three-quarters, etc., as on plan (this must be
done on both edges); rule lines across where the words ‘RAISE UP,’ 1, 2,
3, 4, are marked. The shaded parts between the parallel lines should be
shaded on your plan as in the diagram. These shaded parts are now to be
cut out with a sharp knife. It requires both patience and care to
prevent the wood splitting, but a little practice will enable you to do
this easily and skilfully. These cut-out spaces (as will be seen
afterwards) are for the wheels.

The _foundation_ is now prepared, and the next process is to cut out
four boiler ends, or ‘Raise-ups,’ as they are termed, 1 and 2 for the
front, 3 and 4 for the back of boiler. They are all different, and are
formed as follows: On four pieces of thick card (No. 2_a_ in list of
materials) describe circles with radius one and one-eighth of an inch
(equal to half the distance from A D); in Nos. 2 and 3 describe a second
circle, with radius not quite a quarter of an inch less.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--‘Raise-ups,’ half the size.]

Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 must each have a base-line two inches and a quarter
long. The ends of Nos. 1 and 2 must curve up to meet the circle, and
Nos. 3 and 4 are perpendicular lines from ends of base line to meet the
circle (as shown above in Fig. 2). Now place these on your cutting-board
(No. 14 in list of materials) and with a very sharp knife cut them
neatly and carefully the required shapes. Nos. 1 and 4 must be left
quite whole in the centre; Nos. 2 and 3 must have their centres cut out
round the inner circle. (In cutting do not try to make a continuous cut,
or your knife is almost certain to slip and spoil your work; do it by
successive ‘digs’ with the point of the knife, in the manner adopted by
a gardener when cutting round the edges of a flower-bed with his spade.)

We are now in a position to make the body of the boiler. For this, take
a piece of _thin_ card (2_c_ in list); it should be seven inches long
(the length from K to L in Fig. 1), and about eight inches and a half
wide. This must be rolled into a cylinder, and is then ready for fitting
into the ‘raise-ups’ 2 and 3. No. 1 is then placed at the front end and
gummed on, and No. 4 at the other end and also gummed on. No. 2 should
be one and three-eighths of an inch from No. 1, and No. 3 be one and
seven-eighths of an inch from No. 4. These ‘raise-ups’ should now all
be fixed in their places on the foundation, and fastened at the bottom
edge with the thick solution of gum (No. 3 in list), being held firmly
to the foundation by elastic bands (No. 6 in list). These bands must not
be too strong or they will flatten the boiler. In all gumming, pins
should be freely stuck round to hold the parts in the desired position
until they are dry. Our model will now present this appearance. The
short perpendicular lines with knobs marked _a_ represent pins; the
lines marked _b_ represent elastic bands.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

When this is firmly stuck, two other pieces of thin card should be
prepared to connect the ‘raise-ups.’ One must be one and three-eighths
of an inch wide, and the other one and seven-eighths of an inch, and
long enough to reach from the ‘foundation’ on one side, over the top, to
the ‘foundation’ again on the other side. They must exactly follow the
shapes of the ‘raise-ups,’ and should be cut to exactly fit, but not
before the previous work is quite dry and firm. When prepared, gum in
position; they are called ‘over-raise-ups.’ Several folds of cotton must
be wound round the part marked _a b c d_ to hold it while drying.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

The next process is to well coat it with paint of the desired colour. If
we are copying one of the South-Eastern Railway Company’s engines, the
body will have to be painted ‘chrome-green’; if one of the Brighton
Company’s, it will have to be painted ‘yellow-ochre.’ As the latter is
liable to become soiled, we will select the former, and commence by
mixing our colour. We shall require two penny cakes (No. 4 in list of
materials). They should be placed in a small tin or earthenware pot (one
of Liebig’s extract-of-beef pots answers the purpose admirably), a
little water is then added, and one of your cakes may easily be softened
with a large paint-brush (No. 5 in list). Make your colour of the
consistency of cream, so that it works freely. It may be mixed while the
previous work is drying. When all is ready, paint the boiler and
‘over-raise-ups’ evenly with it, and let it dry; a second coat is
applied in the same way, and usually a third and fourth coat. The front
and back ‘raise-ups’ (Nos. 1 and 4) are not painted chrome-green. The
body being evenly painted, and dry, we proceed to ornament the boiler
with some fine lines; these are made by cutting with a sharp knife eight
narrow strips of paper, the exact width being, of course, very much a
matter of taste. You will require a ruler to guide your knife, and you
must place your paper on something smooth and very hard (not wood) while
you cut, or the paper will curl up. These strips must be about nine or
ten inches long. Six are to be painted _black_ and two vermilion;
immediately after painting them, just shift their position a little or
the edges will stick to the material on which they are laid, and they
will break when you attempt to lift them after they are dry. When dry,
place them as follows: First take a black strip, gum it, and stick it
exactly midway between raise-ups (Nos. 2 and 3) quite round the boiler;
on each side of this, and about three-eighths of an inch distant from
it, gum a vermilion strip; next gum and place two black strips
similarly, one on each side, about an inch and a half distant from the
centre strip. The three remaining black strips are to be thus placed:
one at the _front_ edge of the _front_ ‘over-raise-up,’ a second at the
_back_ edge of the same, the third at the _front_ of the _back_
‘over-raise-up;’ the three last will then be exactly over the raise-ups
Nos. 1, 2, and 3. We now require two strips of card the exact length of
the space between Nos. 2 and 3 ‘raise-ups,’ and not quite half an inch
wide; paint them well over with ‘chrome-green’ like the boiler, and when
dry edge with a black line, using the smallest paint-brush for this
black line. These are to be gummed at the lower side of the boiler
touching the foundation, and meeting the boiler obliquely,
thus:--[Illustration]. The position of the strips is shown at _a_. In
all gumming use plenty of gum, but let the greater part be on the side
hid from view.

[Illustration: This end must be shaped to fit the boiler.

Fig. 5.--Full size.]

We have now to construct ‘side-boxes.’ Take a piece of medium thickness
card (a used _white_ postcard), and make it the shape of Fig. 5. Where
the dotted lines come, cut a little [V]-shaped groove, _not quite
through_ the card, like this:--[Illustration]. And by bringing the two
edges of the groove together, thus, [Illustration], you will be enabled
to fold the card at right angles at those places without breaking it.
Having cut this as required, it must be folded and gummed into shape
(put plenty of gum into the joints and corners), and kept in this
position on a piece of wood by pins. Fig. 6 shows its appearance.

[Illustration: Fig. 5_a_.--To go round ‘middle-box.’]

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

Make another similar to this for the other side; the same shaped card
will do, all that you need alter is the [V] groove, which must be on the
reverse side of the card to enable you to fold it so as to make a
pair--right and left-handed. When dry, paint ‘chrome-green,’ edge with
black, and gum in position one on each side of the back ‘over-raise-up,’
to which they should exactly fit. Fig. 8 shows them in position marked
_b_. The next thing to do is to make ‘MIDDLE-BOXES.’ They are two in
number, and are placed, one on each side, exactly in the middle of the
boiler, as marked _a_ in Fig. 8. Medium thickness is required. Describe
a circle, with radius one inch; within and concentric describe a second
with radius seven-eighths of an inch, and a third concentric with radius
three-eighths of an inch; divide this into two equal parts by the line A
B, Fig. 7. Between the two inner circles draw radiating spokes, as in
Fig. 7. Cut out the shaded parts neatly with a sharp knife. Cut through
the line A B to divide into two parts. Now prepare two pieces of card
shaped something like Fig. 5_a_; and the length must be sufficient to
reach from A to B round the outer circle in Fig. 7, the curve being made
to fit nicely to the boiler, as marked _c_ in Fig. 8. Gum these to the
middle-boxes, and, when dry, paint ‘chrome-green,’ edged with black;
gum middle-boxes in their places on the boiler. In the centre of the
front ‘raise-up’ gum a circular piece of thin card (radius
three-quarters of an inch)--this represents soot-door; a pin, with head
and point cut off, gummed on the left side with two narrow strips of
card from the pin to beyond the circle as annexed will form the hinges;
two other pieces of pin, as shown on the side opposite to the hinges,
form the handles.

[Illustration: Half-size.]

The soot-door should be painted black.

The model should now present the appearance of Fig. 8.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

We have next to make a ‘DOME-BOX’ and a FUNNEL-BOX. As both of these are
alike except in size, we will give details of the first, and dimensions
only of the second. On a piece of ‘medium’ card construct a square with
sides one and a half inch long, construct a second within it with sides
one inch long, cut out the corners shaded, leave the sides A B and C D
straight, but curve, as shown, the lines marked E F and G H, so that
they fit the boiler; the annexed (Fig. 9, No. 1) is full size and
exactly the shape. All round the inner square, where the dotted lines
are shown, a [V]-shaped groove must be cut, as when making ‘side-boxes’:
fold in, gum well in at the angles, and place pins round to keep it in
position until dry, as at Fig. 9, No. 2.

The dimensions of the ‘funnel-box’ are: outer square, one and a quarter
inches sides; inner square, three-quarters of an inch sides. The
‘dome-box’ is to be painted _chrome-green_ and edged with black; the
‘funnel-box’ is to be painted _black_. When they are quite dry they must
be gummed in position; the ‘dome-box’ is to be placed on the boiler,
almost in the centre, but slightly nearer the front than the back; the
‘funnel-box’ exactly in the centre of the front over ‘raise-up.’

[Illustration: Wood shaped for Dome. Cut off at line A B.]

[Illustration: Fig. 10.]

Now obtain a piece of deal about six inches long and rather more than an
inch square; the corners are to be cut away at one end, so that the end
is shaped something like a glass shade; then with sand-paper (_coarse_
first and then _fine_) the rounded part is smoothed; cut it off square,
about one inch and a quarter from the rounded end, as shown at A B.

This is the ‘DOME,’ and if it be gilded with a little of Judson’s or
Bessemer’s gold paint, it adds much to the appearance; when gilded and
dry, stick it on the ‘dome-box;’ it should exactly reach the centre of
each side of the square; looked at from above, it appears as at _a_;
looked at from one side, it appears as at _b_.

[Illustration: STEAM FUNNEL]

Next take a piece of rather stout note-paper, about six inches long and
half an inch wide, roll it round a piece of slate-pencil several times,
gum the outer end, and when dry slip it off; cut a circular piece of
medium card to fit the end, which should be about half an inch in
diameter; now roll another piece of paper about a quarter of an inch
wide so as to make a roll about a third of the diameter of the
preceding, gum the outer end as before, and fix it in the centre of the
circular card; cut a second disc of card with the centre cut out just to
fit on the top of the small roll; it will then appear thus: It is called
the ‘_steam-funnel_’; it is to be painted ‘_chrome-green_’ and edged
with black; its position is the centre of the back ‘over-raise-up.’

We must now make our _screen_. For this we require a piece of thick card
three and a half inches long and two and five-eighths inches wide. It is
to be of the shape here given, but the width must be such that it will
fit tightly in between the side-boxes (see _b_, Fig. 8) at the rear end
of the boiler; the top must reach about half an inch higher than the
steam-funnel and be rounded at the corners. In this two circular holes
of about three-quarters of an inch in diameter must be cut; their
position is half an inch below the top and a quarter of an inch from the
sides; paint it chrome-green and edge with black. If pieces of circular
glass, such as are used for covering objects when mounted for the
microscope, were placed over the circular holes, and gilded round the
edges, they would improve the appearance; they are not essential. On
this screen we now provide a circular piece of thin card of the same
diameter as the large end of boiler--viz., two and a quarter inches;
this must be painted black, and is then gummed on the screen so as to
correspond with the boiler end when the screen is in position; a hole,
horizontal at the top and circular below, of this shape and dimensions
must now be cut through both cards for an ash-pan, the lower edge being
about one-eighth of an inch from the edge of the circle; at the back,
over the hole, gum a piece of paper painted vermilion, and dotted with
black to represent fallen cinders.

On this boiler end must now be made furnace and furnace-door. For this
take a piece of ‘medium’ card, and on it describe a semi-circle, with
diameter one and three-quarter inches. In this make a door shaped as in
the diagram, cut _quite_ through the part marked _a_, _b_, _c_, _d_,
except where the dotted line comes. Where this dotted line is shown it
should be cut on the _reverse_ side of the card, _half_ through the
card. This is the door, and it will then stand partly open. Round the
circular part gum a piece of thin card, one-eighth of an inch wide.
Fasten down with pins as before to dry, as annexed. When dry, paint the
part which is to show outside black, and stick a piece of paper painted
vermilion on the inner side of door. The vermilion should show through
the partly open door, in order to give the ruddy appearance of fire.
This furnace end may now be gummed on the boiler end (see Fig. 11). When
in position the bottom will be parallel with the top of the ‘ash-pan’
opening, and about one eighth of an inch above it. It will stand out
from the boiler end. Now with a large pin make holes all round the edge
of the boiler end. They should be close together, like this:
[Illustration]. In these holes insert pins, with the heads showing
outside, and this will give the effect of bright rivets.

Next take a piece of medium card, and make it of this size and shape:
[Illustration: As seen from front.]. Where the dotted lines marked ‘1’
are shown, bend it at right angles from you; where the dotted lines
marked ‘2’ are shown, bend at right angles outwards; it will, when
looked at edgeways, appear like this: [Illustration: As seen from
above.]. Paint it black on both sides, and gum the ends (2 to 3) on the
screen just above the boiler end. The lever (4, 5) is to work in this on
its centre (4). A narrow piece of thick card, about one inch and a
quarter long, will do for the lever, while a pin inserted at 4 forms the
centre on which it moves.



We then fix our ‘_steam-gauge_.’ It consists of a circular piece of
white _medium_ card, on which is shown the numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, etc.,
to indicate the pressure. A pin through the centre connects it with the
steam-funnel. The pin represents the steam-pipe. We now require taps,
which we make out of pins, by cutting off the heads and bending them at
right angles about one-eighth of an inch from the headless end. The
point is pushed through the card, leaving outside about one-eighth of an
inch in addition to the bent part, as shown in accompanying cut. Above
this we gum another piece of bent pin _this_ size [Illustration] and
shape, for handle of tap. Two or three of these should be placed on the
boiler end, at the left side above the furnace.

[Illustration: Fig. 11.--Appearance of screen, but not the correct

[Illustration: Ash-box, full size.]

Our screen will now appear as shown at Fig. 11, and is ready for fixing.
To enable us to do this, as its position is at the back end of the
boiler, we first remove entirely No. 4 ‘_raiseup_’ and this must be done
very carefully. A good plan is to cut out the bottom of the ‘raiseup,’
insert your finger and gently pull it, when, with a little coaxing, it
will probably come out easily. The ‘raiseup’ being removed, we fix the
screen firmly in its place, using plenty of gum on the inner side of the
‘over-raiseup,’ ‘side-boxes,’ and inner boiler end. To hold it in
position while drying, stick two or three pins at the bottom into the
‘foundation,’ and tie a piece of cotton through the screen holes round
the dome. This cotton must not be so tight as to pull off the dome or
bend the screen. Let it dry.

[Illustration: Fig. 12.--Tender-side.--Exact size.]

The next process is to provide ‘_tender-sides_.’ The name indicates what
they are, viz. sides to the tender. They are made of wood; two pieces,
each four and a half inches long, one inch and a quarter wide, and
one-eighth of an inch thick, are required. The upper corner at the front
end should be cut out to correspond with the projection from side-boxes
(see Fig. 5, _a_). Paint chrome-green, edged with black, then divide
into panels with black lines, as at Fig. 12, which is full size, and
gives the exact appearance. If found too difficult, omit all the inner
lines. It is advisable to practise making these fine lines on a piece of
paper before making them on your ‘sides.’

[Illustration: Fig. 13.--Half-size.]

When they are quite ready they are placed in position (one on each side)
at the rear of the ‘foundation,’ and firmly gummed. They must be in an
exact line with the ‘side-boxes,’ and reach a little each way beyond the
pair of tender-wheels (as shown in Fig. 1, P to R). To connect these,
take a piece of ‘thick’ card of the shape shown (Fig. 13, _a_). The
diagram is half size. At M O and N P, cut, as before explained, V-shaped
grooves, and gum up the shape as at Fig. 13, _b_.

Paint the part marked A chrome-green; panel with black lines like sides
of tender. Paint the parts marked B and C black. When quite dry, place
in position; the part marked A is to be at the back end of the
‘tender-sides’ connecting them, the part marked B half-way along the
top, in both cases extending to the _outer edge_ of the wooden
‘tender-sides.’ The part marked C, which is narrower, comes _between_
the ‘tender-sides,’ and should terminate just about the front end of

[Illustration: Fig. 14.--Back screen, half size.

Screen.--This shape, but about twice the size.]

The ‘screen’ to be placed at this end now requires making. It should be
just wide enough below to fit in between the ‘tender-sides;’ the upper
part should be wide enough to reach the outside edges of the
‘tender-sides.’ The height should be a quarter of an inch less than the
‘screen’ already constructed (Fig. 11), with top-corners rounded, and
with two holes near the top similar to those in the ‘screen.’ Near the
bottom a hole, one inch wide and three-quarters of an inch high, should
be cut--this is for the stoker to get coals out. The diagram (Fig. 14)
gives the shape. Paint chrome-green, and edge with black.

If you desire to make a screen with a top to it, as in the engines more
recently constructed, obtain a piece of thick card long enough for both
screens (which now must be of equal height) and the top; arrange it
something like the annexed figure, placing all the details of both
screens as before described, and finally making V-shaped grooves at A
and B, where the bends are to be made. Gum up into shape and afterwards
gum in position as before described. Very often this kind of engine has
no ‘tender,’ and is called a ‘tank’ engine.

[Illustration: Fig. 15.]

Now obtain some coal and break it into small pieces--about the size of
gum arabic when purchased. These are to be gummed on the card marked C,
in Fig. 13 to fill the space level between it and the back screen, and
thus give the appearance of a tender well filled with coal. The tender
will now be as represented at Fig. 15.

[Illustration: Fig. 16.]

Our attention must now be given to the _wheels_. We require five pairs.
The diameter of these should be equal to the spaces cut out on the
‘foundation’ in Fig. 1, viz. one pair one inch and a quarter, one pair
(fly-wheels) one inch and three-quarters, and three pairs one inch and a
half. They are to be cut out of ‘thick’ card; the fly-wheels should have
sixteen _spokes_, the others may have eight or twelve. In the centre of
each wheel make a pin-hole. Fig. 16, full size, will show you how to
mark and cut out your wheels. The shaded part is to be cut out neatly
and carefully with a sharp knife. As each wheel is cut out, paint it
chrome-green, and edge each spoke with black. Next obtain a piece or
pieces of wood about three-eighths of an inch square at the end, and
about one or two feet long. Cut off five pieces, each two inches and a
quarter long--this is probably rather longer than required, but they can
be cut shorter; they are for _axles_, and the ends should be painted

[Illustration: A piece of bearing shaft. Full size.]

[Illustration: Bearing shaft complete, quarter of size.]

Having all these prepared, fix each pair of wheels to an axle by
sticking a pin through a pin-hole. They are not to be permanently fixed
until the axles are stuck on the foundation, as possibly some of the
pins may require to be placed higher or lower in the axles in order that
all the wheels may be level at the bottom and the engine stand firmly
when on a smooth surface. When this is done, fasten the wheels very
firmly to the axles with pins cut in half. I should add, the wheels are
_not_ intended to revolve. Next provide ‘bearing-shafts’ by taking
strips of thin card, the same length as the foundation, and about half
an inch wide; draw a line down the the middle of each from end to end.
Now fit them to the sides in order to mark on them the positions of the
engine-wheel centres, A, B, C. At these make curves, as shown. Cut
through the line (1,2); it follows the centre line except at the curves;
the bottom is quite straight. Paint this ‘vermilion,’ or better still,
‘crimson-lake,’ and edge with white. The bearing shafts are continued
round the ends front and rear, but for these it is best to take separate
pieces of card of medium thickness; they are only a quarter of an inch
wide; paint and edge like the side pieces. Gum in position on the sides
and ends of foundation; only the curved parts at A, B, C appear above,
the straight part of the upper edge is ‘flush’ (that is, exactly even)
with the _foundation_.

Our copper wire (No. 9 in list) is now needed. Cut two pieces just long
enough to fit _tightly_ between the second and third ‘raiseups,’ fix
them in position parallel with boiler, rather more than half-way up, and
near the edge of the ‘raiseups.’

LAMPS are now to be made and fixed on the space in front; they are best
made out of pieces of wood--the remainder of that used for axles will be
useful for this if cut down; they should be about three-eighths of an
inch wide and thick, and half an inch high. Paint the front side of one
white, of the other green; when dry, make a circle on this front, and
paint _all black except within the circles_; make two similar for the
back, but these paint _vermilion_ for the _centres_. In the top of each
insert a bent pin with its head cut off for a handle.

Now make the buffers, the instructions for making steam-funnel will tell
you how: the only difference is that there is to be _no hole_ in the
circular card at the end. The front part is painted vermilion, the rest
black. Two are required at each end; they are placed on the
bearing-shafts front and rear, about three-eighths of an inch from the

The ‘FUNNEL’ now requires our attention. It is made of paper, long
enough and wide enough, when tightly rolled, to form a cylinder about
half an inch in diameter and two inches long. Gum the edge down. For the
top, cut a circular ring, of medium card, three-quarters of an inch in
diameter outside, half an inch in diameter inside. Fit this neatly on
the top of the cylinder. Paint it black and gum in the centre of the
funnel-box, previously described. A gold line or strip of gilt paper
round the top of the funnel improves the appearance.

[Illustration: Fig. 17.]

[Illustration: Funnel top.]

A circular piece of medium card three-quarters of an inch in diameter,
with a black cross or diamond painted on it, should be placed in front
of the funnel-box. (Fig. 17).

_Safety-valves_, connected with the ‘dome,’ should now be put. Obtain
two rather thick sewing-needles, about two inches long; make with the
points two small holes, one-eighth of an inch apart, just behind the red
strip at the back of the ‘dome;’ push the eye end of one of these
needles carefully through these holes, so as to allow them to stand out
about an inch and a half. They should incline to each other at the top,
but otherwise be perpendicular. They are connected with the dome by pins
with the heads cut off, but whose points are stuck into a little cube of
cork gummed on the top of the dome.

The engine is now tolerably complete, and only requires to be varnished.
For this purpose, obtain some ‘crystal’ varnish, of good quality, and
apply it with a large camel-hair brush. One good coat should suffice.
Let it thoroughly dry before handling.

There are many little details which will probably occur to you. I have
seen a metal cartridge-case used to represent a cylinder, a wire coming
from the top representing the steam feed-pipe. Little pieces of chain,
front and back, represent coupling-chains. In some, the apparatus for
applying the vacuum brake is imitated. All you need do is to use your
eyes and exercise your ingenuity. Should you fail at first, do not be
discouraged; try once more. There are no obstacles but what may be
conquered by patient and persevering attention.


The humming-top is a familiar toy that does not cost much to buy. At the
same time there is always a satisfaction in making a thing for
oneself--particularly when it costs nothing.

As it happens that a good loud humming-top can be made for nothing, we
feel sure that some of our readers will not be above trying their hands
at it.


The materials are an empty baking-powder canister, or any wooden box,
and two pieces of firewood. The plan of operations is to cut a slit in
the side of the box answering to the hole in the toy, making it half an
inch square or round, as the case may be, and making a hole in the lid
and bottom of the box for the spindle to come through. To make a good
job of it the bottom hole should be square and the top hole round, and
the spindle should be cut to fit, pushing it in, of course, from the
bottom. When the holes and spindle are cut, put a little glue round the
lid to make the box tight, and insert the spindle with a little glue at
each hole. For the usual fork or handle with which the top is spun, a
plain slip of wood with a hole at the end will be found to answer.

Very simple preparations all these, and yet everything is ready except
the string.

When the top is dry, wind round the string, passing it through the hole
in the handle as shown, and spin.



You will admit, I think, that if instead of fashioning wood by tools it
were possible to make the wood grow into the shape desired, it would not
only be curious, but under certain circumstances useful. Suppose, for
instance, I wished to have a boat; it would not only be curious, but in
some cases useful, if I could make the boat grow under my eyes by almost
imperceptible additions, instead of fashioning it, as now, from planks.
This is just what I am going to show you how to do, and very pretty work
you will find it in long evenings.

You must begin by making a fluid called cupro-ammonium (you cannot buy
it), which has the singular property of dissolving woody matter just as
completely as water dissolves gum. You make this cupro-ammonium thus: Go
to a wholesale druggist, or a drysalter, and purchase a Winchester quart
bottle full of the very strongest solution of ammonia. This is known
commercially as ‘eighty-eighty’ ammonia, by which name you are to
inquire for it. Were you to purchase less than the measure of a
Winchester quart it would cost you a much higher proportionate price,
because, being very irritating to the nose and eyes, the vendor will
take good care to charge you for all the sneezes and eye-blinkings he
has to encounter in measuring out your required quantity.

Next you will require an _empty_ Winchester quart stoppered bottle, or a
bottle of equal capacity. Being thus provided, you will pour just one
half of the contents of the full bottle into the empty bottle; the
reason for doing which will presently be seen.

Get now some copper wire--it matters not what size--and having got it,
cut into such lengths that being thrust into one of your half-full
Winchester quart bottles it shall lie partly immersed in the ammonia,
and partly exposed to air, like this:--


You will observe that the sketch represents not one length of copper
wire, but many, the fact being that the object of using copper at all is
that it may be dissolved by the ammonia; and it stands to reason that in
proportion as the copper is more so will the necessary strength of
solution be arrived at more quickly. Contact of air being necessary to
effect the solution affords the reason for your dividing the original
ammonia into halves.

So your bundle of copper wire being placed in the half-full bottle as
described, there let it remain and steep, but you must take care to
remove the stopper of your bottle from time to time--say once a day, at
least--shaking the contained fluid well about, so as to promote air
contact. An interesting change will be seen to take place. The ammonia
solution, originally colourless as water, grows blue and bluer still,
until so very blue that you cannot see through it. To this blue solution
the name of cupro-ammonia has been applied. It has the remarkable
property of dissolving wood, as we shall presently discover in our

Before going further I must point out to you that this cupro-ammonium
has a very strong smell; not a disagreeable smell, far from it; the
smell of hartshorn, in point of fact. Not an unhealthy smell, but one
may easily have too much of it. To be working amidst sneezing and eyes
full of water is not agreeable, so I will tell you betimes how, in your
small workings, you may avoid this inconvenience. The smell depends on a
colourless gas ammonia, which is a light gas and very tractable. If you
sit in a draught and on the windward side whilst working, and in the
open air, the ammonia is blown away from you and you smell nothing. If
you work in a room and before a chimney, up which there is a draught,
then again you smell nothing, because all the ammonia evolved goes up
the chimney. These points being remembered, no trouble will be
experienced in doing such small work as I shall teach you; but before
working with cupro-ammonia could be conducted on a large manufacturing
scale, as it now is conducted, special means had to be devised for
disposing of the ammoniacal atmosphere.

Good, so far! And now about the tools. The hand, with its four fingers
and a thumb, is so excellent a tool for an infinity of purposes, that
certain thoughtless people would seem to be under the impression that
whatever new thing they may have to do can be done without tools
altogether. This is a mistake; tools you will want, but they are of the
simplest description.

Inasmuch as cupro-ammonium not only stains the skin but irritates it, do
not let it touch the skin. There is no danger in the matter, only
inconvenience. You do not want the ladies of your family petulantly
complaining about those boys having been ‘dabbling with their filthy
chemicals.’ Should your fingers get stained, a little vinegar will get
out the stain, but not without a certain smarting that may as well be

The chief tool you will have to employ will be a finger of the right
hand. Some operators may prefer the forefinger to others; the second
will come most natural. But whichever finger you determine to employ,
case it in india-rubber. This is easily done, and as follows: Having
procured a sheet of raw or unvulcanised india-rubber, cut a piece off,
hold out your finger, and get some friend, after warming the rubber, to
stretch it over the finger so:--[Illustration] squeezing the rubber
where it comes round the finger above into a flattened crest. The two
surfaces will stick together quite as much as is desirable. Now let the
operator, with a pair of sharp scissors, and at one sweep, cut away the
crest close up to the finger. You will then have an india-rubber


If you choose to be a little more extravagant, you may provide yourself
with an india-rubber glove. Gloves of this material are common enough
now, being used for a variety of purposes, more especially by
photographers for protecting their hands against the corrosive and
poisonous agents employed in the practice of photography. If, however,
you do use gloves, see that they are thin, fitting well to the fingers.
If thick they will interfere with the delicacy of touch necessary to
your working. For my part, I do not recommend gloves, looking upon a
finger-stall of india-rubber as superior.

The next tool that you must get is a pair of forceps, such as
watchmakers use. It is a very inexpensive instrument, costing only a few
pence, and in shape it is like this:--


The next tool--and the last I shall have to indicate--is a pair of sharp
and delicately made scissors. Do not calculate on family resources,
taking the first pair of scissors that may come to hand: get a pair of
your own. See that they are first-rate when you are about it, and you
cannot buy scissors of this sort at random at any hardware shop. Go to a
surgical instrument shop, where you will be able to get what you want.

And now I leave your cupro-ammonium to brew, and you to get together the
few tools indicated. When you are quite ready, we will proceed to see
what to do with it.

The first exercise I shall put to you is the manufacture of an
artificial wooden bottle. There will be no particular use in the thing
when made, but it will be a curiosity, and the making of it is the very
best exercise that suggests itself to me after many years’ experience.

You will perhaps here call to mind what I have told you about the
pungent smell of our working fluid, cupro-ammonium, if one chances to
get a sniff at it, and how that inconvenience may be avoided by a little
management. In addition to that memory, please now bear in mind that the
intensity of the smell of odorous things is in proportion to the surface
exposed. Presently, in order to use your cupro-ammonium fluid, some must
be poured out into a vessel into which you can dip little pieces of
paper. Now it is evident that the smell of a pint of cupro-ammonium, or
of any other smelling fluid, will be less intense if the vessel be a
comparatively narrow-mouthed jug than if it be a basin; but supposing a
basin to be desirable for collateral reasons, then much smell may be
avoided by providing yourself with a temporary cover, say a glass pane,
which may be laid over the surface, resting on the basin rim at the
intervals when the dipping of your pieces of paper must be interrupted.

Next as to the paper you are to use in making this bottle of artificial
wood. The best for your purpose will be what is known as printing demy.
Writing-paper, having a glazed surface, is not favourable. The glaze is
produced by animal size, a material that does not go well with
cupro-ammonium. It matters little, practically nothing at all, whether
the printer’s demy be new or whether it be printed upon. I have made
excellent artificial wood out of, I believe, _all_ the London daily
morning papers; so choose your paper, and let us fall to work.
Theoretically and scientifically it matters not what shape you cut your
paper into, but practically, and present purpose regarded, there can be
no doubt but that discs of a circular shape, and scored with cuts all
round the circumference, are most convenient. The discs may conveniently
run about the accompanying size.


The basis or model of our bottle about to be, or rather flask, shall be
a common oil-flask. Provide yourself, then, with one of these, and
cleanse it thoroughly from all oil, the least touch of which would be
fatal to the success of our workings. Having done this, provide some
sort of stand, into which the neck of the flask being stuck, the whole
may be turned round and round in the progress of working. It matters
nothing what this movable stand is. A candlestick does very well, if you
can find a candlestick with candle-socket big enough to admit the neck
of the flask. A marmalade pot holding sand can always be got, and into
the sand the mouth and neck of the flask being stuck, every necessary
purpose will have been answered.


Preliminaries being thus seen to, you pour out some of the
cupro-ammonium in, let us say, a basin. Do not be sparing as to the
quantity you pour out, for a reason to be explained presently. Take now
one of your paper circular discs, and, with your forceps nipping it
quite at the edge, dip it into the cupro-ammonium bath. For how long?
Ah! that is a question to be solved. Assuming your stock of
cupro-ammonium to be in good working order--assuming it to have been
brewing with the copper wire for not less than a month, air having been
furnished to it day by day, as already enjoined--then about three
seconds will be long enough for each immersion. Nothing but practice
will settle the point, and after only a little practice the operator
cannot be mistaken. Immerse, then, for trial a paper disc, and,
withdrawing it after about three or four seconds, lay it upon the crown
of your flask and spread it out regularly by means of your forceps and
rubber-protected finger. If it feels slippery like an eel the fluid has
come to condition; but otherwise, if the disc instead of feeling
slippery give the impression of harshness, then the conditions are not
all that one would desire them to be. The main question is this: will
the next disc, when steeped in the bath, removed, and pressed down,
stick satisfactorily to the preceding disc?


This we shall now see. I have shown you here how the discs must overlap
each other like the scales of a fish. You need not be particular in
aiming at the mathematical symmetry of the scale lying on a fish’s skin;
it would be folly to attempt such a result except your discs had been
mathematically cut to pattern, and extremely difficult of execution in
any case. Supposing the adhesion to be satisfactory, you can go on
covering the entire surface of the oil-flask, and I should think common
sense would suggest that when you have come down a certain distance in
your working it will be more convenient if you take the flask out of its
support and reverse it on a tumbler thus:--


When one course of overlap disc-layering has been finished in the way
described, I would advise you, this being your first experience, to lay
your work aside and let it dry. It will be easy now to see whether the
overlap adhesion by all that was desired, and what the process is
capable of. You are to remember, please, that we aim at no mere sticking
together comparable to the result of gumming or pasting, but to an
actual incorporation of material, so that junction being once effected,
the layers can never more be separated by any known means. Were it
otherwise, a thick material resulting from aggregated sheets of paper
would have no claim to the designation ‘artificial wood.’ It would be
simply _papier-maché_, reducible to paper pulp by mere steeping in
water; whereas the material you and I are now engaged upon may be not
only steeped in water, but actually boiled, and will never come to
pieces. It will behave under those circumstances exactly like natural
wood--that is to say, will soften a little to a certain depth, no more.

Cupro-ammonium is a very funny thing to work with, and has many curious
ways. One curious point is this: Capable of effecting such complete
adhesion--nay, more, incorporation, actual, bodily, as we have seen it
to be--yet that quality ceases after only a few minutes’ removal from
the bath. If you ask me the why and wherefore, frankly, I am unable to
tell you, not myself knowing, though I have worked at this material for
more than twenty years. So whatever work has to be done with
cupro-ammonium has to be quickly done.

Another point of very highest importance is the following: Do you
remember my telling you not to be sparing in the quantity of
cupro-ammonium poured from the ‘brewing bottle,’ as we will call it,
into the dipping basin? The fact is that every bit of paper you immerse
and withdraw weakens the original solvent power of the bath, so in
proportion as the bath liquor is smaller in quantity, by so much more
speedily will its working power be lessened. For a long time that
working power can be, and in practice is, restored by additional copper
steepage, but it cannot be restored indefinitely.

Now pour back your bath-liquor; put away your tools, hereafter to renew
your bottle building. Go on adding layer to layer until your bottle is
as thick as you wish it to be, then giving the thing a sharp crack with
the hammer, the glass flask will crumble almost to sand, which, when
shook out, your own flask of cuproxylene, or artificial wood, will
remain without support, but quite able to take care of itself.



The investigation of astronomical phenomena can only be made with the
aid of a good telescope, the purchase of which is attended with
considerable cost. It is my purpose in this chapter to give such
directions as will enable any boy with average ingenuity to make for
himself, at the cost of a few shillings, an instrument with which he can
observe the more interesting of these phenomena.

This telescope will be of the simple non-achromatic class--that is, the
colour effect of the unequal refraction of light is not corrected.
Object-glasses of the achromatic construction are very expensive. All
refracting telescopes were of the simple class up to 1758, when Mr. John
Dollond, who had a few years before set up in business in London as
optician, discovered a way to correct the colour effect on the image.
This was by making the object-glass compound, or of two or more lenses
fitted to each other, each being made of a different quality of glass
from the other and having a different refracting power, one lens
correcting or neutralising the dispersing caused by the other. The
lenses for our telescope can be had from Messrs. Dollond and Co.,
descendants of the above John Dollond, No. 1, Ludgate Hill, who have
given me some valuable hints with regard to the construction of this

A refracting telescope consists of an eye-piece, a tube, and an
object-glass; these are mounted on a firm stand. The object-glass at one
end of the tube collects the rays of light, reflected from an object, to
a point, in the focus of the eyepiece, which magnifies the image that is
there formed, enabling the eye, placed at the orifice of the eyepiece,
to see an enlarged image of the object.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

The stand must be firm, so as not to vibrate when any one passes along
the floor of the room, and it must have a vertical and lateral motion
connected with it. Fig. 1 shows what our instrument will be like when

The first thing to be made is the tube; this must be thirty-nine inches
long and two inches in diameter inside. Get a wooden roller four feet
long and two inches wide. A piece of curtain rod will do. Now mix some
strong glue. If you have not a glue-pot, mix it in a jar placed in a
saucepan of water. Get some sheets of stout brown paper and well damp
them. Take a strip of brown paper, that has not been damped, thirty-nine
inches long and seven inches wide. Rub the roller all over well with
powdered chalk and put this dry paper strip round it to form a case,
lapping and gluing the edges together, but being very careful not to let
any glue touch the roller. Now take your damped paper and rub it all
over on both sides with hot glue, and roll it on the roller; roll it
tightly and rub the glue well in, and rub each layer of paper well in to
the under one, so that when dry it will form a mass of paper and glue.
Put on enough paper to form a casing a quarter of an inch thick. When
you have done papering set the whole on one side to get quite dry and
hard. While this is drying we can be making the eyepiece and stand. For
the eyepiece we shall want a piece of brass tube four inches long and
large enough for the larger of the two lenses that form the eyepiece to
go inside; that will be a little more than an inch in diameter inside.
Get your lenses before getting the tube. This tube can be bought at the

Now for the lenses. Go to Messrs. Dollond and ask for a two-inch simple
object-glass, forty inches focus. This will be one shilling and
sixpence. For the eyepiece ask for two plano-convex lenses--one of
one-inch focus, the other of two-inch focus. These will be three
shillings and sixpence the pair. The object glass is to be double
convex. Now, having got your lenses, we will fix them in the tube.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

Cut a piece of cardboard three-quarters of an inch wide, and long enough
to go all round inside the tube tightly, and not to lap. Push this in to
form a lining at one end, and forming a shelf out of the thickness. This
shelf is to be about two inches from the end. Now turn the other end of
the tube up and drop the larger of the two lenses--which is called the
field lens--on to the shelf with the rounded side downwards. Now push in
on the top of it another cardboard lining three-quarters of an inch
wide. Push this lining quite down on to the flat side of the lens to
keep it firm. On to the shelf formed by this lining place a disc of
cardboard the size of the inside of the tube, and with a hole cut in the
centre half an inch in diameter. This hole must be cut quite clean. On
to this disc push in a cardboard lining one inch wide to keep all firm.
Now cut two discs of cardboard, one the exact size of the inside of the
tube, with a hole in the centre a trifle smaller in diameter than the
small lens, which is called the eye-lens; the other a quarter of an inch
smaller, and having a hole in the centre the exact size of the eye-lens.
Glue these two discs together (as in Fig. 2), being careful to get them
concentric. When this is dry push the eye-lens into the ledge formed,
the flat side downwards, and put the cardboard discs on to the lining in
the tube, the rounded side of the glass inside the tube. Fasten the disc
and lens in place with a narrow strip of cardboard, going all round just
inside the tube.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

Fig. 3 will show the arrangement of lenses and disc in the tube. The
lenses are to be an inch and three-quarters from edge to edge; the disc
is to be an inch from the eye-lens. Now get a tinman to make you a cap
of thin brass plate (like Fig. 4). This is to fit tightly on the end of
the tube over the eye-lens, and is to have a hole in the centre of the
top three-eighths of an inch in diameter.

Now the eyepiece is finished, and we will get on with the stand.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

Let two circular pieces of beech five inches in diameter and one and a
half inches thick, each to have a hole bored in the centre an inch in
diameter, and going right through the wood. Take one of these pieces,
and on the under side fasten, by three strong brass hinges that work
stiffly, three legs, made of inch and a half square pine (Fig. 5). These
legs are to be four feet six inches long.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

Take the other piece of beech and fasten a rod or roller of wood, two
feet and a half long and one inch diameter, into the hole, so that one
end is flush with the top side of the wood (Fig. 6). Now fasten two
uprights to the top, letting them into the wood (Fig. 6). These are to
be three-quarters of an inch thick, and four and a half inches high, and
are to be three and a half inches apart.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

Bore a hole in each upright about half an inch from the top and about
one quarter of an inch in diameter. Now get nine screw stair-eyes at
the ironmonger’s, and about seven feet of brass wire one eighth of an
inch thick. Get this wire straightened. Into the inside of each leg, and
one foot from the top, screw one of the brass stair-screws. Now get a
piece of wood, circular, three inches diameter and one and a half inches
thick (a ribbon roller will do very well), and bore a hole right through
the centre, one and a quarter inches in diameter. Round this piece of
wood at equal distances screw three more of the screw-eyes. Now cut from
your brass wire three lengths of fourteen inches, and turn a ring at
each end of each piece, and hook one end of each piece into a screw-eye
in the circular block, and the other end into the eye in each leg,
closing up the rings so that they will not come unhooked. This
arrangement will keep the top from tilting. Now the stand is finished,
and we will take the tube in hand if it is quite dry and hard. Before
drawing out the roller, cut the ends off quite square with a sharp
knife, leaving the tube thirty-seven and a half inches long. Now draw
out the roller without breaking the tube. We must next fix the
object-glass. Cut a strip of cardboard half an inch wide, and long
enough to go all round inside the tube without lapping, and to fit
tightly. Push this inside, so that it will form a shelf half an inch
inside the end of the tube. Glue this in its place. Upon this place the
object-glass, and fix it there by gluing a strip of cardboard all round
inside the tube on the top of the lens. To fix the eyepiece, cut from
the roller used to make the tube on, a piece one inch long, and bore a
hole right through the centre of it the exact size of the eyepiece tube.
Glue this block in the other end of tube. Push the brass tube in this
hole with the field-lens inwards. The telescope can be focussed by
pushing in or drawing out the brass tube. Get a piece of deal eight
inches long and three and a half inches wide and two inches deep. Cut a
groove along the top as Fig. 7, one inch deep and a little more than two
and a quarter inches wide, to fit the outside of the tube. Glue this
block on the tube, so that one end is thirteen inches from the front end
of the tube (the eyepiece end). Put the block in its place between the
uprights on the stand, and fix it there by two screws passing through
the holes in the uprights and screwing into the block. Pass the rod
attached to the uprights through the hole in the top of stand and
through the hole in the block underneath.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

Now we have only to make the arrangement for elevating the telescope.
For this you will want the rest of the brass wire and the remaining
three stair-eyes as well as two pieces of thin brass plate, four and a
half inches long, half an inch wide, and one-sixteenth of an inch thick.
Bend these pieces of plate as in Fig. 8, making the bent parts one inch
long, and get the ends cut as in the figure, and have holes drilled in
the bent parts a little larger than the brass wire. Cut your wire into
two lengths of eighteen and a half inches, and take them to the tinman
and get him to cut a screw-thread nearly the whole length of each,
leaving about two inches to each. At this end of each get him to turn a
ring, and get him to close these two rings into one of the screw-eyes.
Get him to make a screw-nut for each wire about the size of a farthing,
but about twice the thickness. Screw the eye carrying these wires
through the tube into the eyepiece block, screw the remaining two
screw-eyes into two of the legs of the stand, on the outside of each leg
and about one foot from the top of each. Bend the cut part of the brass
plates into rings and close them in these screw-eyes. Now put the
screw-nuts in their places in the brass plates, and put the screw wires
through the holes in the top, and turn the nuts to the left, which will
draw down the wires and with them the eyepiece of the telescope. To turn
the telescope to the left turn the right-hand nut to the right, and the
other to the left, and to turn it to the right reverse the action of the
nuts. In making this telescope you must be very careful in fixing the
lenses. They are to be placed so that the centres are to be in one
straight line, which line is to be at right angles to the lenses. You
can cover your tube with coloured paper to give it a finish. It will be
advantageous, in using the instrument, by keeping out all light not
wanted, to make a cardboard tube about six inches long and large enough
to slide easily on the end over the object-glass and to project about
five inches. The telescope is now finished, and will with ordinary care
last for years.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.

Appearance of the Moon as seen through one of these telescopes on June

It may be well to add that astronomical telescopes show the image
inverted; this is done to save the use of erecting glasses which absorb
light, and consequently make the image faint. If you wish to make yours
useful for terrestrial purposes, you must insert in front of the field
lens, and about four inches from it, a lens of the same focal length;
this will turn the image right way up. The blurring of the image is
sometimes caused by the two lenses composing the eye-piece _not_ being
at the distance apart proper for their focal lengths.



The kaleidoscope is the most successful scientific toy of modern times.
Immediately after its patenting by Sir David Brewster over three hundred
thousand were sold in three months. Essentially it consists of a couple
of mirrors arranged at an angle forming some even sub-multiple of three
hundred and sixty. The angle usually chosen is the sixth, or sixty

Before proceeding to make a kaleidoscope for home use, it would be well
to try a few experiments with two common pieces of looking-glass.
Arrange them as in the diagram (Fig. 1), and placing an object at A, or
standing them on a piece of colour work, notice the beautiful
geometrical pattern formed by the various reflectors. Having
experimented with various articles at the angle given, try the effect at
another angle, and note how the slightest change affects the design.

Having grasped the general principle you can proceed to make one of the
commoner varieties of the instrument as usually sold. These have three

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

Cut three pieces of common glass into the shape here given. Let them be
seven and a half inches long, one inch and five-eighths wide at A, and
one inch wide at B (Fig. 2). If they are silvered on the back so much
the better; if they are not, paint them black on one side. A very good
black paint for the purpose is made by mixing vegetable black with gold
size until it is as thick as cream. Seven-pennyworth of gold size and a
pennyworth of vegetable black, obtained from the nearest oil-shop, will
give you enough paint for a dozen kaleidoscopes, and be useful for other
purposes into the bargain. The three mirrors are to be arranged in a
tube, with their blackened sides outwards (see Fig. 3); and the tube is
to be made accordingly. An old copy-book cover can be rolled into the
shape, or a well-pasted strip of newspaper rolled round and round on a
stick, as described in the chapter on the telescope, will give the tube
with very little trouble. To fit the mirrors we have cut the tube should
be eight and a quarter inches long, two inches in diameter at the broad
end, and one inch and an eighth in diameter at the narrow. Of course the
tube is not absolutely necessary; a square box two inches wide and eight
inches and a quarter long will answer every purpose, but then the
mirrors, instead of being kept in position by the sides of the case,
will have to be wedged up by pieces of cork or balls of paper.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

Having made the case, fix an eyepiece of tin or cardboard at one end, so
that a hole a quarter of an inch in diameter comes in the centre of the
angle made by the mirrors. This hole is shown in position in Fig. 4,
which represents the top of the tube or box.

At the other end of the tube a round piece of clear glass is to be
fixed, and if the box is used a square piece will take its place. The
round can be easily made from the square by chipping off the corners. An
American glass-cutter, costing sixpence, can be obtained from most
tool-shops, which will be found very useful in cutting glass for this
and many other purposes. The secret in working wheel glass-cutters of
all kinds is to keep the handle as nearly upright as possible and to
bear firmly and equally on all parts of the work.

Having cut the plain glass end and fitted it close up against the broad
end of the mirrors, the next thing is to cut a piece of ground-glass of
the same size to fit over it. This ground-glass may be patterned, as in
the kaleidoscopes of commerce. It is, however, more satisfactory to have
it plain. Between the glasses you place the pieces of broken glass to
form the designs.

‘The objects which give the finest outlines by inversion are those which
have a curvilinear form, such as circles, ellipses, looped curves like
the figure 8, curves like the figure 3 and the letter S; spirals and
other forms, such as squares, rectangles, and triangles, may be applied
with advantage. Glass, both spun and twisted, and of all colours and
shades of colours, should be formed into the preceding shapes; and when
these are mixed with pieces of flat coloured glass, blue vitriol, native
sulphur, yellow ochre, and differently coloured fluids, enclosed and
moving in small vessels of glass, they will make the finest transparent
objects for the kaleidoscope. When the objects are to be laid upon a
mirror plate, fragments of opaquely-coloured glass should be added to
the transparent fragments, along with pieces of brass wire, of coloured
foils, and grains of spelter. In selecting transparent objects, the
greatest care must be taken to reject fragments of opaque glass, and
dark colours that do not transmit much light; and all the pieces of spun
glass, or coloured plates, should be as thin as possible.’

As far as the harmony of colour is concerned, it may be as well to note
that the deepest red harmonises with an equal mixture of blue and green;
that red goes best with green and blue, the blue being predominant; that
orange-red requires a blue with a good deal of indigo; that
orange-yellow wants pure indigo; that light yellow is best with violet
and indigo half and half; that greenish-yellow shows off best by the
side of pale violet; that green goes with a full violet; that
greenish-blue combines with violet and red; blue with orange and red;
indigo with orange-yellow; and violet with green.

Satisfactory effects can, however, be produced with almost anything
bright and shining. The first kaleidoscope we, in the thirst for
knowledge, took apart was found to have for its objects about forty
pieces of red, green, blue, and brown stained glass, smashed up into
irregular fragments of about a quarter of an inch in width and length,
and as the shapes were varied and the colours crude, the patterns at
every shake were almost as startling as those produced by a sixpenny
catharine-wheel on the 5th of November.

The ground glass should be fitted into a cap, so as to be removable at
pleasure, and the fragments of coloured glass to form the patterns
should be left free to move between the glasses.

Having made this kaleidoscope, and coaxed it into acting properly,
experiments with other contrivances should be made. Mirrors should be
arranged at ninety, forty-five, and forty-five; at ninety, sixty, and
thirty, and other angular combinations. A lens should be fitted at the
end of the tube for magnifying purposes, and the tube should be attached
to a magic lantern, and the patterns, almost equalling the chromatrope,
thrown on the screen.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

Having worked the fixed mirrors to the point of weariness, shifting
mirrors should be tried, and then two mirrors, made to alter their
angles by an arrangement of screws (see Fig. 5), as in the adjustable
form of the instrument, should be experimented with.

You will soon find that when the inclination of the mirrors is not an
aliquot part of 360 the reflections will not join, and then the
following table from Sir David Brewster’s manual of the kaleidoscope may
prove useful:--

                   No. of      No. of    No. of Direct
  Inclination.  Reflections.  Pictures.    Pictures.
    120              3           2             1
     72              5           2             3
     51-3/7          7           4             3
     40              9           4             5
     32-8/11        11           6             5
     27-9/13        13           6             7
     24             15           8             7
     21-3/17        17           8             9
     18-18/19       19          10             9
     17-1/7         21          10            11



These funny little people when well managed will afford great amusement
at holiday and Christmas-tide gatherings. To see these little ladies and
gentlemen dancing and singing and even lecturing on the miniature stage
is very laughable, especially as they are only eighteen inches high. The
following hints will enable any lad to make the figures, as well as a
portable stage, for this entertainment.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

For the stage you must get some deal strips 1-1/4 inches square, and cut
into four lengths 3 feet 6 inches long for the front and back
cross-pieces; four 3 feet long for the uprights; and four 2 feet 6
inches long. These are to be fitted together with a mortise and tenon at
each end of the cross-pieces, as in Fig. 2. The uprights are to have
plain ends, with a screw-hole in each end. A screw-hole is to be made
right through each corner of the top and bottom frames to screw them to
the uprights by. Fig. 3 will show how the corners are fitted, in which A
is the upright, B is the top front cross-piece, and C is one end
cross-piece. The stage is formed of some half-inch board cut long enough
to rest on the back and front bottom cross-pieces, as seen in Fig. 1,
which is a view of the stage when finished and ready for use. You may,
if you would like it more ornamental, put on a cardboard proscenium, but
it would be in the way of portability, as when removed to take the stage
to pieces it would get broken. The top, ends, and back are closed in
with curtains, each curtain fastened by hooks to the cross-pieces, so
that they can be taken off for packing purposes. The back curtain is to
be long enough to hang down about one foot below the stage, and is to be
put on very full, with numerous pleats. In the middle of this back
curtain, cut a vertical slit about one foot long and about nine or ten
inches above the stage, and round this slit stitch some elastic cord.
This slit can be seen in Fig. 1. The front of the stage is closed with
two curtains which meet in the middle, and can be drawn up to exhibit
the figures. Fig. 4 is a back view of these curtains, with a part of the
upper frame to show how they are drawn up by the cords.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

The curtains are fastened permanently to the inside of the front top
cross-piece. The cords are sewn one on each, at the edges that meet in
the middle when the curtains are down, at a distance down from the top
equal to the width of the top of each (as in Fig. 4). Six small rings
are sewn on the inside of each curtain in a diagonal direction to the
top corner, and the cords are threaded through these rings. On the
inside of the cross-piece and at each end and in the middle are screwed
small picture-rings (as seen in the figure); and underneath the back
cross-piece at the left-hand corner is screwed another picture-ring. The
cord of the left-hand curtain is passed through the left-hand ring; the
right cord is passed through the right-hand ring, and led through the
middle ring, and then through the left-hand ring also, and then the two
cords are knotted together and passed through the ring in the back
cross-piece. A loop is made in the end of the cord to pull the curtains
up by. At the bottom of the left-hand back upright a brass hook or screw
is screwed in to hook the loop on to, to keep the curtains up. Now the
stage is finished and ready for the figures. The curtains at back and
sides must be of some dark material. The figures must be about twelve
inches high without the head, and must be made headless. The body and
limbs must be made of some light material, and yet solid. Virgin cork is
a very good material to make them of, and is easily worked. Fig. 5 will
show you how the body and limbs are made. The arms have no joint at the
elbow; the legs are jointed at the knees. The arms and thighs are hung
to the body by tapes, and the knee-joints are also made of tape. All
these joints must be very loose and free. The upper end of each arm and
the upper ends of the thighs must have a hole bored into them about two
inches deep (as shown by the dotted lines in Figs. 5 and 6). The
fore-fingers of your hands are to be inserted in these holes through the
curtain at the back, and through holes in the clothes of the figures
left for that purpose, and by moving your fingers you can make the
figures gesticulate or dance at pleasure. Fig. 7 will show you how this
is managed. Fig. 6 is a back view of the body and a side view of the
limbs. The body has a recess cut in the upper part of the back (as in
Fig. 6). This is to allow of your neck fitting into it to let your head
take the place of the head of the figure. The shoulders of the body are
worked out to project a little over the arms, and the lower part of the
body is cut away (as in Fig. 6) to allow of the legs fitting in their
places. The hands can be made closed or open, but a good plan is to have
the right hand closed and a hole bored through it (as in Fig. 6), when a
stick can be placed in it. The body and limbs should be carved
carefully, and to as good a shape as your anatomical knowledge will
allow. The figures must be dressed in fancy costume--in coat, waistcoat,
breeches, stockings, shoes, etc. The female figures must be dressed in
light materials. In all the figures the clothes are fastened up the
back, and the collar of the coat and the necktie are prolonged into a
band to fasten round your neck with a button (as seen in Fig. 7). You
must make this part of the dress very carefully, so as to disguise as
much as possible the junction of the real with the artificial figure.
This will be aided by the curtain at the back being very full, as the
folds will hang closely round your neck. You must paint your face to
suit the character of the figure, and put on fancy hats, also in

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

To use the stage and figures. First put your frame together and screw it
securely. Then put on your curtains and put in the stage-boards, which
need not be fastened. Thread the cords through the rings, and see if
they work properly. When all is right, place the stage on a table with
the back towards you, and flush with the back edge of the table, and
hang a tablecloth over the table, hanging to the ground at the front and
sides to hide your legs. Place your figures on the ground underneath the
table, and have a chair to sit down on behind the stage. Now choose your
first figure, make your face up, put on a suitable hat, and hang the
figure round your neck, as in Fig. 7. Now push the figure and your head
through the slit in the back curtain, and your fingers in the holes in
the legs and arms; and, while some one is playing a lively air on the
piano, pull the curtain up, and commence your performance. If you can
have help in pulling the curtain, do so, as it will leave your hands
free. The legs can be worked with one hand, but the arms must have one
hand each; but while the figure is gesticulating his legs will be still,
so that you will have both hands at liberty. And if you use your left
hand for the legs (using the two first fingers, one to each leg), you
will be able to make the figures move one arm at the same time it is
dancing. Of course you will have to learn one or two songs to suit the
characters of the figures. You need not have more than two figures, as,
if you have an assistant he can be changing the clothes of one while you
are exhibiting another.

With this stage and figures, a lad with a good voice and plenty of
comicality will be able to give from half to an hour’s entertainment.
When the performance is over, take the stage to pieces and pack it up,
rolling it up in the curtains. It will go into a very small compass.


Take four flat sticks--size or material does not matter, but for an
example let them be of deal--eighteen inches long, half an inch wide,
and a quarter of an inch thick, and plane them up true and smooth. At an
inch from the end of each stick make a dot, and divide the sixteen
inches between the dots into inches, half inches, etc., as if the sticks
were measuring rules. Using the dots as centres, bore in each stick a
round hole just large enough to hold a piece of brass or other tubing
whose internal diameter is that of a pocket pencil. Into one end of each
stick fit a section of the tube, opening the edge as in eyeleting to
prevent the quarter-inch ring so made from slipping out. Take a pair of
the sticks, and hinge them together at the ends which have not been so
treated with a piece of the tube--it will be about half an inch
deep--eyeleting as before. Hinge the other pair together in the same

Now take a half-inch block of wood of any shape you please, but not more
than two inches across; bevel it round its upper edge, and through its
centre from the back drive an inch screw whose threaded part will just
fit into the holes in the sticks. Screw it in till the head is flush
with the bottom of the block. You now want a tracer or stile, for which
take a similar screw, and cut off its head by filing the smooth part
down to a gently tapering point. Slip the screw into the hinge of one of
the couples, and keep it in its place by a leather washer above and
below, making the distance between the under side of the wood and the
point exactly that of the thickness of the block.


Now get half a dozen half-inch round-headed dresser-hooks, and put the
apparatus together in the way shown in the diagram, where B and C are
the points at which your sticks are hinged. Slip one of the legs over
the block F, and screw it down so that it will move freely but firmly
with a leather washer. Place the leg (C D) under F B, and screw it into
position from the upper surface with one of the dresser-hooks. Place the
leg (C E) over A B, and screw that into place with another hook, also
from above. The third hook is beneath the apparatus just close to B, the
fourth beneath just close to A, and the fifth and sixth are used to
screw the block on to the drawing-board, and are put in on the bevel, so
that their heads will not project above the surface of the block. The
tracer is screwed point downwards at C, the pencil is at A; and
pencil-tracer, block, and hooks at A and B are all of equal length, so
that the machine moves smoothly and evenly over the flat surface of your

Now place a map beneath the tracer, and a plain sheet of paper beneath
the pencil. Hold the tracer with the right hand, the pencil with the
left, and carefully guide the tracer over the outline of your map. Let
the pencil move about as it pleases, and you will find that whatever the
tracer does the pencil will mimic. The pencil will gradually draw a copy
of the map, but it will move twice as fast as the tracer, and make its
copy twice the size of the original. This is the result of the way we
have at present arranged our pantagraph. The principle is that the copy
compared with the original is always in the same proportion as the
distance from the block to the pencil bears to that from the block to
the tracer. Here the distance in a straight line from F to A is double
that from F to C, hence the copy is double the size. The position of the
tracer between the pencil and the block depends on the points in the
sticks at which they are screwed together, and these you can vary to
suit any scale you desire, remembering always that your figure (C G B H)
must have its opposite sides equal--that is to say, C H must always
equal G B, and C G must always equal B H.

To enlarge your map, the distance from F to C must be less than from F
to A; to reduce your map the distance must somehow be greater. Hence you
have only to transpose your pencil and tracer, putting the pencil at C
and the tracer at A. To reverse the map, and keep it of the same size,
put the block at C and the tracer at F. In short, by shifting about the
pencil, block, and tracer in the different holes you will soon
understand the curious properties of your new copying-machine. One thing
do not forget, and that is that when you shift your pencil the hook
which is put close by to steady its pressure on the paper should be
moved with it.

The pantagraph, or pantograph, was invented by Christopher Scheiner two
hundred and eighty years ago; and, carefully made of brass, is in many
forms now used in architects’ and other offices where much drawing and
copying are done. If not made quite truly its lines may be shaky, but it
will be found invaluable for the accurate placing of points, to which
lines can be afterwards filled in.

The pattern we have given is easy to make. The instrument may be of
different dimensions and of different materials. It may be fitted
together in a different manner, but it must have its central figure with
the opposite sides equal.

Our mathematical friends will soon be able to demonstrate the reason of
its action, and it may be no little satisfaction to the bulk of our
readers to find that there is some practical use in old Euclid after


There are many forms of flagstaffs, and many ways of erecting and
rigging them. They are sometimes made of iron, and are not unfrequently
rigged with wire or with wire rope. Some are fitted with topmasts,
yards, and gaffs, others simply consist of the one pole.

The flagstaff we are going to describe is not one that will run our
readers into any unnecessary expense. It can be erected, fitted, and
rigged by any ordinary boy of average ability, at a small expense,
although of course the more money that is laid out upon it the better it
should look when erected.

We shall give the description, however, of the very cheapest that can be
made consistently with safety. To commence with, the staff itself can be
obtained from any builder by purchasing a small scaffold pole, which
will cost--according to your skill in bargaining--from one penny to
three halfpence a foot. This can either be planed and varnished; or, if
our reader is not much of a carpenter, it may be painted white with
paint obtained already mixed from the nearest oilshop at about sixpence
a pound.

The height we must leave to the taste of the reader, but the following
scale will be found convenient, and will look very well. Let the pole be
46 feet in length. Then a hole will have to be dug in the ground 6 feet
in depth to receive that amount of the staff. But before it is erected
it must be rigged and have the ‘knees’ screwed or nailed upon it. A big
flagstaff would have ‘crosstrees’ like the topmast of a ship, but it
will be more easy and will look less clumsy simply to fix it with knees.
These are pieces of wood which will be described afterwards, and which
have to be fixed about 30 feet from the ground.

The next thing to arrange is the rigging. For that we shall require
three shrouds on each side and one stay in front, besides signal
halliards to hoist and lower the flag. Two-inch rope will do very well
for the shrouds, but 2-1/2-inch would perhaps be a little safer. Rope is
sold by weight, and 2-inch rope may be purchased at sixpence a pound, a
pound of 2-inch rope equalling one fathom, which is 6 feet. The easiest
way of measuring in order to ascertain what length of rope you will
require is as follows. Having obtained your staff, lay it upon the
ground. Then measure off the 6 feet that has to go in the ground and
mark it with a piece of chalk. Now measure the 30 feet and mark the
staff where the knees will be placed. Now measure a straight line at
right angles to the lower chalk mark, where the staff, when erected,
will be flush with the ground.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.

_a_, Six feet for insertion in ground. _b_, Thirty feet between ground
and the knees. _c_, Ten feet above the knees. _d_, Chalk mark for knees.
_e_, Chalk mark for insertion in ground. _f_, Chalk mark on ground ten
feet from staff. _g_, Straight line. _h_, Length of one shroud or of the

A good distance is about one-third the height of the staff from the
ground to the knees, so we will say 10 feet, and mark the ground. Then
stretch a piece of string from the upper mark to the mark on the ground,
allowing also the circumference of the staff, that will give you the
length of one shroud (Fig. 1).

Now you must measure for the ratlines.

Having obtained your rope, the next operation is to cut it into proper
lengths. First of all make both ends fast, and stretch it as much as you
can. Then measure with the line you used to obtain the length, and cut
off two shrouds separately, and the stay. Then cut the remaining rope in
half, so as to make two pairs of shrouds. The stay is generally of
thicker and stronger rope than the shrouds, but with the staff 6 feet in
the ground there is no necessity for this.

[Illustration: FIG 2

A, Pair of shrouds. _a_, The collar to go over the staff. _b_, The
seizing. B, The single shrouds. _a_, The cut splice. C, The stay. _a_,
The eye-splice.]

Now comes the fitting of the rigging. With the two single shrouds you
must make a cut-splice, making the splice sufficiently large to fit
nicely over the staff. Then double the two pairs and seize them together
separately, A, Fig. 2, leaving sufficient room to pass over the staff
without chafing.

The stay you must fit with an eye-splice; and make the eye large enough,
or it will look lubberly. (Fig. 2)

The eye and collars should be wormed, parcelled, and served, but this is
not absolutely necessary, and might look clumsy if done by an amateur.
Now screw on the knees; they are triangular pieces of wood to support
the rigging and prevent it slipping down the staff. Two bolters, or
rounded pieces of wood, will answer the purpose equally well, but they
must be firmly attached to the staff. Now put on the rigging--first of
all one pair of shrouds, next the other pair, then the single shrouds
with the cut splice, and lastly the stay.

The truck must now be placed on the top of the staff. If one is
purchased a sheave will be found in it for the signal halliards to reeve
through, and these had better be rove at once.

[Illustration: FIG 3

A, Iron spike. B, Cleats, _a_, wooden. _b_, iron.]

If the reader’s taste runs in such a direction, a vane to show the
direction of the wind can be placed on the truck--such as an arrow, a
cock, or any of the numerous articles that are sold for the purpose. A
cleat (Fig. 3) should be screwed to the side of the staff just within
easy reach of the arm, say between 3 and 4 feet from the ground, in
order to belay or make fast the halliards.

Now fix the staff in the ground, and see that the earth, etc., is well
beaten in round it. The next proceeding is to set up the rigging. This
may be done with deadeyes or with thimbles; the latter is certainly the
neater way of doing it. Setting up with deadeyes need not be described
here. The following is the method of doing it with thimbles.

Splice the end of each rope round a thimble, which is done as follows.
Open out the rope to the length of twice and a half the round of the
rope. Then measure the round of the thimble and the round of the rope,
and put the marlin spike in there and commence splicing as though for an
eyepiece. Now you will require for each rope an iron spike about 3 feet
in length with an eye in it. These must be driven into the ground at
regular intervals in a straight line, three on each side of the staff,
10 feet distant, and one for the stay in front. Then obtain some stout
seizing stuff, such as cod-line, and splice it into the eye of the
spike; then pass it through the thimble and then through the eye again,
and so on, pulling it as tight as you can every time. At sea the
necessary strength for getting the rigging as tight as possible is
obtained with a tackle.

[Illustration: FIG 4

_a_ _a_ _a_, Shrouds. _b_, Stay.]

Now your staff ought to look like Fig. 4, and you can commence ratling
it down, for which half-inch rope ought to be used.



For this, get a wooden tooth-powder box, plain--that is, without
projecting rims--take off the lid, and smooth it all over. Next make the
compass-card. Cut this circular, about a quarter of an inch smaller than
the inside of the box, which should be about two inches and
three-quarters in diameter outside. Mark the centre of the card, and
mark from this centre the thirty-two points of the compass (as Fig. 1).
Now make the needle. This must be hard steel; you can get this at the
tinman’s or ironmonger’s. Get him to cut it about two inches long and
three-eighths of an inch wide in the middle, tapering to a point at each
end. The steel should be about a sixteenth of an inch thick. Get him to
drill a hole through the middle of this steel about an eighth of an inch
in diameter. Get a small piece of brass wire a quarter of an inch in
diameter and a quarter of an inch long. File a shoulder to this (as Fig.
2) about a sixteenth of an inch wide and an eighth of an inch from the
end. Drill a hole triangular in section an eighth of an inch deep and
about an eighth of an inch at the outside. Place this through the
compass-card. Now magnetize your needle. This is done as follows.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

Get a magnet--most boys have one--and draw one end of it from end to end
of the needle, always going the same way and never back again. Do this
about twenty times and your steel needle will be a permanent magnet. Now
place this underneath the compass-card and push the little brass button
through the hole in it. Suspend this by placing a point in the hole in
the brass stud, and one end of the needle will point towards the north.
Mark this point, and turn the card on the stud till that end of the
needle points to eighteen and a half degrees west of the north point on
the card. Now fasten the brass in the needle by two or three taps with a
hammer on the under side of the brass, being careful not to strike the
steel. Next fix it more securely with a dot of sealing-wax on each point
and card. Now suspend it again on the point, and the north point will
dip towards the earth. You must balance the card by putting dots of
sealing-wax here and there till it swings quite level.

Next, in the centre of the bottom of your box fix a steel pin about half
an inch high, brought to a point that will go loosely in the dent in the
brass stud. Put your card on this point and it will swing easily in the
box. Line the box with a strip of cardboard a little wider than the
height of the top of the brass stud from the bottom of the box. Get a
circular glass the size of the inside of the box (your glazier will cut
this for you for a few pence). Put it on the shelf formed by the
cardboard, which should be glued into the box, and fasten it in its
place with a narrow strip of cardboard glued in all round the box.

By putting the glass in you can turn the box about any way in your
pocket without the card coming off the peg.

Now to make the timepiece. Make a dial plate of paper the size of the
top of the lid. You can first draw this on a sheet of paper, and then
placing one leg of a pair of compasses on a point in the twelve-o’clock
line--which must in this case be only one line, about half an inch from
the six-o’clock line--mark a circle the exact size of the top of the
lid. Inside this circle make another about a quarter of an inch from it,
and mark the hours inside this circle. Paste this paper on the top of
the lid, and put the lid on the box. Now draw a line from the
twelve-o’clock line on the lid right down the side of the box; make this
line quite perpendicular to the top and bottom. Now make the gnomon. Get
a piece of very thin sheet brass or tin-plate about the thickness of a
card and cut the gnomon out of it. The shape and size can be got from
directions already given. Now with a thin, fine saw, cut the
twelve-o’clock line into a slot about a sixteenth of an inch deep and
going beyond the six-o’clock line a little, about an eighth of an inch.
This slot must be the same depth in the six-o’clock end as at the edge
of the lid. You can push the base of the gnomon into this slot, so that
the axis edge exactly crosses the six-o’clock line.

To use the compass, take off the lid, place the box level, and note
where the north points, and you can determine any point of the compass
from that. To use the timepiece, set the box level, and bring the mark
in the side of the box to correspond exactly with the north point of the
card. Put the gnomon in the slot in the lid, and put the lid on the box
without disturbing it, so that the mark in the side of the lid
corresponds exactly with the mark in the side of the box, and the shadow
of the axis of the gnomon will point out the hour. When you have seen
the time, take off the lid, take the gnomon out of the slot, and put it
inside the box, laying on the glass, and put the lid on. You can thus
carry the whole in your pocket without a fear of it getting out of
order; and when you are out for a walk, and the sun shines, you can
always tell your way home and the time to go there.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]


Walking-sticks of all varieties--apple, ash, blackthorn, brier, cherry,
elm, hazel, holly, oak, vine, and whitethorn--are best when cut in the
winter, between November and February; the sap is then sluggish, the
leaves are off, and the character of the stick can be most easily

To boys who desire to carry a stick of their own choice and dressing,
the following practical notes will be of value.

Never attempt to trim a stick as soon as you have cut it. Leave the
branches on it an inch or two long, and hang the stick up to dry for a
week or so, knob end uppermost with a weight on the narrow end. Let it
hang in a moderately cool place, and when it is dry and pliable, take it
down and begin to trim it. Cut off the branches you do not want, and
make the crook if you do not care to finish merely with a knob. To make
the crook, plunge the end for a quarter of an hour in boiling water,
bend it to shape, and keep it in place by a piece of string twisted by a
stick in the middle, like the spring of a jumping frog, or the stretcher
of a ribbon saw. When the stick has dried in shape, trim it to taste
with a sharp knife, and give it a good rub down with sand-paper. When it
is smooth and presentable, if you want it to remain its natural colour,
give it a coat of boiled linseed-oil, and let this dry thoroughly into
it. If you want the stick to be black, boil a pound of logwood chips for
an hour in a quart of water, and brush the stick over with the boiling
liquor. When the stick is dry, give it another boiling coat of the
decoction. When that is dry, dissolve an ounce of green copperas in a
quart of hot water and coat the stick with the solution. Keep the stick
away from the fire, and let it dry each time slowly and well, and you
will find that the mixture of the copperas and the logwood has dyed it
an intense black. After you have stained it, give it a coat of boiled
oil, and when that is thoroughly dry, begin to polish it.

For the polish, mix an ounce and a half of shellac with a quarter of an
ounce of gum mastic, and dissolve them slowly in half a pint of
methylated spirits, or, what is better, quicker, and cheaper, buy
threepenny worth of French polish from the nearest oil-shop.

Having polished the stick, finish it with a coat of hard varnish or
copal varnish such as the artists use, of which a little goes a long
way. Hard varnish can be bought cheaply. If you must make it, mix
together an ounce of gum mastic, two ounces of gum juniper, a quarter of
an ounce of turpentine, and a pint of methylated spirits. Give the stick
one or two even coats of varnish, and you will find it last for many
months. Some sticks do very well varnished over the oil and stain, then
the polish is saved. If you want to stain a stick brown, add dragon’s
blood to the polish; if you like it golden coloured, drop in some yellow
ochre or gamboge. The difficulty in stick-making, however, is not in the
polishing; it is in the bending and trimming.

Apple makes excellent sticks if judiciously dried. Ash sticks are best
cut from saplings; when cut from hedges or pollards, they are inclined
to become brittle. Like apple sticks, they require careful seasoning to
be serviceable. Blackthorn sticks are heavy, and liable to splinter.
They are best when cut from saplings. Brier sticks are also best when
cut from saplings. Cherry sticks should be stripped of only a part of
their bark, and require sand-papering, oiling, polishing, and
varnishing. Elm sticks should have the rough bark left on; they also are
best when taken from saplings, but it is very seldom indeed that an elm
stick is fit for anything else than to be looked at. Hazel sticks are
light and handsome, and do good service, no matter whence they are cut.
They should be well rubbed down with sandpaper and carefully varnished.
Holly sticks are as good as any. Cut them from the branch with the crook
or knob attached, and let them have a long time to dry. Oak sticks are
the strongest and toughest, but the most difficult to dry and trim. If
you dry them too rapidly they split, if you dry them with the bark off
they split, if you have the knots close together they split. If you get
a good oak cudgel you can smash any stick of any other wood not
exceeding it in size. Vine sticks are also of value, but they have an
unpleasant tendency to warp and twist. Whitethorn sticks are like unto
blackthorn sticks--heavy, treacherous, and brittle.


If you want to bark a stick, steep it in hot water, and rub off the coat
with a piece of sacking. If you want to bend or straighten a stick,
cover it with hot wet sand, and get it into shape while it is hot.

Of canes we need make no mention, nor need we deal with the birch. They
are but luxuries, frequently doomed to be misunderstood. Their days are
over. Alas, poor cane! Alas, poor birch!

Nothing has been said so far about carving its handle, and as a stick of
our own cutting and carving has a certain charm about it, and in its
making affords an agreeable exercise for a wet day, we herewith give a
couple of designs which can easily be improved upon, and which are
grotesque enough to look well even as failures; and this to a beginner
is a quality not to be despised. We may as well, however, adopt the
usual plan of descending from generals to particulars, and find space
for a few notes on stick history.

When Œdipus solved the riddle of the Sphinx, he thought of a
walking-stick--as many others of the puzzled have done. ‘There’s a
being,’ said the riddler, ‘which has four feet, and three feet, with
only one voice; but its feet vary, and when it has the most it is the
weakest.’ ‘That,’ said Œdipus, ‘must be man, who, when he is a child,
crawls on his hands and knees; when he is a man walks uprightly; and
when he is old totters with a walking-stick!’

On the origin and development of the walking-stick a goodly volume might
be written. Perhaps the most interesting form the stick took was that of
the pilgrim’s staff. This staff was about four feet long, armed at the
lower end with a spike, and fitted about a foot from its top with a knob
for the hand to rest upon. The lower part was solid, the upper part was
hollow, and was used for relics of saints, or a musical instrument, or
something to eat, according to the taste of the owner. It was in a
pilgrim’s staff that saffron was secretly brought from Greece to Saffron
Walden, and it was in a similar way that silkworms found their way to
Europe. This idea of using a stick as a carrier has been utilised in our
own days, not only for telescopes, match-boxes, swords, and guns, but
also for surgeons’ instruments.

Another striking form was that of the ferula, which derives its name
from the giant fennel, of whose stalk it generally consisted. The tough
lightness of the fennel wood rendered it particularly suited for the
support of the aged, and hence it gradually became the prototype of
those lighter wands which have continued amongst us as a sign of office
or seniority; and at the same time it retained its popularity with the
chastisers of erratic youth. In the East the ferula was replaced by the
reed; but in Egypt the reed gave place to slender sticks of cherry wood,
some of which had a carved handle. This carving of the head is, however,
peculiar to no country and no age. It is a practice indulged in by all
men, savage and civilised.

In our own Tudor period the walking-stick began to flourish much. Then
for the first time do we get it elaborately carved and adorned with
precious metals. In the inventory of the old palace at Greenwich, there
is entered, “A cane garnished with sylver and gilte, with astronomie
upon it. A cane garnished with golde, having a perfume on the toppe;
under that a diall with a pair of twitchers and a pair of compasses of
golde; and a foot rule of golde, a knife and a file of golde, with a
whetstone tipped with golde.” A somewhat elaborate battery to carry in a
walking stick! In the seventeenth century sticks became even more
ornamental, and in the eighteenth they began to be made entirely of
agate, or clouded marble, or ivory. How these were used and abused can
be learnt from No. 103 of the _Tattler_, where Isaac Bickerstaffe issues
licences regarding them, and is appealed to by petitioners, one of whom
asks for permission to retain his cane on account of its having become
as indispensable to him as any of his other limbs. “The knocking of it
upon his shoe, leaning one leg upon it, or whistling upon it with his
mouth, are such great reliefs to him in conversation, that he does not
know how he should be good company without it.” Later on this fashion of
elaborate walking sticks was adopted by the old ladies, and it was quite
common to see the dames out walking with wood, ivory, whalebone, or
green glass sticks, five or six feet in length, having the ends bent
over like a shepherd’s crook, and twisted back again towards the ground.

In these days, now that the means of communication have been so much
improved and the world become one huge country, foreign sticks have lost
much of their rarity. They come to us in tons, and a stick importer’s
warehouse is a sight to see. The goods in the rough do not look
inviting; in fact, anything more resembling a lot of firewood it would
be difficult to imagine. Those who have not the chance of seeing the
interior of one of these stores, can obtain a very good notion of what
they are like by inspecting a shop window next door to the Autotype
Gallery in what used to be New Oxford Street. There can be seen canes of
all sorts, rough and rooty, from the eastern and western tropics--rajahs
from Borneo; malaccas from Sumatra (nearly all the malaccas come from
Siak, they are the stems of _Calamus scipionum_); whanghees (the stems
of _Phyllostachis_) from Hongkong; lawyers (a species of _Calamus_) from
Penang; ratans and dragons from Calcutta; white bamboos, black bamboos,
fluted bamboos from other seaports in the great Bay of Bengal; partridge
canes, jambees, and dog’s-head canes; Spanish reeds (_Arundo donax_);
jacks (vine stems), cinnamons, pimentos (the stem of the allspice),
cabbage-stalks, and coffee-branches from the West Indies, with the
green-backed orange and knobby lemon sticks from the same colonies;
triangular leaf stalks of the date palm from Tunis; myrtle, pomegranate,
and olive sticks from Algeria and Italy; blue gums from Australia;
mahoganies from Cuba; ebonies, tulips, and crocodiles; cabbage-stalks
from Guernsey; and, perhaps, tooroos from Guiana.

But English sticks, and the foreign importations supposed to be such,
are the favourites after all, and it is them that we would ask our
readers to choose for their experiments. The chief, as already
explained, are oak, ash, beech, blackthorn, cherry, maple, crab, and
hazel, all of them within reach of those that walk or dwell in country
places, and all easily dressed and made presentable.

The most useful of them are the ash and beech, which can be stained and
cut to resemble any stick, and form the raw material of almost all the
shams. A goodly proportion of the blackthorn sold in the streets are
beech sticks carved and dyed. It is easy to dye a stick black. Brush it
over it with a hot decoction of logwood and nutgalls, and when it is dry
give it a brushing with vinegar in which rusty nails have lain for two
or three days. If you wish to dye it red, add some dragon’s-blood gum to
the polish; if you wish it to be yellow, use ochre instead of dragon’s

All sticks should be cut in the winter and left to dry in the rough in a
cool place. If the bark is to come away let the stick be half dry before
you begin to work upon it. If the bark is to remain on, let the stick
get thoroughly dry before you attempt to trim it.

Ash sticks can be got from the hedge or the thin branches of a pollard,
but the best are young saplings taken up root and all, the root coming
in handy for carving. Oak sticks are easy to carve, but difficult to dry
without splitting; they are the toughest and strongest of all sticks,
and are generally got from copse-wood stumps. Holly sticks are best with
the bark off; they are best when cut from the secondary branches that
shoot up parallel to the main trunk. Sometimes they are found as
saplings, and then the roots are retained as groundwork for decoration.
Elm sticks are easily got and easily worked, but seldom turn out
satisfactorily. Hazel, on the contrary, gives first-rate stick wood, and
is soft and easily cut, and if tolerably thick and well dried it will
not bend. Blackthorn is the best stick in vogue at what has taken the
place of the historic Donnybrook, but there are many tougher and more
trustworthy weapons for the peculiar recreation in which it is usually
employed. It is an easy stick to prepare and polish, but like
case-hardened iron to carve. We are told that those who attempt its
carving generally borrow the tools from some unsuspecting friend! _Verb.
sap._, or rather _verb._ to those who have dried out its _sap_ and not
discovered brittleness. Cherry sticks and apple sticks come easily to
hand, and are not unfrequently charred with a hot iron and stained with
acids to enable them to be sold as foreigners. Birch and poplar are best
left alone. British vines almost always warp; and brier and whitethorn,
like all the _Rosaceæ_, have wood that snaps and splinters on the
slightest provocation.

To shape a stick use hot sand or steam, and fix it in the desired
position when hot. To straighten it lash it when hot to a board, or hang
it up with a heavy weight at its end. To dress it or polish it employ
one of the methods described in the former part of this section.

When carving a handle, choose some design that will be smooth to the
hand. As examples try a man’s head. One of the most extraordinary
collections of walking-sticks ever made was formed by Robertson of
Kincraigie, who was popularly supposed to be ‘daft.’ It was his practice
to carve on his stick the head of any friend or foe he met with, and in
time he owned quite a portrait gallery of wooden heads, which proved the
cause of much wonderment to his visitors, for every batch he entertained
had their features promptly reproduced in oak or hazel! As suitable
designs for stick-heads there may be instanced dogs’ heads, birds’
heads, particularly broad-beaked ones, such as goose and albatross,
snakes’ heads, fishes, and squirrel and beaver tails. To get good
results proper carving tools should be used, cutting up instead of down
with the grain; but capital work can be done with an ordinary penknife,
the secret of success consisting in never cutting away a chip unless its
removal has been well thought over. Carving stick-heads is not like
carving panels, and fine work is out of the question with regard to
them. There is not much room for improvement in the art. We saw in the
1851 Exhibition a stick carved in China 4,000 years ago, and it was as
well done as anything now obtainable from the London stick-seller.




Candidly, we must admit, that to attempt in this chapter to give
anything like a complete and elaborate account of the making of the many
different kinds of cages and hutches in which to keep pets of feather or
pets of fur would be folly.

But I can give my readers many hints that will be of use to them on the
subject in hand, and I may begin by telling them that it is not half so
difficult to manufacture a good roomy, healthy, wholesome breeding-cage
as may at first appear.

Nor need the cage you make be at all ugly or clumsy; only take pains
with it, and do not be in a hurry, and I feel sure you will succeed. Do
not let any person dishearten you by saying, ‘You can buy cheaper than
you can make.’ I doubt if you could do so, but even allowing this were
possible, you could not point proudly to your bought cage and say, ‘I
made that.’

Now the first questions of practical moment I have to answer are these:
1, What tools are required in the manufacture of cages? And, 2, What

An answer to the first question will enable you to decide at once
whether or not you think it worth your time and trouble to go in for
cage or hutch-making. I shall mention the tools that it is indispensable
you should possess, and you may either buy them or borrow them, as you
please. If you are merely going to make one cage or two, perhaps you had
better borrow them. But I take this opportunity of reiterating this
advice to all sensible boys who may have some spare time on their hands,
to possess themselves of a box of useful tools. Cheap boxes of tools are
_worse than want_. If you mean getting tools, get good ones. Do not be
caught by the glitter and get-up of the box that contains them, nor by
the sheen of the contents either. Be suspicious of articles that are
advertised at an exceedingly low price, else you may find yourself
possessed of hammers whose heads won’t stop on, saws as brittle as
brass, gimlets and awls that burst their handles, planes with pot-metal
tongues, and pliers as soft as cheese.

It is far better to fit your own box up, and fill it, buying the
articles you require at a respectable ironmonger’s shop, and paying a
fair price for them. Then all you have to remember is to keep everything
in its place, and keep all steel work free from rust, and the box itself
in its own corner and locked, so that Mary Ann, when she wants to break
coals, will not have an opportunity of appropriating your axe.

Talking about rust, I find nothing better wherewith to smear tools that
are to be laid past for a short time than a little blue ointment. You
should keep a morsel of this in a chip box in a handy corner.

Well, now, as to birdcage and hutch-making, you must have, first and
foremost, a bench whereon to work. Any old table will do if it be strong
enough. But one thing it must have, and that is a contrivance to hold
the wood on which you are working with the plane or other instrument.
This may either be the wooden screw apparatus, or what is cheaper, the

The tools and things you really want, and must have, to make anything
like a job, are (1) a nice sizeable saw, one that will either rip or
cross-cut, so it must not have a back to it. (If you go in for fine and
ornamental work about your cage it will be better to have a lathe--cost
about £3 10s.--and a box of fretwork tools which will run you in to £1
10s. more. So take my advice--be content with what is useful for a time.
If you breed some beautiful canaries you can sell them, and having
extended the balance at your banker’s, go in for the ornamental
afterwards.) (2) A plane or two, one plain plane, and one plough. I do
not advise a jack. I know when I was a boy I could not manage the
jack-plane nearly so well as the little short one. (3) Some chisels; say
three; they are cheap and useful in a thousand ways. Mind, always keep
them sharp, and do not use the mallet much on the end of them. (4) A
wooden mallet. (5) A hammer or two, with claws at the end. (6) A
spokeshave. (7) Pliers and pincers for ironwork. (8) A boring brace and
bits to fit. (9) A bradawl or two. (10) A small hand-vice. (N.B.--This
last is most essential for holding your wires, etc. Sometimes this vice
itself will want holding to enable you to work with both hands. Very
well, be handy, fasten it on to the end of your bench by means of the
lug or screw apparatus.) (11) A two-foot rule. Do not buy a cheap one;
it goes all out of shape in no time; besides, if you have a really
serviceable article you can use it as a square. (12) A hone or
sharpening stone. (13) Etceteras, in the shape of nails and screws of
various sizes (I myself use nothing but the round French nails; they do
not split the wood; they go home kindly, and with ordinary care they do
not bend); a jam-pot to heat your glue, some glue to heat, a carpenter’s
pencil, sand-paper, and a small oil-flask. Other little things may
suggest themselves to you; I can’t think of anything else at present.
And I would not mind beginning to make either an ordinary breeding cage
or a hutch at this moment with the tools I have just named.

But, ‘What a lot!’ you will say, and ‘what a deal of money they will
cost!’ Yes, but think of the many useful things you can make with those
tools, quite independent of either cage or hutch.

And now as to the materials. What are these? I answer in two words, wood
and wire. The wood may be almost any sort, but it must be very well
seasoned, else as soon as it gets wet you will find the bottom of your
cage coming off, or the back bulging out, and the whole concern gaping
in the most unseemly way. The parts to be polished and stained may be
hard wood.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Simple Breeding Cage.]

The cage I have had figured is an ordinary two-roomed breeding-cage. It
might have been a trifle easier for you to have tried your ‘’prentice
han’,’ as Burns calls it, on perhaps a show-cage to begin with, but I
cannot forget that the cock canary may have sometimes to be separated
for a time from the hen; hence that partition with the hole in it, a
hole that may be closed.

Some cagemen recommend this to be a fixture, but do you not think with
me that if the partition can be withdrawn, so as to make both cages into
one big one when required, it is better?


I have already said that the wood a cage is made of is a matter of
secondary importance. The body may be pine, for instance, and the front
parts any kind of ordinary hard wood--mahogany to wit. The cage (Fig. 2)
which is now before us is one of the German kind, manufactured by Mr.
Abrahams, naturalist, St. George Street East. The nest has, however,
been put in the drawing in the wrong compartment.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

In order to make a breeding-cage like this, you repair to your working
shop or garret, and having wood, wires, and tools all handy, you first
determine the size you wish it to be. Well, I am of opinion that birds
cannot have too much room; therefore, for sake of a little more wood and
a little more wire, do not begrudge them space; say, 22 in. long, 11 in.
wide, and 14 in. high. You can, I think, get wood wide enough to have
the back all one piece, as well as each side and the bottom. If you
cannot, just use your ingenuity, and make a neat job of joining.

Measure and cut the wood for the top and bottom first, both exactly the
same, then the sides ditto. Now plane the wood very nicely, leaving it
about three-eighths to half an inch thick. Do the same by the piece of
wood that is to form the back.

No dovetailing is needed, and that is a good thing, is it not? Now cut
out your square doorway in each gable. If you do this neatly the pieces
that you have sawed out or cut out will themselves form the doors. Size
of each door--say four inches square. This is big enough for any one’s
hand, and big enough to put the nest in. But never mind fitting the
doors at present; we will do that after.

Next proceed to fix the box-work of the cage; that is, fasten sides,
back, and bottom in their positions, and we will then turn our attention
to the front and the internal fittings. There is a hole in the back
part, by-the-way, by which you hang the cage on a nail. You may as well
make that before you fix up. Have your small nails, your hammer, and
your glue-pot at hand, the latter hot, because before you send the nails
quite home you must insert a goodly dose of glue. This is important,
because it entirely fills up any crevice that might otherwise harbour
vermin, and if these once get into your breeding-cage your prospects of
doing any good are very likely to be ruined for one season.

Now nail and glue your sides to the back first and foremost, then turn
the cage upside down, and fasten in the same way the bottom to the sides
and back, reverse and do the same to the top. If you have previously
taken correct measurements of the parts, the body of your cage will now
look square and fair and neat. If you have not, you had better take it
to pieces again and mend matters before you go any further.

Direct your attention next to the front, but you had better let the work
you have already done get firm and dry before doing much more to it.
Meanwhile measure and make the piece of hard wood that crosses the cage
in front just above the bottom drawer (Fig. 2, A).This should be from
two to two and a half inches wide, and an oblong space or opening (B B)
is to be left at each end. These are for the little seed-tins to fit in.
As soon as you have made this piece of wood (A) and dressed it most
neatly, you may place it in position. This must be most carefully done,
leaving a full inch of space beneath it for your bottom drawer or false
bottom. Nail it from the sides.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

You can now proceed to make this false bottom, taking great care that
the front part, which is of hard wood (Fig. 2, C), fits the space you
left for it exactly, and without a flaw. The mechanism of this false
bottom is so simple that instead of describing it or illustrating it, I
beg to refer you to your friend Smith’s cage. A glance will suffice. But
remember not to spare the glue on that either.

Well, a glance at the complete cage (Fig. 2) will show you that there is
a wire partition at D dividing the cage into two compartments, a big and
a small. This partition, however, does not go right to the bottom of the
cage, because it is a sliding one and draws out. It runs at top and
bottom in grooves made by three pieces of wood, one of the pieces of the
lower groove being deeper than the others, and quite filling up the
vacancy between the false bottom and the wire partition, so as to
prevent a bird from creeping through under.

This wire partition, then, had better be made next. It is simply a
carefully measured and carefully adjusted square frame, neatly wired in
the same way as the barred front of the cage is wired, of which I shall
presently speak. You make the little frame first, then you bore your
holes and wire it, and next you nail and glue a little front piece of
hard wood on to it with a small wire-work handle in the centre, whereby
to pull it out.

The grooves in which this is to run should now be made top and bottom,
the lower one fastened to the cross board (A), and the upper to the back
of the cage at one end and to the front when finished at the other.

Now for the front. This is to be made separately, and then slipped in.
There is another plan, but I think I give the better of the two. Glance
again at Fig. 2. Take a look at friend Smith’s cage as well. Now scratch
your elbow thoughtfully, gather all your scattered senses together, and
all your brains, and proceed to business. There is a top bar and a lower
bar, and two strong cross wires; but mark this, please--these cross
wires are not continuous all the way, there must be a space left for
your wire partition to slip out and in.

Well, you have your wires all ready. Measure the length you want them,
and cut them all of a size a little longer than they are actually
required. They have to pass right through the upper bar (Fig. 2), and be
fastened into the lower (Fig. 2), and as the same space--namely, half an
inch--must exist between each wire, before you bore the holes for them
you must carefully mark the places on both bars, and this is done either
with a pair of compasses, or more surely and securely with the prongs of
a two-toed fork. While making or wiring the front, be sure first that
the top and bottom bars are exactly the same length, then lay them fair
and square on your bench or table, and tack them down with small nails:
so shall you do your work firmly and well. Bore the holes very even
which you have marked off, then put each wire through separately and
snip off with your pliers what is not wanted. The wires, by means of
your hand-vice, should previously be made as straight as possible. When
you have got all your upright wires in put on your cross pieces. These
are simply laid on over the others and whipped in position with a long
thread of very fine wire.

Now your front is all ready. Of course you have not forgotten the little
ring-like spaces at the bottom, through which the canary pops its head
to get a drop of water from the fountains. These last may be glass, and
they are slung in wire loops from the cross-board.

The perches are easily put in. It is better to have one cross one as
well as two or three from front to back.

When you have your little doors made, and neatly hinged with wire, the
greater part of the work is finished.

The polishing and varnishing, and nest and nest material, I will speak
about presently. The different types of cages shown in Figs. 3 to 5 need
no verbal explanation, the pictures speaking for themselves.


It will be high time now to return your friend Smith’s cage, for the
probability is that, as the breeding season will soon commence, he will
want it himself. I gave full directions just now for the completion of
your own cage, with one or two little items excepted. Take a glance
before you carry it back, then, at the neat way small fastenings and
hinges are made for the doors, and little handles to pull out the
partition and the false bottom, and the solitary big one on the top for
the purpose of lifting the cage. Very natty and neat, are they not? and
all made out of wirework. Pliers and pincers, and a little handiness on
your part, are all that is wanted, but it is better you should observe
how things are done. The wire loops that hold the glass fountains are
fastened in the same way--holes made, the wire put through and doubled
down behind so that it shall not pull out, and the whole thing is ready.

Two tiny two-inch square or oval tin drawers to slip in at each corner
of the lower front of the cage are infinitely better to hold seed and
food generally, than those long wooden world-old drawers with holes in
them, which make such beautiful receptacles for dust and vermin.

As to the nests, you have plenty of option. These can be bought. There
are wooden ones to hang up on a nail at the back of the cage, tin ones,
basket or rope ones, and also those which you can make yourself out of
half a large cocoanut-shell. The basket and rope nests, it is said--I
have not tried them and do not mean to--do very well if previously
steeped in petroleum and dried. The tin and earthenware nests are neatly
lined with soft felt; a bit of an old hat does very well properly
shaped, steeped, and moulded in.

The cocoanut-shell will suit every useful purpose. You can make it
yourself, lining it well with warm lambs’-wool. Fasten a loop of wire
round the top edge to join in front, and finally extend to form two
hooks to fasten the nest on to the cage.


When breeding birds, it is as well to have a small nursery cage to put
the fledgelings into. The parent birds then feed them through the bars.
Also a bath-cage. Both these are attached when wanted to the main cage.
They are very simple in construction, and you can easily make them
yourself. Any ordinary small cage will do for the bath, one side being
taken out and hooks put on wherewith to fit it to the side of the cage
opposite the doorway. The bath is a tin or zinc dish inside the cage,
but a large saucer or a soup plate will do very well. Remember, I am not
talking now about breeding, but ordinary living cages.

Mr. Abrahams, the well-known naturalist, of 191, George Street East,
London, a visit to whose menagerie would well repay any one fond of
birds and beasts, writes to me in the following strain about canary
breeding. I need hardly tell you that I value his opinions, as they are
the result of long experience. He says: ‘I do not hold with the English
way of breeding canaries; they will stick to their old style of a
hundred years back. They use cages which may be divided, by means of a
partition, into two compartments. In one of these compartments there are
two small boxes, in which the birds are to build their nests. Outside
the cage a bag is fastened containing hair and other building material,
which not seldom are far from cleanly, and often already provided with
the eggs and germs of insects (vermin).

‘It is rarely that the male and female are of the same opinion in which
box the nest should be built. If the hen has begun to build in one box
the cock will pull the nest to pieces, and begin to work in the other
box, and _vice versâ_. Thus not only is time lost, but the birds are
excited and become weak. When at last they have young ones they are
often wretched, timid little things, and often both young and parents
die from being continually worried by insects.

‘Many tens of thousands of canaries are imported annually into England
from the Continent, and of these the Belgian, Dutch, and French canaries
especially are strong, bold-looking fellows, and nothing like our timid
little creatures that flutter about or creep into a corner if anybody
comes near the cage. How can this difference be accounted for? On my
many travels in the countries of the Continent I have watched how
canaries are bred there. Almost every working man breeds canaries in his
workshop. On one side of the room he has his bench or worktable, and
round the walls there are cages, parted off by partitions into smaller
compartments of about three feet square. Each of these compartments can
again be divided into two by a movable partition, which consists simply
of a wooden frame covered over with wire. In one compartment the cock is
put; in the other one or more hens; also a tin with seed and another
with water. Now the moment is watched when the cock and hen become
friendly, then the partition is withdrawn, so that both compartments
become one. Then a nest--or more, if there are several hens--is hung up
in position by hooks to the wire. For small birds, a small one; for
longer birds, such as the Belgians, etc., a larger one. They are made of
leather, lined with lambskin with wool on it, and ready for use, so that
the birds do not receive or want any building material. It cannot be
pulled to pieces. When once used it can be washed and be nice and clean
for a second nesting, so that there is no fear of insects troubling the
birds. Feeding and cleaning of cages takes only a few minutes daily. The
eggs and the young ones can be looked at at any time without frightening
the birds; they get used to their keeper and lose all fear. Is it to be
wondered at, then, that the young also are strong, bold-looking birds?’

Referring to the German cage figured on page 405, he adds: ‘I forgot to
mention that the cage is divided into two compartments by a wire
partition. When the old birds go to nest a second time the young ones
are shut up into the smaller compartment; the old ones will continue to
feed them through the wire as long as it is necessary.’

Well now, if you have done all I told you, if you are the proud owner of
a good box of tools, many, if not all of which, mind, you can buy for
very little, second-hand, at any dealer’s or broker’s, and if you have
managed to make a breeding cage, you are capable of making any other
kind of cage or hutch either. I do not refer to those dandy all-wire and
painted-tin businesses. You can try your hand at these if you like, but
as I do not approve of them, on the principle that all birds should have
a partially shut-in cage, as they dearly love a little privacy, I shall
not describe the process of manufacture. You will, however, naturally
wish your cages to look nice. Well, varnish the front with the ordinary
mahogany varnish of the shops, having first rubbed the woodwork very

I have spent so much time over directions for cage-making that my space
is small in which to deal with hutches. I do not regret it, however, for
the boy that can make a cage can make a hutch. He has only to see one
and carefully examine it.

The same kind of hutch that is used for rabbits does excellently well
for guinea-pigs.

Now you can make a very serviceable hutch out of that useful article a
bacon box.

First it must be thoroughly washed and cleaned and exposed for a day or
two to the weather. Then if meant to stand under cover, in, say, an
outhouse, you simply make a doorway and cover it with galvanized iron
network, price about twopence a yard, and cover all the front, with the
exception of about a foot (this to be covered with wood), with the same
kind of network. The bottom of the box should be covered with zinc for
cleanliness’ sake. This is an ordinary hutch. The breeding hutch is
different, as there must be a dark retiring room for the mother and
young. The floors of hutches ought to slant a little forwards, and they
ought to be always well raised off the ground.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.--Hutches.]

Squirrels’ and rats’ cages are easily made, and a good deal of amusement
can be got out of these animals if they are well treated and have plenty
of room. Both rats and squirrels like a dark retiring or sleeping
compartment; this should have a door behind. Personally, I think the
ordinary wheel arrangement is cruel. I do not like to see an animal that
contributes to our amusement condemned to penal servitude and the

Different kinds of birds require differently arranged cages, but
whenever you make up your mind to keep any kind of bird as a pet, go
boldly to work and make a cage for it, if needs be, borrowing one as a
pattern for the purpose.



To make a cage with sleeping-boxes in the upper part, and a ladder for
the mice to ascend and descend by, is by no means a difficult operation,
nor does it cost an exorbitant price; and it is very pleasant to watch
the inhabitants climbing up and down, and running in and out of the
holes in their upstairs rooms, and also to see the small animals
swinging about in their boat-swings; nor, after one or two days, do they
seem at all to wish to get out, or to gnaw their bars, as many mice do
if confined in a narrow space.

I will first give a list of the materials and their cost, and after that
proceed to describe how the cage is to be made:--

                        _s._ _d._
  Thick wire             0    5
  Thin   do.             0    1
  Zinc                   0    8
  Perforated ditto       0    1
  Hinges                 0    2-1/2
  Screws for ditto       0    2
  Staples                0    1
  Brads                  0    3
  Tacks                  0    2
  Emery-paper            0    1
  Handle                 0    3
  Screws for ditto       0    0-1/2
  Iron bar               0    6
  Screws for ditto       0    0-1/2
                         3    0-1/2
  Without handle and bar 2    3-1/2

These articles can be readily obtained at any ironmonger’s or smith’s,
except the emery-paper, which an oilman would supply. The thick wire
should be about as thick as a thin knitting-needle, the other wire, as
it is for binding purposes, should be as thin as possible; so also
should the zinc; the hinges ought to be about an inch long; the iron bar
will be described as hereafter.

The following are the sizes and descriptions of pieces of wood for a
cage 18 in. long by 13 in. high and 10 in. deep:--


  A.  11     inches by 18     inches.   Bottom.
  B.  10       „    „  12-1/2    „   }  Ends.
  B´. 10       „    „  12-1/2    „   }
  C.   5       „    „  18        „      Front half of cover.
  D.   3-1/2   „    „  18        „      Upper half of back.


  E.  6-1/2 inches by 17 inches.   Bottom.
  F.  3       „    „  17  „        Front.
  G.  4-3/8   „    „   3  „     }  Divisions.
  G´. 4-3/8   „    „   3  „     }


  H.    9     inches by 18     inches.   Lower part of back.
  K.    4-7/8   „    „   5-3/8   „    }
  K´.   4-7/8   „    „   5-3/8   „    }  Cover  of  sleeping  boxes.
  K´´.  4-7/8   „    „   5-3/8   „    }

The wood should be 1/2 in. thick. The cage that I made, and which was a
very neat one, was formed from a box and some loose pieces of wood
obtained from a grocer for 4d.

First of all the pieces B B should be nailed at the ends of A, leaving 1
in. of A projecting at back, and then from the top of each of them a
strip 5 in. by 1/2 in. should be cut, so that the piece C can now be
nailed to join the ends and form front half of cover; across upper half
of back we will next nail D: the framework is thus finished.


Now let us make the sleeping-boxes. First we must with a centrebit bore
three holes an inch in diameter in piece F for entrances to nests; then
let us nail G and G´ on one side of F to divide sleeping-box into three
equal compartments; to these we should next nail E, projecting 1-5/8 in.
beyond F to form run in front of nests. Two holes should then be bored
with a bradawl near the front edge of this run, opposite middle hole to
F, to receive ends of ladder, which will be described hereafter. Next we
must tack a strip of zinc along this run with eight or nine tacks,
punching small holes just above those bored with bradawl; then nail the
sleeping-boxes thus made to B B´ and D as shown in drawing, leaving a
slit of 1/8 in. between F and back edge of C through which a piece of
zinc 4 in. by 17 in. is to be slipped, to keep the mice in their boxes
while cleaning out the cage. The ends, bottom, and large door should
then be lined with zinc inside, leaving a space of 1/2 in. all round
front of cage, where the wires are to come; and just under the holes
bored in the run outside sleeping-box punch two others the same distance
apart in the zinc which lines the bottom--these are to hold the lower
spikes of the ladder. The zinc should be tacked down as much as possible
as well in the middle as at the edges, having holes punched in it for
the tacks to go through.

Now bore holes 1/4 in. apart along C, and same in but not through A,
about 1/4 in. from front edge of each, then cut off from your wire
enough pieces 12-3/4 in. long to go through these holes, which will be
about sixty-eight in number. Let the wood of A be quite 1/2 in. thick or
a little more, so that the wires can have as much hold in it as
possible. Straighten your wires, emery-paper them, and push them through
the top holes, and bring them down to the corresponding ones in the
bottom; then fix two longitudinal wires from B to B´ across the front of
the others, and bind these upright wires to them with the pliant wire.

Hinge the doors to D, as shown in drawing, and splay front edge of each
of small doors, K, K´ and K´´, and top edge of F, so that these doors
may shut closely. Each small door should also have a hole made with the
centrebit in the middle, and a piece of perforated zinc should be tacked
over them inside to ventilate the nests. We now come to the ladder. Get
two pieces of wood 8-3/4 in. long by 1/4 in. broad and 1/4 thick, and
make holes every 1/2 in. along them, and in each end of them bore a
hole, and drive a piece of thick wire 5/8 in. long in all these end
holes, leaving 3/8 in. projecting from top ends, and 1/4 in. from
bottom; then break off enough pieces 1 in. long to go into remaining
holes of one of your sticks, and drive them in, but not so as to come
through the other side; then drive the other ends into the remaining
stick, and your ladder is finished. The boat-swings can be easily made
in the same manner after looking at drawing, and fastened at the top of
the wire that they are hung by with two staples to floor of
sleeping-box. The fastenings can be made from staples, those marked _a_
for large door, and _b_ for small doors; the hooks of _a_ should be put
a little lower than middle of large door and the catches in ends of

Thin strips of zinc should be tacked in any places where the mice could
gnaw the wood.

Now, if you are going to have a handle, get as small an iron one as will
comfortably lift your cage, and screw it on to C, as near sleeping-boxes
as possible; then, as you will find the sleeping-box side will be the
heavier, you might get a bar of old iron from an ironmonger or smith 18
in. long, between 1/4 in. and 3/8 in. thick, and broad enough to make
your cage weigh equally; have three holes drilled in it, and screw it
underneath the cage in front.

A few remarks more about the cage and its inhabitants, and I shall have

The cage must have sawdust strewed on the floor and hay in the nests;
the former must be changed once a day, and the latter every other day,
or at least twice a week. If you cannot get sawdust anywhere else, an
oilman will let you have enough to last you a month for twopence. In
such a cage as I have described a ‘boar’ and six ‘sows’ may be kept.
When a sow is about to have young it should be put in a small cage by
itself, and as soon as the young are old enough to eat and run about
they may be turned with their mother into this big cage. Perhaps they
will get chased about a little at first, but they will not be hurt, and
will be all right by the next morning. As soon as they are a month or
six weeks old they should be removed elsewhere. Only one _full-grown_
boar should be kept in a cage.

When mice are first put in such a cage as I have described, the ladder
appears steep for them, but they soon get used to it, and reach their
nests in two or three bounds from the ground.

[Illustration: Heus! incaute puer--silvis latet ursus in altis]






The harmonicon is not a very difficult instrument to make. It consists
of a box and a series of plates--of metal, stone, or glass--to give the

[Illustration: FIG 1]

[Illustration: FIG 2]

Take a piece of deal free from knots and shakes, and plane it smooth and
true. Let it be of the shape of Fig. 1, three-sixteenths of an inch
thick, six and a half inches wide at the top, four and an eighth inches
wide at the bottom, and twenty-three and a half inches along the side
which is at right angles to the ends. The slope will be just a trifle

This piece of wood is for the bottom of the box. Now for the sides. Make
them out of quarter-inch stuff, twenty-three and a half inches long and
one inch and five-eighths wide. For the ends take two pieces of
three-eighths stuff an inch and five-eighths wide; and let one be six
and a half inches and the other four inches long. For the tops, as shown
in Fig. 2, take two slips a quarter of an inch thick and two inches wide
at one end, and an inch and a half wide at the other.

Let the wood be as perfect in quality and equal in thickness as
possible, and glue up the box--without the tops--as evenly as you can.
The box can be nailed or screwed if you think it will be easier for you,
but the result will not be so satisfactory. The box is like a fiddle,
and the more of a perfect shell it is the truer and fuller will be the

[Illustration: FIG 3]

[Illustration: FIG 4]

In the centre of the box glue in the bridge, which will be about five
and a quarter inches long and half an inch wide, and should stand clear
of the bottom and clear of the tops. Then in the broad end, at two and a
quarter inches from its sides, cut the slots, as shown in Fig. 3; and at
the other end, as shown in Fig. 4, cut the slots one inch and a quarter
from each side. Below each slot is shown a small circle. This represents
the head of the screw or tack round which the twine is strung on which
the musical plates are to rest.

For the string use very fine twine, crochet cotton, or silk, and stretch
it very tightly, and fasten it off at the end it started from; that is
to say, fix it at the broad end under the tack, then pass it under the
tack at the narrow end, then under the other tack at the narrow end,
and then bring it up to the broad end and there finish it off. It should
be very tight, and just rest on the bridge in the middle.

The next thing is the glass, which should be cut in inch strips, and
fixed on to the strings with a drop of sealing-wax. Let us have eighteen
notes ranging from B to E in the key of C. The true dimensions and
position will have to be found by experiment, but for glass a sixteenth
of an inch in thickness the following will be found the suitable
lengths. B should measure five and three-eighths; C, five and a quarter;
D, five; E, four and seven-eighths; F, four and five-eighths; G, four
and a half; A, four and three-eighths; B, four and a quarter; C, four
and an eighth; D, three and three-quarters; E, three and five-eighths;
F, three and a half; G, three and three-eighths; A, three and a quarter;
B, three and an eighth; C, three and an eighth; D, three and an eighth;
E, two and three-quarters. These are the lengths for glasses an inch in

[Illustration: FIG 5]

The glasses should be laid on the strings, which gradually approach each
other, and they should be shifted about until the correct note for each
is obtained. In Fig. 1 we have shown how they rest on the strings, and
in Fig. 2 we have boxed them in and shown by the space at the end how
they may have to be closed up to keep the proper intervals. As soon as
the notes are right, fix the glasses on to the string with a tiny drop
of sealing-wax. And also fasten the string on to the bridge with wax so
as to make everything secure. Then glue on the tops to hide the ragged
ends, and the harmonicon is complete. For the hammers glue a piece of
cork or wood on to a length of whalebone or split cane, or any springy
stick about eight inches long. A convenient shape is that shown in Fig.
5, where the black head represents the cork cut to a wedge.

Although many tunes can be very pleasingly played on this simple
instrument, do not let it be supposed that it at all resembles the
harmonica for which music was written by the great composers. That was a
different affair altogether. Perhaps a few notes concerning it may not
be uninteresting.

One of the first allusions to an instrument of the sort is by Harsdörfer
in 1677, though among savage nations, Burmese and what not, rock, bone,
and wood harmonicas have existed for ages. On St. George’s Day in 1746,
Gluck played a concerto on twenty-six drinking-glasses, ‘tuned with
spring water.’ The instrument was of his own invention, and he played it
accompanied by the whole band. It was said to be capable of producing
all the effects of the violin and harpsichord.

When Benjamin Franklin was in London in 1762, he saw Puckeridge and
Delaval amusing themselves by playing tunes on ordinary
drinking-tumblers. The tumblers were tuned by the water poured into them
up to different levels--the higher the water the lower the note--and
were sounded by wiping a wet finger round their brims. Franklin was so
much struck with this that he straightway took the matter in hand and
invented the harmonica, for which the music used to be written, and of
which a specimen now rests in the South Kensington Museum.

The harmonica--Franklin called it the ‘armonica’--consisted of a series
of glass bells fixed in regular order on an iron spindle made to revolve
like a lathe with a treadle. The sound was produced by pressing the wet
fingers on the bells as they rotated, and it could be increased or
decreased in volume and tone by varying that pressure.

Franklin presented his invention to the Davies family, with whom he was
connected, and one of them, Marianne, performed on it with great success
in London, Paris, Florence, and Vienna. The constant thrilling of the
fingers affected her nerves, however, and she had to abandon it, just in
the same way as had Naumann, the composer, who ‘found it necessary to
restrict himself in practising.’

Some of the music played by Miss Davies was specially written for the
instrument by Hasse; and when, in 1791, the blind Kirchgässner went to
Vienna, Mozart wrote an adagio and rondo in C for harmonica, flute,
oboe, violin, and violoncello. Who in these days would imagine that the
‘musical glasses’ once stood so high in the world?

Three years afterwards Kirchgässner came to London, and there played on
a new harmonica built by Fröschel. At Darmstadt the harmonica held its
place in the Court orchestra, and C. F. Pohl ‘professed’ it. Beethoven
even condescended to write for ‘the glasses,’ and Naumann’s half-dozen
sonatas for them still exist.

The instrument, however, has been laid on the shelf--or rather consigned
to its case as a curiosity--and the musical glasses of to-day are the
harmonicon we have described, and the tumblers about which we may now
say a word.


Musical glasses have been arranged in many ways. Sometimes they have
been all of one size, and the different tones have been produced by
varying quantities of water placed in them. This, however, was a
troublesome and clumsy way of getting effects.

Another method was to place forty-one parallel glass cylinders of equal
length and thickness on a perpendicular sounding-board. These tubes were
wetted and stroked, the music varying by the greater or less pressure of
the performer’s fingers. This, it is obvious, must have been a difficult
instrument to play.

The musical glasses originally arranged by Dr. Arnott are undoubtedly
the best, and with a little patience can be easily and cheaply made by
anyone. The patience is required to hunt up glasses having the required
notes on them.


We give a drawing of this above. The open circles represent the mouths
of the glasses standing in a wooden case. The relation of the glasses to
the written musical notes is shown by the lines and spaces which connect
them. The learner will see at once that one row produces the notes
written upon the lines, the other row those in the spaces. There are two
octaves, and the player stands by the _side_ of the case, with the notes
ascending towards the right hand, as in the pianoforte. The sounds are
produced by passing the moistened fingers round the edges of the
glasses. A little gum dissolved in the water makes the fingers ‘bite’
better, and produces a greater volume of sound.


In the section on ‘The Musical Glasses’ we gave at length the details of
construction of a glass harmonicon. An instrument of the same character
made of wood is now, it seems, taking a place in the French orchestras,
and we herewith give an illustration of the latest form of the so-called
‘Xylophone’ as used in Paris, with the names of the notes marked in the
French manner, wherein the ancient ‘Ut’ does duty for the modern ‘Do.’


The curious in such matters must have noticed the wide distribution of
the bamboo harmonicon. Some such instrument for the production of sharp,
short sounds can be traced back to the old Greeks and Hebrews, and is
found to-day amongst the Russians and Cossacks and Tartars of the
Steppe, and the mountaineers of the Urals and Carpathians. Even in
Sicily, in 1742, a wooden harmonicon was described under the name of the
Xylonganum, and the wooden slips analogous to the nigger-bones laid on
strings are mentioned as forming a German ‘music-maker’ more than three
centuries ago. In 1830 Gussikow, a Russian, made a tour of Europe with a
xylophone composed of wood and straws, the straws taking the place of
the strings and tapes; and straws, it may be as well to observe, are
excellent substitutes for the strings in a glass harmonicon. There is no
difference in the treatment of these suspenders, and the arrangement
given in our plan herewith does equally well for both.

Of the instrument very little explanation is required. A number of
pieces of wood, metal, bones, or stones are selected which will give the
required tone when struck by a small hammer, and these are arranged on
strings which are tightened over a shallow wooden box, being fastened
with a small lump of sealing-wax to keep them in position. The harder
the wood chosen for the palettes the better will be the sound; and if
one good piece can be met with to give the set, the various sizes will
give the tones almost without any variation. The straighter the grain
the truer the sound; and though hard wood, such as oak and mahogany, is
as a rule the best, yet pieces of ordinary deal will sometimes be found
more musical. Some years ago we remember hearing a harmonicon made
entirely out of a bundle of firewood scattered along a couple of waxed
threads, and admirably was it played by the maker. There being no
sustaining power in the materials, only very rapid tunes could be
performed satisfactorily, but the sailor’s hornpipe on this bundle-wood
harmonicon was quite a success. The notes being clear, sharp, and
unmistakable, the very quick country dance and marching tunes could be
delivered with great effect owing to there being no blurring of sounds.
In combination with a piano or violin the xylophone is not to be
despised, and in the orchestras wherein it has now been introduced it
will probably prove more effective than is generally supposed. Being
cheap, and easily made, it is worth having a try at.



The simplest pattern of Æolian harp is that which fits into any ordinary
window frame. A box of thin straight-grained, well-planed deal is glued
together, having a length equal to that of the width of the window for
which it is destined, a depth of four or five inches, and a breadth of
five or six inches. The wood of which it is made is carefully planed on
both sides, and is not over an eighth of an inch in thickness, and the
joints are as true and clean as it is possible to make them. The more
carefully this box is made the better will be the tone of the

The bridges in all Æolian harps are of some hard wood, such as oak, box,
or elm, and are glued on to the face of the sounding-case. They are
about half an inch high and a quarter of an inch thick. The strings are
of catgut tightened by pegs screwed into the edges of the case, which
are occasionally strengthened for the purpose by a thin fillet of beech.
The strings are tuned in unison. Three inches above them is placed a
thin board, supported on four pegs, one at each corner of the case. The
harp is rested on the bottom of the window frame, and the sash is
brought down on the upper board. The air passes in and out between it
and the sounding-box, and the strings being set in vibration give off
that soft, melodious murmur which, in a more subdued tone, is heard
near telegraph posts when the wires are shaken by the wind.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

This is the ordinary Æolian harp, but in this country and on the
Continent there are many more complicated forms of the instrument in
existence. The Æolians of the four Strasburg Cathedral towers, for
instance, are well known to tourists. At the castle of Baden Baden also
the harps are a great attraction, and we here give a sketch of one of
the loudest of these celebrated instruments.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

It is set well back in the gallery, and the window opening is gradually
contracted by the curious shed, of which one side is removed to show the
construction, the air passing out through the grating, which is only
slightly wider than the harp. Of the harp itself we give the plan and
section, and to avoid fractions we retain its original measurement in
mètres and centimètres--sixty-one centimètres being as nearly as
possible two feet, and a mètre being a hundred centimètres, or
thirty-nine inches and three-eighths.

It will be noticed that this pattern of the instrument has strings on
both sides, and that the inner edge of the box is fitted with narrow
sound-holes. The front of the box is of thin wood steamed into shape,
and fitted round the curved ends as carefully as the sides are built
into the back and belly of a violin.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

In Kircher’s harp, the older form, the screen fits into a window, the
instrument is hung on an iron rod, and has a great many strings
stretched over broad sound-holes. The case is freely perforated, and is
hung so as to half overlap the aperture which gives admittance to the

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

Kircher for a long time had the credit of being the inventor of the
Æolian harp, but it is of much earlier date. It is, in truth, a very
obvious contrivance, easily made, and not susceptible of much
improvement. In our last figure we give its latest form, which differs
from the others only in the arrangement of the screens. These are
devised to throw a strong draught on to the strings, without having to
be fitted into a window frame; but in this, as in all the other forms of
the wind harp, it requires a pretty strong breeze to bring out its full



The best penny whistles are tuned in D, and we shall assume that ours is
so. Occasionally, however, they are in a different key, but this does
not alter the fingering, as the intervals are the same, and the same air
will be played with the same stopping. There are six holes, which,
commencing from the mouthpiece end, we will number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Of these holes, 1, 2, and 3 should be worked by the fingers of the left
hand; 4, 5, and 6 by those of the right.

The lowest note of the instrument is sounded when all the holes are
stopped--the reason, of course, being that the vibration takes place
along its whole length. To get this note is, however, not easy, as there
is a great tendency to blow too strongly, and so get into overtones.
‘The very gentlest breath will give the dulcet note we seek.’ Having got
the D, and it must be a good full note, unstop 6, so as to keep only 1,
2, 3, 4, and 5 shut, and you will with the same strength of wind sound
E, the note that comes just above it in the scale.

F-sharp, the next note, is got by unstopping 5 and 6; G, the next, by
unstopping 4, 5, and 6; A, the next, by unstopping 3, 4, 5, and 6; B,
the next, by unstopping 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6; C-sharp by unstopping all the

Nothing can be easier of remembrance than this. The fingers are lifted
from the holes one after the other, beginning at the bottom of the
instrument, and with every finger you lift you rise to a higher note.
But we have not quite finished the octave. How do you get the D? By
leaving 1 open and closing the rest. And one note we passed, C-natural,
how is that obtained? By unstopping 1, 5, and 6.

We have thus gone from D to D and got our first octave. How do we get
the next? By blowing a little stronger, a very little, and unstopping on
the same principle as before. Beginning with D, we have 1 unstopped, and
then closing 1 and opening 6 we get E; opening 5 and 6 we get F-sharp;
opening 4, 5, and 6 we get G; opening 3, 4, 5, and 6 we get A; and
opening 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 we get B, just as we did before, the fingering
being the same, but the notes, owing to the stronger blowing, being an
octave higher. The next note, C-natural, is obtained by unstopping 1 and
6; the next, C-sharp, is given by clearing 1, 5, and 6; the next, D, by
clearing 1, 4, 5, and 6. And so we have completed our second octave. But
we have four more notes yet that can be safely sounded without giving
our audience the ear-ache, and of these E is got by unstopping 3 and 6,
F-sharp by unstopping 2 and 5, G by unstopping 2, 4, 5, and 6, and A by
unstopping 1 and 6. We thus have a range of twenty-one notes, including
the two C-sharps and three F-sharps, so that our instrument is by no
means a defective one, and the only difficulty in playing it is the
avoidance of overtones where the artistic merit comes in at the middle
D. It is, however, easy to remember that if you blow softly you get the
lower octave, if you blow firmly you get the higher octave, if you blow
wildly you get the peculiarly metallic screech which has made the penny
whistle the abhorred of civilised men.

And now, having cleared the ground--for it is not our place here to
teach the ‘rudiments of music,’ and in showing how to produce the notes
we have gone as far as we need in a ‘monograph’ such as this--we will
unfold the little scheme we had in view when we started on this
description, and introduce to our readers the Boy’s Own Mechanical Penny

The principle of the whistle, and, indeed, of all instruments of the
flute and flageolet type, being that certain of the holes in different
combinations should be left open in order to give the different notes,
and that the expression should be given by the modulation of the wind
strength, it follows that the fingering is merely mechanical. A
substitute for the fingering can therefore be found, and the simplest
substitute we have come across is a sheet of wrapping-paper!

Take a strip of brown paper or manilla paper, just wide enough to cover
the holes on the whistle, or rather overlapping about half an inch on
each side of the end holes. Mark off on the paper at each end of the
strip where the centres of the holes come, and rule parallel lines the
whole length of the paper, so that as it pulls over the whistle each of
the six lines will pass exactly over the centre of each of the six
holes. On each side of these six lines draw a line so that the space
between the two new lines on each side of the central one may be half as
wide again as the diameter of the hole across which it is to move.

Now rule the paper crossways in lines three-sixteenths of an inch apart
parallel to each other, and strictly at right angles to the lengthway
lines. The strip is now ready for you to stop out your tune on the
principle of the Jacquard loom or the American organettes now so common
amongst us.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

First find the shortest note the air contains--in our example, the ‘Blue
Bells of Scotland,’ this is a quaver--and each of the ruled spaces cut
by the lines through the whistle-holes must represent this interval of
sound. Double the space will give double the interval of sound, and
hence, if one space represents a quaver, two spaces will represent a
crotchet. In the Blue Bells the first note is D, a crotchet; and as D is
produced by unstopping 1, we fill up on the first line a double space.
The next note is G, a minim; and, as G is produced by unstopping 4, 5,
and 6, we fill up space on those lines, making them double the length of
the first space, the note being double as long. The third note is a
crotchet, F-sharp, and this is marked by blacking in 5 and 6. There is
no need to continue this explanation in detail, as the method is
sufficiently clear, and the notes are given in Fig. 1, and can be
compared with the scale. One space equals a quaver, two spaces a
crotchet, four a minim, in this instance; but should a quicker tune be
selected the spaces may have to be given values of less interval. The
simplest plan is to find the shortest note, and then, seeing how many of
it would go to a bar, to mark off the bars along the edge of the scale,
and then fill in at your ease. In our example eight spaces go to a bar,
because the shortest note is a quaver, and eight quavers make the
semibreve. Having filled in the notes, take a sheet of glass, lay the
paper on it, and with a sharp penknife cut away all the spaces you have
blacked--in short, make a stencil of your brown paper.

We are now ready to commence. Hang the stencil over the whistle so that
the holes you have made in it pass over the whistle holes, and blow
gently as you drag it along. As the holes are cleared one after the
other the notes are given forth, and the whistle can be played almost as
easily as a barrel-organ--if you can only keep the paper straight and
flat on to the tin. But this is not always easy to do, and so we require
a further invention, which the accompanying sketches sufficiently

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

Fig. 2 is a piece of deal, the shaded part of which shows where it is to
be cut away. Two of these blocks, each of them about three inches long
and two inches wide, are required. Fig. 3 shows one of the blocks after
it is in shape. The top groove in one must be larger and deeper than
that in the other, owing to the tapering form of the whistle--for the
whistle must fit firmly. Two rollers, made by sawing pieces off a
broomstick, are taken of sufficient width to carry your stencil easily,
and these are fixed as shown in Fig. 4. One has a handle made of bent
wire, with the point that is driven into the roller flattened out and
hammered in straight, so as to give a firm hold; the other has two
spindles only.

The rollers are fitted with an elastic band, so as to keep them close
together and make them act as a miniature mangle. A slip of wood is
fastened beneath the blocks to keep them in position. If it is intended
to play the air through only once, and to shift for each repetition, a
weight is affixed to one end of the paper to keep it flat; if, however,
the air is to be repeated without a pause, the ends of the stencil have
simply to be pasted together, and a flanged roller hung in the loop, as
shown in the cut.

This is all the contrivance consists of. It is effective, and easily
made. The only difficulty in playing with it is the need of the stronger
blow in the upper octave, a difficulty soon mastered after a little
careful practice. The principle of the perforated keyboard is applicable
to so many instruments that these rough notes on its construction may
prove valuable, even if it be not applied to the humble whistle. The
humble whistle! Alas! But let it not be imagined that squeals and
screeches are the sounds the poor whistle was made to produce. Any other
instrument, if improperly used, will give forth its appalling overtones.
Treat it properly, gently, and firmly, and you will find it as
sweet-toned as a flageolet.



[Illustration: HOW VERY FUNNY!]



In the whole history of science, from the Dark Ages down to the present
time, there has been no record of any parallel to the extraordinary
progress which electricity has made of late years.

It is comparatively but a short time since that people were marvelling
at the telegraph, and the newspapers used to write gushingly about
‘compelling the lightning to bear our messages,’ and all that sort of
thing. I dare say many boys who read this can remember what a sensation
the electric light made when displayed on the top of one of the
buildings in the Strand--they need not be very old boys to have seen it
there. Nobody would be very much attracted by such a light anywhere now.

There is scarcely a single art, manufacture, or science into which
electricity has not been pressed to do good service. Electric lighting
has become a matter of course, both indoors and out; and, while it has
been proposed to _annihilate night_ in the city of Washington by setting
up four huge electric ‘suns’ on the hill of the Capitol, so rendering
any other illumination in the streets and houses as unnecessary as in
the day-time; a modified lamp of a few ‘candle-power’ has recently been
devised for small rooms, supplied by a little battery which might stand
on the mantel-piece. Tennis is played and photographs are taken by the
electric light; electric bells are as common as door-knockers;
electricity is proposed as a means of killing sheep and bullocks in the
slaughter-house and criminals on the scaffold, and is used by the
physician as a remedy for the preservation of life.

On board some of our great men-of-war the captain can sit in his cabin
and not only see the position of the helm, the speed of the ship, and
the direction in which she is steering, but can fire every gun she
carries--all by electricity. Electricity springs the deadly mine on the
field of battle, and animates a sixpenny toy sold in the Lowther Arcade.
Even the railway engines, tram-cars, and screw-boats propelled by
electric force which have been lately invented cause but little surprise
now, so habituated have we become to the gigantic strides of this
nineteenth-century infant!

I am not going to preach a sermon upon it, however, as you may be
expecting from this terrific introduction; nor am I going to bore you
with a lecture on coils and currents and poles and induction, or any
other technical details. But it occurs to me that a brief mention of one
or two of what may be termed the minor applications of electricity--one
or two only out of thousands--will perhaps interest you, as illustrating
how widely spread the influence of the science has become, and how it
penetrates into nearly all the affairs of life. To my mind, the fact of
telegraph and telephone wires stretching for hundreds of miles across
uncleared jungles and through virgin forests, as they do, is not half so
strong an evidence of the pitch to which it has arrived as its being
adapted to a conjuring trick.

At one of the places of amusement in Paris some ‘sprites’ carry wands
which sparkle out and fade again as required, flashing in time to the
music. But a much prettier and more elaborate arrangement has been
brought out since, though I believe it has not yet been presented to the
public. The performer--magician, fairy, or whatever he or she may
be--wears a fancy dress, which is embroidered all over with what look
like large glass beads or imitation pearls. These are in reality tiny
electric lamps, all connected with each other by wires covered with silk
in the texture of the dress, and communicating with two little iron
plates in the heels of the fairy’s boots. Nothing remarkable, of course,
is seen until these two iron discs come into contact with a certain
spot--which is reached just at the appropriate moment--when every bead
bursts into dazzling light, and the fairy becomes clothed with white
living fire in an instant! Then she steps away from the communication
with the batteries below, and the beads are as suddenly dead again.

Electric alarums for the detection of burglars have long been in vogue
in the shape of bells and gongs, so arranged as to be sounded directly
the fastening of a door or window is tampered with, and electric
‘booby-traps’ have even been tried, designed to give the thief a severe
shock or take him prisoner--the result generally being that the master
of the house or the servants get caught in the snare themselves
half-a-dozen times, after which its use is discontinued.

The weak point in all these things has been that, from their costly and
intricate nature, they could not conveniently be applied to every
accessible situation, and that the mechanism was always liable to be
thrown out of order. The burglars would carefully avoid meddling with
the shutters and doors to which these appliances were known to be
affixed, and would gain an entrance at some unprotected spot. Now,
however, somebody has patented an electric mat, which can be put down
anywhere at night, and which sounds an alarm directly an intruder steps
upon it.

Galvanism is employed, as is well known, by medical men, to restore
power to paralysed limbs, to revive people who are faint almost to
death, and to cure diseases. Dentists owe a good deal to electricity,
and their patients owe still more. When a surgeon wants to cauterise
some very small spot deep down in the flesh, instead of cutting and
burning all the way down, he now inserts a wire, which is shielded,
except just at the part which will come in contact with the bad place;
an electric current is sent through it, and the wire becomes red-hot.

Neater still is the way in which a needle is detected underneath the
skin. I dare say you know that such a thing often gives a doctor a great
deal of trouble, and it is an accident which you should be very careful
to guard against. It frequently occurs to boys who run about the house
with bare feet. The needle, having no head like a pin to stop it, slips
right into the flesh. Sometimes the patient is not certain whether it is
there or not, as it may have worked out again, for the danger in these
cases arises from the tendency of the needle to _travel_ through the
flesh, doing great mischief as it goes along. What is the doctor to do?
If he is quite sure that it is there and can feel it, he will of course
cut it out; but he has to be very cautious. A needle is so fine and
slender, that sometimes, even when he thinks he can feel it with the
point of a probe, he finds himself mistaken. It has been suggested that
a magnet hung over the part will turn if any steel lie concealed
beneath--a very pretty theory, but one that does not answer when put
into practice. But one may make _quite_ certain about it by probing the
flesh with a little instrument which is connected with a battery in such
a way that directly the point touches metal the circuit is completed and
a bell rings.

Perhaps this was founded upon the very ingenious probe, by means of
which the great French surgeon, Nélaton, discovered the bullet in
Garibaldi’s foot. He could feel _something_ there, at the bottom of the
wound; but whether it was only the bone, or a bullet embedded in it, he
could not say. So he made a slender probe of rough, unglazed porcelain,
and rubbed it against the hard substance. On withdrawing it, he found it
marked with lead!

Still more wonderful are the medical uses of the electric light. Not
only is it made to illuminate the eye to the very back, but the throat
as well. A little glass-bead lamp at the end of a rod is passed into the
mouth, the current turned on, and there you can see the tonsils, gullet,
windpipe and all, a great deal more distinctly than the interior of St.
Paul’s Cathedral on a foggy day: while, to a bystander, the patient’s
cheeks and throat look as if they were made of pink glass and filled
with fire inside. Further, a similar rod and bead have been actually
lowered into the stomach of a very thin person, and were found to be
plainly visible through the semi-transparent skin; and it is thought
that this may be valuable at times in the detection of disease.

From surgery to sleight-of-hand is a long step, but we find conjurers
quite as eager to avail themselves of the assistance of electricity as
doctors. Robert Houdin’s book on Magic gives an account of the
marvellous adaptations of this science, wherewith his private house and
park were furnished. He invented many of the tricks performed with
electric apparatus by his successors at the present day--not such
comparatively simple ones as ‘spirit-rapping’ hammers and drums which
answer questions; but clever mysteries like the iron chest which a child
can lift, yet which defies the strength of a man, and the crystal
cash-box. These are things which might puzzle even scientific
electricians who are not in the secret. By means of the first the great
wizard acquired extraordinary influence over the Arabs in Algeria,
because it seemed to them that he could at pleasure take away the
strongest man’s power in a moment and cause him to become as weak as a
baby, restoring it again as suddenly. It depends upon the fact that a
current of electricity passed through a bar of soft iron makes it into a
huge magnet for the time being. The little iron box, which is to be
raised or remain immovable as the conjurer wills, is placed upon a
pedestal, within which is the iron bar, connected with wires to a
machine outside in charge of an assistant, who, at a given signal, turns
on the current.

The crystal cash-box is a casket, the top, bottom, and sides of which
are made of glass, bound with wire at the edges. No deception seems
possible; it is transparent right through, and is suspended over the
heads of the audience by four slender wires attached to little hooks at
the corners; yet several half-crowns are seen and heard to fall down
inside it at the word of command.

You will naturally guess that the entire affair is under the influence
of a battery ‘behind the scenes.’ The coins are first concealed within a
ground-glass ornamental design in the lid, the glass of which is double.
The lower slip would be just loose enough to allow them to fall, but is
kept up by a bit of black thread, which rests against the wire. Just at
this point the wire is made of platinum, which becomes heated by
electricity much more quickly than copper or iron, being a bad
conductor. Almost the instant the current passes this bit of platinum
becomes red-hot, while the connecting wires are not affected; the thread
is burnt through, down drops the slip of glass, and the half-crowns fall
or slide out with a jingle.

We know that by the telegraph wire we can read what people write
hundreds of miles away, and can hear what they say through the
telephone. At the time when all these ‘phones’ and ‘graphs’ were being
invented, one after another, almost daily, an American paper announced
another novelty--the telegastrograph! You were to hold one end of a wire
in your mouth and taste the orange, plum-pudding, or glass of wine into
which the other end was stuck a thousand miles off! But although this
was a hoax, it would hardly have been more wonderful, had it been true,
than many real facts among the curiosities of electricity.


Nothing can be easier than to make the Leyden jar. Procure a smooth
glass bottle, that is to say an unpatterned one; and let it have a wide
mouth, though this is not essential. Thoroughly clean it and dry it, and
paste on to it inside and out to the height shown in the illustration
some sheets of tinfoil. Let the tinfoil cover the glass two-thirds or
what not from the base, and leave no breaks below the line.


The best plan is to coat the inside first. Cut a circular piece of
tinfoil a little larger than the bottom of the bottle, and paste it down
with the edge pressed up against the side. Then drop into the bottle a
well-pasted strip of foil the height you have selected, and just a
trifle longer than the internal circumference of the glass on which it
is to be stuck.

Having finished the inside, do the out. Cut a circular plate for the
bottom, press it up round the edge and paste on the glass the strip for
the exterior circumference, which should be of the same height as that
inside. Then insert a piece of brass through a cork or mahogany stopper,
fix a brass ball to one end and a brass chain to the other just long
enough to rest on the bottom, wax or varnish the stopper, and the jar is

Instead of lining the bottle with tinfoil, thin gold leaf or copper leaf
can be used; and instead of the brass ball and bar a ball of baked wood
and a copper tube. It was Harris who first used the baked wood;
Hopkinson has experimented with Leyden jars in which sulphuric acid has
taken the place of tinfoil! The form we have described is, however, the
usual one, and as it is the cheapest it would be best to start with it.

To charge the jar the outside tinfoil is connected with the ground, and
the inside is excited by means of the knob from the prime conductor of
the machine. The electricity is, as the phrase goes, ‘bottled off,’
though ‘the fluid’ is no fluid, and is not ‘poured’ at all. Two
conductors of large surface are separated by a rigid insulator, and
hence the conditions are favourable for powerful attraction. That is

This simple apparatus, which takes such a prominent part in electrical
experiments, obtained its name from having been invented at the old
Dutch University, where Muschenbroek was at the time professor. In
Germany it is called Kleist’s jar, from the name of another inventor,
but it has been the custom amongst us to ascribe the honour of invention
to either Muschenbroek, or Cuneus, his assistant.

It seems that Muschenbroek had noticed that excited electrics soon lost
their electricity in the open air, and that this loss was quickened when
the atmosphere was charged with moisture. Hence electricity was retained
by surrounding its retainer with bodies that did not conduct it. To
prove this he poured some water into a glass flask, put it into
communication with the prime conductor of an electrical machine, and for
fear of accidents judiciously handed it over to Cuneus to hold. When
they thought it was charged enough, Cuneus tried to disconnect the chain
from the conductor, and thereupon received such a lively shock in his
arms and chest that he dropped the bottle and smashed it to pieces.

The professor was pleased; the assistant was not. He was ill for two
days afterwards. ‘I would not take another shock for the kingdom of
France,’ he wrote to Reaumur. And all the first experimenters with
electrical apparatus were much alarmed at shocks which to us would seem
hardly worth noticing. Poor Winkler, for instance, was so frightened at
the unexpected experience that he ‘betook himself to cooling medicines
to allay the fever.’

The shock received by Cuneus soon led up to the jar as we now know it.
First water was tried, then mercury, and finally tinfoil. Muschenbroek’s
experiments took place in 1746; in the next year Watson began to come to
the front. He first fired gunpowder by electricity, then he mixed
camphor with gunpowder and discharged muskets by electricity. Then
hydrogen and spirits of wine were fired by the spark by means of a drop
of water or a lump of ice.

Watson it was who put the inside and outside tinfoil coatings on the
jar. Bevis suggested the outside; Smeaton, of Eddystone Lighthouse fame,
suggested the inside. Watson’s experiments before the Royal Society
attracted much attention to the science, though he had in some things
been anticipated by the French, who had sent a discharge through 12,000
feet, and on one occasion had used the great basin of the Tuileries,
giving an acre of water as part of the circuit.

Nollet sent a discharge from a jar through a regiment of 1500 men
holding each other’s hands, and they were all shocked in the arms and
shoulders. But perhaps the best known experiment is that of Franklin
with his kite.

Two strips of cedar, fixed crosswise, with a large silk handkerchief
tied at the corners, and a sharp-pointed wire projecting a foot above
the upright, was all that Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite consisted of.
It had an ordinary paper tail, a bellyband, and a long fine string, with
a short piece of silk ribbon tied at the end. Just where the ribbon was
knotted to the string he hung a key.

It was in June, 1752, when he let his kite up in the thunderstorm. He
and his son, after some little difficulty, got it out to the full length
of the string, and then stood up inside a doorway to keep the ribbon
dry. A thundercloud passed over, and nothing seemed to happen. The
experiment promised to be a failure. Gradually, however, the loose
filaments of twine began to stand out at right angles, and were found to
be attracted by the fingers; then a knuckle held to the key extracted a
spark from it, and as the string got thoroughly wet in the pouring rain
the electricity became abundant. With it the experimenters charged the
Leyden jar, whose discharges afterwards proved the identity of the
electricity of the thundercloud with the electricity of the machine.

Another famous experiment is that known as Lichtenberg’s figures. It is
generally performed as follows. Hold the jar, charged positively, in the
hand, and with the knob draw on a glass plate, cake of resin, or sheet
of vulcanite, a series of patterns. Then put the jar on an insulator,
and, lifting it by the knob, trace another series of patterns with the
outer coating, so as to cross and intertwine with those made by the
knob. Having designed the patterns, make a mixture of red lead and
flowers of sulphur and dust it on to the slab. A curious thing will
happen. The red and yellow will sort themselves out. The sulphur will
stick to the positive lines, the lead to the negative ones, and the
pattern will be given in two well-marked colours. The sulphur will be in
tufts, the lead in spots. In mixing the powder the sulphur became
negatively electrified, the red lead positively so, and hence the
disposition of the materials.

The terms negative and positive were first used by Symmer as
alternatives for resinous and vitreous. Symmer was the man who
discovered the electricity in his stockings and charged the jar by their
aid. His experiments were the same in principle as those of Cigna with
his silk ribbons, but were much more astonishing.

When Symmer pulled off his stockings he noticed that they often gave a
crackling sound, and when he undressed in the dark he saw sparks issuing
from them. When he wore silk stockings for show and worsted beneath them
for warmth the effects were more powerful. When one stocking was drawn
out of the other they appeared inflated, and attracted and repelled each
other like electrified bodies!

He experimented with a pair of white silk stockings and a pair of black
silk stockings. When he wore both white or both black on the same leg,
nothing happened; but when he wore a white and black on the leg, and
pulled them off after ten minutes or so, they remained inflated, and
showed the shape of his leg! Brought within eighteen inches of each
other, they rushed together; then they were separated, and again became
inflated, and again rushed together.

Experimenting with the two pairs held against each other, he found that
they sorted themselves out, rushing each to each, until they gradually
wasted away, and from legs substantial enough for the foundation of a
family ghost story--a ghostly legacy--dwindled down into mere flabby
pieces of silk. The electricity he obtained from these classical
stockings was considerable. He charged a Leyden jar from the four of
them, and secured enough electricity to shock himself up to his elbows,
and to light a teaspoonful of spirits of wine!

One caution before we conclude. In every experiment, whether it be
merely in shocking, in rendering luminous half-a-dozen eggs placed end
to end by sending the shock through them, in perforating a card by
passing a spark through it as it rests on the foil, in splitting wood by
driving the wires in until their points are close to each other, in
breaking a glass by passing a spark from knob to knob in water, however
simple it may be, remember always to discharge by touching the outside
first. Otherwise you may receive an unpleasant surprise, and, like
Cuneus, come to grief with your Leyden jar.


In our chapter on the Leyden Jar we assumed that those of our readers
who were likely to experiment in frictional electricity would be in
possession of an electrical machine to start with. Many, however, may be
desirous of building an electrical machine of their own. As this can be
easily done, and as the cost of the materials is comparatively slight,
we purpose giving a few practical hints on the subject which may be of
use to those wishing to build and those anxious to repair if they only
knew how.

Before we deal with the cylindrical machine we must, however, devote a
few words to the electrophorus by which the jar can be charged if
desired. An electrophorus is easily made. Choose the lid of a tin
canister about eight inches in diameter and half an inch deep for your
‘form,’ or have a lid specially made by a tinsmith with its sharp edge
turned over a wire ring, so that it may keep its shape and not be so
likely to cut your fingers. Let the tinsmith also make you a thin flat
disc of zinc or brass, smooth and rounded at the edges, and measuring
about six inches and a half across. To this disc solder three loops of
brass wire, and to the loops tie three silk strings of equal length, by
which you can lift the disc. The silk should be quite pure, and if you
like something else you can use a handle made of sealing-wax and stick
it on to the centre. The silk strings, however, are the simplest,
strongest, and most easily replaced.

Turn the ‘form’ bottom upwards, and run round it a strip of thick white
paper, so as to project about an inch above the bottom. This will be the
mould into which the mixture is to be poured, for the lid is always to
be used bottom upwards. In the old days the mixture was poured into the
tin mould and left there, but it was found that the cake would crack
very easily under such circumstances, whereas when it is left to itself
it lasts for months with ordinary care. Make your mould, then, with the
lid for its bottom and the paper for its rim, and proceed to melt your
mixture. This should consist of yellow beeswax and Venice turpentine in
equal quantities by weight. Use an earthenware pot, and gradually warm
up the mass, stirring it with a piece of wood so as to ensure its
melting equally. When it is melted, you have to add to it five times its
weight of shellac--that is to say, if you used two ounces each of
beeswax and turpentine, you will have to use twenty ounces of shellac.
The shellac is to be added to the melting mixture a handful at a time,
and all lumps must be dissolved before any more of the flakes are added.
Do not let the liquid get too hot, or it will become like india-rubber
and spoil. When all the shellac has been got in, take off the
earthenware pot, give the mass a stir, and carefully pour it out into
your paper-edged mould, until the liquid is half an inch deep. When the
cake is cold, wet and tear off the paper, and then lift it off the tin.
If you drop the cake it will almost certainly break, but if you keep it
free from hard knocks it will last a long time. Do not have the cake too

To use this electrophorus, turn your lid upside down, as you did during
the casting, and place the cake on the top, turning it also bottom
upwards, so that the smooth surface which came nearest the tin when it
set is now the upper one. Let the whole apparatus be warm and dry.
Strike or rub the surface rapidly with a piece of warm flannel or
fur--fur is the best; and while you are beating the cake, keep your
fingers on it to prevent it slipping off its stand. When you think the
cake is sufficiently excited, which it will be in a minute or so, lay
the cover in the centre, holding it by the silk strings or handle. Touch
the cover with your finger, and then lift it from the cake, and you will
get a powerful spark, and each time you touch the cover, before you
lift, the result will be the same. In dry weather the cake will remain
electrical for weeks, but it is better to recharge it each time it is
used. Do not let your clothes get too near the electrophorus during your
experiment, and keep all pointed things as far away from it as possible.
An eight-inch electrophorus ought to give an inch spark if properly made
and charged. To charge the Leyden jar, all you have to do is to hold the
knob near the cover and take from fifty to a hundred sparks. You should
have the electrophorus raised so as not to have to lift the cover too
high each time, and you should hold the jar by its bottom, thus giving
the necessary connection with the earth.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

The cylinder machine (Fig. 1) is a much more complicated affair. It
consists of a stand A; a cushion, of which the upright is shown at B,
and from which the silk flap is shown at the top; a cylinder, shown at D
with its caps E E, and its handle at F; and a prime conductor G,
insulated on a glass rod H. It is best to buy the cylinder. Glass
confectionery jars, Winchester quarts, ordinary bottles, and even
commoner vessels have been used, but the results have rarely repaid the
extra trouble necessitated by the want of a cylinder with proper ends.
Such a cylinder about six inches long will cost under two shillings,
and one of a fair size, say ten inches long, can be obtained for five
shillings from any chemical appliance seller, such as Griffin, of Long
Acre, or Townson and Mercer, of Bishopsgate Street Within. Should a
makeshift be adopted, the first step is to cement a disc of baked wood
on to each end of the bottle so as to afford the needful fixing. The
cement for the purpose should be made by melting rosin in an earthen
pot, adding a little beeswax and raw linseed oil to toughen it. For half
a gallipot full of rosin use a piece of wax about as big as a walnut,
and a teaspoonful of oil. When the rosin is thoroughly melted, stir in
some plaster-of-paris; and the more plaster you can manage to make it
take up the harder will be your cement. The mixture must, however, be
perfect. While it is liquid shake in some red