A Machine That Chews Money
FIVE million dollars a day in wornout paper money was destroyed by machinery in the Treasury Department, at Washington, during the lash fiscal year. Two tons of this redeemed paper, amounting to over three hundred and fifty million bank notes, with a face value of more than a billion and a half dollars, passed through the macerating machinery, new money be-
ing issued to take the place of that which was destroyed.
This money, after being sent to the Treasury for redemption, is carefully counted, made into piles, first punched and then cut in half, after which a committee of treasury em-
ployees sees that it is chewed up in a machine made for the purpose. It is said that the average life of a one-dollar bill is one year.
The great growth of this work since the days of the Civil War, when paper
money was first issued, is indicated by comparison with figures for the fiscal year 1865, when seventy million pieces of redeemed currency were destroyed, of a face value of one hundred and fortyfour million, two hundred and nineteen thousand, nine hundred and twenty dollars, which included a large amount of fractional currency.
The government first issued paper money in connection with the Civil War finances, and Secretary Chase’s regulations for the destruction of notes unfit for circulation were issued as a result of an act of Congress. In Secretary Chase’s time paper money and securities were destroyed by burning. Experience showed that this was not the safest plan in connection with the destruction of distinctive paper, because it is difficult to burn bundles of money, and undestroyed pieces may escape
through the chimney. For this reason the act of June 23, 1874, authorized the destruction by maceration. The destruction of these once valuable bits of paper has always been witnessed by a joint committee, appointed for the purpose. by a joint committee, appointed for the purpose.
Secretary McAdoo has recently modified the work of destroying the paper money so as to meet present conditions better. Now each member of the committee will check the money and securities delivered as well as witness their destruction. In the past, one member of the committee has usually verified the amount and the whole committee merely witnessed the destruction. The new regulations are designed to simplify the work and throw greater safeguards around the destruction of money and securities. The record shows that the paper money destroyed in 1915 had a total weight of five hundred and ninety tons.
How Gulls Help the Farmer
THE term “gull” is usually associated in the popular mind only with longwinged swimmers seen along the salt water shores and in coast harbors. There are represented in the United States, however, twenty-two species or subspecies of gulls, including the gull-like birds known as skuas and jaegers. Of these some are true inland birds, frequenting prairies, marshes, and inland lakes. Flocks of gulls on the waters of our harbors or following the wake of vessels are a familiar sight, but not every observer of the graceful motions of the bird is aware of the fact that gulls are the original “white wings.”
As sea scavengers they welcome as
food dead fish, garbage, and offal of various sorts, and their services in cleaning up such material are not to be regarded lightly. It will, however, surprise many to learn that some of the gull family ren-
der important inland service, especially to agriculture. At least one species, the California gull, is extremely fond of field mice, and during an outbreak of that pest in Nevada in 1907-8 hundreds of gulls assembled in and near the devastated alfalfa
fields and fed entirely on mice, thus lending the farmers material aid in their warfare against the pestiferous little rodents.
In Salt Lake City, is a monument surmounted by two bronze gulls, erected by the people of that city “in grateful remembrance” of the signal service rendered by these birds at a critical time in the history of the community. For three consecutive years—1848, 1849, and 1850—black crickets by millions threatened to ruin the crops upon which depended the very lives of the settlers. Large flocks of gulls came to the rescue and devoured vast numbers of the destructive insects, until the fields were entirely freed from them.
Motor Car Mows Railroad Weeds
A invented PRACTICAL a weed railroad cutting man machine, has which derives its energy from the source that runs the gasoline-driven handcars running up and down sections of every track.
There are a number of advantages in the new weed destroyer. The cost of labor has been cut enormously. A section crew with scythes working all day can cut no more than a mile. The usual price for this work is $1.75 per man per day. Thirty cents is the cost of cutting the same amount of weeds with the motor weed cutter, which mows down heavy weeds and grass at the rate of a mile every twenty minutes, averaging twenty-five miles a day.
Cutter bars are so arranged at the sides of the car that they can be raised by the operator in case of obstruction on the roadbed, but when down follow the angle of the ground perfectly^ The blades can be stopped or started without raising, and the little gasoline driven traveler can pull itself along whether it is on or off the track.
Traveling at the rate of three miles per hour the gasoline scythes cut a swath six feet wide on each side of the track. If the lay of the ground varies on either side of the track, as is often the case, the blades can be handled by the operator to conform to this condition.
A regular crew of three men is required, and this number accomplishes the work that formerly required one hundred men.
Using the Sun’s Heat to Heat Water
IN the Southwest, where the sun at noontime is extremely warm, all sorts of heaters have been invented to catch and utilize the sun’s rays. In the case illustrated here, the coils of pipe, which are connected with the water system in the house, are arranged on a framework in a position where they are exposed to the sun during the hottest
part of the day, and so great is the heat that the water becomes warm in a short time.
Still Enough Coal
ACCORDING to the International Geological Congress, there is coal enough yet unmined to last the world nearly six thousand years at the present rate of consumption. There is a reserve of unmined coal estimated at 7,398,561,000,000 tons, of which twothirds are in the eastern United States.