Models for American Airplanes
Our manufacturers are turning to Europe to get the latest airplane designs
THE machine pictured, is the last word in fighting airplanes that derive the utmost efficiency from the extreme speed and the quick maneuvering and climbing that can be attained by a small, one-man machine. Cutting down the size of the lower plane, makes it superior to other small biplanes. This type has recently been imitated by the Germans in their latest small Albatross fighter, as we point out in another article published elsewhere in this issue. Parts of the latest Nieuport have been taken to serve as a model for the details of American-built “chasers.” It is in
structural details and proportions that airplanes of to-dayare superior to the old machines, not to mention the question of safety. The location of the sockets for the mainbeams of each wing discloses, for instance, that if the lower plane is made much smaller, it should be mounted far enough behind the upper plane so that the struts can be made to converge downward and be fastened only to the frontbeam of the lower wing. This gives a very strong triangular construction, of small air resistance that dispenses with diagonal wirePuliey Tor bracing.
Condemned Army Boots Make Serviceable Roads
WASTE boot leather has been used for making roads, in England. Combining it with slag, granite, limestone, asphalt and bitumen, a material was obtained which possessed the hardness and rigidity of the ordinary tar macadam road and at the same time reduced dust and was more resilient than the usual road. Although it was sufficiently hard to bear heavy traffic, it yielded without cracking on the surface. It was patented in 1910, under the name of “broughite.”
Bubbles in the Blood Kill Many a Poor Soldier
found dead on the battlefield, with no mark of an injury.
Some are lying with arms outstretched as in running; others are grasping their guns as though about to fire—all are in exactly the positions in which they were at the moment of death.
These mysterious deaths do not occur as a result of nervous shock; else the bodies would be relaxed and natural. They are victims of “the bends” or “caisson disease” caused by sudden release from great air-pressure.
When a workman emerges from a highpressure air chamber, his blood fills with small bubbles, like those of champagne when first uncorked. If the bubbles are large enough to choke the circulation, the man dies. On the battlefield, such occurrences are the result of intense explosionwaves. The blood holds in solution a considerable amount of air and carbon dioxide, the quantities being greater when the pressure is high.
Upon lowering the pressure, the gases separate out as bubbles.
In the case of soda water, the bubbles can escape, but in a man they are caught in the capillaries. All muscular action is arrested with lightning-like rapidity, thus preserving the attitude held by the victim before the fatal attack.
No Trouble if This Mirror Drops. It Is of Indestructible Steel
A THREE by four inch mirror, which is intended especially for use in the trenches, is made of a special metal which contains a high percentage of nickel. It will neither rust not corrode.
The surface of the metal is highly polished and reflects almost as well as glass. It is protected by a soft lined case into which it fits.
It is usually carried in the upper left hand coat pocket, where it does excellent service as a shield, being sufficiently strong to divert glancing bullets.
Chewing-Tobacco to Clear Windshields! Would You Believe It?
WHILE inventors are trying to devise something that will effectually prevent the fogging of automobile windshields in rainy weather, along comes Theodore Petersen, a druggist in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a plug of ordinary chewing tobacco and solves the whole problem!
Not only does the tobacco prevent the windshield from fogging, he says, but it enables the rain water to run off the glass without collecting in drops. After each application it is only necessary to rub off the glass with a cloth to remove all marks of the tobacco.
How One Builder Keeps His Men Em ployed During the Winter Months
NEARLY ail of the concrete foundations for a new lumber shed and a new cement and lime storage*shed in Cumberland, Wisconsin, were laid during zero weather. The water and aggregates fer mixing were heated, and shavings were packed in a compartment outside the forms to prevent the freshlyplaced cement from freezing.
The cement was left in the forms until spring. When examined it was found to be perfectly good and solid.
The Newest Type of Cooker Was In vented Two Hundred Years Ago
OUT in Denver, Col., a new type of fireless cooker has been put on the market, by J. E. Crook, which is frankly an improvement on an idea two hundred years old. It is called a pressure cooker and is so small that it may be packed away in your trunk when you go away to the country, or in the automobile when you contemplate a long trip. It is simply a steam-tight cooker, complete in itself, without the usual boxcontainer. It is made of aluminum, so that
it is light in weight and convenient to handle, as well as strong enough to resist the interior 200-pound steam pressure
upon which the cooking depends. Safety devices are provided on the cover to take care of the surplus steam. The safety valve is made separable, so that it may be easily cleaned and kept in condition. The steam gage is calibrated to thirty pounds on a dial that can easily be read. Wh e n the food has been in the cooker long
long enough, a thumb-screw of the petcock is turned to release the steam so that cooking will stop.
A Novel Operation to Cure Hysterical Deafness in Soldiers
SURGEONS have recently identified hysterical deafness in soldiers as deafness not accompanied by muteness. They are curing it by an operation. The patient is given enough ether to excite him, then two small cuts are made behind his ear. A hammer is then banged on a sheet of iron, and, if the operation is successful, the patient jumps off the table with his hearing completely restored. Before the operation is made, the patient is encouraged to feel that he will be cured.
How the Germans Burrow in Hollow Trees
row AT first glance the post lx. shown in the accompanying illustration looks like an Alaskan totem. But do not let its exterior appearance mislead you. Look carefully at the second story window and peering through it you will see a soldier. He gives the secret away. The post is an observation station constructed within the hollow of a shell-broken tree. After it was captured from the Germans by the Canadians, it was left standing on the spot as a relic.
In reality, the post is a protection hollow structure camouflaged with foliage and bark. Iron sheeting has been placed around the trunk and over it foliage and
bark have been draped to give the tree a life-like appearance. Above the second story window is a slit in the bark which would enable a third man to keep watch. Each aperture in the trunk is covered with wire netting to afford protection to the observers from flying shell splinters. An iron ladder, faintly visible in the photograph, enabled the men to climb up or down as they wished. The fact that a trench lies at the foot of the post, made it-possible for the observers to take up their positions without exposing themselves to the vigilant enemy. One well-placed shell could have obliterated the tree.
A New Conical Steel Helmet for the War Photographer
ANEW style in steel helmets has been introduced into the military market to meet the demands of war photographers who are making the pictorial history of the world combat. Resembling, to all appearance, an inverted ice-cream cone, the new helmets completely cover the face, whereas the helmets now in use by the fighters of all the warring countries, merely offer protection to the upper part of the head. With his conical helmet, the photographer can feel sure that his head and eyes will be protected from flying shell splinters and stray bullets. Note that the helmets have carrying handles.
A Little Gasoline Locomotive to Be Used Near Front Lines
IT is so vitally important to bring food and ammunition to the front regularly and quickly that all the armies run whole military trains right up to the trenches. A special locomotive has been designed in America to meet the special needs of the army. It runs on a narrowgage track two or three feet wide, and hauls a long string of heavily loaded little cars. It is able
to turn sharp curves at will. It is propelled by a four-cylinder gasoline engine, mounted inside the hood, just in front of the cab. The exhaust is discharged through the stack. A gasoline exhaust gives little or no smoke, and this as-
sists in keeping the little engine’s movements secret. Running in all sorts of difficult places, the locomotive can accomplish a great deal of work, all without revealing itself to the enemy. How the gasoline motor is connected with the driving wheels of the locomotive is interesting. Imagine the cab and other superstructure as mounted on the front end of an automobile running backwards, and you have the underlying idea. Where the rear wheels would be on an automobile is a small crank mechanism, visible just under the front “steps” of the locomotive. The four cylinders of the motor lie lengthwise under the hood, just as they would in an automobile. They drive this crank through the medium of clutches, transmission, and power-shafting in the same way as they would the rear axle of an automobile. Power is transferred from the crank-mechanism to the driving wheels through the aid of connecting rods.
“The Measure of a Man,” to the Inch—by Photograph
IF you are a busy man and do not like to use up a lot of your valuable time in being measured for your new suit of clothes, you can have your measurements taken in the twinkling of an eye, by photograph. This is the basic idea of a patent granted to Emery E. Costly, of Walkersville, Maryland. His invention will indi-
cate not only the measurements of a man but his weight as well. The apparatus consists of a platf o r m on which is mounted a camera, a scale, and a height measusing standard on the end of a platform scale.
There is no tiresome
no standing as there was when the tape measure did its slow work. All the prospective customer has to do is to stand on the platform opposite to the camera. A measuring device behind him will record his height and other measurements and scale his weight. All
The Modern Soldier’s Fighting Equipment
THE equipment of a French infantryman in Napoleon’s day consisted of a gun and a knapsack. To-day the soldier carries an array of death-dealing weapons as complete as that of the arsenal itself.
Hand grenades and gun grenades, wire shears and a rifle are carried by the foot soldier in the advance. Pick-axe and shovel he must have when he reaches the trenches. Signal lanterns and sky-rockets must also be carried by the officers to keep headquarters constantly in touch with the progress of the fight.
The periscope and the gas alarm are as necessary as guns, all these the other implements of war and you will understand why physical fitness is the principal consideration in the examination of recruits.
A Traveling Home Made From a Giant Redwood
0 Tconstruct an automobile body out of a section of a huge redwood tree is a feat recently accomplished by Charles Kellogg of Santa Clara, California. Mr. Kellogg is well known as the first man to imitate birds with his voice.
To accommodate this unique redwood body, *an especiallydesigned chassis was constructed. Then Mr. and Mrs. Kellogg traveled to the Eel river country, where many mammoth redwoods grow. Here they secured from a lumber company a section of one of the large trees. The section chosen was twenty-two feet long, thirty-three feet in circumference and weighed forty tons.
One-half of this piece was cut away, and the selected half was hollowed and the bark was removed. It was then jacked up and the chassis was run beneath it. When dried, this finished product weighed about five thousand pounds. The car has been fitted with windows and doors, and the inside has been equipped with beds, kitchenette, closets, electric lights and all traveling conveniences.
Have You a Camera Lens? Enlist It in the Army
THE Signal Corps of the Army needs lenses for cameras to be used by the fleet of observation airplanes now being built. If you have a lens of the required type, do your bit by enlisting it in the service of the Army. Write to the photographic division of the Signal Corps, U. S. A., Mills Building Annex, Washington, D. C., stating what you have on hand and what price you want.
Because the camera lens is the eye of the Army and because German lenses can no longer be bought, a serious situation has arisen.
The Bureau of Standards, of the Department of Commerce is now perfecting a substitute for the German “crown barium” glass.
ALTHOUGH four months of his l\ vacation went into the building of a stone battleship, John von Wiegand of Brooklyn, N. Y., is proud of the monument which tops a little hill of broken rock, overlooking a stone quarry at Haines Falls, N. Y., in the heart of the Catskill Mountains.
Mr. von Wiegand is a retired police inspector, having passed the age limit of the service. A little over a year ago he spent his vacation in the Catskills and conceived a plan for building a structure out of stone. His choice settled on a battleship.
A number of boys, seeking some form of diversion, soon became interested in Mr. von Wiegand’s plan. To each one he gave a time card on which was kept an accurate record of the working hours. So, aided by his staff of juvenile engineers, the former police inspector constructed his battleship step by step.
The ship measures twenty-eight feet in length and eight feet in beam. It is built entirely of flat stone slabs of várying sizes and shapes. The funnels consist of short lengths of tree trunk, with the bark left on. The masts are merely young trees with the branches stripped. The decks and roof of the superstructure are of large flat slabs of rock, such as are used for sidewalks, while the turrets are shaped with curved stones and armed with “guns” made of young tree trunks, stripped of branches and bark. No cement or mortar has been used for holding the stones together, since the weight of these components is sufficient to keep them in place. In the vitals of the battleship has been placed a bottle containing a record of the names of the constructors.
What? A Poisoned Sea in the Atlantic Ocean?
FOR the eighth time since 1844 fish have been killed along the west coast of Florida in an area of poisoned water. Not only the water, but the air has been charged with a suffocating gas, odorless but irritating to the air-passages. The last mortality was reported in October and November of 1910. The Bureau of Fisheries sent experts to the spot but they were obliged to admit, after a careful investigation, that the cause of the strange occurrence is a mystery. One explanation advanced is that earthquake shocks, possibly due to West Indian hurricanes, released poisonous gases from the sea-bottom.
Using the Exhaust Gas to Make the Engine Start Easily in Cold Weather
ASIMPLE device to make your automobile engine start easily in cold weather and to prevent it from sputtering before it gets warmed up, is shown in the accompanying illustration. It consists of a length of one-quarter-inch brass gas pipe screwed into the exhaust manifold and then wound around the intake manifold between the carbureter and the cylinders. The free end of the pipe is then bent downward and backward under the car, so that the small amount of exhaust gas passing out of it will not be disagreeable to the driver or to the passengers.
It takes about six feet of pipe to make the device.
The heat of the gas in the pipe warms the intake manifold so that the incoming fuel is heated and more completely vaporized. This gives additional power because of the greater heat and effects a considerable saving in gasoline.
It also prevents carbon deposits.
A Giant Cauliflower of Solid Ice. It Was Twenty Feet Tall
DURING some freezing weather in Alberta, Canada, the device which takes care of the overflow from the oil w el 1, shown above, was out of order, and the gas and water squirted high in the air, freezing as it fell. In about a week’s time, a beautiful ice formation resembling a giant cauliflower ornamented the side of the building, and reached twenty feet in the air. Its beauty was augmented when the sun shone.