Washed Air for the Carbureter
An atmospheric stabilizer draws air from the exhaust manifold
AUTOMOBILE drivers are well aware that the engine works more efficiently and more satisfactorily in the early morning and late evening when the humidity is high. Hence, it occurred to one inventor, to humidify the air as it is admitted to the carbureter and to do it whenever it was desirable. The atmospheric sta-
bilizer, as the device is called, maintains the air at a uniform temperature, as it is drawn from (but not out of) the exhaust manifold, the hottest exposed part of the engine.
The hot air is conveyed through flexible tubing from the manifold surface to a dampener containing water and a wicking, which is automatically fed from the overflow of the radiator tank, as the accompanying drawing illustrates. Because of the arrangement of the wicking, the hot air must pass through water on the
way to the dampener. This not only humidifies it, but also washes it free of dirt and grit. The principal result of providing air properly humidified and at uniform temperature, is a smooth running, efficient engine. A secondary worthwhile result is a lessened consumption of gasoline.
Bullets Made of Paper Do More Damage Than Metal Ones
INCREDIBLE as it may seem, bullets made of paper will do much damage. A recent experiment has shown that a paper bullet, after having passed through six pieces of tin one foot apart, buckled them. A similar experiment made with metal bullets showed that they passed through the same thicknesses of tin but they made only a small clean-cut hole.
Taking the Staccato Bark Out of the Machine Gun
THE machine gun, properly hidden, makes its presence known only by a light blue vapor that is visible under certain conditions during firing, and by its noise, which is precisely that of the common pneumatic riveter used on structural steel buildings. At times the roar of firing, covers up this peculiar, harsh, regular, mechanical “Tat-tat-tattat”—but unless the firing is heavy the other side speedily recognizes the distinctive sound and looks for the gun. Can’t the gun be silenced? The most practical way of silencing firearms is to use Maxim’s device, which consists of a steel cylinder larger than
the barrel, attached to the muzzle of the gun. Inside the cylinder are steel disks set at a slight pitch, and with a hole pierced through them to permit the passage of the bullet. The gases, emerging under high pressure, expand into the silencer and are set to whirling, losing their momentum and much of their pressure and
pressure entering the air without causing a noise at the end of their whirling. While the Maxim silencer is entirely efficient, it is doubtful if it could be applied to the machine gun, because the firing of six hundred shots a minute would result in loading the cylinder with the gas from another charge before the first had escaped, and wrecking the silencer from the intense pressure. The Italians are said to have machine guns that make merely a low, dull thud instead of the revealing crackle.
An American Fortune Spent for An English Invention
THAT there is just as great an opportunity for the inventor as there ever was, is vividly illustrated in the case of Frank Hornby, of Liverpool, England. Who has not seen the advertisements in nearly every American periodical of the mechanical toy, with which boys can build structures resembling bridges, buildings, derricks or ships? That toy is Hornby’s invention—patented by him sixteen years ago and first thought of in 1899. Hornby has a mechanical turn of mind. As a boy he was familiar with tools. It was for the two boys in his own family that he constructed the first early models of his toy. Finally, in 1901, he
patent. There was nothing resembling it on the market. However, the trade did not enthuse over it. Hornby was working on a small salary in those days, and thus could not spend money for advertising. Fortunately, however, his employer became interested and assisted him in bringing the clever, new
toy to the attention of the public. Seven years after he obtained his patent, $40,000 had been expended in exploiting the toy. Still a market had not been created. But Hornby did not lose his enthusiasm. The next year, 1909, the toy came to America and thereafter Hornby came into the fortune that was rightly his. During the first year a business of $7,000 was done in this country alone. The following year it jumped to $24,000. In 1911 it climbed to $49,000 and in 1912 it touched $114,000.