Why the dirigible is the ideal vehicle for the taking of aerial photographs
The Dirigible s Flight Duration
Absence of Vibration
Cost an Important Consideration
AS a vehicle for photographic mapping the dirigible is ideal; for it can be stopped in midair and it can easily be raised or lowered to any altitude desired, both very important considerations for the careful aerial photographer. The war gave to air photography an impetus it could not have received in any other way.
MURDER in self-defense won’t condemn a man to death; his crime must be sufficiently coldblooded and premeditated to be placed in the murder - in - the -first-degree class before the death penalty can be served. But the law is not so particular as to animals.
THE poison gas that gassed the Germans is now gassing English rats. It was Captain Eden Richardson, formerly a gas instructor in France, who first sent poison gas down rat-holes. He attached one end of a rubber tube to a gas-cylinder, and stuffed the other end down a rat-hole.
A TREE doctor with artistic tendencies was called in to fill up a decayed cavity in a tree—a most inartistic job. But the tree grew in Longfellow Gardens, Minnehaha Falls, Minnesota, a park dedicated to the great poet Longfellow. There sentiment was rife, and the artistic tree doctor grew bold.
TREES are not planted with a view to how their stumps will look when they are cut down many years later. And so, now that tree-stump garden-seats are stylish in California, many owners are worried: their stumps are all in the wrong places. Must they plant seeds and wait fifty years for the trees to grow?
WHAT shall I do with these wires?” is a question that the Parisian electric lineman continually asks himself. He is assigned to the job of wiring a house; and yet, according to the law-makers—who nevertheless use electric light and power—he must hide the evidence, leaving no wires where they will disfigure the streets.
WHEN peace was declared, formally ending the most terrible of wars, the bells of Westminster Abbey told the news. One of these bells—the one in the foreground of the picture above— has been ringing out glad tidings for more than three hundred years.
SHOULD you ask this digger of lettuce, “How does your garden grow?” she would tell you with pride, “Ahead of season.” She is one of a group of English farmerettes who are raising three crops of vegetables each season. They start planting very early, and place large glass jars— “clochers”—over the young vegetables to protect them from wind and frost.
WHEN you look at the monstrous, seventy-five-foot elephant with a pagoda on its back, don’t dub the scene Coney Island, Luna Park, or even an ordinary circus. This elephant is a funeral coach, and it is brought out only when the great folk of Mandalay die.
WHEN the New York police shifted some years ago from the oldstyle helmet to the more modish caps, there was some wailing on the ground that the cap was poor protection against a blow on the head—dropping a brick on the “cop” having long been the favorite sport in the “tough” sections of every town.
IF you refuse to wear spectacles, and pinchnose glasses pinch too much, then why not hang your glasses on your hat? That is the suggestion of J. A. Taylor, of Waco, Kansas, who has invented a spectacle support which he calls the “chandelier.”
Floors, roofs, and steps are now built in a factory
CLEARANCE sale. Ready-towear floors, roofs, and steps greatly reduced.” A queer advertisement, to be sure, but one that may before long appear in our newspapers and magazines. Why? Because Mr. C. F. Cramer, of Indiana, Pa., has patented readyto-wear concrete “structural units.”
A WATCH by which the blind may tell time, the invention of Bréguet in Paris, has the usual dial with two hands in the front. On the back, along the rim, are twelve small gold pins or knobs, placed to correspond with the hour divisions on the front dial.
The Israelitish kings that grace the doorways of Notre Dame were sandbagged when bombs began to fall on Paris. The sand-bags are being removed now, and the kings reveal no signs that they have been through the war; so they are free to breathe again, if they care to do so.
SCORCHED woodwork, singed insulation tape, drops of solder. on the floor, bad smells, dirt, and irritation are almost invariably the annoying features that accompany the making of permanent electric wire connections in houses, offices, or factories.
A 25-cent collar lasts fifteen days—cost per day, less than two cents; and a $2 tie lives twenty-five days—eight cents a day for the budget A shirt at $3, with a thirty-day life, means ten cents a day, and $5 underwear, lasting fortyfive days, costs eleven cents daily Shoes at $12 keep the cobbler away ninety days—cost per day, thirteen cents; and since $1 socks last thirty days, that means three cents each day for the clothes budget Hats at $6 may sound expensive, but the budgeteer says they wear one hundred and twenty days, which means only five cents a day.
Dashing through thewaves in a high-powered hydroplane, he watches the path ahead by looking through a periscope; inside a periscope there are two mirrors set at an angle to produce double reflection Perhaps there will be dirty work at the cross-roads tonight, but it won’t be at these crossroads.
ONE of the important minor contributions that American genius has given to science during the war is the use of ultra-violet rays for secret signaling. The work was begun by Irwin G. Priest and Dr. K. S. Gibson, of the Bureau of Standards, who made several reports on this subject to the Navy Department.
WHEN we entertain, do we admit our guests through the back door, past garbage-cans, into the cellar, up the cellar stairs, and finally into the drawing-room? No, certainly not! Yet that is just how we as a nation treat our distinguished foreign guests.
WEATHER observations are even more important to an airship than to water-borne craft. Temperature has a great deal to do with the buoyancy of an airship. Here, however, we behold a paradox; for the officer in the picture below, prior to a flight, is carefully shading his thermometer from the rays of the sun before reading it, although his airship is going to be exposed to full sunshine.
THE aviator, looking down into the still, clear water, saw a submarine sunning on the bottom of the ocean. He signaled a destroyer. She steamed up and dropped a depth-bomb. After the tumult had subsided, oil began to spread on the surface of the water: the U-boat had been blown to pieces.
The new clippers of the sky, like their ocean-born sisters, owe their swiftness and power to hull design
Its Enormous Propeller
How Air Is Like Water
An All-Metal Machine
Merits of Large Airplanes
Motors in Separate Fuselages
REMEMBER the pictures over which you used to pore in the dictionary—wonderful cross-section views of line-of-battle ships, every gundeck showing, and all the secrets of life on the deep revealed? Here is the same scheme applied to the airplane.
A NOVEL method of testing automobile tires is employed by a manufacturing tire concern in Denver. The track is half a mile in circumference, and it presents every feature of good and bad roads. An ingenious machine, with a long arm to which the tire is attached, propels the tire around the track.
TO repair or change automobile tires, J. C. Drew, an inventor of New Orleans, would raise an automobile off the ground by providing four inclined-top jacks, two pivoted to each axle, and then reversing the car to back it up the inclined faces of the jacks.
IN most forms of semi-trailers a great deal of time is wasted in connecting the trailer to the tractor or pulling vehicle. Most of the connecting gears are some form of fifth wheel, consisting of two horizontal circular bands of iron, one fitting on top of the other, with grease between and with a bolt or king-pin dropped through holes in the hubs or center bosses of both parts of the fifth wheel.
WITH the need for 92,550 truckdrivers for overseas duty soon after our entrance into the war, the Government decided to evolve some simple plan for rating each driver applicant. The test was divided into two parts—one an oral test and the other an actual driving test over the irregular-shaped course shown herewith.
THOSE of you who have had a blow-out on the road when you had unfortunately left your tire tool at home know exactly how hard it is to take off a clincher tire. Even with the ordinary tools it is a pretty hard job, and you are always glad when you make a run with no tire trouble.
It is plainly seen that when the picture above was taken, June Elvidge, movie star, was in no mood for tear registration; so her manager is applying small drops of ice water. This is but one of the many ways in which movie tears are manufactured
In France alone during the Great War three thousand soldiers lost their hearing completely and other thousands became partially deaf. The French Government has established schools in which these men are being trained for restoration to active life All of these grown-up schoolboys went through the war at its worst.
Without Hands, He Eats, Works, and Dresses Himself
How one man mastered a difficult situation
WE will have to amputate your hands,” the doctors told Mr. P. H. Knight, when he was taken to the hospital after an accident. He was thirty-four years old and had led a very active life. “How dreadful,” you say, “suddenly to become a helpless cripple!”
KERCHOO!” sneezed a passenger on the White Mountain Express; and soon everybody was sneezing. They were hay fever victims on their way to the mountains for relief. But they might have gone to William F. Sawyer, of Racine, Wisconsin, instead; for he has invented a nose dilator for the relief of hay fever.
IT’S a queer chair that Jane Murray has invented. If you are working, you turn a lever or wheel and your bed becomes a business chair. If you wish to recline after having worked hard for an hour or so, another twist of the wrist and you lie on your back.
EVERYWHERE our soldiers went their base was sure to go. When they advanced, doctors, nurses, Y workers, cooks, and laundrymen packed up and followed, wheeling their equipment before them. For nearly everything in France traveled on wheels, even pile-drivers.
A VICTORY bridge for Niagara Falls and another one for Buffalo have been proposed by Dr. T. Kennard Thomson, a consulting engineer of New York. He has drawn up plans for building them should his proposal be accepted. The bridge at Niagara would have a clear span of a thousand feet, with the roadway one hundred feet wide and one hundred and forty-five feet above the water.
IN a recent design for a garbagedisposal plant, steam digesters or containers are arranged in batteries upon a suitable boat, which may be towed or proceed under its own power away from the collecting pier. At the bottom of each digester are both steam and water connections from copious supplies, while beneath are the receiving tanks, each designed to receive the contents of six digesters.
NEWFOUNDLAND is the place where cod-liver oil comes from and transatlantic airplanes go from. But, in the recent excitement over trans-ocean flights, the cod-liver oil and the codfish that furnish it have been nearly forgotten by most of us.
THE man who owns this watery heart calls forth our righteous envy. It is such a perfect swimming-pool. It lies just outside his bedroom window, and all he need do when he wants to swim is cross a small bridge, hop down three steps on to a spring-board, and spring.
WISTARIA has proved herself quite out of the clinging-vine class. She is not a helpless plant dependent on some stronger growth, but, as the illustration below shows, a powerful vine that will slowly wind itself tighter and tighter about an innocent telephone wire and gradually choke it to death.
The Graceful Death of Buddha as Pictured by the Burmese
THIS huge statue of Buddha, which is one hundred and eighty-one feet long, is carved out of stone. Why is that holy man reclining harem fashion? Because his Burmese carvers wished to represent him as he lay in peace (and comfort?), dying. The statue is washed and painted frequently, so that this Buddha always has a clean face.
SERGEANT Charles Haberkorn and Orderly M. J. Maw, of the National Home for Disabled Soldiers at Sawtelle, Cal., have what is probably the only trained humming-bird in existence. It lives in an orange tree but eats its meals from a medicine-dropper filled with sugar syrup.
THE swallows of Soissons never knew there was a war, or, if they did, they never let it upset them. All through the four years they lived there part of the time, leaving for northern Africa in the autumn and coming back every spring. Perhaps they noticed the change in diet when the Germans went out and the French came in.
BALANCING on a ruler’s edge is the world’s smallest turbine. Its base measures less than a sixteenth of an inch, and the whole thing weighs but 12 milligrams. The rotor is made of steel, and measures not quite one thirtysecond of an inch in diameter, the shaft seven thousandths of an inch.
WHEN utility and beauty clash, in the streets of Washington, D. C., usefulness is apt to get the worst of it. For instance, no lights but those enshrined in beautiful lamp-posts are allowed to shine at night; as a result, the useful traffic cop at bad corners is kept in the dark.
QUITE a history goes with this figure of Admiral Nelson, which looks at the world with an innocent, wide-eyed wonder quite out of keeping with the doughty Admiral. The bust was carved out of oak nearly a century ago, and was placed on the prow of the English ship Ambassador. On a trip to Nova Scotia, the Ambassador was lost—all except the figurehead, which has been treasured carefully ever since.
TWO sea-gulls, weighing two hundred and fifty pounds each (they are bronze), are perched on top of a granite monument in Salt Lake City. The monument was erected in memory of a flock of sea-gulls which saved the original Mormon colony there from starvation.
Gas Attacks? Beetles Invented Them Millions of Years Ago
THE Germans have not the glory of being the original gas-attackers; for a certain kind of beetle has been gassing its enemies for centuries. When it sees a gargoylelike creature, like the one in the illustration, it promptly ejects an explosive fluid from the last ring on its abdomen.
CRACK! You open a walnut. Its meat is brown and shriveled; for a worm got there first. But how and when? Some California walnut-growers learned this. When it was an egg, its. mother—a moth living in the folds of a gunny-sack—laid it on the shell of your walnut, which was stored in that same sack.
IF you have despaired of attracting bees, butterflies, moths, and dragonflies to your windowbox, accept this next best bet. Have artificial ones like those in the accompanying illustration. They sway in the breeze and add attractiveness to the plants in your box.
“SEATS up front,” says the usher as you enter the moving-picture theater. But if you sit too near a moving picture the screen folk become monstrous, distorted figures moving around amid a great flickering that hurts the eyes. If you are in the habit of arriving late, you ought to own a pair of the moving-picture spectacles invented by Edward Lamphier, of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
IT is difficult to believe that iron ore is being smelted by primitive methods in these days. But the photograph shown herewith, taken recently at Kazombo, Africa, shows how the natives of Rhodesia carry on that operation. The entire structure is built of earth taken from an anthill, made into mud, and dried.
THE propeller of an airplane is as sensitive as any living human being. In the dry altitude of the Mexican border, of northern Africa, of India, and of Bagdad, days are hot and nights are cold. Hence propellers buckle, warp, and fall apart in the air.
THIS is not one of the stunts that anybody with a tool-box and a liking for machinery can perform; but POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, having in its June and July issues shown some of the uses to which old or disabled automobiles can be put, feels bound to tell what Charles Mitchell, of Millbrook, N. Y., did with an ancient car not yet quite ready for the bone-yard.
LIVES there a man with soul so dead who never to himself hath said, “I’ll go to the woods this summer”? If so, he need only glance at the tent in the accompanying photograph to have his soul livened up. It adapts itself to the weather and the time of day, as well as to the mood of the camper.
A Miniatui , Colliery: How One Welshman Used His Spare Time
WHAT would you say if you could see a whole colliery at work right indoors under a roof? This amazing construction actually exists; and, fittingly enough, it is in Wales—land of mountains and coal—that it was made. The model colliery represents the ingenuity and spare time of Mr. Tom Thomas, of Llanelly, Wales, for the last thirty years.
DOWN in the desert regions of New Mexico, cattle were starving to death by the hundreds last summer; there was no food to be had. Of course, there were plenty of desert plants growing there,—sotol, soapweed, bear-grass, Spanish bayonet,—but cattle could not eat them because they were too thick and tough.
It is now made both longer and cheaper by the machine invented by a Western gun club manager
The Pigeons Are Hollow
Consistency of the Clay
Why They Are Cheaper
What Will He Do with So Many?
Popularity of Trap-Shooting
IF one clay pigeon costs one cent, how much will 350,000 clay pigeons cost? That simple problem bothered Mr. Fred H. Teeple, of Los Angeles—not arithmetically, but economically. As manager of the Los Angeles Gun Club he realized that he was spending $3,500 a year on clay pigeons! An enormous sum, yet unavoidable, since the pigeons were shipped from the East and express rates were high.
A HATTER in Denver wanted to sell his two-and-ahalf dollar hats; the cigar store next door wanted to sell cigars; and all the other stores along the street were anxious to do business. But their sidewalks were piled high with the sand, stone, and cement which the street railway company was using for the foundation of its new tracks.
TO go bobbing up and down far out on the ocean is now quite possible for people who don’t swim; what is more, they can stay out there and continue to bob in perfect comfort as long as they like—provided they pad themselves with down from the kapok tree.
RUBBER ear-protectors for swimmers and shampoo victims have been invented by Frances Schurmeier, of Minnesota. They are made of one piece of rubber, generally oval-shaped, and having two V’s cut in the middle of each side. A curved slit is cut in the center, and the two ends are folded over and sewed together.
LOOK again. Surely that is a man sitting on the water and heading straight for your boat! Now you catch the glint of a metal point about a foot in front of him. One of those man-driven torpedoes you’ve heard about? But the war is over! He comes to within a few yards of you, then swerves off to the left and gradually disappears in the distance.
COMING from a long line of whaler ancestors who handed down tales of the power and speed of the great sea mammals, James Worcester, of Waltham, Mass., often wondered why it was that if the screw propeller was the best means of speeding through the water the good Lord hadn’t fitted out the whale with one.
SHOULD you see a man leaning over the side of a boat, obviously fishing with a telephone wire which hangs from a telephone head-piece he is wearing, be not alarmed. He is not a lunatic listening for the voice of a fish, but a credulous man who is trying out a new way of locating sunken ships.
Giving them their first bath; they have just come out of the mold, and are put in the water so that they will cool and harden—hairless, toothless, helpless Comparing a wax arm with a flesh-and-blood one. The arms, head, and shoulders are made of wax, but the rest of the body is constructed of papier-mâché
Amber is a beautiful yellow resin formed by extinct pine-trees Electrically driven lathes for shaping amber. It is polished with whitening and water or with rotten-stone and oil, the final luster being given by friction with flannel. Much electricity is developed in the process
“IF the first-class letters we send out daily were put end to end, they would reach over two miles,” says the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. Besides the firstclass mail there is the second-class, third-class, and the inter-department mail.
Taking the Kick Out of a Gun and the Jar from a Crutch
A SHOULDER pad has been invented by Paul Krueger, of Illinois, to fit under the shoulder on top of a crutch or over the shoulder on the end of a gun. It contains an air cushion which protects the shoulder from the recoil of a gun and from jars caused by the impact of a crutch with the sidewalk.
How bookkeeping was carried on by the ancient Peruvians
TODAY it is chiefly clergymen and sailors who tie knots during business hours; but centuries ago bookkeepers did it too. A Peruvian bookkeeper’s ledger was a regular rope curtain with knots running up and down the ropes. He took to knots because he had no system of writing by which to keep his accounts.
TALK about the commercial possibilities of the airplane! While we in this country are waiting to have landing fields built, or are trying out airplane delivery as an advertising stunt, the inhabitants of ancient Hit, at the head of navigation on the Euphrates river, have had a spectacular demonstration.
CHURCH of the Living God” is the name of a new religion started by the Rev. J. E. Lewis, a negro preacher living on Terminal Island, in Los Angeles harbor. At present he has fifteen followers, but he expects many more before long. For he is not only a preacher, but a shipbuilder, and he is now engaged in building a ship in which he intends to sail to Liberia, the land of his birth, and there convert his own people.
A POULTRYMAN living in New Hampshire has fifteen hundred hens, and so has fifteen hundred mouths to feed several times a day. His major-domo is a clock—a time-clock, which starts a motor, this in turn causing six large tanks to scatter feed over 4,526 square feet of ground, thus allowing each hen three square feet of food.
RELYING on their habit of eating now and then, an inventor has devised a way to disinfect chickens. He hangs a morsel of food near a perch, and when a chicken leaps to the perch to get it, the food springs out of reach and a stream of disinfectant shoots up under the chicken’s legs.
A KIND of sanatorium for abused, burned, water-soaked, oil-soaked, dirty, or worn-out leather belting has been built at Grand Rapids, Mich. Much of the leather that would otherwise have been turned over to the junkman goes to this sanatorium and comes out in excellent shape.
WHEN the temperature rises twenty degrees in Aquila, Switzerland, Victor Guillani’s clock gets a good winding. How so? Because Victor Guillani lives in Aquila, and his thermometer winds his clock. A rod rests on the surface of the column of mercury in his thermometer, being connected at the other end to a sawtoothed rack.
THE fans in the barber shop above are part of the advertising scheme of Edward E. Linehan, of St. Paul, Minn. While customers are getting hair-cuts, shaves, and shampoos, these fans, heavily laden with advertisements, will dangle in front of their eyes.
DOWNSTREAM swimming is the most pleasing and exhilarating form of exercise,” says Mr. John W. Lippincott; and he ought to know, for he is owner, manager, and instructor of a large swimming-pool at Little Rock, Ark. He has patented a pool in which the water runs forever downstream through long, narrow, parallel connecting channels.
CAN wheat explode? It not only can, but does. Wheat explosions have caused loss of life and destruction of property. The difficulty is that clouds of dust are thrown out by the machines that thresh the wheat grain from the straw. The fine dust particles mingle with the air, often forming a mixture that is as easily ignited as is gasoline vapor.
THE United States is now exporting four times the amount of foodstuffs that it exported before the war, and the money value is six times as great. Before the war the value was about $500,000,000; now it is $3,000,000,000. This difference between amount and value is due, of course, to the high cost of everything.
A PIANO apron has been invented by Emil R. W. Civita, of Pittsburgh. And what is a piano apron? A large-sized bib having a keyboard painted across the bottom. And why was this creation brought forth? That you and your fellow men might learn to play the piano without looking at the keys.
FEEDING Europe necessitates growing more food— particularly wheat. Have we done it? Most assuredly. The winter wheat crop, for instance, is estimated at nine hundred million bushels, a crop one third again as much as the record-breaking one of 1914.
THAT brewers in this country have been using millions of bushels of barley and corn annually is common knowledge; but few Americans know that the beer-vats of the United States consumed yearly approximately 143,285,580 pounds of broken rice, which is equal to three times the combined amount of barley and corn consumed.
How Canada plans to mine an inexhaustible supply of white coal
Canada Has No Coal
Widening the Welland River
Rocks Turned into Concrete
Artificial Falls that Are Twice as Great as Niagara
NIAGARA FALLS—what do they signify? A gorgeous spectacle that every American should see once in his lifetime—preferably on his honeymoon? No; they represent also a source of vast electric power, the importance of which is readily seen when you realize that coal—our chief source of power—is being rapidly consumed, while no new coal is forming.
Tests You Must Go through if You Would Fly for Your Country
“Probably eighty per cent of the sick calls on the other side are made up of sore throats,” says the report of the Air Service Medical. That’s why this aviation candidate is being examined so thoroughly for adenoids and diseased tonsils When one eye is shaded from the light and the other is covered and uncovered rapidly, the pupil of the eye that is shaded will dilate and then contract about as the uncovered eye does — that is, it will if the eyes have normal connection between the fibers of the two optic nerves
A CHICAGO company has just brought out an industrial truck driven by a conventional gasoline engine and other power-transmitting parts. Heretofore these small trucks have usually been electrically driven. The new vehicle has three wheels—two in front and one in the rear.
OPERATING on the rheostatic principle, the head-light controller illustrated is so mounted that the automobilist can drive and control his lights with one hand. As shown in the cross-sectional view, the resistance wire is wound on a porcelain cylinder mounted eccentrically on the center shaft and keyed to it by a square collar. The cylinder is supported and the shaft centered at the lower end by a flanged bearing plate pulled upward against a fixed collar by springs attached to the top of the cylinder.
A NEW design of hydrostatic pressure-gage for indicating the amount of gasoline in the tank of an automobile has recently been perfected by a St. Louis manufacturer. It is extremely simple in operation, having no moving parts to get out of order.
ONE of the newest accessories for Fords consists of a combined muffler and cut-out, the latter being operated by a pedal placed in the floor-boards. The apparatus is made of a casting with a flat bottom cover which is opened to give the exhaust gas cut-out.
IN Great Britain a shock-shifter wheel hub is being used to save road wear. The principle of the device is to interpose between the wheel-hub proper and the body of the wheel an annular chamber containing a number of steel balls which do not entirely fill it.
THE latest type of farm tractor is assembled in the factory in much the same manner as an automobile, and when it gets to the end of its assembly conveyor, it is cranked up and run under its own power as a final test. To perform this cranking operation one hundred times a day—which represents the output of one plant—is a hard task if done by hand, and a slow one in addition.
CRASH! goes one car into the back of another. The damage is not usually serious to the occupants of the injured cars, but head-lights and fenders cost big money these days. And all because the driver of the rear car did not know that the machine ahead was going to stop.
Laying Out Airways and Terminals that Will Open Up the Skies to Commerce
A BEGINNING has been made in laying out the air roads. Some day they will cover a map of the United States with a network of lines as closely woven as those of the railroad maps of today. The chart shown here is the first official one of the aerial routes of the country.
Take fourteen men from your crew and put them on the boom of your backfiller. If it won’t budge it proves the design is suited to efficient work The holders of this contrivance support the sack exactly as would human arms. The shoveler may adapt the bag height to his individual stature
Designed to give the baby both exercise and amusement is this practical rocker. Another advantage is that it cannot possibly topple over Why not use an old umbrella-frame for drying small pieces? It takes kindly to clothespins, and will surprise you with the amount of wash it accommodates
THE art of photographing tornadoes is still in its infancy. Tornadoes have a pronounced aversion to sitting still and looking pleasant. They are excessively rare visitors in any given locality, and generally the heavy clouds by which they are attended shed such darkness round about that a good photograph is almost unobtainable.
FROM little gas-bags great blimps grow; and so by making room for the gas-bags British battleships are able to house the blimps. Each blimp is assigned a small space on deck— just about large enough to hold the car it carries. Then, when the blimp comes home after a day’s work of policing the ocean, she is promptly deflated and tucked in her car.
UNLESS you are a radio amateur, or a man who has followed the development of the electron theory on the relations of electricity and matter, you will probably wonder what a vacuum valve is, and why the newspapers haven’t had front-page articles about it.
IF you leave a can of fresh milk uncovered, bugs, dust, and germs will settle on its surface. Yet it is not advisable, while milk is warm, to exclude air. The problem is solved by the ventilating lid shown below. A partition extending through the center of the lid divides it in half.
AND the price of milk keeps going up! The cow is not to blame— she hasn’t raised her prices; the farmer’s share of the blame is small. Most of it may be heaped on the shoulders of transportation. But transportation has its woeful tale to tell, and so the problem is yet unsolved.
YOU buy canned meat, canned fruit, canned vegetables, and yet never worry about poisoning, even though the cans are made of tin. Why? Because they are so carefully sealed that no air can get in. This confidence in canned food did not always exist.
THE date-palm of the Orient has made itself quite at home in Arizona. This is truly remarkable, since date-palms are not good mixers and don’t take to foreign soil. In fact, dates have simply refused to ripen on the Mediterranean shores of Europe.
IN this exciting drama, mother nature plays heroine, a pinetree the villain, and an old oak the tortured hero. In Act 1, the young pine-tree breaks, and falls against the oak, piercing the oak’s bark. Intent on saving its own life, the pine, at the expense of the oak, continues to grow right through the oak till it comes out at the other side.
JUSTICE is coming into her own in that German prisoners, who up to the time of their capture had been doing their utmost to destroy towns, factories, and machinery in France and Belgium, should be given the work of repairing the very structures they were so anxious to see destroyed.
ALBERT had a toothache—a bad one; he could neither eat nor sleep. It was a case of a neglected cavity which had grown entirely too large to be filled. But Albert really could not be blamed, since he is but a circus elephant. At any rate, the tooth had to be pulled.
WHAT does a red light and what does a green light mean? Danger and safety on land, port and starboard on sea, you promptly say. That is true in most cases, but not in the case of the small flash-lamp shown herewith. The red light means dot, and the green light dash, and they represent the dot and dash of the telegraph signal system.
OH, there’s a mouse!” Don’t get agitated, dear lady, and never mind if the cat is on vacation and there’s no mousetrap at hand. Just slip off your thimble, and get a plate, and a bowl small enough to fit inside the plate, mouth down. Fill the thimble with such food as your observation Or instinct tells you mice like best, then place the bowl upside down on the plate, supporting one edge of the bowl on the thimble, which should be placed open end in.
MANY of the daring heroes and heroines of fiction are credited with riding their steeds up the steps of some dignified old building; it took a theatrical hero to ride up steps in an automobile. His name is Harold Du Kane, and he rode his automobile up the steps of the Capitol at Boston.
AS long as the tight skirt fad doesn’t spread to Japan, the Japanese will be able to enjoy their football games. What have tight skirts got to do with football? Plenty; football is played only by members of the nobility, and they wear skirts. How could this noble Japanese kick the ball if his skirt were any tighter?
TO the hunter or traveler it is useful to know the time accurately, and most important to know direction. Watch or compass stand the chance of being lost, and the lack cannot be remedied in the wilds. So camper and woodsman are taking a leaf out of the book of the soldier.
“WOODMAN, spare that tree!” and all the touching phrases that follow were written by George Morris in 1830. ’Tis fortunate that he didn’t appear upon the scene a hundred years later, for he might then have had to say, “Engineer, don’t light that fuse!” which is not nearly so effective.
We are now ready, with the help of a pair of opera-glasses, to study the individual stars
Lyra—Constellation of the Harp
Our Pole-Star in Twelve Thousand Years
The Planets for August
How to Use the Planet Map
Ernest A. Hodgson
WITH the beginning of August, the stars that were just about to disappear in the west at nine o’clock in the early evening in January are now just rising in the eastern sky at that time. Within a few months the great constellations of Orion and Taurus will again be with us.
AIRPLANES were never meant to go to sea. When the war forced them to join the navy they found themselves cramped for starting and landing room. Then ships especially designed to mother airplanes helped to solve the problem by providing unusually long and wide flush decks as marine aviation fields.
ON a hot night in the country you will hear grass-hoppers singing in the bushes. In the day-time they are comparatively quiet. What does this quiet mean? Mischief, as usual. They are out eating up the farmers’ crops. But the days of their feasting are numbered, for Mr. Samuel H. Pierce, of Dayton, Ohio, has invented a machine for harvesting grasshoppers.
SHALL the Liberty Bell ring out once more? Ever since 1843 it has remained mute—and for good reason. When it was being rung on February 22, 1843, the crack in it, which had appeared some eight years before, so increased as nearly to destroy its sound.
IF you were raised on a farm, you will remember the backbreaking job that was your share every fall when you had to work the cross-cut saw to get in the winter’s supply of wood. Cutting up the larger trees was a slow, tedious task. The progressive present-day farmer has relegated the hand cross-cut saw to the scrap-heap and substituted the mechanical cross-cut saw.
PROBABLY you’ve heard of someone dreaming of a machine that would drill square holes, because for years the invention of such a tool has been the dream of mechanical engineers; but it remained for Carl H. Schmidgall, who runs a shop in Peoria, Iii., to invent a square-hole auger.
CAN it be done?” Never again will that question be asked when the subject of flying across the Atlantic in a single leap comes up. There were good reasons to doubt the feasibility of the flight. Had it not been proved by theorists, with their ever-ready pencils, that the maximum range of the airplane is twelve hundred miles?
EVEN the powerful NC-3 was battered up when she was forced to land in a rough sea. Consequently our navy fully realizes that it must keep a watchful eye on venturesome ocean-going seaplanes. Blimps are now being taught to rescue aviators from seaplanes.
DO you remember the early days of the automobile, when you were never certain that your “horseless carriage” would run for a hundred miles without a breakdown? The airplane of today is in about the same stage of development. Stinginess characterizes the construction of minor parts
FOR eons some of the lowest forms of insects have been filtering the air they breathe. The air is passed through what are called spiracles or stigmata — little openings, usually in two rows, one on each side of the body. These openings may be seen as tiny spots in many insects, without even the use of a pocket magnifier; but it is only under the compound microscope (through which the accompanying illustration of a spiracle of a waterbeetle was photographed) that the sievelike arrangements may be seen.
UNLIKE the old-time gloomy small-windowed workshops, a modern factory is nearly all glass. There are brick or concrete piers just large enough to furnish the support for the structure, and, in the spaces between the outer piers, huge windows with tiny steel divisions.
BILLIARDS and pool have long ceased to be the monopoly of mere man. Women have taken them up, and now even the children have an opportunity to amuse themselves with these fascinating pastimes and to acquire skill and dexterity in “handling the ivories.”
PRESIDENT WILSON wirelessed from France that he wanted his George Washington. In a very short time long black coal-elevators were crawling up her side and feeding her coal for the trip at the astonishing rate of one hundred and twenty-five tons an hour; and soon she was all ready to start.
The Pumps that Moths and Butterflies Carry with Them
Edward F. Bigelow
OF marvelous mechanical construction is the tongue of a moth or a butterfly. It is a trunk of peculiar and delicate structure and varying length. In most moths and butterflies it is about as long as the entire body. In some sphinx moths it measures nine inches, or more than three times the length of the body.
A miniature course that demands all the skill of the expert golfer
PINEHURST, North Carolina, has much to boast of in its golf and golf courses, but the miniature golf course at the new home of Mr. James Barber, “Thistle Dhu ” has some unusual features. It comprises eighteen holes of which no two are alike. The first nine holes are divided from the second nine by a terraced garden, fountain, summer-house, flower bed, and iris garden.
YEARS ago, when our grandmothers were little girls and our grandfathers were running around bare-legged, the parlor organ was the principal source of music in the home and was a thorough evidence of distinctive social standing and marked musical proclivities.
ONE of the greatest aids to practical, scientific farming ever devised is the Truog Acidity Test for determining the acidity of soils quickly and accurately in the laboratory, farmhouse or open field. The accompanying line illustration shows the apparatus in detail.
Converting an old automobile into a portable combination power plant and air-compressor
R. H. McQuade
HAVING on hand a badly worn automobile of popular make, I decided, rather than buy the many new parts needed for repairs, to convert it into a portable combination farm engine and air compressor. The rear construction was so badly worn that I discarded it entirely.
SOME have tried it, at home and under the most favorable conditions, and, after tossing about for a night or two, chilled and uncomfortable, have given up in disgust, when knowledge or consideration of a few simple rules would have brought comfort.
A FIRE-EXTINGUISHER should always be carried in the automobile—preferably beneath the hood on the intake side of the engine, as this is most usually where the fire starts. If it is carried upon the dash there is always the danger of it being stolen.
ANY woman who owns a sewingmachine can easily have an emery wheel of her own with which to sharpen knives and smooth off the damaged points of machine needles. It will also sharpen a lead pencil more quickly and neatly than can be done by hand.
THERE are many compounds on the market that claim to mend crockery, glass, etc. In fact, the makers usually mention everything that they can crowd on the labels. Of course we all buy this stuff, but a far better method is to take some thick white lead and smear it upon both halves of the fractured dish, pressing the parte firmly together.
It’s the Little Things about an Automobile that Make for Economy
G. F. Collins
WHAT troubles occur most frequently on the road? Let us make a list of the ailments which most frequently afflict the automobile while it is serving our pleasure. This done, we will consider what the careful owner can do to eliminate them as far as possible.
A GOOD and sure way of drawing pipes, rods, or poles out of inaccessible places, or to lower them, is to use an ordinary lathe-dog slipped down over the piece of pipe. A rope sling passed over the hook furnishes the necessary equipment attaching.
ON an occasion when it was found impossible to purchase a pneumatic cushion of the size required for a certain purpose, a substitute was devised in the following way: Three sections 30 in. long were cut from a 4½-in. old inner tube and the ends cemented together with a small rubber hose thrust into each piece of tubing as shown in the sketch.
THE five-gallon container in which standard automobile engine oils are sold is clumsy and heavy to handle when small cans, measures, etc., have to be filled. This clumsiness can be remedied by a simple device that you can readily make yourself.
DIFFERENT vacuum detectors of the same make frequently require different adjustments of the filament rheostat to bring them to the most sensitive state for signal reception. While one tube may respond to signals over a wide range of heating current, another will require a very delicate adjustment of the filament current to bring it to the critical point.
GODFREY ISAACS, managing director of an English radio company, recently related how London heard Berlin send out pronouncements regarding the war: “The first message of the war we received said: ‘War declared against Russia!’ Then followed, after an interval of two days, ‘War declared against Russia and France!’
EACH of three neighbors had a small sending and receiving outfit. With the individual antennæ messages could be received only from a limited distance. Consequently they tore down their old antennæ, and built a single large one about 75 ft. high and stretching across the three yards.
THE statement has frequently been made in current technical publications, that in order to receive wireless signals at a wavelength of about 10,000 meters, such as is used by the large transatlantic stations, an antenna at least 500 ft. long is required.
Many amateurs still experiment with crystal detectors. Here is a novel and easily made stand. Materials readily available in any small shop are satisfactory and the resulting instrument is capable of exact adjustment. Wide experiment is possible
AS varieties of vacuum tubes have increased in number, new names have had to be coined to distinguish the different kinds. For instance, there is the “kenotron.” This is a two-electrode tube, the first part of its name coming from the Greek henos, signifying “empty space,” a vacuum.
AMATEURS recently restored to their receiving apparatus can “listen in” intelligently on the new radio compass traffic if they are acquainted with the following information recently given out by the Government: “The following harbor-entrance radio compass stations are now in operation for the purpose of furnishing positions to vessels within thirty miles of the entrance to the outer channel, and bearings to vessels within one hundred miles.
WITH the present tendency to reduce sliding contacts in radio equipments, the variometer is finding wide and profitable use as a means for changing the inductance values of the primary circuit in receiving outfits. The average amateur is surprisingly ignorant of both the use and operation of this simple piece of apparatus, and yet it can be used with success in any station.
IN the opionion of M. George A. Leroy, a chemist of Rouen, France, the ether waves of radiotelegraphy may be the direct cause of many large fires otherwise unexplainable. He finds by experiment that if one of the iron bands of a cotton-bale breaks, though remaining in the same general position as before on the bale, it is quite capable of acting as a loop receiver and resonator of the classical Hertz type for the picking up of radio waves.
THIS concludes our Radio Experiment Department for this issue. Do not miss the article on vacuum valves beginning on page 67. Next month we promise you several more columns of exceedingly interesting articles on the newest and best in radio.
WHEN one has to make his own gaskets there is need of special tools, such as gasket punches and packing shears, to cut the material into shape and make the bolt holes. A few home-made tools, such as are shown in the sketches, will be found easy to make, and while they are small in cost they do the work very well.
TAKE 2 cups of water, ½ cup of wheat flour, and 1 cup of salt. Mix these into a paste and when a piece of steel which it is desired to harden is sufficiently hot to make the mixture stick to it, dip it into the mixture. Heat the steel to a cherry red and plunge at once into cold, soft water.
Valuable advice to those who contemplate house-building
How to Put in the Drawer
Reducing Wear to a Minimum
Things to Avoid
When to Use a Center Run
IN every modern dwelling of the better class, drawer cases are generally built in, usually being made to fit odd spaces that can be put to no other use. Drawers in the kitchen and pantry should be large enough to hold pans and covers of kettles, dish-towels, etc.
WHEN an electrician is called upon to remove a “bug” from a commutator, it is the usual practice to fill the hole caused by digging out the mica with a paste of powdered mica and water-glass. When this is not handy a permanent job can be made by using plaster of paris and water to fill the HOLES.
A CLEVER little novelty is this musical instrument, which can be built with little or no mechanical ability. A piece of maple or other hard wood is taken from a piece of flooring, cut 42 ins. in length, and shaped as shown in the illustration. The neck may be carved the same as that of a violin or left plain, depending upon one’s ability in handling tools.
EVERYONE has seen pictures on cloth pillow tops, but few know that they can be cheaply and easily made at home. However, they can be, and here is the method. Obtain some blue-print powder from any photographic supply house and dissolve a small amount in the required quantity of water, as set forth in the directions that accompanythe package.
WITH the aid of a few sewingmachine stitches a trick may be devised that will equal, if not surpass, a well known magic effect often seen on the professional stage. The advantage of this trick is that no sleight-of-hand is necessary. Two handkerchiefs (silk is easier to handle, but any fabric will answer) are tied together at their extreme corners and placed in an empty goblet or tumbler.
THE body of the cement is litharge (lead oxide) and may be purchased at a drug store for about ten cents an ounce. Mix it with glycerine to the consistency of a very thick paste, and you have an excellent cement for resetting new lava flame-tips in bicycle and motorcycle acetylene gas head-lights.
AMONG the many novel and useful articles into which an empty paste-pot may easily be converted is the smoking set illustrated, which was made for an office desk. This device is very handy and occupies but little space. The safety match-box holder is made in one piece, carved from a block of white pine, the lower end fitting tightly (like a cork) in the central cavity where the paste brush usually rests.
TAKE a small pasteboard box, seal the cover tight, and draw a funny face upon its cover. Cut an opening for the mouth and fill the box with smoke. Then, with quick, light taps, strike the bottom of the box and a series of perfect smoke rings will issue from the hole.
OPERATORS of large cylinder washing-machines in laundries know how hard it is to keep clean the water-gage glasses on the gear end of these machines. The glasses are usually placed back of the large gear, where it is difficult to see them unless they are in a good light.
A SPOTLIGHT which can be attached to the common form of safety razor is illustrated below. This can be made from parts of a common flash light battery, or the parts can be purchased from an electrical supply house. Its construction is simple and can be easily detached from the razor and used for other purposes if desired.
HERE’S a way to make your own ash-sifter at one fifth the cost of the store article and to make it so that it will last indefinitely. Go out to your local grocery store and purchase an ordinary hand ashsifter, which will cost about 15 cents.
A YOUTHFUL inventor living in southern California has constructed a windmill that not only will pump an abundance of water for domestic purposes, but will also drive a revolving barrel-churn which supplies the neighbors with butter.
IF a generator or motor has been exposed to dampness before being started in regular service, it should be operated with armature short-circuited beyond the line ammeter and with the field current so adjusted as to bring the temperature of the windings to about 70° C.
BY making use of the heating element of an old electric flat-iron, and an ordinary coffee-pot, a very convenient and serviceable electric coffee - pot can be made at practically no cost. The diameter of the base of the coffee-pot to be used should first be measured and a piece of sheet metal (a tin pie plate will do very well) should be cut into a disk, 1 in.
ALTHOUGH post or stake extractors of the type to be described have been in use many years in construction work and by tent gangs, many people do not even now appreciate the effectiveness and simplicity of this implement. It may easily be adapted to the needs of the farmer or anyone who finds it necessary to repair or remove fence-posts.
A FOUR-SECTION clothes-horse may be quickly fitted with doubleacting hinges that will permit its being folded into the smallest possible space. Being very simple, a description is hardly necessary. Fig. 1 shows a section of the article.
THANKS to modern methods, we are not compelled to sit on the bank of a stream hour by hour, watching the fish play with our hook. A remedy is now at hand, a mechanical fisherman who is wiser by far than are we—one who knows when to pull, does so with surprising vigor, and produces excellent results.
TROUSERS will not stretch or bag at the knee if a piece of strong muslin, shaped as indicated, is secured to the inside of the garment when it is new. This is done with mending tissue and a warm iron, after which the trousers are creased as usual.
IN button-making, and similar work, it is very often necessary to punch out different shapes and sizes of cloth for covering the metal button form. The goods may vary in texture from Georgette crepe to heavy suiting material. If you have ever tried punching cloth with an ordinary punch you have probably noticed how the threads pull down in the die, distorting the blank and often pulling out several entire threads on the ends where the threads were shortest.
A VERY good cupola for a blacksmith’s forge can be made from a discarded hot-water boiler by cutting out both ends and a flap from the side at one end as shown in the illustration. The flap cut out is bent up so as to form a hood over the fire and direct the smoke and waste gases up the cupola.
COVERING garden truck, such as cabbage, celery, etc., for two or three days will usually insure its taking root and promote sturdy growth. If hundreds of plants are to be set out it is too much of a task to screen them all, but where a small number—even a hundred or two—are transplanted, it is decidedly worth while to protect them from the start.
IN amateur or home theatricals it is often necessary to imitate birds. The picture will show you how to accomplish this with a fair sized cork, hollowed out at the bottom and pressed against a piece of wet glass. By means of corks of different sizes, and hollowed out to different depths, two or more persons can render an exceedingly realistic bird accompaniment to a piece of music.
LARGE stationary engines often stop at dead center. To turn the shaft and fly-wheel so that the piston can move them, and for inspection purposes in cleaning, a starting or turning bar is used. Holes are made in the fly-wheel into which the bar is inserted, while one or more men lift upon it.
SOLAR observations for time can be made without a transit instrument to within a few seconds of correct time, by arranging for a pinhole image of the sun to fall on a plane about 10 ft. away, the plane having the meridian indicated on it by a fine black line across its surface.
WHEN a pipe line must make a bend of 5 or 10 degrees, it is generally necessary to bend the pipe, if flanged fittings are used, and this is quite a job, especially in the larger sizes of pipe. It is easily done by making a gasket, such as is shown in the illustration.
NONE knows better than the machinist the value of the scale, but few know that by attaching it to the lathe-rest time and labor car be greatly shortened. A thin steel scale is attached to the latherest by means of clips soldered or clamped to the scale.
IT is a difficult job for the mechanic to drill a small hole in the center of round stock, which also is of small diameter. By following these instructions and the diagram carefully the job can be neatly and efficiently done. For instance, if the mechanic wants to drill a 1/16-in.
THE method here shown of shoring up an excavation is one used by a grave-digger. To guard against the top soil falling or slipping in, the digger notched out a section of the ground and fitted in two wide planks. He then finished the excavation.
A SMALL forge, which is eminently suited to the needs of the amateur mechanic, can be constructed from simple and readily accessible materials. It is made to burn charcoal, and a very considerable temperature can be obtained. The firebox is made from an old graniteware dish with a burner taken from an oilstove firmly fastened to the bottom.
A POWERFUL stethoscope for locating knocks in machinery can be made at small expense. It consists of a cylindrical chamber about 4 in. in diameter and 4 in. long, to one end of which is attached a long rod to touch the machine being tested. From the other end are run two rubber tubes, one to each ear.
A PIECE of work had to have a number of holes drilled in it on a circle, so that the distance from the center of one hole to the center of the next would be .622-in. The work would not swing in the milling-machine, so the dividing-head from the millingmachine was set up on the table of the drill-press.
WHEN it is necessary to use a shaft coupling the bore of which is too large, the following method can be employed to reduce the bore to the required size. The coupling bore is made true again by taking another cut, and since the cut cannot be made deep enough to remove the old keyway altogether, a bushing is turned to fit the coupling and the shaft.