A powerful dredge that sucks up the bottom of the sea
When the Soil Is Soft
Eight Revolutions a Minute
Built in Holland
UNDERCURRENTS, the rise and fall of the tides, the flow of a river as it follows its course,—all battling together beneath the surface,—constantly disturb a river-bed. Its soil is picked up, swept away, and dropped where the waters see fit.
DO you like sauerkraut? Then you will also like sour beans, peas, beet-tops, and many other vegetables. They may be kept in almost any kind of jug, jar, keg, or tub, for they need no airtight lids. The souring of the vegetables is due to fermentation brought about by the action of salt.
LIKE a setting hen that will move from nest to nest when each batch of eggs is hatched, there is now a greenhouse that will move from bed to bed when each batch of plants no longer needs protection. Of course it doesn’t move of its own accord; but, although it weighs twenty tons, it can be moved by a small boy.
IN cases where important conversations are carried on by business or professional men it is often desirable to preserve an authentic record. This has been made possible by the recent invention of an apparatus to be used in connection with an ordinary desk telephone and one of those phonographic recorders now extensively used for dictation.
WHAT are you running her in?” “High,” comes the answer from behind the barn. You listen for the purr of a motor, but you don’t hear any. Why? Because the men are running, not an automobile, but an ice-cream freezer. Wade H. Stemple, of West Virginia, has invented an ice-cream freezer that, like a Ford, has two speeds, high and low.
THOSE who have watched the growth of the flashlight industry for the past ten years have noticed two things in particular: the rapid transforming of this article from a novelty into an every-day necessity; and a growing growl of discontent at some batteries on the part of the consumer as well as of the merchant.
DON’T take that road, it’s full of holes,” a fellow motorist tells you. Whereupon you ask yourself once again why a fairly new concrete road should have developed holes in so short a time. Perhaps some of them are due to the breaking of the concrete at the expansion joints.
Will the Bonner rail-wagon system solve the problem of freight-car congestion?
From Producer to Warehouse
Specially Designed Motor-Truck
Circular Platform to Be Used in the Proposed Bonner Rail-Wagon System
IT is contended that our railroads are today run on unsound economic principles. What are these unsound economic principles? you ask. Well, consider for a moment these few facts: That, whereas the average speed of a freight-train is twelve miles an hour, or two hundred and eighty-eight miles in twenty-four hours, the average freight-car mileage per car per day is only 23.7 miles.
THE smile on this orchardist’s face might be called the “full-measure smile.” The contraption connected with the handle is a press that is used to put all the apples possible into a barrel without making cider of them. The barrel is filled to overflowing, is placed on the bent lower ends of the iron side pieces, and pressure is applied until the head boards are in place.
IT is not unlikely that the Azores will become an important station for transatlantic air commerce; yet steamships hurrying across the water do not consider it worth while to put in there, not even at Fayal, and so a picturesque method of delivering mail has been devised.
SCHOULD you meet the Walrus in Alaska, and should he start his favorite conversational topic, “Cabbages and kings,” you can come right back at him with the remark: “I know little or nothing of kings; but, speaking of cabbages, did you know that H. O. Banta, just south of Skagway, raised two cabbages that weighed thirty pounds each?”
WHEN Samson staggered off with the gates of Gaza on his shoulders, the multitude gasped. When a small caterpillar tractor hauled a twenty-seven-ton Diesel engine an eighth of a mile, it was considered a part of the day’s work. The Diesel engine was intended for installation in a ship under construction.
TRUSSED up in a vestlike jacket and stowed away comfortably enough on a little shelf just behind the pilot’s seat in the airplane, this homing pigeon was the aviator’s only means of sending word back to head quarters. On many occasions the pigeons carried appeals for help from men whose airplanes had fallen in the sea.
“FIRST aisle to the right,” says the pleasant-mannered usherette. Next moment you are following in the wake of another soft-spoken young woman, who guides you to your appointed place, says “Third and fourth in,” slips the programs into your hand, and leaves you feeling that if the chorus measures up to the usherettes the tired business man is due for a restful evening.
A MINER of Cold Creek Canyon, Cal., looking for something novel in the line of houses, blasted a house for himself out of a huge boulder in the mountains. He seems to have improved upon the Scripture injunction to build one’s house upon a rock, for his whole house is a rock.
LEE WONG— who, so far as we know, is the only Chinese baseball reporter in this country, takes his baseball through a telescope. Mr. Wong used to cover baseball for a paper in Hongkong, where the Yankee game long ago became a formidable rival of native sports.
IN Alaska the motor-sled threatens to replace the dog in the transportation systems of the far north, at least over important mail routes. But, if the dogs go, they will retire with honors. They had their try-out on the battlefields of the great war, and made good. Instead of pulling sleds over snow-fields, they hauled small cars along narrow-gage rail-roads to carry food and ammunition to the front.
WE all have heard gruesome tales about persons accidentally locked in vaults—how they slowly suffocated while they used up their last ounce of energy in madly shouting and beating on the thick doors through which no sound could pass. Not long ago, after such an episode, one of the employees of a corporation in Philadelphia suggested the adoption of a simple electric device which has resulted in doing away with the possibility of a recurrence of such an experience.
THE scale shown below is different from any scale invented heretofore. The indicator is not of the gravity-controlled pendulum type. And what difference does that make? When the indicator of a dial scale is controlled by gravity it will always remain in an upright position when no weight is applied.
IN the construction of many modern buildings for manufacturing or other purposes, enormous quantities of concrete are used. The handling of so much material of a semi-fluid consistency, in itself a difficult task, is made even more difficult by the fact that the work must be done quickly to prevent the premature “setting” of the concrete.
DO you believe that we inherit our very natures, dispositions, characters from our ancestors? That they made us what we are today? Very likely you don’t. But Mr. J. Gray, an English psychologist, believes it, and he has invented a machine to prove his theory.
OF course you remember the great San Francisco fire? Well, it is probably the last great San Francisco fire that you will remember, for the city has safeguarded itself by installing a central fire-alarm station which controls all the call-boxes and fire-houses throughout the city.
EMPTY gasoline-tanks are always more dangerous than full ones. In most cases some residue remains in the tank or can. The remaining gasoline vaporizes and is explosive. As the tank is being filled this mixture is forced out and will explode if ignited by a spark held near the opening.
THAT magic wand of modern industry, the oxyacetylene blowpipe, added another triumph to its remarkable record of achievement, recently, when it made a wrecked engine cylinder of mammoth proportions whole again. The cylinder was on a big rolling-mill engine, and a connecting-rod had broken.
Is Your Child Growing Taller, Wider, and Thicker? The mensurgraph makes exact records for purposes of comparison
HE’S grown an inch!” gloated your proud father when he backed you up to the kitchen door and made a periodic pencil mark on it. Yes, you had gained in height; but what about width and thickness? Had they increased proportionately? The pencil mark would not tell, and your father may have gloated too soon, for only proportionate growth is a sign of good health.
This Motor-Truck Loads, Hauls, and Spreads the Fertilizer
ONE of the newest pieces of apparatus evolved for the labor-saving farmer is a motor-truck that does three separate tasks, and does each of them well. The first is to load manure into the truck body by means of a boom type of hoist mounted directly aft of the driver’s seat and in front of the front end of the body, and driven by the power of the engine that propels the truck.
A MOTOR-TRUCK owner in Brooklyn, N. Y., who owns a small repair shop, accomplishes the same results as those of a costly overhead traveling crane by means of the home-made hoisting device illustrated below. It is simply a large-sized horse mounted on rollers.
WHAT is said to be the heaviest load ever carried on rubber tires is the forty-ton marine engine cylinder shown below. This tremendous load was recently hauled for twenty-three miles over the streets of Los Angeles to San Pedro without damage to the streets or to the rubber tires on which the carrying trailer was mounted.
WHILE the large increase in the use of motor-trucks in the United States and the great multiplicity of their tasks has resulted in several firms bringing out truck bodies that are readily convertible from one form to another, as shown in recent issues of POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, it is unusual to see an express type of elevating body that may be removed entirely from the chassis without considerable work.
THE discovery of a new low-temperature brazing compound, called nicro-spelter, makes it possible for even the least skilled mechanic to braze together cracked castings made of iron, bronze, or brass. The new compound, worked out by K. R. Peters, of Chester, Pa., melts at 300° F., brazing perfectly.
AS your automobile purrs sweetly along the road, do you ever try to figure the gasoline inevitably lost by your engine before it gets a chance to transmit power to the driving wheels? Not more than twenty per cent of the energy in the gasoline is delivered by the average automobile engine, although twentyfive per cent is attainable.
THE pearl buttons that you buy for your clothes are obtained from the shells of the fresh-water mussel. A lively mussel-fishing industry has sprung up along the banks of the Mississippi river and its tributaries. The mussel-fishermen go out, praying that they will find pearls worth, it may be, as much as three thousand dollars apiece.
NO wonder she smiles! J. B. Allen, of Pueblo, Col., has just made her a hand-car that has a coaster-brake, and also a curved bar attached to the handle for exercising her left foot, which is paralyzed. As she moves the handle her left foot moves with it, while her right foot rests on the front axle to do the steering.
THE Mexican and Canadian border lines of the United States are not lines at all, but rather a series of posts. The posts along the Mexican border are carefully caged in— perhaps to prevent anyone from moving the border. Our illustration shows an American performing the exciting feat of standing in two countries at one time.
wHEN is a shoe not a shoe? When it is a chalk-line holder like that invented by John S. Wakimoto, a Japanese resident of Grand Island, Neb. Look at it. It has the form of a woman’s low shoe, with a pointed toe and high heel; but there the resemblance ceases.
AUTOMOBILE parts that have become over-tightened, such as nuts, bolts, or spark-plugs, are sometimes very difficult to remove, especially when they have become rusted into position, and when the use of excessive force may damage and possibly cause some breakage to the parts.
But a feed-water heater has been invented that will save at least ten per cent of every shovelful
Heat Goes Up the Smokestack
How the Feed-Water Heater Works
The Water Is Preheated to 250° Fahrenheit
A Removable Head Provided at Each End
THERE is a tremendous waste of coal in firing locomotives. Cold water is sucked from the tank in the tender by means of an injector and fed into the boiler. The heat generated by the burning coal turns the cold water into hot water and then into steam.
HAPPY folk, they who live in Halifax, England! No worry about buying supplies or cooking them. All they have to do at meal-time is to carry the dishes out to the trolley track and wait for the traveling kitchen to come along. Alderman Charles F. Spencer, Director of National Kitchens, is father of the idea.
MOST of us consider the turkey a domestic fowl. He is not. He is the Bolshevist among farm birds. He refuses to submit to barn-yard government except when feed cannot be obtained by foraging. To keep his turkeys out of the neighbors’ corn-fields, one farmer fitted up an attachment that at first glance looks like a turkoplane.
“THE greatest safety device known is a careful man,” says the sign near the approach to a certain timecard rack; and to impress the need of care on the careless, a railroad that has made a specialty of “Safety First” campaigns has installed the sign-board turnstile. shown above.
IN 1805 the Polly first sailed the ocean blue, and she is still doing it. Her birthplace was Amesbury, Mass., and since the first moment she took the water she has been working as a coastwise freighter. Several years ago, when the Polly began to grow famous for her long, active life, the newspapers—as so often happens—hunted for possible scandals in her youth that they might feature in their pages.
WITH air cushions such as this the Japanese make easy the seats of the lowly as well as of the mighty. Lacking rubber for such purposes, they make punchingbags, bed mattresses, water vessels, and air cushions of a strong bamboo fiber sometimes called “leather-paper.”
HOW the hardy forty-niners who first made the gold pan famous would laugh to see how particular these nineteen-nineteeners are! But then, the Argonauts of California never met the fierce mosquito of Alaska. Everything grows big in Alaska, including the mosquito.
AS a reward for catching all the mice in the house, the mousetrap shown in the picture herewith, was promoted from its place on the floor to a nail in the wall. Now it catches bills, which are not nearly so messy. What is more, the mousetrap has been given a name — “The Little Nipper”; and its nam? is painted on it in large, plain letters.
SOMEBODY attached to the Arroyo Seco library and playgrounds in Los Angeles had a bright idea. In order to sprinkle the rose hedges and vines in the grounds with little trouble, a 3/4-in. pipe was perforated at intervals and placed on top of the fence.
A CONDEMNED man’s last moments are made as easy for him as possible; but a condemned turkey must suffer. In the first place, he is usually made to walk from the farm to the railroad station. Then he is stuffed into a freight-car with too many of his brethren.
THE music begins, the curtain rises, and out come the acrobats. As they tumble, twist, and turn, you wonder how they are able to do it so easily. But this easy performance comes only after long practice. Take, for instance, the flipflap. In learning to do this, he puts on a belt, which is fastened by a rope to the wall.
BY means of a climbing apparatus invented by Mr. Crowther, of Manchester, England, it is now possible to go up an iron pole quite easily. The apparatus consists of two clamps, one for the feet and one for the hands. First the climber adjusts the lowei clamp and stands on it; next he clamps on the upper one, which has projecting handles and to which a waist-strap may be attached.
IT’S unhealthy. You are certain of that the instant you step inside the door. A wave of air with a humidity of something over ninety-nine per cent, and as hot as Sumatra in July, makes you long for an electric fan. Besides, there are smells—smells woody, earthy, and slimy.
THE picturesque spectacle of the grain-dealer of the middle West carting corn-cobs to the river-bank and inviting the high tide to sweep them away, and the old-fashioned corn miller of the South banking them in the mill or choking the narrow-gaged stream with them—these time-honored practices are destined to a speedy end.
How the British launch airplanes from their giant dirigibles
THE pioneers of flying were always troubled by the difficulty of launching their machines. “If I can only get off the ground,” each one of them said to himself, “I will fly.” Dozens of machines were wrecked before the trick was learned. Now, the Zeppelin dirigible had been brought to virtual perfection somewhat before the pioneers of flying had fully solved the problem of launching.
"PUT ’em right there!” says the warehouseman, as the truck-boy slides up with his electric truck filled with packages. The boy dumps his load on the floor, and the warehouseman looks down from his eyrie on the twelfth floor to see that all is clear.
RADIUM paint is not the only thing that will illuminate a watch on a dark night. So saith Benjamin F. Lockwood, somewhat defiantly, for he has just invented a decidedly complicated device for so doing. In the first place, you must wear a motorist’s glove; then you attach your watch to the back of the cuff; next you adjust the bulb and shade so the watch is illuminated.
DO you know what a pinch-bar is? It is somewhat like a crow-bar, and it is used for moving loaded freight-cars. It is pushed between wheel and rail and a prying motion causes the wheel to revolve. In the old-style pinch-bar much force is wasted in lifting the wheel instead of pushing it. This is overcome in a new pinch-bar.
HOW do you know that a skunk has invaded your neighborhood? That the family next door is going to have ham and cabbage or steak with fried onions for supper? Or that a gas-pipe is leaking? The keenness, alertness, and reliability of the human nose as a detector of smells, good and bad, suggested the idea of using distinctive odors for conveying warning signals to workers in mines and factories.
A FLOATING hangar—a ship with seaplane-landing facilities— has been invented by Maximilian C. Schweinert, of Hoboken, N. J. The seaplane lands on the water and taxis toward the ship, whereupon the ship lets down a gang-plank. If it has wheels, like some of the German “Gothas,” the seaplane taxis up the gang-plank into her berth.
"WHICH way shall I fly?” quotes the optimistic airman. He himself—not his paradise —is lost. His radio compass has gone bad; a heavy fog completely hides all guiding lights on earth. True, the stars shining brightly above help him to find his approximate latitude and longitude, and he knows from his propeller the speed at which he should be flying. But is he drifting off his course, and if so at what rate?
IF you washed to break a stick in half, you would probably put your foot on the center of the stick and pull at the ends. Following somewhat the principle of this natural method, Albert Hunter, of Spokane, has invented a machine for splitting logs.
ONE of the by-products of iron-smelting is the gas that is generated in the smelting furnace by the distillation of the coke that supplies the carbon for the deoxidation of the iron ore. The carbon, at the high temperature in the furnace, combines with the oxygen of the iron ore and forms a mixture of gases, one of which, carbon monoxide, is combustible.
HOW do you scale a fish? 'With a knife, probably; but it took you quite a while to learn how, and the job is at best a messy one. Mr. Harlan A. Perry, of Westboro, Mass., tells us of a better way — by using the fish-scaler which he has recently invented.
In a wonderful submarine that feels its way under icebergs with the help of a blind man’s stick
Must Be Reached by Strategy
The Polar Submarine
Can It Break through the Ice?
Feels Its Way Like a Blind Man
The Blind Submarine's “Feeler"
Crawling Under an Iceberg
Overcoming Natural Conditions
Under the Ice on Wheels
Out through the Ice
MR. LAKE hardly needs an introduction to readers of POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. He is a pioneer inventor and builder of submarines, creator of the “even-keel submergence” type of submarine. To hear Lake tell of his early struggles is to make one wonder why inventors are regarded as white crows.
IT’S an ill wind that blows curtains into fly-paper and fly-paper to the carpet; for the glue on fly-paper ruins other things almost as completely as it ruins flies. That is why the holder shown in the picture below has been invented. It is a wire frame bent so that a sheet of fly-paper will fit in it snugly.
THE curious-looking structure shown above is the home of a new game invented by Timothy Daly. The cage is about twenty-five feet long, twelve feet wide, and eight feet high. The roof is solid, but the side walls are made of one-inch slats, so there is plenty of fresh air.
ON the beaches along the coast of Maine, where the tide rises much higher than on parts of the coast farther south, great quantities of a heavy brown seaweed, commonly known as “kelp,” are washed ashore. Some of the long stems of this seaweed are hollow and tough. This fact is well known to the small boy on the Maine coast, and be has discovered that the stem can be used as a siphon. After a storm in which the fishermen’s dories on shore have been filled with rain or flying spray from the surf, it is the job of the small boy to bail out the boat.
ELMHURST, on Long Island, New York, a town rich in farm-land, had a canning contest. The contestants, composed of three hundred women and a few men, grew all the vegetables that they put in the cans which were entered in the contest. Who won? One of the men!
A simple, comfortable, and inconspicuous device for keeping your hat on
Don’t Lose Your Head or Your Hat
ANYONE who has, in a high wind and a high temper, pursued his errant headgear down the street will be interested in a new hat-fastening device. All you have to do, with a hat of any ordinary, common-sense construction, is to insert in the sweat-band at the front or the sides of the hat a light metal plate conforming to the shape of the hat and having a comb hinged to it at a variable angle, making it easy to slip into the hair.
IT was not a bank holiday, so why weren’t the Rolls-Royce people working? This question was heard in Derby, England, on June 16 last. The answer came, proudly, from the workers themselves that they were having an extra holiday to celebrate the first non-stop transatlantic flight.
IF there are green tomatoes growing in your garden when autumn comes, pick them and put them in the greenhouse. They will ripen in a few days. That is the advice which Mr. A. J. Copelin, of Chicago, gives; and, judging from the number of tomatoes in his greenhouse, he ought to know.
AT the present time approximately seventy million tons of ore are mined and fed by gravity into the great fleet of vessels at Duluth that carry the ore around the lakes, through the locks, and on to the blast-furnaces. Modern efficiency demands that vessels carrying this ore shall unload within a few hours, so that a quick return trip may be made.
IN making cutters, gages, files, and all small tools, magnetized iron is never used. When these tools are held in magnetic chucks for any length of time, however, they nearly always become slightly magnetized. The result is that they gather unto themselves many small chips of steel and iron, and lose their keenness and sometimes even break.
“THE inventive idea,” says the inventor of this ladder attachment, “was the application of a positive adjustable member to a ladder leg. A screw was the best adaptable device that I could think of, and so I concentrated upon the application of a lifting-jack to a ladder.”
LET us suppose we are witnessing a photo-play of the war. A locomotive puffs into a station behind the lines, whistle shrieking, bell ringing. Soldiers alight and march away, their hob-nailed shoes clumping on the cobbles. From the distance comes the deep-toned reverberation of cannon.
AS it stands on the store counter the mirror shown below looks like any other face-reflecting glass. But as you approach to adjust your tie your features suddenly fade out, giving place to a many-colored electrically lighted sign. You begin to read, and have just about mastered the message when its words vanish and you find yourself staring into your own startled eyes in a looking-glass as strange as the one that was Alice’s gate to Wonderland.
THE honors for literacy must, alas! go to Germany, where the illiteracy percentage is far less than one. England follows close behind. But in the United States nearly six per cent of the people can neither read nor write our language. This sounds bad, but it really isn’t when you consider our heavy immigration. Educational bureaus throughout the country are constantly bettering conditions; for greater literacy means greater labor production.
SIR ISAAC NEWTON may or may not have discovered the laws of gravity because of an apple that fell on his head; but we may be sure that Charles H. Brisbin invented an earthquake-proof brick because a brick fell on his head during the great San Francisco earthquake.
Not alone do crystals speak in this new science, but phonographs are operated and gun explosions measured
Lloyd E. Darling
AS a producer of electricity, at least one of the old-timers—the crystal—has been brought out of the museum and laboratory class. In a lecture recently given before the New York Electrical Society, Mr. A. M. Nicolson disclosed some remarkable studies he had just made into the properties of certain crystals, notably Rochelle salts.
Profiting by her terrible experience of 1906, San Francisco intends to be fully prepared
The Plant Is Earthquake-Proof
Not Dependent on One Pumping Unit
When Next the Heavens Fall
Lloyd E. Darling
SAN FRANCISCO thinks it has one aspect of earthquakes largely settled now. A short time ago the city completed a huge “fourstacker” pumping plant capable of delivering twelve thousand gallons of water per minute into the fire mains, and that at only a few minutes’ notice.
No Packing or Gaskets on These Cast-Iron Pipe Joints
MOST cast-iron pipes used to carry water, gas, sewerage, exhaust steam, or dye and acid by-products have joints that have to be securely closed or fitted by means of packing, gaskets, or a poured lead compound. The labor expended in making these joints air-or fluid-tight is the most expensive part of the work, and has led engineers to devise a type of universal pipe and joint which does not require the use of packing, gaskets, or lead to make the joints.
WHAT glue, nails, brads, and screws are to the cabinetmaker, the joiner, carpenter, and woodworker, solder is to the tinsmith, the canner, and the scores of other kinds of metal-workers. Just think of the millions of tin cans and other metal containers that are manufactured every year and that are used for the airtight packing of preserved foods; the square miles of tin roofs; the hundreds of miles of eaves and gutter-spouts; the countless tanks, kettles, boilers, stills, and tubes of tin or galvanized iron that are made every year.
YOU need a hair-cut. So you go to the barber shop, wait till the barber is ready for you, then climb in the chair, get your hair cut, and some perfumed hair tonic you don’t want. You discover, when he is through, that he has done awful things to the back of your head and that the price of hair-cuts has gone up.
THE diver wriggled out of his complicated suit, and was walking around, when suddenly a sharp pain shot through his head and his left arm felt curiously numb. Caisson disease! The dread of all divers. He was promptly thrust into a bag, which was sealed and pumped up with compressed air until the pressure in it was the same as that under which he had been working only a few minutes before.
EVERY time you change a record, change your needle— that is one of the laws of the talking-machine. And the discarded needle? You throw it away; it is so small and inexpensive that it really doesn't count. But consider the thousands of people who are throwing with you and the combined amount of steel thrown.
DON’T be too sure, when you hear your typist industriously hammering the keys, that she is working hard. She may be turning out your mail, and then again she may be punching out dollar-sign giraffes, as this typist is doing. The combination of curves and straight lines found in a dollar sign is also found in animals, so that the dollar sign gives the best results.
CONSIDER the shape of your teeth—how they grow. They are close together in curved formation, and are therefore very hard to clean. You have tried a tooth-brush with even bristles and also a tooth-brush the bristles of which are shaped to fit the outside of your teeth.
IF, in spite of peace leagues, there should be a war twenty years hence, the Boy Scouts of today will be well prepared to fight it; for they live as nearly as possible the soldier’s life. The young Boy Scout in our picture takes with him on his hikes a pup-tent.
Here Is a Concrete-Mixer that Works Like an Hour-Glass
AN automatic concrete-mixing machine, that works on the same principle as an hour-glass, has been found very useful for the construction of foundations, dams, road-beds, and in fact for all of the uses to which concrete is applied. In the accompanying photograph the apparatus is shown making foundations.
DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS, who was the originator of “pep” in motion pictures, doesn’t worry about hotels and restaurants while he is combing the wild and woolly plains of the West for suitable locations for his photo-plays. He travels in a “house” car that was designed and built for him.
AT seventy-five cents a gallon, spilling automobile engine lubricating oil is expensive. With ground-floor space in garages worth more than that -on the upper floors, oil-barrels are very much in the way on the main floors. Both of these problems were met and overcome in a large private garage in New York city in the manner shown above.
THE ordinary timing system or commutator furnished on the Ford car is placed low down at the front end of the engine, where it is very likely to get dirty with oil, grease or water and thereby impair its successful operation. To overcome this difficulty, a Minneapolis concern has recently brought out a new type of timer, which is connected to the cam-shaft of the engine at the same point as the ordinary commutator, but in which the new commutator or spark-causing contacts are placed about half way up the height of the radiator, as shown in the illustration at the top of the page.
THANKS to the fortune of an ideal elevation, a Washington, D. C., hotel-owner has constructed a three-story garage that eliminates all elevator service. Three direct doorways approach the varying floor levels, and hotel guests are enabled to enter or leave as quickly from the third floor as from the first.
AS the progressive farmer replaces his horses with motor-driven farm tractors, he finds that there is considerable haulage work from his farm to the near-by town which the average farm tractor cannot do, partly because of the damage that the cleated tractor wheels do to roads.
MOTOR-TRUCK clutches that grip too quickly, when the clutch pedal is released, throw the entire weight of the truck and of the goods in the body upon the engine suddenly, with the result that the latter wears out quickly. A quick engagement of the clutch likewise causes sudden strains on all parts of the transmission mechanism, including the gear-set, driving-shaft, and rear axle members.
Test the Cylinder Compression by Inserting a Tire-Gage in the Pet-Cock
AFTER the automobilist has had the valves of his engine ground, one of the best methods to determine the thoroughness of the work is to test the compression in the cylinders. But how? If the job has been properly done, none of the air inside the cylinder can leak past the valves, and it will be harder to turn the engine over than would be the case if the valve did not seat properly.
BANG! A coal-mine explosion. In a very few minutes a rescue squad had started down. They were curiously equipped, as the illustration below shows. They carried lamps in their hands and tanks on their backs, and over their faces they wore masks.
KEEPERS at Sing Sing Prison say that the use of a dummy to aid a prisoner to escape is as old as the prison, and that celebrated its ninety-fourth birthday not long ago. Cleverest of all the dummies that prisoners have left to represent them is the one made by John McAllister, a burglar who escaped from Sing Sing on June 13.
BOLSHEVISTS watching their bombs explode before they escape in their car! Certainly that seems to be the tale of the picture to the right, but ’tis not so. It is true, though, that the men are responsible for the explosion shown above. The men were sent out to blow up an old house which was directly in the path of a water-pipe line being laid.
STARTLED by a pounding sound at the bows, the watch officer shouts: “Lay forward and secure that anchor!” Then he mutters something about the adjectived thing going adrift whenever the ship hits a ripple. The same anchor that held the ship safe when, with its flukes stuck firmly in the bottom, it was doing an anchor’s duty, sometimes becomes an actual menace when it is hoisted to its resting place at the bow while the vessel is under way.
CRACK! You shoot at a clay pigeon, and behind you a loud voice booms your luck. Whence comes that voice? From an amplifying horn which is connected to a telephone in the pigeon shed, along-side of the traps. From that point a man can see best the result, and he calls the score off in his one-way telephone.
A BUNGALOW bed, a floor lamp, a fireless cooker, three pillows, some curtains, napkins, table-cloths, towels, a taboret, a carpet-sweeper, a percolator, and a rug are being tucked into the observer’s seat of the Curtiss airplane shown in the picture below.
A THIRTEEN-STORY apartment hotel is about to be erected in New York, and on the roof of this hotel there is to be—what? A three-story Colonial mansion having twenty rooms, seven baths, a garden, pergolas, balconies, and countless flower-pots!
A DIRIGIBLE sailed from Akron to Cleveland, Ohio, recently, landed on the roof of a hotel, deposited two passengers, and fifteen minutes later cast off and sailed back to Akron. Sounds rather tame, doesn’t it, after the thrills of a transatlantic air race?
EVERY dairyman knows that, to obtain the best results, the crank of a centrifugal cream-separator must be turned with considerable speed. The invention here shown indicates when the speed falls below the limit of efficiency. A steel bell is attached to the gear end of the crank-shaft, revolving with it.
One of the most remarkable inventions of our time—an engine using both steam and gas
Using Engine's Wasted Heat
Part Played by Exhaust Gases
EVERYBODY has noticed the steam that issues from the top of a radiator on an automobile or motor-truck. To generate that steam, heat has been wasted. And then the exhaust—how much heat is wasted when the burnt gases are discharged! Is there no way of utilizing the energy thrown away in heating the cooling water and in the exhaust, no way of getting more out of the gas or the gasoline engine?
“Job’s Coffin” and other interesting things that are to be seen in the sky this month
The Bright Star in Aquila
The Star Map for September
Ernest A. Hodgson
THE evening skies for September begin to give promise of the coming of the winter constellations. The circular star map shows us the Pleiades rising about 9 P. M. at the middle of the month. By the following month Taurus will be rising at that time in the evening.
OUR beautiful showing of planets in the evening sky is over at last. None are left. Mercury, the only one to set after the sun at any time during the month, is very near it at that time It is in conjunction on the 26th, and it is only from then on that it sets after the sun.
THE planet map indicates a belt thirty degrees wide on each side of the celestial equator. To use it, cut out the circular disk to the right and mount it on a thin cardboard disk of the same size. Run a glass-headed push-pin through the center of the disk, pinning it to the center of the map.
“Hello, Mars—This Is the Earth!” Will the Martians Answer Us?
THE more imaginative modern astronomers are inclined to believe, with the late Professor Percival Lowell, that Mars is inhabited. Assume that Mars is inhabited. How can we talk to the Martians? What a world-wide sensation there would be if we were to receive from Mars a flash in response to a signal of ours!
Cast your eye to the right and see what happened when Robert Kennedy, a former army pilot, tried to change in mid-air from Lieutenant C. Vernon Pickup’s airplane to Lieutenant David G. Thompson’s. Kennedy was the only one who was hurt. Are miracles never going to cease?
ANY storage company can claim that its building is fireproof and that the rooms are separated by concrete floors and walls; but it took an enterprising Chicago company to make the fact visible to anybody who happens to look in the right direction.
RECENTLY a carload of beetle-infested potatoes arrived in Los Angeles. The startling thing about this was that the car came from Idaho, where the potato-beetle is extinct. An investigation was made by Frederick Maskew, state quarantine officer of California, and it was found that the same car had been used a little earlier to carry a load of potatoes out of Colorado, where the beetle flourishes.
Think of battling storms a mile up! Think of cooking with the exhaust of engines! Think of landing in America with a parachute!
In the Wheel-House
Where the Gas and Fuel Are Stored
DO you remember that old story by H. G. Wells, “The War in the Air,” in which he describes minutely an airship trip from Frankonia to New York? It will strike those who read it in 1908 as one of the truest prophecies ever penned—only, the trip took place at the end instead of the beginning of the “great war.”
The First of Their Type to Cross the Atlantic Ocean
Hot Food for Dinner
General Maitland entered one day in his diary:
Hou) It Feels to Travel through Clouds
Groping in the Fog
Shotter Sees His Double
General Maitland wrote constantly of fogs in his diary:
Still Larger Airships Are Coming
The R-34, first airship to cross the Atlantic, is 640 feet long. From the top of her lowest car to the top of her gas-bag is about 92 feet. Her five engines develop a total horsepower of one thousand. The useful load is distributed as follows: Fuel—4,900 gallons (weight 35,300 pounds or 15.8 tons); oil—2,070 pounds (.9 tons); water—3 tons; crew and baggage— 4 tons; spares—550 pounds; drinking water— 800 pounds.
YOU may keep your shaving soap in a mug or in some other receptacle, but you must keep it somewhere. For the sake of convenience the container should be easily accessible and, for sanitary reasons, easily cleanable. All of these conditions are fulfilled in a convertible soap-holder invented by Ernest Hunold, of Providence, R. I.
BRITISH shipbuilders recently evolved a type of craft for carrying oil in bulk which presents several new features. This craft, which in general outline resembles one of the American whalebacks, is primarily intended for transporting oil in the overseas trade, delivering it to a shore line or to some craft afloat.
THEY’RE off on a bicycle trip, father and child, the child fitting in a “shell” attached to father’s rear wheel. This is the English version of the Indian papoose idea, father doing the lugging. When the picture to the left was taken the family had just started on their trip; the baby was enjoying the scenery from his observation platform.
How to build and care for wood fires and the precautions necessary to make them safe
The Soul of the Camp
The Cooking Fire
Roasting and Baking
The Quick, Hot Fire
Watch Your Fire
Charles Coleman Stoddard
YOU know just how it is: you have pictured it in your imagination a thousand times. You gather a few bits of bark, dry moss, or leaves, snap up a pile of dry twigs (if you are wise you have plenty of both), or, if the woods are wet, you split a seasoned stick and whittle out shavings from the dry heartwood.
WHERE to shoot— is that the problem that has kept you from joining the Winchester Junior Rifle Corps and learning the joy of trigger magic? If SO, a few practical hints are all you need to rig up a rifle range of your own, where shooting can be made safe.
You can make some very interesting experiments with easily made electrical apparatus
Insulate Bolt with Shellac
LOUD talking apparatus is one of the most interesting forms of experimental electricity. The apparatus can be used to talk through show windows (loud talker outside in street and salesman talking into microphone transmitter); as a detectophone; for transmitting phonograph music from one room to another; as a radio amplifier; as a telephone extension (by placing the regular telephone receiver against that of the telephone transmitter) and many other uses which will suggest themselves to the experimenter.
A VERY simple but equally effective method of preventing the output of sal ammoniac cells from rapidly diminishing is as follows: Dip the carbon rod of the cell in dilute nitric acid and heat for a few moments in a gas flame. The occasional repetition of this treatment will increase to a remarkable degree the output of current from the cell. The rapid falling off of current in such cells is due to the formation of a non-conducting sheath of hydrogen gas about the carbon rod.
AN INVERTED bicycle is an unsteady thing at the best, and when in this position for repairs can behave in a most exasperating manner. Here is a stand that will tame it down and make it much more tractable. The bicycle is held upside down so that the wheels and other parts most liable to need overhauling are free and far enough from the floor to avoid the necessity of stooping over to work upon them.
SHEET-IRON smokestacks frequently become weakened and thin about half way to the top, due to vibration and other causes. This often happens while the upper and lower halves of the stack are still in excellent condition. To insert two or more new sections in the center of the stack is an expensive and difficult proceeding.
DURING the last few months we have heard much about the scarcity and high cost of gasoline. At times the situation really looked critical, but recent developments have cleared the way, at least for the present. The oil chemists have devised processes whereby more gasoline can be obtained from the crude oils.
RECENTLY trouble was experienced with an eight-pole, 450 h.p., synchronous motor running at 60 cycles and 900 r.p.m., with a driving pinion having sixteen teeth. When the motor was started meters connected in the circuit showed that the load rose and fell in regular periods, increasing in value with each period until the circuit breaker would trip out.
What Can You Do with the Exhaust of a Gasoline Engine?
The Popular Science Monthly will pay fifty dollars for the best answer
Rules Governing the Contest
WHAT can you do with your engine exhaust? Is it an automobile, boat, or stationary engine? We know of one man who heated his greenhouse with the exhaust from his stationary engine. There are, of course, many other uses for it, and we want to know in how many practical ways it can be applied to save time and money.
THE repair pit is, at best, a most uncomfortable place to work in, and to do away with it a large public garage has resorted to the method shown in the illustration. A trap was cut in the floor above the repair shop and the car to be repaired was driven over the hole in the floor.
SITTING eight or ten hours on an ordinary backless shop seat invites fatigue almost as great as if the worker had been standing instead of sitting. One way to relieve this fatigue is shown in the illustration. A piece about 20 in. long, is cut from an old automobile tube.
IT is sometimes necessary to adapt to one type of gas engine a hightension magneto intended for another type. This is apt to be a rather puzzling job, especially in the case of motor-boats, in which a great variety of engines are in use. The following table shows at a glance the proper gear ratio and distributor connections for all cases that can be handled without alteration of the magneto itself.
NOW is the time to weed out those unsightly spots on your lawn and get it in condition for fine velvety grass to grow up next year. The usual tool for cutting weeds is an old case knife, but the tip of a broken wagon or automobile spring is far better, as it will stand more prying when removing the weed’s root.
A FEW days ago the switch on our electric iron was broken. It was taken to an electrical shop, but the dealer wanted $2.50 for a new switch, which was almost what the iron was worth. The old switch was taken home and the connection repaired in the following manner, at the mere cost of a few minutes’ labor.
METAL roses—in fact, any flowers made of metal—require considerable skill and patience in making, but the work is not so difficult if one understands the “trick” in the method. In fact, any fairly ingenious mechanic can make metal roses with but a few tools once he grasps the idea.
I FOUND myself stranded on one occasion with complete ignition failure, and investigation revealed the fact that the high-tension brush of my magneto was fractured. The nearest town being about five miles distant, I decided that before starting to push the motorcycle in I would do my best to make some sort of repair and risk riding the machine with the fragment of the old brush still in the magneto.
An Electric Photo-Printing Machine to Suit Everybody
This machine is suitable for the professional because it makes for greater production in less time, and with least exertion; it is a good thing for the amateur on account of its simple and inexpensive construction, and because of the ease with which a good print may be obtained.
THE ship has three radio-sending sets, or really four if you count in the radio telephone unit which is auxiliary to one of the others,” said Lieutenant R. F. Durrant, Radio Officer of the dirigible airship R-34. “The first of these sets is a high-power transmitter.
THE “loop” antenna is the basis of all radio compass action. It is nothing more than many turns of wire wound around a frame, usually square. This frame is sometimes made eight or ten feet on one side, though smaller sizes will work satisfactorily with enough vacuum valve amplifiers in the cïrcuit.
MOST radio men are familiar enough with the ordinary circuits of radiotelegraphy. Many even have a good working knowledge of radiotelephony. But comes now Earl C. Hanson, of Washington, D. C., with a system quite unlike anything in the familiar run of circuits and principles.
THE Army and the Navy are making good use of the radio experience gained through the war, experimenting and perfecting apparatus continually. Only recently the Army was successful in an especially noteworthy feat. Flying nearly a mile high over Fort Hancock (Sandy Hook), N. J., recently, army observers in two airplanes directed the fire of twelve-inch guns on a target nearly fifteen miles out at sea.
AIRPLANE mail service, which has been running for more than a year between Chicago and New York, is soon to be helped along by a chain of radio stations. There will be three at first—one at Cleveland, Ohio, another at Newark, N. J., and the third at Bellefont, Pa., this last to be completed by the middle of September, and the others shortly afterward.
THIS little trick is exceedingly simple, and yet serves to fix in the mind the laws of magnetic attraction and repulsion more clearly than the reading of many text books. It consists simply of a magnetized needle, dipped in paraffin and floated on the surface of a bowl of water, and a fairly strong horseshoe magnet.
ANYBODY who has ever tried to measure a given distance between two revolving shafts will appreciate a method by which an accurate measurement can be obtained. Two pieces of sheet-iron are cut and bent to fit over a folding rule. The clamp at the left of the illustration is left open at the top so as to be able to see the dimensions on the rule. After the gages are cut they are easily bent until sufficient pressure to hold them is EVIDENCED.
VERY good work can be done with old tools if they are in the proper condition. An old plane can easily be put into the best condition by the following method: If the plane is a wooden one the bottom can best be trued up at a wood working shop, by using the buzz planer.
TENNIS-PLAYERS experience great difficulty in keeping the net free from that annoying sag which makes it somewhat resemble the track of a roller coaster. A simple but effective solution to this problem consists of two blocks of wood so notched that the net rope cannot slip through them and slacken up the net.
IT is very often desired to throw upon the screen diagrams of statistics or colored lights. One very simple means of making slides for these purposes is to draw or write upon pieces of sheet gelatine with India ink and mount them between two pieces of thin glass and bind the edge with passe partout tape.
WHILE taking an automobile trip, a short time ago, the headlights of my car were suddenly extinguished owing to the burning out of a fuse. We had no extra fuse blocks, and as the battery appeared to be unusually “hot” I was afraid of burning out the lamp globes if I attempted any sort of a direct current.
YOU will find that pieces from the sides of old automobile tires make very serviceable soles for shoes and will save money that would otherwise be spent for leather. To make the sole, a square piece should be cut from the side of the tire where it is least worn.
THE electric vehicle, whether truck or pleasure, is of necessity a city machine. The periodic recharging of the storage batteries makes it impossible for the car to travel very great distances from its base of supply, for the charging stations in outlying districts are few and far between.
THE form of water rheostat usually employed for regulating current strength is made from a large glass or porcelain jar with horizontal electrodes. A rheostat employing vertical electrodes is preferable for the reason that any gases formed are readily released and polarization of the plates is thus avoided.
A LARGE proportion of engine starter and lighting generator trouble is due to high mica on the commutator. This is especially true after a car has been in service for some time and is more noticeable in the generator than the starter. The copper wears faster than the mica (mica is the insulation between the copper segments) and therefore, after a time, the mica will protrude above the surface of the copper and prevent the brushes from making good contact.
IF you have three old batteries and need one good one, connect them up as shown in the sketch and all the current in them will run into No. 3 battery. Connect the zinc in battery No. 1 to the zinc in battery No. 3. Connect the carbon in battery No. 2 to the carbon in battery No. 3. Connect the carbon in battery No. 1 to the zinc in battery No. 2. Leave the cells connected in this way for half a day and the third battery will be as good as when new.
WHEN handling chemicals to any extent it is prudent to have at hand preparations to prevent harmful effects should corrosive acids or alkalis get into the eyes or on the hands. A neat shelf can be made as shown in the illustration and used only to hold these first-aid solutions, which are made as follows:
SOMETIMES the electric door-bell is so placed in the back part of the house that it can hardly be heard. A larger bell means additional batteries and an added expenditure. To do away with this expense the writer made a megaphone out of cardboard, which he placed over the bell on the wall, deflecting the larger end downward at the angle towards the center of the room. This enabled even a deaf person to distinctly hear the bell and it could also be heard with perfect ease from all parts of the house.
WHEN a cork slides down inside a bottle it is very difficult to get it out unless one has the necessary tools, and they are not always available. A good way to extract it is to grease the neck of the bottle with vaseline, then hold the bottle under cold water.
AS a companion to the weather-vane every dweller in rural districts should have a wind-pressure gage by which he can determine the velocity of the wind as well as its direction. The one shown here is very simple in construction and operation, will estimate, roughly, the wind’s velocity, and can be read at a glance.
THAT “necessity is the mother of invention” is proven by the ingenuity displayed in this contrivance, which was made to replace a high-priced piece of machinery. A discarded blower was used. A pipe with a slot cut in it was screwed to the exhaust of the blower.
THIS simple, home-made device is one that is well worth the making, and as it is made from a piece of flat steel and an old file it costs only one’s spare time. The stationary blade is shown in detail and is made from a piece of ⅜-in. flat steel. The moving blade is made by drifting a hole through a flat file that has been previously heated to a cherry red; then the file teeth on the cutting side are ground off and the cutting edge ground on.
THE average woman gives little thought to the matter of having all utensils used in cooking close at hand and convenient to the stove where they are used. Here is a clever idea for convenient arrangement. The cupboard shown in the illustration is built against the wall beside a gas range. Racks are provided for holding the implements used in cooking so that the housewife, can, if necessary, reach them with one hand while attending to things on the stove with the other.
AUNIQUE and practical device is the drawing board illustrated. It is designed for copying drawings on opaque paper and will even take Bristol board, through which pencil drawings will show clearly. A wide frame is constructed of white pine, carrying a piece of plateglass set flush with the top.
THERE are many instances where snap switches with metal covers, or open knife switches, are placed in close proximity to grounded pipes. If the wire feeding the switch happens to be the outside or “live” side of the circuit there is always danger of getting a nasty shock in turning the switch on or off, as the hand may come in contact with the surface of the pipe.
IN a great many homes it is desirable to have a swinging door that will open either way. Yet the price of double-acting hinges is three times what it used to be and something that will eliminate this cost is welcome. A strip of hard wood about 1 in.
A BARE stairway is a noisy adjunct to a home where there are young children, and one which has a waxed finish makes a constant source of danger that they will slip and get hurt. The ordinary stair carpet, while deadening sound and preventing slipping, is difficult to clean, usually being left down for such long periods that it is not sanitary.
AS expert painters are booked up far in advance it is reasonable to expect that if we want our motorcycles cleaned and painted we must do it ourselves. The necessary requirements to do this are not many. A 1-in. flat enamel brush, a 2-in. brush, a small round enamel brush, two sheets of sandpaper (medium and fine) and five cents worth of powdered pumice.