After all the raison d'etre of the Exposition is that it is, as one official has remarked, "a new edition of a world encyclopedia," widely illustrated. The general lessons of the mechanical exhibits are these -- that machinery is making rapidly what hands used to make slowly; that electricity instead of steam is operating machinery, and that faster trains and boats together with new electrical inventions are constantly increasing channels of communication. Moreover, as a people, we know how to spend and save money with equal good sense and thus we invest wisely in new mechanism.
As far as mere area of ground covered, size of buildings and extent of exhibits, are concerned, the Pan-American Exposition can in no way be compared with the World's Fair at Chicago in '93. One department which has to be satisfied with less than fifteen thousand square feet of space covered five hundred and fifty thousand feet at Chicago. But all has been so well chosen, classified, grouped, condensed and arranged, that its value is not lessened by its limited area. The large things are made to stand out forcibly and the smaller things are either made secondary or left out entirely. Condensation has been learned. In the exhibit, for example, of the New York Tenement House Commission three small models and two groups of pictures suffice to impress upon the mind the difference between a healthy tenement and one that is not healthy; and the fact that a thoroughly satisfactory tenement can be built, furnished comfortably, and rented at a small sum, and made to bring good profit is shown as well as if the exhibit were elaborate. More could not have been done in a space fifty times as great.
There is scarcely an exhibit which does not show a change in process or increased excellence of product over those of the same sort at Chicago eight years ago. In many cases the change is marked, and everywhere there is the indication of steady advance towards perfection of detail. Every opportunity has been seized to throw into strong relief the important changes which the last few years have wrought. For instance, the Spanish War brought into new prominence the whole subject of ordnance, and as a result there is an entirely separate ordnance department at Buffalo. One whole building is devoted to the graphic arts, and another for a workshop because of the strides that have been made in printing, engraving and the kindred arts within the last few years. And forestry has a separate picturesque log building of its own. All the structures are light and some are adequately decorated.
Evidence of Manufacturing Advance
Small factories in New England and along the eastern coast were the beginning of the striking advance which has given the United States its industrial supremacy. These mills, growing to immense size, still had the difficulty to meet of being distant from the sources of raw material. So the industry spread to the central west, the Pacific coast and at last to the south. The exhibits in the Manufactures Building represent an entire country of factories, although the eastern states by their early start and by their use of improved automatic machinery have the greater number of displays.
The last few years have brought improvement of detail rather than striking change in manufactured products. For instance, the old-time bookkeeper's place is taken in a measure by a cash register which accounts for individual transactions, adds up the total of the day's sales and keeps a record by means of separate drawers of the sales of each of a dozen clerks with mechanical accuracy. The modern typewriter is fitted with many new devices. The writing surface unrolls in sight of the operator. Paragraph beginnings are located automatically. Mimeographing is regulated by an inobtrusive switch. Everything possible is done automatically. There are machines for fast commercial use and others for slower private operators.
Wherever it is possible ball-bearings are being introduced. The old squeaking, grating hinge has been replaced by one turning smoothly. Locks also are fitted with ball-bearings, and New England ingenuity has invented a lock in which the key enters the door knob, thereby preventing the marring of the door-fittings. Interesting also, at this time, are the heavy steel mail boxes for the new rural mail delivery. These are finished, in the main, in black enamel with colored signals, which are raised automatically for the owner when the carrier deposits mail, and for the carrier by the owner when there is mail to be collected. No two locks are alike and the carrier alone has a master key; but there is a self-adjusting automatic lid and shelf so made that a key is never necessary for deposit.
The girl who used to address envelopes badly and with great loss of time can be replaced with an automatic addressing machine. In shoe making all the processes from the first cutting of the leather to the shaping of the soles, is done by constantly simplified machinery. There are hammocks which are easy chairs, or out-door seats, or swinging couches at the will of the sitter; and scales weighing 300,000 pounds are being made.
The gas stove, which in tidiness is a great improvement over the cumbrous coal range has been supplemented by a portable water heater which will heat a gallon of water over one hundred degrees in a minute; the temperature to be regulated by increasing or decreasing the amount of water. It is all simple and cleanly and convenient.
The last years have been an era of bath room decoration. This room once unsightly, was in some hidden corner of the house. But now its floors are tiled, its fittings are of handsomely glazed, soft china-white porcelain, while all about are cups which tilt the soap into the hand, towel racks of many varieties, holders for tumblers, brushes and sponges, besides stained glass windows and beveled mirrors. The model bath room now is a thing of beauty.
Perhaps there is no way in which the growing wealth and spending power of the people is shown better than in the display of exceedingly costly jewelry, silverware, textiles and decorative pieces, which are shown in a number of exhibits grouped together in a sort of inner court. That sets of silverware worth $70,000 and that small jewelled pieces costing half that sum can be made by any company, without order, has no particular interest except that it shows the dealers' faith in the ability of the public to spend money. No dealer would have dared to do this at the time of the Chicago Fair. American carpets are decorating regal rooms in Europe. Blown glass is being used for vases, bowls and lamps. American sheet glass is going to all the world and iridescent stained glass is being made, through which, with all the added body of color, the light sifts almost as brightly as through a transparent window glass.
This inner court indeed means more than the mere display of costly products. It shows the development of the American craftsman, the union of the artist with the artisan.
Manufacturing Pure Food
The food exhibits, also in this building, are of some interest other than an advertising one. From the latter point of view they are preeminently the best inside the buildings. The prepared foods are reaching a high level. Cleanliness, accompanied by a liberal use of water, proper chemicals and wherever possible automatic handling instead of by hand has been a feature of the progress. One well-known breakfast, food, for example, has its original grain boiled and grated into a condition of entire purity, baked twice and made into its soluble shape without the touch of a hand upon it. Only in packing is it ever handled. The same care is observed in the factories where meats are canned, and this is made all the more vigilant on account of the strict government inspection of meats which has lately been in effect.
In the Liberal Arts department are the new piano and organ players. These mechanical music-makers are being made more and more capable of producing artistic effects with the best music. The most striking' new achievement shown is a piano player which plays the entire eighty-eight notes of the piano, and upon which the effect of four-hand playing can be obtained.
The new movement toward founding Consumptive Hospitals comes under the sub-department of sanitation. Germany was the first to set aside homes for victims of this disease. It has nearly a hundred hospitals, and a capacity for about five thousand patients.
The government and private charities have both helped to support these hospitals and life insurance companies have found it convenient to be able to send insured people to the hospitals, where they are sure to have the best possible treatment. England and France each have sanitariums with a capacity of slightly under three thousand patients and in Russia and Italy, Norway and Denmark, there are already hospitals and promise of many more. Similar sanitariums have been established in Austria and Hungary, and in Portugal the Queen has recently given a large sum of money for the establishment of a tuberculosis hospital. Our government has sanitariums in New Mexico, particularly for patients from the army, and there are private sanitariums in several of the states. In Massachusetts the state itself has appropriated $ I50,000 for the establishment of such a hospital.
A series of pictures explain a process which is being carried on in many Massachusetts towns, including Brockton, Southbridge, Spencer, Framingham and Andover, of turning sewage into the most practical and perfect agricultural fertilizer that has yet been discovered. From that it is but a step to the Agricultural Building next door.
The Transformation of the Farmer
Systematic and scientific fertilizing has worked great changes in the farm products of the last years. The model of the squash in the Government exhibit, which in its growth is lifting three heavy iron anvils is a fair witness to the strength of the plant which good fertilization is growing. And it is saving good land. The corn belt doesn't move with the new harvests because the land is worn out. Properly fertilized it is as good as virgin soil. The farmer is learning how to meet drought.
But the last years have been momentous in many ways to the farmers. They had been traveling along in the old accustomed routine, doing things in traditional ways and making less of a living yearly At last the end of sufficient profits came. It was merely a question as to whether the farmer would become modern or give up doing business. The result is that he has become both a scientist and a business man. He has grown to know the meaning of the work he is doing, and he at last realizes that he must make his products attractive if he would sell them. Small farms and special planting have come into vogue. Truck-farming is being done near the cities. Careful forestry is reclaiming arid lands, and throughout the waste places of the west irrigation has already worked a revolution, with marvelous advances possible in the future. Here, too, machinery is taking the place of hands, and the steam plow is doing noisily the work of many men. But before the great West is developed the little farms of the New England states and of the whole Eastern country, deserted now or being used with little effect, will fall in line with the new era in farming. Already the impetus is being felt. An added force which will push the development of the western agriculture to its highest point is the new door which is opened by the growth of Pacific trade. Minnesota alone is shipping eighteen million dollars worth of American products to Japan, and twelve million dollars worth to China.
The Farmer's Institute
Perhaps the most important lever which has been used to lift the farmer into his new estate is the so-called "Farmer's Institute ", which is carrying the results of scientific teaching from our universities and colleges into the agricultural sections. It is a medium between the government agricultural stations and the outlying farms. In New York, Wisconsin and Minnesota particularly, this movement has grown to great proportions.
In New York alone last year there were three hundred and eighty-four conventions, many of them lasting two days. And it is safe to say that meetings were held on a total of six hundred days. Over twenty thousand men from farms were told in compressed, attractive fashion the things they most needed to know about their work, and the ability of the men who told them can be judged from the fact that a majority of the men who are officially connected with agriculture, horticulture, floriculture and dairying at the Exposition are Farmer's Institute men. The remark that "the farmers are learning that profits are better than tradition " accounts for the success of the Institute movement.
A Model Dairy
A striking example of the development of modern farming is the model dairy which is in operation on the grounds. For six months five selected cows of each of ten well defined breeds are being tested, and the most careful records are being kept of feed, milk given and net profits. Tests are being made of the sort and amount of foods best suited to each breed. It is being shown among other things that change of feed will not bring fats in the milk, and that the flavor of the butter does not vary with the breed, though the color differs from a deep to a pale yellow. Five of the breeds shown are from Canada. No test like this has ever been made. At the World's Fair, twenty-five cows of three breeds were tested for three months, but many of them were not retained during the entire period.
What the Government Displays
said a denizen of the Midway who had been looking through the main buildings,
" the Government hasn't an equal in the show business." He was right. The
United States Government building is the most interesting on the grounds,
even leaving out of consideration the many picturesque features. The exhibit
of the Patent Office, in particular, attracts attention.
In the last years the biograph, the cinematograph, the vitascope have become comparatively common. These have been followed lately in miniature by the mutoscope, which does in a small space what the biograph does on a large screen. It has become known as a penny-in-the-slot machine for diversion, rather than for serious purposes. The pictures for both large and small machines are taken in series by a mechanism called the mutograph, which is operated by an electric motor. It can take pictures 2 1/2 x 3 inches in size on sensitive film hundreds of feet in length, at a rate of 100 per second. It has an indicator attached which tells at any instant the rate at which the pictures are being taken. Prints made from the film are mounted consecutively about a cylinder. As the cylinder is revolved the mounted pictures are held back by a stop, and snap past the eye so that the illusion is of a continuous moving picture. Encased in a box and with the automatic penny-in-the-slot attachment the mutoscope is ready for its common commercial use. But it has other capacities. Moving pictures of a family are possible and are far more interesting than the ordinary still-life, posed portrait. It may be used for drawing-room entertainment, for instruction of a certain sort and for advertising. But it has a last and most practical use. A complicated bit of machinery might be described for an hour, and nothing like the clear knowledge would be gained by the listener that he would get by watching the machinery work in a mutoscope. A man cannot purchase a locomotive or a derrick or a road-roller without seeing it in action. Here is a method which can save much time. A mutoscope made for this use can be carried with as much ease as a camera, and the man for whom it is intended can make the pictures fly as fast or as slowly as he wishes. He sees the prospective purchase in action just as well as if he takes a three or four hundred mile trip and watches the original do its work.
Pictures by Wire
To telegraph a picture to New York from Washington so that the picture is successfully reproduced in a New York newspaper on the same night seems beyond belief, but it has been done by a new facsimile telegraph. The process is a comparatively simple one. A zinc enlargement is made of a half-tone reproduction and the depressed portions are filled with melted sealing-wax-a non-conductor. The surface is scraped smooth and the plate is bent around the cylinder of the transmitting machine. A stylus is made to glide over the plate, making or breaking the circuit as it meets the metal or the wax. On a sheet of common paper curled about the cylinder of the receiving instrument, hundreds of miles away, a fountain-pen traces the work of the stylus. The two machines are made to work in accurate unison. The picture is sent quickly, the rate of speed being an inch a minute, or the entire picture, if of cylinder length-eight inches-in eight minutes. If the picture is coarse and half the number of lines are required it can be sent in four minutes. The space occupied by the picture could be filled by a verbal telegraphed message in the same time. Allowing forty minutes for the making of the zinc plate, ten for transmission, and thirty for getting the reproduced picture ready for the press, the picture can be printed in the newspaper office in a little over an hour and a quarter after the plate is received at the transmitting machine. Machines for duplex transmission, by which the same instrument both sends and receives a picture simultaneously, are being constructed, so that by two such machines four pictures can be sent at once over the wire. This will of course reduce the time of each one fourth.
Typewriting By Electricity
Electricity has come to the aid of the typewriter operator. There has always been an atmosphere of weariness about type-writing room of a business house, for the operators have been compelled not only to guide the instrument but to use physical force to make it perform its work with accuracy and uniformity. In the new electrical machine the work is done by electric current acting through a magnet-spacing, type-bars and ribbon being all operated by it.
The operator plays upon it as on a piano. The keys dip one third as much and the pressure required one-tenth as much as the traditional machine. He need not worry about gaining uniform touch. Electricity does that for him. Nor need he take his fingers from one key before pressing down the next. He can give his time entirely to speed, and in that, too, the current helps him, for he can space simultaneously with the last letter of each word, saving an action a word. The time formerly taken for releasing each key is also gained. The light action makes it possible for him to use all his fingers easily on the keys. In manifolding the electricity simplifies the process. Instead of pressing the keys with additionally hard stroke he has only to set the handle to allow more current to energize the magnet. A dozen copies can thus be printed with the ease of one. The printing is always uniform. Better work is done more rapidly, and it seems that typewriting need be health-wearing drudgery no longer.
Writing a Thousand Miles Away
The telegraph is entirely adequate for short messages and the telephone for longer conversational use, but both have limitations. Neither is entirely private. The telegram is written and signed by the operator. It has been through a number of hands, and is only a transmission of sound and signs. The telephone does not always make the voice thoroughly recognizable to the listener, and in business transactions it is, like any conversation, of no legal use unless properly witnessed or registered in writing. A machine that will convey a message in the writing of the sender, so that the receiver reads as fast as the sender writes even though they are separated hundreds of miles, would certainly fill a distinct and valuable field. In 1889 such a scheme was suggested and a tentative machine was made. Then followed years of experiment and expenditure without satisfactory results. In 1895 the proceedings of a convention of Republican clubs in Cleveland were reported by the instrument to the Chicago papers, but still the apparatus was commercially unready. A certain arbitrary speed must be learned and kept if the message was to be exactly reproduced. This, of course, alone would keep the machine from common use. This year, however, a thoroughly practicable instrument has been devised, after years of struggle and waiting. And the perfected "telautograph " is simple of construction and apparently durable. A common pencil held by steel rods, which have the appearance of an old-time well sweep when at work, is used to write the message, and by the varying force of the current used in the different positions the pencil takes in writing the words, a drawing pen, held in a precisely similar manner, automatically duplicates the writing at the receiver's end. The instant the pencil is pressed upon the writing surface electrical connection is made and the pen at the receiver is drawn down to the paper. By electricity too, the paper is made to slide along into place for a new message uniformly with the paper on the transmitting instrument. Complete, it is small, inobtrusive and easily transferred.
The various uses to which this thoroughly practical machine can be put are numerous and important. The other day an order was telephoned to a broker to buy a block of a certain kind of stock. He did it. The stock fell and there was a loss of six thousand dollars. He sent a bill to his customer, and the latter flatly denied having ordered the stock. The broker could prove nothing and the six thousand dollars came out of his pocket. If the broker had received the order on a telautograph he would have had a definite message and signature to fall back upon. If a draftsman away from home, say in Philadelphia, wants to submit a rough drawing to his employer in New York he can save a day over the mails. An instrument like this should reduce train despatching to absolute accuracy. A mistake over the wire when the message goes through a number of hands is possible, and no individual of the series can be blamed with assurance, but if the despatch is received in the despatcher's hand-writing the whole matter becomes simple. Nor would it be impossible for a man away from home and office to sign checks-for a man in Boston, for instance, to sign a check in New York. - What does it matter to the law " someone has said 11 whether your pen holder is six inches or six hundred miles long ?
The Author Becomes a Printer
There is no more striking example of the way in which machines are doing easily and cheaply what many men once did by hard labor than the modern typesetting machine, and its latest development is little less than revolutionary. Machines have been made that set lines of type automatically with more or less accuracy, but a new invention casts individual type from molten metal, sets it and justifies it accurately, so that perfect spacing and uniform appearance is obtained. A keyboard, similar to that of a typewriter, is one part of the machine. on which an author can write his copy. As he writes each letter or space a paper ribbon is correspondingly perforated. At the end of each line the machine automatically tells him what changes in spacing he must make to exactly justify the line, and he presses keys which register the change necessary. The other part of the machine, which is entirely separate, so that the ribbons of any number of perforating machines may be used upon it, is the typecaster and setter. On this the perforated ribbon centres the matrices of the type corresponding to the letters on the keys. These are filled and moulded and the type placed in line on the galleys. After use it may be remelted. The type is said to be equal to foundry type. Lines are perfectly spaced. Fonts of type may be changed in a few minutes. The paper ribbon is, in reality, copy, ready for another setting at any time. The fact that the two parts of the machine are separate gives the great advantage that the setting part may be working upon copy produced upon the writing part a day before or an hour before, at the convenience of the printer. The copy can be produced miles away, and the paper ribbon sent for use in the setting machine.
Here is a machine, then, that writes the copy for the author or stenographer, and sets the copy better and faster than a force of compositors. It even sets the matter in pages about cuts. It will set type at an average rate of five thousand ems an hour. The average compositor will not set more than one thousand eras to say nothing of the time lost in wearisome distributing of type to their proper cases. It will set one thousand ems for an average cost of twelve cents. Oldtime setting of the same amount would cost forty-five cents. More than this, it sets, spaces and corrects better, and gives a printing surface ready to the higher class of press work. The author has only to turn typewriter to be his own printer.
Signals at Sea
Nor does the patent office furnish all the evidence of practical advance in the Government building. Lighthouse apparatus and devices for the prevention of disaster at sea make a most interesting corner. A bell-buoy has the disadvantage of ringing only when the water is rough enough to rock it into ringing. A horn has been made that costs no more than the bell-buoy. It is a simple, conical siren with a piercing, mournful note, which is blown by a two horse-power kerosene oil engine. The air reaches the siren by means of a small blower at a pressure of four ounces. Its advantages are that it is cheap, its sound is penetrating, and that it blows at intervals which are in no way regulated by the rush or the calm of the sea. But sounds at sea are difficult to locate even with clear weather, and in a fog the note of the horn might seem to come from a totally different direction from the right one. To obviate this difficulty a siren was made with eight megaphones pointed to the cardinal points of the compass and their intermediaries. A code of blasts was prepared, such as a long and two short notes for one point of the compass, one long and one short for another, and so on with the rest. The fog-blinded vessel then would listen for the signal which it heard loudest of the series, and get its direction thereby. This method was satisfactory, except that it was expensive of installation and demanded a uniform system of blasts which would be understood by every vessel. Altogether the Government has in operation about four hundred fog signals, one hundred and twenty-five bell-buoys, fifty light vessels with fog signals, and seventy-five whistling-buoys.
To further simplify and make accurate ascertaining the direction of the signals, an instrument called the topophone has been made. Two acoustic-bearing trumpets, which magnify sound, are mounted, facing opposite directions, on a vertical shaft. A rubber tube connected with a metal-bearing tube having a hard rubber ear-piece is attached to each trumpet. When the ear-pieces are pressed tightly into the ears-the right trumpet being connected with the right ear and the left with the left ear, so as to exclude other sounds-the signal is magnified through the trumpet. By turning slowly, the listener, by noticing to which ear the sound comes loudest, can, by oscillating the trumpets, quickly decide the approximate direction of the signal. Knowing the speed of the vessel and its course, he can, by keeping the instrument pointed in the direction of the sound, easily locate the position of the vessel. The topophone is portable so that it can be taken to the part of the vessel where there is the least noise. The direction and approximate distance of an echo can also be determined. Theoretically fault has been found with the instrument, but it has been used successfully in practice.
The big lighthouse lense -- weighing a ton which is to guard Toledo harbor, revolves automatically on ball-bearings an inch in diameter, and is operated by clockwork. Instead of a heavy weight forcing up oil, air pressure is used. In the navy department is the important and novel buoy which by a phosphorus composition throws up, on striking the water, smoke in the daytime and fire at night, thus locating it for the 11 man overboard." Another life-buoy turns up a flag. A device which is valuable by day but useless in the dark. The Signal Corps used to communicate by the wigwagging of flags. Heliograph, wire and wireless telegraphy have greatly increased its facilities. In the Weather Bureau exhibit is a model of the galvanized steel coast tower, from which flags by day and lanterns by night tell the approach of storms. The Bureau, also, is flying kites to find out the relative humidity, temperature and pressure of the upper air. The Government Division of Chemistry has lately added a Road Material Laboratory, in which are carefully tested material for making good roads. The fisheries of the United States distribute about fifty million dollars a year among some two hundred thousand fishermen.
There is a large case in the Mines building which was empty at the opening of the Exposition. It was set aside for new minerals which should be found during; the six months. It is filling rapidly, and will undoubtedly be full by the closing time of the fair. There could be no more forcible proof of the real mineral possibilities of the country which are still undeveloped. Osmium1, the heaviest metal vet discovered, was in little demand when used in the tips of fountain pens, but now that it is found of use in incandescent lighting;, it is becoming a very important mineral. Corundum was first brought into use a few years ago for making grindstones, and the last two years have shown enormous growth in the demand for it. The Cripple Creek and Mesabe Range mines have developed marvelously in the last decade, and in Nevada two million four hundred thousand dollars was lately refused for a ten years lease of one claim.
Along the banks of the upper Missouri River, there were veins of a peculiar mineral with a charcoal-like constituency. The steamboats haw always helped themselves as they went by. This coal, called lignite coal, was found in great quantities in fifteen-foot veins. There is a man who had a spring just back from his house. He discovered under it was a vein of lignite. As a result he has his water-supply and a miniature coal mine of fuel within a few steps of his door. A company was formed, and the coal was mined and sold at about a dollar a ton. Coal at such a price was a boon to the poor people of the surrounding country, but it was thought that it might have a wider commercial use. The difficulty was the distance over which it must be shipped. To overcome this a system of briquetting has been introduced, and a wide use of the fuel is at least possible. It is said to be hard to ignite in its original condition, to burn rapidly, and to leave a peculiar ash which is bothersome if not rightly handled. The great utility for lignite coal as a widely used fuel lies in its cheapness. Pictures of Cape Nome suggest the development of that mineral section; varicolored oils bring the big booms of California to mind, and the large central case surprises us with the large variety of precious stories mined in the Americas.
Over in one corner is the exhibit of the Trinidad Asphalt industry. Living on a wooden pier in houses built one thousand feet from the shore so as to get away as far as possible from the dreaded tropical fevers, five Americans are, with the aid of the natives, digging from the "pitch lake," and shipping from Trinidad about one hundred thousand tons of pitch for paving each year. A pick-axe is used for cutting out the pitch in patches thirty feet square. It is then loaded on flat cars in iron tubs, two to a car and each holding half a ton. These cars are run on a wire rope to the terminal power station where the tubs are transferred to an aerial tramway and carried out to the end of the pier seventeen hundred feet 1ong. The asphalt is there transferred into the holds of the waiting ship. A small twenty horsepower engine runs the entire carrying plant. Each tub is carefully weighed at the terminal station for customs duties. Over this thoroughly modern tramway one hundred and forty men handle often eight hundred tons of pitch a day --a very considerable advance over the old system of carts and small boats. The lake, which is over one hundred acres in extent, is a peculiar formation, seeming to be the crater of an extinct mud volcano filled with asphalt, with channels of a warm, sluggish water running through it.
What the Mines building seems to show most clearly by both its exhibits and its decorations, and especially when the visitor looks out from it at night upon the bright "incandescent city," is that a new Mecca is found for the raw minerals of the West and Northwest. Buffalo with its perfectly located port to which the Sault Sainte Marie Canal opens the entire Great Lakes shipping -- and with the great power which Niagara furnishes is to be a new centre of smelting and refining industries. The movement has already begun.
Growing New Fruits and Plants
The most remarkable thing to an early visitor about the exhibits in the Horticulture building is the large display of last year's apples from the many states-New York State alone shows three hundred and forty-eight different varieties-in perfect condition. This achievement has been accomplished by a system of storage first tried at the Omaha Exposition and perfected at Buffalo. The apples were wrapped closely in oil paper, and an additional covering of common paper was added. They were then packed as tightly as possible in barrels and stored in a warehouse where the temperature was kept at about thirty-six degrees. The double wrapping gave to each apple a practically air-tight cell, keeping the apple, and preventing, in case of decay, any possibility of the decayed fruit injuring those packed around it. The last few years have shown many local developments in fruit growing, notable among which are the peach orchards of Western Colorado and large apple-growing in Idaho. More sparkling wines are being made in this countrv, and in this advance New York State, and particularly the district about Chautauqua Lake, is contributing largely. Gardens in New Jersey are growing a medicinal plant for which the Chinese have superstitious awe, and it is finding ready sale in the Chinese districts in the large cities. In floriculture the great advances have been in the growing of calla lilies for decorative purposes. The size and perfection of outline of these flowers have been improved greatly, and aquatic flowers of all sorts have been the subject of more zealous care with the growers. And landscape gardening is growing more and more a national art.
Some manufacturers may consider that exhibiting at the many expositions and fairs, which are being planned and carried out, is poor advertising, but the boards of trade of leading California cities do not think so. They have made exposition exhibits a business because they have found that such exhibits bring results. They use the utmost care in packing, shipping and receiving the products they are to show. They expend money and time in preparing an attractive and comprehensive exhibit, and they have done it all so many times that they know how to handle every detail. They shipped one thousand jars of fruit to Buffalo from the Coast. Not one was broken nor was the fruit of any spoiled. The results can be partly shown by the fact that California is shipping two and one-half oranges for every one at the time of the Chicago fair, and among new products, two thousand carloads of lemons, eighteen hundred of celery and eight hundred of cauliflower. In one corner are some big fish from Santa Catalina, the well-known island resort only a few hours away from Los Angeles. This is the land of true fish stories which seem like the choicest fiction of a Baron Munchausen. A black sea bass weighing three hundred and eighty-four pounds has been caught with rod and reel, and many weighing from one hundred and fifty pounds up. The best catches of leaping tuna-most exciting sport, for this fish is one of the most active of game fish-run from one hundred to two hundred and fifty pounds. As long a time as seven hours has been spent in landing one of these fishes.
A Pan-American Exhibit
Circling around, from the main Horticulture Hall to the Graphic Arts building is a conservatory in which is found, perhaps, the best Pan-American exhibit of the Exposition. A most complete collection of food-plants, alive and growing, have been sent from the South American and Central American plantations. Nor is this country unrepresented. Some years ago the Agricultural Department tried to raise tea in the South and failed. Since that time a private capitalist has succeeded with a good-sized tea plantation in South Carolina. His greatest difficulty was in securing labor. The hands of adults were too stout and clumsy for tea plucking. He established schools on his plantation and educated the neighboring colored children while he used them for a limited time at work, and he has proved that tea can be raised successfully in the South. He gets a product of four hundred pounds to the acre at a cost of production of fifteen cents, which should mean a profit of about sixty dollars to the acre. Seven or eight different varieties of tea plants are growing at Buffalo. In addition there is a small coffee plantation of more than twenty trees from Mexico, Venezuela and elsewhere, and spice plants of a dozen or more varieties. Many of these will flower before the Exposition closes. The nutmeg tree will bear its fruit, of which the nutmeg is merely the seed, and mace the portion found between the seed and the flesh of the fruit. There are vanilla vines from Mexico-which bear the vanilla beans containing the seed from which comes the flavoring spice-and cocoa bushes and beans.
Faster Printing on Better Paper
The United States is at last competing with England and Germany in paper making, and in the Graphic Arts building are exhibited the finest grades of American made fine drawing, bond printing and blue printing papers. The size of paper-rolls has been greatly enlarged, condensing large shipments. One roll, the largest ever made, is shown one hundred and fifty-six inches wide. Automatic typesetting machines have cheapened and accelerated setting, and presses are larger and faster than ever before. Color-printing is a comparatively new development, and there is a machine in the workshop which prints fifty thousand sixteen-page forms of paper an hour in four colors. The daily magazine of Mr. Harmsworth's dream becomes nearer a possibility in the face of a machine which folds, numbers, stitches and covers printed magazines or pamphlets at one operation. Engraving machines work so finely that they can be made to cut a long paragraph on stone, appearing as a mere clot to the naked eye, but perfectly readable through a magnifying lens. Aluminum has replaced stone in lithographing, while three-color printing is developing to a point where it becomes dangerous to lithographer and chromo-printer.
Machinery for Everything
The days when a merry Autolycus could wander the highways, singing and jesting and robbing with equal race and ease have gone long since. Pockets have given way to costly safes for money protection and Autolycus has become a scientific criminal with nitro-glycerine and dynamite In less than a year and a half ending with the first of January there were one hundred and eight-six bank burglaries on record with over one hundred successful. Strong safes have been utterly wrecked, generally with nitroglycerine and with no noticeable noise. The keen drill has replaced the hammer as the safe makers have grown more expert. In many cases the safe was located in a vault, making a double entrance necessary. Electricity, theoretically, might be used to open a safe but practically, the difficulties of getting sufficient power to bore the steel, and of the light resulting; put it beside the question as a possible means of attack. Thus far, then, nitro-glycerine is the acme of the burglars' invention, and there is a substance which is said to thwart him even with this. It is called manganese steel, and is a union of iron and manganese, an ore found chiefly in the Caucasus mountains and Spain, with some silicon and carbon. This tough material has been widely used in the wearing parts of rock-crushing machinery. It can he dented by a hammer, but will resist attack by a sharp drill. It has- tough hardness rather than brittle hardness. It cannot be softened by annealing process. Safes are being made of this material which are standing remarkable tests most successfully. They are simple of construction and points of weakness have been eradicated as far as possible. The most strenuous tests have been impartially made and the results seemed to prove thoroughly that manganese steel will eventually be the sub stance used for the best safe and vault Constructions. The best drills were rendered useless after making a depression altogether of about one-sixteenth of an inch. Chisels failed to chip the metal. Nitro-glycerine in good sized charges has been tried on all parts of the safe, and with no appreciable effect. Blasting gelatine dynamite such as a mob would use were exploded in three pound charges with soiree final effect, but the charges were too large and too many to be practicable in actual attack. It seems as if criminal ingenuity must devise more cunning means when this material comes to be widely used. Protection against burglary is getting to be a costly business. One firm has just put in a burglar proof vault for two hundred thousand dollars. For absolute protection against fire in offices where valuable papers are constantly in exchange an entire set of fire proof furniture is being made, all of metal and perfectly convenient. The Baltimore Court House has recently been fitted with this furniture.
Doing Ten Hours Work In a Minute
For a number of years long wooden flat cars were loaded arduously by shovel with ore, coke, coal, gravel, broken stone or whatever loose materials were to be shipped from point to point, and unloaded arduously in the same way. Large capacity steel cars were introduced which reduced repairs and wear and tear greatly, and made large shipments easier to handle. Machinery came in with derricks and lifts and travelling cars to make loading more rapid and economical, and now a car has been invented which does away with the toilsome unloading. In three quarters of an hour seven men used to be able to unload twenty five tons. Now a man without manual labor can in a few seconds unload twice that amount. Mere force of gravity does the work. Adjustable steel valves on floors make it possible to discharge on either side, on both sides at once, on either or both sides of the centre, or on both sides and centre at the same time. The angle of discharge is thirty one degrees from the horizontal and the openings-four of each kind to a car-are a little under five feet wide by sixteen feet long on the sides and eleven inches by sixteen feet in the centres. All of these cars can, moreover, be discharged while in motion and at any speed, and are so built in a train that one man can govern the discharge of any one, or number, or all of the cars by the aid of compressed air. In motion they will spread the load from five to thirty feet from the track, the width of spread depending upon the speed of the train. This is all done without careening or moving the body of the car. This car is naturally adapted for ballasting. The load can be spread in any or all of its various ways by one ordinary laborer, and the spreading is regulated by the speed of the train. The average car has a capacity of eighty thousand pounds. The freezing of the material carried will not delay its dumping in any way. The car has also a convertible use. Being made of steel, it can be changed in a minute into a well armored car for military operations with narrow loop-holes and well-covered defence. It has therefore a double advantage for armies in the field.
But the most striking general things to notice in Machinery Hall are that there is no overhead shafting, for electricity sets all the machinery in motion -- the same Niagara power that makes the brilliant illumination at night possible -- and that meat advances have been made in all kinds of automatic machinery.
A good example of the uses of such perfected machines is a belt conveyor for coal and other ores. This simple, comparatively noiseless invention which carries two hundred and fifty tons an hour for over eight hundred feet in actual practice is made most simply in two parts; an endless road belt with thick rubber covering, heaviest in the centre and reinforced at the edges so as to take the shape of a trough running on a series of grouped cast iron pulleys, three in a group. The two parts are entirely, separate so that the material cannot clog the pulleys, and every detailed portion of the machinery is made by gauge by automatic machines. Wherever on the line a discharge is desired the belt doubles over the upper pulley, the material falls into a chute and the belt sliding on a lower system of pulleys returns to repeat its work. And the system makes it possible toy discharge at any point or continuously, as into a series of bins.
A general process of simplification of machines, of making everything by accurate gauge -- thereby reproducing indefinitely and easily the smallest parts -- and the use of automatic devices to reduce the amount of hand labor, has made great changes in machine working. The old time drop which was operated by the foot is now run automatically, and the workman has oily to keep pressing the material which is to be shaped under the heavy weight Steel pulleys of smaller size, greater durability, capable of speedier use and better balance are replacing the wood pulleys. Belts are treated chemically so as to cling more closely to the pulley. Rubber belting has also come into use along with the leather. The size of a drill grinder determines its proper position, saving numerous adjustments.
A new grate has been made which, by means of intermediate shears-bars, cuts away and cleans the waste from the fire. Tabulation of costs, of time used, records of piece-work within a factory, are all made by automatic recorders As for the bicycle, its rapid perfection needs small comment. Weight has been greatly reduced and durability in no way jeopardized. A cushion in the frame beneath the seat adds to the smoothness of riding which pneumatic tires brought in part, and the coaster brake has done away with the sudden stops, and the wear and tear of both wheel and nervous system which were part of the old wheel brake system. It is a far cry indeed from the heavy, rattling, hard rubber-tired, costly bicycle of a decade ago to the light, smooth-running, cheap wheel of to-day. Motor bicycles, too, are a novel development. Riding a wheel without effort at a rate of twenty odd miles an hour, and at a cost of motor power of a cent for every ten miles, has its charm. These machines are easily regulated, weigh about seventy-five pounds, and are in price a happy medium between the bicycle and the motor vehicles. Motor vehicles, electric, gasoline and the rest are, of course, only at the beginning of their ultimate development. Yet they are a success now when a test trip can be made at forty miles an hour for some hundreds of miles of road. It is true that electric vehicles have to be charged often, and are, therefore, not always certain on long tours, and that gasoline tanks will sometimes set fire to the vehicle. But the new storage battery, or another new one to be hereafter invented, will do away with one difficulty, and there is a concern making nothing but metallic vehicle bodies lined with asbestos, which will neither burn, nor warp, nor blister, and are practically indestructible.
Electric machines are lighter and simpler than formerly; steam carriages have been strengthened, and gasoline are growing more reliable. The automobile was as ethereal to us a few years ago as the flying machine is now, and now its uses in war and peace, in pleasure and in work, are too many to mention.
With the bicycle came in the little mechanism which registers distance covered. Now there are over a million of one make in use. The cyclometer registers both trip and total distances; trip lengths up to one hundred miles, and totals up to ten thousand miles. A similar instrument does the same sort of recording for vehicles of all types. These little mechanisms are remarkable in construction, because their many and sometimes very small parts are all cast in a foundry. Absolutely accurate and perfect work in such small space is little short of marvelous.
New Uses of Electricity
In chronicling the additions that have been made to the uses of electricity and the development of its many applications, of course the first thing that strikes attention at Buffalo is the unprecedented illumination. The areas lighted are larger than has ever before been attempted, and still the success is in every particular greater and more brilliant. A quarter of a century is a comparatively brief period to review, but in 1876 an unsuccessful effort was made to light the Centennial Exposition with gas. It was not until 1883 that an exposition was successfully lighted, and this was at Louisville, by the use of the incandescent lamp. The unit used then was a sixteen-candle power; but an eight-candle power lamp is used in the illumination of the Pan-American Exposition. At the New Orleans Exposition there was a joint use of arc and incandescent lamps. Chicago came next, and arc and incandescent lamps were used. Then followed the Mid-Winter Fair, the Atlanta Exposition and the Nashville Exposition, under similar conditions. But the Omaha Exposition of 1898 afforded an opportunity to demonstrate the value of diffused light with the standard sixteen-candle power incandescent lamp; and now an eight-candle power lamp lights an area threefold as large as any exposition heretofore lighted-a spectacle never before possible.
A New Electric Lamp
While incandescent lighting has made marvelous strides, recent years have given us the enclosed arc-lamp, which requires no attention whatever for about two hundred hours; and then there is the series alternating current street lighting system of enclosed arc-lamps in use in the Electricity building. In the dome of the building is to be seen another wonderful development in lighting. This is the Nernst lamp, which seems to have a field between the incandescent and the arc for numerous purposes. Then, again, the Pan-American shows still another source of light not seen at Chicago. This is acetylene gas, a product of the application of electricity to a furnace in which calcium carbide is made.
So much for the must noteworthy advance in electric lighting. But there are interesting exhibits portraying the use of electricity for heating purposes, and the decomposition of material into other forms, more particularly in the department of electrochemistry. This is shown very extensively in many products of absolute purity, such as caustic potash, graphite, carborundum, chlorate of potash, etc. The electric car-heater is well known to the public. So cleverly is heat applied that it is now used in baking and browning certain cereal products. The electrical kitchen industry, as well as electrically operated hat factories, are now well established.
The transmission of power from the Falls to the Exposition is wonderful -- far beyond the expectations of a few years ago. Yet electric power is transmitted over two hundred miles in California, and a map in the Electricity building shows the route of the transmission.
The Niagara transformer plant in the Electricity building is one of the wonders of the period, no such installation being thought of at the time of the Chicago fair. Silently the grim-looking transformers perform their work, receiving the transmitted electric energy at a voltage of eleven thousand, and reducing its potential to eighteen hundred volts, at which it is distributed about the grounds.
Advance in Telephony
In telephony the exhibits show a great advance. Strides have been made both in the elaboration of detail and in effective apparatus. The best telephone exhibit ever made is here. The progress of a few years has caused the telephone companies to change from the use of the individual battery to the common battery or central enemy system. By means Of the recent invention of Dr. Pupin, of Columbia University, the human voice will be carried across the continent. But without Dr. Pupin's invention the telephone transmitter of the present day is very acute. There has been refinement in its development till it is possible to transmit and receive messages over distances unheard of till a little while ago.
New Telegraphic Devices
The telegraph systems exhibited by Patrick H. Delany give intimation that this art, which has shown less progress comparatively than some other applications of electricity, may he on the eve of bounding forward into a new era of swiftness. While it is now possible to send telegrams from New York to San Francisco without repeating by human aid, by means of automatic repeaters, the speed of operators is limited to from forty to fifty words a minute. By Mr. Delany's system of high speed automatic telegraphy it is possible to transmit from one hundred to eight thousand words per minute over a single wire, the speed depending wholly upon the distance and the character of the line. It is claimed that eight thousand words can be recorded over a line fifty miles long, while between New York and San Francisco one hundred words would be about the limit over a copper wire such as is used for long distance telephony. In the operation of this new system the messages are put on a paper tape by a perforating machine. This perforating machine is operated by the Morse key, and in perforating the paper tapes the operator performs the same service as though sending a telegram. This paper tape is then passed through a transmitter, which makes contacts for clots and dashes through the perforations. At the receiving stations these signals are recorded on a chemically prepared tape in dots and dashes of the Morse code. The transmission is purely mechanical, and as the recording is effected electrolytically by the current, the speed of transmission is only- limited to the possibilities of the line.
The possibilities of wireless telegraphy, exhibited in the Government building, have been demonstrated in this country and in Europe.
The megaphone, strange to relate, though invented by Mr. Edison in 1879, was not utilized until the Spanish-American War, when it became an indispensable device for communication between moderately distant points, more particularly from ship to ship. Since then, megaphones have multiplied until now their number is legion, as a visit to the Pan-American Midwav will demonstrate.
In the matter of signalling, the Pan-American exhibits portray a gratifying advance over past expositions. This is true of wireless telegraphy, as well as of the Government system of signalling.
Evidences are exhibited of much study and hard work devoted study the development of the storage battery. In this field extended progress is shown, with a further promise that the latest invention and production of Mr. Edison will be exhibited in the Edison space in the Electricity Building. Thus four different types of storage battery are exhibited. Great interest centres in this new invention of Mr. Edison, because it will give five or six times the output of the current for the same weight of battery. How long a time will elapse before one may buy a bottle of electricity as easily as a few yards of dry-goods?
Electricity to the Relief of the Relief of the Deaf
The akouphone is another remarkable instrument. Its purpose is to enable the deaf to hear. It is operated by a small battery that will fit in a hip pocket. The manner in which it in creases the strength of sound or words spoken within its grasp is truly wonderful. The akoulalion is designed for deaf and dumb, to enable them to hear and perfect their speech. So marvelous is this instrument that it makes a roar of a whisper. In fact two persons may stand close together, and one whisper into the instrument while the other holds the receiver to the ear. While the whisper will not be heard by the free ear, the sound and words will come to the other ear through the instrument with wonderfully increased strength. This is one instance where electricity seems on the point of doing wonderful things fur the afflicted.
The advancement in electrical science since the World's Fair has developed a startling cleverness in the construction of generators, transformers, and especially in switchboard work and apparatus, all which is practically new. The air-blast and the oil-cooled transformers are evidence of the progress made. The use of aluminum for feeders is not to be overlooked, and this new white metal, which is a product of electricity itself, has advanced to surprising popularity for use as a conductor and in many other ways. This tact is well shown by the aluminum transmission line between Niagara Falls and Buffalo.
In the Edison space in the Electricity building there is exhibited for the first time the thermopile, one of his latest inventions. It gathers electricity from heat waves. Its possibilities are large. It is one of the very newest features of the magnificent contents of the Electricity building.
One of the very interesting applications of electricity to mining work is represented by the modern electric mining locomotive shown in the exhibit of the General Electric Company. The controller, sanding device and brakes are all controlled from one point where the operator sits. It is fitted with electric headlights. It weighs ten tons, and is made for thirty-inch gauge. A typical electric mining-pump is also shown, while the application of electricity to pumping water is shown in several parts of the Exposition plot.
Electricity on Shipboard
That electricity has secured a firm foothold aboard ship is well known, but the progress in this direction during the past few years has been very notable. Marine generator sets and searchlight projectors are a necessary part of the equipment of every modern vessel. Electricity finds still another use aboard ship in its application to the running lights. In the General Electric Company's exhibit at the Pan-American there is shown a safety device that is remarkable. It is well known that there is always a possibility of one of the running lights being extinguished, and this to be most carefully guarded against. When oil lamps are used this can be done only by the man on watch forward; but with electric lights a satisfactory device places this responsibility in the pilot house. Should one of the electric running lights become extinguished, this tell-tale device at once begins to buzz and a lamp is lighted, calling the attention of the pilot, both by sound and light, to the fact that one of the running lights is extinguished. By means of a small switch he lights a second lamp and gives orders to replace the extinguished lamp.
The thirty-inch projector installed and operated high up on the Electric Tower is a splendid sample of the progress in perfecting these powerful lamps, casting its beam far up Lake Erie, far across into the Dominion of Canada, and down to Niagara, the source of its illuminating powers.
The Question of Transportation
While electricity is bringing the ultimate possibility of talking around the world nearer realization, and is transmitting pictures and signatures at a distance, larger and more economical locomotives and steamships are cutting down the time of bodily travel between places. " A mile a minute " on long, level spaces with light trains was one of the wonders of railroading a few years ago, but now heavy trains are covering ordinary runs at a faster rate. For example, there is a record of a train in the Carolinas which carried five well loaded cars over one hundred and seventy-three miles in a little over two hours and a half; of a train in New York which drew four coaches one hundred and seventy-seven miles in an actual running time of slightly over two hours and three-quarters, and another in Ohio which covered one hundred and seventy-six miles with four cars, in less than two hours and three quarters, besides many shorter runs at a rate upwards of eighty miles an hour. And these were made in the ordinary run of business, not for records. The great strides in construction have been made towards durability and economy-towards an engine that can stand the steady pull of day in and day out hauling, and which costs least to run. One locomotive, in the ordinary course of its work, ran lately over 125,000 miles in a year. The compounding of engines, though begun in the eighties, has been a practical development of the last decade. Its main object has been the economy of fuel, by reducing the consumption of steam in the cylinders and by getting more work from the coal burned. Large horse power is being gained by enlarged grate surface in the boilers. In the Vanderbilt boiler a cylindrical firebox is suspended within the shell of the boiler, supported at the rear and bottom. Otherwise the firebox is disconnected from the shell of the boiler, thus getting rid of flat surfaces and of the use of stay-bolts. The main use of the invention is in the saving of repairs, of the bad effects of contraction and expansion and in avoiding the possibility of corrosion about the stay-bolts.
Now, larger, more desirable and more economical locomotives are being made than ever before. One representative shop is employing nine thousand men where at the time of the Chicago Fair they had slightly more than five thousand. In 1893 they built less than eight hundred locomotives. Last year they built over twelve hundred. The first engine they made took them a year to build. Now they are making four a day. And they are making them not merely for the United States, but for the world. For all the disparaging talk of British peers this one concern exported three hundred and sixty-three locomotives last year, against one hundred and sixty-two in 1893. And everything is planned for a success. They get a sample of the coal used in Japan or South America or Texas, and analyze it. Then they make a locomotive with a boiler that will best handle such fuel. Electric locomotives have a beginning with one that hauls coal at eight miles an hour.
Travel is not only faster, but it is more luxurious. Electricity is beginning to replace the smoky lamps for car lighting, and a scheme has been devised, and is on the market, by which-by means of a thermostat-the temperature of a car can be automatically regulated at seventy or sixty-five or sixty degrees according to desire.
Pressed Steel Cars
Probably the most striking development in car building, however, has been that of the pressed steel car. It is only four years ago that the first car was built and now the four factories of the Pressed Steel Car Company, employing between nine and ten thousand workmen, are turning out more than a hundred a day. The story of its work was one of gradual development. First, pressed steel bolsters were made for trucks, then entire pressed steel trucks, then the underframing of the car and finally the body of the car itself. As a result many of the most important parts of the pressed steel car had been tested and found successful on wooden cars before the complete car was made. There are two great sources of superiority in the steel car over the wooden one: greater capacity to lighter car, and durability, if properly cared for. A careful estimate figures upon twice as long life for the steel car over one of wood, and a steel car will stand in a wreck when the wooden car would be badly smashed. The ordinary yellow pine freight car with a capacity of 60,000 pounds weighs 30,000 pounds empty, while the average steel car carrying 80,000 pounds weighs 28,000 pounds. The saving which this reduction of dead weight brings is manifold. It reduces the number of cars, switching service, length of trains, everything in fact that has to do with the number of cars needed to carry a certain amount of freight.
Carefully figured estimates of the earnings per year of wooden and steel cars gives a single steel car, on account of its lighter weight and larger capacity an advantage of $94.50. There being somewhere near 1,500,000 wooden cars in service in the country, there would be an aggregate yearly saving Of $141,750,000 if steel cars were used. Another estimate, taking the capacity of the cars as a starting point, gives a result of $147,000,000 saved. There are now about 50,000 pressed steel cars in use, and the first one was made only four years ago. No better evidence of the worth of the idea could be given. Medium soft Carnegie steel with an ultimate strength 'of sixty thousand pounds to the square inch is sheared to the proper sizes for the various parts. These are pressed rapidly into shape by hydraulic presses. The parts are riveted together by machinery and by hand, the particular brakes and draft-gear desired by the railroad ordering the car, are put in, and the cars are erected on the tracks in the erection shop. A suitable coat of paint is added, and the car is ready. This covering of paint must be carefully maintained or the durability of the car will be lessened.
Street Car Service
And if the advances in speed and comfort and superior construction in the service for long distances have been marked, there has been a veritable revolution in street car service. The story of this development is told on the streets of New York where dingy, jarring little dories of horse-cars cross easy running, comfortable, speedy electric lines. Cars are being made to fit every convenience, open cars for summer, closed cars for winter, and cars half open and half closed: small cars and large cars; mail cars, baggage cars and cars with smoking compartments; parlor cars for private excursion parties and observation cars that put the new Fifth Avenue electric stages to shame; cars for snow sweeping and for water sprinkling. Summer open cars had their disadvantages during a storm. Curtains were added, which in a measure kept out the driving rain. But the curtains came only half way down, and the seat end was made with a round corner that the car might be entirely closed in. Last of all a new convertible car has been invented. It is an open car with an aisle -- giving the much needed standing room -- and is fitted with sliding panel, a sliding sash and curtains. In three or four minutes the lower panels and the window sash are in place, and the open car is closed-closed against rain or cold air as thoroughly as the common variety of closed car. The inside of the panels are lined with wilton carpet, adding warmth. The sash and panels are held in the roof when the car is used as an open car, so that the transition can be made quickly with the weather changes. In a large number of cities the Boards of Health require the use of a number of closed cars at all seasons of the year. This car meets the requirements without making its passengers uncomfortable, and the often experienced irritation at being forced to ride in an open car in the cold air or a closed car when the weather is hot is obviated. And it is not only on the city streets that the electric cars are being of service. A network of tracks and wire is connecting city with suburb and with neighboring city, the country over. For short distances it is cutting in on railroad traffic, and the railroads themselves are using electric or third-rail lines. Large cars forty feet long and eight feet wide, weighing upwards of fifteen tons are being made, capable of carrying seventy-two people at a rate of fifty miles an hour. Cars of this type are being used by the Buffalo and Lockport Railroad, replacing the former steam equipment, They are divided into two compartments-the one for general passenger service; another, a small smoking compartment with seats for twelve people. On some cars this latter is a convertible baggage or smoking compartment. On many of the cars on inter-urban lines the construction-both roof and sides-is modeled after that of the common steam car. Electricity has already become the seven-league boots by which we step from our house door to that of a distant friend.
Guns and Ammunition
Although the nervous emotionalism which accompanied the Spanish War has steadied down into a solid national patriotism, there is nothing at Buffalo in which the mass of visitors seem to be more interested than the big and little guns of the ordnance exhibits, shown by the Government and by many individual manufacturers. The result of the insular campaigns has been that we are making our own war supplies, and are ready for any unpleasantness that may be forced upon us. Moreover, as the commercial ordnance exhibit shows, there is no reason why the United States should not make munitions, as well as other things, for the world. A twelve-inch disappearing gun weighing 195, pounds, which pierces steel nearly thirty inches at 1000 yards with a projectile weighing half a ton, is here. It is accurate for a distance of eight miles and has an extreme range of twice that distance. This gun is designed for coast defence and is fitted with a mechanism by which the recoil of the firing lowers the gun seven and one-half feet, behind the fortifications. The Maxim rapid-firing gun operates, also, by recoil, but the American-made Colt gun shoots six hundred charges a minute by the operation of the gases which accompany each discharge. Cavalry charges, long the terror of an infantry line, seem to be things of the past in the face of these guns which may be turned from side to side so as to sweep the field. And one gun alone could clear a mob from a street in a minute. The Colt gun has a record of seven thousand consecutive discharges. The same principle has been used in a new rapid firing revolver which, by the mere pressing and holding down of the trigger, fires seven shots in quick succession. Repeating rifles have taken the place of the single charge gun.
By the introduction of smokeless powder it has become possible to fit a rifle with a telescope for a sight, decreasing the distance to the eye and making surer accurate aim. This telescope is water and dust proof, and is easily adjustable. In the twilight it will often bring objects into sight which cannot be located by the naked eye.
As for ammunition, the long narrow charge with metal case is piercing wood a number of feet at long range. As a gentleman connected with one of the exhibits remarked: "You'd have to get behind a California tree to be safe." The famous and infamous "dum-dum," or soft head bullet, pierces a shorter distance but tears a large and jagged hole. Projectiles are larger; armor plate is heavier and stronger. And armor plate has other commercial uses besides in time of war. A bank vault at Buffalo, built of the same plate fourteen inches in thickness, is practically impregnable to the cracksman. Single plates in the vault weigh forty-three tons.
Bridges and Other Things
Steel has replaced wood for bridges, and there is no more striking chapter in the story of America's commercial invasion of the world than that which tells of the building of the now well-known Atbara bridge in North Africa, and of the famous Gokteik Viaduct in Burma, planned in America and built of American steel by Americans, and with the usual American profit. An automatic steam-towing machine has taken away the worry about the straining hawser. A new watertight bulkhead door automatically holds the water in check. A camping outfit of five hundred pieces can be loaded into one easily handled trunk. Equipment has been everywhere condensed and bettered.
The Gruson Turret
The old conundrum about an irresistible force meeting an immovable body grows more possible with last advances in offensive and defensive war inventions. The Gruson turret, made in Germany by Krupp, is the highest form of "immovable body" that has been made for coast defense, and works for the making of these turrets are being built on the banks of the Delaware River. On board ship the weight of the turrets must be kept comparatively small, but for coast defense there need be no such limiting of strength. In fact a weight of over two thousand five hundred and seventy-five tons has been figured for a sixteen inch Gruson turret. Chilled cast iron is used instead of steel for plate. It is too heavy for ship turrets, but it is stronger and cheaper for land use. It makes little difference how large and obtrusive the structure is for there is nothing known that can pierce it. With two rapid-fire guns it can keep a fleet at a distance.
The turret is turned by electricity so that a boat can be followed accurately. The gunner need never take his eye from his target and he is encouraged by the feeling that he is absolutely safe from the shots of the ship. By the rapid fire system a round can be fired every thirty seconds. This style of defence has been developing for over thirty years. There are some fifty or more turrets in use in Europe, and now an American concern is to take up the work which, in a measure at least, has made Krupp the great gun maker that he is.
Around the Exposition's Edges
In the face of the startling electrical lighting effects everywhere, there is a little building which is illuminated every night with the brilliant white light of acetylene gas. The building is looked upon with a certain amount of awe by many visitors, for the impression of danger is connected closely with acetylene in the popular mind. The practical use of calcium carbide has been a development of eight or nine years, and has spread to the entire world. The brilliancy of its light is undeniable, its cost is figured by experts to save sixty-two per cent. over city gas, fifty-two per cent. over gasoline, and seventy-six per cent over electricity, and the method of using it is being simplified rapidly. In a lately patented generator the crushed carbide is automatically fed into the water, generating exactly the right amount of gas, giving no chance for any gas escaping, and is simple and easy of installation.
The danger from explosion seems to have been exaggerated. Many gases will explode under wrong conditions, and acetylene is not excepted from the general rule. So far, moreover, it has little more than passed the experimental stage. It is said to be less poisonous to breathe than common illuminating gas, and is so irritating that asphyxiation is less possible. Nor does acetylene vitiate the air more than common gas. As to explosions, they have occurred usually through carelessness. Taking a small closet room for an experiment, a jet leaking for an entire day will be filled to the explosive limit, but this is not probable in ordinary usage. City gas itself has been the cause of many disasters. Acetylene lighting, with simplification of installation and use, seems likely to take its place alongside of electricity and gas as a universal light.
Eliminating the Middleman
An interesting business experiment which has proved successful with a number of concerns is shown by one of the pioneers of the movement. A soap factory buys its ingredients direct from the grower and sells to the consumer, without the interference of the wholesaler, the jobber and the retailer. And they give credit to all buyers. The premium idea is a success with them, and they furnish their buyers with articles ranging from costly furniture to small novelties. Each family becomes salesman for the concern. The poor girl who on the day of her wedding has furnished an entire little home with soap premiums is not an uncommon result of the idea.
Some Groups of Facts
Although the Exposition, since it was limited to the American states only, is by no means as large as the Chicago Fair, it is, nevertheless, an aggregation of interesting things of very considerable magnitude. Some idea maybe conveyed of its extent by grouping together a few representative facts. The Niagara power that is used for illumination alone is five thousand horse power; there are about two hundred thousand electric bulbs on the grounds. This electric lighting requires forty-two miles of wire. The Electric Tower itself is four hundred and nine feet high, and the Goddess of Light that surmounts it is eighteen feet high. Thirty-five thousand gallons of water per minute are required for the display of all the fountains; the cascade falls from the Electric Tower at a height of seventy feet; and the cascade is thirty-five feet wide. There are ninety-four searchlights in the basin.
Passing to another group of facts, there are five hundred flower beds on the grounds, and about five hundred different pieces of sculpture. The total number of buildings is one hundred, twenty of which are classified as larger exhibit buildings.
The area occupied by the Exposition is three hundred and fifty acres. The total cost of the enterprise was about ten million dollars, including five hundred thousand dollars appropriated by the government for its building and the three hundred thousand dollars appropriated by New York for its building.
1 [Ed.note:Osmium is an element (symbol Os) used in 2001 as a platinum hardener and in pen points, instrument pivots, and as a cortisone synthesizer.]
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