Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

7 articles on this Page




SCIENCE NOTES. The owners of a St. Abbs fishing-boat have made the important discove-y that a net dyed as nearly as possible the hue of the sea, instead of the traditional brown, yields much larger results in the matter of fish caught. The dis- covery was, says the Western Morning K ews,H put to the test a short time ago, when, out d a fleet of 65 boats, the boat with its nets dyed blue made far and away the largest catch. The dye used is bluestone. The discovery has aroused much interest among the fishermen. Peat, as it comes from the bog, contains from 85 to 95 per cent. of water. According to Dr. Ekenberg, it appears that the peat contains a hydro(;ellulose which i-s of the nature of a jelly. If the peat is subjected to pressure th? hydro- celluloee passes through very much as soft soap might, and without separating the water from the peat. If, however, the peat is heated to about 320 degrees F., this jelly is immediately destroyed, and most of the water can be separated by a pressure of about 2401b. per square inch. The bridge over the Wissahickon Creek, in Philadelphia, is said to be the largest reinforced- concrete bridge in the world. It is 525ft. long and 147ft. in height, with a main arch 233ft. long, and approach spans measuring 53ft. each. Over JOO men were continuously employed for more than two years in building it, using for this purpose more than 19,000 cubic vards of con- crete, weighing 40,000 tons. Before the concrete work was begun, a false-work bridge was con- structed with 360,000ft. of timber and 130 tons of steel. The total cost of the bridge was £ 52,CC0 sterling. THE FIRST ENGINE DRIVER. George Stephenson's first locomotive, the a Rocket, it is said, was driven by a man who is still alive. His name is Edward Entwistle he has just celebrated his 94th birthday, and he resides at Des Moines, in Iowa, being the oldest engineer in the United States. Entwistle was born at Manchester in 1816, and was apprenticed to the Duke of Bridgewater, the owner of the Manchester machine-shops, one of the first of their kind in the world. One day Geor »e Stephenson entered the shop and asked the fore- man if he could supply him with a man to take the Rocket on its first trip from Manchester to Liverpool. The foreman knew of no one, and said so, but his eye fell on Entwistle. a boy of 16, who was working at a lathe, and he remarked to Mr. Stephenson, There's a lad there who, if you could train him, would take the engine over safely and obey orders." Stephenson ob- tained permission to use the lad, and after being- trained, he took the engine out on its first try", and for two years operated it every day. Then, curiously enough, he got afraid of himself, his nerve gave way, and he asked to be taken off, a request which was naturally granted. --+-- CONDENSER) TYPE OF INSULATOR. In a paper read before the American Insti- tute of Electrical Engineers some time ago, A. B. Revnders discussed the advantages of the # condenser type of insulation for high- tension terminals. When a difference of potential is passed across a number of con- densers connected lin series, each condenser takes its share of the stress in inverse propor- tion to ite capacity. This has led to the mak- ing of a terminal constructed of a metal tubs wrapped with paper, and at regular intervals provided with a layer of tinfoil inserted dur- ing the rolling process. This done, the insula- tor is turned in the lathe so that it is tapered in steps. The result is a series of concentric condensers In order to prevent a corona effect from the ,edge of the tinfoil, they are protected by metal rings electrically connected thereto. By this means it is possible to provide ter- minals which can be successfully used on trans- formers of 300,000 to 500,000 volts. A condenser type of insulator has also been made for outdoor use. But in this case, instead of the metal rings, bell-shaped metal caps or petticoats are furnished. 9 THE BOLL-WEEVIL. The boll-weevil has been described by the United States Department of Agriculture as the most serious danger that ever threatened any agricultural industry, and we have lately heard a good deal about it as one of the possible causes of a short cotton crop next season. A pamphlet on the subject, issued by a New York firm, gives something of the remarkable history of this en- terprising creature, which has been known to make a steady, conquering advance of 70 miles in a season, to oross bodies of water ten miles in breadth, and to skip over 40 miles of country that does not grow cotton. It first appeared in Texas about 16 years ago, crossed to Louisiana in 1903, and has successively infected Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Mississippi. In a single season a pair of weevils are capable of. multiplying into over twelve millions, and it is one of the good colonising qualities of the weevil that it cm change its habits according to climatic condi- tions. All the resources of American science have failed to stay its advance; already it occu- pies over a sixth of the area under cotton, and it is predicted that it will capture the whole in from 15 to 18 years. The boll-weevil is im- mensely destructive, but though it cannot be killed, it may be scotched. Statistics indien:e that when it first seized upon certain localities in Texas there was a decrease of over 50 per cert in production, and though the capacity for .le- structiveness has been immensely reduced by careful cultivation the average yield is sensibly less after all mitigating expedients have been tried. ■& DOES ELECTRICITY KILL? The opponents to executions by electricity live secured a valuable accessory in Charles Quill. a young man who demonstrates in his own person that electricity does not always kill, and sug- gests that death in certain cases results later, when the surgeons perform post-mortems n malefactors' bodies. At a private exhibition at New York some time ago, according to the cor- respondent of the "Daily Telegraph." 'Îni!l allowed himself to be strapped into the electric chair, similar to the one in American prison- and a direct current of electricity was turned into his body to the amount of 1,800 volts. This is 100 volts more than is used in prison. Quill seemed to enjoy it. He endured this huge vol- tage for fully a minute, and during that time his assistant touched various parts of his body with an alcohol-soaked handkerchief, which im- mediately burst into flames. Quill asserts that slectricity does not kill unless it burns, and he explains his immunity by the fact that his body contains an unusual amount of carbon. On Mon- day he played with electricity As though it war, the most harmless thing in the world. With 1.809 volts sizzling into one hand, he lighted a oaiidlc or set aglow an incandescent light with the other. He applied a piece of carbon held between his teeth to a similar piece attached to another wire, and supplied a perfect arc light. He drew forth a current of such intensity with one finger that he lighted a cigarette from the heat. Quill said he first came into contact with high-voltage electricity in an Francisco, when he was em- ployed by a gas and electric-light company. He got too close to a dynamo, and a shunt" cf 2,3C0 volts entered, his body. Although appa- rently dead," he said, I was conscious through it all. I could neither move nor cry. It seemed as though I was tied between two dynamos, with currents flowing through my body, burning ice up, and I was powerless to help myself. W hen I revived I felt no ill-effects." Quill is prepared to sit in the prison chair and receive alleged fatal doses once a week—not more, because ad- mittedly it makes him nervous.


[No title]