The columns carry the entire weights including dead and live loads and the wind pressure, into the footings, these again distributing the loads on the soil. The aim is to have an equal pressure per square foot of soil at the same time, for all footings, thus insuring an even settlement. The skeleton construction now almost wholly consists of wrought steel. At first cast-iron and wrought-iron were used but it was found they corroded too quickly.
There are two classes of steel construction, the cage and the skeleton. In the cage construction the frame is strengthened for wind stresses and the walls act as curtains. In the skeleton, the frame carries only the vertical loads and depends upon the walls for its wind bracing. It has been found that the wind pressure is about 30 lbs. for every square foot of exposed surface.
The steel columns reach from the foundation to the top, riveted together by plates and may be extended to an indefinite height. In fact there is no engineering limit to the height.
The outside walls of the sky-scraper vary in thickness with the height of the building and also vary in accordance with the particular kind of construction, whether cage or skeleton. If of the cage variety, the walls, as has been said, act as curtains and consequently they are thinner than in the skeleton type of construction. In the latter case the walls have to resist the wind pressure unsupported by the steel frame and therefore they must be of a sufficient width. Brick and terra-cotta blocks are used for construction generally.
Terra-cotta blocks are also much used in the flooring, and for this purpose have several advantages over other materials; they are absolutely fire-proof, they weigh less per cubic foot than any other kind of fire-proof flooring and they are almost sound-proof. They do equally well for flat and arched floors.
It is of the utmost importance that the sky-scraper be absolutely fire-proof from bottom to top. These great buzzing hives of industry house at one time several thousand human beings and a panic would entail a fearful calamity, and, moreover, their height places the upper stories beyond reach of a water-tower and the pumping engines of the street.
The sky-scrapers of to-day are as fireproof as human ingenuity and skill can make them, and this is saying much; in fact, it means that they cannot burn. Of course fires can break out in rooms and apartments in the manufacturing of chemicals or testing experiments, etc., but these are easily confined to narrow limits and readily extinguished with the apparatus at hand. Steel columns will not burn, but if exposed to heat of sufficient degree they will warp and bend and probably collapse, therefore they should be protected by heat resisting agents. Nothing can be better than terra-cotta and concrete for this purpose. When terra-cotta blocks are used they should be at least 2 inches thick with an air space running through them. Columns are also fire-proofed by wrapping expanded metal or other metal lathing around them and plastering.
Then a furring system is put on and another layer of metal, lathing and plastering. This if well done is probably safer than the layer of hollow tile.
The floor beams should be entirely covered with terra-cotta blocks or concrete, so that no part of them is left exposed. As most office trimmings are of wood care should be taken that all electric wires are well insulated. Faulty installation of dynamos, motors and other apparatus is frequently the cause of office fires.
The lighting of a sky-scraper is a most elaborate arrangement. Some of them use as many lights as would well supply a good sized town. The Singer Building in New York has 15,000 incandescent lamps and it is safe to say the Metropolitan Life Insurance Building has more than twice this number as the floor area of the latter is 2-1/2 times as great. The engines and dynamos are in the basement and so fixed that their vibrations do not affect the building. As space is always limited in the basements of sky-scrapers direct connected engines and dynamos are generally installed instead of belt connected and the boilers operated under a high steam pressure. Besides delivering steam to the engines the boilers also supply it to a variety of auxiliary pumps, as boiler-feed, fire-pump, blow-off, tank-pump and pump for forcing water through the building.
The heating arrangement of such a vast area as is covered by the floor space of a sky-scraper has been a very difficult problem but it has been solved so that the occupant of the twentieth story can receive an equal degree of heat with the one on the ground floor. Both hot water and steam are utilized. Hot water heating, however, is preferable to steam, as it gives a much steadier heat. The radiators arc proportioned to give an average temperature of 65 degrees F. in each room during the winter months. There are automatic regulating devices attached to the radiators, so if the temperature rises above or falls below a certain point the steam or hot water is automatically turned on or off. Some buildings are heated by the exhaust steam from the engines but most have boilers solely for the purpose.
The sanitary system is another important feature. The supplying of water for wash-stands, the dispositions of wastes and the flushing of lavatories tax all the skill of the mechanical engineer. Several of these mighty buildings call for upwards of a thousand lavatories.
In considering the sky-scraper we should not forget the role played by the electric elevator. Without it these buildings would be practically useless, as far as the upper stories are concerned. The labor of stair climbing would leave them untenanted. No one would be willing to climb ten, twenty or thirty flights and tackle a day's work after the exertion of doing so. To climb to the fiftieth story in such a manner would be well-nigh impossible or only possible by relays, and after one would arrive at the top he would be so physically exhausted that both mental and manual endeavor would be out of the question. Therefore the elevator is as necessary to the skyscraper as are doors and windows. Indeed were it not for the introduction of the elevator the business sections of our large cities would still consist of the five and six story structures of our father's time instead of the towering edifices which now lift their heads among the clouds.
Regarded less than half a century ago as an unnecessary luxury the elevator to-day is an imperative necessity. Sky-scrapers are equipped with both express and local elevators. The express elevators do not stop until about the tenth floor is reached. They run at a speed of about ten feet per second. There are two types of elevators in general use, one lifting the car by cables from the top, and the other with a hydraulic plunger acting directly upon the bottom of the car. The former are operated either by electric motors or hydraulic cylinders and the latter by hydraulic rams, the cylinders extending the full height of the building into the ground.
America is pre-eminently the land of the sky-scraper, but England and France to a degree are following along the same lines, though nothing as yet has been erected on the other side of the water to equal the towering triumphs of architectural art on this side. In no country in the world is space at such a premium as in New York City, therefore, New York per se may be regarded as the true home of the tall building, although Chicago is not very much behind the Metropolis in this respect.
As figures are more eloquent than words in description the following data of the two giant structures of the Western World may be interesting.
The Singer Building at the corner of Broadway and Liberty Street, New York City, has a total height from the basement floor to the top of the flagstaff of 742 feet; the height from street to roof is 612 feet, 1 inch. There are 41 stories. The weight of the steel in the entire building is 9,200 tons. It has 16 elevators, 5 steam engines, 5 dynamos, 5 boilers and 28 steam pumps. The length of the steam and water piping is 5 miles. The cubical contents of the building comprise 66,950,000 cubic feet, there are 411,000 square feet of floor area or about 9-1/2 acres. The weight of the tower is 18,300 tons. Little danger from a collapse will be apprehended when it is learned that the columns are securely bolted and caissons which have been sunk to rock-bed 80 feet below the curb.
The other campanile which has excited the wonder and admiration of the world is the colossal pile known as the Metropolitan Building. This occupies the entire square or block as we call it from 23rd St. to 24th St. and from Madison to Fourth Avenue. It is 700 feet and 3 inches above the sidewalk and has 50 stories. The main building which has a frontage of 200 feet by 425 feet is ten stories in height. It is built in the early Italian renaissance style the materials being steel and marble. The Campanile is carried up in the same style and is also of marble. It stands on a base measuring 75 by 83 feet and the architectural treatment is chaste, though severe, but eminently agreeable to the stupendous proportions of the structure. The tower is quite different from that of the Singer Building. It has twelve wall and eight interior columns connected at every fourth floor by diagonal braces; these columns carry 1,800 pounds to the linear foot. The wind pressure calculated at the rate of 30 lbs. to the square foot is enormous and is provided for by deep wall girders and knee braces which transfer the strain to the columns and to the foundation. The average cross section of the tower is 75 by 85 feet, the floor space of the entire building is 1,080,000 square feet or about 25 acres.
The tower of this surpassing cloud-piercing structure can be seen for many miles from the surrounding country and from the bay it looks like a giant sentinel in white watching the mighty city at its feet and proclaiming the ceaseless activity and progress of the Western World.
Ocean Greyhounds—Present Day Floating Palaces—Regal Appointments—Passenger Accommodation—Food Consumption—The One Thousand Foot Boat.
The strides of naval architecture and marine engineering have been marvelous within the present generation. To-day huge leviathans glide over the waves with a swiftness and safety deemed absolutely impossible fifty years ago.
In view of the luxurious accommodations and princely surroundings to be found on the modern ocean palaces, it is interesting to look back now almost a hundred years to the time when the Savannah was the first steamship to cross the Atlantic. True the voyage of this pioneer of steam from Savannah to Liverpool was not much of a success, but she managed to crawl across the sails very materially aiding the engines, and heralded the dawn of a new day in transatlantic travel. No other steamboat attempted the trip for almost twenty years after, until in 1838 the Great Western made the run in fifteen days. This revolutionized water travel and set the whole world talking. It was the beginning of the passing of the sailing ship and was an event for rejoicing. In the old wooden hulks with their lazily flapping wings, waiting for a breeze to stir them, men and women and children huddled together like so many animals in a pen, had to spend weeks and months on the voyage between Europe and America. There was little or no room for sanitation, the space was crowded, deadly germs lurked in every cranny and crevice, and consequently hundreds died. To many indeed the sailing ship became a floating hearse.
In those times, and they are not so remote, a voyage was dreaded as a calamity. Only necessity compelled the undertaking. It was not travel for pleasure, for pleasure under such circumstances and amid such surroundings was impossible. The poor emigrants who were compelled through stress and poverty to leave their homes for a foreign country feared not toil in a new land, but they feared the long voyage with its attending horrors and dangers. Dangerous it was, for most of the sailing vessels were unseaworthy and when a storm swept the waters, they were as children's toys, at the mercy of wind and wave. When the passenger stepped on board he always had the dread of a watery grave before him.
How different to-day. Danger has been eliminated almost to the vanishing point and the mighty monsters of steel and oak now cut through the waves in storms and hurricanes with as much ease as a duck swims through a pond.
From the time the Great Western was launched, steamships sailing between American and English ports became an established institution. Soon after the Great Western's first voyage a sturdy New England Quaker from Nova Scotia named Samuel Cunard went over to London to try and interest the British government in a plan to establish a line of steamships between the two countries. He succeeded in raising 270,000 pounds, and built the Britannia, the first Cunard vessel to cross the Atlantic. This was in 1840. As ships go now she was a small craft indeed. Her gross tonnage was 1,154 and her horse power 750. She carried only first-class passengers and these only to the limit of one hundred. There was not much in the way of accommodation as the quarters were cramped, the staterooms small and the sanitation and ventilation defective. It was on the Britannia that Charles Dickens crossed over to America in 1842 and he has given us in his usual style a pen picture of his impressions aboard. He stated that the saloon reminded him of nothing so much as of a hearse, in which a number of half-starved stewards attempted to warm themselves by a glimmering stove, and that the staterooms so-called were boxes in which the bunks were shelves spread with patches of filthy bed-clothing, somewhat after the style of a mustard plaster. This criticism must be taken with a little reservation. Dickens was a pessimist and always censorious and as he had been feted and feasted with the fat of the land, he expected that he should have been entertained in kingly quarters on shipboard. But because things did not come up to his expectations he dipped his pen in vitriol and began to criticise.
At any rate the Britannia in her day was looked upon as the ne plus ultra in naval architecture, the very acme of marine engineering. The highest speed she developed was eight and one-half knots or about nine and three-quarters miles an hour. She covered the passage from Liverpool to Boston in fourteen and one-half days, which was then regarded as a marvellous feat and one which was proclaimed throughout England with triumph.
For a long time the Britannia remained Queen of the Seas for speed, but in 1852 the Atlantic record was reduced to nine and a half days by the Arctic. In 1876 the City of Paris cut down the time to eight days and four hours. Twelve years later in 1879 the Arizona still further reduced it to seven days and eight hours. In 1881 the Alaska, the first vessel to receive the title of "Ocean Greyhound," made the trip in six days and twenty-one hours; in 1885 the Umbria bounded over in six days and two hours, in 1890 the Teutonic of the White Star line came across in five days, eighteen hours and twenty-eight minutes, which was considered the limit for many years to come. It was not long however, until the Cunard lowered the colors of the White Star, when the Lucania in 1893 brought the record down to five days and twelve hours. For a dozen years or so the limit of speed hovered round the five-and-a-half day mark, the laurels being shared alternately by the vessels of the Cunard and White Star Companies. Then the Germans entered the field of competition with steamers of from 14,500 to 20,000 tons register and from 28,000 to 40,000 horse power. The Deutschland soon began setting the pace for the ocean greyhounds, while other vessels of the North German Lloyd line that won transatlantic honors were the Kaiser Wilhelm II., Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, Kronprinz Wilhelm and Kronprinzessin Cecilie, all remarkably fast boats with every modern luxury aboard that science could devise. These vessels are equipped with wireless telegraphy, submarine signalling systems, water-tight compartments and every other safety appliance known to marine skill. The Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse raised the standard of German supremacy in 1902 by making the passage from Cherbourg to Sandy Hook lightship in five days and fifteen hours.
In 1909, however, the sister steamships Mauretania and Lusitania of the Cunard line lowered all previous ocean records, by making the trip in a little over four and a half days. They have been keeping up this speed to the present time, and are universally regarded as the fastest and best equipped steamships in the world,—the very last word in ocean travel. On her last mid-September voyage the Mauretania has broken all ocean records by making the passage from Queenstown to New York in 4 days 10 hours and 47 minutes. But they are closely pursued by the White Star greyhounds such as the Oceanic, the Celtic and the Cedric, steamships of world wide fame for service, appointments, and equipment. Yet at the present writing the Cunard Company has another vessel on the stocks, to be named the Falconia which in measurements will eclipse the other two and which they are confident will make the Atlantic trip inside four days.
The White Star Company is also building two immense boats to be named the Olympic and Titanic. They will be 840 feet in length and will be the largest ships afloat. However, it is said that freight and passenger-room is being more considered in the construction than speed and that they will aim to lower no records. Each will be able to accommodate 5,000 passengers besides a crew of 600.
All the great liners of the present day may justly be styled ocean palaces, as far as luxuries and general appointments are concerned, but as the Mauretania and Lusitania are best known, a description of either of these will convey an idea to stay-at-homes of the regal magnificence and splendors of the floating hotels which modern science places at the disposal of the traveling public.
Though sister ships and modeled on similar lines, the Mauretania and Lusitania differ somewhat in construction. Of the two the Mauretania is the more typical ship as well as the more popular. This modern triumph of the naval architect and marine engineer was built by the firm of Swan, Hunter & Co. at Wellsend on the Tyne in 1907. The following are her dimensions: Length over all 790 feet. Length between perpendiculars 760 feet. Breadth 88 feet. Depth, moulded 60.5 feet. Gross tonnage 32,000. Draught 33.5 feet. Displacement 38,000 tons.
She has accommodation space for 563 first cabin, 500 second cabin, and 1,300 third class passengers. She carries a crew of 390 engineers, 70 sailors, 350 stewards, a couple of score of stewardesses, 50 cooks, the officers and captain, besides a maritime band, a dozen or so telephone and wireless telegraph operators, editor and printers for the wireless bulletin published on board and two attendants for the elevator.
The type of engine is what is known as the Parsons Turbine. There are 23 double ended and 2 single ended boilers. The engines develop 68,000 horse power; they are fed by 192 furnaces; the heating surface is 159,000 square feet; the grate surface is 4,060 square feet; the steam pressure is 195 lbs. to the square inch.
The highest speed attained has been almost 26 knots or 30 miles an hour. At this rate the number of revolutions is 180 to the minute. The coal daily consumed by the fiery maw of the furnaces is enormous. On one trip between Liverpool and New York more than 7,000 tons is required which is a consumption of over 1,500 tons daily.
There are nine decks, seven of which are above the water line. Corticine has been largely used for deck covering, instead of wood as it is much lighter. On the boat deck which extends over the greater part of the centre of the ship are located several of the beautiful en suite cabins. Abaft these at the forward end are the grand Entrance Hall, the Library, the Music-Room and the Lounging-Room and Smoking-Room for the first cabin passengers.
There is splendid promenading space on the boat deck where passengers can exercise to their hearts' content and also indulge in games and sports with all the freedom of field life. Many life boats swing on davits and instead of being a hindrance or obstacle, act as shades from the sunshine and as breaks from the wind.
In the space for first-class passengers are arranged a large number of cabins. What are known as the regal suites are on both port and starboard, and along each side of the main deck are more en suite rooms.
On the shelter deck there are no first-class cabin quarters. At the forward end of this deck are the very powerful Napier engines for working the anchor gear. Abaft this on the starboard side is the general lounging room for third-class passengers, while on the port-side is their smoking room with a companion way leading to the third-class dining saloon below and to the third-class cabins on the main and lower decks. The third-class galleys are accommodated on the main deck house and close by is a set of the refrigerating machinery used in connection with the rooms for the storage of supplies for the kitchen department. The side of the ship for a considerable distance aft of this is plated up to the promenade deck level so that the third-class passengers have not only convenient rooms but a protected promenade. Abaft this promenade is another open one. Indeed the accommodations for the third class are as good as what the first-class were accustomed to on most of the liners some dozen years ago.
To the left of the grand staircase on the deck house is a children's dining saloon and nursery.
On the top deck are dining saloons for all three classes of passengers, that for the third being forward, for the first amidships and for the second near the stern; 470 first-class passengers can be seated at a time, 250 second class and more than 500 of the third class.
The main deck is given up entirely to staterooms. The whole of the lower deck forward is also arranged for third-class staterooms. The firemen and other engine room and stokehold workers are located in rooms above the machinery with separate entrances and exits to and from their work. Promenade and exercise space is provided for them on the shelter deck which is fenced off from the space of the second and third class passenger. Amidships is a coal bunker with a compartment under the engines for the storage of supplies.
The coal trimmers are accommodated alongside the engine casing and abaft this are the mailrooms with accommodation for the stewards and other helpers. The "orlop" or eighth deck is devoted entirely to machinery with coal bunkers on each side of the boilers to provide against the effect of collisions.
The general scheme of color throughout the ship is pleasing and harmonious. The wood for the most part is oak and mahogany. There are over 50,000 square feet of oak in parquet flooring. All the carving and tracing is done in the wood, no superpositions or stucco work whatever being used to show reliefs.
The grand stairway shows the Italian renaissance style of the 16th century; the panels are of French walnut; the carving of columns and pilasters is of various designs but the aggregate is pleasing in effect.
The Library extends across the deck house, 33 by 56 feet; the walls of the deck house are bowed out to form bay windows. When you first enter the Library the effect is as though you were looking at shimmering marble, this is owing to the lightness of the panels which are sycamore stained in light gray. The mantelpiece is of white statuary marble. The great swing doors which admit you, have bevelled glass panels set in bronze casings. The chairs have mahogany frames done in light plush.
The first class lounging room is probably the most artistic as well as the most sumptuous apartment in the ship. The panels are of beautiful ingrained mahogany dully polished a rich brown. The white ceiling is of simple design with boldly carved mouldings and is supported by columns embossed in gold of exquisite workmanship. Some of the panels are of curiously woven tapestries, the fruit of oriental looms. Chandeliers of beautiful design in rich bronze and crystal depend from the ceiling. The curtains, hanging with their soft folds against the dull gold of the carved curtainboxes, are of a charming cream silk and with their flower borders lend a tone both sumptuous and refined. The carpet is of a slender trellis design with bluish pink roses trailing over a pearl grey ground and forms a perfect foil to the splendid furniture. The chairs are of polished beech covered with 18th century brocade.
The smoking-room of the first-class is done in rich oak carving with an inlaid border around the panels. An unusual feature in the main part of the room is a jube passageway extending the whole length and divided into recesses with divans and card tables. Writing tables may be found in secluded nooks free from interruption. The windows of unusual size, are semicircular and give a home-like appearance to the room.
The dining saloon is in light oak with all carvings worked in the wood. A children's nursery off the main stairway in the deck house is done in mahogany. Enameled white panels depict the old favorite of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds baked in a Pie.
An air of delicate refinement and rich luxury hangs about the regal rooms. A suite consists of drawing-room, dining-room, two bedrooms, bathroom and a private corridor. The drawing- and dining-rooms of these suites are paneled in East India satin-wood, probably the hardest and most durable of all timber. The bedrooms are in Georgian style finished in white with satin hangings.
The special staterooms are also finished in rich woods on white and gold and have damask and silk hangings and draperies. An idea of the richness and magnificence of the interior decorations may be obtained when it is learned that the cost of these decorations exceeded three million dollars.
The galleys, pantries, bakery, confectionery and utensil cleaning rooms extend the full length of the ship. Electricity plays an important part in the culinary department. Electric motors mix dough, run grills and roasters, clean knives and manipulate plate racks and other articles of the kitchen. The main cooking range for the saloon is 24 by 8 feet, heated by coal. There are four steam boilers and 12 steam ovens. There are extensive cold storage compartments and refrigerating chambers.
In connection with the commissariat department it is interesting to note the food supply carried for a trip of this floating caravansary. Here is a list of the leading supplies needed for a trip, but there are hundreds of others too numerous to mention: Forty thousand pounds of fresh beef, 1,000 lbs. of corned beef, 8,000 lbs. of mutton, 800 lbs. of lamb, 600 lbs. of veal, 500 lbs. of pork, 4,000 lbs. of fish, 2,000 fowls, 100 geese, 150 turkeys, 350 ducks, 400 pigeons, 250 partridges, 250 grouse, 200 pheasants, 800 quail, 200 snipe, 35 tons of potatoes, 75 hampers of vegetables, 500 quarts ice ream, 3,500 quarts of milk, 30,000 eggs and in addition many thousand bottles of mineral water and spirituous liquors.
The health of the passengers is carefully guarded during the voyage. The science of thermodynamics has been brought to as great perfection as possible. Not alone is the heating thoroughly up to modern science requirements but the ventilation as well, by means of thermo tanks, suction valves and exhaust fans. All foul air is expelled and fresh currents sent through all parts of the ship.
There is an electric generating station abaft the main engine room containing four turbo-generators each of 375 kilowatts capacity.
There are more than 5,000 electric lights and every room is connected by an electric push-bell. There is a telephone exchange through which one can be connected with any department of the vessel. When in harbor, either at Liverpool or New York, the wires are connected to the City Central exchange so that the ships can be communicated with either by local or long distance telephone.
By means of wireless telegraphy voyagers can communicate with friends during almost the entire trip and learn the news of the world the same as if they were on land. A bulletin is published daily on board giving news of the leading happenings of the world.
There is a perfect fire alarm system on board with fire mains on each side of the ship from which connections are taken to every separate department. There are boxes with hydrant and valve in each room and a system of break glass fire alarms with a drop indicator box in the chartroom and also one in the engine-room to notify in case of any outbreak.
The sanitation is all that could be desired. There are flush lavatories on all decks in marble and onyx and with all the sanitary contrivances in apparatus of the best design.
The vessel is propelled by four screws, rotated by turbine engines and the power developed is equal to that of 68,000 horses. Now 68,000 horses placed head to tail in a single line would reach a distance of 90 miles or as far as from New York to Philadelphia; and if the steeds were harnessed twenty abreast there would be no fewer than 3,400 rows of powerful horses.
Such is the steamship of to-day but there is no doubt that the thousand foot boat is coming, which probably will cross the Atlantic ocean in less than four days if not in three. But the question is, where shall we put her, that is, where shall we dock her?
To build a thousand foot pier to accommodate her, appears like a good answer to this question, but the great difficulty is that there are United States Government regulations restricting the length of piers to 800 feet. Docking space along the shore of New York harbor is too valuable to permit the ship being berthed parallel to the shore, therefore vessels must dock at right angles to the shore. Some provisions must soon be made and the regulations as to dock lengths revised.
The thousand footer may be here in a couple of years or so. In the meantime the two 840 footers are already on the stocks at Belfast and are expected to arrive early in 1911. Before they come changes and improvements must be made in the docking and harbor facilities of the port of New York.
If higher speed is demanded, increased size is essential, since with even the best result every 100 horse-power added involves an addition to machinery weight of approximately 14 tons and to the area occupied of about 40 square feet. To accomplish this the ship must be as much larger in proportion.
The ship designer has to work within circumscribed limits. If he could make his vessel of any depth he might build much larger and there would be theoretically no limit to his speed: 40 knots an hour might be obtained as easily as the present maximum of 26, but in designing his ship he must remember that in the harbors of New York or Liverpool the channels are not much beyond 30 feet in depth. High speed necessitates powerful engines, but if the engines be too large there will not be space enough for coal to feed the furnaces. If the breadth of the ship is increased the speed is diminished, while on the other hand, if too powerful engines are put in a narrow vessel she will break her back. The proper proportions must be carefully studied as regards length, breadth, depth and weight so that the vessel will derive the greatest speed from her engines.
WONDERFUL CREATIONS IN PLANT LIFE
Mating Plants—Experiments of Burbank—What he has Accomplished.
In California lives a wonderful man. He has succeeded in doing more than making two blades of grass grow where grew but one. Yearly, daily in fact, this wizard of plant life is playing tricks on old Mother Nature, transforming her vegetable children into different shapes and making them no longer recognizable in their original forms. Like the fairies in Irish mythology, this man steals away the plant babies, but instead of leaving sickly elves in their places, he brings into the world exceedingly healthy or lusty youngsters which grow up into a full maturity, and develop traits of character superior to the ones they supplant. For instance he took away the ugly, thorny insipid cactus and replaced it by a beautiful smooth juicy one which is now making the western deserts blossom as the rose. The name of this man is Luther Burbank whose fame as a creator of new plants has become world wide.
The basic principle of Burbank's plant magic comes under two heads, viz.: breeding and selection. He mates two different species in such a way that they will propagate a type partaking of the natures of both but superior to either in their qualities. In order to effect the best results from mating, he is choice in his selection of species—the best is taken and the worst rejected. It is a universal law that the bad can never produce the good; consequently when good is desired, as is universally the case, bad must be eliminated. In his method, Burbank gives the good a chance to assert itself and at the same time takes away all opportunity from the bad. So that the latter cannot thrive but must decay and pass out of being. He takes two plants—they may be of the same species, but as a general rule he prefers to experiment with those of different species; he perceives that neither one in its present surroundings is putting forth what is naturally expected from it, that each is either retrograding in the scale of life or standing still for lack of encouragement to go forward. He knows that back of these plants is a long history of evolutions from primitive beginnings to their present stage just as in the case of man himself. 'Tis a far cry from the cliff-dweller wielding his stone-axe and roaming nude through the fields and forests after his prey—the wild beast—to the lordly creature of to-day—the product of long ages of civilization and culture, yet high as the state is to which man has been brought, in many cases he is hemmed in and surrounded by circumstances which preclude him from putting forth the best that is in him and showing his full possibilities to the world. The philosopher is often hidden in the ploughman and many a poor laborer toiling in corduroys and fustian at the docks, in the mills, or sweeping the streets may have as good a brain as Edison, but has not the opportunity to develop it and show its capabilities. The same analogy is applicable to plant life. Under adverse conditions a plant or vegetable cannot put forth its best efforts. In a scrawny, impoverished soil, and exhausted atmosphere, lacking the constituents of nurture, the plant will become dwarfed and unproductive, whereas on good ground and in good air, which have the succulent properties to nourish it the best results may be expected. The soil and the air, therefore, from which are derived the constituents of plant life, are indispensably necessary, but they are not the primal principles upon which that life depends for its being. The basis, the foundation, the origin of the life is the seed which germinates in the soil and evolves itself into the plant.
A dead seed will not germinate, a contaminated seed may, but the plant it produces will not be a healthy one and it will only be after a long series of transplantings, with patience and care, that at length a really sound plant will be obtained. The same principle holds good in regard to the human plant. It is hard to offset an evil ancestry. The contamination goes on from generation to generation, just as in the case of the notorious Juke family which cost New York State hundreds of thousands of dollars in consequence of criminality and idiocy. It requires almost a miracle to divert an individual sprung from a corrupt stem into a healthy, moral course of living. There must be some powerful force brought to bear to make him break the ligatures which bind him to ancestral nature and enable him to come forth on a plane where he will be susceptible to the influence of what is good and noble. Such can be done and has been accomplished.
Burbank is accomplishing such miracles in the vegetable kingdom, in fact he is recreating species as it were and developing them to a full fruition. Of course as in the case of the conversion of a sinner from his evil instincts, much opposition is met and the progress at first is slow, but finally the plant becomes fixed in its new ways and starts forward on its new course in life. It requires patience to await the development Burbank is a man of infinite patience. He has been five, ten, fifteen, twenty years in producing a desired blossom, but he considers himself well rewarded when his object has been obtained. Thousands of experiments are going on at the same time, but in each case years are required to achieve results, so slow is the work of selection, the rejecting of the seemingly worthless and the eternal choosing of the best specimens to continue the experiments.
When two plants are united to produce a third, no human intelligence can predict just what will be the result of the union. There may be no result at all; hence it is that Burbank does not depend on one experiment at a time. If he did the labors of a life-time would have little to show for their work. In breeding lilies he has used as high as five hundred thousand plants in a single test. Such an immense quantity gave him a great variety of selection. He culled and rejected, and culled and rejected until he made his final selection for the last test.
Sometimes he is very much disappointed in his anticipations. For instance, he marks out a certain life for a flower and breeds and selects to that end. For a time all may go according to his plans, but suddenly some new trait develops which knocks those plans all out of gear. The new flower may have a longer stem and narrower leaves than either parent, while a shorter stem and broader leaves are the desideratum. The experimenter is disappointed, but not disheartened; he casts the flower aside and makes another selection from the same species and again goes ahead, until his object is attained.
It may be asked how two plants are united to procure a third. The act is based on the procreative law of nature. Plant-breeding is simply accomplished by sifting the pollen of one plant upon the stigma of another, this act—pollenation—resulting in fertilization, Nature in her own mysterious ways bringing forth the new plant.
In order to get an idea of the Burbank method, let us consider some of his most famous experiments, for instance, that in which by uniting the potato with the tomato he has produced a new variety which has been very aptly named the pomato. Mr. Burbank, from the beginning of his wonderful career, has experimented much with the potato. It was this vegetable which first brought the plant wizard into worldwide prominence. The Burbank potato is known in all lands where the tuber forms an article of food. It has been introduced into Ireland and promises to be the salvation of that distressed island of which the potato constitutes the staple diet. The Burbank potato is the hardiest of all varieties and in this respect is well suited for the colder climates of the Temperate Zone. Apart from this potato which bears his name, Mr. Burbank has produced many other varieties. He has blended wild varieties with tame ones, getting very satisfactory results. Mr. Burbank believes that a little wild blood, so to speak, is often necessary to give tone and vigor to the tame element which has been long running in the same channels. Probably it was Emerson, his favorite author, who gave him the cue for this idea. Emerson pointed out that the city is recruited from the country. "The city would have died out, rotted and exploded long ago," wrote the New England sage, "but that it was reinforced from the fields. It is only country that came to town day before yesterday, that is city and court to-day."
In Burbank's greenhouses are mated all kinds of wild and tame varieties of potatoes, producing crosses and combinations truly wonderful as regards shape, size, and color. One of the most palatable potatoes he has produced is a magenta color approaching crimson, so distributed throughout that when the tuber is cut, no matter from what angle, it presents concentric geometric figures, some having a resemblance to human and animal faces.
Before entering on any experiment to produce a new creation, Burbank always takes into consideration the practical end of the experiment, that is, what the value of the result will be as a practical factor in commerce, how much it will benefit the race. He does not experiment for a pastime or a novelty, but for a purpose. His object in regard to the potato is to make it a richer, better vegetable for a food supply and also to make it more important for other purposes in the commerce of the nations.
The average potato consists of seventy-five per cent. water and twenty-five per cent. dry matter, almost all of which is starch. Now starch is a very important article from a manufacturing standpoint, but only one-fourth of the potato is available for manufacturing, the other three-fourths, being water, is practically waste matter. Now if the water could be driven out to a great extent and starchy matter increased it is easy to understand that the potato would be much increased in value as an article of manufacture. Burbank has not overlooked this fact in his potato experiments. He has demonstrated that it is as easy to breed potatoes for a larger amount of starch, and he has really developed tubers which contain at least twenty-five per cent. more starch than the normal varieties; in other words, he has produced potatoes which yield fifty per cent. of starch instead of twenty-five per cent. The United States uses about $12,000,000 worth of starch every year, chiefly obtained from Indian corn and potatoes. When the potato is made to yield double the amount of starch, as Burbank has proved it can yield and more, it will be understood what a large part it can be made to play in this important manufacture.
Also for the production of alcohol the potato is gaining a prominent place. The potato starch is converted into maltose by the diastase of malt, the maltose being easily acted upon by ferment for the actual production of the alcohol. Therefore an increase in the starch of the potato for this purpose alone is much to be desired.
Of course the chief prominence of the potato will still consist in its adaptability as an article of food. Burbank does not overlook this. He has produced and is producing potatoes with better flavor, of larger and uniform size and which give a much greater yield to the area. Palatability in the end decides the permanence of a food, and the Burbank productions possess this quality in a high degree.
Burbank labored long and studied every characteristic of the potato before attempting any experiments with the tomato. Though closely related by family ties, the potato and the tomato seemed to have no affinity for each other whatever. In many other instances it has also been found that two varieties which from a certain relation might naturally be expected to amalgamate easily have been repellant to each other and refused to unite.
In his first experiment in trying to cross the potato and tomato, Burbank produced tomatoes from the seeds of plants pollenated from potato pollen only. He next produced what he called "aerial potatoes" of very peculiar twisted shapes from a potato vine grafted on a Ponderosa or large tomato plant. Then reversing this operation he grafted the same kind of tomato plant upon the same kind of potato plant and produced underground a strange-looking potato with marked tomato characteristics. He saw he was on the right road to the production of a new variety of vegetable, but before experimenting further along this line he crossed two distinct species of tomatoes and obtained a most ornamental plant, different from the parent stems, about twelve inches high and fifteen inches across with large unusual leaves and producing clusters of uniform globular fruit, the whole giving a most pleasing and unique appearance. The fruit were more palatable than the ordinary tomatoes, had better nutritive qualities and were more suitable for preserving and canning.
Very pleased with this result he went back to his experiments with the potato-tomato, and succeeded in producing the most wonderful and unique fruit in the world, one which by a happy combination of the two names, he has aptly called the pomato. It may be considered as the evolution of a potato seed-ball. It first appears as a tiny green ball on the potato top and as the season progresses it gradually enlarges and finally develops into a fruit about the size and shape of the ordinary tomato. The flesh is white and the marrow, which contains but a few tiny white seeds, is exceedingly pleasant to the taste, possessing a combination of several different fruit flavors, though it cannot be identified with any one. It may be eaten either raw or cooked after the manner of the common tomato. In either case it is most palatable, but especially so when cooked. It is exceptionally well adapted to preserving purposes.
The production of such a fruit from a vegetable is one of the crowning triumphs of the California wizard. Probably it is the most novel of all the wonderful crosses and combinations he has given to the world.
It would be impossible here to go into detail in regard to some of the other wonders accomplished in the plant world by this modern magician. There is only space to merely mention a few more of his successful achievements. He has given the improved thornless and spiculess cactus, food for man and beast, converting it into a beautifier and reclaimer of desert wastes; the plum-cot which is an amalgamation of the plum and the apricot with a flavor superior to both; many kinds of plums, some without pits, others having the taste of Bartlett pears, and still others giving out a fragrance as sweet as the rose; several varieties of walnuts, one with a shell as thin as paper and which was so easily broken by the birds that Burbank had to reverse his experiment somewhat in order to get a thicker shell; another walnut has no tannin in the meat, which is the cause of the disagreeable flavor of the ordinary fruit; the world-famed Shasta daisy, which is a combination of the Japanese daisy, the English daisy and the common field daisy, and which has a blossom seven inches in diameter; a dahlia deprived of its unpleasant odor and the scent of the magnolia blossom substituted; a gladiolus which blooms around the entire stem like a hyacinth instead of the old way on one side only; many kinds of lilies with chalices and petals different from the ordinary, and exhaling perfumes as varied as those of Oriental gardens; a poppy of such dimension that it is from ten to twelve inches across its brilliant bloom; an amaryllis bred up from a couple of inches to over a foot in diameter; several kinds of fruit trees which withstand frost in bud and in flower; a chestnut tree which bears nuts in eighteen months from the time of seed-planting; a white blackberry (paradoxical as it may appear), a rare and beautiful fruit and as palatable as it is beautiful; the primusberry, a union of the raspberry and the blackberry; another wonderful and delicious berry produced from the California dewberry and the Cuthbert-raspberry; pieplants four feet in diameter, bearing every day in the year; prunes, three, four, and five times as large as the ordinary and enriched in flavor; blackberries without their prickly thorns and hundreds of other combinations and crosses of fruits and flowers too numerous to mention. He has improved plums, pears, apples, apricots, quinces, peaches, cherries, grapes, in short, all kinds of fruit which grow in our latitude and many even that have been introduced. He has developed hundreds of varieties of flowers, improving them in color, hardiness and yield. Thus he has not only added to the food and manufacturing products of the world, but he has enriched the aesthetic side in his beautiful flower creations.
LATEST DISCOVERIES IN ARCHAEOLOGY
Prehistoric Time—Earliest Records—Discoveries in Bible Lands— American Explorations.
For the earliest civilization and culture we must go to that part of the world, which according to the general belief, is the cradle of the human race. The civilization of the Mesopotamian plain is not only the oldest but the first where man settled in great city communities, under an orderly government, with a developed religion, practicing agriculture, erecting dwellings and using a syllabified writing. All modern civilization had its source there. For 6,000 years the cuneiform or wedge-shaped writing of the Assyrians was the literary script of the whole civilized ancient world, from the shores of the Mediterranean to India and even to China, for Chinese civilization, old as it is, is based upon that which obtained in Mesopotamia. In Egypt, too, at an early date was a high form of neolithic civilization. Six thousand years before Christ, a white-skinned, blond-haired, blue-eyed race dwelt there, built towns, carried on commerce, made woven linen cloth, tanned leather, formed beautiful pottery without the wheel, cut stone with the lathe and designed ornaments from ivory and metals. These were succeeded by another great race which probably migrated into Egypt from Arabia. Among them were warriors and administrators, fine mechanics, artisans, artists and sculptors. They left us the Pyramids and other magnificent monumental tombs and great masses of architecture and sculptured columns. Of course, they declined and passed away, as all things human must; but they left behind them evidences to tell of their prestige and power.
The scientists and geologists of our day are busy unearthing the remains of the ancient peoples of the Eastern world, who started the waves of civilization both to the Orient and the Occident. Vast stores of knowledge are being accumulated and almost every day sees some ancient treasure trove brought to light. Especially in Biblical lands is the explorer busy unearthing the relics of the mighty past and throwing a flood of light upon incidents and scenes long covered by the dust of centuries.
Babylon, the mightiest city of ancient times, celebrated in the Bible and in the earliest human records as the greatest centre of sensual splendor and sinful luxury the world has ever seen, is at last being explored in the most thorough manner by the German Oriental Society, of which the Kaiser is patron. Babylon rose to its greatest glory under Nebuchadnezzar, the most famous monarch of the Babylonian Empire. At that period it was the great centre of arts, learning and science, astronomy and astrology being patronized by the Babylonian kings. The city finally came to a terrible end under Belshazzar, as related in the Bible. The palace of the impious king has been uncovered and its great piles of masonry laid bare. The great hall, where the young prophet Daniel read the handwriting on the wall, can now be seen. The palace stood on elevated ground and was of majestic dimensions. A winding chariot road led up to it. The lower part was of stone and the upper of burned bricks. All around on the outside ran artistic sculptures of men hunting animals. The doors were massive and of bronze and swung inward, between colossal figures of winged bulls. From the hall a stairway led to the throne room of the King, which was decorated with gold and precious stones and finished in many colors. The hall in which the infamous banquet was held was 140 feet by 40 feet. For a ceiling it was spanned by the cedars of Lebanon which exhaled a sweet perfume. At night a myriad lights lent brilliancy to the scene. There were over 200 rooms all gorgeously furnished, most of them devoted to the inmates of the king's harem. The ruins as seen to-day impress the visitor and excite wonder and admiration.
The Germans have also uncovered the great gate of Ishtar at Babylon, which Nebuchadnezzar erected in honor of the goddess of love and war, the most renowned of all the mythical deities of the Babylonian Pantheon. It is a double gateway with interior chambers, flanked by massive towers and was erected at the end of the Sacred Road at the northeast corner of the palace. Its most unique feature consists in the scheme of decoration on its walls, which are covered with row upon row of bulls and dragons represented in the brilliant enamelled bricks. Some of these creatures are flat and others raised in relief. Those in relief are being taken apart to be sent to Berlin, where they will be again put together for exhibition.
The friezes on this gate of Ishtar are among the finest examples of enamelled brickwork that have been uncovered and take their place beside "the Lion Frieze" from Sargon's palace at Khorsabad and the still more famous "Frieze of Arches of King Darius" in the Paris Louvre.
The German party have already established the claim of Herodotus as to the thickness of the walls of the city. Herodotus estimated them at two hundred royal cubits (348 feet) high and fifty royal cubits (86-1/2 feet) thick. At places they have been found even thicker. So wide were they that on the top a four-horse chariot could easily turn.
The hanging gardens of Babylon, said to have been built to please Amytis the consort of Nebuchadnezzar, were classed as among the Seven Wonders of the World. Terraces were constructed 450 feet square, of huge stones which cost millions in that stoneless country. These were supported by countless columns, the tallest of which were 160 feet high. On top of the stones were layers of brick, cemented and covered with pitch, over which was poured a layer of lead to make all absolutely water-tight. Finally, on the top of this, earth was spread to such a depth that the largest trees had room for their roots. The trees were planted in rows forming squares and between them were flower gardens. In fact, these gardens constituted an Eden in the air, which has never since been duplicated.
New discoveries have been recently made concerning the Tower of Babel, the construction of which, as described in the Book of Genesis, is one of the most remarkable occurrences of the first stage of the world's history. It has been found that the tower was square and not round, as represented by all Bible illustrators, including Dore. The ruins cover a space of about 50,000 square feet and are about ten miles from the site of Babylon.
The ruins of the celebrated synagogue of Capernaum, believed to be the very one in which the Saviour preached, have been unearthed and many other Biblical sites around the ancient city have been identified.
Capernaum was the home of Jesus during nearly the whole of his Galilean ministry and the scene of many of his most wonderful miracles. The site of Capernaum is now known as Tell Hum. There are ruins scattered about over a radius of a mile. The excavating which revealed the ruins of the synagogue was done under supervision of a German archaeologist named Kohl. This synagogue was composed of white limestone blocks brought from a distance and in this respect different from the others which were built of the local black volcanic rock. The carvings unearthed in the ruins are very beautiful and most of them in high relief work, representing trailing vines, stately palms, clusters of dates, roses and acanthus. Various animal designs are also shown and one of the famous seven-branched candlesticks which accompanied the Ark of the Covenant.
Most of the incidents at Capernaum mentioned in the Bible were connected with the synagogue, the ruins of which have just been uncovered. The centurion who came to plead with Jesus about the servant was the man who built the synagogue (Luke VII:1-10). In the synagogue, Jesus healed the man with the unclean spirit (Mark I:21-27). In this synagogue, the man with the withered hand received health on the Sabbath Day (Matthew XII:10-13). Jairus, whose daughter was raised from the dead, was a ruler of the synagogue (Luke VIII:3) and it was in this same synagogue of Capernaum that Jesus preached the discourse on the bread of life (John VI:26-59). The hill near Capernaum where Jesus fed the multitude with five loaves and two fishes is also identified.
The stoning of St. Stephen and the conversion of St. Paul are two great events of the New Testament which lend additional interest to the explorations now being carried on at the ancient City of Damascus. Damascus lays claim to being the most ancient city in the world and its appearance sustains the claim. Unlike Jerusalem and many other ancient cities, it has never been completely destroyed by a conqueror. The Assyrian monarch, Tiglath Pileser, swept down on it, 2,700 years ago, but he did not succeed in wiping it out. Other cities came into being long after Damascus, they flourished, faded and passed away; but Damascus still remains much the same as in the early time. Among the famous places which have been identified in this ancient city is the house of Ananias the priest and the place in the wall where Paul was let down by a basket is pointed out. The scene of the conversion of St. Paul is shown and also the "Street called Straight" referred to in Acts IX:II.
Jerusalem, birthplace and cradle of Christianity, offers a vast and interesting field to the archaeologist. One of the most remarkable of recent discoveries relates to the building known as David's castle. Major Conder, a British engineer in charge of the Palestine survey, has proved that this building is actually a part of the palace of King Herod who ordered the Massacre of the Innocents in order to encompass the destruction of the Infant Saviour.
The tomb of Hiram is another relic discovered at the village of Hunaneh on the road from Safed to Tyre; it recalls the days of David. Hiram was King of Tyre in the time of David. The tomb is a limestone structure of extraordinary massiveness Unfortunately the Mosque of Omar stands on the site of Solomon's Temple and there is no hope of digging there. As for the palace of Solomon, it should be easy to find the foundations, for Jerusalem has been rebuilt several times upon the ruins of earlier periods and vast ancient remains must be still buried there. The work is being pushed vigorously at present and the future should bring to light many interesting relics. At last the real site of the Crucifixion may be found with many mementoes of the Saviour, and the Apostles.
Professor Flinders Petrie, the famous English archaeologist, has recently explored the Sinaitic peninsula and has found many relics of the Hebrews' passage through the country during the Exodus and also many of a still earlier period. He found a remarkable number of altars and tombs belonging to a very early form of religion. On the Mount where Moses received the tables of the law is a monastery erected by the Emperor Justinian 523 A.D. Although the conquering wave of Islam has swept over the peninsula, leaving it bare and desolate, this monastery still survives, the only Christian landmark, not only in Sinai but in all Arabia. The original tables of stone on which the Commandments were written, were placed in the Ark of the Covenant and taken all through the Wilderness to Palestine and finally placed in the Temple of Solomon. What became of it when the Temple was plundered and destroyed by the Babylonians is not known.
Clay tablets have been found at Nineveh of the Creation and the Flood as known to the Assyrians. These tablets formed part of a great epic poem of which Nimrod, the mighty hunter, was the hero.
Explorers are now looking for the palace of Nimrod, also that of Sennacherib, the Assyrian monarch who besieged Jerusalem. The latter despoiled the Temple of many of its treasures and it is believed that his palace, when found, may reveal the Tables of the Law, the Ark of the Covenant, the Seven-branched candlestick, and many of the golden vessels used in Israelitish worship.
Ur of the Chaldees, birthplace of Abraham, father and founder of the Hebrew race, is a rich field for the archaeologist to plough. Some tablets have already been discovered, but they are only a mere suggestion as to future possibilities. It is believed by some eminent investigators that we owe to Abraham the early part of the Book of Genesis describing the Creation, the Tower of Babel and the Flood, and the quest of archaeologists is to find, if not the original tablets, at least some valuable records which may be buried in this neighborhood.
Excavators connected with the American School at Jerusalem are busy at Samaria and they believe they have uncovered portions of the great temple of Baal, which King Ahab erected in honor of the wicked deity 890 B.C. When the remains of this temple are fully uncovered it will be learned just how far the Israelites forsook the worship of the true God for that of Baal.
The Germans have begun work on the site of Jericho, once the royal capital of Canaan, and historic chiefly from the fact that Joshua led the Israelites up to its walls, reported to be impregnable, but which "fell down at the blast of the trumpet." Great piles have been unearthed here which it is thought formed a part of the original masonry. One excavator believes he has unearthed the ruins of the house of Rahab, the woman who sheltered Joshua's spies. Another thinks he has discovered the site of the translation of Elijah, the Prophet, from whence he was carried up to heaven in a fiery chariot.
Every Christian will be interested in learning what is to be found in Nazareth where Jesus spent his boyhood. Archaeologists have located the "Fount of the Virgin," and the rock from which the infuriated inhabitants attempted to hurl Christ.
In the "Land of Goshen" where the Israelites in a state of servitude worked for the oppressing Pharaoh (Rameses II), excavators have found bricks made without straw as mentioned in Scripture, undoubtedly the work of Hebrew slaves, also glazed bead necklaces. They are looking for the House of Amran, the father of Moses, where the great leader was born.
The site of Arbela, where Alexander the Great won his mightiest victory over Darius, has been discovered. It is a series of mounds on the Western bank of the Tigris river between Nineveh and Bagdad. All the treasures of Darius were taken and Alexander erected a great palace. Bronze swords, cups and pieces of sculpture have been unearthed and it is supposed there are vast stores of other remains awaiting the tool and patience of the excavator. The famous Sultan Saladin took up his residence here in 1184 and doubtless many relics of his royal time will be discovered.
The remains of the city of Pumbaditha have been identified with the immense mound of Abnar some twenty miles from Babylon, on the banks of the Euphrates. This was the centre of Jewish scholarship during the Babylonian exile. One of the great schools in which the Talmud was composed was located here. The great psalm, "By the waters of Babylon, we sat down and wept." was also composed on this spot, and here, too, Jeremiah and Isaiah thundered their impassioned eloquence. Broken tombs and a few inscribed bowls have been brought to light. Probably the original scrolls of the Talmud will be found here. Several curiously wrought vases and ruins have been also unearthed.
Several monuments bearing inscriptions which are sorely puzzling the archaeologists have recently been unearthed at the site of Boghaz-Keni which was the ancient, if not original capital, of the mysterious people called the Hittites who have been for so long a worry to Bible students. Archaeology has now revealed the secret of this people. There is no doubt they were of Mongolian origin, as the monuments just discovered represent them with slant eyes and pigtails. No one as yet has been able to read the inscriptions. They were great warriors, great builders and influenced the fate of many of the ancient nations.
In many other places throughout these lands, deep students of Biblical lore are pushing on the work of excavation and daily adding to our knowledge concerning the peoples and nations in whom posterity must ever take a vital interest.
A short time ago, Professor Doerpfeld announced to the world that he had discovered on the island of Ithaca, off the west coast of Greece, the ruins of the palace of Ulysses, Homer's half-mythical hero of the Odyssey. The German archaeologist has traced the different rooms of the palace and is convinced that here is the very place to which the hero returned after his wanderings. Near it several graves were found from which were exhumed silver amulets, curiously wrought necklaces, bronze swords and metal ornaments bearing date 2,000 B.C., which is the date at which investigators lay the Siege of Troy.
If the ruins be really those of the palace of Ulysses, some interesting things may be found to throw a light on the Homeric epic. As the schoolboys know, when Ulysses set sail from Troy for home, adverse winds wafted him to the coast of Africa and he beat around in the adjacent seas and visited islands and spent a considerable time meeting many kinds of curious and weird adventures, dallying at one time with the lotus-eaters, at another braving the Cyclops, the one-eyed monsters, until he arrived at Ithaca where "he bent his bow and slew the suitors of Penelope, his harassed wife."
In North America are mounds, earthworks, burial sites, shell heaps, buildings of stone and adobe, pictographs sculptured in rocks, stone implements, objects made of bone, pottery and other remains which arouse the enthusiasm of the archaeologist. As the dead were usually buried in America, investigators try to locate the ancient cemeteries because, besides skeletons, they usually contain implements, pottery and ornaments which were buried with the corpses. The most characteristic implement of early man in America was the grooved axe, which is not found in any other country. Stone implements are plentiful everywhere. Knives, arrow-points and perforators of chipped stone are found in all parts of the continent. Beads and shells and pottery are also found in almost every State.
The antiquity of man in Europe has been determined in a large measure by archaeological remains found in caves occupied by him in different ages, but the exploration of caves in North America has so far failed to reveal traces of different degrees of civilization.
GREAT TUNNELS OF THE WORLD
Primitive Tunneling—Hoosac Tunnel—Croton Aqueduct—Great Alpine Tunnels—New York Subway—McAdoo Tunnels—How Tunnels are Built.
The art of tunnel construction ranks among the very oldest in the world, if not the oldest, for almost from the beginning of his advent on the earth man has been tunneling and boring and making holes in the ground. Even in pre-historic time, the ages of which we have neither record nor tradition, primitive man scooped out for himself hollows in the sides of hills, and mountains, as is evidenced by geological formations and by the fossils that have been unearthed. The forming of these hollows and holes was no indication of a superior intelligence but merely manifested the instincts of nature in seeking protection from the fury of the elements and safety from hostile forces such as the onslaughts of the wild and terrible beasts that then existed on the earth.
The Cave Dwellers were real tunnelers, inasmuch as in construction of their rude dwellings they divided them into several compartments and in most cases chose the base of hills for their operations, boring right through from side to side as recent discoveries have verified.
The ancient Egyptians built extensive tunnels for the tombs of their dead as well as for the temples of the living. When a king of Thebes ascended the throne he immediately gave orders for his tomb to be cut out of the solid rock. A separate passage or gallery led to the tomb along which he was to be borne in death to the final resting place. Some of the tunnels leading to the mausoleums of the ancient Egyptian kings were upwards of a thousand feet in length, hewn out of the hard solid rock. A similar custom prevailed in Assyria, Mesopotamia, Persia and India.
The early Assyrians built a tunnel under the Euphrates river which was 12 feet wide by 15 high. The course of the river was diverted until the tunnel was built, then the waters were turned into their former channel, therefore it was not really a subaqueous tunnel.
The sinking of tunnels under water was to be one of the triumphs of modern science.
Unquestionably the Romans were the greatest engineers of ancient times. Much of their masonry work has withstood the disintegrating hand of time and is as solid and strong to-day as when first erected.
The "Fire-setting" method of tunneling was originated by them, and they also developed the familiar principle of prosecuting the work at several points at the same time by means of vertical shafts. They heated the rock to be excavated by great fires built against the face of it. When a very high temperature was reached they turned streams of cold water on the heated stone with the result that great portions were disintegrated and fell off under the action of the water. The Romans being good chemists knew the effect of vinegar on lime, therefore when they encountered calcareous rock instead of water they used vinegar which very readily split up and disintegrated this kind of obstruction. The work of tunneling was very severe on the laborers, but the Romans did not care, for nearly all the workmen were slaves and regarded in no better light than so many cattle. One of the most notable tunnels constructed by the old Romans was that between Naples and Pozzuoli through the Posilipo Hills. It was excavated through volcanic tufa and was 3,000 feet long, 25 feet wide, and of the pointed arch style. The longest of the Roman tunnels, 3-1/2 miles, was built to drain Lake Fucino. It was driven through calcareous rock and is said to have cost the labor of 30,000 men for 11 years.
Only hand labor was employed by the ancient people in their tunnel work. In soft ground the tools used were picks, shovels and scoops, but for rock work they had a greater variety. The ancient Egyptians besides the hammer, chisel and wedges had tube drills and saws provided with cutting edges of corundum or other hard gritty material.
For centuries there was no progress in the art of tunneling. On the contrary there was a decline from the earlier construction until late in the 17th century when gunpowder came into use as an explosive in blasting rock. The first application of gunpowder was probably at Malpas, France, 1679-1681, in the construction of the tunnel on the line of the Languedoc Canal 510 feet long, 22 feet wide and 29 feet high.
It was not until the beginning of the nineteenth century that the art of tunnel construction, through sand, wet ground or under rivers was undertaken so as to come rightly under the head of practical engineering. In 1803 a tunnel was built through very soft soil for the San Quentin Canal in France. Timbering or strutting was employed to support the walls and roof of the excavation as fast as the earth was removed and the masonry lining was built closely following it. From the experience gained in this tunnel were developed the various systems of soft ground subterranean tunneling in practice at the present day.
The first tunnel of any extent built in the United States was that known as the Auburn Tunnel near Auburn, Pa., for the water transportation of coal. It was several hundred feet long, 22 feet wide and 15 feet high. The first railroad tunnel in America was also in Pennsylvania on the Allegheny-Portage Railroad, built in 1818-1821. It was 901 feet long, 25 feet wide and 21 feet high.
What may be called the epoch making tunnel, the construction of which first introduced high explosives and power drills in this country, was the Hoosac in Massachusetts commenced in 1854 and after many interruptions brought to completion in 1876. It is a double-track tunnel nearly 5 miles in length. It was quickly followed by the commencement of the Erie tunnel through Bergen Hill near Hoboken, N.J. This tunnel was commenced in 1855 and finished in 1861. It is 4,400 feet long, 28 feet wide and 21 feet high. Other remarkable engineering feats of this kind in America are the Croton Aqueduct Tunnel, the Hudson River Tunnel, and the New York Subway.
The great rock tunnels of Europe are the four Alpine cuts known as Mont Cenis, St. Gothard, the Arlberg and the Simplon. The Mont Cenis is probably the most famous because at the time of its construction it was regarded as the greatest engineering achievement of the modern world, yet it is only a simple tunnel 8 miles long, while the Simplon is a double tunnel, each bore of which is 12-1/4 miles. The chief engineer of the Mont Cenis tunnel was M. Sommeiler, the man who devised the first power drill ever used in such work. In addition to the power drill the building of this tunnel induced the invention of apparatus to suck up foul air, the air compressor, the turbine and several other contrivances and appliances in use at the present time.
Great strides in modern tunneling developed the "shield" and brought metal lining into service. The shield was invented and first used by Sir M. I. Brunel, a London engineer, in excavating the tunnel under the River Thames, begun in 1825 and finished in 1841. In 1869 another English engineer, Peter Barlow, used an iron lining in connection with a shield in driving the second tunnel under the Thames at London. From a use of the shield and metal lining has grown the present system of tunneling which is now universally known as the shield system.
Great advancement has been made in the past few years in the nature and composition of explosives as well as in the form of motive power employed in blasting. Powerful chemical compositions, such as nitroglycerine and its compounds, such as dynamite, etc., have supplanted gunpowder, and electricity, is now almost invariably the firing agent. It also serves many other purposes in the work, illumination, supplying power for hoisting and excavating machinery, driving rock drills, and operating ventilating fans, etc. In this field, in fact, as everywhere else in the mechanical arts, the electric current is playing a leading part.
To the English engineer, Peter Barlow, above mentioned, must be given the credit of bringing into use the first really serviceable circular shield for soft ground tunneling. In 1863 he took out a patent for such a shield with a cylindrical cast iron lining for the completed tunnel. Of course James Henry Greathead very materially improved the shield, so much so indeed that the present system of tunneling by means of circular shields is called the Greathead not the Barlow system. Greathead and Barlow entered into a partnership in 1869. They constructed the tunnel under the Tower of London 1,350 feet in length and seven feet in diameter which penetrated compact clay and was completed within a period of eleven months. This was a remarkable record in tunnel building for the time and won for these eminent engineers a world wide fame. From thenceforth their system came into vogue in all soft soil and subaqueous tunneling. Except for the development in steel apparatus and the introduction of electricity as a motive agent, there has not been such a great improvement on the Greathead shield as one would naturally expect in thirty years.
The method of excavating a tunnel depends altogether on the nature of the obstruction to be removed for the passage. In the case of solid rock the work is slow but simple; dry, hard, firm earth is much the same as rock. The difficulties of tunneling lie in the soft ground, subaqueous mud, silt, quicksand, or any treacherous soil of a shifting, unsteady composition.
When the rock is to be removed it is customary to begin the work in sections of which there may be seven or eight. First one section is excavated, then another and so on to completion. The order of the sections depends upon the kind of rock and upon the time allotted for the job and several other circumstances known to the engineer. If the first section attacked be at the top immediately beneath the arch of the proposed tunnel, next to the overlying matter, it is called a heading, but if the first cutting takes place at the bottom of the rock to form the base of the tunnel it is called a drift.
Driving a heading is the most difficult operation of rock tunneling. Sometimes a heading is driven a couple of thousand feet ahead of the other sections. In soft rock it is often necessary to use timber props as the work proceeds and follow up the excavating by lining roof and sides with brick, stone or concrete.
The rock is dislodged by blasting, the holes being drilled with compressed air, water force or electricity, and, as has been said, powerful explosives are used, nitroglycerine or some nitro-compound being the most common. Many charges can be electrically fired at the same time. If the tunnel is to be long, shafts are sunk at intervals in order to attack the work at several places at once. Sometimes these shafts are lined and left open when the tunnel is completed for purposes of ventilation.
In soft ground and subaqueous soil the "shield" is the chief apparatus used in tunneling. The most up-to-date appliance of this kind was that used in constructing the tunnels connecting New York City with New Jersey under the Hudson River. It consisted of a cylindrical shell of steel of the diameter of the excavation to be made. This was provided with a cutting edge of cast steel made up of assembled segments. Within the shell was arranged a vertical bulkhead provided with a number of doors to permit the passage of workmen, tools and explosives. The shell extended to the rear of the bulkhead forming what was known as the "tail." The lining was erected within this tail and consisted of steel plates lined with masonry. The whole arrangement was in effect a gigantic circular biscuit cutter which was forced through the earth.
The tail thus continually enveloped the last constructed portion of this permanent lining. The actual excavation took place in advance of the cutting edge. The method of accomplishing this, varied with conditions. At times the material would be rock for a few feet from the bottom, overlaid with soft earth. In such case the latter would be first excavated and then the roof would be supported by temporary timbers, after which the rock portion would be attacked. When the workmen had excavated the material in front of the shield it was passed through the heavy steel plate diaphragm in center of the shell out to the rear and the shield was then moved forward so as to bring its front again up to the face of the excavation. As the shell was very unwieldy, weighing about eighty tons, and, moreover, as the friction or pressure of the surrounding material on its side had to be overcome it was a very difficult matter to move it forward and a great force had to be expended to do so. This force was exerted by means of hydraulic jacks so devised and placed around the circumference of the diaphragm as to push against the completed steel plate lining of the tunnel. There were sixteen of these jacks employed with cylinders eight inches in diameter and they exerted a pressure of from one thousand to four thousand pounds per square inch. By such means the shield was pushed ahead as soon as room was made in front for another move.
The purpose of the shield is to prevent the inrush of water and soft material while excavating is going on; the diaphragm of the shields acts as a bulkhead and the openings in it are so devised as to be quickly closed if necessary. The extension of the shield in front of the diaphragm is designed to prevent the falling or flowing in of the exposed face of the new excavation.
The extension of the shell back from the diaphragm is for the purpose of affording opportunity to put in place the finished tunnel lining whatever it may be, masonry, cast-iron, cast-iron and masonry, or steel plates and masonry. Where the material is saturated with water as is the case in all subaqueous tunneling it is necessary to use compressed air in connection with the shield. The intensity of air pressure is determined by the depth of the tunnel below the surface of the water above it. The tunnelers work in what are called caissons to which they have access through an air lock. In many cases quick transition from the compressed air in the caisson to the open air at the surface results fatally to the workers. The caisson disease is popularly called "the bends" a kind of paralysis which is more or less baffling to medical science. Some men are able to bear a greater pressure than others. It depends on the natural stamina of the worker and his state of health. The further down the greater the pressure. The normal atmospheric pressure at the surface is about fourteen pounds to the square inch. Men in normal health should be able to stand a pressure of seventy-six pounds to the square inch and this would call for a depth of 178 feet under water surface, which far exceeds any depth worked under compressed air. For a long time one hundred feet were regarded as a maximum depth and at that depth men were not permitted to work more than an hour in one shift. The ordinary subaqueous tunnel pressure is about forty-five pounds and this corresponds to a head of 104 feet. In working in the Hudson Tunnels the pressure was scarcely ever above thirty-three pounds, yet many suffered from the "bends."
What is called a freezing method is now proposed to overcome the water in soft earth tunneling. Its chief feature is the excavating first of a small central tunnel to be used as a refrigerating chamber or ice box in freezing the surrounding material solid so that it can be dug out or blasted out in chunks the same as rock. It is very doubtful however, if such a plan is feasible.
The greatest partly subaqueous tunnels in the world are now to be found in the vicinity of New York. The first to be opened to the public is known as the Subway and extends from the northern limits of the City in Westchester County to Brooklyn. The oldest, however, of the New York tunnels counting from its origin is the "McAdoo" tunnel from Christopher Street, in Manhattan Borough, under the Hudson to Hoboken. This was begun in 1880 and continued at intervals as funds could be obtained until 1890, when the work was abandoned after about two thousand feet had been constructed. For a number of years the tunnel remained full of water until it was finally acquired by the Hudson Companies who completed and opened it to the public in 1908. Another tunnel to the foot of Cortlandt Street was constructed by the same concern and opened in 1909. Both tunnels consist of parallel but separate tubes. The railway tunnels to carry the Pennsylvania R. R. under the Hudson into New York and thence under the East River to Long Island have been finished and are great triumphs of engineering skill besides making New York the most perfectly equipped city in the world as far as transit is concerned.
The greatest proposed subaqueous tunnel is that intended to connect England with France under the English Channel a distance of twenty-one miles. Time and again the British Parliament has rejected proposals through fear that such a tunnel would afford a ready means of invasion from a foreign enemy. However, it is almost sure to be built. Another projected British tunnel is one which will link Ireland and Scotland under the Irish Sea. If this is carried out then indeed the Emerald Isle will be one with Britain in spite of her unwillingness for such a close association.
England already possesses a famous subaqueous tunnel in that known as the Severn tunnel under the river of that name. It is four and a half miles long, although it was built largely through rock. Water gave much trouble in its construction which occupied thirteen years from 1873 to 1886. Pumps were employed to raise the water through a side heading connecting with a shaft twenty-nine feet in diameter. The greatest amount of water raised concurrently was twenty-seven million gallons in twenty-four hours but the pumps had a capacity of sixty-six million gallons for the same time.
The greatest tunnel in Europe is the Simplon which connects Switzerland with Italy under the Simplon Pass in the Alps. It has two bores twelve and one-fourth miles each and at places it is one and one-half miles below the surface. The St. Gothard also connecting Switzerland and Italy under the lofty peak of the Col de St. Gothard is nine and one-fourth miles in length. The third great Alpine tunnel, the Arlberg, which is six and one-half miles long, forms a part of the Austrian railway between Innsbruck and Bluedenz in the Tyrol and connects westward with the Swiss railroads and southward with those of Italy.
Two great tunnels at the present time are being constructed in the United States, one of these which is piercing the backbone of the Rockies is on the Atlantic and Pacific railway. It begins near Georgetown, will pass under Gray's peak and come out near Decatur, Colorado, in all a length of twelve miles. The other American undertaking is a tunnel under the famous Pike's Peak in Colorado which when completed will be twenty miles long.
It can clearly be seen that in the way of tunnel engineering Uncle Sam is not a whit behind his European competitors.
ELECTRICITY IN THE HOUSEHOLD
Electrically Equipped Houses—Cooking by Electricity—Comforts and Conveniences.
Science has now pressed the invisible wizard of electricity into doing almost every household duty from cleaning the windows to cooking the dinner. There are many houses now so thoroughly equipped with electricity from top to bottom that one servant is able to do what formerly required the service of several, and in some houses servants seem to be needed hardly at all, the mistresses doing their own cooking, ironing, and washing by means of electricity.
In respect to taking advantage of electricity to perform the duties of the household our friends in Europe were ahead of us, though America is pre-eminently the land of electricity—the natal home of the science. We are waking up, however, to the domestic utility of this agent and throughout the country at present there are numbers of homes in which electricity is employed to perform almost every task automatically from feeding the baby to the crimping of my lady's hair in her scented boudoir.
There is now no longer any use for chimneys on electrically equipped houses, for the fires have been eliminated and all heat and light drawn from the electric street mains. A description of one of these houses is most interesting as showing what really can be accomplished by this wonderful source of power.
Before the visitor to such a house reaches the gate or front door his approach is made known by an annunciator in the hall, which is connected with a hidden plate in the entrance path, which when pressed by the feet of the visitor charges the wire of the annunciator. A voice comes through the horn of a phonograph asking him what he wishes and telling him to reply through the telephone which hangs at the side of the door. When he has made his wants known, if he is welcome or desired, there is a click and the door opens. As he enters an electrically operated door mat cleans his shoes and if he is aware of the equipments of the house, he can have his clothes brushed by an automatic brush attached to the hat-rack in the hall. An escalator or endless stairway brings him to the first floor where he is met by the host who conducts him to the den sacred to himself. If he wishes a preprandial cigar, the host touches a segment of the wall, apparently no different in appearance from the surrounding surface, and a complete cigar outfit shoots out to within reach of the guest. When the gong announces dinner he is conducted to the dining hall where probably the uses to which electricity can be put are better exemplified than in any other part of the house. Between this room and the kitchen there is a perfect electric understanding. The apartments are so arranged that electric dumbwaiter service is operated between the centre of the dining table itself and the serving table in the kitchen. The latter is equipped with an electric range provided with electrically heated ovens, broilers, vegetable cookers, saucepans, dishes, etc., sufficient for the preparation of the most elaborate house banquet. The chef or cook in charge of the kitchen prepares each dish in its proper oven and has it ready waiting on the electric elevator at the appointed time when the host and his guest or guests, or family, as the case may be, are seated at the dining table. The host or whoever presides at the head of the table merely touches a button concealed on the side of the mahogany and the elevator instantly appears through a trap-door in the table, which is ordinarily closed by two silver covers which look like a tray. In this way the dish seemingly miraculously appears right on top of the table. When each guest is served it returns to the kitchen by the way it came and a second course is brought on the table in a similar manner and so on until the dinner is fully served. Fruits and flowers tastefully arranged adorn the centre of the dining table and minute electric incandescent lamps of various colors are concealed in the roses and petals and these give a very pretty effect, especially at night.
Beneath the table nothing is to be seen but two nickel-plated bars which serve to guide the elevators.
Down in the kitchen the cooking is carried on almost mechanically by means of an electric clock controlling the heating circuits to the various utensils. The cook, knowing just how long each dish will require to be cooked, turns on the current at the proper time and then sets the clock to automatically disconnect that utensil when sufficient time, so many minutes to the pound, has elapsed. When this occurs a little electric bell rings, calling attention to the fact, that the heat has been shut off.
Another kitchen accessory is a rotating table on which are mounted various household machines such as meat choppers, cream whippers, egg beaters and other apparatus all electrically operated.
There is also an electric dishwasher and dryer and plate rack manipulator which places the dishes in position when clean and dried.
The advantages of cooking by electricity are apparent to all who have tested them. Food cooked in an electric baking oven is much superior than when cooked by any other method because of the better heat regulation and the utter cleanliness, there being absolutely no dust whatever as in the case when coal is used. The electric oven does not increase the temperature nor does it exhaust the pure air in the room by burning up the oxygen. The time required for cooking is about the same as with coal.
The perfect cleanliness of an electric plate warmer is sufficient to warrant its use. It keeps dishes at a uniform temperature and the food does not get scorched and become tough.
Steaks prepared on electric gridirons and broilers are really delicious as they are evenly done throughout and retain all the natural juices of the meat; there is no odor of gas or of the fire and portions done to a crisp while others are raw on the inside. In toasting there is no danger of the bread burning on one side more than on the other, or of its burning on either side and a couple of dozen slices can be done together on an ordinary instrument at the same time. The electric diskstove, flat on the top, like a ball cut in two, can be also utilized as a toaster or for heating any kettles or pots or vessels with flat bottoms.
Very appetizing waffles are made with electric waffle irons, because the bottom and top irons are uniformly heated, so that the irons cook the waffles from both sides at the same time.
Electric potato peeling machines consist of a stationary cylinder opened at the top for the reception of the potatoes and having a revolving disk at the bottom. The cylinder has a rough surface or is coated with diamond flint, so that when the disk revolves the potatoes are thrown against the sides of the cylinder and the skin is scraped off. There is no deep cutting as when peeled by a knife, therefore, much waste is avoided. While the potatoes are being scraped, a stream of water plays upon them taking away the skins and thoroughly cleansing the tubers.
Among other electric labor savers connected with the culinary department may be mentioned floor-scrubbers, dish-washers, coffee-grinders, meat choppers, dough-mixers and cutlery-polishers, all of which give complete satisfaction at a paltry cost and save much time and labor. A small motor can drive any of these instruments or several can be attached and run by the same motor. The operation of an ordinary snap switch will supply energy to electric water-heaters attached to the kitchen boiler or to the faucet. The instantaneous water heater also purifies the water by killing the bacteria contained in it.
The electric tea kettle makes a brew to charm the heart of a connossieur. In fact all cooking done by electricity whether it is the frying of an egg or the roasting of a steak is superior in every way to the old methods and what accentuates its use is the cleanliness with which it can be performed. And it should be taken into consideration that in electric cooking there is no bending over hot stoves and ranges or a stuffy evil smelling smoky atmosphere, but on the contrary, fresh air, cleanliness and coolness which make cooking not the drudgery it has ever been, but a real pleasure.
Let us take a glance at the laundry in the electrically equipped house. There is a large tub with a wringer attached to it and a simple mechanism by which a small motor can either be connected with the tub or the wringer as required. The washing is performed entirely by the motor and in a way prevents the wear and tear associated with the old method of scrubbing and rubbing done at the expense of much "elbow grease." The motor turns the tub back and forth and in this way the soapy water penetrates the clothes, thus removing the dirt without injuring or tearing the fabric. In the old way, the clothes were moved up and down in the water and torn and worn in the process. By the new way it is the water which moves while the clothes remain stationary. When the clothes are thoroughly washed, the motor is attached to the wringer and they are passed through it; they are completely dried by a specially constructed electric fan. Whatever garments are to be ironed are separated and fed to a steel roll mangle operated by a motor which gives them a beautiful finish. The electric flat iron plays also an important part in the laundry as it is clean and never gets too hot nor too cold and there is no rushing back to replenish the heaters. One is not obliged to remain in the room with a hot stove, and suffer the inconveniences. No heat is felt at all from the iron as it is all concentrated on the bottom surface. It is a regular blessing to the laundress especially in hot weather. There is a growing demand in all parts of the country for these electric flat-irons.