J. A. (John Adolphus) Etzler.

The paradise within the reach of all men, without labour, by powers of nature and machinery : an address to all intelligent men online

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Online LibraryJ. A. (John Adolphus) EtzlerThe paradise within the reach of all men, without labour, by powers of nature and machinery : an address to all intelligent men → online text (page 2 of 14)
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of wind as near to the truth as can be, it may not be
superfluous to state my reasons in full for it, which
requires a general view of the state of the atmosphere,
as far as the knowledge of it, or aerology, teaches.

The atmosphere is an ocean of a thin, elastic, pon-
derable fluid, that surrounds the globe to the height of
about fifty miles. It extends itself by increase of heat,
and contracts itself by decrease of heat, more than any
other body. Hence it is chiefly that every variation
of temperature destroys the equilibrium of the atmo-
sphere, by extending or contracting the same some-
where. The weight of this fluid tends immediately
to restore the equilibrium, like we see on water, and
causes thereby a current of air or wind. The varia-
tion of temperature depending from locality, from the
time of day, from the time of seasons, from physical
operations in nature, such as vapours, rains, &c., and


from many other known and unknown causes, the state
or degree of heat is never and no- where always the
same, and changes, more or less, continually. Besides
the density or mass of the air of the atmosphere in-
creases and decreases, and the weight of it, in con-
sequence, varies, as we see by the barometer and
other means. Unknown causes of a more universal
nature may cause an impression or some influence
upon some place or other in the atmosphere. When
it happens that in some place an expansion of the at-
mosphere takes place, while in some other a contrac-
tion of the same exists, the current of air will run from
tJie former to the latter place, if even many hundred
miles distant from each other. When once the equi-
librium is destroyed, it cannot establish itself immedi-
ately, but \^ill effect first the surrounding vicinity, next
gradually the more distant parts, and so on until some
cause or counteraction stops or changes the notions,
nearly in the same manner as when we see a stone or
something else thrown into the water, where an un-
dulation around the place will ensue, extending gra-
dually further in larger and larger circles. Some
diff'erence, however, is to be noticed in the motions
of air. It being perfectly elastic, it yields to the slight-
est impression, and extends, the next moment, towards
that side where it finds the least resistance, to its full
room which it occupied before. Hence the reaction
of any moiion in the atmosphere is of longer duration
than in the water. Thus we see the atmosphere con-
tinually in a motion of the most irregular variation.
Not only horizontally, but still more frequently up and
down in oblique directions is the wind operating. Not


just parallel with the surface of the ground, but rather
in undulations, though very irregular, moves the wind,
as we may see easily by the direction of light bodies
floating in the atmosphere, such as snow, smoke, fea-
thers, &c.

In order to form an idea near the reality of nature,
how much power of wind there may be at our disposal,
we have to ascertain, by a deduction from experiences
and observations, how large we may construct and
expose surfaces to the effects of wind, and how close
they may be brought together without intercepting the
wind and diminishing its power materially. We knovv
by experiences, that ships of the first rank carry sails
200 feet high. We may, therefore, equally on land
oppose to the wind surfaces 200 feet high. Imagine
a line of such surfaces 200 feet high, and a mile (or
about 5000 feet) long ; the same v^ould then contain
1,000,000 square feet. Suppose this surface intersects
the direction of the wind in a right angle, by some
contrivances, and receives consequently the full power
of the wind at all times. The average power of wind
being equal to one horse's upon every 100 square feet,
the total power this surface would receive, would then
be equal to 1,000,000 divided by 100, or 1 0,000'horses'
power. Allowing the power of one horse to be equal
to that of ten men, the power of 10,000 horses is equal to
100,000 men's. But as men cannot uninterruptedly
work, and want about half of the time for sleep and re-
pose, the same power would be equal to 200,000 men's.
Imagine such another surface just behind or before the
former at one mile's distance, parallel to the first and in
the same circumstances. This second surface would


tluMi receive the same power of wind again aslhe first;
for the distance being twenty-five times greater than their
height, tlie one line could not intercept the wind from
the other in any considerable degree, both lines would
receive the full power of wind, as soon as the direc-'
tion of it would deviate from the horizontal more than
about two degree*. Jt may be easily observed, that the
wind will generally strike the ground in a steeper di-
rection, and therefore admit a closer approach of such
parallel surfaces. That the wind strikes the ground
obliquely is evident on the high sea. Else whence
the disturbance and rise of the waves on it? — Jf the
wind moved parallel to the ground, the surface
of the sea could not be affected by it, and would
remain smooth for ever. But such is never the case.
The least breeze ruffles the surface of the water. And
it is too well known, to what size and powerful effects
the waves may be raised by wind. Moreover, experi-
ences in navigation teach that vessels of the first rank
sailing along a shore of about 200 feet high, trees, Sec.
included, at their wind-side, at a distance of one mile,
will not suffer any considerable diminution of wind.
If the supposed two surfaces will receive such a power
of wind as stated, that is, each equal to 200,000 men's
power, a third surface of the same height at the same
distance, and parallel to the former under equal circum-
stances, will receive the same quantity of power; so a
fourth, fifth, and so on, as far as may be chosen. The
length of each such surface may, under the supposed
circumstances, be prolonged as far as we please, the
power of wind will be every where the same. Now,
if we find the power of wind to be at the end of every


mile eqiial to 200,000 men's po^ver, and so for every
mile, in breadlh, it follows, tlmt every one square mile
affords such a power. — What an immense power? —
The most populous countries in the world contain in
an average from 100 to 200 individuals on every square
mile, of which hardly one-half is able to work, or to
he counted for full hands to work. But suppose even
100 full hands to work on one square mile, the power of
wind within their places of habitation will be 2000
(imes greater. Yet this will not be the whole power
of wind at their disposal. We are not limited to the
height of 200 feet. We might extend, if required,
the application of this power to the height of the
clouds, by means of kites. If we extend it, for instance,
to but 2000 feet high, we might increase the power
ten times as much, that is, 20,000 times greater than
the inhabitants of ibe most populous countries could
effect with their nerves and sinews. Yet we will get
a more proper conception of this power, in extending
this comparison over the whole globe. The surface of
the globe is about 200,000,000 square miles. Accord-
ing to the foregoing statement of 200,000 men's
power for every one square mile, the whole extent of
the wind's power over the globe amounts to about
200,000,000 times 200,000, i. r. to 40,000,000,000,000
men's power. Tlic number of all human individuals
on earth will not exceed 1000,000,000,of which hardly
the half may be counted for full hands to work, that is,
500,000,000 ; consequently, the stated power of wind
is 80,000 limes greater than all men on earth could
effect with their nerves, when the wind is used but
to the height of 200 feet.


It may now be objected, that this computation in-
cludes the surface of the ocean and uninhabitable re-
gions of the earth, where this power could not be ap-
plied for our purposes. But you will recollect, that I
have promised to show the means for rendering the
ocean as inhabitable as the most fruitful dry land ; and
1 do not even exclude the polar regions.

It may be questioned, how surfaces 200 feet high
may be exposed perpendicularly to wind for opera-
tion ? — It may be done in the usual manner of wind-
mills, but with great advantage in a different way
contrived by me, so that every square mile may be
surrounded by a continued line of surfaces or sails to
the height of 200 feet, moveable around an axis, and
occupying not one-tenth of the ground with all their

What a gigantic, awful power is this ! 80,000 times
greater than all men on earth could effect by the
united exertions of their nerves ! — at the least calcu-
lation. Suppose even one-half should be lost by fric-
tion of the machineries, or more, we need not econo-
mise with such an immensity of power, let but one-
eighth of it be used, it would amount still to 10,000
times the power of all men on earth. . If men were all
and continually employed to work for useful purposes,
they would effect a great deal morv^ than we actually
see, and might give to the world a far better appear-
ance and a greater plenty of necessaries and comforts
of human life. But if 1 0,000 times more can be done,
if in one year, consequently, can be affected as much
as hitherto in 10,000 years! — to what awful grandeur
may not the human race exalt themselves ? ! The


greatest monuments and wonders known or left us to
admire from our progenitors, which required many
millions of hands, and many centuries to be finished,
are nothing- but childish, insignificant trifles, in com-
parison to the stupendous works that may be affected
by these powers. Yet it is not the only power we
have at our disposal. You may startle at this idea ; you
may ask again and again, can it be possible, that there
is such a power for our use ? — like I have done. Am
I perhaps grossly mistaken in my statement.? Js it
perhaps nothing but a fancy ? — a deception of my
imagination .•' I have taken the most common experi-
ences of sails and \\indmills for the basis of the state-
ment. It is now for you to judge, whether the state-
ment of these experiences are true or materially false.
It will be an easy matter to decide this question. Ask
the navigator, ask the wind-miller; or observe the power
of wind yourself in any way you please. The re-
sults of your inquiries or observations may vary, they
may show more or less power than I have stated ; but
suppose even the result to be but a small portion of
what I have stated, we should still have an enormity
of power. However I am confident a close investiga-
tion will show a far greater power than I have stated.
If my statement of experiences is materially true, is
there perhaps some gross mistake in my conclusions
and computation ? — This may easily be ascertained. If
you find no material mistake in my present statement,
is it possible for rational men to behold this power with
indifference? — Does the subject not deserve our great-
est attention and reflection ? — You may ask, how is it
that no application of great extent was ever made yet ?


— In navigation we do make a considerable use of this
power, and on land in some places by windmills. But
it will occur now to your mind, that this power, on ac-
count of its irregularity, cannot always, nor any where,
be applied. Hcie I have to repeat, it can. There is
a material difference between the manner of application
used hitherto and that which f propose. Hitherto the
power of wind has been applied immediately upon the
machinery for use, and they had to wait the chances
of the wind's blowing; where the operation is stopped,
as soon as the wind ceases to blow. But the manner,
which I shall state hereafter, to apply this power, is to
make it operate only for collecting or storing up the
power in a manner, and then to take out of this store
of power, at any time, as much power for final operation
upon the machineries as may be wanted for the intended
purposes. The power stored up is to react, just as it
may suit the purposes, and may do so long after the ori-
ginal power of wind has ceased. And, though the wind
should cease at intervals of many months, we may have
by the same power an uniform perpetual motion in a
very simple way.

If you ask, perhaps, why is this power not more used,
if the statement be true ? — I have to ask in return :
whyisthepowerofsteam so lately come to application?
So many millions of men boiled water every day since
many thousands of years; they must have frequently
seen, that boiling water in tightly closed pots or ket-
tles will lift the cover or burst the vessel with great
vehemence. The power of steam was, therefore, as
commonly known, down to the least kitchen or wash-
woman, as the power of wind. But close observation


and reflection was bestowed neither on the one nor the
other. It is by calm reflection, by linking the elements,
or first and simple observations and ideas derived there-
from, together by little and little, that man is only ca-
pable to discover truths, which escape to immediate
observations. It is thus often the case, that we arrive
at truths which we never fancied or expected, begin-
ning with the most simple truths known to every one,
comprehensible even to little children, and which
truths, therefore, would seem to be below the attention
of mature men : man reasons from these first elements
of his comprehension, he links them together into a
chain, extends them further and further, applies them,
and startles at last at the result : he mistrusts his
judgment, suspects errors, goes back again to the most
simple elements of conceptions, pursues again and
again the course of his reasoning with the minutest at-
tention, to discover errors, compares his theory with
experiments, and sees finally compelled his reason to
admit the discovered truth. Encouraged by the sur-
prising result, he proceeds further with heightened
curiosity. Thus mathematics took their origin, and
in their consequences all sciences of certainty. Be-
ginning with the most simple conceptions, which
seem to the beginner to be the most insipid trifles un-
worthy his attention, he cannot seethe reason why this
minuteness of inquiry into these most simple things;
he is led gradually into more complicated truths, and
finally to astonishing results. He sees himself at last
enabled to survey the universe without leaving his
room ; he discovers the size, form, and motion of the
whole earth, the distance of the sun, moon, and stars,


their size, form, motions, and relations to each other; lie
ascertains that th.cy are worlds, larger even than our
parth, distant many millions of miles from us and from
each other; he sees an universe of many millions of
large worlds, whole systems of worlds ; new ideas start
in his mind, he sees no end in his discoveries. But tell
to the man of equal faculties, but who is unacquainted
with the train of close reasoning that led to those
results, — tell him all these discoveries! talk to him
about size and distances of the sun, moon, <S:c., where
never any human being was, nor can go ; tell these ma-
thematical truths to him, whose mind is'perhaps filled
with erroneous notions and prejudices, of which he
cannot give any rational account, which he never
thought to examine. What will he answer ?— He
will deride the man of these knowledges, he will take
him for a fool. — But when lie sees that the same
man predicts with precision eclipses of the sun and
moon, &c., when he sees this supposed fool makes
books and astronomical tables, to show, out of his room,
to the navigator the means of finding his w?.y through
the vast ocean around the world, and many other
strange things, of which he has not the most distant
idea, — the poor man does not know what to think of
it. — Truths like these are in our days generally ac-
knowledged; but it is not long ago when they were not.
And even now the reasons of tliese discoveries are by
far not generally understood ; the results are but by a
part of the multitude believed on authority of the
learned men. Many cases might be alleged, how the
multitude have lived always in the grossest errors, pre-
judices, and ignorance, despising and deriding all at-


tempts of single individuals for discovering and apply-
ing usefully new trutlis.

I have announced to show the means for creating a
paradise, a new snperior world, to eflcct in one year
more than hitherto could be done in thousands of years.
People may ridicule the idea, or think the realization
of such miraculous. But where is the wonder to effect
these purposes, if we have powers enough and supera-
bundant for it? If, e. g. you have to move a weight of
one ton, and you know ten horses will effect it, but you
have, instead often horses, 100; — where would be the
wonder or the doubtfulness of being able to do it? Just
so it is with my proposals. The removal of one ton by
100 horses, would certainly be less easy than to effect
what I have promised by a power exceeding all imagi-
nable wants. But you may ask now by what machi-
neries can all the various purposes in view be affected
in applying this power ? Machineries are but tools.
The possibility of contriving tools for any certain pur-
pose cannot be questioned. They may be of various
constructions for the same purposes. If we have suffi-
cient power and materials for the tools to be applied,
we may easily contrive and shape the tools as we please,
and as they suit our purpose. There is no reason to
deem the making of adapted tools for certain purposes
impossible. I, for one, shall resolve this problem in a
very simple manner for all announced purposes. I
shall speak of that hereafter.

I come now to the statement of the second power : viz,


The tide is a continual change of ebb and flow, or


rise and fall at every six and a quarter hours nearly,
throughout the ocean, though not equal in all parts of
it, nor at all times in the same parts. It varies from two
feet near the equator, to sixty feet towards the poles.

To form a conception of the power which the tide
affords, let us imagine a surface of 100 miles square, or
10,000 square miles somewhere in the ocean, where
the tide rises and sinks, in an average, ten feet. — How
many men would it require for emptying a basin of
10,000 square miles of area, and ten feet deep, filled
with sea water nsix and a quarter hours, and filling the
same again in six and a quarter hours? — Whether
this be caused by the gravity of the moon, or by labour
of men, the effect and requisite power is the same.

Experience teaches, that a common labouring man
may raise twenty pounds two feet at every second by
continual labour. To empty a basin ten feet deep, the
labourer would in the beginning have but little to raise,
but he would have to raise the water higher and higher
in proportion he would get nearer to the bottom of the
vessel, till at the end of ten feet high. His labour
would, therefore, be equal, by the best contrivance, to
the raising of the content of the basin five feet high.
K one man raises twenty pounds two feet at every
second, he can raise the same five feet at every two
seconds and a half, and one cubic foot of sea water
in about eight or nine seconds, five feet ; but for the
sake of round numbers, say at every seven and a
half seconds, or eight cubic feet at every minute,
which would amount to 3000 cubic feet at every six
and a quarter hours. Suppose a geographical mile to
be about 6000 feet long, one square mile consequently


equal to thirty-six millions of square feet ; and this
area would, hy a depth of ten feet, eontain a mass of
water of 360,000,000 cuhic feet. Allowing 3000
cubic feet for every man, the raising of such a mass
would require then 120,000 men.

To fill the same basin to the same height again in
the next ensuing six and a quarter hours, would re-
quire again tlie same power; and so on continually.
But as men cannot work continually during the whole
twenty-four hours, but hardly one-half of the time,
this work would require the double of that number for
releasing each other. Hence a power to that effect of
240,000 men for one square mile. 10,000 square
miles of the ocean would, therefore, require, for pro-
ducing the eflect of a tide of ten feet, at least
2400,000,000 men, which is nearly five times as
many as there exists on earth. Suppose the United
States to have a coast of 3000 miles, and this power
to be applicable for but 100 miles distance from the
coast in an average, which would be an area of
300,000 square miles, and, consequently, afford a power
of thirty times 2400,000,000, or 72,000,000,000 men.

You wiW ask now : how is this power to be rendered
applicable ?

There have been made applications of this power,
though very rarely and only by mere accident. When
vessels run upon ground at the time of low water, they
wait for high water, which will lift them up and make
them afloat again ; what else could not be done, except
by unloading the vessel or raising it by a power equal
to tlie weight of the vessel and cargo, with which it
lies upon the ground. Thus, what sometimes would


require a power of several hundred ton?, is effected by
the tide. Suppose, for instance, a vessel, or ark, of
100 feet square, and sunk ten feet deep into water, just
touching- the ground at high water ; the ensuing ebb to
be ten feet. The vessel will then be entirely out of the
water. Having been loaded with a weight so as to
sink it ten feet deep into the water, its weight must
equal to that of a mass of water 100 feet square, and ten
feet high, which will be 100,000 cubic feet : suppose one
cubic foot of water to weigh seventy pounds, the weight
would be 7,000,000 pounds, which would be required
to lift the vessel, and which the tide will effect of

To give a clear idea how this power may be rendered
applicable in a general way, I will state a simple
contrivance for example. Imagine a chest or box one
foot square and ten feet high, consequently ten cubic
feet, fastened at one end of a balance, whose centre be
supported or fastened by a chain, or in some other
manner, either on shore, or at the bottom of the sea,
and whose other end may bear a weight, or be con-
nected with some machinery to be operated upon.
The box be loaded with a weight j ust sufficient to sink
it entirely into the water. Suppose further the other
end of the balance be now fastened ; the low water
begin and sink gradually ten feet, immediately with this
sinking the weight of the box begins to draw at the
balance ; but being made fast, it cannot yield, and the
weight of the box increases in proportion the water
sinks around it. At the end of the period, when the
whole box is out of the water, the whole weight of it,
i. e. often cubic feet of water, will draw at the balance.


When tlie balance is loosened, tlie box will thus lift at
the other end a weight nearly equal to that often cubic
feet of water. But as the box, by its sinking, will
touch again the water, it will lose of its weight in pro-
portion it sinks deeper into the water, till the whole
weight at the balance will finally be annihilated when
ten feet deep, and hence the effect will be but the half
of the power raising uniformly ten cubic feet of water
ten feet high. Now, at the period of the flow, the
box will in the same manner be raised as was the
weight at the other end of the balance before, and
the latter end will be pressed down with a weight
nearly equal to tliat of the box. Thus the balance
may be kept moving up and down, like that of a steam-
engine, only with that difference, that this motion
would be slow, and at every six and a quarter hours
but once, with a weight equal to that often cubic feet
of water lifted five feet high, for one square foot of
surface. But if we take, instead of a box of one square
foot, a vessel of 100 feet square, i. e. 10,000 times as
large, the power will be 10,000 times as great as the
former. We may then easily remedy the slowness of
the power, and give it any celerity by some contri-
vance or other, by a few wheels, or hydraulic press,
by causing a stream through a narrow passage, &c.
If required, we might either employ larger vessels or
a number of smaller ones, operating one after another
upon the same machinery. This power is applicable
on sea, near to or at any distance from the shore,
even in midst of the ocean, provided some part of the

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Online LibraryJ. A. (John Adolphus) EtzlerThe paradise within the reach of all men, without labour, by powers of nature and machinery : an address to all intelligent men → online text (page 2 of 14)