Copyright
Francis Hall.

The Century, Volume 11 online

. (page 134 of 163)
Online LibraryFrancis HallThe Century, Volume 11 → online text (page 134 of 163)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


by a number of writers of good standing, and full-
page colored engravings support the pictures in the
text Some, if not all, of these engravings arc well
worth framing. Text and pictures are folio size
and come in a case especially fitted for them. Each
livraison is to cost ten dollars.

RossijcL, Ertahlungen aus der Geschichte und
Sage Russlands. Oskar Urban. New York, L. W.
Sdimidt — Oskar Urban, who appears to be a
teacher m a Russian Governmental school in Mohi-
lew on the Dnjepr, strives to inform the youth of
Germany of some of the most picturesque and
important events in the history and antiquity of
Russia. The scenes are drawn with much fire and
succeed well in just what they set out to do, namely,
in interesting the reader in the people and country,
without raising the question of how much is strictly
historical, how much modern addition, and how
much mythical figment The book is an appeal,
not a history, and meant to inoculate boys and girls



Digitized by



Google



754



CULTURE AND PROGRESS.



with the same enthusiasm the writer feels. Older
folks, are however, by no means debarred, for
there are few if any puerilities. We are bound to
make a few allowances of strict fact where a subject
looks so arid as the history of Russia. Singularly
interesting are the allusions to the old beliefs of the
Russians — the wild women, the beast-man who is a
robber and lives in the woods, where he allures
travelers by singing like a nightingale. The
legends of the first introduction of Christianity read
like parallels to other similar events in other
nations, and among the myths and heroic legends
one is continually reminded now of Indian tales from
the Mahabharate, no^ of Arabic (airy stories like
Hatim Tai, and then again of Norse and German
traditions handed down from heathen times. Not
that they at all lack individuality or a local taste and
color, but the same general idea pervades them, the
same legend rises up in a different guise, the same
gods and demons speak in a different language.
And it would be strange if it were otherwise, for the
Russians are not only of the same primitive stock
with Hindoos, Germans, and Celts, but from thev
geographical position have suffered inroads and
intermarriages with more than one distinct race of
men.

ffauJTs Murchen, Revised for young folks by
A. L. Grimm. New York, L. W. Schmidu— Banff's
fiury tales never grow old, and cannot be too often
xepublished. The present edition contains the
seven stories told by Selim Baruch and the five
merchants of a caravan, namely, Kalif Stork—
Ghost-ship— Cut-off-hand— Fatima's Rescue— Little
Muck^False Prince. Also the four tales related
by the slaves of the Sheik of Alexander, among
which is the celebrated satirical story of the
Englishman who, in place of an eccentric nephew,
imposes an educated baboon upon the foolish inhab-
itants of a small German town. The third part
-consists of the tales told at the tavern in the Spess-
tat, the second being that called "The Cold Heart."
It seems almost superfluous to praise fairy stories,
for unless they are good they are not apt to exist at
all, or, at any rate, they do not come to the honor
of a second edition. But these are especially good.



The New President of the Board of Bducatioo.

That New Yorkers may know who the new
President of their Board of Education is, and under-
Atand how thoroughly based in fitness is his eleva-
tion to his present position, we have collected the
principal points of his history, and present them
here:

William Wood was bom at Glasgow, ScotUmd,
October 21st, 1808. His education was begun



in 181 5 at the celebrated school of William Angus
in Glasgow. Two years later he entered the Gram*
mar School for a four-years' Latin course under David
Douie. In 1 82 1 Mr. Wood entered the Junior Latin
and Greek classes in the University of Glasgow.
At the end of the session of the Senior dass (1823)
he went, on the introduction of the celebrated Dr.
Chalmers, to reside as a pupil with the Rev. Dr.
Duncan of Ruthwell, the founder of savings banks.
In 1825 Mr. Wood returned to the University of
Glasgow and finished his college course in the winter
of 1827-28.

After his graduation, Mr. Wood entered the mer-
cantile house of his father and grand&ther, J. & A.
Dennistoun of Glasgow. In November, 1828, he
arrived in New York, having become a partner of a
branch of the Glasgow house, then carried on here
under the firm of Dennistoun, McGregor & Co. He
returned to Scotland in 1829, and again visited New
York, and was married to Miss Harriet A. Kane of
this city. Remaining but a short time in America,
he returned to Glasgow, and shortly afterward went
to Liverpool to take charge of the house of Alexander
Dennistoun & Co. Here he lived until 1844, taking
a deep and active interest on the liberal side of poli-
tics. He was one of the vice-presidents of the Liver-
pool Anti-Monopoly Association, which was, in fact^
only another name for the Liverpool brandi of the
Anti-Com-Law League. Mr. Wood moved the
adoption of a resolution in favor of, and presented
the address to, Danid O'Connell at the great public
meeting held at the Amphitheater on the 28th of
March, 1844, after O'Connell had been convicted of
sedition in Dublin, and had appealed to the House
of Lords, which appeal resulted in his fiivor. In
December, 1844, Mr. Wood onoe more sailed for
New York, and, on his arrival, established the well
known house of Dennistoun, Wood & Co., from
which he retired in i860. He was married a second
time in New York, in 1847, to Miss Margaret Law-
rence, who died in 1871. Mr. Wood became an Elder
of the New York Collegiate Dutch Church in i860,
which position he is now holding. He finally retired
from business in 1869. In May of the same year
he was appointed by Mayor Hall as one of the
twelve Commissioners of the Board of Education,
^hich positkm he held until April, 1873. He was
re-appointed in May, 1875, and was elected pre-
, , skUng officer for the year 1876. It is only neces-
sary to add that no member of the Board is his
superior in education, knowledge of the New York
schools, thorough devotion to the interests of popu-
lar education, and personal enthusiasm. He is aa
honest, strong-headed, good-hearted, thoroughly cul-
tivated, gentlemanly Scotchman, whose wise and
intelligent offices in the Board of Education, New
York is most fortunate in possessing..



Digitized by



Google



THE WORLD'S WORK.



755



THE WORLD'S WORK.



BaipreMion-OlaM.

In portrait photography a small mirror, called an
expression-glass, in which the sitter can see his face,
has been tried with success. It consists of a round
glass mirror about six inches in diameter, secured
by means of a universal joint to a brass ring sliding
on an upright rod. The rod is supported by a base,
so that it will stand firm on the floor, and by means
of the ring and joint the glass can be placed in any
desired position. On the top of the mirror is a
telescopic sight, to enable the operator to adjust the
mirror in line with the sitter's eyes. By the aid of
this glass the sitter is assisted to look in the proper
direction to obtain the best view of the face, and is
given a fixed pomt on which to rest his eyes. He
also sees his &ce in the mirror, and may thus cor-
rect any infelicities of expression. The apparatus
IS said to meet the approval of photographic artists.

Direct Process In Hellotyping.

The heliotype process has recently exhibited an
mteresting and valuable improvement, whereby
much time and labor are saved, vrith no resulting loss
in the artistic perfection of the work. By the usual
method gelatine films are made sensitive to light,
and when placed under photographic negatives and
exposed to sunlight, are so affected as to become
water-proof wherever the light falls upon them.
The rest of the film, the parts shaded by the nega-
tive, still retain their peculiar absorptive qualities
and take up water readily. Printer's ink (contain-
ing grease), spread upon the film, then adheres to
the affected parts, and is rejected by the portions
that still retain water. In this way the film prints
a copy of the picture or document shown in the
negative. By the new process all the photographic
work is omitted. By the aid of tannic add the
effects obtained by the action of light are reached
by simple contact. In place of emplo3dng a nega-
tive of the picture or document to be reproduced in
heliotype, the subject is merely drawn or written
with a pen dipped in a solution of tannic acid, or
any copying ink containing tannic add. The sub-
ject, be it letter, design, plan, or picture, is then laid
on the moist film and submitted to pressure. The
tannic add in the ink then water-proofs the film
where it touches, and it will resist water and accept
grease predsely as will a fifan prepared by the 'usual
actinic method. It may be then used to print from,
or a transfer may be made to lithographic stone or
to zinc By transfering to zinc and treating the
plates with add, a relief is obtained that may be used
in an ordinary printing-press. The advantages of
this direct transfer of the pen-drawing to the gela-
tine film are obvious. The time, labor, and expense
of photographing are all saved, the exact reproduc-
tion of the original is secured, and an autographic
copy obtained that gives the auUior or artist in
ioc-simlle.



New Steam Qauge-Cock.

In place of the three gauge-cocks commonly
employed on steam boilers, a single cock that regis-
ters the height of the water has been introduced. It
consists of a hollow plug cock inserted in the boiler,
and having an interior pipe passing through it and
bent at a right angle on the inside of the boiler, so
that it presents a radial arm that turns round on
the axis of the pipe. At the outer end is an arm for
turning the pipe, a screw valve for opening the pipe,
and a small radial arm or pointer that indicates the
position of the interior arm. Behind the pointer is
an index plate that gives the height of the water in
inches. The operation of this gauge-cock is easily
understood. When the radial arm is below the
water, the pipe discharges water when opened. By
turning the handle the radial arm may be made to
revolve and sink in the water, or rise above it into
the steam. The escape of steam or vrater thus
shows at once when the arm passes the water-line.
The pointer also shows the position of the arm and
gives the depth of the water in inches. When the
fire is out this gauge may be made to show the posi-
tion of the water by turning the arm through a half
cirde, when the open end scoops up some of the
water and shows its position by the amount of ,
water discharged outside. . The advantages claimed
ibr this gauge over the usual group of three try
cocks, are the smaller number of holes made in the
boiler, and greater accuracy in the statement of the
water levd. This gauge is not designed to replace
the glass tube commonly employed. In this con-
nection it may be noticed that glass tube gauges are
now furnished with a strip of white enamel on the
inside, that gives the water a milky appearance that
renders it more distinctly visible.

Canal Tow-Boats.

The most recent pattern of steam canal-boat or
canal tow-boat that has been launched, is an iron
boat having a square section amidship— that is, she
ha. a flat bottom, with square upright sides. Both
bow and stem are of the same form, and rise longi-
tudinally with square comers. At the stem the side
plating hangs down at each side to the level of the
bottom, thus inclosing the screws and rudder in a
hood. There are four screws placed in pairs on
each side of the rudder, and each pair driven l>y a
single engine. Each shaft has a slight pitch down-
ward, and is connected with its enghie by geared
wheels. The chief point of Interest in this boat is
the iron skin or guard on each side of the propellers.
All the water cQsplaced below rises at the stem
against the propellers', and there b no suction or
inflowing of the water at the sides, and there is little
'disturbance of the surfiice. The usual center ked
at the stem is omitted. The boat is said to display
good towing power, with no injury to the banks of
the canal by washing.



Digitized by



Google



75^



THE WORLUS WORK.



Bonx as a Preservative.

Some recent experiments with a solution of borax,
by M. Dumas, point to its value as an agent in de-
stroying the spores of parasite plants, like those
affecting the grape, etc., its power of destroying low
animal life, infusoria and the like, its usefulness in
preserving anatomical preparations and in arresting
fermentation. It was also tried on milk and fresh
meats with success, and is suggested as an aid in
the treatment of wounds. S. Beer, of Germany, in
the same line of research, announces the use of
borax as a solvent in the treatment of timber. The
coagulation of the sap may be prevented by a solu-
tion of borax, and it may then be removed from the
wood by boiling. The timber is said to be greatly
improved in color and texture, and in ability to re-
sist decay. By omitting the boiling, and leaving
the borax in the wood, it is rendered less liable to
injury by fire.

Oil Engine.

Op the many experiments made in search of an
oil-burning motor, the latest and apparently the
most satisfactory engine is one that employs min-
gled air and crude petroleum. This new engine is
made in several sizes, from one-horse-power upward.
A five-horse-power engine occupies a floor space of
about 2x6 feet, and is about 5 high. It is a
single-acting engine, with an upright cylinder
placed at one end of the frame-work supporting the
fly-wheel, air pump, etc. In the base of the frame-
work are cast-iron reservoirs, containing a supply
of compressed air, and at any convenient distance
is a can for the crude oil. From this can a small
pump sends the oil to the cylinder, through a pipe
I- 16 of an inch in diameter, and delivers it, a drop
at a time, on a circular wick of felt. This is care-
fully protected by wire gauze, on the principle of
the Davy safety-lamp, and by another pipe the com-
pressed air is delivered at the same time and place.
The result is an instantaneous flaming of the oil
and air, and by the resulting expansion in its volume
the piston is driven down. This flaming is not, as
in the earlier types of gas engines, an explosion,
but a simple burning under pressure till the oil is
consumed. The products of combustion and the
waste heat then escape through the exhaust. At
the same tnne, a smaller burner maintains a minute
flame of oil in the cylinder, and in no case can the
flame leap past the wire gauze down the oil pipe. .
The return of the piston is secured by the balance-
wheel, and another drop of oil being supplied, it
takes fire from the small burner, and the process is
repeated. An air-pump is added to maintain the
pressure in the air reservoir, and another pump
keeps a stream of water circulating in the jacket
pla^ on the cylinder to keep it cooL The cut-off
and the pump for supplying oil can be both adjusted
to the amount of work required, and on the air-pipe
is a safety-valve, to prevent danger from undue
pressure. The engine is started by turning a small
crank that operates the oil-pump, and then lighting
the carburetted air in the cylinder through a small
opening. A few turns of the wheel and a single



match are all that are required, and, once started^
the engine runs continuously, so long as the supply
of oil is maintained, and with no more aiteBtioo
than can be furnished by an occasional oiling mud
cleaning.

Photogr a phic Registry of Deeds.
The safe keeping of deeds and other documents
has always involved expensive and troublesome
buildings, and, as they are now arranged, a search
through one of these registries of deeds is a trouble
and a vexation. The clerical labor performed in such
places is something immense, and it is now proposed
to make photo-lithographic copies of such papers,
and to preserve them on long webs or sheets woand
tightly on rollers. To make new copies, a photo-
lithographic transfer is taken, and from this as many
are printed as are desired. It is not designed to
keep the negatives, but to rub them off after making
the required copies, and to use the glass again.
It is estimated that the expense of maintaining a
photographic establishment, in connection with a
registry of deeds, would be less than the present
clerical force employed. Photographs possess a
fidelity to the original that no cop3rist can hope to
attain. They are legal evidence; they are more
quickly multiplied, and, by the aid of photo-relief^
copies may be repeated on a common newspaper
press. The idea of preserving photographs of
deeds on sheets wound upon rollers, instead
of in folios, as at present, has advantages in
point of economy of space and ease of access.
The searcher for a deed has only to turn a crank,
and the deeds pass in procession before his eyes, in
less time and with less labor than by the present
arrangement. Having found the deed wanted, he
then asks for a photograph of it, and a dozen abso-
lutely correct copies may be delivered in less time
than it now takes to make one tolerably correct
one by hand. Some of the musical associations
in this city already employ this process, and have
all their sheet music photographed. It is more
accurate than' manuscript, it is neater and more
legible, and is not found too expensive.

Road-beds Ibr Bridges.

The immense traffic over London Bridge has
caused the authorities to consider the further econ-
omy of the road-bed space. At present the bridge
is like an ordinary street, with walks at the side.
Among the plans offered, the best one suggests the
removal of the walks, and opening the whole width
of the bridge for heavy traffic. It is then proposed
to excavate a trench in the center, 3 feet 9 inches
deep, and 18 feet wide. Stone walls, 4 iieet high,
are then to be raised on each side, and on tlietea
row of iron columns will carry a high, level hndiga
six feet above the present street This bridge i«
designed for the light traffic, and will be iS iKt
wide, with a narrow walk at the sides, and ed^ged
with a light iron railing, so as not to mar the artis*
tic effect of the present structure. The space:|^ndor
tnis bridge is to be finished off with tiles, and is
designed for the foot traveL This proposed alterai-



Digitized by



Google



BRIC-A-BRAC.



757



tion will give two road- ways, eacb i6|i feet wide,
for heavy traffic; a high, level road, i8 feet wide
(including walks), for light carriages, and reached
by inclines, and a covered foot-way, reached by tun-
nels under the lower road-ways. This suggestion
might be useful here. Nowhere are more bridges
needed than in this country, and nowhere can bet-
ter bridges be found. At the same time, they nearly
all follow the old plan of a single street, wiUi walks
at the sides. A high, level walk for the foot travel
is far better, both on account of the economy of
space, safety, cleanliness, and security.

Memoranda.

In place of electric bells, rung by wires in con-
nection with a battery, a magneto-electric bell sig-
nal is being introduced. A magneto-inductor,
containing six permanent magnets, between which
a Sieman*s armature revolves by means of a
handle, generates a current that rings the bell.
By this device, all the difficulties attending the use
of batteries are avoided, and replaced by a constant
and unchangeable power that is controlled by sim-
ply turning a handle. The apparatus, including a
pair of bells, is portable, and may be inclosed in a
box, 1 1 x6x 1 2 inches.

A " horse groomer," or circular brush, driven at a
high speed by hand or steam power, has been intro-
duced into the stables of some of the large Eug^sh
tramway companies. It operates precisely as the



revolving hair brushes so much used in England,
and is said to be far preferable to the curry-comb
and brush used by hand. With steam power, one
man can easily groom one hundred horses in a day
by the aid of this machine.

M. Saint-Edme, of the French Academy, after
exhaustive experiments with lightning conductors,
suggests the use of iron rods in long lengths and
heavily nickel-plated. The nickel plating is an
excellent conductor, and resists the action of the
weather.

Cork has been added to the list of available mate-
rials used in making illuminating gas. The waste
from the cork-cutters distilled in dose retorts gives
a whiter and more brilliant light than coal, with the
blue core of the flame much reduced. The results
so far obtained are so satisfactory, that it b to be
applied to street lighting.

Among means employed in removing stumps
comes the suggestion to use sheet-iron chimneys.
These are cone-shaped below, to cover the stumps,
have a tall stove-pipe on top, and have short iron
legs to allow of an air-space all round the bottom.
Kindling material being piled round the stump, the
chimney is placed over all, and fire applied. The
chimney acts as a blower, and, in the powerful draft,
the stump is quickly destroyed. A few of these
chimneys of different sices are reported as sufficient
to dear a field of stomps at a nominal expense of
time and labor.



BRIC-A-BRAC



Qeneral Washington in Boston*



It may be interesting to our readers to know
that Mr. Hale did not draw upon his imagination for
the anecdote of George Washington, printed, — it is
believed for the first time,-»in the January installment
of ** Philip Nolan's Friends," and reprinted bdow.
Mr. Hale writes that he had it from the daughter
of *< the little g^" Nolan asks Ransom if he ever
saw Washington, and Ransom rq>lies :



*<G«ieMl<fid. Seen hfaa gnat naoy liiaa. Iw

right by him when he come inio the old tsvtni at the head of
King street, kst wh«e the pump i^ hy the Town Houte.
Gage boardea there, and Howe and Clinton had diey quaiten
tfaenLand so the Giaeral cobm there when our aimy auuvhed
in. They was a little gal ftood them staiin' at him aiod aU the
rest, and he took her up^ and he kiaeed her, he did. 'N* he said
to her: * Sis,' save he, 'which do you like best, the Red-Coats
or the Yankees?* 'N' the child says, says she, she liked the
Red-Coats the bcat,~gal-fike. you know.— because they k>oked
so nice. 'N' he laughed right out, 'n' he says to her : ' WoU,'
says he, ' they du her the best dothes. but it taker the ragged
boys to du the figbdn*. Oh, I seen mm k>ts o' dmes."

Tha Bnn-Dial.
Mr. Stkdman's recent verses, entitled *<Only the
Sunny Hours " (Scribnbr for January), have called
forth from the pages of an album which contains
many ftunous names, the following little poem on the
same subject by Professor Morse. We knew that
Professor Morse had tried his hand at painting.



architecture, and even telegraphy ; but we did not
know before that he could turn a rhyme as neatly as
is shown here. Mr. Stedman's poem was suggested,
we understand, by the same motto, taken by Lei^
Hunt firom a sun-dial near Venice.

To Miss A. G. E.

THE SUN-DIAL.

** Moras non nunuro nisi urenas.****

"ffUfU mt the hours except they be bright:'

The sun when it shines in a clear cloudless sky
Marks the time on my disk in figures of light

If clouds gather o'er me, unheeded they fly,
*^\ note not the hours except they be bright"

So when I review all the scenes that have past
Between me and thee, be they dark, be they light,

I forget what was dark, the light I hold £sist,
*'I note not the hours except they be bright"

Sam'l F. B. Morse.
Washington, March, 184$.

* In txavsGag on the Rhine some years ago I saw oo a sun-
dial at Worms the above niotto : die beauty of its sentunent is
wdl sustained in the euphony of its syllables. I placed it in my
note4M>ok, and have ventured to expand k in the stansas whira
I dedicate to my young friend A—, sincerely praying that the
dial of her Kfe may ever show uackNidad boon.



Digitized by



Google



7S8



BRIC-A-BRAC.



Sixty-Six Jumps.

A Cbmtbnnial Novbl. By frank R. Stockton.

(lllmxtraUd with Hm^-itngth Figures ky tht AutMtr.)

Preface.

AN observable and general interest in tiie deeds of our fiitbert and
Oieir parents gives the author and artist reason to believe tliat a tale
based on an event which created considerable excitement in the Touth
of our Republic will receive a welcome from American readers, not only
on account of the lesson it teaches* but because of its aasociatkma.

CHAPTBR X.



Online LibraryFrancis HallThe Century, Volume 11 → online text (page 134 of 163)