Scientific American Supplement, No. 520, December 19, 1885 online

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Scientific American Supplement. Vol. Vol. XX, No. 520.

Scientific American established 1845

Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.

Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.

* * * * *


I. ENGINEERING, ETC. - Steel Structures. - Best use of different
grades of steel. - From a paper by Mr. JAS. CHRISTIE.

Natural Gas Fuel and its Application to Manufacturing:
Purposes. - Paper read before the Iron and Steel Institute by
Mr. ANDREW CARNEGIE. - First use of the gas. - Wells near
Pittsburg. - Extent of territory underlain with gas. - Cost of
piping. - Analyses ofnatural gas.

A Gas Engine Water Supply Alarm. - 1 figure.

The Water Supply of Ancient Roman Cities. - An address by
Prof. W.H. CORFIELD. - Aqueducts for the supply of
Borne. - The aqueduct bridge Pont du Gard. - The supply of
Lyons. - Construction of underground aqueducts.

Steam Engine Economy. - By Chief Engineer J. LOWE,
U.S.N. - With diagram.

The "Elastic Limit" in Metals. - Selection of wire for
suspension bridges, etc.

Prices of Metals in 1874 and 1884. - With table.

II. TECHNOLOGY. - A Method of Measuring the Absolute Sensitiveness
of Photographic Dry Plates. - By Wm. H. PICKERING. - From the
proceedings of the Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Soldering and Repairing Platinum Vessels in the
Laboratory. - By J.W. PRATT.

The Helicoidal or Wire Stone Saw invented by M.P. GAY. - With
engraving of quarry showing application of saw, and 5 figures.

Portable Prospecting Drill and Automatic Safety Gear shown at
the Inventions Exhibition. - With 2 engravings.

III. ELECTRICITY, ETC. - Electricity in Warfare. - By Lieutenant
B.A. FISKE, U.S.N. - Electrical torpedoes. - Torpedo
detecter. - Military telegraphy and telephony. - Electricity
for firing great guns. - Arrangement of wires for lights. - The
search light. - Incandescent lamps for sight
signaling. - Electrical launches. - An "electric sight".

Meucci's Claims to the Telephone. - With description of his
instrument and 10 figures.

An Electric Centrifugal Machine for Laboratories. - By ALEX.
WATT. - From paper read before the British Association. - 1

Transmission of Power by Electricity. - Experiments of M.

IV. ART AND ARCHITECTURE. - Quadriga for the New House of
Parliament at Vienna. - An engraving.

Glazed Ware Finial. - With engraving.

Hotel de Ville, St. Quentin. - With engraving.

Fire Doors in Mills. - From a lecture before the Franklin
Institute by C.J. HEXAMER.

V. NATURAL HISTORY, ETC. - Preservation of Insects.

An Accomplished Parrot.

The Roscoff Zoological Laboratory. - The buildings and
rooms. - The aquarium. - Course of study.

The Murænæ at the Berlin Aquarium. - With engraving.

Metamorphosis of Arctic Insects.

VI. MEDICINE. ETC. - A Year's Scientific Progress in Nervous and
Mental Diseases. - By Prof. L.A. MERRIAM. - Report to the
Nebraska State Medical Society.

Scaring the Baby Out.

VII. MISCELLANEOUS. - Wage Earners and their Houses. - Manufacturers
as landlords. - Experiments of Pullman, Owen, Peabody, and

The Locked and Corded Box Trick, with Directions for making
the Box. - By D B. ADAMSON. - 9 figures.

A Perpetual Calendar. - With engraving.

* * * * *


To remove the verdigris which forms upon the pins, the pinned insects
should be immersed in benzine and left there for a time; several hours is
generally long enough. The administration of this bath cannot be too
highly recommended for beetles which have been rendered unrecognizable by
grease, especially when dust has been mixed with the grease. This
immersion, of variable duration according to circumstances, will restore
to these insects, however bad they have become, all their brilliancy and
all their first freshness, and the efflorescences of cupric oxide will
not reappear. This preventive and curative method is also readily
applicable to beetles glued upon paper which have become greasy; plunge
them into benzine in the same way, and as the gum is insoluble in the
liquid, they remain fastened to their supports. Pruinose beetles, which
are few in number, are the only ones that benzine can alter; the others,
which are glabrous, pubescent, or scaly, can only gain by the process,
and they will always make a good show in the collection. - _A. Dubois in
Feuille des jeunes naturatistes_, March, 1885, p. 71. - _Psyche_.

* * * * *



The new House of Parliament at Vienna is known as one of the finest
specimens of pure Greek architecture erected in this century; and
throughout the entire building great pains have been taken to ornament
the same as elaborately as is consistent with good taste. The main
buildings are provided with corner pavilions, the atticas of which
project over the roofs, and these atticas and other parts of the
buildings are to be surmounted by quadrigas, one of which is shown in
the annexed cut, taken from the _Illustrirte Zeitung_. This group was
modeled by V. Pilz, of Vienna, and represents a winged goddess in a
chariot drawn by four spirited steeds harnessed abreast. She holds a
wreath in her raised right hand, and her left hand is represented as
holding the lines for guiding the horses. The group is full of expression
and life, and will add greatly to the beauty of the building to be
surmounted by it.

* * * * *

The strongest wood in the United States, according to Professor Sargent,
is that of the nutmeg hickory of the Arkansas region, and the weakest the
West Indian birch _(Rur seva_). The most elastic is the tamarack, the
white or shellbark hickory standing far below it. The least elastic and
the lowest in specific gravity is the wood of the _Ficus aurea_. The
highest specific gravity, upon which in general depends value as fuel, is
attained by the bluewood of Texas _(Condalia obovata_).

* * * * *


[Illustration: GLAZED WARE FINIAL.]

This grand 16th century finial is a fine example of French ceramic ware,
or glazed terracotta, and it is illustrated both by geometrical elevation
and a cross sectional drawing. This latter shows the clever building up
of the structure by means of a series of five pieces, overlapping each
other, and kept rigid by means of a stout wrought-iron upright in the
center, bolted on to the ridge, and strapped down on the hip pieces. Its
outline is well designed for effect when seen at a distance or from
below, and its glazed surface heightens the artistic colorings, giving it
a brilliant character in the sunlight, as well as protecting the ware
from the action of smoke and weather. - _Build. News_.

* * * * *



Among the more prominent movements of the day for the improvement of the
condition of the working men are those which are growing into fashion
with large manufacturing incorporations. Their promise lies immediately
in the fact that they call for no new convictions of political economy,
and hence have nothing disturbing or revolutionary about them. Accepting
the usages and economical principles of industrial life, as the progress
of business has developed them, an increasing number of large
manufacturers have deemed it to their interest not only to furnish shops
and machinery for their operatives, but dwellings as well, and in some
instances the equipments of village life, such as schools, chapels,
libraries, lecture and concert halls, and a regime of morals and
sanitation. Probably the most expensive investment of this sort in the
United States, if not in the world, by any single company, is that of
Pullman, on Lake Calumet, a few miles south of Chicago, an enterprise as
yet scarcely five years old. It is by no means a novel undertaking,
except in the magnitude, thoroughness, and unity of the scheme. Twenty
years ago the managers of the Lonsdale Mills, in Rhode Island, were
erecting cottages on a uniform plan and maintaining schools and religious
services for their operatives. More recent but more extensive is the
village of the Ponemah Cotton Mill, near Taftville, Conn. These are
illustrations merely of similar investments upon a smaller scale
elsewhere. But the European examples are older, such as Robert Owen's
experiment at New Lanark in Scotland, Saltaire in Yorkshire, Dollfuss'
Mulhausen Quarter in Alsace, and M. Godin's community in the French
village of Guise, which are among the more familiar instances of
investments originally made on business principles, with a view to the
improved conditions of workmen. New Lanark failed as a commercial
community through the visionary character of its founder; the Godin works
at Guise have passed into the co-operative phase within the past five
years, but Saltaire and Mulhausen still retain their proprietary business

The class of ventures of which these instances are but the more
conspicuous examples has peculiar characteristics. They differ from the
Peabody and Waterlow buildings of London, described in _Bradstreet's_
last August, from Starr's Philadelphia dwellings, and from the operations
of the "Improved Dwellings Association" of New York in these particulars:
the latter are financially a pure question of direct investment; are
mainly concerned with life among the poor of cities, and, whatever
philanthropy may be in their motive, are capable of adaptation to any
class of citizens. The former, while investments also, are composite, the
business of manufacturing being associated with that of rent collecting
and sharing its profits and losses; their field of operations is almost
invariably rural, and tenancy is restricted to the employes of the
proprietor. On the other hand, they differ from all co-operative and
socialistic communities in that they are an adaptation to existing
circumstances, propose to demonstrate no new theories of economics, are
free from all religious bonds, do not depend on any unity of opinion, and
do not touch the question of the proper distribution of wealth.

It is, of course, no new thing for owners of large factories,
particularly in country districts, to furnish tenements for their
operatives, and oftentimes it is quite indispensable that they should,
because there would otherwise be no accommodation for their workmen. What
is recent and exceptional is the spread of the belief that it pays to
make the accommodations furnished healthful, convenient, and attractive.
The sources of profit from this careful provision are these: the
proprietors have control of the territory, and are able to prescribe
regulations which keep out the saloon and disreputable characters, and at
once there is a saving in police and court and poor taxes; for the same
reason the workmen are more regular and steady in their labor, for there
is no St. Monday holiday, nor confused head and uncertain hand; the
tenants are better able to pay their rents, and when their landlord and
employer are the same person, he collects his rent out of the wages; the
superior accommodations and more settled employment act strongly against
labor strikes. It will be seen that the larger and better product of
labor is a great factor in the profitableness of such enterprises, and
that it arises from the improved character of the laborer, on the same
principle that a farmer's stock pays him best when it is of good breed,
is warmly housed, and well fed. Against the operations of the London
Peabody and Waterlow funds it has been alleged that they dispossess the
poor shiftless tenant and bring in a new class, so that they do not
improve the condition of their tenants, but afford opportunity for better
ones to cheapen the price of their accommodations. The manufacturing
landlord cannot wholly do this, because the first thing he has to
consider is whether the applicant for a dwelling is a good workman, not
whether he can be trusted for his rent. His labor he must have. His
outlook is to make that labor worth more to him, by placing it in the
best attainable surroundings. Can this be done? If so, the ends of
humanity are answered as well as the purse filled, for both interests

Mr. Pullman, who founded the enterprise on Calumet Lake, has uttered
sentiments like these, and has proved that in this instance it does pay
to make his workmen's families comfortable, and secure from sickness and
temptation. As a financial operation Pullman is profitable. There are now
1,700 dwellings, either separate or in apartment houses, in this town,
where five years ago the prairie stretched on every side unbroken. Every
tenement is connected with common sewerage, water, and gas systems, in
which the most scientific principles and expert skill have been applied.
The price of tenements ranges from $5 per month for two rooms in an
apartment house to $16 for a separate dwelling of five rooms; but there
is a different class of houses for clerks, superintendents, and
overseers. The average price per room is $3.30 a month, or nearly twelve
per cent. higher than in Massachusetts manufacturing towns, where it is
$2.86. Taking each tenement at an average of three rooms, this rate will
pay six per cent. on an investment of $3,140,000, without taking into
account taxes and repairs, or say six per cent. on $3,000,000. But one
source of profit of great moment must not be overlooked, and it is the
appreciation of real estate by the increase of population. This is a
small factor in a great city, at least so far as concerns the humbler
grade of dwellings, but in the country it is enormous. A tract of land
which has been a farm becomes a village of from 1,000 to 10,000
inhabitants. Its value advances by leaps and bounds.

At Pullman, in addition to the shops and dwellings, there are trees and
turf-bordered malls and squares, a church, a theater, a free library with
reading rooms, a public hall, a market house, provided at the expense of
the company. Liquor can only be sold at the hotel to its guests, and then
under restrictions. There is a system of public schools under a board of
education, which is about the only civic organization, strictly speaking,
in the community. One man suffices for police duty, and he made but
fifteen arrests in the last two years. It is reported that the death rate
so far, including the mortality from accidents, has been under seven in
1,000 per annum. In Great Britain the rate is a small fraction over 22 in
1,000. The vital statistics of the United States show a smaller mortality
than this, but they are rendered abnormal by the heavy immigration which
pours into the country. Emigrants are, in the language of insurance men,
a selected class. They are usually at the most vigorous time of life and
of hardiest and most enterprising spirit.

They leave behind them the very young and the old and those enfeebled by
disease or habits. To this cause must be attributed in part the
exceptional record of Pullman in death rate, as it is a new town. Yet
there can be no question that the sanitary conditions of the place are
excellent. It is difficult in mixed enterprises of this nature to tell
what the rate of profit upon the tenement part of the business is, since
the rental and the factory react upon each other; but in the American
instances quoted in this article the investment as a whole is
remunerative. In the Godin operations at Guise, which have been
co-operative for the last five years, the capital is put at $1,320,000,
and the net earnings have averaged during that time $204,640 per annum,
or 15½ per cent.

At Pullman a demand has arisen on the part of the tenants for a chance to
acquire proprietorship in their homes; and while the company has withheld
the privilege from its original purchase of 3,500 acres, it has bought
adjoining land, where it offers to advance money for building, and to
take pay in monthly installments. This assimilates so much of the
enterprise to that at Mulhausen, and shows the drift toward a
co-operative phase of capital and labor. Indeed, this tendency will
probably prove to be strongly characteristic of all similar schemes as
fast as they attain to any magnitude. Tendencies which can be resisted in
communities of few hundreds become overpowering when the population rises
into thousands. But from the purely commercial point of view, this drift
is hardly to be deprecated, so long as the operation of selling houses
returns the capital and interest safely.

Projects of this nature go far toward modifying the stress of antagonisms
between labor and capital, because if they are successful these are
harmonized to an appreciable extent, and this gives public interest to
them. The eventual adjustment must come, not from convictions of duty,
doctrinaire opinions, or sentiments of sympathy, but on business
principles, and it is a sure step in advance to show that self-interest
and philanthropy are in accord. How great the field for experiments of
this nature is in the United Spates may be gathered from the census of
1880, which shows 2,718,805 persons employed in the industrial
establishments of the country, with an annual production of
$5,842,000,000, and a capital of nearly half that amount. Of these hands
and values nearly two-thirds belong to the north Atlantic
States, - _Bradstreet's_.

* * * * *


This charming building has an uncommonly well-designed facade,
picturesque in the extreme, rich in detail, and thoroughly dignified. We
are indebted to M. Levy, of Paris, for the loan of M. Garen's spirited
etching, from which our illustration is taken. The arcaded piazza on the
ground story, the niche-spaced tier of traceried windows on the first
floor, the flamboyant paneled cornice stage, and the three crowning
gables over it unite in one harmonious conception, the whole elevation
being finished by a central tower, while at either end of the facade two
massively treated buttresses furnish a satisfactory inclosing line, and
give more than a suggestion of massiveness, so necessary to render an
arcaded front like this quite complete within itself; otherwise it must
more or less appear to be only part of a larger building. The style is
Late Gothic, designed when the first influence of the Early Renaissance
was beginning to be felt through France as well as Belgium, and in
several respects the design has a Flemish character about it.

[Illustration: HOTEL DE VILLE, ST. QUENTIN.]

St. Quentin is situated on the Goy, in the department of Cotes du Nord,
and the town is seated in a picturesque valley some ten miles S.S.W. of
the capital, St Brieuc, which is a bishop's see, and has a small harbor
near the English Channel, and about thirty miles from St.
Malo. - _Building News_.

* * * * *


[Footnote: From a lecture before the Franklin Institute by C. John

There are few parts in fire construction which are of so much importance,
and generally so little understood, as fire doors. Instances of the
faulty construction of these, even by good builders and architects, may
daily be seen. Iron doors over wooden sills, with the flooring boards
extending through from one building to the other, are common occurrences.
We frequently find otherwise good doors hung on wooden jambs by ordinary
screws. Sliding doors are frequently hung on to woodwork, and all
attachments are frequently so arranged that they would be in a very short
time destroyed by fire, and cause the door to fall. In case of fire, a
solid iron door offers no resistance to warping. In an iron lined door,
on the contrary, the tendency of the sheet iron to warp is resisted by
the interior wood, and when this burns into charcoal, it still resists
all warping tendencies. I have seen heavily braced solid iron doors
warped and turned after a fire, having proved themselves utterly
worthless. It is needless to say that when wooden doors are lined, they
should be lined on both sides; but frequently we find so-called fireproof
doors lined on one side only.

Good doors are frequently blocked up with stock and other material, so
that in case of fire they could not be closed without great exertion; or
they have been allowed to get out of order, so that in case of fire they
are useless. This has been so common that it has given rise to the
jocular expression of insurance men, when they are told that a fire door
exists between the two buildings, "Warranted to be open in case of fire."
The strictest regulations should exist in regard to closing the fire
doors nightly. Frequently we find that although the fire door, and its
different parts, are correctly made, there are openings in the wall which
would allow the fire to travel from one building to the other, such as
unprotected belt and shaft holes. That a fire door may be effective, it
must be hung to the only opening in the wall.

The greatest care must be exercised to keep joists from extending too far
into the wall, so as not to touch the joists of the adjacent building,
which would transmit the flames from one building to the other in case of
fire. A good stone sill should be placed under the door, and the floor
thereby entirely cut. Sills should be raised about one and a half inches
above the level of the floor, in order to accomplish the necessary
flooding of the same. If stock must be wheeled from one building to the
other, the sill can be readily beveled on both sides of the wall,
allowing the wheels to pass readily over it. Lintels should consist of
good brick arches. When swing doors are used, they should be hung on good
iron staples, well walled into the masonry, and the staples so arranged
that the door will have a tendency to close by its own weight. The door
should consist of two layers of good one and a quarter inch boards,
nailed crosswise, well nailed together and braced, and then covered with
sheet iron nailed on, or if of sheet tin, flanged, soldered, and nailed.
Particular care should be taken to insert plenty of nails, not only along
the edge of the door, but crosswise in all directions. I have seen cases,
where the entire covering had been ripped off through the warping
tendencies of the sheet iron.

The hinges on these doors should be good strap hinges, tightly fastened
to the door by bolts extending through it, and secured by nuts on the
other side. Good latches which keep the door in position when closed
should always be provided. In no case should the door be provided with a
spring lock which cannot be freely opened, as employes might thereby be
confined in a burning room.

Sliding doors should be hung on wrought iron runways, fastened tightly to
the wall. Wooden runways iron lined, which we frequently see, are not
good, as the charring of the wood in the interior causes them to weaken
and the doors to drop. Runways should be on an incline, so that the door
when not held open will close itself. Care must be taken to have a stop
provided in the runway, so that the doors may not, as I have frequently
seen them, overrun the opening which it is to protect. Doors should
overlap the edges of the openings on all sides. Large projecting jambs
should never be used.

All doors contained in "fire walls" should have springs or weights
attached to them, so as to be at all times closed. Fire doors can be shut
automatically by a weight, which is released by the melting of a piece of
very fusible solder employed for this purpose. So sensitive is this
solder that a fire door has been made to shut by holding a lamp some
distance beneath the soldered link and holding an open handkerchief
between the lamp and link. Though the handkerchief was not charred, hot
air enough had reached the metal to fuse the solder and allow the
apparatus to start into operation.

These solders are alloys more fusible than the most fusible of their

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