Scientific American Supplement No. 530

Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Don Kretz and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT NO. 530 NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 27, 1886 Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XXI, No. 530. Scientific American established 1845 Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year. Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year. * * * * * TABLE OF CONTENTS. I.
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  • 27/2/1886
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Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Don Kretz and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.




Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XXI, No. 530.

Scientific American established 1845

Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.

Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.

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I. CHEMISTRY ETC.–Decomposition and Fermentation of Milk.

II. ENGINEERING AND MECHANICS.–The Ethics of Engineering Practice.–An address by Mr. JAS. C. BAYLES, before the American Institute of Mining Engineers.

Lifting a 40-inch Water Main.–With engraving.

The Inter-oceanic Canal Question.

The Mersey Tunnel.

Improved Revolver.–With 4 figures.

Motors for Street Railways.–Results of experiments on mechanical motors for tramways made by the jury on railway appliances at the Antwerp Exhibition.–By Capt. DOUGLAS GALTON.

III. TECHNOLOGY.–Alizarine Dyes.–Process of dyeing.–Recipes for various colors.

Cement Paving.–Composition made by the Wilkes’ Metallic Flooring Company.–Other compositions.

A New Bleaching Process.–The “Mather-Thompson” system.

Instruments for Drawing Curves.–By Prof. C.W. MACCORD–1. The Hyperbola–2 figures.

Experiments with Fibers.–By Dr. THOS. TAYLOR.–Detection of Fraud.–Method employed.–Cotton mixed with linen.–Experiments with flax.–Wool tested with acid.–Tests of dyed black silk.

Orthochromatic Plates.–By CH. SCOLIK.

A New Photographic Apparatus.–With engraving.

IV. ELECTRICITY, PHYSICS, ETC.–On the Theory of the Electro-magnetic Telephone Transmitter.–By E. MERCADIER.

On the Theory of the Receiver of the Electro-magnetic Telephone.–By E. MERCADIER.

Frew’s Improved Pyrometer.–With engraving.

Dew.–Abstract of a paper read before the Royal Society of Edinburgh.–By Mr. AITKEN.–Source of dew.–Observations of the temperature of the ground.–Experiments.–Effects of wind.–Excretion of drops of liquid by plants.–Radiating power of different surfaces at night.

V. ASTRONOMY.–Meteorites.–The Dhurmsala Meteorite.

Telescopic Search for the Trans-Neptunian Planet.–By DAVID P. TODD.

VI. ARCHITECTURE.–The New “Burgtheater” in Vienna.–With full page engraving.

The New German Bookdealers’ Exchange in Leipzig.–With engraving.

VII. MISCELLANEOUS.–Notes on Manual Spelling.–By JAS. C. GORDON.–Origin of Finger Spelling.–Finger alphabets.–With engraving of American alphabet.

Fruits and Seeds for Dress Trimming.–Origin of the use of Fruits and Seeds.–Preparation by MR. COLLIN.

VIII. BIOGRAPHY.–Hon. Hiram Sibley.–The founder of the Sibley College of Mechanic Arts of Cornell University.–With portrait.

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Hon. Hiram Sibley, of the city of Rochester, a man of national reputation as the originator of great enterprises, and as the most extensive farmer and seedsman in this country, was born at North Adams, Berkshire County, Mass., February 6, 1807, and is the second son of Benjamin and Zilpha Davis Sibley. Benjamin was the son of Timothy Sibley, of Sutton, Mass., who was the father of fifteen children–twelve sons and three daughters; eight of these, including Benjamin, lived to the aggregate age of 677 years, an average of about seventy-five years and three months. From the most unpromising beginnings, without education, Hiram Sibley has risen to a postion of usefulness and influence. His youth was passed among his native hills. He was a mechanical genius by nature. Banter with a neighboring shoemaker led to his attempt to make a shoe on the spot, and he was at once placed on the shoemaker’s bench.

At the age of sixteen he migrated to the Genesee Valley, where he was employed in a machine shop, and subsequently in wool carding. Before he was of age he had mastered five different trades. Three of these years were passed in Livingston County. His first occupation on his own account was as a shoemaker at North Adams; then he did business successfully as a machinist and wool carder in Livingston County, N.Y.; after which he established himself at Mendon, fourteen miles south of Rochester, a manufacturing village, now known as Sibleyville, where he had a foundry and machine shop. When in the wool carding business at Sparta and Mount Morris, in Livingston County, he worked in the same shop, located near the line of the two towns, where Millard Filmore had been employed and learned his trade; beginning just after a farewell ball was given to Mr. Filmore by his fellow workmen.

Increase of reputation and influence brought Mr. Sibley opportunities for office. He was elected by the Democrats Sheriff of Monroe County in 1843 when he removed to Rochester; but his political career was short, for a more important matter was occupying his mind. From the moment of the first success of Professor Morse with his experiments in telegraphy, Mr. Sibley had been quick to discern the vast promise of the invention; and in 1840 he went to Washington to assist Professor Morse and Ezra Cornell in procuring an appropriation of $40,000 from Congress to build a line from Washington to Baltimore, the first put up in America. Strong prejudices had to be overcome. On Mr. Sibley’s meeting the chairman of the committee having the matter in charge, and expressing the hope that the application would be granted, he received for answer: “We had made up our minds to allow the appropriation, when the Professor came in and upset everything. Why! he undertook to tell us that he could send ten words from Washington to Baltimore in two minutes. Good heavens! Twenty minutes is quick enough, but two minutes is nonsense. The Professor is too radical and visionary, and I doubt if the committee recommend the sum to be risked in such a manner.” Mr. Sibley’s sound arguments and persuasiveness prevailed, though he took care not to say what he believed, that the Professor was right as to the two minutes. Their joint efforts secured the subsidy of $40,000.

This example stimulated other inventors, and in a few years several patents were in use, and various lines had been constructed by different companies. The business was so divided as to be always unprofitable. Mr. Sibley conceived the plan of uniting all the patents and companies in one organization. After three years of almost unceasing toil, he succeeded in buying up the stock of the different corporations, some of it at a price as low as two cents on the dollar, and in consolidating the lines which then extended over portions of thirteen States. The Western Union Telegraph Company was then organized, with Mr. Sibley as the first president. Under his management for sixteen years, the number of telegraph offices was increased from 132 to over 4,000, and the value of the property from $220,000 to $48,000,000.

In the project of uniting the Atlantic and Pacific by a line to California, he stood nearly alone. At a meeting of the prominent telegraph men of New York, a committee was appointed to report upon his proposed plan, whose verdict was that it would be next to impossible to build the line; that, if built, the Indians would destroy it; and that it would not pay, even if built, and not destroyed. His reply was characteristic; that it should be built, if he had to build it alone. He went to Washington, procured the necessary legislation, and was the sole contractor with the Government. The Western Union Telegraph Company afterward assumed the contract, and built the line, under Mr. Sibley’s administration as president, ten years in advance of the railroad.

[Illustration: HIRAM SIBLEY.]

Not satisfied with this success at home, he sought to unite the two hemispheres by way of Alaska and Siberia, under P. McD. Collins’ franchise. On visiting Russia with Mr. Collins in the winter of 1864-5, he was cordially received and entertained by the Czar, who approved the plan. A most favorable impression had preceded him. For when the Russian squadron visited New York in 1863–the year after Russia and Great Britain had declined the overture of the French government for joint mediation in the American conflict–Mr. Sibley and other prominent gentlemen were untiring in efforts to entertain the Russian admiral, Lusoffski, in a becoming mariner. Mr. Sibley was among the foremost in the arrangements of the committee of reception. So marked were his personal kindnesses that when the admiral returned he mentioned Mr. Sibley by name to the Emperor Alexander, and thus unexpectedly prepared the way for the friendship of that generous monarch. During Mr. Sibley’s stay in St. Petersburg, he was honored in a manner only accorded to those who enjoy the special favor of royalty. Just before his arrival the Czar had returned from the burial of his son at Nice; and, in accordance with a long honored custom when the head of the empire goes abroad and returns, he held the ceremony of “counting the emperor’s jewels;” which means an invitation to those whom his majesty desires to compliment as his friends, without regard to court etiquette or the formalities of official rank. At this grand reception in the palace at Tsarskozela, seventeen miles from St. Petersburg, Mr. Sibley was the second on the list, the French ambassador being the first, and Prince Gortchakoff, the Prime Minister, the third. This order was observed also in the procession of 250 court carriages with outriders, Mr. Sibley’s carriage being the second in the line. On this occasion Prince Gortchakoff turning to Mr. Sibley, said: “Sir, if I remember rightly, in the course of a very pleasant conversation had with you a few days since, at the State department, you expressed your surprise at the pomp and circumstance attending upon all court ceremony. Now, sir, when you take precedence of the Prime Minister, I trust you are more reconciled to the usage attendant upon royalty, which was so repugnant to your democratic ideas.” Such an honor was greatly appreciated by Mr. Sibley; for it meant the most sincere respect of the “Autocrat of all the Russias” for the people of the United States, and a recognition of the courtesies conferred upon his fleet when in American waters.

Mr. Sibley was duly complimented by the members of the royal family and others present, including the ambassadors of the great powers. Mr. Collins, his colleague in the telegraph enterprise, shared in these attentions. Mr. Sibley was recorded in the official blue book of the State department of St. Petersburg as “the distinguished American,” by which title he was generally known. Of this book he has a copy as a souvenir of his Russian experience. His intercourse with the Russian authorities was also facilitated by a very complimentary letter from Secretary Seward to Prince Gortchakoff. The Russian government agreed to build the line from Irkootsk to the mouth of the Amoor River. After 1,500 miles of wire had been put up, the final success of the Atlantic cable caused the abandonment of the line, at a loss of $3,000,000. This was a loss in the midst of success, for Mr. Sibley had demonstrated the feasibility of putting a telegraphic girdle round the earth. In railway enterprises the accomplishments of his energy and management have been no less signal than in the establishment of the telegraph. One of these was the important line of the Southern Michigan and Northern Indiana Railway. His principal efforts in this direction have been in the Southern States. After the war, prompted more by the desire of restoring amicable relations than by the prospect of gain, he made large and varied investments at the South, and did much to promote renewed business activity. At Saginaw. Mich., he became a large lumber and salt manufacturer. He bought much property in Michigan, and at one time owned vast tracts in the Lake Superior region, where the most valuable mines have since been worked. While he has been interested in bank and manufacturing stocks, his larger investments have been in land. Much of his pleasure has been in reclaiming waste territory and unproductive investments, which have been abandoned by others as hopeless. The satisfying aim of his ambition incites him to difficult undertakings, that add to the wealth and happiness of the community, from which others have shrunk, or in which others have made shipwreck. Besides his stupendous achievements in telegraph and railway extension, he is unrivaled as a farmer and seed grower, and he has placed the stamp of his genius on these occupations, in which many have been content to work in the well-worn ruts of their predecessors.

The seed business was commenced in Rochester thirty years ago. Later, Mr. Sibley undertook to supply seeds of his own importation and raising and others’ growth, under a personal knowledge of their vitality and comparative value. He instituted many experiments for the improvements of plants, with reference to their seed-bearing qualities, and has built up a business as unique in its character as it is unprecedented in amount. He cultivates the largest farm in the State, occupying Howland Island, of 3,500 acres, in Cayuga County, near the Erie Canal and the New York Central Railroad, which is largely devoted to seed culture; a portion is used for cereals, and 500 head of cattle are kept. On the Fox Ridge farm, through which the New York Central Railroad passes, where many seeds and bulbs are grown, he has reclaimed a swamp of six hundred acres, making of great value what was worthless in other hands, a kind of operation which affords him much delight. His ownership embraces fourteen other farms in this State, and also large estates in Michigan and Illinois.

The seed business is conducted under the firm name of Hiram Sibley & Co., at Rochester and Chicago, where huge structures afford accommodations for the storage and handling of seeds on the most extensive scale. An efficient means for the improvement of the seeds is their cultivation in different climates. In addition to widely separated seed farms in this country, the firm has growing under its directions several thousands of acres in Canada, England, France, Germany, Holland, and Italy. Experimental grounds and greenhouses are attached to the Rochester and Chicago establishments, where a sample of every parcel of seed is tested, and experiments conducted with new varieties. One department of the business is for the sale of horticultural and agricultural implements of all kinds. A new department supplies ornamental grasses, immortelles, and similar plants used by florists for decorating and for funeral emblems. Plants for these purposes are imported from Germany, France, the Cape of Good Hope, and other countries, and dyed and colored by the best artists here. As an illustration of their methods of business, it may be mentioned that the firm has distributed gratuitously, the past year, $5,000 in seeds and prizes for essays on gardening in the Southern States, designed to foster the interests of horticulture in that section.

The largest farm owned by Mr. Sibley, and the largest cultivated farm in the world, deserves a special description. This is the “Sullivant Farm,” as formerly designated, but now known as the “Burr Oaks Farm,” originally 40,000 acres, situated about 100 miles south of Chicago, on both sides of the Wabash, St. Louis, and Pacific Railroad. The property passed into the hands of an assignee, and, on Mr. Sullivant’s death in 1879, came into the possession of Mr. Sibley. His first step was to change the whole plan of cultivation. Convinced that so large a territory could not be worked profitably by hired labor, he divided it into small tracts, until there are now many hundreds of such farms; 146 of these are occupied by tenants working on shares, consisting of about equal proportions of Americans, Germans, Swedes, and Frenchmen. A house and a barn have been erected on each tract, and implements and agricultural machines provided. At the center, on the railway, is a four-story warehouse, having a storage capacity of 20,000 bushels, used as a depot for the seeds grown on the farm, from which they are shipped as wanted to the establishments in Chicago and Rochester. The largest elevator on the line of the railway has been built, at a cost of over $20,000; its capacity is 50,000 bushels, and it has a mill capable of shelling and loading twenty-five cars of corn a day. Near by is a flax mill, also run by steam, for converting flax straw into stock for bagging and upholstery. Another engine is used for grinding feed. Within four years there has sprung up on the property a village containing one hundred buildings, called Sibley by the people, which is supplied with schools, churches, a newspaper, telegraph office, and the largest hotel on the route between Chicago and St. Louis. A fine station house is to be erected by the railway company.

Mr. Sibley is the president and largest stockholder of the Bank of Monroe, at Rochester, and is connected with various institutions. He has not acquired wealth simply to hoard it. The Sibley College of Mechanic Arts of Cornell University, at Ithaca, which he founded, and endowed at a cost of $100,000, has afforded a practical education to many hundreds of students. Sibley Hall, costing more than $100,000, is his contribution for a public library, and for the use of the University of Rochester for its library and cabinets; it is a magnificent fire-proof structure of brownstone trimmed with white, and enriched with appropriate statuary. Mrs. Sibley has also made large donations to the hospitals and other charitable institutions in Rochester and elsewhere. She erected, at a cost of $25,000, St. John’s Episcopal Church, in North Adams, Mass., her native village. Mr. Sibley has one son and one daughter living–Hiram W. Sibley, who married the only child of Fletcher Harper, Jr., and resides in New York, and Emily Sibley Averell, who resides in Rochester. He has lost two children–Louise Sibley Atkinson and Giles B. Sibley.

A quotation from Mr. Sibley’s address to the students of Sibley College, during a recent visit to Ithaca, is illustrative of his practical thought and expression, and a fitting close to this brief sketch of his practical life: “There are two most valuable possessions which no search warrant can get at, which no execution can take away, and which no reverse of fortune can destroy; they are what a man puts into his head–_knowledge_; and in to his hands–_skill_.”–_Encyclopaedia of Contemporary Biography_.

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HYDRASTIS IN DYSPEPSIA.–Several correspondents in _The Lancet_ have lauded hydrastis as a most useful drug in dyspepsia.

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At the Pittsburg meeting of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, held from the 16th to the 19th of February, Mr. James C. Bayles, the President, delivered the following address:

GENTLEMEN OF THE INSTITUTE: Having availed myself somewhat liberally during the past two years of the latitude which is accorded the president in the selection of the topics presented in addresses from the chair, I do not need to plead safe precedent as my warrant for devoting the address which marks the conclusion of my service in the dignified and honorable office to which, through your unmerited favor, I have been twice chosen, to the consideration of some of the questions in casuistry the answers to which will be found to furnish a basis for a code of professional ethics. It is not asking too much of the engineer that his professional morality shall conform to higher standards than those which govern men who buy and sell with no other object than the getting of gain. The professional man stands in a more confidential relation to his client than is supposed to exist between buyer and seller in trade. He is necessarily more trusted, and has larger opportunities of betraying the confidence reposed in him than is offered the merchant or the business agent. For the reason that he cannot be held to the same strict accountability which law and usage establish in mercantile business, he is under a moral obligation to fix his own rules of conduct by high standards and conform to them under all circumstances. Whatever the measure of his professional success–whether wealth and reputation crown his career, or disappointment and poverty be his constant and unwelcome companions–no taint of suspicion should attach to any professional act or utterance. Not only should we be able to write above the wreck of bright hopes, “Honor alone remains,” but upon our great and successful achievements should it be possible for others to inscribe the legend, “In honor wrought; with honor crowned.”

It is frequently and confidently asserted that at no time in the history of the world were the standards of business honor so high as now. The prevalence of dishonesty, in one form or another, is held to show that there is a great deal of moral weakness which is unequal to the strain to which principle is subjected in the keenness of business competition, and in the presence of the almost unlimited confidence which apparently characterizes commercial intercourse. The enormous volume of the daily transactions on ‘change, where a verbal agreement or a sign made and recognized in the midst of indescribable confusion has all the binding force of a formal contract; the real-estate and merchandise transactions effected on unwitnessed and unrecorded understandings; the certification of checks on the promise of deposits or collaterals, and a hundred other evidences of confidence, are cited as proof that the accepted standards of business honor are high, and are kept so by public opinion. All of this is true, in a certain limited sense; but the confidence which is the basis of all business creates opportunities for dishonesty which changes its shape with more than Protean facility when detected and denounced. The keenness of competition in all departments of professional and business enterprise presents a constant temptation to seize every advantage, fair or unfair, which promises immediate profit. It is unfortunately true that the successful cleverness which sacrifices honor to gain is more easily condoned by public opinion than honest dullness which is caught in the snares laid for it by the cunning manipulators of speculation. The man who fails to deliver what he has bought, to meet his paper at maturity and make good the certifications of his banker, loses at once his business standing, and is practically excluded from business competition; but if he keeps his engagements and is successful, the public is kindly blind to the agencies he may employ to depreciate what he wants to buy or impart a fictitious value to what he wants to sell. Viewed from this standpoint, it may be questioned whether the accepted standards of business morality are not, after all, those fixed by the revised statutes.

In so far as the engineer is brought in contact with the activities of trade, he cannot fail to be conscious of the fact that serious temptations surround him. Such reputation as he has gained is assumed to have a market value, and the price is held out to him on every side. It should not be difficult for the conscientious engineer, jealous of his professional honor, to decide what is right and what is not. He does not need to be reminded that he cannot sell his independence nor make merchandise of his good name. But as delicate problems in casuistry may mislead or confuse him, it is to be regretted that so little effort has been made to formulate a code of professional ethics which would help to right decisions those who cannot reach them unaided.

Standing in the presence of so many of those who have dignified the profession of engineering, I should hesitate to express my views on this subject did I not believe that many earnest and right-minded young men in our active and associate membership will be glad to know what rules of conduct govern those whose example they would willingly follow, and how one not a practicing engineer, but with good opportunities of observation and judgment, would characterize practices which have been to some extent sanctioned by custom. To those who have yet to win the gilded spurs of professional knighthood, but who cherish a high and honorable ambition, my suggestions are chiefly addressed.

An ever present stumbling block in the path of the young engineer is what is lightly spoken of as the “customary commission”–a percentage paid him on the price of machinery and supplies purchased or recommended by him. That manufacturers expect to pay commissions to engineers who are instrumental in effecting the sale of their products is a striking proof that the standards of business morality are quite as low as I have assumed them to be; that engineers do not unite in indignant protest against the custom, and denounce as bribe-givers and bribe-takers those who thus exchange services, shows that the iron has entered the souls of many who may be disposed to resent such plain terms as those in which I decree it my duty to describe transactions of this kind.

The young man who is tendered a commission will naturally ask himself whether he can accept and retain it, and may, perhaps, reason somewhat in this way: “My professional advice was given without expectation of personal profit other than that earned in my fee, and it expressed my best judgment. The price at which the goods were purchased was that which every consumer must pay, and was not increased for my advantage. The transaction was satisfactory to buyer and seller, and was concluded when payment was made. I am now tendered a commission which I am at liberty to accept or to decline. If I decline it, I lose something, my client gains nothing, and the remaining profit to the seller is greater than he expected by that amount. If I accept it, I do my client no wrong. If it is the custom of manufacturers to pay commissions, it must be the custom of engineers to receive them; and there is no reason why I should be supersensitive on a point long since decided by usage.” This is false reasoning, based upon erroneous assumptions. Why do manufacturers pay commissions? Is it probable they make it a part of their business policy to give something for nothing? Is it not certain that they expect an equivalent for every dollar thus disbursed, and that in paying the engineer a commission they are seeking to establish relations with him which shall warp his judgment and make him their agent? It may be urged in the case of reputable manufacturers that they yield to this custom because other manufacturers have established it, and that in following the pernicious example they have no other object than to equalize the influences tending to the formation of professional judgment. This reasoning does not change in the least the moral aspects of the question from the manufacturer’s standpoint, but what engineer with a delicate sense of professional honor could offer or hear such an explanation without feeling the hot blush of shame suffuse his cheeks? The plain truth about the commission is that the manufacturer or dealer adds it to the selling price of his goods, and the buyer unconsciously pays the bribe designed to corrupt his own agent. Can an engineer receive and retain for his own use a commission thus collected from his client without a surrender of his independence, and having surrendered that, can he conscientiously serve the client who seeks disinterested advice and assistance in the planning and construction of work?

It is possible, perhaps, for a man to dissociate his preferences from his interests; so, also, is it possible for one to walk through fire and not scorch his garments but how few are able to do it! The young man in professional life who begins by accepting commissions will soon find himself expecting and demanding them, and from that moment his professional judgment is as much for sale as pork in the shambles. I counsel the young man thus tempted to ask himself, Am I entitled to pay from the manufacturer who offers it? If so, for what? If not, will my self-respect permit me to become his debtor for a gratuity to which I have no claim? Does not this money belong to my client, as an overcharge unconsciously paid by him for my benefit? If I refuse it, can I not with propriety demand in future that the percentage which this commission represents shall be deducted in advance from the manufacturer’s price, that my client may have the benefit of it? If this is denied, can I resist the conclusion that it is a bribe to command future services at my hands? Is not the smile of incredulity with which the dealer receives my assurance that I can only take it for my client and hand it over to him, an insult to the profession, which, as a man of honor, I am bound to resent?

Gentlemen, it is not true that custom sanctions the acceptance of commissions by the engineer. That it is much too general I will not deny, but there are very few men of recognized professional standing who would confess that they have yielded to the temptation and retained for their own benefit the commissions received by them. I do not hesitate to give it as my opinion that the acceptance and retention of a commission is incompatible with a standard of professional honor to which every self-respecting engineer should seek to conform. Those who defend it as proper and right, and plead the sanction of usage, are not the ones to whom the young engineer can safely go for counsel and advice. The most dangerous and least reputable of all the competition he will encounter in an attempt to make an honest living in the practice of his profession is that of the engineer who charges little for professional services and expects to be paid by those whose goods are purchased on his recommendation.

With equal emphasis would I characterize as unprofessional the framing of specifications calling for patented or controlled specialties when, to deceive the client, bids are invited. I am well aware that it is easier to procure drawings and specifications from manufacturers than to make them. Many manufacturers are very willing to furnish them, but those who do are careful to so frame the specifications that they can secure the contracts at prices to include the cost of the professional work for which the engineer is also paid. There is nothing unprofessional in recommending a patented article or process if it be, in the judgment of the engineer, the best for the purpose to be accomplished, but he will do it openly and with the courage of his convictions. The young engineer should, I think, have no difficulty in recognizing the important difference which inheres in the methods by which a given result is accomplished.

In the relations of engineers to contractors there is many a snare and pitfall for the unwary feet of the beginner. In superintending the construction of work the engineer may err on the side of unreasonable strictness or on that of improper leniency. If so disposed, he can involve any contractor in loss and do him great wrong, but it more often happens that the engineer is forced to assume a defensive attitude and to resist influences too strong for a man of average courage and strength of will, especially if his experience in charge of work is limited. He should enter upon the discharge of his delicate and responsible duties with a desire to do impartial justice between client and contractor. He is warranted in assuming that his judgment and discretion are his chief qualifications for the position of supervising engineer, and that all specifications are designed to be in some measure elastic, since the conditions to be encountered in carrying them out cannot possibly be known in advance. He should not impose unnecessary and unreasonable requirements upon the contractor, even if empowered to do so by the letter of the specifications. The danger, however, is principally in the opposite direction. Frequently the engineer has all he can do to hold the contractor to a faithful performance of the spirit of his agreement. He is bullied, misled, deceived, and sometimes openly defied. He must constantly defend himself against charges impeaching his personal integrity and his professional intelligence. The contractor can usually succeed in making it appear that he is the victim of persecution, and especially in public work he is likely to have more influence than the engineer with those for whom the work is done. It often happens that the engineer, defeated and discouraged, gives up the unequal battle. From that moment he is of no further use as an engineer, and if he remains for an hour in responsible charge of work he cannot control, he rates his fee as more desirable than a reputation unsullied by the stain of dishonor. He has a right to decline a conflict for which he feels unequal, but he has no right to consent to a sacrifice of the interests of his client while he is paid to protect them. The questions of professional ethics arising out of the relations between the engineer and the contractor are much too complex to be decided by an inflexible rule of professional conduct, but the engineer cannot make a mistake in refusing to remain in responsible charge of work when, by remaining, he must give consent to that which his judgment tells him involves a wrong to his client. With equal confidence may it be asserted that the engineer who secretly participates in the profits of the contractor, whatever the arrangement by which such participation is brought about, sacrifices his professional standing.

In making reports for contingent fees or fees of contingent value, the young engineer needs to exercise great discretion. This may be done without impropriety if done openly; but it is safe to assume that few opportunities will come to the young man with a reputation still to make in which he can do clean and creditable work on any such basis. The engineer called upon to make a report for a fee in stock which depends for its value upon the effect of his report in creating confidence in the public mind, takes a fearful risk. However honest he may be, he places himself in a position in which the danger is obvious and the advantage uncertain. If, having a contingent interest in the result of his work, he is afraid to say so in his report, he may safely consider his position unprofessional and unsafe. Contingent fees are a delusion and a snare, and in making it a rule to refuse them the young engineer will be likely to gain more than he loses.

Reports intended to influence the public upon subjects concerning which the engineer knows himself unqualified to speak with authority are to be classed with other forms of charlatanry. No man can claim infallibility of judgment, nor is this expected of the engineer, whatever his position; but those who pay for professional services have a right to demand that the man who assumes to speak as an expert shall have the special knowledge which will command for his opinion the respect of those who are well informed. I consider it unprofessional for the engineer to enter upon the discharge of any duties for which he knows he is not qualified, if for the satisfactory discharge of those duties he must assume a knowledge he does not possess. There has been an immense amount of unprofessional work done in the field of reporting, and many reputations have been blasted by a failure to draw nice distinctions in questions of professional honor. The young engineer cannot be too careful in this matter, and he will be fortunate if, with all the prudence he can exercise, he is able to avoid disaster. Of a professional reputation dependent upon the accuracy as well as the honesty of reports ordered and used for speculative purposes, one may say as a marine underwriter lately said of an unseaworthy steamer, that he “would not insure her against sinking, from Castle Garden to Sandy Hook, with a cargo of shavings.”

In the matter of expert service in the courts I am disposed to speak guardedly. I see no reason why an engineer should not willingly go upon the witness stand to give expert testimony if he has made proper preparation and has an honest conviction that his testimony can be given with a conscientious regard for the obligations of his oath as a witness. It is his duty and his privilege to defend his opinions, for the man without opinions which he is prepared to defend is worthless as a witness and cannot properly be called an expert. But the conscientious engineer has no right to appear as a partisan of anything except what he believes to be the truth. If he finds himself parrying the questions of the cross-examination with a view to concealing the truth, if he realizes that he is a partisan of the side which retains him, and feels a temptation to earn his fee by falsehood, concealment, or evasion, he can be sure that he is in a position in which no man of honor has a right to be. The abuses of expert testimony in civil and criminal suits are many and grave; its uses are perhaps exaggerated, and the witness stand is not an inviting field for the young engineer seeking a satisfactory career.

How far an engineer can properly use for his own advantage information gained in the discharge of duties of a confidential nature, is a question at once delicate and difficult. He cannot help knowing what he has learned, and his knowledge is his capital. He must be governed in this matter by the considerations which influence men of honor in the ordinary relations of life. Stock and real estate operations, on confidential information which belongs to one’s principals, are usually in violation of the simplest rules of professional honor. The manager who advises his brokers by telegraph and his principals by mail cannot, I think, claim to have a very delicate sense of right and wrong. He can judge his own conduct by the standard he would apply in judging like infidelity on the part of those employed by him.

In professional criticism of professional work, it is easy to fall into ways which are wrong, morally and professionally. Criticism which is designed merely to advertise the critic serves no good purpose, and savors of charlatanry or something worse. Only a small proportion of the current critical literature of engineering serves any good or useful purpose, since it has no other or higher object than to help the critics to climb into notoriety on the shoulders of the older and wiser men with whom they are brought into competition. I regard as unprofessional every effort to discredit honest and intelligent work, and every form of disguised advertising designed to give an engineer a greater prominence than he has earned by successful and creditable work, or is entitled to claim by virtue of fitness for more than average professional achievements.

It is neither possible nor desirable to catalogue the unprofessional practices which in one way or another come to the notice of those observant of current happenings in the several departments of engineering. It is the contention of some that right and wrong are relative terms, applying to no action or line of conduct save as it is considered in relation to coincident and contingent circumstances. I will not deny that this may be true of all professional acts, but the impossibility of an arbitrary classification under the heads right and wrong, honorable and dishonorable, need not make it difficult for a man to formulate a code of professional ethics by which his own conduct shall be governed. There are certain broad ethical principles which never change. One is that a man cannot serve two masters having conflicting interests, and be faithful to each. Another is that, however skillfully one may juggle words to conceal meanings or evade responsibility, if the intent to deceive is there, he lies. Professional ethics are no different from the ethics of the Decalogue; they are specific applications of the rules of conduct which have governed enlightened and honorable men in all ages and in all walks of life. It is only when the moral sense is blunted or temptation presents itself in some new and unrecognized form that it is difficult to draw the line between right and wrong. I am aware that a delicate sense of honor often comes between a man and his opportunities of profit, and that a fine sensitiveness is rarely appreciated at its value by those who employ professional service. I know that in this busy world men of affairs do not always stop to weigh motives, and that confident assurance always commands respect, while modest merit is distrusted. But I do not know that a man can sell his honor for a price, and retain thereafter the right to stand erect in the presence of his fellows. I do not know that any engineer can make for himself a creditable and satisfactory career of whom it cannot be said that, whatever his mistakes or successes, his failures or triumphs, he has held his professional honor above suspicion.

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The sketch below, reproduced from a photograph, shows the general method adopted for lifting a 40 inch water main on Brookline Avenue, in Boston, Mass. _Engineering News_ says:

The work, which was commenced in June, 1884, included the raising of 1,000 feet of this main from to 18 feet to adjust it to a new grade in the avenue. The plan pursued by the Boston Water Department was about as follows:

After the pipe was uncovered, piles were driven in pairs on each side, 5 feet 6 inches apart, and in bents 12 feet apart; the pile-heads were then tenoned, and a cap made of two pieces of 4 by 12 in. stuff was bolted on as shown, and the bents stayed longitudinally. The lifting was done with the pipe empty, by screws 8 feet long, working in square nuts resting on a broad iron plate on the cap pieces. After all preparatory work was completed, the lifting of the pipe to its new position was accomplished in about nine hours.

After the pipe was raised, two more 4 by 12 inch pieces were bolted to the piles just under the pipe, and the bottoms of the piles were cross-braced. Stringers made of two 6 by 12 inch timbers were then placed on the caps, and a track of standard gauge put into place, upon which the dump cars used in filling the avenue were run out.

The engineer in charge was Mr. Dexter Brackett, and we understand from him that a 48 inch main is to be raised in a somewhat similar manner during the present year.

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Mr. J. Foster Crowell lately read a paper before the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia upon the Present Situation of the Inter-oceanic Canal Question, presenting the subject from a general standpoint. He sketched the history of the various past attempts to establish communication through the American Isthmus, and traced the developments in the different directions of effort, which finally concentrated the problem upon the three projects now before the world, summarizing the progress in each case, and stating the following propositions:

I. That Panama is the only possible site for a Sea Level Canal, and that such treatment is the only feasible method at that place.

II. That Nicaragua is the only practicable site for a Slack Water system (for a canal with locks), and that it is pre-eminently adapted by nature for such a use; that there are no obstacles in an engineering sense, and no physical drawbacks that need deter the undertaking.

III. That the Ship Railway, as a mechanical contrivance, has the indorsement of the best authorities, and may be admitted to be the _ne plus ultra_ as a means of taking ships from their natural element and transporting them over the land.

IV. That none of these plans has as yet advanced sufficiently to warrant our considering its completion as beyond doubt.

V. That, as the _additional_ sum now asked for by De Lesseps (_even if sufficient_) to complete the Panama Canal is _greater_ than the estimated cost of either Nicaragua Canal or the Ship Railway, it would be economical to abandon the Panama Canal, and the money sunk in it, to date, unless its location and form possess paramount advantages; and we therefore may profitably consider the relative merits of the three lines without regard to the past, from four standpoints, viz.:

1. Geographical convenience of location.

2. Adaptiveness to all marine requirements, present and future.

3. Political security.

4. Economy of construction and operation.

He then discussed the comparative claims to excellence. In the first consideration, after classifying the several grand divisions of future ocean traffic, and noting especially the needs of the United States, he claimed that while there was little to choose, in this respect, between Nicaragua and Tehuantepec, either was far superior to Panama.

In the second particular he maintained that owing to the characteristics of the Panama Canal and the practical impossibility of enlarging it hereafter, excepting at stupendous cost, it could not serve the purposes of the future, although it might, if completed, supply present need. He praised the ingenuity of the plans for the Ship Railway, but emphasized the fact that it will be the _movement of the traffic_, not merely the lifting and supporting of ships in transit, that will test the system, and suggested that even the beautiful application of mechanical force which had been contrived might be powerless to insure the high grade of service which is an absolute necessity. In this connection the general features of the Nicaragua Canal, in its latest form, were referred to, and the opinion expressed that even were all difficulties in the way of the Ship Railway eliminated, it could not be superior to the canal in respect of adaptiveness.

In point of political security he claimed that both Tehuantepec and Nicaragua were reasonably free from doubts, with the advantage in favor of the latter, while at Panama no security, for United States interests at least, could be counted on, without the liability of a military expenditure far exceeding the cost of the canal itself.

The matter of comparative cost of construction and operation was discussed generally, and in conclusion the author stated that “this all-important question is still an open one, of which the future needs of our country justify and demand at this time a most searching scrutiny, and moreover our interest and the interest of mankind require that before this century closes, the best possible pathway between the Atlantic and the Pacific shall be open to the navies of the world.”

The paper was illustrated with maps and diagrams.

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The Mersey Tunnel was lately opened by the Prince of Wales, and, as the London _Standard_ says, after an infancy of troubles and failures, and a ten years’ middle age of inaction, the Mersey Tunnel emerges into notoriety under the hands of Mr. James Brunlees and Mr. C.D. Fox, and of Mr. Waddell, the contractor, as a triumph of engineering skill. The tunnel is 1,250 yards in length. It is driven through solid, but porous, red sandstone, through which the water has percolated in volumes during construction, at a level of about 30 feet below the bed of the river. It is lined throughout with blue bricks, the brickwork of the invert being 3 feet in thickness. Its transverse section is a depressed oval 26 feet in width and 21 feet in height, and it contains two lines of railway. At a depth of about 18 feet below the main tunnel there is a continuous drainage culvert 7 feet in diameter, entered at intervals by staple shafts. There are two capacious underground terminal stations 400 feet long, 50 feet broad, and 38 feet high, and gigantic lifts for raising 240 passengers in forty seconds, from more than three times the depth of the Metropolitan Railway to the busy streets above. These splendid lifts, the finest in the world, are now, through the engineering skill of Messrs. Easton & Anderson, like the tunnel, accomplished facts; and their construction and working were tested and reported on in high terms of favor by the Government Inspector, General Hutchinson, a few weeks ago. At the Liverpool end the direct descent to the underground platform of the Mersey Railway is about 90 feet; at the Birkenhead end the depth is something more.

The description of the Liverpool lifts will well suffice also for the Birkenhead lifts. The former are under James Street, where above ground, rising in lofty stateliness, is a fine tower for the hydraulic power, the water being intended to be stored in a circular tank near its summit, the dimensions of which will be 15 feet in diameter and its internal depth 9 feet. From the level of the rails of the Mersey Railway to the bottom of this water-tank the vertical distance is 198 feet. At the western side of the subterranean railway there is, above the arrival platform, a “lower booking-hall,” or, more properly, a large waiting room, 32 feet square and 29 feet high, the access to which on this side is by a broad flight of steps rising 12 feet, and to and from which all passengers on the departure platform have communication by a lattice bridge 16 feet above the line of rails. From the western side of this hall the passengers will have access to the three lifts, and will thence ascend in large ascending rooms or cages, capable of containing one hundred persons each, to the upper booking-hall on the ground level of James Street. Intermediate in height between the lower and upper halls the engine-room for the pumps is located. From the lower hall also there is provided, independent of the lifts, an inclined subway, leading up toward the Exchange. In this lower subterranean chamber there are four doorways, 5 feet wide, three of them being fitted with ticket gateways, and leading to the three lift-shafts, excavated in the rock, and lined, where needed, with brick. In each of these shafts, which are 21 feet by 19 feet in sectional area, a handsome ascending wood-paneled room, or cage, formed of teak and American oak, is fitted, its dimensions in plan being 20 feet by 17 feet, and its general internal height 8 feet; but in the central portion the roof rises into a flat lantern 10 feet high, the sides of which are lined with mirrors that reflect into the ascending-room the rays of a powerful gas-lamp. The foundation of this room is a very stiff structure, consisting of two wrought-iron special-form girders crossing beneath it, the cross, 14 inches deep, connecting them being of steel, and forged from a single ingot. The central boss of the cross is 22 inches in diameter, and in this is bored out a central cavity, into which the head of the steel ram, 18 inches in diameter, is fitted; the ram itself being built up of steel cylinders or tubes, 11 feet 3 inches in length, which are connected together by internal screws. There is also a central rod within the ram, as an additional security. The ram descends into a very strong cast-iron cylinder, 21 inches internal diameter, which is suspended in a boring 40 inches internal diameter, and carried down to a depth of over 100 feet in the rock. The two iron girders under the frame of the ascending-room or cage cross the entire lift space, and then at their outer ends are attached to four chains which rise over pulleys fixed about 12 feet above the floor of the upper booking-office. These chains thence descend to suspend two heavy counterweights, so arranged as to work in guides and to pass the ascending-room in the 12 inch interspace between the cage and the side walls of the shaft. These chains are of 1-1/8 inch bar iron, and have each been tested with a load of over 15 tons. The maximum load which can ever come as a strain upon any chain is about three tons. Two chains are attached to each counter-weight, and special attention has been paid to the attachments of these chains to the cage girders. The stroke of each hydraulic lift is 96 feet 7 inches. In the engine-room there are three marine boilers, each 6 feet 6 inches diameter and 11 feet 6 inches long, and three pairs of pumping engines of patented type, each capable of raising thirty thousand gallons of water per hour from the waste tanks below the engine-room to the top tank of the tower above ground. There are three suction and three delivery mains, and these are connected direct to the lifts by a series of change sluices, admirably, neatly, and handily arranged in the engine-room by Mr. Rich, and in such a way that any engine, any lift, or any supply main can be disconnected without interference with the rest of the system. When the tower tank is completed, it alone, under any circumstances, would be able to supply the lifts if every pumping engine were stopped. But if any or all the engines were working, they would automatically assist the top tank, for nominally they will keep the top tank exactly full, and will then stop of themselves. The tower, as we have indicated, is not yet completed, and the pumping engines are consequently doing all the work of the lifts. The ascent and descent of the cages is effected by the attendant who accompanies the passengers, by means of a rope arrangement.

Each cage or room is intended ordinarily to take a maximum freight of 100 passengers, calculated at about 15,000 lb. The hydraulic ram weighs about 11,000 lb., the iron frame and cross of the cage about 6,500 lb., and the cage itself about 13,200 lb., the total being about 30,700 lb. The mass in motion when a cage is fully loaded is estimated at 63,000 lb. dead weight. The journey of elevation will ordinarily be made within one minute, but in the experimental trials which have been made the full journey has actually been accomplished in 32 seconds. In the Board of Trade tests under General Hutchinson, weights to the extent of 15,000 lb. were variously shifted, and in certain cases concentrated in trying localities, but the cage stood the trials without any appreciable change of form, and in neither the cage nor the chains were any objectionable features developed. The three lifts can be worked singly or combined, so that the accommodation is always ready for from 100 to 300 persons. Further railway connections between the Mersey Subaqueous Railway and the surrounding land lines than those which yet exist are in contemplation.

All the booking-halls, waiting-rooms, etc., etc., in connection with the four stations have been laid with Lowe’s patent wood-block flooring. The blocks are only 1-1/2 inches thick, but, being made of hard wood and securely fastened to the concrete bed with Lowe’s patent preservative composition, they cannot become loose, and will wear for a long series of years, until, in fact, the wood is made too thin by incessant traffic.

The engineer, Mr. Fox, and the architect, Mr. Grayson, are much pleased with the work, especially as it is so noiseless and warm to the feet. These floors ought to be adopted more frequently by railway companies in connection with their station buildings, as “dry rot” and “dampness” are effectually prevented, and a durable and noiseless floor secured.

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The Kynoch revolver, manufactured by the Kynoch Gun Factory, at Aston, Birmingham, is the invention of Mr. Henry Schlund. It may be regarded as the most simple in respect of lock mechanism of any existing revolver, whether single or double action. It extracts the cartridges automatically, and combines with this important feature strength and safety in the closing of the breech. Certainty of aim when firing is obtained by means of a double trigger, which serves many purposes. This secures quick repeating as in the double-action revolvers, and at the same time the revolver is not pulled out of the line of sight, as the trigger is pulled off by the forefinger, independently of the cocking motion, the cocking trigger being longer than the ordinary double-action triggers. The cocking trigger further serves to tighten the grasp, and so enables the power of the first recoil, which affects the shooting of all revolvers, to be held in check. The light pull-off enables a steady shooter to make surpassingly fine diagrams.

[Illustration: THE KYNOCH REVOLVER.]

The upper side of the barrel is perfectly free from obstruction, so that the sighting can be done with the greatest ease, and the entire weapon is flush and without projections which can catch surrounding objects, with the exception of the cocking trigger, which seems to require a second guard to render it secure when thrusting the pistol hastily into a holster. At the same time, it should be remembered that the cocking trigger does not effect the firing. It puts the hammer to full cock and rotates the cylinder, and these operations may be performed time after time with safety.

Turning to the mechanical details, it is noticeable that no tools are required to take the weapon to pieces and to put it together. By removing a milled headed screw seen to the left of the general view, every individual part of the lock action comes apart, and can be cleaned and put together again in a few minutes. This screw is numbered 24 in Fig. 4. To load the pistol the thumb piece (marked 2 in Fig. 4 and shown separately in Fig. 3) is drawn back, and thus withdraws the sliding bolt, 3, from the barrel, 20. The barrel and cylinder are then tilted on the pin, 15–a shake will effect this if only one hand be available–and as the chamber rises, the extractor is forced back by the lifter, 15, and the empty shells are thrown out. When the barrel has moved about 80 deg., the spring, 14, which works the lifter, 15, is tripped, and the spring 13 carries the extractor home ready for the fresh cartridge to be inserted. When these are in place, the barrel and cylinder are returned to the position shown in Fig. 1, and are automatically locked by the bolt, 3. All is then ready for firing. The middle finger is placed on the cocking lever, and the forefinger within the trigger guard. The cocking trigger is drawn back, taking with it the firing trigger for the greater part of its stroke. At the same time the lifter, 8, which is pivoted to the cocking lever, engages with a ratchet wheel (seen in Fig. 2) attached to the cylinder, and rotates it through one-sixth of a revolution. To insure the exact amount of rotation, a heel on the trigger, not to be seen in the engravings, engages in one of the six slots (Figs. 1 and 2) formed round the barrel. The end of the slot is square, and comes up against the heel, which tightly grips the cylinder, and holds it steady while firing. A toe-piece, just over the figure 4, in Fig. 3, holds the cylinder when the cocking trigger is in its normal position. The cocking lever also compresses the main spring, 7, and holds it in this state until the firing trigger, 12, is pressed by the forefinger against the sear, 9, and the hammer, 5, is driven forward against the cartridge. If the pistol be not fired, the release of the cocking trigger takes the pressure off the spring, and there is thus no danger of accidental discharge.

It will thus be seen, says _Engineering_, that the weapon presents many advantages. It can be loaded on horseback when one hand is engaged with the reins; there is nothing to obstruct the aim, and the act of firing does not throw up the muzzle, for the two operations of cocking and shooting are separate, and consequently the latter needs only a very light pressure of the finger to effect it. The breech is well protected, so that the flash from a burst cartridge cannot reach the face of the user. The mechanism is as nearly dust proof as possible, and can be entirely taken to pieces and cleaned in a few moments, and the whole forms as handy a weapon as can be desired, where rapid and accurate shooting is required.

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By Captain DOUGLAS GALTON, D.C.L., O.B., F.R.S.

An interesting feature of the International Exhibition at Antwerp was the competition which was invited between different forms of mechanical motors on tramways for use in towns, and between different forms of engines for use on light railways in country districts, or as these are termed, “Chemins de Fer Vicinaux.”

These latter have obtained a considerable development in Belgium, Italy, and other Continental states; and are found to be most valuable as a means of cheapening the cost of transit in thinly peopled districts. But owing to the fact that the Board of Trade regulations in this country have not recognized a different standard of construction for this class of railway from that adopted on main lines, there has been no opportunity for the construction of such lines in England.

There has, however, been a great development of tramway lines in England, which in populous districts supply a want which railways never could fully respond to; and although hitherto mechanical traction has not attained any very considerable extension, it is quite evident that if tramways are to fullfil their object satisfactorily, it must be by means of mechanical traction.

It is also certain that the mechanical motor which shall be found to be most universally adaptable, that is to say, most pliant in accommodating itself to the various lines and to the varying work of the traffic, will be the form of motor which will eventually carry the day.

The competition between different forms of motors at the Antwerp Exhibition, which was carefully superintended, and which was arranged to be carried on for a reasonable time, so as to enable the qualities and defects of the different motors to be ascertained, affords a starting point from which it will be possible to carry on future investigations.

I have, therefore, thought it advantageous to the interests of the community in this country to bring the results arrived at before this Society; and as the “Chemins de Fer Vicinaux,” to which one part of the competition was devoted, have no counterpart in this country, it is proposed to limit the present paper to an account of the experiments made on the motors for tramways.

Certain conditions were laid down in the programme published at the opening of the Exhibition, to regulate the competition, in order that the competitors might understand the points which would be taken into account by the judges in awarding the prizes.

The experiments were made upon a line of tramway laid down for the purpose in the city of Antwerp, carried along the boulevards from near the main entrance of the exhibition to the vicinity of the principal railway station, a distance of 2,292 meters.

The line ended in a triangle of 505 meters, in order that those motors which required to run always in the same direction should be enabled to do so.

Out of the whole length of the line, viz., 2,797 meters, 2,295 meters were in a straight line, 189 meters in curves of 13/4 chains radius, and 313 meters in curves of 1 chain radius. There were on the line four passing places, besides a passing place at the terminus; these were joined to the main line by curves of 13/4 chains radius.

The line was practically level, the steepest incline being 1 in 1,000; this circumstance is somewhat to be regretted, but the city of Antwerp afforded no convenient locality where a line with steep gradients could have been obtained. The motors were kept in sheds close to the commencement of the line of tramway near the exhibition, where all necessary cleaning and such minor repairs as were required could take place.

A regular service was established, according to a fixed time-table, to which each motor was required to conform. Each journey was reckoned as starting from the end near the exhibition, proceeding to the beginning of the triangle, and returning to the starting point. An hour was allowed between the commencement of each journey, fourteen minutes were allowed for a stoppage at the end near the exhibition, and eighteen minutes at the other end–thus allowing twenty-eight minutes for traveling 2 miles 1,500 yards, or a traveling speed of about 6 miles an hour. The motors were required to work four days out of six, and on one of the four days to draw a supplementary carriage.

An official, assisted by a storekeeper, was appointed to keep a detailed record–

1. Of the work done by each of the motors. 2. Of any delays occurring on the journey, and of the causes of delay.
3. Of the consumption of fuel, both for lighting the fires and for working.
4. Of the consumption of grease.
5. Of the consumption of water.
6. Of all repairs of whatever nature. 7. Of the frequency of cleaning and other necessary operations required for the efficient service of the motor.

The experiments lasted about four months. Five competitors offered themselves, which may be classed as follows: Three were propelled by the direct action of steam, and two were propelled by stored-up force supplied from fixed engines.

_Propelled by the direct action of the steam._ 1. The Krauss locomotive engine, separate from the carriage. 2. The Wilkinson locomotive engine (i.e., Black and Hawthorn), also separate from the carriage. 3. The Rowan engine and carriage combined.

_Propelled by stored-up force._
4. The Beaumont compressed-air engine. 5. The electric carriage.

It is somewhat to be regretted in the public interest that other forms of mechanical motors, such as the Mekarski compressed-air engine, or the engine worked with superheated water, or cable tramways, or electrical tramways, were not also presented for competition.

1. The Krauss locomotive is of the general type of a tramway locomotive, but with certain specialties of construction. It has coupled wheels. The weight is suspended on three points. The water-tanks form part of the framing on each side; a covering conceals all except the dome of the boiler. Above the roof is a surface condenser, consisting of 108 copper tubes placed transversely, each of which has an external diameter of 1.45 inches. The boiler is similar to that of an ordinary locomotive; its axis is 3 feet 101/2 inches above the road. The body of the engine is 9 feet 11 inches long, and 7 feet 21/2 inches wide. The axles are 4 feet 11 inches from center to center. The platform extends along each side of the boiler; the door of the fire-box is in the axis of the road. The engine driver stands on the right-hand side, in the middle of the motor, where he has command of all the appliances for regulating the movements of the engine as well as of the brake.

The Wilkinson (Black and Hawthorn) engine had a vertical boiler and machinery. The cylinders were on the opposite side of the boiler from the door of the fire box, and mounted independently; the motion of the piston was communicated by means of a crank shaft and toothed wheels to the driving axle. The wheels were coupled. A regulator, injector, and a hand-brake were placed at each end, so that the engine driver could always stand in the front, whichever was the direction in which the engine moved; and there was a platform of communication between the two ends, carried along one side of the boiler.

The boiler was constructed with “Field” tubes, the horizontal tube plate having a flue in the middle which carried the heated gases into the chimney.

The visible escape of the steam is prevented by superheating. To effect this, the steam, as it leaves the cylinder, passes into a cast iron chamber adjacent to the boiler, which is intended to retain the water carried off with the steam. From thence the steam passes into a second chamber, suspended at a small height above the grate in the axis of the boiler and of the flue which conveys the heated gases into the chimney, and thence into a sort of pocket inclosed in the last-mentioned chamber, which is open at the bottom, and the upper part of which terminates in a tube passing into the open air. This method of dissipating the steam avoids the necessity of a condenser; but if it be admitted that the steam in escaping has a minimum temperature of 572 deg. Fahr., it will carry away 12 per cent. more caloric than would have been required to raise it to a pressure of 150 lb. per square inch.

The steam escaping through the safety valve is passed through the same apparatus.

The toothed wheel on the driving axle is arranged to act upon another toothed wheel on a shaft connected with the regulator, so as to control its speed automatically.

The length of the engine is 10 ft. 10 in., its width 5 ft. 9 in., and the distance from center to center of the wheels 5 ft. 2 in.

The Rowan tram-car consists of a body 31 feet long and 7 feet wide, resting on a two-wheeled bogie behind and on a four-wheeled bogie in front, this front bogie being the motor, and the whole has the appearance of a long railway carriage, somewhat in the form of an omnibus with a platform at each end, of which the front platform is occupied by the engine. It requires, therefore, either a turntable or a triangle at the end of the line, so as to enable it to reverse its direction.

This motor is a steam engine of light and simple form, supplied with steam from a water tube boiler with very perfect combustion, so that no smoke escapes. The boiler is somewhat on the principle of a Shand and Mason boiler; it is so built that It can easily be opened and every part of the interior examined and cleaned.

The peculiarity of the Rowan motor is the simplicity of the attachment of the engine to the carriage, and the facility with which it can be detached when required for cleaning or repair, viz., in five or six minutes.

The steam can be got up in the engine with great rapidity if a change of engine is required. When, however, the engine is detached, the carriage loses its support in front, and is therefore not serviceable. When necessary, the combined motor can draw a second ordinary carriage.

The motor by itself occupies a length of 9 ft. 8 in. It has two horizontal cylinders; the four wheels of the bogie are coupled, and between the wheels the sides of the framing are rounded to allow two vertical boilers to stand. These boilers have vertical tubes for the water, which are joined together at the top by a horizontal cylinder. Each boiler, with its covering, is 1 ft. 9 in. in diameter. The boilers stand 1 ft. 9 in. apart, thus affording space between them for the motive machinery, including the pump. The crank axle is behind the boilers. The levers, the injector, the access to the fire-box, a pedal for working the engine brake as well as a screw brake for the carriage, are all in front. The brakes act on all six wheels, are worked by the driver, and the whole weight of the engine, car, and passengers being carried on these wheels, the car can be stopped almost instantaneously; and as over two-thirds of the entire weight of the car and passengers rests on the four driving wheels; there is always sufficient adhesion on all reasonable inclines, and the adhesion is augmented as the number of passengers carried increases. Hence this car is adapted for lines with heavy grades.

A small water tank is attached to the framing; two small boxes for coal or coke, with a cubic capacity of about 31/2 feet, are attached to the plate in front of the bogie. The covering of the boilers is in two parts, which are put on from each side horizontally, and screwed together in the center. The removal of the upper part enables the tubes to be examined and cleaned. The draught is natural; the base of the chimney is 3 ft. 2 in, from the grate; the height of the chimney is 5 ft. 2 in.

The steam from the cylinders passes directly into a condenser placed on the top of the carriage. The condenser is made of corrigated copper sheets millimeter thick. Two sheets, about 15 to 18 inches wide and 15 feet long, are laid together and firmly soldered, forming a chamber. Twenty of these chambers are placed side by side on the top of the carriage, connected with a tube at each end, so as to allow the steam to pass freely through them. The lower corrugations in the several chambers are connected together, and thence a pipe with a siphon to stop the steam is carried to a water tank under the carriage, which thus receives the condensed water. This arrangement afforded a condensing surface of about 800 square feet. It should be mentioned that with larger engines Mr. Rowan employs as much as 1,600 feet of condensing surface. The nearness of the chambers to each other tends no doubt to diminish the power of condensing the steam, but this is somewhat compensated by the artificial circulation of air produced by the movement of the carriage. But in any case, if there is surplus steam, the pipe from the condenser causes it to pass under the grate, whence it rises superheated and invisible through the fire and up the chimney.

Under the carriage attached to the framing are four reservoirs, holding about three and a half cubic feet of water, of which water space one-half acts as a reservoir for cold feed water, and half for the condensed water. A tube from the small reservoir on the engine communicates through valves with the reservoirs of hot and cold water on the carriage.

The consumption of cold water measured during two days was 2.86 lb. per kilometer; assuming that the boiler evaporated 6.5 lb. of water per pound of coal, the cold water formed one-fifth of the total feed water required.

The carriage, i. e., the part occupied by passengers, is 21 ft. 8 in. in length. It holds seats for forty-five passengers, besides those who would stand on the gangway and platform. The seats are placed transversely on each side of a central corridor, each seat holding two people. The platform of the carriage is about 2 ft. 6 in. above the rails. Passengers have access to the interior from behind by means of the end platform, and in front near the engine from the two sides. As already mentioned, the hind part of the carriage rests upon two wheels, the front part being, as already mentioned, supported on the engine bogie. To effect this support, the hinder part of the framing of the engine is formed in a half circle, with a broad groove, in which the ends of two springs are arranged to slide. The centers of the springs form the support of the framing of the carriage.

The framing of the engine bogie is attached to the hind bogie truck of the carriage by two diagonal drawbars. The coupling is effected by bolts close to the engine, and the car is drawn entirely by means of the bogie pin of the hind bogie. The trucks are 16.5 ft. apart.

Table I. above shows the dimensions of different parts of these three steam motors, as well as their weights.

The Beaumont engine, worked by compressed air, may be generally said to be similar to that described in a paper read before the Society of Arts on the 16th March, 1881, to which, however, some improvements have been since introduced.

The apparatus for compressing the air was placed in the shed. The air was compressed to 63 atmospheres by a pump worked by a steam engine, and stored in cylindrical reservoirs of wrought iron without rivets. A pipe led the air from the reservoirs to the head of the tramway, where the cylinder placed on the motor for storing the air during the journey could be conveniently charged.

The air was compressed by means of four pumps, placed two and two in a water-box, and worked by the direct action of a compound engine, with cylinders, placed in juxtaposition, of 8 in. and 14 in. diameter respectively, with an equal length of stroke of 13 in.


Krauss. Wilkinson. Rowan. Diameter of cylinder………d 5.5 in. 6.5 in. 5.1 in. Length of stroke………….l 11.8 in. 9 in. 9.8 in. Diameter of wheels………..D 31.5 in. 27.5 in. 29.5 in. Pressure at which
boiler is worked………..P 220 lb. 147 lb. 191 lb. (p(d^{2})l)/(2D)………….E 1,210 lb. 1,509 lb. 805 lb. Total heating surface……..S 105 sq. ft. 105 sq. ft. 64 sq. ft. Grate surface…………….G 2.7 sq. ft. 5.4 sq. ft. 3.1 sq. ft. Surface of condenser………C 274.482 s. ft. None. 861.120 s. ft. Weight in running order
(motor only)……………P’ 15,400 lb. 15,400 lb. 9,020 lb. Weight in running order
(total)………………..P” – – 15,400 lb. Contents of water tank…….- 28.24 cub. ft. 13 cub. ft. 4.2 cub. ft. Contents of coal bunks…….- 14.12 cub. ft. 12.5 cub. ft. 8.5 cub. ft. P’/E 12.7 lb. 10.2 lb. 11.2 lb. P”/E – – 19.125 lb. P’/S 146 147 140 P’/G 5,722 2,855 2,889 C/S 2.6 – 13.4 C/G 102 – 275

The air, after being forced through the first pump cylinder, passed successively through the other three, the diameters of which were of proportionately decreasing sizes, viz., 8.2 in., 5 in., 3.5 in., and 2 in., and the air on leaving each cylinder passed on its way to the next cylinder through a coiled pipe immersed in flowing water to remove the heat generated. This cooling surface amounted to nearly 54 sq. ft.

The cooling of the air was very efficient. In an experiment made on this question, the temperature of the compressor did not vary to the extent of 9 deg. F. in charging the reservoir from 40 to 63 atmospheres, occupying an hour and a half, the consumption of water during the time being about 1,400 gallons.

The fixed reservoirs were of about 240 cubic feet capacity.

The motor formed part of a compound vehicle, which may be said to have consisted of two parts joined together by an articulated corridor, the whole being covered by a roof which was approached from the platform behind by an easy staircase. On this roof were seats for outside passengers.

The front part of the compound vehicle contained the motor, as well as a compartment for six inside passengers, with roof space for twenty passengers, and weighed about 15,400 lb. when empty; the hind part contained accommodation inside for twelve passengers, and outside for fourteen passengers, and weighed 6,600 lb.

The combined vehicle was entered from the platform in the rear, which could hold four passengers, and from thence, as already mentioned, the staircase led on to the roof. The total number of passengers this vehicle could accommodate was thus eighteen inside, thirty-four on the roof, four on the platform, or fifty-six in all.

The total length of the carriage was 29 ft. 7 in., the width 7 ft. The distance between the axes of the bogies was 16 ft. 9 in. The distances apart of the centers of the wheels were in the case of the hind bogie 3 ft. 9 in., and in the case of the front bogie 4 ft. 4.6 in.

The motor is a compound engine, the diameters of the cylinders being 4.9 in. and 1.9 in., with a 12 in. stroke. The diameter of the wheels was 2 ft. 4 in. A small boiler is placed on one side, in front, for creating steam, which passes into a steam-jacket, inclosing the pipe of communication from the reservoir to the cylinders, as well as the cylinders themselves, so that the air was warmed before it escaped. The reservoirs on the motor contained 71 cubic feet.

In an experiment made on charging the reservoir in the motor, the pressure in the fixed reservoirs, at the time of charging the reservoirs on the motor, was 63.8 atmospheres, at a temperature of 68 deg. F. One atmosphere was lost by letting the air into the pipe laid between the shed and the tramway where the motor stood; when the reservoir on the motor was charged, the pressure fell to 42.6 atmospheres in the fixed reservoirs, at a temperature of 55 deg. F.

The pressure in the reservoir on the motor, when ready to start, was 42.6 atmospheres, at a temperature of 84 deg. F. On its return, at the end of forty-six minutes, after a journey as above mentioned of about three and a quarter miles including the triangle, the pressure had fallen to 20.9 atmospheres, and the temperature to 71 deg. F. The weight of air used during the journey was thus about 110 lb., or, say, 34 lb. per mile. The coal consumed by the stationary engine to compress the air amounted to 39 lb. per mile, in addition to 3 lb. of coke per mile for warming the exhaust.

While the motor was performing its journey, the stationary steam-engine was employed in raising the pressure in the fixed cylinders to 63 atmospheres, and worked, on an average, during fifty minutes in each hour; during the rest of the journey it remained idle. It was thus always employed in doing work in excess of the pressure which could be utilized on the car, and the work was, under the circumstances of the case, necessarily intermittent. This was a very unfavorable condition of working.

In the electric tram-car the haulage was effected by means of accumulators. The car was of the ordinary type with two platforms. It was said to have been running as an ordinary tram-car since 1876. It had been altered in 1884 by raising the body about six inches, so as to lift it clear of the wheels, in order to allow the space under the seats to be available for receiving the accumulators, which consisted of Faure batteries of a modified construction. The accumulators employed were of an improved kind, devised by M. Julien, the under manager of the Compagnie l’Electrique, which undertook the work.

The principal modification consists in the substitution, for the lead core of the plates, of one composed of a new unalterable metal. By this change the resistance is considerably diminished, the electromotive force rises to 2.40 volts, the return is greater, the output more constant, and the weight is considerably reduced. The plates being no longer subject to deformation have the prospect of lasting indefinitely. The accumulators used were constructed in August, 1884.

The car, as altered, had been running as an electric tram-car on the Brussels tramways since October, 1884, till it was transferred to the experimental tramway at Antwerp. The accumulators had been in use upon the car during the whole of this period, and they were in good order at the end of the experiments, that is to say, when the exhibition closed at the end of October, 1885.

The accumulator had forty elements, divided into four series, each series communicating, by means of wires fixed to the floor of the car, with commutators which connected them with the dynamo used as a motor.

There were two sets of these batteries or accumulators, one of which was being charged in the shed while the other was in use. The exchange required ten minutes, including the time for the car to go off the tramway into the shed and return to the tramway. This exchange took place after every seven journeys. Therefore, the two batteries would have sufficed for working the car over a distance of about forty-two miles during sixteen hours.

It may be observed that the first service in the morning would be performed by means of the accumulators charged during the afternoon and evening of the previous day.

Each element of a battery was composed of nineteen plates, of which nine were positive, four millimeters thick, and ten negative, three millimeters thick. Each positive plate weighed 1.44 lb., of which about twenty-five per cent. consisted of active material. Each negative plate weighed nearly 1 lb., of which one-third consisted of active matter. The weight of the metallic part of the battery amounted, therefore, to 1,846 lb.; and the whole battery, including the case and the liquid, amounted to 2,464 lb., which contained 499 lb. of active matter, or about 20.25 per cent. The four cases in which the battery was contained were so arranged as to divide the weight equally between the wheels.

Two commutators inclosed in a box were placed on the platforms at the two ends of the carriage, so as to be available for moving in either direction.

The accumulators were divided into four series of ten double elements, which, by means of the commutators, could be united under four combinations, viz.:

1st. 4 series in quantity–1 in tension. 2d. 2 ” ” ” 2 “
3d. 3 “
4th. 4 “

Finally, a fifth movement united the four series in quantity, coupling them on each other, and putting the dynamo out of circuit, thus restoring equilibrium. When in a state of repose, the handle was so arranged as to keep this latter switch turned on. The accumulators were arranged for charging in two series united in quantity, each containing twenty double elements. The charge was effected by a Gramme machine, worked by a portable engine. Each of these series received its charge during seven hours for the ordinary service of the car, and during nine hours for the accelerated service.

The accumulators on the car actuated a Siemens dynamo, acting as a motor, such as is used for lighting, having a normal speed of 1,000 revolutions, fixed on the frame of the carriage. The motion was conveyed from the pulley on the dynamo by means of a belt passing round a shaft fixed on movable bearings to regulate its tension, and thence to the axles by means of a flat chain of phosphor bronze. The chain was adopted as the means of moving the axle, on account of its simplicity and facility of repair by unskilled labor.

The speed was fixed at 4 meters per second (which corresponds with a speed of nearly 9 miles per hour) for 1,000 revolutions of the dynamo; and it was regulated by cutting a certain number of the accumulators out of circuit, instead of by the device of inserting resistances, which cause a waste of energy. By breaking the circuit entirely the motive power ceased, and the vehicle might either be stopped by the brakes or allowed to run forward by gravity, if the road were sufficiently inclined. The reversal of the motor was effected by means of a lever which reversed the position of the brushes of the dynamo.

The dynamo could be set in motion, and the carriage worked from either end, as desired. The handle to effect this was movable, and as there was only one handle, and this one was in charge of the conductor, he used it at either end as required.

It should be mentioned that the car was lighted at night by two incandescent lamps, which absorbed 1.5 amperes each; and the brakes also were worked by the accumulators.

The weight of the tram-car was 5,654 lb.; the weight of the accumulators was 2,460 lb.; the weight of the machinery, including dynamo, 1,232 lb. The car contained room for fourteen persons inside and twenty outside. Under the conditions of the competition the car was required to draw a second car occasionally.

The jury made special observations upon the work required to move the car between the 20th September and 15th October, 1885. Seals were attached to the accumulators. Moreover, from the 27th of September, after each charge, seals were placed on the belts from the steam-engine to prevent any movement of the Gramme machine, so that there could be no charges put into the accumulators beyond those measured by the jury.

The instruments used for measuring were Ayrton’s amperemeter and Deprez’s voltmeter, which had been tested in the exhibition by the Commission for Experiments on Electrical Instruments, under the presidency of Professor Rousseau. Besides this, Siemens’ electro-dynamometer and Ayrton’s voltmeter were used to check the results; but there was no practical difference discovered. During the period of charging the accumulators, the intensity of the current and the electromotive force was measured every quarter of an hour, and thence the energy stored up in the battery was deduced. It may be mentioned that the charge in the accumulators, when the experiments were commenced, was equal in amount to that at their termination.

An experiment was made on 21st October to ascertain, as a practical question, what was the work absorbed by the Gramme machine in charging the accumulators. The work transmitted from the steam-engine was measured every quarter of an hour by a Siemens dynamometer; at the same time the intensity of the electromotive force given out by the machine, as well as the number of the revolutions it was making, was noted. It resulted that for a mean development of 4 mechanical horse power, the dynamometer gave into the accumulators to be stored up 2.28 electrical horse power, or 57 per cent. The intensity varied between 25.03 and 23.51 amperes during the whole time of charging. Of this amount stored up in the accumulators a further loss took place in working the motor; so that from 30 to 40 per cent. of the work originally given out by the steam-engine must be taken as the utmost useful effect on the rail.

It was estimated that to draw the carriage on the level 0.714 horse power was required, or if a second carriage was attached, 0.848 horse power would draw the two together. This would mean that, say, 2 horse power on the fixed engine would be employed to create the electricity for producing the energy required to draw the carriage on the level.

The electric tram-car was quite equal in speed to those driven by steam or compressed air, and was characterized by its noiselessness and by the care with which it was manipulated.

Assuming the car, by itself, cost the same as an ordinary tram-car, the extra cost relatively to other systems was stated as being according to the following figures, viz.: the Gramme machine cost L48, the motor L208, and the accumulators 2.25 francs per kilogramme (10d. per pound). To these must be added the cost of erection, and of switches for manipulating the current; as well as the proportion of the cost of a fixed engine to create the electricity.

Having thus given a general description of the various motors which were presented for competition, I will now give a brief summary of some of the principal particulars obtained during the competition. In the first place, it may be mentioned that the jury consisted of the following:

President.–M. Hubert, Ingenieur en Chef, Inspecteur de Direction a l’administration des chemins de fer de l’Etat Belge.

Vice-President.–M. Beliard, Ingenieur des Arts et Manufactures, delegue par le Gouvernenent Francais.

Members.–MM. Douglas Galton, Capitaine du Genie, delegue par le Gouvernement Anglais; Gunther, Ingenieur, Commissaire General de la Section allemande a l’Exposition d’Anvers; Huberti, Ingenieur a l’administration des chemins de fer de l’Etat Belge, Professeur a l’Universite de Bruxelles; Dery, Ingenieur Chef de service a l’administration des chemins de fer de l’Etat Belge.

Secretary.–M. Dupuich, Ingenieur Chef du service du material et de la traction a la Societe Generale des chemins de fer economiques.

Reporter.–M. Belleroche, Ingenieur en Chef, a la traction et au material des chemins de fer du Grand Central.

Members added by the Jury.–MM. Vincotte, Ingenieur, Directeur de l’Association pour la surveillance des machines a vapeur; Laurent, Ingenieur des mines et de l’Institut electro-technique de l’Universite de Liege.

The original programme of the conditions which were laid down in the invitation to competitors, as those upon which the adjudication of merit would be awarded, contained twenty heads, to each of which a certain value was to be attached; and, in addition to these special heads, there were also to be weighed the following general considerations, viz.:

a. The defects or inconveniences established in the course of the trials.

b. The necessity or otherwise of turning the motor, or the carriage with motor, at the termini.

c. Whether one or two men would be required for the management of the engine.

As regards these preliminary special points, the compressed air motor, as well as the Rowan engine, required to be turned for the return journey, whereas the other motors could run in either direction.

In regard to this, the electric car was peculiarly manageable, as it moved in either direction, and the handle by which it was managed was always in front, close to the brake. This carriage was the only one which was entirely free from the necessity of attending to the fire during the progress of the journey, for even the compressed air engine had its small furnace and boiler for heating the air.

Each of the motors under trial was managed by one man.

The several conditions of the programme may be conveniently classified in three groups, under the letters A, B, C. Under the letter A have been classed accessory considerations, such as those of safety and of police. These are of special importance in towns. But their relative importance varies somewhat with the habits of the people as well as with the requirements of the authorities; for instance, in one locality or country conditions are not objected to which, in another locality, are considered entirely prohibitory.

The conditions under this head are: 1. Absence of steam.
2. Absence of smoke and cinders.
3. Absence, more or less complete, of noise. 4. Elegance of aspect.
5. The facility with which the motor can be separated from the carriage itself.
6. Capacity of the brake for acting upon the greatest possible number of wheels of the vehicle or vehicles. 7. The degree to which the outside covering of the motor conceals the machinery from the public, while allowing it to be visible and accessible in all parts to the engineer.
8. Facility of communication between the engineer and the conductor of the train.

In deciding upon the relative merits of the several motors, so far as the eight points included under this heading are concerned, it is clear that, except possibly as regards absence of noise, the electrical car surpassed all the others.

The compressed air car followed, in its superiority in respect of the first three points, viz., absence of steam, absence of smoke, and absence of noise; but the Rowan was considered superior in respect of the other points included in this class.

Under the letter B have been classed considerations of maintenance and construction.

9. Protection, more or less complete, of the machinery against the action of dust and mud.
10. Regularity and smoothness of motion. 11. Capacity for passing over curves of small radius. 12. The simplest and most rational construction. 13. Facility for inspecting and cleaning the interior of the boilers. 14. Dead weight of the train compared with the number of places. 15. Effective power of traction when the carriages are completely full. 16. Rapidity with which the motor can be taken out of the shed and made ready for running.
17. The longest daily service without stops other than those compatible with the requirements of the service. 18. Cost of maintenance per kilometer. (It was assumed, for the purposes of this sub-heading, that the motor or carriage which gave the best results under the conditions relating to paragraphs 9, 10, 12, and 13 would be least costly for repairs.)

As regards the first of these, viz., protection of the machinery against dirt, the machinery of the electrical car had no protection. It was not found in the experiments at Antwerp that inconvenience resulted from this; but it is a question whether in very dusty localities, and especially in a locality where there is metallic dust, the absence of protection might not entail serious difficulties, and even cause the destruction of parts of the machinery.

In respect to the smoothness of motion and facility of passing curves, the cars did not present vary material differences, except that the cars in which the motor formed part of the car had the preference.

In the case of simplicity of construction, it is evident that the simplest and most rational construction is that of a car which depends on itself for its movement, which can move in either direction with equal facility, which can be applied to any existing tramway without expense for altering the road, and the use of which will not throw out of employment vehicles already used on the lines; the electric car fulfilled this condition best, as also the condition numbered 13, as it possessed no boiler.

In respect to No. 14, viz., the ratio of the dead weight of the train to passengers, if we assume 154 lb. as the average weight per passenger, the following is the result in respect of the three cars in which the power formed part of the car:

9,350 lb.
Electric car. ——— = 1.78
154 x 34

15,950 lb.
Rowan. ———- = 2.30
154 x 45

22,000 lb.
Compressed air. ———- = 2.55
154 x 56

The detached engines gave, of course, less favorable results under this head.

Under head No. 15 the tractive power of all the motors was sufficient during the trials, but the line was practically level, therefore this question could only be resolved theoretically, so far as these trials were concerned, and the table before given affords all the necessary data for the theoretical calculation.

As regards the rapidity with which the motors could be brought into use from standing empty in the shed, the electric car could receive its accumulators more rapidly than could the boiler for heating the exhaust of the compressed-air car be brought into use.

As regards the steam motors, the following were the results from the time of lighting the fires:

The Rowan–
In 34 minutes 3 atmospheres. ” 36 ” 4 “

At this pressure the vehicle could move–

In 40 minutes 8 atmospheres.

The Wilkinson–
In 35 minutes 2 atmospheres. ” 40 ” 4 “
” 44 ” 6 “
” 47 ” 8 “

The Krauss machine required two hours to give 6 atmospheres, which was the lowest pressure at which it could be worked.

The results under No. 17, viz., the fewest interruptions to the daily service, class the motors in the following order: Krauss, electric, Rowan, Wilkinson, compressed air. The chief cause of injury to the compressed air motor arose from the carelessness of the drivers, who allowed the steam boiler to be burnt out. Unfortunately, these drivers were new to the work.

Under the letter C are classed considerations of economy in the consumption of materials used for generating the power necessary for working.

19. Minimum consumption of fuel (either coke or coal), in proportion to the number of kilometers run, and to the number of places, assuming for the seats a width of at least sixteen inches for each person seated.

It must be borne in mind that the conditions of the competition required that a second car should be periodically drawn by the motor, and that the calculations which follow include the total number of miles run, the total amount of fuel, etc., consumed, and the total number of passengers which could be conveyed by each motor, during the total time that the experiments were being carried on.


Description of motor. number of Total No. of lb. train miles Consumption per run. of fuel. train mile.

Electric. 2,358.9 14 786 6.16 Rowan. 2,616.9 14,498 5.42 Wilkinson. 2,473.3 22,000 8.82 Krauss. 2,457.8 22,726 9.10 Compressed air. 2,259.1 90,420 39.48


No. of places No. of lb. of Description of motor. indicated on fuel consumed the cars, per Consumption per places mile run. of fuel. indicated per mile run. lb.
Electric 80,203.5 14,786 0.18 Rowan 148,399.6 14,498 0.09 Wilkinson 119,085.1 22,000 0.18 Krauss 108,983.9 22,726 0.20 Compressed air 128,189.3 90,420 0.69


Description of motor. No. of seats per No, of lb. of mile run. Consumption fuel consumed of fuel. per seat per mile run. lb.
Electric 61,591.2 14,786 0.23 Rowan 135,928.8 14,498 0.10 Wilkinson 93,965.6 22,000 0.23 Krauss 86,039.9 22,726 0.25 Compressed air 132,732.7 90,420 0.66

As regards the figures in these tables, it is to be observed that the consumption of fuel for the electric car is, to a certain extent, an estimate; because the engine which furnished the electricity to the motor also supplied electricity for electric lights, as well as for an experimental electric motor which was running on the lines of tramway, but was not brought into competition.

20. Minimum consumption of oil, of grease, tallow, etc. (the same conditions as in No. 19).


Total Consumption Total consumption of oil, tallow, Description of number of of etc., motor. miles run. oil, tallow, per train mile etc. run.

Electric 2,358.9 99.0 0.038 Rowan, steam 2,616.9 106.7 0.038 Krauss, steam 2,457.8 188.5 0.073 Wilkinson, steam 2,473.3 255.4 0.101 Compressed air 2,259.1 585.2 0.255

In addition to these considerations, it was thought useful to investigate the quantity of water consumed in the case of those engines which used steam. The experiments made on this point showed as the consumption of water:

Gallons per mile.
Rowan 0.75
Compressed air 1.06
Wilkinson 5.89
Krauss 6.52

Thus, owing to the large proportion of water returned from the condenser to the tanks, the Rowan actually used less water than the compressed air engine.


The general conclusion to which these experiments bring us is that, undoubtedly, if it could certainly be relied upon, the electric car would be the preferable form of tramway motor in towns, because it is simply a self-contained ordinary tram-car, and in a town the service requires a number of separate cars, occupying as small a space each as is compatible with accommodating the passengers, and which follow each other at rapid intervals.

But the practicability and the economy of a system of electric tram-cars has yet to be proved; for the experiments at Antwerp, while they show the perfection of the electric car as a means of conveyance, have not yet finally determined all the questions which arise in the consideration of the subject. For instance, with regard to economy, the engine employed to generate the electricity was not in thoroughly good order, and from its being used to do other work than charging the accumulators of the tram-car, the consumption of fuel had to be to some extent estimated. In the next place, the durability of the accumulators is still to be ascertained; upon this much of the economy would depend. And in addition to this question, there is also that of the durability of parts of the machinery if exposed to dust and mud.

After the electric car, there is no question but that at the Antwerp Exhibition the most taking of the tramway motors was the Rowan, which was very economical in fuel, quite free from the appearance of steam, and very convenient and manageable.

The economy of the Rowan motor arises in a large degree from the extent of its condensing power, by means of which a considerable supply of warm water is constantly supplied for use in the boiler, and consequently the quantity of water which has to be carried is lessened, and the fuel is economized.

Independently, however, of its convenience as a motor for tramways in towns, the Rowan machine has been adapted on the Continent to the conveyance of goods as well as passenger traffic on light branch railways, and fitted to pass over curves of 50 feet radius, and up gradients of 1:10.

In England, with our depressed trade and agriculture, there is a great want in many parts of the country of a cheap means of conveyance from the railway stations into the surrounding districts; such a means of conveyance might be afforded by light railways along or near the road-side, the cost of which would be comparatively small, provided that the expensive methods of construction, of signaling, and of working which have been required for main lines, and which are perfectly unnecessary for such light railways, were dispensed with.

It is certain that this question will acquire prominence as soon as a system of local government has been adopted, in which the wants of the several communities have full opportunity of asserting themselves, and in which each local authority shall have power to decide on those measures which are essential to the development of the resources of its own district, without interference from a centralized bureaucracy.

* * * * *



[Footnote: Note presented to the Academy of Sciences, Oct. 19, 1885.]

The first point to be studied in this theory is the _role_ performed by the iron or steel diaphragm of the telephone, both as regards the nature of the movements that it effects through elasticity and the conversion of mechanical into magnetic energy as a result of its motions.

I. When we produce simple or complex vibratory motions in the air in front of the diaphragm, like those that result from articulate speech, either the fundamental and harmonic sounds of the diaphragm are not produced, or else they play but a secondary _role_.

(1.) In fact, diaphragms are never set in vibration, as is supposed, when we desire to determine the series of harmonics and nodal lines, since we do not leave them to themselves until they have been set in motion, and we do not allow a free play to the action of elastic forces; in a word, the vibrations that they are capable of effecting are constantly _forced_ ones.

(2.) When a disk is set into a groove, and its edges are fixed, theory indicates that the first harmonics of the free disk should only rise a little. Let us take steel disks 4 inches in diameter and but 0.08 inch in thickness, and of which the fundamental sound in a free state is about _ut_{5}_, and which the setting only further increases. It is impossible to see how this fundamental and the harmonics can be set in play when a continuous series of sounds or accords below _ut_{5}_, are produced before the disk; and yet these sounds are produced perfectly (with feeble intensity, it is true, in an ordinary telephone) with their pitch and quality. They produce, then, in the transmitting diaphragm other motions than those of the fundamental sound and of its peculiar harmonics.

(3.) It is true that in practice the edges of the telephone diaphragm are in nowise fixed, but merely set into a groove, or rather clamped between