Scientific American Supplement, No. 530, February 27, 1886

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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.

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_.

* * * * *

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

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

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

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

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

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.

* * * * *



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

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.

* * * * *


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.

* * * * *


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.

* * * * *


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.

* * * * *




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.
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.
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

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


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

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

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_

(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


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