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Steady Floating Forts Invented
by a Los Angeles Man.
PRESIDENT CONSIDERS PLAN.
Utilization of Dead Weight of Water
Below Wave Movement May Revolu
tionize Methods of Building Break
water, Lighthouses and Fortresses.
Methods of coast defense promise to
be revolutionized by the inventions of a
Los Angeles engineer, William Edward
Murray, which have just been pre
sented to the consideration of Presi
dent Uoosevelt, Secretary Taft of the
war department and Secretary Metealf
of the navy. Mr. Murray has spent
elffht years In scientific calculations
and experiments toward the practical
utilization of the static resistance of
ocean water below the comparatively
shallow wave movement. lie has per
fected a system of steady floating
Bteel structures which, according to en
gineers of worldwide repute, absolute
ly compter anj overcome the power of
old Neptune and make It possible to
establish and maintain floating forts,
absolutely steady and anchored in po
sition several miles out to sea, not to
speak of lighthouses, breakwaters,
floating bridges, summer hotels and all
manner of steady floating structures
along the coasts.
The average layman, If he thinks of
the matter at all, imagines that the
wave action stirs the ocean to great
depths. As a matter of fact, the big
gest billows do not move the water to
a depth beyond fifteen feet. Below
thnt the ocean, even In violent storm,
Is a mass of Inert water. The possi
bility of Utilizing the stupendous hold
ing pressure of the water at depths be
low the wave movement is what Mr.
Murray lias demonstrated and what he
proposes to put to practical advantage.
The American Shipbuilder in a re
cent Issue thus describes the principle
of the invention: "By going deep
enough down with bouyant steel cais
sons into the tranipiil lower waters of
the ocean thnt lie below the compara
tively shallow surface stratum of wave
disturbance and by constructing these
steel caissons so that they have at
their base a wide projecting and heav
ily weighted flange on which the su
perimposed waters rest with ponderous
weight, exerting at thirty-two feet be
low the surface a pressure of J,H,o
pounds per square foot, or at sixty
feet down a pressure that exceeds two
tons per square foot, Mr. Murray hi ef
fect secures a steady floating founda
tion on which any superstructure, prop
erly designed to minimize the waves'
blows, may be placed, be it lighthouse,
breakwater or fortress. Such a founda
tion opposes the dead Inertia of its own
weight and the weight of tlx? water
resting upon it to such a degree that
the wave blows above nre powerless
to disturb the equilibrium of the float
ing body as a whole. Thus we attain
steady flotation and can secure for a
hundred and one uses decks or plat
forms rising from the surface of the
sea that defy oscillation above because
of .the static resistance deejier down
offered by their nmtiouless and rigidly
Fortresses built on this principle can
be placed well off shore, rendering im
possible the approach of a hostile fleet
intent on bombarding coast city, ar
senal, dock or commercial harbor.
They pan defy torpedo or submarine
nttaekT because, being stationary, they
can be surrounded by anv number of
circles 'of wire netting immersed to
any depth desired. They can mount
more guns than the turret of a bat
tleship, these guns can be aimed with
greater rapidity because of the steady
platform, and for the same reason they
will have the deadly certainty of hit
In rough weather that the battleship
With the fortresses supplemented by
a screen of submerged torpedo sta
tions built on the same steady floating
plan and Invisible to an approaching
enemy perfect coast defense seems to
be assured. All this can be done nt a
tithe of the cost of battleships. It Is
claimed, for no sailors, no stokers, no
engineers are required on the station
ary forts only the trained men behind
With the strategic positions on our
shores thus safeguarded, our fleets of
battleships and cruisers can be re
leased for offensive operations in the
enemy's home waters. The Indefinite
expansion of the navy will bo checked,
and thus a great economical and socio
logical problem will be solved.
For every class of stationary marine
structure the same principle of steady
flotation can be applied for breakwa
ters requiring, no useless rock founda
tions, for lighthouses which can be
put In the vicinity of dangerous shoals,
for lightships in a new form sitting
steadily on the seas like lampposts on
shore, for bridges .cushioned In the
waters; even for hospitals, quarantine
stations and hotels In partially pro
tected bays. The vista of possibilities
opened up Is far extending and fasci
nating. Preacher Invents a Lifeboat.
The IJev. Joseph E. Cross, pastor of
the Christian Disciples church, Nashua.
N. II., has perfected a plan for a
lifeboat, light of weight, effective in
work, one which, he says, will weather
the roughest gales and will easily carry
from ten to fifteen persons, which he
has named the Ocean Giant. It is
shaped like a cigar and will carry
enough air so that ten persons may re
main under water for an hour. This
boat may be kept in life saving sta
tions or folded up so' that ninny may
be carried on any vessel. He has scat
bis plans to the patent office. - .
FIRST STEEL PULLMAN CAR
This Sleeper Cannot Burn and Wii
Resist Smashes. 1
Indestructible by fir and capablfe o!
withstanding an impact of 3,iHjO,(N
pounds on its ends in case of wreck
the Jamestown, the first Pullman ca"
built entirely of metal, is on view li
th Grand Central station, sayS tht
New York Press. Max Schneider or
the Pullman company, the designer o'
the car, Itnhsts the Jamestown is wreel
proof. He believes that if it be throwi
fpom the rails it will bump about like
a huge safe, protecting Its occupant?
from any Injury save a slight shaking
,ITe has reason for his lelief. The
Jamestown was tested in ' a wreck nt
the Pullman works before it wa
brought to New York. It was TOade
the rear car in a train; of eight wooden
coaches, and then the train. It is said,
was backed at high speed against a
post. The other cars shut up like pa
per loxes, but the Jamestown remain
In order to obtain such great strength
Schneider had to sacrifice lightness.
The Jamestown weighs 147.OO0 pounds,
or about lO.ono more than the ordlriary
wooden sleeping car. A locomotive
will be able to haul only ten . of the
Jamestown type where it can draw,
eleven wooden cars. The great weight
at the car has revealed anadvahtagc
unforeseen to its designer." The first
time" It was sent along the rails at
good speed it was found the tremen
dous weight practicny did away with
the usual annoying Thratlon.
In addition to. leing collision broof
the Jamestown, the designer asserts,
is fireproof. The car is built of steel,
aluminium and brass throughout, so.
with- the exception of bedding and
cushions, there are no inflammable fit
tings or furnishings. ;The bedding and
cushions have been treated by a proc
ess which, it is said, has made them
partly incombustible that is, they will
smolder, but not blaze. Steel is used
wherever strength is required, and
aluminium is used for panels.
. The car was brought to New York
to permit the Pennsylvania and Cen
tral officials to inspect it. It will be
taken back to the Pullman works and
will be sent to the Jamestown exhibi
tion as soon as that show opens.
MEERSCHAUM IN NEW MEXICO
Enough Discovered There to Supply the
Whole World With Pipes.
Becatise of the discovery of vast de
posits of meerschaum in the moun
tains of New Mexico it is likely that
the monopoly of that mineral, hereto
fore held by the Turkish government,
will be broken, and pipes of that mate
rial will be lessened in cost, says the
Kansas City Star.
Until recently all of the meerschaum
used In the commerce of the world
was produced from a mine In the
plains of EskihI-sher. Anatolia. Turkey,
in Asia. In those mines nre employed
10.000 men. The output of the mine
was owned by the Turkish govern
ment, and it kept the price up.
There Is a popular belief that meer
schaum is petrified sea foam washed
up ages ngo and solidified by ' some
strange process of nature. Meer
schaum is a mineral known to scien
tists as "sepiolite." It Is composed
principally of silica and magnesium.
It "is found in fissures in the rock,
where volcanic action has forced it up
to the surface. -
Meerschaum Is used not only for
making tobacco pipes, but because of
Its ; unique properties of resisting a
high degree of heat and its ready ab
sorption of water it is put to various
electrical and mechanical uses.
In the mines of New Mexico a solid
block of meerschaum weighing forty
two pounds was taken out. It was
the largest block of meerschaum ever
Horses Wear Snowshoes.
Horses wear snowshoes in Dakota
in winter. Thus equipped they trot
lightly over drifts wherein they would
otherwise sink out of sight, says the
Minneapolis Journal. In some parts of
Dakota the snow lies all winter long
eight or ten feet deep. But a crust
forms on it, and with snowshoes men
Skim over it easily. Lately the snow
shod horses have also skimmed over
it. The. equine snowshoes are made
of boards twenty inches long and four
teen inches wide. An indentation to fit
the foot is branded on each board with
a hot horseshoe, and the contrivance
Is fastened on the hoof with an-iron
clamp and a bolt.
1 ' 1 No Difference. '
. A Chicago scientist says that' If the
earth had, not thrown off the fragment
which we know as the moon there' would
probably bo no continents and the highest
form of animate life would be the more
Intelligent fish of the sea.
If it had been the world we're in
Had never thrown the moon
Away in space, upon the face
Of earth- were not the boon
Of land for us to be upon
And you perhaps were now
A Jellyfish, and. like as not.
You are one anyhow.
If it were thus, and none of us
Had ever come ashore.
But sported tails and had with scales
- Been haply covered o'er.
It might have been the whim of fate
To you in life endow
An octopus, and. like as not.
You are one anyhow.
If It were so that we 'should grow
As fish and not as men
And roamed the soas instead of these
I)ry shores, why. maybe then
You might be backing through the
Stern first instead of prow,
A lobster, and. as like as not.
You are one anyhow.
In case perchance the circumstance
Of having lived at all
Had been to be but fishes, we
Might often need to call
For help an you came swimming by,
you, we must allow.
Might be a shark, and, like as not.
Toil are one anyhow.
-Clark McAdama In St. Louis Post-Dis
tHE AltotJer t'ltlfiAY; MARfctt-29 1907.
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