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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, January 06, 1901, Image 21

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v. !-• n the nineteenth century was young; we
a Nation of farmers and gardeners. Com
p^rce was chiefly centred in the few small
«m on the Atlantic seaboard, the lakes and
tfee large rivers, and many of the persons en
gaged in it looked to their own gardens for the
chief part of their table supplies. Markets
tpere dependent upon narrow strips of aur
jounding country for all bulky and perishable
eonunodities. for a long haul over execrable
„»« would have raised prices enormously.
The average farmer one hundred years ago as
lor a hundred years previously, was compelled
M produce pretty nearly all that his family re
paired, and could send little to distant markets
The highways of travel ascended and descended
every hill on the route, for the early settlers
built their homes on high points, and the roads
were little more than wagon tracks connecting
the houses. Thus, for many years after the
country became thoroughly settled, the long
wlndi ig road over hill and through valley had
to be traversed whenever the farmer sought the
distant city or the nearer village which had
grown up around the gristmill, the tannery and
the country store. The century was more than
half gone before these roads were generally re
placed by straight and more level highways.
The difficulty and cost of sending the abundant
ftrm products of the country to the large mar
kets fixed the attention of publicists at an early
day. The project of building a canal from Lake
Erie to tidewater In the Hudson was first men
tioned in the New-York Legislature ln 1804,
when the population of the State was leas than
one million. In 1827 a meeting of citizens of
Baltimore began a discussion which resulted In
the building of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
Passenger traffic was of minor importance; the
ruling purpose was to bring the produce of the
rich Ohio Valley to the seaboard at a speed of
four miles an hour— possibly of eight miles. Two
years later the Board of Directors of Internal
Improvements of Massachusetts reported on the
practicability of railroads from Boston to Albany
and from Boston to Providence. All these plans
were to bring the products of the farm to an
abundant, market, and a writer in "The North
American Review," after deliberate consider
ation, expressed the belief that "such railroads
P»Tf)ng through a rich and populous country
must be of immense benefit." though he thought
that horsepower should be used in preference to
These were the inceptions from which have
grown the interlacing railway systems of the
country, have broken the isolation of the Amer
ican farmer and have made him a participant ln
the great commercial prosperity of the Nation.
Thus these enterprises have an important place
is this brief sketch of the farmer's progress in
the nineteenth century.
But this isolation, continuing for generations,
was one of the forces which indelibly stamped
the American character. Shut out from the
larger world, the fanner learned to look to him
self alone for all he was to possess of comfort.
He engaged in diversified farming, and pro
duced nearly all food and clothing for his fam
ily. The wool from his sheep and the flax from
his field were spun and woven and made into
garments at home. The skins from his oxen and
sheep w-»re tanned near by and made up in bis
bouse by a peripatetic shoemaker, who came
around on annual visits and created marvel
lously 111 fitting footgear. The farmer had
brought with him a few tools and afterward
manufactured others. A blacksmith's forge and
a carpenter's bench were necessary adjuncts of
a. farmer's buildings until well into the nine
teenth century. He often shod his oxen and
hones, and most of the simple farming tools of
tha|. day were made by his own hands. When
those of a more complicated nature appeared he
repaired, and, without much regard to patent
rights, sometimes duplicated them, adding valu
able Improvements with no thought of wrong.
Continued from p.-i^.- fix.-.
I thought of the inventor, nor to have affected its
quality. The Hoe web perfecting press was de
veloped, and put to work In the office of The
New- York Tribune. A great array of valuable
inventions followed, among which may be men
tioned the Locke grain binder, the Ingersoll rock
drill, Stearns's duplex telegraph, Westinghouse
Improved automatic air brake, Lyall's positive
motion loom. Janney's automatic car coupler,
Edison's quadruplex telegraph. Gorham's twine
binder for harvesters. Lowe's process of making
Illuminating gas from water, the roller mill and
. middlings purifier for making flour, Pictet's ice
machine, cash carriers for stores. Professor
Bell's wonderful speaking telephone, cigarette
niachinery. Edison's electric pen. steam feed for
sawmill carriages, Hallidle's cable cars. Edison's
phonograph, the Otto gas engine. Jablochkoff's
electric candle, Sawyer-Man electric lamp,' Ber
liner's telephone transmitter of variable resist
ance, Edison's carbon microphone, liquefaction
of oxygen, nitrogen and air by Pictet and Caille
tet, the development of the Remington type
writer. Edison's electric lamp with carbon fila
ment, gelatlno-bromide emulsions in photog
raphy, the Birkenhead and Rabbeth spinning
spindles and the Gessner cloth presses. Siemens
also installed the first electrical railway at Ber
lin and the Mississippi Jetties were built by Cap
tain Eads. The Lee magazine rifle. Faure's
storage battery and Greener's bammerless gun j
were other inventions of this period.
In the next decade (ISSO-'OO) the radical In
ventions of the preceding periods had got well
; Into the commercial activities of the National
life, and this decade represents the greatest
epoch of prosperity the Republic has ever on-
Joyed. It added the following important In
ventions: Telegraphing by induction, the Blake
telephone transmitter, the Recce buttonhole ma
chine. Mergenthaler*s linotype machine, Cowles s
electrical process of making aluminum, the
W*lsbach gas burner, the graphophone. electric
welding by Elihu Thomson, the Me Arthur and
Forrest cyanide process of obtaining gold,
Tesla's system of polyphase currents. Harvey s
process of annealing armor plate, De Laval s
rotary steam turbine, the Kodak camera, De
Chardonnet'ft process of making artificial silk,
nickel steel. Hall's process of making aluminum,
the Dudley dynamite gun and the Krag-Jorgen
sen magazine rifle. . . . The first American
electric railway was installed between Baltimore
and Hampden. Flood Rock, in New -York Har
bor was blown up, the Brooklyn Bridge was
built, the electrocution of criminals was ordered
la New-York State, the Lick telescope was
erected and In Europe the St. Gothard Tunnel
and the Great Forth Bridge were completed ana
opened to traffic. "-V^ -«,**. •
' ¦ The last decade of the century (1890-1900) Is
¦till so near to us, and is so filled with Invented
agencies of Importance, that selection Is ren
dered specially difficult, and only a few of the
most important may be named. We find the
Parsons rotary steam turbine, which In Its ap
' plications In marine ' engines has raised the
¦peed of smaller steam craft to that of an ex
press locomotive; the Northrup loom, which acts
almost with the discretion of a thinking mind;
me Acbeson process of making carborundum,
the Yerkes telescope. Edison's klnetoscop*. and
¦M allied developments of the phantascope.
cinematograph, and biograph. whose moving
V Mi apparently 11 vine scenes fill the observer
'¦'.with wonder and admiration; the production of
« ium carbide by Wiilson. and the electric
:. ". '¦'Race for making the same; the discovery
and application of the X rays by RCntgen, the
X 'PP armor plate, the developments in liquid
' sir and apparatus' for producing It by Lindfe.
¦Trailer, Dewar. Ostergres, Demur and others;
'^'i mercerizing of cloth under tension to render
" Kllky, the SchUrfc systems of balancing; marine
invinzs, the Improved disappearing gun, the
practical development of the bicycle and auto
r 'I'D* the building mad launching of the
*>*»,,„., th- larK-«l :-i '-am vessel .-v.-r produced,
»M wireless telegraphy by .Marconi.
l*Th« ;5 e represent' the ;f most notable agencies
" *>-!<!. hay. ¦aimulat.d fh'j Industrial progress
<* tht nineteenth century. Conceived In the pro
might the American farmer with genera
lions of such inheritance become distinguished
as an inventor. It was near the middle of the
century that a poet said of the farmer boy that
ne could make anything, from a child's rattle
to a seventy-four.
«f.M c U> . l l A y- when he undertakes it
He 11 make the thing and the machine that makes It
Of course he will! He has proved it. A care
icL» wrlter on improvements in machinery in
lfJ2 mentions only one invention by an Ameri
can havinjr a bearing on agriculture— the cotton
gin, "by which one person can do the work of a
thousand." And this was less than eighty years
ago. Now look at the long list of farm machin
ery! When the pathway was open from the
farm to the market the machinery came; it
wculd have been useless earlier.
Of money the average farmer of the first half
of the century had little. The village store
keeper—when one established himself within
reach — took his surplus butter, cheese and eggs
and gave him credit on which he drew for house
hold supplies. Once a year the drover passed
with his ever increasing herd of bullocks, bought
the farmer's surplus stock and went his way
toward the distant market. Payment was made
in hard cash — the only "dollar of our daddies"
that many of the daddies of the olden time used
to see. The "hired man question" had not arisen
until the century was past its youth. Young
men in families having more than were needed
on the home farms went to help their less fortu
nate neighbors. They received wages, but the
thought of inequality was never entertained. It
was the same when there was a surplus of girls.
They were treated as sons and daughters In the
homes where they worked. Many an outfit for
Western emigration was procured in this man
ner. Later, when factories were established,
some of these boys and girls went to "work In
the mill" and brought back money which seemed
wealth to their parents. The population of the
factory town was then as pure and simple as
the farming communities from which it had been
Wherever the early settler pushed his way
into the wilderness the public school was soon
established. Its influence in moulding the public
character has been endlessly discussed. But
one feature has been passed over too lightly or
has been unnoticed. The academies and colleges
gave their long vacations in the winter, in order
that the students might teach In -district"
schools. To save all the school fund and thus
extend the term, the teacher boarded round, and
during the long winter was an honored guest
in every home from which his pupils came. His
educational influence over parents and children
was often more valuable in the home life than
in the schoolroom
Thus the conditions which in great degree
formed the American farmer — from whom were
derived all classes of the Am.-rlcan people — ex
tended through the eighteenth and well into the
nineteenth century.
Then changes came with startling rapidity.
The theories of a few generations ago became
accomplished facts, and the farmer in all parts
of our extending country found himself in direct
and rapid communication with the great com
mercial centres. He became a producer for the
world, from all parts of which he could in re
turn draw those things which he could not prof
itably raise. With altered conditions has come
a special situation. Agricultural schools, col
leges and experiment stations have been estab
lished in the several States, and the National
Government contributes liberally to the diffusion
of accurate Information on all agricultural sub
jects. The world has been ransacked for the
most valuable fruits and grains, and the best
live stock of all sorts has been introduced; so
that to-day the American farmer, from the At
lantic to the Pacific, can compete successfully,
not merely with any country, but with all coun
tries in the temperate zone.
He is a student, an experimenter and a mer
chant. Machinery has relieved him from severe
muscular labor and co-operation from much
drudgery. He succeeds by the exercise of his
mental faculties. The hard school of his fathers
has given him a splendid inheritance, but he
must avail of the changed conditions as dili
gently and as faithfully as they did of their
conditions. Old methods are as obsolete as the
hill roads of the past.
gresslve thought of mankind, they have been
nursed into a healthy and strong existence un
der the fostering care of the patent systems of
the world, and especially by those of our own
land. Former ages have furnished many a
brilliant genius, but his thought has too often
died with him. Will not all agree that It Is the
patent system which has in the nineteenth cen
tury crystallized this thought into enduring rec
ords, and in furnishing the stimulus of fair and
just reward to the inventor has thus become,
more than any other single factor, responsible
for the great array of Invented agencies and the
wonderful industrial growth of the present
time? . . .
In the year 1800 the manufactures of the coun
try were of such small extent that scarcely any
records remain. Some cotton and woollen mills
were to be found, but the spinning wheel was
still a part of the domestic furniture, more use
ful than ornamental, the hand loom was the
main reliance of the farmer, and homespun fab
ric was still in evidence everywhere.
In 1831 the capital invested in cotton manu
factures was $40,612,984. In 1890 it was $354,
020.843. and the value of the product was $207.
981.724. The number of spindles in factories in
1790 was only 70; in 1890 a hundred years
later, It was 14,188.103. In 1800 the price of cot
ton yarns was from $1 03 to $1 36 a pound. In
the last decade of the nineteenth century It
ranges from 13% cents to 18% cents, and the
price of cloth has diminished in like proportion,
while the wages of the cotton mill operatives
have more than doubled.
If a man wanted a pair of shoes a hundred
years ago he had his shoemaker to make them,
and he had to wait for them until they were fin
ished. The pay of this shoemaker was 73 1-3
cents a day. If he wanted a house, the carpen
ter with the broadaxe laboriously hewed the
lumber, and. with hammer, saw and hand plane
slowly dressed and put together what is now
known as the mill work, for which he received
wages at the rate of something over 70 cents a
day. The printer was the skilled mechanic, and
at $1 a day he set the type and worked off on a
creaky handpress the limited edition, whose
crude sheets now form valued curios.
To-day the shoemaker on the McKay machine
makes many hundred pairs of shoes a day, the
laborious work cf the carpenter is performed
almost entirely by the planing, sawing, boring,
mortising and turning machines of the great
woodworking mills, while the ... operator of
the octuple press prints papers by steam at the
rate of 1.000 a minute, ready pasted, folded and
counted for distribution.
In the manufacture of agricultural machines
the growth of the reaper has been one of the
notable things as bearing on the Industrial evo
lution of the century. This industry began about
1840. with the contemporaneous operation, of
Hussey sod McCormlck in this country, and In
that year not more than three machines were
made. To-day the estimated annual production
of the factories in the United States in this class
of machines is 180,000 self-binding harvesters,
290.000 mowing machines. 18.000 corn harvesters
and 25.000 reapers; the output of one great fac
tory alone, in the year 1898, being 74.000 self
binding harvesters, 107.000 mowers, 9,000 corn
harvesters and 10,000 reapers. This, with 75.000
horse rakes, meant for this factory a completed
machine for every forty seconds In the year,
working ten hours a day. This, however. Is only
one branch of agricultural machines. There are
drills, threshers, seeders, ploughs, harrows and
hand Implements beyond calculation. . .;;•:.•
The first public railroad built v.a 8 the Stockton
and Darlington Line, in England, which was
opened for traffic in 1*2.".. In 1529 the Stour
hri.U'- Lion was Imported from England and
nut to work on the Delaware and Hudson Canal
rompany's railroad. In I*."-' Baldwin built the
Old Ironsides, and from this time on the railroad
¦was an established institution. In the year 1599
the steam railroads of the United States have a
total track mileacre of 250,302; there are 87,245
locomotives, 2G.154 passenger cars, M'JJ baggage
an.l mall >*™ and 1.328.08-1 freight cars. There
were f.37,977.301 passengers carried, 97.>,75!).!)41
„..._ of freight movf-d and the total traffic earn
ings were .•'..';»;<««;.. 'sT'.'. Mulhali estimates the
"anltal invited in railroads In the United States
in IS>OO to be $11,380,000,000. To this must be
add.-d the enormous growth In street railways,
with their thousands of cars. . . . -' •
A hundred years ago a voyage to the Orient
was of only occasional occurrence, and an event
of stirring importance to both the commercial
world. and the family circle. Steam was not yet
applied, and the old sailing craft, at the mercy
of the seas and adverse winds, might reach her
destination and return, but a year's absence was
to be expected, and the return was uncertain.
To-day steam has almost entirely superseded
sails, and in our magnificent modern ocean liner
a trip of five days and as many hours takes us
across the Atlantic, then flitting along the coast,
up the Mediterranean Sea and thence through
the Suez Canal, we come In contact with all the
peoples of the world in less than a month. Steam
navigation, first established in 1807 by Fulton,
was the great agency of commercial growth.
The ratio of steam to sails for the world has in
creased from 30 per cent in ISGO to 80 per cent
in 1894. . EDWARD W. HVRN.
,\ s to v i \ a ENLARGEMENT OF
The notable expansion and diversified en
largement of sports last century have been
amazing. A hundred years ago the shooting
of game, big and little, the practice of archery,
the playing of golf, the matches at cricket and
football, the trials of deftness at marksmanship,
the tests of mastery in driving and riding, the
contests of brawn and tone in boxing and
wrestling, were In favor in Great Britain, on the
Continent of Europe and in the Western Hem
isphere, and gatherings of excited spectators
were neither few nor small. In feats of force
and aptness and endurance on horseback and
on foot there was a lively spirit of contention,
and fox hunting, a sport in which boldness and
alert capacity in governing and guiding hot
blooded mounts were requisite, was almost a
craze with thousands of people sof leisure and
of means on either side of the Atlantic. Dazzling
exploits in the saddle and in the driver's seat of
four-in-hand coaches gained plentiful applause.
The coursing of greyhounds was kept up lav
ishly by wealthy breeders and owners. Chasing
rabbits with beagles and the deadly following
of wild beasts and wild birds of almost every
sort were amusements which attracted troops
of enthusiasts, although the weapons carried
by hunters and fowlers in the eighteenth cen
tury were clumsy, uncouth and feeble In com
parison with those now In use.
A hundred years ago the devotees of sport In
too many Instances were coarse and brutal in
their tastes. The most cruel and revolting of
dogfights brought together witnesses of high de
gree and of fashionable connections, and dukes
and marquises, earls and squires indulged in
prodigal wagers upon the prowess of bullterriers.
Cockfighting also was looked upon with ap
proval among club members who were influential
and conspicuous in the society of that era.
Yachting was practically unknown. All kinds
of vessels were then handled and sailed by pro
fessional navigators and skippers, and amateurs
were not forming associations zealous for the
discovery of the finest models for the fleetest
champions of the waves. Crews that could
wield the ashen blade effectively were not nu
merous, and sportive contests on stream or sea
were relatively meagre and unalluring in the
period of the Napoleonic campaigns and in the
primitive years of this Republic. Horseracinß,
however, had been started In Great Britain as
early as the jocund days of Merry Charles and
Mistress Nell, not many decades after the death
of Cromwell, the Lord Protector; and the Ep
rom Derby, the blue ribbon prize of the turf the
world over, was first awarded long before steam
was employed on river or ocean.
In every imaginable department of sports the
advance and the broadening out in the century
Just closed have been Impressive. The most
gratifying evidences of progress have been seen
in the field of international rivalry, free from
bitterness and faultfinding. The friendly meet-
Ings which have decided the superiority of the
representatives of different countries have been
frequent and exceedingly popular in this century,
and they have left no ill feeling behind them.
Few such amicable struggles for prizes which
were not sordid took place in the century before
this. The fraternal and good humored battles
on the sea for the America's Cup have increased
and intensified sentiments of amity and kindness
between peoples separated by thousands of miles
of tides. Oarsmen and athletes of many classes
have met in well arranged and earnest emu
lation East and West and North and South. The
spirit of the century with regard to sports has
been that of brotherly but zealous competition,
without sourness or grudge. And how wonder
fully the range and extt-nt of sports in every
quarter of the globe have been widened and
heightened In a hundred years!
In ancient Greece the Olympian games were
fought out by the select adversaries of the age,
the swiftest runners, the most cunning wrest
lers, the racial and national chieftains of the
epoch in their special fields of effort. It Is a
remarkable feature of the athletic ambitions of
thte era that the Olympian games were revived
a few years ago. and that America, as well as
the Old World, sent to the Grecian arena
worthy aspirants for classic laurels. The in
tercollegiate battles for glory and renown have
been strikingly characteristic of the forward
movement of noble sport in this generation and
in those generations which Immediately preceded
this. The most famous universities, colleges
and schools in both hemispheres have delighted
to engage in friendly jousts and tournaments
and passages-at-arms of many kinds which
have stirred the blood and stimulated the loyalty
of undergraduates and graduates alike.
It wag a relatively poor and scanty array of
amateur contests which Inspired the ambitions
of the amateur antagonists before the latter half
of the Nineteenth Century was entered upon.
Now every season of every year has its appro
priate field days.
The forward steps taken in amateur athletics
within the last twenty-five years have been so
numerous and admirable that the most hasty
glance at the milestones of progress cannot pa«s
them over lightly. Before the beginning of th»
Civil War in the United States amateur athletics
were in a confused and chaotic condition. The
rules and regulations were unsettled and indefi
nite. The dividing line between professionals
and amateurs was indistinct and wavering.
William Is. Curtis, sometimes affectionately
styled the "Father cf American Athletics," did
more than any other individual to establish
order out of sixes and sevens, and to secury
definlteness and precision in these matters. His
memory ought always to be held in esteem for
his unselfish devotion to amateur athletics, and
for his memorable services in the promotion of
clean and equitable sport.
It was said long ago that it has been a
wonderful century of invention, and it Is plain
to the world that Inventiveness and development
have achieved surprising results* in the v«st
arena of sports. Yachting, trotting, polo, la
crosse, lawn tennis, baseball, bicycle riding,
football, as permanently defined, regulated ami
systematized, and many Important and popular
departments of athletics, both professional and
amateur, belong chiefly to the last fifty years —
some of them to the flnal half of the fifty. And
the tendency in the whole vast circle of these
sports has been steadily toward a finer sense of
honor, a higher feeling of responsibility, a
stronger desire for fairness and a sterner dislike
of trickery and wrong dealing. Both In the old
sports and the new, the competitors and their
sympathizers, backers and friends have gone
onward and upward In breadth of view, In
tolerance and liberality.
It might not be out of place to recall a word or
two from Matthew Arnold, although he was not
writing exclusively of sports when ho put them
in print. But Is it not true that the sports of
last century, and especially the amateur ath
letics, international, Interunlverslty, Intercol
legiate and others, have been steadily losing the
objectionable elements of Philistinism and been
steadily gaining in sweetness and light?
From Tho American Exporter.
'It., activity of American manufacturers Is Illus
trated by tho statistics of th.- imports of manu
facturers' materials. In th- M ht months endiiiK
with A .»• i.-l ;-¦ Inn... <•( raw materials for us,.
In manufacturing amounted In round numbers to
©?..ft.,..-.. uKaiiiM a little over $1 00.000,000 In th* cor
responding' months .of m ami the exports of
manufactured Roods wore »'4.0'..\0.>>. against $103,
000/>JO in th" corresponding months of ISS6. Thus in
both Importation of raw materials for use in manu
facturing and in exportation of the finished product
the figures of lifUO are nearly double those of. 1896.
IT"? \ FAR CRY FROM ~HF. miMITr.T. r X T
Fire has undoubtedly exerted more Influence upon
the development of the human race than any other
element, perhaps more than all others. Among the
ancients It was an object of worship, deified and
personified by some peoples, and among all It en
tered largely Into their religious ceremonies. When
Cain and Abel offered up their burnt offerings It
was jealousy of the greater success of Abel's sacri
ficial flames that led to the first recorded murder.
The Greeks attributed a divine origin to lire. and.
according to their mythology,' Prometheus impious
ly stole it from heaven and brought It down to
earth, in punishment for which he was chained to
a rock while an Insatiate vulture tore him open
and forever fed upon his vitals, which were for
ever renewed, that his agonies might be eternal.
As a matter of fact, revealed by modern science,
we know that fire Is far older than the world It
self. Fire, perfervld heat, combustion, chomlcal
combination— they are all one and the same— was
the favorite tool ln Dame Nature's hand during her
busy period of world building. Fires, gigantic, more
than titanic, attended the birth of the planets ln
our solar system. Terranean and subterranean fires
simmered and stewed and cuddled this infant
earth of ours until, having cooled on the surface
and formed a shell, she was In a condition to main
tain the lower forms, or life. Just when and under
what conditions man, troglodyte, arboreal, pithe
canthropus or merely plain man, and his prehistoric
congener, plain woman, appeared, may be left to
the Joint discussions of anthropologists and geol
ogists. Whenever it was. It may safely be assumed
that he had even then a more than passing ac
quaintance with fire, together with Ingenious meth
ods of calling the useful demon Into being. The
"tireless man" has been relegated to the limbo of
exploded theories. Students of comparative biol
ogy assert, with a good show of reason, that In
his subjugation and practical adaptation of fire to
his own needs man shows his greatest divergence
from and superiority to all other animals.
Naturally. In seeking the verjfr: basis ~ facts re
garding so supremely Important a- subject as the
prevention and control of destructive conflagra
tions, the writer looked about for some one
whose technical knowledge and experience In such
matters should be not merely that of the veteran
fireman, or even fire chief, whose knowledge of
fire fighting Is that of battling with flames already
under dangerous headway rather than the more
Important science of preventing the 'first outbreak
of the Infant "terror: ' jlvn- Jrtsl
He found one man who was .said to be so
eminent In both practical and scientific knowledge
of the underlying principles of combustion. Its In
citing causes and Its most effective enemies, as to
give Ms. opinions on such matters almost the
weight of established laws.
That man Is Mr. George H. Carpenter, who has
held the position of general manager of the Mon
arch Fire Appliance Company since Its Inception.
To aH Inquiries addressed to all sorts of fire experts
there came the answer: "Oh. see Carpenter!"
"Carpenter the man you want. "Carpenter
knows more about fires than half a dozen fire de
partments." and so on. until It became apparent
that be. i* the acknowledged exponent of the latest
scientific thought regarding the best and most
available methods to be adopted, both in staying
conflagrations thnt have reached the dangerous
stage anfl In preventing their ever reaching that
stage. '
What follows in this article may therefore be
considered as falling from his lips during an ex
tended Interview.
Chemists tell us that the process of combustion
in its usual forms is but a more or less energetic
combination t>etwee:» the oxygen with which our
atmosphere Is laden and »he carbon or hydrogen
existing In the substance consumed; or the oxygen
necessary for combustion may be supplied by some
other substance rich In the gas and holding It by
feeble bonds. This chemical action Is always ac
companied by the evolution of heat. In degree pro
portionate to th. energy of the action, but it may
here bo mentioned, as an evidence of the nicely of
nature's laws, that the total amount of heat
evolved by the combustion of any substance is pre
cisely the same In the end. whether it take place
almost instantaneously, as in. the explosion of gun
cotton, or Is Spread out over the course of years, as
In the rusting of a nail In the weatherboardlng of
a house.
A more explicit example of this law may be
drawn froii a grain of phosphorus, which, when
kept cool and damp, glows with a ml!d light, which
we call phosphorescence. Dried, slightly warmed
and exposed to the atmosphere It burns moderately,
but when heated and Immersed In oxygen gas it Is
consumed Instantly nnd with brilliant deflagration
of intense energy. Scientific Investigation shows
that In each of these three processes the total oxi
dation of the phosphorus develops exactly the same
number of heat units.
The slow tarnishing of th« silverware- upon the
sideboard is all the ttmo producing heat in infin
itesimal degrees. In fact, as stated ' above, all
oxidation, or. more generally, nil chemical combina
tion, raises the temperature of th,- bodies concerned
In proportions varying from th.it of the Insensibly
slow tarnishing of a sliver, vessel to the enormous
caloric of the oxyhydrogen flame.
There arc other forms of combustion which are
not oxidation, but simply energetic atomic combina
tions of elements having EXB&t chemical affinities
one for the other— as. for instance, the burning of
finely pulverized antimony In chlorine pas. Here
there Is no oxygen, whatever Involved, but the re
sult of the vigorous action Is a high degree of heat
and consequent incandescence. But these few In
stances of pseudo-combustion are so rare as to ho
merely interesting laboratory experiment?, and en
tirely negligible in everyday life.
Enough has been said above to show that while
fire Is. when tinder control, man's best and most
powerful friend among the forces of nature, yet it
is also evident that once the demon has thrown oft
the artificial restraints put upon him he may be
come the most Implacable and devastating of foes.
Oxygen is found In abundance wherever the atmos
phere can penetrate. Carbon and. hydrogen are ele
ments of almost universal distribution throughout
the world. Other substances with ravenous appe
tites for oxygen are on every hand, and are ready
at any hour of the day. or night, under the influence
of the slightest spark, an apparently trifling amount
of friction, or any one of a thousand Inciting
causes, to spring Into life, a raging giant of de
struction. :. V
Nor do these elements always wait for an outside
Inciting cause before setting up that energetic
chemical action that we call fire. A heap of rags or
old waste, greasy from the uses to which they
have been put. are allowed to accumulate In some
obscure corner or closet. Chemical action from ex
posure to the air Is set up. the confined space ac
cumulates the resultant heat until the danger point
Is reached and a blaze springs up. concealed from
all human observation until It has attained de
structive proportions. Again there are certain and
very numerous qualities cf coal that bear locked up
within their shining exterior sundry highly in
flammable ga^es. which they yield very slowly.
When these are confined In the hold or the bunkers
of a ship they s» acfand react upon one another
that "spontaneous"— a sadly misused word—com
bustion Is set up.
The conditions of our modern civilization, too,
are Buch that it is cause for wonder, not that so
many fires break out. but that they are not many
times as frequent and destructive as they are.
into all our city houses are laid pipes connecting
with the gas m.-ilns and charged with a light, pene
trating and highly inflammable gas. Rusting of
these pipe*, bad workmanship at the cocks, care
ie-sppc* of servant or gross ignorance may at any
tin- nreefpitate a conflagration or an explosian
with far reaching results. The innumerable high
and low tension electric wires, which cross and re
cross cne another in a complex tangle, may at any
moment, from the abrasion of a delicate and not
very tUtrable Insulation, set fire to woodwork or
upholstery while all the household sleeps.
In our great manufactories, while it is true that
the system of sleepless and thorough watchfulness
Is carried to approximate perfection, yet the thou
sand halrbreaJth escapes ot a single day. were
they known, would caus? the scalps of the vener
• able boards of underwriters to bristle ln horripila
i tlon. An unnoticed pebble, even a grain of sand.
In a cotton gin may undo the harvest of thousands
¦ of fair acres.
The light, highly volatile by-products of the oil
{ refineries — naphtha, benzine, gasolene — are so no
toriously hazardous, even In remote proximity to
fires, that their use or storage, except in limited
quantities. is strictly forbidden within city limits.
Yet th«v-,' volatile* have their manifold uses In the
arts, and the accompanying risks, offset as much
as possible by extrcmest vigilance, must be as
sumed by those who find tlum necessary. Such is
their almost malicious propensity for evil that the
upsetting of a small can in one part of a building
will cause the generation of a gas that will charge
the whole edifice, and explode Itself, perhaps from
the brightly flowing coal In the pipe of the watch
man, who dozes through the night In a quarter re
mote from the source of the trouble.
If it be permissible to speculate without any posi
tive facts for a working basis, then it seems more
than probable that primitive man's acquaintance
with fire may have resulted from an accident close
ly parallel to that which, on the authority or
Charles Lamb, led to the discovery of roast pis.
Having, then, ascertained that his dlnosaurus
steak or his pterodactyl tongue became more
palatable ami digestible after baking in hot ashes.
Mr. Troglodyte may have noticed that Mrs. T. and
the numerous little T.s derived comfort from the
artificial warmth, and would sleep more soundly
after toasting their quadrumanous members before
bedtime. Hence, no doubt, fire became his constant
companion and he invented tire producing Imple
ments such as the frlctlonal bits of wood still in
u?«> by Australian bushmen and others.
Put", very certainly, he soon learned that this
brilliant demon must be controlled. Possibly an in-
cautiously large fire on an
especially cold night may
have overleaped Its
bounds, igniting the be«l
of leaves and twigs where
on the family s!eDt. There
may have been loud out
cries and odors of burn
ing wool, with a large de
mand the next morning
for whatever was the pre
vailing substitute for ar
nica and sweet oil in.pro
glacial days. Noticing
that the deluges of rain
put out his campflres, this
logical ancestor of Benja
min Franklin deduced the
fact that water was the
remedy for obstreperous
combustion, ! and when
next the alarm was raised
he organized th© T. family
Into a bucket brigade,
fitted out with cocoenut
shells, hollow stones and
the carapaces of succulent
turtles, wherein water
from the. adjacent stream
was passed from hand to
hand and the primitive
upholstery was deluged.
For countless thousands
of years no advance was
made upon the moans to
TV"rs>t?Tr»» rARROXic** applied for subduing
INTERIOR CARBONIC flres _ water was the one
«ICIV> GAS CYLINDER, an only extinguisher. For
the purpose of applying water. the force pump.
hydropult. hand engine, as It was variously callod
came Into being some centuries ago. and in the
hands of a yolline mob of untrained people became
centres of excitement, but hardly safeguards. Tho
first .nr© engine was ma do at Augsburg. German! .
I "in America, the uso of wood for buildings I'jlncr
almost universal, the peopla were obliged to fight
more frequent nnd more destructive tires, and hence
the flro companies were organized bodies, and,
being to a certain extent trained, soon excelled In
their work, but at best the results attained 1.-ft
much to bo desired. In IS3O a great advance was
mi ,i,. In the invention of a steam tire engine, the
progenitor of the splendid apparatus of to-day.
This Li logically to the employment of a well paid
and highly trained corps of professional fire fighters,
ng far superior to th. volunteer service as is th.'
steam tire engine to the cocoa shells of our early
A distinct departure from the time honored prin
ciples of water extinguishment wax made in IS-19 by
Phillip's invention of the Ore nnnihllator. whereby
steam and carbonic acid gas, both deadly foes to
combustion, were project. d upon the flames. This
apparatus did not In itself accomplish a revolution,
but It pet t>usy brains to thinking, and brought
forth a host of imitations and some theoretical im
provements. A few of the«e meat widely proclaimed
to the world may :id well be briefly noticed here.
but" in each ca?e it will be apparent that their in
herent defects far ontwelsh their theoretical ex
cellences. ¦¦ .
There is a metal cylinder (JreneraUy painted red.
although this is not essential) charge.! — jn\ a.
strong solution of carbonate of ssiassjsj contain-,
tag. besides, a loosely corked vial of strong sulphu
ric acid, the whole weighing from thirty to forty
pounds. When are breaks out this red cylinder is
taken from its resting place, and. If there be any
one strong enough to do so. carried to the scene of
th* Are. which, it is to be hoped, has only "market
time." without advancing in the Interval. "Arrived*
there. If all noes well, the mechanism, Jf properly
applied, lets loose the sulphuric add. which, If not
evaporated or diluted by absorption, seems upon
the soda, generates a supply of carbonic acid gaa.
Th-» pressure thus produced either explode* tn-»
cylinder, or. if the faucets and noxsies be not too
corroded by rust, projects the water, charged with
carbonic acid gas. upon or near th« flames. There j
have been case* cited in which this treatment ha*
so checked, an incipient fire that time was sained
for the application of more heroic measures. To
Insure their being In fair working order, customers
are advised to empty and recharge the cylinders
every sixty days. A rather ironical demonstra
tion of the inutillty of these appliances was given
recently, when a large storehouse in Jersey » ity.
crammed full of them in complete working crder.
was burned to the building, red Faint,
bras.? mountings and all.
A smaller and. perhaps, more Ineffectual adapta
tion of the same principle is made op la the sanpo
of a metal syringe, or what the boys call a squirt
gun. It weighs, fully charged, only four or five
pounds, and If successfully applied at the earnest
Inception of a tire— to a lighted match or a
live coal— its power would be fully apparent, pro
vided the chemicals had not. during Its period of
Inaction, so corroded the metal as to Incapacitate
As a matter of fact, the liquid chemical fire ex
tinguishers, which depend for their activity upon
the chemical affinity between strong adds anil'
unstable bj'«es, are extremely dangerous to these
who attempt to use them. Many accidents with
fatal results mishi be cited. Even trained firemen
handle them with great dread, knowing that th*
power developed is practically Irresistible, while
the containing vessel may nave been weakened
by corrosion.
The hand grenades, charged with the same car
bonic acid and water, which were so frequently to
be seen a few yea«s ago. were not nearly so dan
gerous, because they were to be thrown at th.- fire.
not to be held and squirted. All that was necessary
to their intelligent application was that the oper
ator should spend a few .seasons as pitcher in a
high class baseball team, so that he might with ac
cmacy project the fluid where It might be needed.
Besides this, he must select some hard object, on
which the bottles would be likely to break upon
Impact. Should Ihe fire occur In the celling or In
hanging curtains he might defer throwing the
grenades until after ho had summoned the depart
ment, thereby avoiding any further waste of time.
for the gas charged water will surely fall to the
floor, while the flames will as surely ascend to tha
A more ambitious, more expensive, and, to the
promoter, much more proa table system of ftre fight
ing appliances consists of a complex network of
water pipes carried along the ceilings of -ware
houses and fitted at frequent intervals with sprink
ling outlet*, closed by plugs of extremely fssMs
metal. This metal is so constituted that, when the
temperature at the celling reaches a certain height,
the plugs are intended to fuse and release benefi
cent showers of tire quenching water alike upon the
just and the unjust, upon the goods which may or
may not be on fire, and those which certainly are
not. This action of the heat also, in theory, sounds
an alarm, which is intended to bring to th* seen*
not only the Fire Department— to ascertain whether
there really is a fire— the Insurance patrol.
to siftlfj y
whose tarpaulins are Sere to be greatly needed,
and the insurance adjusters, to estimate) the sal
vage, if any. from the ingenious f100d.. . . - --. •
A silk merchant replied to me. when I vent
ured to congratulate him upon the elaborate sys
tem of automatic sprinklers very much In evidence
on his ceilings. £><fl afoittai give a thousand dollars
to have them .Mit'UJfao.They are disconnected, ami
can dcv.no harra. -.tius any mischievous boy might
open th* connecting Carve and expose my stock to
ruin." . "
Upon opening his store one morning another
merchant found everything flooded and practically
worthless. Some prankish imp of the night had
opened the plugs. The alarm failed to go off, and.
uninterrupted, the faithful sprinklers sprinkled all
night long, while the cold, unfeeling stars twinkled
with merry glee.
It Is impossible to contrive a metal plug so fuslhis
as to melt at the mild warmth of an Incipient Are.
bat which will surely resist the heat of an August
day. True, the fire losses under this system may
be sensibly diminished, but the losses by water win
many times outweigh this advantage.
End of the century civilization called for some
tr.lcg better, something more effectual, more dura*
bie. less dangerous urn
these complicated, yet
crude appliances, and. as
is always the case, sci
ence has answered tha
call with a fire ri^Unsr.
fire extinguishing; fire
killing appliance that
costs little money, takes
up no room, 13 ever at
band, so simple that Us
use involves so previous
training nor any high.
order of Intelligence, and
whose durability Is such
that time or climate has
been found m I to affect:
it at all.
This übiquity 13, per
haps, the cost important
point of advantage m tha
latest modern ore extin
guisher. Instant appli
cation of a pitcher of
water may save life ami
property which a few
minutes later Is beyond,
the control of the entire
Fire Department of this
great city. A witness to
this fact to the recast
Windsor Hotel horror.
What is now a flichailaa;
blaze In a was:epaper
basket may be, when fh*
fire brigade arrive?, a
roaring hell of flair.*. Is
It not the part of ordlnary
prudence to have at hand
in simple form that any
child or servant can pi
as well as a battalion
chief a means of asphyxi
atlng such incipient are* I
A tube of Kllfyre IS
three pounds and cost
three dollars . .-.- plane
needed for Its Instalment
Is a tack driven into tha
woodwork of a doer. A
jerk at the tube releases
it from the lacs. unstopping It at the same time. A
few flirts of the tube fills the air with the impal
pable Kllfyre powder and— fire can as longs?
exist In that room.
Railroad trains when wrecked and b« gaining to
burn are commonly out of reach of any ere bri
gade or assistance of any kind. They should carry
their own fire department. A tub* of Kitty re dry
powder fire extinguisher In toe hands of a br»J|£
man would have prevented the -Ash tabula 1*5; »
— » — «
¦ aust. It Is impervton? alike to dampness, frost.
heat or the deterioration of time
Had there been at hand a s!n?!t» three dollar
tube of KUf>re when thnt modern Vrometheus."
Mr- !.,-.ir\ ¦ cow. kicked over the -lamp in 1871.
and brought :::¦¦ the incredible distance from
heaven to , Chicago, it would have prevented a
loss of . JtM.OOO.i'H). have saved 11,000 buildings and
2<X> human lives, and, perhaps, benefited Chicago,
A few tubes of the -dry powder, hanging at.con
venient "stations on the Hoboken docks.- last
summer would have saved three ¦ magnificent
transatlantic steamers, many human lives and
goods and wharf property running up into tne
r* r

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