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THE SUN AND NEW YORK HERALD, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 1920.
Navy Makes Debut in Movie Thriller and Likes It Often Pictured but in Regular Screen Dra ma for First Time, Officers and Men En joy Experience and Win Praise of Film Experts EVERY man who has served In the I Tilted States Army or Navy will assure you that a "rookie" never Knows what duties will confront him wher pa Joins the colors. It Is evident that an fiillstment In either service entails a variety of duties such as novices never dream of when they take the oath upon donning the uniform. Several thousand sailors of the Atlantic fleet little thought, when they joined up" to "save, see and learn," that rnme day they would play active parts In a spectacular motion picture drama. Navy men have been seen In pictures many times, but never prior to "Bride 18," a serial produced by William Fox, which has an entire fleet of warships and aircraft, with their officers and crews, having been udered by the Navy Department to devote several weeks exclusively to the Aiming of i screen serial. Depicts Navy in Peace Time. "Bride 13" is not a war picture, but re veals the navy in the role of n great rescu ing force, hunting down a band of pirates that descends upon the American coast In a submarine and kidnaps wealthy brides. The Navy Department saw in this serial, vhen the story was submitted, an oppor tunity to present to the people an Intimate and complete picture of the peace time ac tivities of the men ashore and afloat. The naval units utilized were part of the command of Rear Admiral Charles P. Plun Kott, stationed at Newport, R. L Admiral I'lunkett was ordered by the Department to give the film company, under the direction of Richard Stanton, whatever cooperation was required to make the picture. A conference was held at Newport be tween Admiral Plunkett and his staff and Director Stanton and his assistants. Stan ton explained to the Admiral the situation established by the scenario and asked that the navy officer prepare a plan of action such as he would outline were he actually Confronted with the prohlem of combat ing a hand of submarine pirates hovering off the const. The Admiral designated Commander A, I Bristol of the destroyer Breckinridge In Immediate command of the "motion picture fleet'' and outlined to him his views of the strategy that should be followed In the theoretical attack on Amer ican womanhood. The ships were In readiness and the fleet set out from the harbor. Thereafter for weeks big guns were fired, depth charges dropped, bombs hurled from seaplanes, sub marines went into action and Newport re sounded to the many explosions staged in the fllmi'i of the picture. Commander Bristol on the Breckinridge superintended iliS operations of the fleet after dally con sultatinns with Director Stanton, whos" the screen In which It sees the pirates firing shrapnel at the aviator and the bursting of bombs thrown from the clouds by the navy officer. Shells actually were fired at a navy seaplane to obtain this action and they did burst close to the plane. Although, of course, they were not the regular service projectiles, the pilot did not relish his Job and said so when he alighted. Pursuing the Villain. To photograph these secenes in the air the camera man, Horace O. Plimpton, Jr., set up his camera In the nose of a second seaplane. Plimpton who by the way Is a civil engineer has been a camera man sev eral years on feature productions. He has cranked his camera while suspended from the side of a railroad box car and has been bound with his camera to the front of a locomotive speeding a mile a minute; but prior to "Bride 13" he had not "shot" sceneB from the air. He got plenty of avia tion in th" serial, what with chasing the villain fleeing across the country In his auto mobile, recording the struggles of heroine against her pirate captors a thousand feet above ground, and grinding away at a des- CAMERAMAN "SETS UP" ON A U.S. DESTROYER "flag ship" was the sub-chaser 177. The submarine R-l. commanded by Lieutenant Commander Q. W. D. Dashiell, was the "pirate submarine." Capt. O. W. Steele of the Shawmut, mother ship of the seaplane squadron, overlooked the essential contribu tion of planes 12, 13 and lf, the squadron itself being under the command of Lieutenant-Commander B. G. Leighton. senior pilot. Subchaser 177 was in Charge of Chief Eontswain's Mate Wortham. Officers and Men Enjoy It. T'ne apieal of the scenario to the officers and men had been well calculated. The au thor, Edward Sedgwick, had known active servlee aboard battleships and was able to apply Intelligently his knowledge of nava! equipment and practice. The officers and men enjoyed hugely their unique duties and went to them with a will and a dash highly I, leasing to the director. Officers of des'royers led boatloads of their men in hand-to-hand deck fights with swarthy renegades; Commander Bristol himself, in his official capacity on the bridge of the Breckinridge, was the leading picture actor in many scenes. Seaplane pilots as sumed the role of pirates and captured the fair heroine, or, as their natural selves, picked up the hero from the waters of the bay Into which he had been cast by the villain. The navy planes contributed largely to the serial, appearing in some of the most thtilllng scenes. In one of the early epi sodes an aviator hurls bombs from the air to destroy the pirate submarine. The audi ence Is regaled with a startling battle on m DO t0 KIDNAPPED BRIDE ABOARD k PI RATES 'SUBMARINE 3se "oooooooo' THE MEN WHO PUT THE NAVY in -ike" MOVIES" left A RIQHT: COMMANDER A.L. BRISTOL, U.S.N. DIRECTOR. Richard stanton and lieut. COM MANDERG.W.D. DASHIELL . perate battle between a seaplane and a navy dirigible. On board the mother ship Shawmut, on the day of the filming of the race be tween the seaplane and the automobile, Com mander Lelghten, commanding officer of the seaplane squadron, talked about hla pets the planes. "People know very little," he said, "about seaplanes and what can be done with them. The squadron, which came into existence last February, is on trial for Its continuance In connection with the work In the navy. To make the general public familiar with seaplanes and their possibilities will help us win our point. "Besides, the fullest publicity relating to life in the navy is desirable to stimulate re cruiting, which would not be much of a problem if the youth of the country were able to picture to themselves the many ad vantages and pleasures connected with the service. "The seaplane squadron adds a new fas cinating reason for entering the navy. More and more aviation pilots and mechanicians will be needed. It is becoming a very com mon thing for men and women, too to pay as much as $2a for a few minutes flight In an airplane. It is not very difficult for any able seaman to have that experience for nothing." As Commander. Leighton spoke, the R-1S of the seaplane squadron, piloted by Lieut. William Townaley, whirred Into view with the rescued hero of the serial in the for ward cockpit, and a moment later alighted within twenty yards of the Shawmut's stern. There for the camera she demonstrated her wonderful mobility of action on the water. Popocatepetl Grumbling Again Fills Natives With Superstitious Dread DOWN In the valley of Mexico the Indians are watching old Popo catepetl and wondering what devil's brew is mixing in the bowels of the volcano. "Popo" had been silent at Pike's Peak for over a hundred years. No living Mexican had heard it rumble or seen it smoke until a few days ago. when unmistakable volcanic disturbances were reported. A tradition still exists among the Indians that if Popo eatepetl breaks into eruption there are cer tain to be disturbances equally volcanic among the people. Five hundred years ago, when Cortes planted an iron heel on the Aztec nation, they saw their superstition confirmed. As I'ortes marched on the City of Mexico, while he was building a military road over the lidge that connects Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, "Popo" was violently active. In History and Legend. Again, in 1802, a few years before Mexi can independence was won, there was an eruption of Popocatepetl. While Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, fhe parish priest of Dolores, rang hLs famous liberty bell and shouted the call to arms known as the Grito de Dolores, "long live our Holy Mother of Guadalupe, long live America, and death to bad government," Popocatepetl smoked and thundered and flamed. Although Popocatepetl is only one of sev eral peaks that shoulder up from the valley of Mexico, it dominates the great plain Just as Fujiyama dominated Japan. Rising from a plateau which is itself 7.000 feet above sea level. "Popo" thrusts Its snowy head 10.000 feet higher than the plain. About this moun t.iin and its neighbor. Iztaccihuatl, ten miles 'listant to the north, legenj and history both have gathered. The two peaks were named by the Indians. Popocatepetl in the Aztec tongue meant "the mountain that smokes" and Iztaccihjatl meant "the white woman." From the city of Mexico the smaller peak, with its long man He or erpetual snow, looks like the sleep nig fUiire of a woman draped in white. Tie Indians told many stories about the two mountains. They were gods. Or they ire g.ants transformed Into mountains be cause they had incurred the displeasure of the gods. The giantess that was Iztacci huatl died, but Popocatepetl lived on, doomed to, gaze forever upon the dead face of the woman he loved. Sometimes, In his grief, he moined and trembled, and tears of Are 'an down his cheeks. It was believed that Iztaccihuatl was the shod" of spirits of wicked rnlers. whose sgoniea brought fearful bellowings from their prison house and convulsions In time of eruption. All these legends had Invested the mountains with a mysterious horror and the natives shrank fiom attempting the asent. When Cortes came within sight of Popo petl he was told that no man had ever Uimoel to the top. That in Itself was enough to stir the Spanish adventurers to the attempt, and, moreover, there was one of his officers, Diego Ordaz, whose rivalry he feared. Cortes knew that to scale the moun tain would win the respect of the Indians and that Ordaz, who was eager to attempt it, might not come back. So Ordaz. with nine Spaniards and several Indians, started on the ascent. The climb led them first through dense forest growth, then up through stunted, straggling trees until they came out above the timber line and saw stretching above them the great slopes of lava rock and above that the fields of Ice and snow. At the tirnlter line the Indians turned back. Ordaz nnd his men went on until clouds of sulphurous fumes swept down upon them, carrying cinders that nearly blinded them. They were forced to turn back, and brought down with them some great icicles which they had found on the slopes. These alone were enough to we the Indians. Charles V. of Spain later made Ordaz a knight for this exploit and gave him permission to wear upon his coat of arms the picture of a burn ing mountain as his device: Two years later Cortes sent up another party under Francisco Montano to obtain sulphur from the crater, for his supply of gunpowder was running low. This time Popocatepetl was quiet The Spaniards climbed to the edge of the crater, which they found to be a mile In circumference. A ciiiarter of a mile below they could see the bubbling Assures opening into the great Milphur beds at the heart of the volcano. I,ots were cast to decide who should go down into the mouth of the crater to bring back the sulphur. The choice fell upon Montano himself, and he was lowered In a flasket to a depth of 400 feet. He repeated the descent several times, scraping the sulphur from the sides of the crater. Popocatepetl is now considered a very easy climb, as mountains of that height go. and before Mexico was such an unlikely place for tourists to be hundreds of them climbed dd&nL wiii iifiii MflLjdM adflaaSeHBlliieBBBBBB AflnH ffTffilglru aJeUegM WSWmseQfflB vsfiKmm I 91 1 ;' I IflggiHH P I 1 9 1 b n I ij .... ; BaBaVgsV JVlHgaM gggiEaeeMeMeMelMawTjLsY THwHwel aaVlgsQMRt LLH 3NOW CAPPED PEAK OF POPOCATEPETL WHICH TH REATENS AN ERUPTION. It every year. The ascent la made up the northeast slope, over rough roads left by the sulphur carriers and timber cutters. The walls of the crater to-day show a great variety of colors. Huge patches of sulphur, some of them still smouldering, are visible everywhere, Intermingled with the white steaks of snow and ice that All the crevices and cover the ledges of the black rocks. For a great many years the mountain has from time to time been systematically mined for the sulphur deposits. Since the con quest of the country by Cortes something like 100,000,000 tons of sulphur have been taken from the crater. The deposits are believed to be 1.000 feet deepsand the crater Aoor covers an area of half a mile. Four centuries of exploitation do not seem to have diminished the supply. The Indian sulphur miners go down by ladders or are lowered by ropes and wind lass. The sulphur is taken out by hand and loaded In bags containing about twenty tlve pounds of the stuff. These are hauled up to the crater rim. where other workmen take two or three of the bags, sit down with them on a straw mat and shoot down the snow slopes until they reach the roads be low. Naturally, this sulphur mining is one of the most arduous of occupations, because of the strain placed upon the heart by work ing in such rarefied air and because pf the severe exposure to which the workmen are subjected. f Rivalry of the God. Sliding down the sides of Popocatapetl is all In the day's work now for these Indians, but there was a time when they would have thought such conduct highly sacrilegious. It was all right for Quetzalcoatl to carry on that way, hut Quetzalcoatl was a king god. In his reign there was peace and plenty for all men. There was abundance of corn, ond cotton grew in all colors, ready for weaving. You didn't even have to dye It. Quetzalcoatl was god of the Toltecs and the arch enemy of Tez-atlipoca, another god. Tezcatlipoca put the fear of himself In Quetzalcoatl's heart once, and the Toltec god ran so fast that he went straight up Popocatapetl and slid down the other side, on his way to the sea. From the summit of Popocatepetl the eye takes In one of the most magnificent pano ramas on the North American continent. The city of Mexico lies to the northwest; ten miles 'o the north Iztaccihuatl rises 16,000 feet, and three other great peaks, Orizaba, Xlantecatl and Matlaeueyatl, are clearly vis ible. The ascent of Iztaccihuatl is much more difficult than that of Popocatepetl, and It has not often been accomplished. It has no crater, and there is no trace of lingering volcanic heat. This volcano Is believed to be much older than Its neighbor. It Is linked to Popocatepetl hy a long saddle over which Cortes,butlt a military road and along which he rode to the conquest of the Valley of Mexico. Comedy at the Finish. Director Stanton's farewell dinner to Com mander Bristol aboard a yacht chartered by the film company for certain scenes was really the only breathing spell in all the veeks the navy was engaged In acting for the screen. Bristol was accompanied by two of the Breckinridge's officers Lieut. Hugo Schmidt and Gunner Edward J. Jar zembowski and by Lieutenant-Commander Dashiell of the submarine R-l. While Stanton acted as host, much comedy relief vas furnished by Sedgwick, the scenario writer, who is a 230 pound unterrlfled Tex an. Camera man Plimpton was Induced to take part, and he was responsible for the following mutual congratulations: Stanton (to Commander Bristol) Com mander, the words do not exist for an a.! -ouate expression of my appreciation. How ever, I am able to utter this much: As ravel commander you are a marvelous mo tion picture actor. Consider 'yourself per manently engaged. Bristol (to Director Stanton) Richard, s a motion picture director you are a whale of a naval commander. Consider yourself in irons. Underground Crossing Like Merry-Go-Round IN spite of the Improved traffic regulations for which New York Is noted and per haps because of the necessary delays these cause persons crossing congested streets, new methods or safety for foot passengers are constantly being devised. Two methods that have been proposed are the rotary turntable and the moving under ground passageway. Both have been de scrltied and Illustrated by Edwin F. hinder in Science and Invention. The rotary turntable is a sort of under ground merry-go-round. A large circular platform rotates about a centre post, which i geared to the driving. mechanism and con nected to an electric motor. The platform Is reached from the sidewalks by stairway or moving incline. Going down to the lower level by one of these the pedestrian steps aboard at once, as the edge of the platform travels slowly, rlose to the corner station. He steps off as easily as soon as the electric-ally lighted sign warns him that he has arrived at such and such avenue or street. The other device is a moving platform under the street, electrically lighted and operated. This platform would carry the people below the street and across to an other incline, operating upward to an exit similarly situated on the opposite side. This type of conveyor would serve most efficiently by the construction of eight moving endless chain platforms, placed In pairs, each work ing In opposite directions. The four street corners are thus connected by these sub surface, passages and as the platform are kept In motion continually by the electric motors which drive them there would be no delay in getting quickly to the other side of the crossing. At the same time the surface street would be freed for the use of cars, &c . v