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The St. Charles herald. [volume] (Hahnville, La.) 1873-1993, May 11, 1918, Image 5

Image and text provided by Louisiana State University; Baton Rouge, LA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85034322/1918-05-11/ed-1/seq-5/

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|HE United States Army is being
prepared to meet the gas at
tacks of the enemy, the means
of protection having keen de
vis d by the mis defense serv
ice of the medical department,
which comprises about loo offi
cers and approximately (>i*0 en
listed men.
The two principal factors in gas defense are ef
fective masks and thorough training of soldiers
in the use of masks and various methods of avoid
ing contact with poisonous vapors.
Exports who have been sent to this country by
the allied governments have pronounced the pres
ent American masks the most efficient in existence.
The production of these inasks is progressing at a
rate which insures that the requirements of the
American troops abroad will he amply supplied.
At each cantonment in the United States a gas
defense school has been established and placed in
charge of a divisional gas officer, who works In
conjunction with the chemical adviser, both trained
in the theory and practice of meeting gas of
fensives. Through these schools every officer and
man receives instruction as to proper means of
gas defense.
The use of gas in warfare dates hack to about
404 15. C. Tlie Spartans saturated wood with pitch
and sulphur and burned it under the walls of cit
ies which they were attacking. For several cen
turies gas had not been used in warfare and The
Hague convention definitely ruled against it.
However, on April 22, 1015, the Germans liberated
great clouds of gas against Canadian troops near
Ypres. Terrible destruction and demoralization re
sulted from this first gas attack, and within a
week England made plans for gas warfare against
the Germans. Gas is now an everyday part of
Gases may be employed in tin* form of clouds,
or in shells, bombs and hand grenades. The first
gas attacks In the present war were in clouds.
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Fumes were liberated from steel containers which
were distributed in groups of three or four at
intervals of 50 yards along the trenches opposite
the line to be attacked. Tubes, provided with a
stopcock attachment, were connected with the gas
tanks, and the end of the tube was passed over
the parapet. When the attack was intended, a
signal was given and the stopcocks were opened,
allowing the gas to escape in the form of liquid
which immediately vaporized.
Soon after the first German gas attack Eng
lish and French women sent to the front hundreds
of thousands of home-made gas masks. For the
most part they were merely bandages impregnated
with chemicals to wrap around the mouth and
The next step in gas masks was a cloth helmet
nr hood which had been dipped in neutralizing so
lution, the bottom of which was tucked in the
collar. The next improvement was to put in an
exhaust or outlet for the exhaled air. This type
of mask has been used extensively.
The small box respirator mask was next de
veloped, and It Is the model of the mask we are
at present using. It is the highest development,
affording good protection. It has an impervi
ous face-piece, with glass or celluloid eyepieces,
held in place by rubber bands around the bead. A
canister is carried in a small knapsack and a llox
jble tube connects the box in the face-piece. In
side the face-piece is a small wire clamp with rub
ber pads which fits on the nose and forces the
wearer to breathe through his mouth. The end
of the flexible tube has a rubber mouthpiece
through which the man breathes. The incoming
breatli comes through the canister, which is filled
with several layers of speciul chemicals of an
absorbent nature which neutralize or render harm
less the gas-laden air. The outgoing breath
passes outside the face-piece through a small rub
ber valve.
The American gas defense service is divided
Into three separate parts: (1) icld supply sec
tion; (2) field training section; (.'5) overseas re
pair section.
The function of the field supply section is to
manufacture or procure nil gas-defense materials
and equipment. The big work of course is to
furnish our troops with effective masks. The
small box respirator type of mask, admittedly the
best mask in existence, was accepted as a model.
The manufacture of a gas mask of this type
presented a problem. No manufacturing firms had
experience with an article of this kind. More
than ordinary care must be used in making parts
because the slightest defect would render the
mask useless. The wide variety of materials going
Into the mask made it necessary to have the parts
made in separate plants and assembled at a cen
tral plant. At present about sixty manufacturing
firms contribute directly to the making of the
American mask.
With no actual experience to depend upon, much
experimental and research work was nft'wsa^
An extensive experimental organization was bui t
up, with branches In several cities. Recently
was decided to establish a governmenUoperated
plant to handle the final assembling an\the dlf
ficult sewing operations on the fnce-pie<%
plant will soon be in full operation, about
4< The e American mask, similar to the British is as
mechanically perfect as the best expertsIn the
country have been able to produce. The vital fea
ture of anv respirator mask is the chemicals co
talned in ihe canister. These chemicals and ab
sorbents are made from secret forrau ae.
The face-piece consists of a base of cotton fab
rlc carefully rubberized. Th«e
made to fit various types 'of faces. A net« ork of
slastlc bands over the head holds the face-p ece
nlace The ears are left uncovered. ,
The mask is carried in a knapsack at the left hip.
supported by a shoulder band. Mhen troops ap
pZch a danger zone, the .trap, are.shortened^and
the knapsack is shifted to rest high on the chest
ready for instant use. This Is known as the alert
position." The soldier has merely to open the
knapsack, pull out the flexible hose with the face
piece attached, put the rubber 'n°ut h piece m h
mouth and adjust the bands over his headL The
aose clip can easily be adjusted from the outside
kfter tlie face-piece Is on. This nose clip Insures
that even if the fabric of the face-piece should be
pierced, the soldier would still be breathing en
tirely through his mouth.
For every mask made there is at least one ex
tra canister. These canisters are detachable from
the tube. When a canister has lost its efficiency,
it can be detached and a new canister put on.
About the first thing a soldier wants to know
about a gas mask is ho«- much protection it af
fords him. The best answer to this question is
that the present American mask affords more pro
tection than any device in existence. The chem
icals in the canister will neutralize the heaviest
concentrations of gases for a period at least ton
times longer than the possible duration <*f any
gas attack.
In every knapsack is a record card, on which
each soldier must enter the time that Ids mask
has been exposed to gas. This record, combined
with subsequent examination, makes it possible to
judge accurately when there is any danger of the
chemical being worn out. Before that point is
reached a new mask is Issued.
While the main function of the field supply sec
tion Is to supply gas masks, it is also responsible
for the supply of all other gas-defense equipment.
This includes masks for horses, which consist of
several layers of fabric which are impregnated
with neutralizing chemicals. Trench or flapper
fans must also be supplied in considerable num
ber. Oxygen inhalers and oxygen bottles for use
,In field and base hospitals are also supplied in
large numbers. Instruments for the detection of
gas and the spreading of gas alarms are necessary.
These consist of horns, rattles and special detect
ing devices.
There is perhaps no feature of modern warfare
in which the psychological element is more impor
tant than in connection with gas. Gases are un
canny to the untrained man. Every soldier must
lie made to understand that there Is no protection
except tlie gas mask, and he must believe in the
value of bis equipment. He must realize that the
equipment itself will not do the work unless he Is
skillful in adjusting it quickly and being accus
tomed to wear it without feeling hampered.
Reports of gas attacks show that the casualties
are caused, not so much by defective masks, as by
lack of training. Here are excerpts from official
reports from the western front, giving reasons for
gas casualties:
"Officers and men sleeping in dugouts without
having their masks attached to them, or being
caught away from their dugouts without their
"Men in support trenches not getting the warn
ing in time."
"Helmets being worn under overcoats, with con
sequent difficulty in getting them out and putting
them on quickly."
"Men thinking that gas was gone and taking
their masks off."
Since casualties like these occur every time a
gas attack is made, it is obvious that simply to
provide troops with gas masks is not enough.
They must be drilled until they feel their respira
tors are a part of their dress—more necessary
than a pair of shoes, for they must never depart
from them.
They must learn to give the alarm instinctively
and to have such confidence in their masks that
under no circumstances will they take them off.
This means stiff military discipline. It neces
sitates training that is different from anything
that was ever attempted, since It deals vvith a
weapon that Is noiseless and sometimes invisible.
It Is the work of the field training section of
the gas-defense service to bring home to the Amer
ican soldiers the importance of his gas mask, to
drill him in its use and to inspire confidence In its
The gas defense schools at all camps provide
training In the theory and practice of gas de
As in all other elements of warfare, the prin
ciples of defense can be comprehended only
through a knowledge of offensive tactics.
In training troops, conditions are created in the
field which resemble ns nearly as possible actual
conditions encountered at the front. The stu
dent learns to get his mask on in a hurry, six sec
onds being the standard time when the knapsack
containing the mask is hanging at the chest in the
"alert position." Dexterity of motion must be de
Series of trenches with dugouts have been con
structed at each cantonment.
A gas attack Is arranged. The class is placed
in tlie trenches, each man is given a definite assign
ment. sentries are posted, the alarms are made
ready and the dugouts occupied. Without warn
ing clouds of smoke and chlorine are liberated by
the instructors. Masks are hurriedly put on.
alarms sounded, sleeping men in dugouts aroused
and the curtains lowered. The attack ceases, the
trenches are cleared, the air tested, and permis
sion to remove masks is given. Suddenly a sec
ond and more concentrated cloud comes over and
the performance is repeated.
Sometimes the class is taken on a hike, prefer
ably at night. Suddenly a report is heard and a
harmless-looking smoke cloud arises 13 or 20 foot
away and drifts towards the column. Woe to the
man who does not get his mask on at once. The
instructor lias thrown a {taper gas bomb, that may
emit a vile and nauseating gas, or one that will
sting tlie eyes more than tlie concentrated juice
of a thousand onions.
Gas warfare is new. The methods of gas and
shell and cloud attack are being changed almost
daily. New conditions can only be met by thorough
training and rigid discipline.
The overseas section of Ihe gas-defense service
consists of about 13 officers and a number of en
listed men who will conduct a repair factory in
France. Masks with worn-out canisters will lie
sent to this country to be' detached from the tube
and new canisters put on. This section will also
In* equipped with sewing machines and other ap
pliances to do general repair work on tlie mask.
Mrs. Richard D. ('order placed her little
daughter Mildren in her go-cart in the front
yard of their home, near Luwrenceburg Junction,
She sa«' a large hlaeksnake crawl into the
cart and nestle on baby's pinafore. Darting its
head here and there the hlaeksnake intently
watched tlie baby.
Probably the infant thought a new toy had
come and put out its chubby hand to grasp the
snake, which eluded the child.
Terror nearly paralyzed Mrs. Corder. She could
not move, but she uttered a shriek.
Mrs. Charles W. Corder, lier sister-in-law, who
was calling on lier, ran to lier, and she pointed
to the baby cart. Mrs. Charles W. Corder rushed
out, seized the snake by the tail and flung It yards
away, and the baby began crying for its pretty
new toy.
In this war fourteen out of fifteen men come
through safe and sound, not more than one man
in thirty is killed, and only one in 500 loses an
arm or leg. In the Civil war the per cent was
much higher. In fact, the soldier in this war
stands no greater chance of being killed or in
jured than a man engaged in a hazardous occu
Fiatbush —My next door neighbor was taken
sick last night.
Bensonhurst—Too bad.
"Yes, we telephoned for the doctor, but he
couldn't come."
"How Is he today?"
"Oh, he's worse. Tlie doctor carne today!"—
Yonkers Statesman.
"I've got a good way for you to save money."
"Whenever you see a real bargain advertised—"
"Yes, my dear. I'm to buy it."
"No, you are to' restrain from buying it no mat
ter how cheap the article may be if it is some
thing you don't need." ,
j n
Demand for Houses Presents
Problem in Great Many
Desions Must Not Be So Much Alike
as to Be Monotonous Nor So
Different as to Destroy
Mr XVI î lii rrj A Kuilfurd will answer
questions ami uive acH. e i IlEK I F
COST on all , ts pertaining to tho
subject of bulMing. for the re.liters of this
paper. On acvouot of ins wide experience
as Editor, Author and Manufacturer, he
is, without doubt, the highest authority
on all these subjects. Addrc.-s all inquiries
to William A. Iiadford. Mo. 1S27 Prairie
avenue, Chicago, 111 , and only enclose
Uiree-cent stamp for reply.
Homes for workingmen have conic t<>
lie one of tlie serious problems of the
nation's war enterprise. When the
National army camps were huiit, thou
sands of building mechanics and la
borers were brought in to handle the
work. Many were housed temporarily
In hunk bouses or contractors' bar
Tlie same is now true io quite an
extent at the big shipyards.
Every one admits that this is not
tlie ideal condition. It contains a seri
ous threat to tin* working efficiency of
the men, as well as to their moral na
tures. However, in the emergency it
is the liest 1 hat can lie provided. In
these big industrial centers where
thousands of men must be brought to
gether within a few weeks to carry out
a large stupendous program of sudden
preparation, such emergency housing is
about all that can be provided.
Many of the smaller cities, in fact,
even some small villages, are finding
themselves woefully short on houses
for the workingmen who are being
called in by the sudden growth of
some local plant or factory. The war
activity Is reaching out into surprising
places. All over the country we get
reports of this town needing 50 new
houses, that town requiring 30, another
town 25, another 100, and so It goes.
This housing need in tlie smaller
cities and towns should not be handled
SÉ» 1 '
in a temporary slipshod way. Bunk
houses or boarding houses will not do.
Tlie aim should in* to supply real
homes, hut to select them so wisely
that they will not he unduly expensive,
and tin'll to construct them, if possi
ble, in quantity lots so that the build
ing cost may be low.
Real estate men have long realized
tlie advantages of opening up a sub
division and putting up several homes
at one time. There are great savings
in cost, and tlie time of construction is
often reduced one-half.
In the city a builder will often have
all the work to do in building tip part
of a subdivision and may have several
different groups of houses to build
which face on different streets. The
amount of profit that the contractor
y 3
Floor Plan of House Shown at Left
of Group Picture.
or builder makes on this sort of work
will depend entirely on the organiza
tion that he can develop and the use
of all the labor-saving devices that are
Such work as this makes it possible
for a builder to buy apparatus ttiat he
lia- wanted but lias felt that he
couldn't afford; because it will pay for
itself on the work. The busier you
can keep a machine and the less it
has to he moved over long distances,
the sooner The s: \
Jug it eff,-er s will
nil'!'" than !■:. e
1 he cost.
There are t
things to guard
in î ho
lu ni» su-îi s : ;
: wn ' - T! • y
i : '>t !: •' !*■<•-» > i : :
il.* '.'1 ■? ■ «ir- - ;
nil The i>. r: r hand
they simili i un! e
r.iiit or t h : 1 1 1 !i. * <■«.
• , !, i i ; ; - ;, : i s » • : i •- t >
. :;u* ninl r:'<*h oil«*
must ptvsi-nr an
v: iw .. :m:i(V
both by its, -If i
:i enUlliiliali itl with
tlie neighlmring ! >u
It's an entire!,
ill, 'rent prnb'.Ti to
build one bouse for
me fnllnw
• g 1 ^tietis than
I to build a group -with tlie object of
selling eaeli house in the group. In
the first ease ifi ■ own« r may have cer
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»•T-tCOW* I
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ilT OL &X.U XOl
Floor Plan of House Shown at Right
of Group Picture.
tain radical features that he wishes
to incorporate in his house, and as
long us he is the one to tie pleased
these ideas are considered. In the
group houses the designs must all be
more or less conservative as the taste
of the prospective owner is absolutely
unknown. Tlie problem therefore. Is
to provide a house that is distinctive
and yet contains no freakish special
features that are likely to impress pros
pects in the wrong way.
This idea applies equally well to
both tiie exterior treatment and the
room arrangement. The designs shown
here are handled In this way, and each
group is harmonious and contains no
radical features that are likely to cattsi
disapproval. Yet each house is dis
tinctive and attractive.
The floor plans of each of the houses
arc somewhat similar because this par
ticular arrangement has been found
to bo the most practical. The arrange
ments differ of course in various little
tilings, but in a general way they are
much the same.
The opportunity for harmonious con
! trust lies almost altogether in tin* ex
terior treatment, and this is where
these houses differ from each other.
In arranging for tlie building of
these group houses, the lots are gen
erally made fairly narrow so all these
designs are made narrow enough to
go ou a small lot. Tlie widest is 25
feet and the narrowest is 21 feet, which
is small enough to go on any lot; as
they are seldom made narrower than
23 feet and are generally a little wider
than this.
Several factors enter into the selec
tion and arrangement of the rooms.
The main object to he accomplished
in the design of a small house is the
utilization of all the room possible,
consistent witli convenience and acces
sibility and also cost. Very often the
latter item can be affected by altering
the sizes of the rooms a little so as to
enable the use of stock lumber. This
reduces the amount of cutting that la
necessary and thus reduces the cost—
often to a marked degree. It also en
aides the builder to do faster work,
which may he an important factor at
Frame construction is used for the
designs shown here, which are of tho
bungalow type. The foundations of
these and also of the other designs
are made of concrete up to the grade
line. The walls are of typical 2 by 4
stud construction, which is covered
with sheathing. The sheathing is then
covered with rosin building paper ant
No. 1 four-inch beveled siding. Floor
joists are usually made of 2 by 10's,
which are spaced 10 inches on centers
Tlie ceiling joists are also spaced 10
inches on centers, and are made of 2
by G timbers.
A study of this group and the floor
plans will give the builder many valu
able ideas on group management and
will also provide much useful informa
tion on single houses of several dif
j feront kinds. Each of the houses is of
I course separate and will look well il
set off by itself away from the rest oi

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