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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, December 27, 1896, Image 25

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New Military Era—Catapult Bomb That Can Destroy a City Twenty Miles Away
Some one, whether a philosopher or not
has said that if but one-half of the en
ergy expended in the pursuit of the art of
war were taken from its present employ
ment and devoted to the development of
the arts of peace there would not remain
at the end of fifty years a single acre of
uncultivated land upon the face of the
obe. The statement may &eeni to be
rather extravagant, but a lull knowledge
>t what has been done and is now doing
to strengthen and maintain the immense
armaments, at tea and on land, of the
nations of the earth, would disclose abun
dant evidence in support of the claim.
It is impossible 111 1 ascertain exactly the
r.urab»r of men engaged in military and
naval service throughout the entire world.
No records are attainable of those so em
p.'oyed by barbarous and serai-civilized
nations and tribes, and but partial returns
are available relating to so-called civil
ized (?) nations. A list of twenty-seven
of the principal nations is here given,
from which it will be seen that the
strength of the armies and navies of these
nations fools up an aggregate cf about
25,000,000 men. Could we secure equally
accurate lists of the soldiery and sailory
of the reat of tbe world it is safe to say
that 25.000,000 more would be added to ihe
ranks of fighting men.
Oflireis— Men ' Horses. Gi:ns. Active: Keserve Slvps. | Guns.
Active ! Keserve I iShsps. | Guns.
— . 1
Germany. 4.643.43? 178,680 8.470 18.354 37.0< 0 304 1,099
Trance 2.906 077 195,141 1.368 79.400 87,600 471 \ b.230
Italy.-... 1,998. 95U 62.400 1.852! *2.91t$ 18.t 00 637 1,397
Au s ria- Hungary 1.476019 108.9t!0 2,724 1*.684 900 126 806
Bns^a 4.955;»;37 298.397 3.264 42.874 45,01.0 300 1,790
Great Britain . ...... &52.000 59 300 b96: (JH.HU3J 80.000 677 6.1U3
Turkey 921,440 9,000 612 13,597 36,010 118 6 - -6
fc-pain 458.643 1 27,368 25.000 1 33d 935
Portugal | 6,112 3.50J' 178
Be.cium 155,623 ......;... !
Netherlands. I 221,744 10,85 10,500 680
Denmark I l-.6.'So^ j 4,263 4,400 l ........ 468
Greece. j 209.422 : ; j
Swl z-rland 4^O.(JSJ !^ • I
Sweden and Norway- 146.1.8 9,546 11,380 3SO
Bulgaria... ... 231,090
Servia 270,180 :.
Koumania 257.. 02 I .:
Japan 328,090 1 3 84) 7.3C0 165 "-.6
China I.ItOOOU 2.bß'J 11 115
Mexico 168.149 I
Colombia. 30.114 760 10 16
Erazll 99.9 2 1.100: 39 '.96
Bolivia 3,860 .:
Chi c 85 65-' 1,340' 50 25.,
Argentine 63.435 j 530 19 ' ->3Z
Vnltetf States (rejular) ! 25,000 ....! ! .... 130 1.-5j
Above table prepared from data in poss« ssion of United -States bureau of Naval Intelligence
January 1. 18S6. i:gures of army strengths show "war looting." "Peace establishments" are about
60 per cent less. " • - .■ .
It must not be forgotten that every one
of these soldiers and snilors is able
bodied, selected alter a rigorous physical
examination, and, in fact, better qualified
to perform manual labor than is the aver
age citizen. What work could not an
army of 50,000,000 stalwart men perform
in one year, let alone fifty years? Every
one of this immense host is a consumer,
not a producer; a destroyer, not a builder.
To feed them and to lodge ana clothe
them; to amu-e them; to nurse them
while wounded or sict; to pension the
survivors and the dependents of the
killed; to furnish them with the play
things of war; to transport them across
oceans and continents; in other words, to
maintain this vast figbting force costs
one-fifth of the wealth of the civilized
Outside of the armies and navies ana
not included in the huge to:at of 50,000,000
a:e very many thousands of people directly
engaged in ministering to the needs of
the "men-of-war." Not only is the labor
of the artisan drawn upon, the genius of
the inventor is also led to devise new
methods of fighting. Xo invention used
in the peaceful pursuits of daily life has
The Newly Discovered Ruins of a Prehistoric Civilization in Central America
Every year adds to the interest that
centers about the wonderful ruins of a pre
historic civilization in Mexico and Central
America. Without wishing to discount
the recent alleged discoveries of a buried
city whose area is said to be greater than
that or London, it is interesting, at least,
to consider other discoveries in other
years of ruins which were said to be even
larger than those made recently. In the
latter part of the thirties John L. Stevens
visited some of the more famous pre
historic ruins in Yucatan and ether parts
cf Mexico, Central America and Chiapas.
T.'iose in Yucatan known p.s the
ruins of Paienque are perhaps tLe
most interesting. "In regard to the extent
of these ruins." Mr. Stevens afterward
wrote, "even in this practical age the
imagination of man delights in exaggera
tion. Tbe Indians and the people of
Paienque say that these ruins cover an
area of sixty miles. In a series of well
written articles in our own country ti:ey
have been set down as ten times larger
than New York. Lately, I have seen an
article in some of the- newspapers, re
ferring to our expedition, which repre
sents the city dscovend by us as having
been three times as large as London. It
is not in my nature to discredit any mar
velous story. I am slow to disbelieve,
and would rather Bustain all such inven
tions, but it has been my unhappy lot to
ever paid so large a sum to its inventor or
owner as has the invention cf a single
appliance of warfare. The receipts of the
telegraph and telephone combined are
dwarfed into insignificance by the kingly
revenue reaped by the owners ot the
Whitehead torpedo. Colossal sums are
cheerfully paid by ambitious Governments
for some new improvements in gun or
liflc. Each warlike nation is constantly
expending immense amounts in construct
ing cannon an. l armor.
Millions are spent annually in testing
new guns and defenses. Nor is the full
desire ever leached. For a time an armor
plate exists that wit] withstand tho impact
of a hu>re projectile, but for a brief period
only, for soon there is produced a larger
and more powerful gun capable of pierc
ing the armor plate; and then the cosily
but now inefficient ar:uor is cast aside,
and at farther enormous expense new and
heavier armor is contracted for. Each
nation strives to bo ihe possessor of the
most powerful ordnance, the mighty
cannon capable of hurling the heaviest
projectile to the farthest possible distance.
England has a breech-loading rilled cannon
that weighs 111 tons. It has a bore of
seventeen inches in diameter. This can
non is forty-seven feet in length and uses
960 pounds of powder at a single charge.
The shot fired by it weighs 1800 pounds
and it travels at a ve'oci'.y of fifteen rni.es
a minute with a force capable of piercing
a plate of wrought iron three feet in thick
ness. The big projectile from this gun
may be made to fall at a distance of over
ten miles from the place of tiring.
Accuracy of striking at this distance is,
of course, uncertain. The cost of each
shot l'rom this gun is several thousand
dollars. The life of a big gun — that is the
number of shots that may bs fired from it
without endangering the structural chai
acter of tne metal composing the gun — is
very limited. It is extremely question
able if the bis English gun would stan d
more than thirty tiring?. The tremen
dous concussion due to the explosion of
such enormous charges produces marked
changes in the fibrous character of the
iron and steel forming the gun barrel; the
metal Decomes granulated mure and more
with each succeeding discharge, until a
condition is reached in which the gun
metal loses its cohesive quality, and tlien
the gun is unserviceable. Safety to those
;ngaged in firing enforces the abandon
ment of such cannon before the danger
imit is reached.
find marvels fade away as I approach
Mr. Stevens then goes on to relate that
no one can hazard a safe estimation of the
extent of the Palenquean ruins, but that
so far as can be ascertained at the time
they cover an area only sufficiently ex
ten-ive to accommodate perhaps a hun
dred buildings more or less. Indeed, these
mysterious remnants of some former un
known eras in the history of man's evo
lution are marvelous enough in them
selves to be thoughtful, without need of
sensational exaggerations. Consider any
one of these ruins by itself. There is not
one of them bat what furnishes material
enouch to the imaginative to weave a
thousand fantastic theories about what
might have been, or was, in these prehis
toric American ages. Glancp fora moment
at the grand old castle in Paienque, with
its mystic memories of an indiscernible
past. It stands on an artificial elevation
of an ob!o;ig form forty feet high, 310 leet In
front and rear and 'IGQ leet on each
side. The elevation was formerly faced
with stone, -which has been thrown down
by the growth of trees, and now its form is
but dimly perceptible. The building stands
with its face to the east, and meadures 228
feet front by 108 feet deep. Its height is
about 25 feet, and all around it is a broad
projecting cornice of stone. The front
contains 14 doorways, each about 9 feet
The most powerful stimulus is con
tinually applied to scientific deduction
and inventive genius to the end that
better and more destructive engines of
warfare may be devised. Under ordinary
condition", such as obtain in the tirins of
cannon, the use of dynamite and otlier
high explosives is impossible, either as a
charge for gun or projectile. Used as a
tiring charge for a cannon the gun would
be burst; and used as a charge for the
projectile the concussion of the discharge
of the gun would, by its extreme violence,
explode the shell-charge before it left the
gun. This is why compressed air is em
ployed to project the dynamite shell, as is
the case in the pneumatic guns placed at
the Presidio. The terrible destructive
effects of an exploding charge of dyna
mite, mellinite or gelatin make it ex
tremely desirable that these high explo
sives should be employed as the charge
for shells and other projectiles. The
great impetus lately given to the study of
aeronautics seems to have inspired a
modern war genius and led to the produc
tion of a most novel engine of warfare.
The new weapon is called the "catapult
bomb." It is along, slender, metal tube,
pointed at both ends. On either side is a
convex wing of thin metal, which may be
set at a desired angle, while at the rear end
ol the projectile is a fan-shaped tail. The
catapult bomb may be of any size, carry
ing from 100 to 1000 pounds of explosive.
It is not fired from a gun, but is started
upon its path of destrncion by a steam
engine revolving a drum on which is
wide, and the intervening piers are be
tween 6 and 7 feet in width. The building
was constructed of stone, with a mortar of
lime and sand, and the whole front was
covered with stucco, and then painted.
The piers were ornamented with spirited
figures in bas-relief. On the top are three
hieroglyphics sunk in the stucco. Could
those hieroglyphics be read what marvel
ous knowledge of dead ages might they
not reveal to the present? This wonder
ful old palace, and many other lesser
structure?, which comprise the known
ruins of Paienque, stand in a thickly
grown fore-it, in which are trees hundreds
of years old that have pushed aside in
their infant days stones that were already
ancient. Some writers and travelers who
have visited these ruins have declared
them to be antediluvian, but the consen
sus of archaeological opinion seems to be
that these ruins have no greater antiquity
than perhaps two or three centuries be
fore the Christian era.
One of the most remarkable of the re
cent discoveries was made about five years
ago by Mineralogist Niven. He it was who
first gave to civilization its knowledge of
the lost city of Onutlan In the little
traveied State of Guerrero, Mexico. This
city, like nearly all of those discovered in
the present century, was at first credited
with being larger than several Londons
and New Yorks combined. "It seems as
if It were another wonder of the world,"
wrote one of the early chroniclers of this
discovery, "for it is no less than the un
earthing of a prehistoric city in the State
of Guerrero that was so spacious as to
cover 900 square miles. It has no less than
twenty-two temples and two huge pyra
These structures were built of ma
terial that had apparently been selected
with the greatest of care, the stone being
hard and even and hewn of equal dimen
sions. The architectural skill shown in
Modern Art of Warfare — Firing; Bombs a Distance of Twenty Miles*
wound several thousand feet of wire.
When it is desired to fire the catapult
bomb it is placed in a specially con
structed cradle, which holds the bomb at
an angle from the horizontal, the cradle
being located about 1000 feet in the rear of
the windin apparatus. A wire is then
attached to a ring fixed on the lower part
of the bomb, the other end of the wire
being wound upon the engine drum. The
engine is then set in motion winding up
the wire, the effect being to cause the
bomb to mount in the air, precisely on the
same principle as a kite.
The velocity of flight is increased by the
act of ascension and just before the bomb
reaches its highest point, just before it is
vertical over the engine, the wire is cut,
and thenceforward the bomb follows a
trajectory determined by its velocity and
the inclination of its previously adjusted
wings. It is claimed that the bomb can i
be fired with much greater accuracy than j
can a cannon shot at lone distances, and
it is moreover capable of being projected |
to a distance of twenty miles with suf- 1
construction will compare favorably with
modern buildings.
One of the most beautiful of the ruins
discovered in Yucatan is the majestic pile
called after one of the princ'pal edifices at
Uxmai, the Monj is, or Num. It 13 re
markable for its fine state of preservation,
and for tho richness and beauty of its
ornamentation. The height of this fa
cade is twenty-five feet, und it-* width is
thirty-five fe?t. It has two cornices of
tasteful and elaborate design. Over the
doorwny are twenty small cartouches of
hieroglyphics in four rows, five in a row,
and to make room for which the lower
cornice is carried up for several inches.
Over these stand out in a line six bold
projecting curved ornaments, resembling
an elephant's trunk, and the upper center
space over the aoorway is an irregular
niche, in which portions of a human fig
ure, with a headdress of feathers, atill re
Another prehistoric monument of rare
architectural beauty is called the Eglesia
ore urch of the Chichen Itza ruins. This
is 26 feet long, 14 feet deep and 31 feet in
height. It has three cornices, the spaces
between which are very richly orna
mented. The sculpture is somewhat rude,
but grand and effective. The principal
ornamont is over the doorway, and on
each side of it are two human figures in a
sitting posture. Both of these figures,
unfortunately, are much mutilated. As a
whole, howver, this building is in a good
state of preservation. The interior con-
Bisu of a single apartment, once covered
with plaster. Along the top of the wall
over the arch are seen the traces of a line
of medallions or cartouches in plaster,
which once contained hieroglyphics. The
Indians have a weird legend about this
build<ng, and they say that on Good Fri
day of* every year music is heard sounding
through these archaic walls.
The history of the nations that inhab
ficient accuracy to mate it the most terri
ble sie^e weapon known. With such a
weapon its users might laugh to Bcorn the
best known ordnance of the world; for the
great range of the bomb would allow of
its employment beyond the reach of our
present long-distance guns.
Another novelty in war appliances is
the 'Military Eye." This enables a com
mander in an otherwise unknown regfon
to ascertain the exact location of the
enemy's works and the disposition of his
force. It gives the topography of the
country as it actually is. The apparatus
The Catapult Bomb.
consists of a small balloon of a longitudi
nal shape, held captive to the ground by a
cord which is iormed of two small electric
wires. The balloon supports a small
photographic machine, which is main
tained pointing at a desired direction by a
powerful magnetic bar, the adjustment
of the lens of the camera with relation to
the magnetic meridian being made before
allowing the balloon io ascend.
By means of a current from a small bat
tery on the ground sent through the
ited these wonderful ruins is as misty,
confused and indi-tinct as is the history
of the builders or the round towers in Ire
land. The Toltecans, represented to have
been the most ancient, are said also to
have been the most polished and cultured
of these early American racas.
It cannot even be stated, however, with
any degree of certainty that these ruins of
Yucatan and otlier parts of Mexico and
Central America are the work of tbe Tol
ttjeans. Indeed these ruins rise like skele-
tons from the grave, wrapped in their
burial shroud. They claim no affinity
with the works of any known people.
They -eeni to belong to a distinct, inde
pendent and separate existence. They
stand alone, absolutely and entirely
anomalous — perhaps the most interesting
subject winch at this day presents itself to
ihe inquiring rnttid.
The Eccentricities of
Trade in London*
Everybody knows that millions of Eng
lish money are often affected by mere
rumor at home and abroad, but there are
many less obvious trifles that affect trade
in the most curious manner. Nothing is
more susceptible to trivial influences of all
kinds than English commerce. Many
branches of trade are dependent entirely
or. the fashions, a change in which fre
quently revives one industry at the cost
of another's depression. At a royal draw
ing-room recontly a feature of the dresses
was a perceptibie improvement in the sta
ple trade of the lace- making towns.
A similar effect is produced by the
adoption of new fashions by royalty. If
the Princess of Wales, for instance, ap
peared at the theater in a new opera
oloak there would immediately be a "ran"
on that particular kind of cloak. Trie re
was a marked illustration of this, on the
occasion of the Queen's wedding. Her
I wires, the photographic apparatus is made
to operate as frequently as desired until
the capacity of the film roll is exhausted.
As each exposure is made, tbe mechan
ism in the camera cuts oH the impressed
portion of film, wraps it in a light-proof
tube, and attaches the tube to a ring
which ia automatically detached from the
camera, and travels downward on the
wire to the operator on the ground. To
develop the film, fix it, and then by the
aid of a magnifying glass examine the
picture, is but short work. The balloon is
filled with hydrogen gas, and has a lifting
capacity in excess of the weight it carries.
Should the exigencies of the contl ct make
it hazardous to attempt tbe reeling in of
the wire, it is cut, when released of its
captivity the affair mounts and vanishes
in space.
Several devices of offensive warfare have
appeared from time to time which, while
undoubtedly capable of fulfilling their re
spective Junctions, are, nevertheless, so
infernal in character that civilized na
tions have as yet hesitated in employing
them. Prominnnt among these terrible
weapons is the "cyanide bomb." This is
a shell filled with a secret mixture which,
when it explodes, liberates vast volumes |
of deadly gases. The mixture is not af
fected by concussion, requiring a fuse to
' explode it. The fumes liberated are so
deadly that the inhalation of a single
breath is fatal to animal life. It is stated
I that a six-inch shell loaded with the mix
ture would if exploded within the hull of
I the largest battle-ship totally annihilate
Majesty wore a veil and gown made of
Honiton lace, which was said to have cost
a thousand pounds. Honiton lace quickly
became fashionable, and the manufactur
ers reaped a rich harvest in the few
months following the wedding.
An inquest was held in London a week
or two ai;o which indirectly caused serious
injury to a certain class of trade. Tho
subject of the inquest had died after eat
ing a rabbit-pie, and some alarming medi
cal statements were made as to the con
sumption of rabbits, which, it was stated,
were often unwholesome. The rabbit in
question was full of micro-organisms, and
death was stated to be directly due to this
cause. The case appeared prominently in
ail the newspapers, with the inevitable re
sult that timid people who relish rabbits
were startled, and the gamo-.lealers suf
fered accordingly. Last year the oyster
trade was seriously dislocated through an
unfortunate death under similar circum
One of the most curious revivals of trade
on record was the revival of the Pans hat
trade, which advanced last season by lit
eral leaps and bounds. The tradesmen
attributed the exceptional prosperity en
tirely to the fact that "bowing" became
almost a mania among the Parisian dan
dies. It is difficult, indeed, to say what
does not affect trade in one way or an
When something unusual happens, such
as a big expenditure on a wedding or an
enormous outlay on a royal reception, one
hears the remark "It's all good for trade."
and even those who regard such expendi
tures as waste acknowledge the bent-fits
conferred on industry in this way. The
theory that even crime is "good for trade'
cannot be supported by a table of statistics,
but there must surely be something in it,
seeinjr that property is stolen every year
in England to the value of «everaLmillions
and that the "hauls" of London thieves
alone amount to £100,000 per annum. —
Pittsburg Dispatch.
Positive and Negative.
"My aunt was always saying to me:
every living beinc on board. The deadly
gas is a heavy gas, it« specific gravity be
ing greater than that of air, and conse
quently the fumes if liberated in a fortress
or other confined spot would not be easily
expelled. It is not known that any na
tion contemplates the use of the cyanide
bomb, though just what weapons a nation
Will or will not use is never known until
the presence of actual warfare solves the
The old army musket is a relic of '.he
past. In its piace are n number of rifles
carryipg each a morecioadlv missile. Tne
latest adopted one is m<w being supplied
to our army and navy. It carries a small
caliber bullet, the force of which is re
ported to be "terrific." The velocities
obtained by th« newarmvand navy pieces
are so high that v.*hen a buliet hiis a man
it m;ikes a clean, round hole. Bones are
pierced as though ;hey were iliiiled with a
gimlet General .Flakier, U. S. A., chief of
ordnance, is reported by the New York
Sun as considering a proposition to adopt
a "mushroom" or sprea tine bullet, which
would, when it struck, spread out so as to
make a more dangerous wound than is
made by the present used small-caliber
bullet. Recent experiments have been
conducted at the Frankfort arsenal with
these "mushroom" bullets. Some years
ago an explosive bullet was proposed for
use by armies, but the consensus of opin
ion of the nations was that t!ie employ
ment of such a missile could not be enter
tained by a "civilized" power. Just where
the distinction steps in as between an ex
plosive ball which kills what it hits and a
mushroom bullet which in flics excruciat
ing agony by a wound so terrible as to
p.eclude cure is a very fine pomt — so fine
that the average mind is incapable of
recognizing tho humanitarian side of the
Ihe cost of maintaining the vast armies
of the world is a figure n enormous that
were the money so used during a single
year to be applied to relieving the neces
sities of suffering humanity want would
be at once banished from the earth. It
I would pay off every farm mortgage in the
entire world. \\ ere the armies that main
tain by the prestige of the bayonet tba
j crowned murderers upon their thrones to
j be disbanded and their stalwart muscles
engaged in the peaceful occupations of the
j farmer and the artisan, the deserts of tho
I world would be made into fertile fields
I and orchards, through which would tra
verse railroads and canals bearing the
fruits and grains in cheap abundance to
every mouth. Want,' hunger and misery
would be only ghosts of the past. True,
there might be a few less Kings or knaves,
but then there are plenty of good, en joy
able games that may be played without
the assistance of a king or a knave.
That England spends $80,000,000 a ye ar
in building new warships and in main
taining her immense navy, France $43,
000.000, Russia $33,000,000. Italy $20,CO0,00O
and other nations in like proportion for
similar purposes, forms a melancholy pic
ture to the humanitarian, who sees the
shadows of misery and suffering standing
dark and menacing long after the glory
of the "pomp and circumstances of war"
have paled and faded.
F. M. Close, D.Be.
The two most expensive perfumes are
the essential oil of rose petals, called attar
of roses, and the oil of jasmine. The
former when quite pure costs very nearly
£10 per ounce, and the latter £9.
'Don't talk so loud; your voice gets shriller
every day !' " said a pleasant-voiced rriend.
"I became so nervous and irritated under
this chronic rebuke that my voice wa3
more uneven and harsh than ever, and I
hardly dared speak at home. At last 1
visited my cousins in L (they are noted
for their sweet voices, you know) and then
suddenly 1 noticed the wide difference,
which I Lad never understood before, be
twean a rough voice and a well-modulatf d
one, and set myself, so to speak, to catch
the trick of their intonations and their
tones. In a month's time, really, I talked
like a different girl. And when I came
home my aunt said: 'Well, I am glad to
see that at last my reproofs have made an
impression upon you, Clara!' But they
hadn't you know — the only impression
she made was to make me unhappy and
nervous. I have never forgotten the les
son ; and when I want my children to im
prove in any way I give them an opportu
nity to bear and see the right thing before
I reprove them for not following it." — Har
per's Bazar.
Jhe pharxtom of the Rose.
Sweet lady, let your lids unclose—
Those lids by maiden dreams caressed;
I am tbe phantom of the rose
You wore last n:ght upon your breast.
Like pears upon my petals lay
The weeping fountain's silver tears.
Ere in the glittering array
You bore me proudly mid your peers.
O lady, 'twas for you I died—
Yet have I come aud will I stay;
And my rose phantom by your side
Will linger till the break of day.
Yet fear not, lady; naught claim I—
Nor mass nor hymn nor funeral prayer?
My soul ia but a perfumed sigh,
Which pure from Paradise I bear.
My death is as my life was — sweet;
Who w on id not die as 1 have dune?
A fate like mine who would not meet,
Your bosom fair to He ui<on?
A poet on my sentient tomb
Engraved this legend with a kiss;
"Here lies a rose of fairest bloom:
X'en Kings sir jeulou of its bliss."
Thkophilk (iautieb.
Luggage trains arv uuallyoO percent
heavier than pass nger trains.

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