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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, February 07, 1897, Image 27

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Power for California From the Furnaces of Nature
Story of the Gor\ceptior\ and Execution of the J^ost Colossal Engineering Scheme
of Modern Times— Utilizing the Heat Imprisoned in the NoW
Dormant Volcanic PocUs of Our Western Goast
ajJSLHE present age is one of eigantic en
sl*V ter rises Measures which a faw
jItQ years ago would have challenged and
received the contumely of the incredulous
to-day are generally investigated before
the seal of approval is affixed. The "im
possible" is stricken from the lexicon and
•only the "improbable" remains with verj
uncertain tenure. The needs of the world
. have stimulated genius into the produc
• tion of results which .hail they occurred n
hundred years ago would have condemned
their creators to (he fate of the witch. We
are no longer surprised at what happens.
The capital stock of a telephone line to
■the moon could be successfully floated in
.any city were it positively known that
"there was somebody at the distant end of
the line to answer to our "hello."
The great need of most of our large
cities arises from their desire to be
manufacturing centers; and this is unat
tainable witi; the presence of "power"
with which to revolve the wheels of ma
chinery. Where there is the fortunate
contiguity of abundant and cheap coal
supply the growth of the manfacturing in
dustries depends only upon the business
j>asacity of the citizens; but where coal is
distant and its procurement costly and
't^.cerUin the city aspiring to manufac
ficrri is sadly handicapped.
A Thus there is ever presented to the ge-
Aius of the times the solution in practical
shape of the problem of "power produc
tion" in such places. To this end natural
. gas fields have been piped to distant cen
ters of application. The enormous force
of falling water pouring over Niagara's
cataract has been harnessed to drive the
mechanism in factories, propel the cars
and- light the streets in towns and cities
very many miles from the source of power.
The stupendous character of the opera
■ tions no longer deters man in his approach
' to the consummation of his desires. What
. in the eighteenth century was considered
.beyond his grasp is to-day in his posses
sion, his willing slave, performing for him
' the labor which by its fruits xuakes fuller
. and more enjoyable the lives of the many.
California has not the immense torrent
•jof Niagara, nor nas she, as far as known,
the immense reservoirs of hydrogen gases
'which have made famous and valuable
the northern regions of New York and
Pennsylvania, but she possesses a source
of power beside which the water and the
gases of the Eastern natural power-fields
sink into pigmy insignificance.
• 'From the northernmost point of North
America to the extreme end of South
America there extends a continuous range
.of mountains situated close to the western
iige of the continents. This entire range
is volcanic. Along this line, which em
■ braces the Coast Range of California, may
be found thousands of moribund craters
• and volcanic vents, their salient outlines
. mostly hidden by the accumulated debris
and soils formed by the operations of
moisture and temperature during long
years. The entire country bordering the
Pacific is composed of igneous rocks,
• basalts and lavas, erupted in the past from
Aue interior of the earth in molten con-
Idition. Professor Whitney, State geolo
\z\tt, n his magnificent report on "The
V jiogy of California," speaKir.g of the
hot springs, the borax deposits and the
formations of the coast regions, says:
*'There will be no difficulty in under
standing the origin of these phenomena
• when we consider that they are displayed
along a line of former intense volcanic
activity and where now the igneous forces
are not entirely dormant. Even on Mount
Shasta the last expiring efforts of this
once mighty volcano may be traced in the
ejection of sulphurous vapors and steam
still going on near the summit." (Report
of 1565, page 95 et seq.)
Temperature increases as we penetrate
into the interior of the earth. It is not
germane to the purpose of this article,
which simply aims to record the concep
tion and execution of the most colossal
"engineering scheme ever undertaken, to
discuss the causes leading to such increase
of temperature; it i* sufficient to say that
it is a fact. In the mines of the grest
"Comstock lode the rate of increase of tem
perature has been estimated to be one de
gree of Fahrenheit for every forty-five feet
of descent until a depth of 20C0 feet is
reached; and below that, as much as one
degree for every twenty-nve feet of addi
tional depth below tne surface. Assum
ing that this regular increase of tempera
ture continues, a simple calculation proves
to us that at a depth of say 7000 or 8000
feet a temperature of 212 degrees Fahren
heit will be found, one sufficient to boil
water at the earth's surface; and at a
depth of about twenty miles the tempera
ture will be high enough to melt cast
iron. In other parts of the world this in
crease of temperature, as the earth's crust
5s penetrated, is found to obtain, though
with less rapid increase than is marked on
the western coast of America. 8o well es
tablished Is this fact that it has been seri-
Jpsly proposed by European scientists and
practical engineers to make very deep
oorings in order that supplies of warm
water may be obtained for heating pur
poses. Arrago and Wolferdin. two emi
nent physicists, suggested this method for
the j urpose of warming the Jardin acs
Flumes in Paris.
The lack at that time of proper mechani
cal appliances deterred the enterprise.
! Now that such important improvements
have been made in carrying borings to
enormous depths tha time is at hand when
we may draw upon the supply of subter
ranean heat. The city of Budapest is
now extensively supplied with hot water
from underground sources.
It must be known that this rule of in
creased temperature applies to the earth's
crust considered as a level coinciding
with the surface of the sea. In the vol
cano the subterranean heat is projected
far above the line of sea level. To reach a
region of desired high temperatur* In a
volcanic region it is not necessary to bore
deeply into the bowels of the earth. A
horizontal shaft piercing the vent of the
volcano above sea level will reach the in
candescent material in a more direct an.l
shorter route than a vertical one. Recog
nizing the great need of a.loquate heat —
for, after all, heat is the basis of mechani
cal power, whether it be in the shape of
coal, gas or even water force, it H simply
the determination of how many units of a
"mode of motion " that are obtainable
that solves the problem of all manufac
turing industries— recognizing this prime
fact, the scheme has b«en bad under con
sideration for along time by prominent
promoters of industrial enterprises of
utilizing, if possible, the heat imprisoned
in the now dormant volcanic rocks of our
Western coast. For if it can be made
available the greatness of Ibe Pacific CoaM
is assured. The market for whatever
manufactured products she may create is
and has been waiting, and it is an im
mense market and a growing one.
To this end, quietly, but systematically,
investigations have been going on by
thoroughly competent men of well-known
engineering and scientific ability, who
have just concluded their labors and made
their report, which ie now in the hands of
the executive committee of a syndicate
formed of Eastern and English capitalists,
fully able to deal promptly and compe
tently with any undertaking involving
the expenditure of hundreds of millions.
The report states that at numerous
places along the line of volcanic fracture
and upheaval, known as the "Coast
Range," a temperature of lrom 200 to 300
degrees (Fahrenheit) may be reached by
means of a horizontal tunnel or drift con
structed above sea level ; the elevation of
the cutting or boring above sea level vary
ing with the locality. As, for instance,
the temperature mentioned may be found
at the termination of a boring projected
into the side of Mount Shasta at an eleva
tion of 8000 feet, while the same tempera
ture would have to be sought for at lower
levels elsewhere. It is not meant by this
that molten material or even incan
descence would be found in such cases, but
that the boring would reach an interior
region having the temperature men
For reasons that will be well understood
these borings will be conducted at levels
uot greatly elevated above sea level. Id
the case of a huge mountain, as Mount
Shasta, the outlet of the fiery material at
the time of its ejection was through a
central dike or funnel, the enormous
amount of matter ejected having in time
largely formed the mass of the aides of
the mountain. To attempt to reach the
hot interior funnel would, therefore, en
tail the necessity of an extremely long
tunnel. The object to be attained — the
presence of heat — may be had by means
of much shorter tunnels projected into
lower volcanic formations having thinner
walls. This latter condition is the one
recommended by the report.
The report is accompanied with elabo
rate geological and physical maps of the
regions Inspected, and also by numerous
drawings showing in sectional elevation
the various localities which are available
to the purposes.
The practical application of the scheme
comprehends the cutting of tunnels ol
working dimensions into tbe Hides of cer
tain mountains in the Coast Range; the
tunnels will vary from one to three miles
in length, or until the temperature sought
for is reached. In the tunnels will be
placed a system of pipes leading from the
mouth of tbe cutting to its interior end.
In the furthest end of tbe tunnel will be
placed what mfght be termed boilers; only
they will contain no water, simply air.
These boilers will be made of cast iron, of
peculiar construction, so that any num
ber of them may be connected together, to
form one "battery." A portion of the
pipes leading to the "boilerß" will carry
cold air, and another portion convey the
heated air from the "boilers" to the en
gines. Within the tunnels, removed at
suitable distance from the hot end, will be
placed hot-air engine*, using tbe ex
| pauded hot air in much tbe same manner
as if it were steam. Air is the most elastic
material in nature.^ It expands to enor
mous volume under the application of
heat, and contracts with cold. The object
of locating the engines close to the "boil
ers" is to mnke the greatest possible use of
the power of the expanded air. The en
gines will be used to create'electricity and
also compressed air, which will be trans
mitted to desirel points.
1 have briefly outlined the salient points
of this gigantic scheme, which to many
may sound as if bodily taken from the
romancing of Jules Verne, but it is in fact
a genuine project, planned by shrewd, far
seeing men, investigated and approved by
known practical physicists and engineers,
and backed by very largo and cautious
capital. Certain details have yet to be
arranged before the matter can be made
public in the sense of incorporating and
exploitation. A scheme of such colossal
proportions and involving the investment
of millions of capital calls for careful
cons deration of every feature. Legal
advice is absolutely necessary to provide
against future annoyance in the determin
ation of property rijcuts, and it has been
determined by the syndicate to obtain
from the Legislature of the State proper
authority to carry into execution the great
plan. It i- understood that a bill, now
prepared, will be introduced at the present
session of the Legislature, conferring upon
the syndicate the necessary rights and
authority. Wnen this is done, the pre
liminary borings will be begun. The value
of the enterprise expressed in dollars is
not to be fixed at this day. It is estimated
that the power thus to be derived is a
million times greater than is that de
veloped by all of the water falling over the
cataract of Niagara, and will continue to
be available long after that famed water
fall shall have drained the shallow pool
forming the Great Lakes.
F. M. Close, D.Fc.
Is Gibraltar Useless ?
An article of exceptional interest — evi
dently written by a Spanish military of
ficer — appears In the current number of
the "Memorial de Artilleria," showing
that the extended range of modern artil
lery has completely revolutionized the
conditions which have hitherto enabled
Gibraltar to protect its own arsenal and
dockyard and to afford safety for vessels
at anchor under the guns of the fortress.
When Gibraltar was taken by the Eng
lish Is 1704 the greatest range for artillery
lire was onJy about 3000 yards, so that a
fleet under the batteries of Gibraltar was
secure against attack from the Spanish
It is now pointed out that with a com
paratively small expenditure of money by
the Spanish Government batteries con
structed in (he bay of Al<;eciras, upon the
ri.life of mountains known as the Queen
of Spain's Chair, woulrt actually command
Gibraltar at a distance of 1)000 yards and
would De capableof demolishing the whole
length of the fortifications from the Gal
leries to Europa Point. These Spanish
batteries would also threaten the entry of
ships oi war to Moles. This plan would
merely involve the mounting of some
forty heavy guns of from 4.7-inch to
12-inch caliber and a similar number of
At the present moment the strategical
points on this part of the Spanish coast
are entirely unfortified, and with Spain's
present embarrassments in Cuba and the
Philippines it is not likely, as the "Broad
Arrow" points out, that the Madrid Gov
ernment will take immediate action in
tbe matter. But that these batteries may
be constructed some day or other is far
from improbable, and in view of the great
importance to England of Gibraltar as a
naval base, and the renewed expenditure
New Fad for Society
peading Character ir\ the Eye — The Droop
of the bid or Slope of the BroW Are
Unfailing Indications of One's
Peculiar Jraits
PJJSIHE latest society fad which promises
vl vlo ecli se palmistry, thought-read
**j^ inir, pln-rinding and all other im
aginations of the heart and the intellect
that have found work for idle brains to do
is that of character-reading by the eyes.
The fact that tho eye is "the window of the
soul" woc.ld make it seem probable that
by its light we may distinguish the Inner
mind and possibly make a guesß at the
interior decoration of tiie palace of
Like other windows, especially those of
cathedrals, the eye is of various colors
and consequently the views obtained
through it are tinged by Its hues. A blue
eye shows the mind in a different light
from that given by a black, hazel or brown
one. and a part, ol the opticist's art is to
differentiate and to decide on the meaning
of ibe various tints obtained through this
According to L.avater and others who
have made a study of physiognomy the
color of the eye is the key to the character.
A hazel-eyed woman, we are tola, never
elopes from her husband, never chats
scandal, prefers his comfort to her own,
never talks too much or too little, always
is an intellectual, agreeable and lovely
The gray is the sign of shrewdness and
talent. Great thinkers and captains have
it. In women it indicates a better head
than heart Gray eyes are of many varie
ties. There are the sharp, the shrewish,
the spiteful, the cold and the wild gray
eye, but the fact remains that the gray
represents the head.
There la one variety of gray eye of
which every lover should beware, the soft
eye with a large pupil that contracts and
dilates with a word, a thought or a flash
ot-leeling. An eye that laughs, that sighs
almost, that has its sunshine, its twilight,
its moonbeams and its storms. A wonder
ful eye that wins you whether you will or
not, and holds you after it has cast you
upon its combined arsenal and dockyard,
the subject is beginning to attract the
serious attention of naval and military
authorities. — New York Herald.
Bees, according to a statistician, must,
in order to collect a pound of clover
honey, deprive 62,000 clover blossoms of
their nectar. To do this, the 62,000 flowers
must be visited by an aggregate of
3,750,000 bees; or, in other words, to col
lect hi 3 pound of honey one bee must
make 3,750,000 trips from and to the hive.
As bees are known to fly for miles in quest
of suitable fields of operation, it is clear
that a single ounce of honey represents
millions of miles of travel.
off, no matter whether the face be fair or
not. No matter if features are irregular
and complexion varying, the eye holds
you cajtve and then laughs at your
very chains.
Black eyes of course are typical of fire,
heroism and firmness, and have a spice of
diabolism in tbeir rays that has a potent
attraction in women's hearts. And green
eyes; it is said of them that they betoken
courage, pride and energy.
A prominent or full eye indicates great
command of laneua.e and ready and uni
versal observation. Deep-seated eyes, on
the contrary, receive more accurate, defi
nite and deeper impressions. Round-eyed
persons see much. They live much in the
senses, but think less. Narrow-eyed per
sons see less, but think more and feel
more intensely.
Width of the lower eyelid is believed to
indicate a disposition to extenuate and to
justify one's self, to defend conduct by
giving cool reasons for It, When this
lower lid curves downward and shows the
white below the pupil, then, oh then,
pause and Hesitate to trust your welfare to
the owner of that eye. If opticists are
right it is an indication of profound, cal
culating selfishness. John D. Rockefeller
has such an eye in a recent cartoon. Per
haps this proves the truth of the assertion.
Eyebrows may be thick or thin, fine or
coarse, smooth or busby, arched or
straight, regular or irregular, and each
iorra and quality has its special signifi
cance in reference to temperament and
Thick, strong eyebrows generally betray
a fall development of temperament. When
also coarse, bushy and irregular we may
expect harshness of character. Thin,
fine, delicate eyebrows are indicative of a
fine-grained organization and an active, if
not predominant, temperament.
The art of the opticist needs no studio
nor cabinet in which to practice. The
eyes can be examined in public as well as
in private.
To Arrest Torpedoes
ft Huge Steel SKield Extending From BoW
to Stern and From j(eel to Water
Line, Is the First Effective De
fense for Battle-Ships
§ONDON, Feb. 6.— A vast amount of
attention has been attracted recently
in admiralty circles to a new device
for the protection of big battle-ships
below the water line.
The new mode of hull defense is the
idea of Dr. Herbert Jones, a naval con
structor of note, and is designed to act as
a torpedo-guard for the vessel below the
surface of the sea. It has met with such
universal favor among naval architects
and marine engineers that the Govern
ment of Great Britain is seriously con
sidering its adoption.
The plan of Dr. Jones is simply to place
a huge steel shield along the hull of the
battle-ship on both sides. It will consist
of a number of large plates in juxtaposi
tion, extending from stem to stern, and
from the keel to a point just above the
water line. The plates must fit exactly to
the model of the hull so as not to retard
the speed of the vessel when there is no
occasion to use them.
Even those who are unfamiliar with
naval construction must know that the
most vulnerable part of a ship is that of
Vier hull below the water line. There are
located the very vitals of the marine
monster — the boilers, engines, magazines
and furnaces. On each of these the life,
power and movement of the vessel de
pends. One shot, or even 100, or even
1000 shots might pass through the upper
parts of a battle-ship without destroying
or even seriously disabling her, but let
one torpedo pierce the comparatively thin
body in the weak spot under the water
and the chan ;es are a thousand to one
against her remaining afloat long after
The millions of pounds sterling expended
by the great powers of the world on the
offensive and defensive merits of guns ver
sus armor has brought them no nearer to
a solution as to the superiority in the one
c ise or the other than they were thirty
years ago, and for many years past the idea
oi one ship destroying another by stand
ing off and exchanging shots from a dis
tance nas been recognized as an absolute
Lord Armstrong on this point has well
stated that these stupendous warships
"cannot be made invulnerable," and that
their cost is so enormous that no country
can have a numerous navy of such ves
While the great naval powers are busily
engaged in bringing submarine warfare to
a perfect system of attack by means of div
ing torpedo-boats British naval authori
ties agree that England has apparently
neglected the means of resisting marine
uttack. There are, for instance, torpedo
boats, torpedo - boat catchers and tor
pedo-boat destroyers, and it is an admitted
fact that the so-called catchers are In
ferior in speed to the boats they are sup
posed to catch ; and as to the destroyers,
their special destructive powers ara not
very apparent.
In a fair aboveboard sea flcght between
the types mentioned and first and second
class battle-ships it is a question with na
val experts which would destroy or be de
stroyed. The greatest dancer to battle-ships
would be at night when the destroyers,
owing to their speed and handiness
might get a torpedo in contact with the
enemy's side, when the battle-ship, devoid
of under-water protection, would inevita
bly be destroyed. Hence, declares a lead*
ing naval officer, "the term destroyer in
its fullest and truest sense is only applica
ble to the modern diving torpedo-boat.
As sure as one of these submarine ship-de
stroyers, in a state of suspension at a reg
lated depth below the surface of the
water, is navigated to within striking dis
tance of a 15,000-ton battle-ship bo surely
will the ponderous battle-ship be destroyed
immediately on being struck by a missile
aimed by her unseen submarine foe.
There is no give and take about this what
ever, as the submarine torpedo-boat when
deeply immersed is out of reach of its op
ponent, while at the same time it strises
at the most vital and unprotected part of
| tne nuil of the monster floating above it."
It is upon this very point that the ma
rine architects and engineers of the world
have been puzzling their brains for years.
That is, they have taxed their inventive
powers to the utmost to devise a form of
protection against the scientific advance of
submarine warfare. The only contrivance
now in use to protect the lower portion of
a ship's hull from torpedo attacs is a huge
netting of wire slung from booms on the
side of the ship and supposed to pene
trate far enough beneath the surface of
the water to furnish protection for the
entire bottom. This apparatus affords
protection to some extent when the vessel
has hove to, but when she lias speed on
the net is sure to drag astern and expose
a large surface of ttie hull. Then again
torpedoes have been invented for the very
purpose of cutting through the netting
when it is found as an obstacle.
With Dr. Jones' new device, the torpedo
could not reach the hall proper bat would
explode itself against the preventive hull,
as the guard might be termed. That of
course would be demolished, but the hull
itself would be saved from destruction.
As previously stated, the shield must fit
snugly to the hull. The shield consists of
a number of wide piates placed side by
side and hung by hinges on a long rod
running the length of the ship, just above
the water line, and extending to the keel.
Above each plate is a davit securely at
tached to the ship's side. A tackle is
suspended from each davit, and the lower
block hooks into a ring bolt in the lower
end of the plate. The falls run into the
hull and connect with a windlass, so that
the guard can be hoisted out by steam.
When placed in position for defense it
must be hauled outboard about twenty
feet from the hull. Thus, besides the re
sistance of the shield, a huge cushion of
water which has been formed aids in the
protection of the ship.
Captain 8. Eardley Wilmot, K. N M lat«
chief torpedo expert of the Admiralty, in
his report has the following to say on the
"The development of the 'Whitehead 1
torpedo, with which now nearly ail na
tions are supplied, renders the question
of protecting ships against this attack one
of the gravest consideration.
"The torpedo of to-day travels at the
rate of 30 knots an hoar and carries 200
pounds of explosive compound directed
against the most vulnerable part of a ship,
that of her hull under water.
"We hare been enabled by the addition
of large masses of armor to fairly pro
tect the water line and above it against
the effects of artillery fire, bat cannot ex
tend this to the submerged portion of her
hull as a defense against torpedo attacks.
We have therefore been obliged to restrict
oar endeavors as far as structural ar
rangements are concerned to give ships of
war a double bottom, and subdividing
them internally into a number of water
tight compartments, thus seeking to
diminish the effects of an explosion and
restrict the inflow of water at that point.
"As, however, these arrangements could
only give very partial protection at a
time when torpedoes carried a compara
tively small charge, it was considered de
sirable to stop them before they could
reach the ship and for this purpose the
present system of net defense was de
"This consists of wire nettine suspended
vertically from steel or wooden booms at
tached to the hull of the ship, from which
they project from 25 to 35 feet. The nets
hang down to a depth of 20 feet and ara
connected together in sections so as to
then form a continuous crinoline of net-
"But should the ship move through the
water, the nets are more or less impelled
toward the surface according to the speed
of the ship. For these reasons naval offi
cers do not consider that nets can be used*
at sea.
"Thus It is evident that if external pro*
tection is to be relied upon it must be in a
different form, ana Dr. Jones has devised
a torpedo-guard which is not only novel,
but free from most of the objections in
herent to the net defense. His plan is to
have steel shields made to the form of ths
ship and ordinarily resting against the
hull. They are, however, capable of being
projected outward when required to a dis
tance of twenty fast from the hull, and
this cushion of water, together with the
resistance offered by the steel plating,
should secure a ship from material injury
in the event of a torpedo exploding
against the guard. It is obvious that the
plate could not be cut through like a net,
nor would it be forced out ot position by a
current or the ship's moving through the
"An advantage of this system is that all
the appliances for working this protection
are above the water line and always in
position, thus enabling the protection to
be pat in position at the shortest notice,
while it overcomes the difficulty attached
to supporting steel booms or rams if pro
jected to a distance of twenty or thirty
"Thi3 plan now proposed by Dr. Jonei
is, in my opinion, the best which lias been
put forward for guarding against the terri
ble effects of locomotive torpedo attack,
and looking to the grave issues involved I
consider that expenditure would be wisely
incurred in giving it a trial."
Many others have signified their ap
proval of Dr. Jones' torpedo defense for
protecting costly warships and the lives of
gallant seamen from the appalling dan
gers of torpedo attack, among whom are
the highest expert authorities of the
United Kingdom. In the front rank of
these is £. J. Reed, X.C.8., weli known
as having designed and constructed war
ships for all the naval powers of the world.
The accompanying illustration shows
one of Dr. Jones' modes of protection
against torpedo attack. It gives a fore
shortened view taken off the port bow and
represents the vessel with the improved
torpedo guard expanded to its protective
position while the dreaded missile ex
plodes against it.
Said Life to Art: "I love thee best
Not when I find in thee
My very face and form expressed
With dull fidelity;
"But when in thee my craving eyes
Behold continually
The mystery of my memories
And all I long to be."
Charles G. D. Roberts, in Century.
Germany possesses 24,843 miles of rail
ways; France, 21,396; Great Britain and*
Ireland, 19,811; Russia, 17,823; and Aus
tria, 15.442.

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