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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, October 20, 1907, Image 3

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Tne San Francisco Sunday Call,.
H. A. Crafts
RECENTLY a big Russian syndi
cate was organized to mine gold
in Mongolia, northern China.
-It was a very important con
t-ern, because of. the wealth and the
particular class it represented.
It was composed of the bigbugs of
the Russian empire, and it was said
that more than one member of the
Romanoff family was a stock holder.
As it happened, the region in which
tt was proposed to carry on these ex
tensive mining operations was isolated
tnd remote from any railroad com
The question of feasible transporta*
tlon therefore became a paramount one,
tt was 400 miles beyond the termlnui.
of the Trans-Siberian railway, and that
tras too great a distance to be covered
by a possible extension within any rea
sonable space of time.
Besides, there was a big range of
mountains to cross, and that Is alwaye
an obstacle when it comes to rail
road building. ,
The only expedient appeared to be
the employment of big traction engines
th*t would pull a train of wagons over
the country almost anywhere, road or
ho road.
But the next question that bothered
these blooded Russians was where to
obtain machinery of this kind. Of
course, they knew they couldn't find it
,1a their own country, for Russia „ was
too far behind the times to' think of
such a thing.
Consequently an agent or emissary
tras appointed to go abroad and hunt
tip the required ' machinery, and he
iwas authorized to spare 1 no means in
feeeurfng it, nor trouble, either, even
If be had to search to the ends of the
England was visited first, as the
nearest country that would- be likely
jto have the contraptions. The Rus
sian agent found that Johnny Bull did
make traction engines, but not of the
pize or strength required by his com
Next he sailed to New York and
hunted Gotham over, but couldn't find
\u25a0what he was hunting for. Of course,
JCew York, like Great Britain, made
traction engines, but the machines
jiidn't fill the bill at ail, and the Rus
sian agent of the high toned syndicate
Was almost In despair.
• He supposed, of course, that New
ITork being the biggest city In the Unit
ied States, it would naturally follow
ithat It made the biggest engines. But
ihe was disappointed. Happily for the
jßosßlan syndicate their agent, while In
(New York, stumbled upon some Callfor-
Inla ' machinery catalogues and 10, and
behold! : V r '
Therein he saw pictured Just what
he wanted; so away he came across
; the continent to get what he could not*
'find at home. In Europe and In but one
jplace In the United States, and that was
It was at a great manufacturing
company at San Leandr*o on the east
side of San Francisco bay, in Alameda
county, Just south of Oakland, that he
found the big engines.
California -had been manufacturing
that kind of machinery for years and
years, but didn't suppose that she was
doing a very extraordinary thing.
But California conditions had made
this ponderous class of machinery
necessary to her development — the big
mining camps, the big logging camps
and the bonanza farms.
The Russian agent selected two of
the biggest traction engines made any
where in the world. They were of 110
horsepower each; each weighed 17 tons
land was so tall that the engineer, when
\u25a0mounted upon his machine, stood 12
.feet above the ground. The big drive
; wheels were eight feet in diameter and,
•they had corrugated faces 26 Inches
\u25a0wide, and the engines were designed
especially for mountain travel.
These engines were made entirely
of cast steel and Iron; each was oper
How the Canary Came to America
ALTHOUGH the canary Is to be
found all over the civilized world,
charming with its warblings and
trills the people of India as well as
those of Canada, says the North Amer
ican, It Is only a little over 800 years
since it was unknown outside its na
tive home. . .
When the Spaniards took the Canary
Islands in 1478 they were bo pleased
with the beautiful singing of a species
of little song, birds they found there
that. they captured large numbers and
bore them away to Spain.
It was found that the birds did well
In captivity, and In time the Spaniards
built up quite a business in their sale
to other nations. For "nearly, a cen
tury, however, they had a monopoly
of the business, as they exported only
the male birds, keeping the female* at
In the wreck of a Spanish ship on the
Italian coast, about the middle of the
sixteenth century, this monopoly was
also wrecked.
The vessel had on board a large nura-;
ber of canary birds which escaped and*
settled on the island of Elba.'
It was not , long before they were
found all over Italy, and the Italians
ated by two men — an engineer and fire
man—and was capable of hauling from
25 to 50 tons, depending upon the
grades and conditions of the roadbed.
The engine could haul Its load at the
rate of three miles an hour and could
climb a 26 per cent -grade if need be."
A train consisted of engine and three
cars or 'wagons, each of 16 tons capa
Yes, this machinery 'was Just -\u25a0 the
thing; but would the manufacturing
company contract to deliver the goods
to that mining camp in • far off Mon
golia? - ' \u25a0 ' . •
Naturally this was a question - that
needed to be discussed pro and con.
Which way must the shipment be made
— to the east or the west?
The shortest way would be^-in miles
— by .San Francisco, the; Pacific and
China. But this route was out of the
question;, for between the point;, of
landing in China and the mining camp;
in Mongolia lay. a great stretch" of sandy
desert where there would be. found
neither wood nor water, and both of
these, were absolutely, necessary, for
the propulsion of the engines.
Then they must go by way of New
York, St Petersburg, and the Trans-
Siberian railway, across Siberia to the
terminus of the railroad at a point 400
miles yet. distant , from the point of
final destination. -. . ;
What sort of a:, country was .this;
stretch 0f. 400 miles over which. the en-*
gines must make their own way? The
agent described it: A wild, untamed re-*
glon; barren plains, . rapid rivers , and .
mountain chains, one of which . roso
4,000 feet above the adjacent country!
The manager -of the company , called
in Henry Kappler, who is described
generally as being a "western Yankee,"
which means that he is a person of
Inventive mind; and determined char
-acter. \ He was one of the company's
most trusted employes; a man of ex
tensive experience on the Pacific coast,
and one who had engineered many. a
venturesome enterprise. , :
He was informed of the projection
foot and , was asked if he would under
take to get the machinery to' tbie Rus-.
sian mining camp in Mongolia.;.
He answered very, promptly that he
would. Then he. proceeded to pump
the Russian agent exhaustively upon
the- local characteristics of that . 400
mile stretch over the wastes of .Siberia
into Mongolia. . - ; - I
Every point was noted i and then the
contract was closed. . The . machines
"were taken apart, loaded upon the cars
and shipped to New ..York. , \ Mr. . Kap
pler was there by the time i the ma
chinery arrived and. superintended Its
transfer. from the cars to the steamer
, for St Petersburg. , .
Then he took passage upon the same
e team er, and in turn superintended the
unloading of the- machinery ; at. St.
Petersburg and its transfer to the cars.
Then he bought a r ticket over ,^thV
---------------- — ... . \u0084 «,,.,'., . . . a
Degan raising them iormarKet, as me
Spaniards had' done. Soon the business
spread all over Europe,'; but flourished'
particularly in the Tyrol and other
parts of Germany.: .
The Hartz mountain section of . Ger
many is now the : recognized headquar
ters of canary, breeding," and : there i thY
business has been reduced to almost an
exact science. '. \u25a0/__ - : ;,_ "'-•'/ ; "\u25a0'" •;' -\u25a0\u25a0'.'
For. an exceptionally good singer and
parent bird. United ' States , Consul Han- .
nah of Mad^eburg states, at least" 300
marks, •or $71.40; must be paid, arid 100
marks,' or $23.80; is Soften paid for' a
•good •.'vorsaenger''-r-ft -bird ! used " to
teach the youngVcanarles';toslng. "The
usual price of good singers there ranges
from $2.86 t0 ; 58.67. .. " . '. [_' ."'\u25a0";, \u25a0.\u25a0;\u25a0\u25a0
Breeding canaries is a profitable 'hob-'
by. among workingmen : In parts of Eng
land. Last fall, a:',.- Yarmouth 'breeder!
received $ 125 for. the pick ; of his ' flock.
. \u25a0'In 'nearly all .American X- cities :>: are'
breeders who engage . in the '\u25a0 business
on a more '\u25a0, or less : extensive - scale ' and '
who find' ; that,it'pays. ; ,
;" ',, Although', 'one } may , get . a . singer t for"
$2.60 or $3, v veryJ;flne;,birds»sometimes
brlng,s4o,or.;sso,"or even more.; . ' :'-\
".• Usually?. in t ~ February^ or. early , In
March the' birds are" mated and a cheery
little , couple : ; started »\u25a0 house , keeping iin -
their small cage home,'; _
Trans-Siberian railroad and traveled
to) its far end* to* await the coming of
the freight - ' ; , \u25a0 / v v:; , ;
Three • months after being shipped (
from San Leandro the consignment of
. machinery arrived' at tHe I terminus" *of
the great Russian railroad.' >? * ; ' ..
In ; the v ; meantime Mr. ..- Kappler \ had
gathered about him some 25 Russians
to help, take thejbig traction . engines \u25a0)
and « across i mountain and i plain ',;
intervening between that point and]
the mining camp in -Mongolia. ,;
- They were - ignorant \u25a0 fellows, /
tractable and willing, and Mr. Kappler
with infinite tact got: them to work in
good shape. , \u25a0 .-.-'. . .,.:.- *:. ','.'.-.. ,
\u25a0 .The | machinery jj was J taken , from the t
ears and set up. ;•* Then' came the task
of | laying | in > a supply* of ; ; provisions;-
tools,; fuel and camping outfit. I ,! : Plenty '-
of bedding - had .toabe > taken v along, . be-,
cause it was j now late? . autumn and the '
weather.was getting cool. '_\u25a0(':,.\u25a0.
v When airwas finally ready, the boilers
\u25a0 were.st eamed up .and the . trains ; were
got" ready \u25a0 to. start. >The i two, most \ in
telligent ,of Mr. -Kappler's, crew were
instructed as to. the working of the-en
. gines, so that one could ; act as '_ en
gineer and .the/other; as . fireman of tone:
train, .while, Mr. Kappler took charge; of :
the .'other,\wlth a third Russian to act :
as fireman'of ,hls train., ; "..'\ '..'\u25a0, ..:> \u25a0- *\u25a0-*
,The country was almost; a trackless
waste. were nojroads, only^here
and .there.'a trail. .At first*, the country,
was level,'; with now and tffen a stream
with, scantily .wooded* banks.""- .', -
;At all stich places the! supply 'of .water
and; wood x was 'sure- to^ be ; replenished.
Therithere were, desert txacts^between,
where there \ was .no > visible^ supply, of
water and but little fuel.. . :''-•:•, -;-. \u25a0 ">
". On™ these"! stretches;. wills' frequently
had, to be ; bored in: ordefl*. to; keep! the
boilers going," and [ the", plains ; on : either
side; of .the trail; had \to. be i scoured; for
fuel .to , keep the fires up ; under- the
boilers. ". . , .'..' k -;.', ....-., ..'\u25a0'.'
The - weather >, grew, .colder .and ..the
nights were "s6znetimes ; bltte'rly.-cold~so
cold-that;the water. In{the .wells dug to
supply the", boilers froze! over." ." - T
..Then .therelwere "rivers .to be crossed.''
Some"! were" bridged ; by Mr. i Kappler nnd
his- crew; 'others jhad i to : be j forded^*bef
causelthey -were itob^wide'.to'be- bridged.
'"-_ ~ f So] long, as the fires could be kept;go
ing and' steam\up: ln^.maklhg /the_r f ords
everything;. went *.well.* f i; But more*- than
once the '\u25a0 machines 'became' stalled mid
stream:"\u25a0•*'•,*,T<: )\.S- : '.\ ," : ;i'--v-- i- \u25a0,';' -\u25a0-\u0084-' :
' men had^either to swim or',- wade
to ' the toppoilte'^bank.V rig; cables': and
windlass and warp > Ithe*. tralrisyoverV ',", :r:: r :
\u25a0 .; .There TuWere^ occasional tribes
. met /,with,\,whose"s members '. viewed the
machines iwlth' . 'awe •i i andn,trembling.-
Then^a's a. diversion;' Mr. L j Kappler,, would
exhaust. vvalyeij whereupon ithe natives
would \ flee belter skelter in' the greatest
alarm. \u25a0\u25a0 •\u25a0\u25a0 -j.±\ ; -.^;; r ~"v* ><<-' f'-»v \u25a0/ , \u25a0\u25a0>\u25a0\u25a0 \u25a0.. :
: At last", the [, main \ mountain range was
reached; and -then ; there.were]new/prob
lems to i: ; 'bej_(i"olved''and inewj obstacles to
be overcome. y : ,The \u25a0\u25a0 weatherV. became
rigorous >; and -snow : fell f romTtlme ;to
time.'. \u25a0 , . '"
. ; ;Therejrtra» mountain .£ trail,
and i In | many. . places a.* road t had to be
\u25a0actually^ carved 1% out -of the i hillside.
But the Y engine* ;>were * good i climbers,
.-. . \u25a0\u25a0 \u25a0'. \u25a0 . . \u25a0- ... -.'_,' ' . i' ':\u25a0
and in the mountains there were found:
-wood and; water in abundance. -So; the '-.i
ascentof the range was made without
_. extraordinary difficulty, r''',, : \u25a0 * -. \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0/\u25a0\u25a0'
a : , These j traction engines . are. perfectly
capable of 'descending^ a (30 tj per r cent
-grade, but in, certain places the descent .
s of those '\u25a0mountains .was .'niore;, than :
that, and then the ; engines' i had to be
i "snubbed", down by means of cables.;
. But then: descent was as successfully
accomplished as the ascent and the outfit
S finally, pulled" into the, Russian; mining;
>camp without serious accident. I t y tool: I
two months to traverse those. 4oo mllei.,'
so the journey from San Leandro to tho
point of - destination in Mongolia occit
: pled Just; five months, y «v , .
.These traction f' engines ,; are -dls- ;
I tlnctlvely California products and had
:. their origin' in the peculiar conditions
found to exist in the state. ; The Cali
:fornia v lumber "camp 'was, . in fact, 'the'
spot furnishing .those conditions that
;called them into , existence. In . the es
tablishment of a lumber camp; the. first
consideration was to get into, the cenf
{ter of the best piece of;' timber within ..
reachi ; ; For a ; time logs ,were -easy to
get, but as the forest melted away^on
•all sides-it became ; a question" of how
beat'to:transpbrt the logs to the. mill.
\u25a0 Xt first the .tramway \u25a0 was resorted . to,
;'; but this ; device--: had Its" -limitations.;:
\u25a0When all the- logs; wlfhln reach of; the \u25a0
~ ; line I had been cut and | hauled iln * the
I track T had . to ?be I taken , up aSd .moved, 1
which :was about as bad as building a'
,new;llne. : : \u25a0 :- : - '. ; v-: \u25a0 ;.. ".-
I It 'wouldn't do;_ some more feasible
scheme ' had to ;be devised, L and ''\u25a0 then
' the;blg traction \ engine - came; Into'ex
istence. It would, go; almost, anywhere
. and haul a -big loadiat the same time;
-give It* half ."a -chance and 4t ; would do
ithe^business.. It: would climb, : or.-'dej
-\u25a0: scerid i a steep v hill ; -\u25a0 It .would I travertfl
a": very I sidling "piece L of road
: tipping "over; 4 In fact, it became a very,
• powerful, ";./ patient, tractable • and en- j
'•.during contrivance/ and It Is more pop-V:
\u25a0 ular ,.;; today i;ln- lts?epeclal : field, Of use
fulness; than "ever." v ; ,
\u25a0?J2 From the /.lumber , camip it * was In-?
into ; the iXminingi;
camp^to haul ore and supplies,' and then !
it • went .to . the bonanza farm to do the \u25a0
flowing,; seeding randT^iharvesting;:;
g Thence 'it- went: into far i foreign? lands
>;to; revolutionize' the" industries
i parts; ofttlmes changing .methods^ from?
\u25a0 the = most : primitive .to the : most \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0 sclen-I
'-.[titcV-.-A. \u25a0'\u25a0\u25a0',{'.'..''> \u25a0\u25a0•,- ''.;':- \u25a0•'-«\u25a0•\u25a0•\u25a0- : ' . \u25a0 .-j: -'-:
\u25a0/;,'/' This j San -s Leandro * manufactory \u25a0 has
1; shipped fe traction f engines, gang > plows '
\u25a0 ' and -: combined • harvesters At©* •\u25a0• Peru .to*
|do the i work ?on > the^ big.; plant* tlons In
j that i far.^ southern country.l and ;to take
C-the; places of < the': mule,; the poon- and
"•the": primitive' wooden plow.* ; -, /
*:v One j of \u25a0; these: harvesters /.will :cut:a\
\ swathV2s. feet j wide.: and '=\u25a0. will harvest" 1
•'easily ; 100 ; acres i per .; day ' and : put i- the
; "grain! in - sacks. ; .: Six i men , with f.one •; of "
> these' machines win do the workinithe^
harvest; fleld{of 175 v or 80 ,' horses and j2o^
; men>,worklng^by^old I methods! and outv
i-the icost |"of r harvesting - f romi $3.50 i per «
;/acre Tdownito? 50 i cents /per/ acre^^>V'/;s
: An : order I has { Just % come ; t rom *• Spain
% tor one tof /, these \ big ; outfits, to ; do ;. the
-.work ion \u25a0 a : 10,000^ acre . f arm : of "\u25a0 one / of
"ithe'dons.":.'-;- .•'\u25a0;..*.:-': - ",'V- ' M r ' : - ':^->%j
'\u25a0 -', -j£: big plantation - company 'operating-
i down Jln -Nicaragua, , Central . America,
obtained ja- concession from .the "govern-
Jment \of that ..republic to'; construct ; a
wagon i -road, across the", lsthmus, from '
ocean"-. to^ocean,*: for ; the
; of t coffee> and fsugar 'cane, , and .then the
company /ordered \. the i_ San Leandro
company a big traction engine and a '
- train iiof , ; wagons. \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0{' I'i^a -- i '\u25a0'; \u25a0'.- .' ;. . •
r ,i They^do^thejWork toja charm, and as
.theiNi^caraguani government,; as one .of
: thelconditions^ln^grantlng^the conces
\u25a0 slori" f orithe ;road,'' reserved \ the , right to ,
\u25a0^transport' troops andarmy, supplies, the •
;• outfit | figures' Lvery_ prominently,; in ;the«
\u25a0-military > movements ,'of that | country. .. >..
'\u25a0'" '\u25a0;* The "' handling ; of \ and I'eane jin r
\ Nicaragua*;' was :* formerly done by '• ox , ;
v; ox^n:' to \: af cart; hauling
v i romi 1,600 !, to 2,oo o ; ;' pounds ;,to^ a£\ load ;*
i one 1 traction ~: engine • and wagon . train :
'{ will' now.' haul ; 40 * tons Jto a' tralnloadr]
;The"=:r6adt;mentlorted;is ; 88 f; miles '^Inv
•length'andthis distance's made by the
.traction <train ?ln ->24 Jhours. '„ ' _
ti'b Likewise,'' the \u25a0 California" traction - en- *
gin© has gone to* Vladivostok, Russia, '
to i haul logs from the Interior to^the
coast/ where in former -days the trans
porting .was done by camels; to India,
to": haul .'lvga in ; a similar manner,
where the logs were formerly carried
by; elephants. ••-, ~ a ,
y There lls Just 'one other \ manufactory
Ift » California' where .these heavy ;ma
chlnes are > made, and that As situated at
Stockton. * -From this /establishment,
also.Jthe great' traction engine and'at
tendant machinery (have .gone, to the
far s corners* of the earth to revolution- .
iz© various branches of industry end to
astonish the natives.
n fflrwwMtf i iifgfff*f! B rTypCTm r mm mm
To . Spain an . engine and combined
harvester were, sent, and 'young Klnj
Alfonso was so deeply Interested thati
he Journeyed to th« big plantation'
where the machinery was to operataj
and spent two whole days following!
the harvester about the fields to watch
Its wonderful ' performance. Then he
had the Stockton company maka a
small , toy engine for the entertainment
of his court.
A similar outfit, was shipped to Rho
desia,. South* Africa, to supplant - the'
cumbersome and slow solas; appliances
of the Boers.

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