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The star. (Reynoldsville, Pa.) 1892-1946, October 26, 1892, Image 7

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87078321/1892-10-26/ed-1/seq-7/

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Bow the Clerk II and If the Malls
Laldilng Mall H un tlio
l-'ly An Arduous
I IIP, wonderful facil
ity, rapidity and an
curacy which has
been attained in the
b 1 ' iiniiiniiiniiiiii uin,
B'rTTi t
i j i tn'iivury in uur niii
mails, nlttioiit.il of
uch ImmcilmtL' im
portance nre.saya the
Ban Vrnciito
Chronicle, ono nf
tlie most ill-npprrci-nlnl
benefits which
an Induluent and pro
gressive Government
ever betowed. Tho mighty utricle fro'ri
a lumbering stage coach, dtnty, uncertain
and slow, with cue man for driver, nis.il
clerk and postman, to the rushing special
mail trains grabbing and distributing
the pouches ns they tear along nt i stv
miles an hour, and with nearly 7000
railway mail clcrki working Iik bea
vers to land tho mad on time, ha coma
to gradually that man, woman and child
regard it ns a matter ol course, and raiely
top to wonder how it all happen?.
Through tho courtesy of A. 11. Mer
rill, Assistant Superintendent of Hall
way Mail Service for this, the Eighth
Division, a Chronicle representative- was
permitted a lew days ago to rido with
Che mail to Sacramento and return to
this city, and watch the whole progress
nf newspapers, business and love letters
from their authors to the happy recipi
ents. At the Oakland mole a great pile
of nt least thirty pouches and tie sacks
was thrown into the cur, and those not
being "worked" were piled in a corner
to make room fur an installment of
twenty mora that were loaded in at Six
teenth street. The mail clerk on this
particular day (Sunday) was fortunate
enough to bavo the assistance of another
clerk, wbo was enjoying a rest of live
days after a rive days' run, us the un
Ukual weight of Sunday's big piper mail
required two men. Hot'.i boarded tho
train an hour before It started to work
up the first installment of mail. They
bad each a pair of ovciallj on, sleeves
svotiktsq vp Tn matt, is Mtrren cn.
rolled to their elbows, ar.d bofora the
train started the persplrntbu streamed
from their brows.
Along in the middle of the car,
ranged on both ndui, are the racks for
pouches, with thirty bu.ig up iu each,
and a box-shaped recoptacto is arrauged
to slide along on ways between tho two
racks, so that they can get at either end
readily to throw mail. It can be lilted
out wben not in use. Into this bos the
contents of every sack are dumped. All
of those sixty pouches, strung open
mouthed iu tho racks, uro labetod lor
very town or city, bo it great or small,
along the route with others named fcr
roads and still others for destinations fur
beyond California. Now those clerks
must inspect every paper, parcel and
bundle of letters, for letters are sorted
t tho main ofllue and many of them tied
in bunches for diileront towns, for
which they are labeled, and throw it
into the correct pouch as fast as ho can
Papers, bundles, letters everything
fairly flies in that car. Cold Spring is
way over in a corner sack; bang! goes
ten pounds of papers, and then comes
the ci-r.nxs BtsTRiutrrrNO watt..
"handla-with-care" box of bonbons be
fore the first has bit exactly where it
belongs. Urcbe mean time the train It)
thundering along anil tho whistle gives
warning nf an approaching station. The
clerk grabs pouch, stuffs the last letter
In, hurriedly locks it and rushes to the
door to hrave the sack out nnd grasp the
handle of a queer-shaped contrivnnco
that hangs on the side of the rsr. It is
the "catcher," that grabs a pouch as they
flv along. Tip! sn.nething hits the car,
ami In the rrutch of tho iron catcher s
nouch doubles Itself up like a jack-knife
and is hauled in to be dumped and
irked up.
THR MATT. mt'Ctt CATCfltttl.
This catcher is a great Invention, it
is simply a sort of two-tined pitchfork
fastenod to the door jambs, so that it
will turn, and a handle is provide 1 to
tun it with. Tho mail at a by-static n
Is done up in a special sack, strapped In
the middle to make it narrow. w.iisto 1,
so as to slip way into the eitcher and not
fall, and is hung on n scaffolding by
means of turning hooks, which are placed
in riugs at both cuds of the pouch.
When the catcher is turned horizontally
ono tine, as it were, sticks out, aud
the narrow part of the sick slides up into
the crutah, when the catcher hits it,
sometimes sticking so hard that it is dif
ficult to remove it.
Mail received on the route has to be
opened and distributed in'ta itly, as there
may be something for the very next su
tion, ami where tho train runs fast it re
quires some lively work to get tho pouches
Tho letters tint arc scattering tha: is,
few lor uny one town arj tied in a
bundle and addressed simply to the roa 1,
as "Ogden and San Fran." These are
placed to one side in the distribution aud
have to bo "worked'' In tho letter case.
This case has iunuincrable pigeon-holes,
each one lab led for a town or a mail
route, and there agaiu the nccurato
koow'edge of every bur" In tho S'.nte li
required; for all tlioso lotion must be
separated, examined and posto.l in tho
case without the slightest delay. Subse
quently tliry are again tied Into bundles
and thrown into shc!s for their destina
tion. Krrors lira rigidly checked against
cvM-y clerk and be never ceasa to study
and improve himself. Sometimes peo
ple write a horrible address or only half
a one; perhaps there are several towns
of ono naiiio in a Statu or similar names
in different States and tho Statu is left
out, ot again a new town springs up in a
night. These worry tlie poor clerk to
death. Then there are tlio "uixlos."
These aro letters addresse I t places that
do uot exist, papers and parcels from
which labels have become ilotivilioj,
bundles unwrapped und the addtess des
troyed nnd many other things.
All of theso are bunched and tent to tho
nearest main division olliue marked
"nixies" and perhaps reported to their
senders, ns it is impossible to tell wiiaro
they nro to go.
Another convenience to people is tho
car "drop," where a lovu letter, still
warm and perhaps still throbbing, is
deposited inaybu becauso just tinisned,
and maybe so that the young locil post
master in a village wont know who is
corresponding with whom. Those let
ters must bu kept out as fust as thoy full.
Tho stamps have to be "killed and the
letters distributed immediately. Each
a matt, poucn r.nv-T port Tim e.vrcnitn.
road bus n different sta.up, so that re
ceiving office know wbo huncMed that
Of courso tho small stations occur at
very short intervals, and the consequence
is a continued jumping about of the
clerk to land things on time. After the
first big receipt of mail is worked up the
sacks from these stations keep coming
along aud intervuls are very short.
However, rests come once in a while;
and then a portiou of the trip report
embruciug every transaction is written
up, or a lot of sacks are tied
and locked. The lock that Uncle
Sum uses is very cumbersome add slow,
often vexiug tho clork more than the
mail itself. A number of new devices
have been patented, but the Government
does uot care to buy them. The labor
of locking sixty sucks and dragging
tholr heavy weight uloog to pile them up
ready for dumping is itself big job,
nil as fast as books are emptied iiew
pouches must be spread open on them to
receive more mail.
Registered packages aro treated with
unbounded precaution. Every man who
receives one in its trauslt must examine
its condition and then give receipt to
the last man, make out and forward one
lor himself, keep special record of it
in book provided for the purpose and
include it in hit trip report, tie is re.
quired to keep receipt for It for five
, year, as in tracing lost one every re-
celpt must be shown until tha responst.
ble person I found .
Tha postal clerk has need to bs robust
In health, active lit mind and body and
enduring of fatigue nbove almost any
other railing. Frequently they are
obliged to work steadily for from twenty
to tinny hours, and this in a close,
stuffy car, rocking and swaying along
while they toil like troopers and eat and
sleep when and where they iet chance.
Tim Kraut Trlt lets.
The well-known Grant triplets, of
Torrington, Conn., Matthew A., Daniel
A. nnd William A. Grant, reached their
eventy-lirst birthday anniversary on
Tho three wero born on September 23,
1S21, in an old two-story farmhouse in
the centro of Torrington, ami must have
been strong mid healthy children, for
they have had hardly a day of sickns;
lu their lives.
Willimn nnd Daniel look much alike,
and aro very often mistaken one for the
other, but Matthew is of n little differ
ent type, being shorter and more thick
to. They u'l have light gray eyes,
whito hair, and bronzed and weather
beaten coiintemineus, and look uncom
monly well for men seventy-one years
William und Dinil livn together in
Torrington, but Matthosr is by himelf
in a house iu West Ilurrvillc. N'o.v
York Sun.
Odd Decoration ol !li Tii ' 1a i Itinl.
The somewhat remirkablo bird de
pleted in the cut Is to be found on the
borders .if China and Thibet, but moro
frequently un tha slopes of the Himalaya
Mountains. In nppearanco it has a great
resemblance, in many respects, ti tha
phea'ant. The plumage is very buauti
lu!, being dotted witU round, whito
snots on a brown and reddish ground.
The male bird is distinguished by large
attics, whlc.i extend from the cheo.s
down the whole length of tho neck.
while behind each nye ilses a soft, tbstiy
horn, lioth tho horn nnd tho wattles
may be dilated or contracted tU pleasure.
They aro of a blui.sh-purplo color, miu
gled with scarlet. Tho color deepens
when the bird is excited by auger or
Tho feathers of the crest, the chin and
the buck of the nock uro bluck; thn
upper part of tho breast, tho neck aud
inuulders aro light cinnamon, with a
dush of curmii.u nnd purple, variegated
by the white, eyoliko tips of the leathers;
tho wings und part of the hack nro ricli
amber, mottled with browrj and nlso
decorated with white epots. Little is
kuowu ot the habits and mnuners of the
tragopan; but troiu their sirung legs und
round wings it is thought that they do
not fly very much, but depeud lucre un
tboir swiltncss of foot thuu ou any power
of flight they may possess,
lu the breeding season the tragnpsn is
to bo seen at his bent, ilis condition
and plumage are then in tho highest
state of pei fiction, his beautiful wings
and tail are expanded, his boras erected,
his wattles inflated and glowing with
bright colors.
There scorns no reason why these birds
should not flourish in other countries.
They live in u cold climato or tempcruM
region, and soon die if takon into tno
hot plains of India. Their food cuusisti
of grain and seed, and their fle3li is a
delicacy, having much the samo flavor
as that of tho pheasant. -.Mail aud Ex
press. ,
Tlio Hani i Ian Thoiry Ylndicatiil.
Human beings do sometimes spring
from auos. Puck.
V. VV V 7 1
iJlllllBte 0
"My -5
Blinrdeln Ills Habits unit Vrrv l-'ond
ot 111 Kainlly Itlclit M
lu the World the
HE dally life
of the Cur
of Itussia, says
Frank Car
penter In the
Now York
World, is sfm-
flBk r,.'n.t."8,e,s:
l I V III C, 1 I V
keeps his
great frame In g iod condition by regular
exercise, anil, liko Gladstone, he often
goes out nnd cuts down trees iu his
forests. Ho sometimes saws these trues
Into lengths with a cross-cut saw nnd he
docs nil sorts of manual work. He is an
athlete ot the first order and hois fond
of playing with his children, nnd during
his stay in Denmark ho had a number of
wrestling matches at the palnca there, in
each of which, I am told, ho came out
vlctorous. Ho Is lound of horseback
ruling and has 15 J suddle horses in his
stables here. His stud contains so no of
the finest horses in the world.' He knows
II about horses and is anxious to im
prove his stock nnd is very careful nbout
the character of the horses which are
brought Into the army. He often drives
himself, with his wile besido him. In n
phaeton about Gatchlna, and he holds his
reins with arms stiff, in tho Human
fashion. I visited the museum in which
the imperial c images aro kept, the other
day, and srent hours wan lerlng about
through the hundreds of golden coachet
end gorgeous landaus, each of which is
worth many, many thousand dollars. I
handled harness whic h was inlaid with
precious stones nnd the n.et.it work of
which was of solid gold or silver. I saw
harness cloth embroidered with pearls,
nnd the total value of these trappings
and coaches runs high into the mil-
lions of dollars. As I looked at thorn I
could not but think of the simple car
riages which tho Czar really u?es and
how far his spirit is removed from that
of ostentation. Ha leads a more simple
life, in. fact, than many ot his nobles,
and he cares nothing whatever for style.
Ho is one of tho hardest worked ineu of
his Empire. He rises at daybreak and
takes a cup oC coffee, says his prayers
and then begins work, looking over his
State papers. At 1 o'clock, he takes
bieakfast with his wife, und after break
fast he exercises for a while before going
buck to work. lie keeps his system in
perfect condition, and his stomach uever
goes back on him. He has his dinner at
6 o'clock, but, like mauy big men, ho
eats little, and his drluk is courlnod to a
glass ol Burgundy. Ho always dines
with his family, and his family relations
are most beautiful.
The Czar of ItussU Is in love with his
wife. This is an extraordinary thing
for a Russia!) monarch, and both peasants
nd nobles have spokon to me in the
highest terms of bis purity in this regard.
He spends his evoniugs with hit family
nd often roads to his wife while she em
broiders, and there are number ol
stories here which illustrate this part of
bis character, It Is now tmeuty-llva
years since he attended a court reception
a. I'aris, and there met Empress Eugenie.
All the beauties of the I'aris court wero
present, and as the Empress chatted with
him she as!;ed him to paint nut to her
tho most beautiful Indy iu tho room.
The future Czar replied that he was too
much of a barburinu to think uny woman
moro beautiful than his own wife, and
his notions toward her from that timo
to this have shown that he has continued
of this opinion. Still his marriage to
her was one of diplomacy rather than of
low;. She is. you know, the daughter
of Christian IX., of Denmark, and her
name was the 1'rincess Dagrnar. She
had been engaged to tho Czar's elder
brother, who died at Nice, and in this
way the present Czar became heir to the
throne. Tho Princess Dagrnar was much
in love with Alexander's brother and stio
did not want to be married to her pres
ent husband. Alexander himself had a
sweetheart whom he was anxious to
nmrry, but State reasons inado both those
young people give up thuir cherished
ideas, and Alexander 111. wooed the
Princess Dagrnar nnd married her. Love
camo after the marriage, aud though this
was more tlmn a quarter of century
ago, they are lovers still.
1 he Empress of Itussia Is the reverse
of her husband iu appearance. She is ns
slender und petite ai ho is strong and
mussivn. She is not beautiful and not
homely. Her nose is slightly retrousse,
but her features aie otherwise well
formed and her eyes are bright and
kindly, Sba is ono of tha most beauti
ful dancers in Itussia, and she is at fond
nf dancing as a Danish country girl. At
the winter pslucs in St. Petersburg nro
given each year snuia of tho most won
derful balls ot the world. Seven thou
sand people can live in this palace, and
the thouiumls of dancers trip tho light
fantastio toe over floors of ebony, of
rosewnod and of ivory. Now aud tuen
the Empress appears at these dances (a
her royal robes. She wears gorgeous
crown which falrlj bhu with dia-
t t.S ft
4 Km
mnnds. Her necklace is of many strand
of the purest pearls, ami her vest l-s
mass of rubies, sapphires and diamonds
put together so that they blaze like fire.
One ot her gowns Is ot emerald velvet
with a train of whito velvet which Is .
fairly covered with gold embroidery and
the front of which Is linked with strands
of purest coral. The jewels on one nf
these robes would mnke an American
village rich, and their value surpasses
computation. In the treasury at Mos
cow I saw the Empress' coronation robe.
The train of this was of woven silver,
and there was enough of woven silver
cloth iu the robe to have carpeted an or
dinary parior.
The Km pre! Is the member ot the Im
perial family who most fears the assas.
simition of the Czar. She is in suspense
whenever her husband is away from hor,
nnd every timo that his life is attempted
her nerves become shattered. She wor
ries nbout her children, nnd I doubt not
she often longs for her girlhood life in
peaceful Denmark. It is for this reason
largely that who is so fond of dancing.
She cau lorget herself when she is on
the floor, and ns long as the mad caltoti
goes on she docs not feel the presenoe of
the specter which continuously hangs
over the Itiu.siun throne.
I don't suppose there is family in
the United States which has a more
happy homo life than that ot the Czar.
Ho has five children three boys and
two gir.s. The oldose is the Grand
Duke fiicholas, who is now twenty-four
years old and wbo shows himself to be a
bright, aggressive young Prince.
With nil his greutt.oss the Czar is
more simple in his mauoers than any
monsrch in the world. There aro no
frills or furbelows about him. He talks
in a simple way to his friends and to his
officials, and though he is the Czar in
every tense of the word he is not puffed
up with conceit. Ho is probably tho
ric.hott monarc'.i in the world. His in
come amounts to moro than $10,0OI),OUO
a year and hn owns moro land than any
other porson in tho world. Ha has
moro than u million square miles of cul
vatcd land and forest, and he has gold
and silver miucs in Siberia, und his re
ceipts nro so large that no one know
how largo they nro.
I wish I could doscribo for you his
wonderful palsces. Thero is nothing like
tin m on the faci oi tho earth. I saw
a single crown i.i tho winter palace
which had nvire thai a million dol
lars' worth of je.vels in it, and the treat
ury at Moscow contains cart bads of
gold and silver plate. Tha winter pal
ace is so large that it cover acros, and
there is a story that when it was burned
not long ago a cow was discovered in
one of the unused rooms where a ser
vant had beeu keeping it and the people
of tho palace knew nothing about it.
rhore are ZUUU actes about one ot th
summer palaces near bore and it takes
QUO men to keep these in ordor, and
the palaco ot Putorhof surpasses in iu
beauties thoso ot Versailles.
A Cluc'x Matle of Flurrors.
A littie masterpiece of mechanism, anrl
at tiio samo time a model of garden dec-
oration, is the floral clock which decor
ates the garden of an ingenious Parisian.
The appearance at this oddest of time
pieces is shown in the accompanying cut.
Tha dial, which is not loss than thirty
feet iu diamoter, is composed entirely of
choice plauts of various colors. Tho
hands, which actually move over tho
face of the clock, are made in the sumo
muoiMjr, aud the whole effect of the)
arrungemout is that of an immense bas
ket ot flowers. The mechinisin which
drives the hands is lodged in a largo
chamber built in tho garden immedi
ately beneath the dial. It is composed
of the usual machinery employed in op
erating largo clocks, except that it i
particularly constructed to move tha
great weight ot the earth which must bo
supported by tho revolving bands. This
is cleverly accomplished by making an,
ordinary clock train release volume of
water every minute and this by its gravity
operates the wheels that send tbo heavy
hands forward. The whole arrangement
is exceedingly iogeuiou and interesting,
and, according to tba PhilodelphLa
Becord, is tha daily admiration and won.
der of hundred ot tha inventor's town

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