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The Saint Paul globe. (St. Paul, Minn.) 1896-1905, February 05, 1899, Image 18

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90059523/1899-02-05/ed-1/seq-18/

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[Copyright, 1599.]
THE day of the horse is passing
away. Already the practical de
monetlzation of the faithful!
equine might be said to be taking!
place, and before another cen- J
tury shall have elapsed he may have be
come a zoological curiosity. His yen- j
erable bones will be seen mounted and I
on exhibition in museums. The small !
boy ot the twentieth century will won
der what sort of animal Equus cabal
lus really was and will marvel at the
Ca< t that he was once harnessed and
made to haul heavy loads.
The beginning: of the end was in sight
when electricity first supplanted the
horse as a means of propulsion for
street cars. Then the bicycle came,
sprang at once into popular favor and
rendered still more limited the' uses of
our once essential quadruped.
But now stili greater changes are
taking place. The introduction of the
automobile on streets of American cit
ies is slowly but surely driving out the
old fashioned hansom and the two horse
orougham, and now even the lorrie team
and the long overworked draft horse
are to become "things that were."
The recent formation of a company in
New York city with a capital of some
$100,000,000 to exploit compressed air as
a motive power for all trucking and
carting business in Greater New York !
shows still again how surely the reign j
of the horse is passing away. He will
of course continue, for a time at least,
to remain the pet and the trained speed
ing animal of the wealthy in the city
and the helpful friend of the more hum
ble farmer in the country. But as time
goes on and urban population becomes
more and more dense it will be seen, to
be even more necessary in order to ob
viate congestion of traffic in city streets
and to maintain a proper degree of san
itation and cleanliness to allow only
self propelling- vehicles on the public
streets of our towns and cities.
The outcome of this will be a vast
Improvement in the condition and
smoothness of all city streets, the abo
lition of the objectionable cobblestone
is paving material and the elimination
of the ear piercing noises which now
make a pandemonium of the average
metropolitan thoroughfare.
It is true, motor vehicles for pleasure,
traffic and business purposes have been
somewhat slow of adoption in this coun
try. The horse has held his own here
with remarkable pertinacity, for it has
been in European cities, and particular
ly in Paris, that the automobile indus
try has flourished to the greatest ex
tent. The principal reason why Ameri
cans have been in no undue haste to
sulopt motor carriages re the fact that
mechanically these have not hitherto
been sufficiently developed to render
them acceptable for general use. The
motive power employed in most of them
has been unsatisfactory because of lack
of efficiency in some cases and extrava
gant expense of operation in others.
But American brains and American en
ergy have been at work on the problem
for the last few years, with the result
that the objections referred to have
been practically removed.
The general public, as a rule, has not
the opportunity of seeing the gradual
;:!:ti laborious approach to perfection of
any important mechanical invention.
This same general public is usually as
tounded at the miraculous appearance
i ! some new wonder, while the men
who have been laboring for years to
bring about this apparent mechanical
miracle foresaw the inevitable long be
fore the busy world had thought of such
a ihing. For some time now jokes have
been made about the passing of the
horse, but until the last year or so it
was never really thought that the pe
riod of equine usefulness had so nearly
approached its close.
It was vaguely felt that changes
might come about in time, for the idea
of mechanical instead of animal trac
tion power is as old as the history of
human thought itself. Even Homer
himself describes the god Vulcan as be
ing engaged upon the construction of
a great hall on wheels, which he de
.-cubes as "self moving and wonderful,"
and Juno is made to command Vulcan
to create tripods which shall run by
■•■!v<>s. thus rendering better serv
!ce to the gods in their meetings on
Mount Olympus.
in the thirteenth century the English
philosopher Roger Bacon wrote in one
of his works. "They will make carriages
which will run with the greatest imag
inable swiftness without any harnessed
The earliest horseless carriage which is
preserved today is one now on exhibition
in Paris at the Conservatoire dcs Artes
et Metiers. This machine was invented
by Cugnot in 1769 and was made to op
erate by steam, the energy of which
was applied through two perpendicular
piston tubes. The principal reason per- j
haps why the French steam automobile
was not brought to a state of compara
tive perfection during the last century
was the beginning of the revolution.
The turbulence which accompanied that
event naturally turned men's minds
from .peaceful and civilizing pursuits to I
thoughts of warfare and the deposing of 1
Senator Simon of Oregon has been
taking banjo lessons. "Are you improv
ing?" some one asked him recently.
"J'.wh'T tl*it or the neighbors are get
ting inure used to it," he replied.
f>n ,in occasion a bishop was consol
iriK a costermonger for the loss of his
I j l l to son. The poor fellow was rocking
tf. and fro in his distress. He suddenly
!'.'.kf fi -,it i]i<: bishop and, with tears
running down his cheeks, said, "D'ye
tliink I could c;et the young beggar
The late Senator Morrill, though he
monarchs. But it was in all likelihood
from the Cugnot steam carriage that i
Stephenson indirectly obtained his idea j
! for a locomotive on rails.
j At the Exposition Universelle in Paris
I in 187S a steam automobile was exhibit-
I ed very like that of Cugnot, the only
j difference being that the frame of. the
j more modern vehicle was built after the !
J plan of a common road carriage and not
jas a velocipede. This automobile, how- I
ever, was not a very satisfactory ma- j
chine, and it was not until 12 years later
that MM. Serpollet and Archdeacon in- i
vented a steam automobile, with which j
they journeyed from Paris to L.yons in ]
ten days. In 1894 the automobile first
gave promise of actual adaptability for j
general transportation and traction j
purposes. In that year the editor of the
Petit Journal organized the first auto
mobile race, which was run from Paris j
to Rouen. In this contest the steam ;
horseless carriage, while proving itself
cumbersome, noisy and uncouth in ap
pearance, showed itself superior to its
electrical and gasoline propelled rivals
of that time. The following year an
other race was run, this time from Paris
to Bordeaux and return, but in this test
it was the electrical carriage that prov
ed itself the superior machine.
Up to this time the construction of
these carriages had been conducted
along the ugly lines of a buggy or four
wheeled cart instead of seeking an in
| dividuality for themselves through de
j signs more fitting to their peculiar qual
| ities. Today, however, it might be said
that they have evolved an individuality
of their own. Automobile mechanics is
an art the nicety of which is only un
derstood by those who are of the pro
But one of the great difficulties that
still face the constructors of horseless
carriages is the problem of expense. A
Parisian made automobile victoria, for
instance, costs some $800 and an auto
mobile tricycle $300. The heavier car
riages are proportionately expensive.
This costliness of manufacture, how
ever, is a drawback that time will put
right,- just as has been the case with
the bicycle. But while the initial outlay
for an automobile Is still very large this
is more than compensated for by the in
significant extent of operating expenses,
the fuel for the petroleum propelled ye-
hides costing merely 1% cents per hour.
The development of the automobile as
a thing of beauty will take place only
when its place is assured and its use is
general, when people of means and
fashion will begin to demand certain
characteristics of design and finish to
differentiate their carriages from the
vehicles of the livery and the cab stand.
There are a number of New York la-
probably took up less space in The
Congressional Record than any of his
colleagues, always made a speech early
in the session and sent a copy bound
in Russia leather to every senator and
a paper bound copy to every voter In
Congressman Elect John L. Burnett
of Alabama, who will probably be the
smallest man in the next house, is an
able lawyer. When he first appeared
before the supreme court of Alabama
to argue a case, he stood up behind a
high bench on which lawyers were ac
dies who have their own private auto
mobiles and may be seen any day
speeding noiselessly along the more
fashionable streets of that city. It takes
some skill and experience to operate
one of these powerful horseless car
riages, for, after all, they are mere lo
comotives and not unconnected with
danger in the hands of the inexperi
enced. In Paris the authorities require
each operator of an automobile to pass
a practical examination, after which
he is given a certificate of efficiency.
The local history of Paris, neverthe
less, .for the past two years has been
lively enough with runaways, collisions,
upsets and explosions of a more or less
serious nature. New York has also had
its list of little accidents.
There is one thing that the motor car
riage demands, and that is good roads.
We are already indebted to the bicycle
for an improvement in the condition of
our highways, but when the automobile
comes into general use both the great
unthinking public and governmental
bodies will become impressed with' the
necessity for a better class of roadmak
ing. As things now are, the United
States stands lowest on the list of ad
vanced countries in the matter of good
highways. Another advantage of the
use of the horseless vehicle will be that
our streets will be found more health-
customed to lay their books and pa
pers. "May it please the court," be
gan the diminutive counsel, when the
chief justice broke in, "Mr. Burnett, it
is the custom of lawyers to rise while
addressing this court."
jOn a recently bitterly cold night
Speaker Reed had occasion to ride on a
street car the conductor of which neg
ligently left the door open, to the great
discomfort of the passengers. Mr. Reed
beckoned to the railway official and
when the latter came inside asked,
"Why have you got your collar turned
up, my friend?" "It's mighty cold," re
sponded the conductor, "and I want to
keep warm." "So do the rest of us,"
' ful and cleaner than is now possible.
j Stabling will no longer be necessary in
| cities, and there will be more room on
j city streets. The wearing noise of traf
; fie will be hushed, and pneumatic tires
| and silent generators *or storage batter
: ies will do away with the roar of wheels
j and the rattle of horses' feet. In our
| country, fortunately, there is no legis
| lation and no popular prejudice against
I the automobile, as in England, for in
: stance, where only a little over a year
i ago prohibitory legislation with regard
! to the use of such carriages in London
| was repealed. Until this action was
; taken it was necessary that all horse
' less carriages should be preceded by a
man on foot or on horseback bearing a
I red flag as a warning of the approach
of the terrible engine of destruction.
Animal power has ever been capri
cious and uncertain, while machinery is
j reliable and always sure. An automo
' bile does not require continual atten-
tion, as does an animal. While not in
use the automobile entails no operating
expenses, and all that can be charged
to its idleness is the interest on the
original outlay for its purchase. Nor
will it grow old and die, like a horse.
When its day's work is done, it can be
run into a shed and stand there until
once more called upon to do service.
So long as it remaijis one of the deep
rooted characteristics of man, the most
restless of all animals, to be in the
place where he is not he will see to it
that his means of transportation are as
expedient, inexpensive and comfortable
as circumstances will permit. It has
taken him some time to reach the age
of the automobile, but it might be said
that such an age has at last arrived.
The passing of the horse furnishes
food for much profound thought and
reflection. It is a farreaching question, j
affecting almost all kinds and condi
tions of men. What will become of the
smith who hitherto eked out his frugal
existence in the wayside village under
the spreading chestnut tree? What will
become of the hay and feed man who
has so long and so profitably catered to
the inner wants of our old time equine
friend? What will become of the farm
er and his hay crop and his field of
oats? What will become of the costly
livery stable and the harness maker and
the veterinary surgeon?
It is no easy matter to figure out the
Immediate or even the ultimate im
provement in the general condition of
affairs which will result from the adop-
observed the speaker. "Suppose you
shut the door!" It is needless to add
that the passengers were comfortable
during the remainder of the trip.
A characteristic of the late William
Black was his ignorance of his own
books, and it was very difficult to get
him to talk about his novels. It seem
ed that as soon as the proof sheets were
returned to the printers Mr. Black for
got all about his own creations, "in
talking to my husband the other day,"
Mrs. Black once said fto a visitor, "I
suddenly remembered an anecdote in
one of his novels which illustrated what
I was saying. Mr. Black laughed hearti
ly at the story and then turned eagerly
lion of the horseless carriage, when it
is borne in mind that many disturbing
elements enter into the problem. Al
] ready there has been a great falling oft
: in the production ef horses and a depre
ciation in the value of horseflesh, which
i has filled the farmer and the horse
breeder with apprehension. But, for
tunately, these questions have the habit
jof settling and adjusting themselves.
j When it is remembered that there are
j now millions of acres of land devoted to
| the growing of crops for horse food
! alone, which in time may and must be
I devoted to the production of food for
I the human beings who are engaged in
! the manufacture of the very machines
' that are displacing the horse, the prob
lem is not so intricate and the outlook
is not so dark as it at first seems.
The poor old cab horse has always
had his drawbacks as a working ma
chine, and even with an animal en
dowed with all the noble attributes of
I the horse the question of economics can
■ not be kept out of the calculation. It
costs at least 60 cents a day to keep the
| ordinary steed that travels up and down
a city's streets, and if he chances to be
a cab horse and times are good he will
I travel about 25 miles, on an average, on
| that amount of nourishment. But he re
j quires at least eight hours' sleep and
rest, to say nothing of an occasional
| day off as a result of colic, which leaves
I him a working capacity of 16 hours.
: Most of the time, however, he spends in
j loafing around on street corners and
dreamily digesting his 60 cents' worth
of oats and hay.
It is commonly supposed that all cab
horses live about 100 years, but this is
one of those popular errors which have
no actual foundation in fact. His ten
ure of life averages, appearances to the
; contrary, about 15 years, and at 60 cents
a day His feed in that time will amount
to only $3,275, for which, if he has
led an industrious, sober and unpam
pered life, he covers some 109,500 miles.
This newfangled automobile that is
elbowing its four footed rival off the
streets of the city, on the other hand,
will travel the same distance for about
$1,000, expended in fuel or electricity,
and while doing so will never have to
be sent to the blacksmith shop to be
shod, the average cost of repairs being
no more than that for the ordinary car
riage hauled by horses.
A French writer who has made a
study of the horseless carriage a spe
cialty has been figuring out its ultimata
to me, 'But where did you hear so good
a story?' My husband wouldn't be
lieve it was in one of his own books
until I found it for him."
Senator Frye of Maine says that
while in Paris he needed a hair cut, so
he studied carefully the necessary por
tion of his "French Conversation Book"
and did his best to make the barber
understand. "I don't understand Dutch,"
said the person addressed. "Do you
speak English?"
A good story is told by Rudyard Kip
ling at his own expense. During his
stay in Wiltshire, England, one sum
mer he met little Dorothy Drew, Mr.
Gladstone's granddaughter, and, being
possibilities and prophesying as to its
He forecasts that the size of the auto
mobile, while not yet greatly differing
from the ordinary one or two horse
wagon, will increase in time to an enor
mous extent and that its weight may
even reach a Vegister of thousands of
; tons. The liveryman will be replaced
by the dispenser of coal, electricity and
1 petroleum, and instead of water troughs
1 along the principal highways there will
be seen innumerable electric storage de
' pots.
This French prophet attempts to
straighten out the economic knot by
1 forecasting that the horse will in time
' become a delectable and much sought
after feod animal. He holds that a life
of leisure will restore the proper amount
of succulence to the flesh of the now ]
overworked quadruped, and that a time
will come when horse steaks will be
served at all restaurants and their con
sumption will be looked upon as a mat
ter of course. This Parisian prophet also
foresees the traveling shop and the itin
erant theater. An immense automobile
will carry along both actors, scenery and j
playhouse. On the upper floors of the
great wheeled building will be the
apartments of the company, who will
not have to pack and unpack their be
longings each day.
A train de luxe will become the fash
ionable means by which pleasure out
ings will be taken, and summer travel
ing will no longer be done on dusty and
crowded railway trains. A circuit court
will move from town to town in full
session on wheels, and even funeral
processions will consist of a number of
automobiles linked together like a train
of cars.
All this sounds more or less like a
page from a fairy tale book or the idle
dream of a mere visionary. It repre
sents, nevertheless, something far more
substantial, for it is the conviction of a
farseeing and scholarly French scien
tist, who has had the opportunity of
studying the different inventions which
are slowly but surely being brought to a
state of perfection in his own country,
which may well be called the birthplace
and the home of the horseless carriage.
Famous Landmarks May Collapse.
The Bridge of Sighs in Venice is in
danger of collapse.
This structure, famous in prose and
poetry, may at any time fall and dis
appear in the dark waters of the canal
it spans unless the Italian government
officials take active steps to secure the
noted stone arch. -
The Bridge of gigbs connects the
palace of the doges with the carceri, or
prisons, and the foundations on both
sides are crumbling. The bridge dates
from 1597. It is a graceful arch 32 feet
above the water, inclosed at the sides
and arched overhead. It contains two
separate passages, through which per
sons were led for trial or judgment.
The poetic sentiment attached to the
bridge which gave it the famous name
! arose from a belief that many a polit
j ical prisoner, innocent of wrongdoing,
i was led over the span and thence down
to the dungeons far below the nearby
waters, whence there was no escape. So
damp and foul are these cells that they j
are called "wells." Dickens wrote of|
them in his "Pictures From Italy."
Standing on the famous bridge, Byron
j wrote his splendid poem on the rise and
: fall of Venice.
Anether notable structure in Italy
j that is said to be endangered by im
pending plans of improvements is the j
Ponte Vecchio, in Florence. This is the |
: most picturesque of Florentine bridges j
and was built by Taddeo Gaddi in the ■
fourteenth century. Here the gold
smiths had their shops. In the middle
of the bridge an open ioggia gives views
up and down the river.
Should either of the famous land
. marks be destroyed the loss could never
be repaired.
India Rubber.
A recent report from a British consul
in one of the Central American states
gives the following as the origin of the
name rubber, as applied to caoutchouc:
j An English artist discovered in 1770 that
!the new gum was admirably adapted for
I rubbing out pencil marks. He wrote a
paper on the subject and informed his
contemporaries that a cubic inch of this
: substance, costing only 3 shillings, j
' would last for years. It was used for j
! no other purpose in England than effac- j
! ing lead pencil marks for about half a '
century after this discovery; hence the ;
name "rubber." After the introduction j
of the raw material and the scientific |
description of the plant by Frenchmen ;
it was first manufactured into water- ,
proof clothing in France toward the end i
of the eighteenth century. Later on the j
firm of Mclntosh of Manchester greatly }
improved on the French idea and man
ufactured waterproofs on a large scale, |
and "mackintosh" is the name by which |
waterproofs have been known since that i
General Wheeler says that during the j
past war he used the same spurs he
wore in the civil war.
very fond of children, took her in the
grounds and told her stories. After a
time Mrs. Drew, fearing- that Mr. Kip
ling must be tired of the child, called
her and said, "Now, Dorothy, I hope
you have not been wearying Mr. Kip
ling?" "Oh, not a bit, mother," replied
the small celebrity, "but he has been
wearying me."
Once, on a visit at a country house, a
bore asked Richard Brinsley Sheridan
to take a long walk with him. Sheridan
made an excuse of the weather, saying
it was scarcely pleasant enough for a
walk. An hour later the bore interrupt
ed Sheridan as he was about to escape
from the house. "I see it has cleared,"
Everyday Use of
Homing Pigeons,
The carrier pigeon has become recog
nized as an important aid In the collec
tion of news by evening newspapers in
the British isles. For newspaper pur
poses there is not much advantage In
flying birds from great distances, and
they are seldom used for carrying mes
sages farther than 20 or 25 miles.
Some of the evening papers in the
British provinces possess birds that are
noted, some of them having good rec
ords. The Edinburgh Evening Dispatch
has a notable lot of birds, and they are
I found an immense aid in the particular
duty allotted to them— the carrying to
the office of reporters' copy from the
many cricket, golf, football and sport
ing fields that encircle the city, and
which, with one or two exceptions, are
not in connection with either telegraph
or telephone systems.
Every Saturday, which is the great
I day for sports in the Edinburgh dis
trict, as many as 30 or 40 of these birds
are requisitioned as messengers. On
the morning of the days when they are
to be worked they are sparingly fed.
Like schoolboys, liberated from school,
pigeons, if they are hungry, will hurry
home, and when they do arrive there is
always a good feed of peas or corn
awaiting them.
The reporter writes his copy on what
is known as "flimsy" — a light oiled pa*
pcr — and uses carbonized paper to ob
tain a duplicate. The copy is attached
to the leg of the bird by means of elas
tic bands. At the football or cricket
matches the tossings of the birds from
time to time are always watched by the
crowds with great interest.
The arrangement at the newspaper
offices for trapping the birds and tak
ing the copy is rather ingenious. There'
is a clear fly in for the pigeons through
the customary opening into a small,
well lighted compartment in the loft.
The floor of this small chamber is a
movable plate, nicely adjusted, so that
the moment the pigeon alights on it
two things occur. The weight of the
bird liberates a catch and a wire port-'
cullis noiselessly falls and closes the
entrance. At the same time an electric
circuit is formed and a bell rings in the
subeditor's room to give notice of the
arrival of the bird. The pigeon is thus
its own jailer and herald.
Should I,sivver» Wear Gonna?
The legal fraternity of New York ia
in the throes of a great discussion — to
wear or not to wear gowns. Judges in
various courts do already don them
when in court, but it is now proposed
that all lawyers, when appearing, shall
put them on.
The majority of the lawyers are in
favor of the innovation, and a great
many have declared it to be their inten
tion to wear gowns in future, whether
ordered to do so or not.
They say that the appearance of law
yers in court dressed in solemn robes
will add much to the dignity of the
place and will have the effect of making
j the public respect the courts much mom
than at present.
One well known lawyer in New York
expressed the opinion of a great num
ber of his colleagues when he said:
"Too much dignity cannot be added to
a judicial proceeding, particularly in
courts having to do with human liberty
I and human life. I believe that lawyers
| should be robed inasmuch as they are
! officers of the court. It does not seem
! proper that a prosecuting officer should
move the court that death sentence be
imposed when dressed in a light suit oi
clothes and wearing a red necktie. 1
once saw such an occurrence."
A Sacrificing; Woman.
In a little village in the wilds of west
Africa Miss Slessor, a Scotch mission
ary, has lived for 18 years without Eu
ropean companionship 1 and has devoted
herself entirely to civilizing the natives.
When Miss Slessor first settled among
them, she found that the most curioua
and cruel customs were practiced. For
instance, if a woman gave birth to
twins, the babies were at once destroy
ied, and their mother was driven out in
-1 to the forest, there to perish of hunger.
j Thanks to Miss Slessor's influence, thia
! practice has been abandoned. At first
| she used to undertake the care of moth
i ers and babies threatened with this ter
j rible fate, but now her word is law.
I In order to benefit the natives, Miss
; Slessor felt that she must knew them,
I and to do so thoroughly she must livo
; among them. This she did, and she also
j took infinite pains to learn their lan
[guage. Then she taught them the art oi
j building, first building her own house to
I serve as a model.
| The bravery and patience shown bj
: Miss Slessor are most remarkable and
j have borne good fruit. At the present
, time she Is considered the queen and
! prophetess of the district, is consulted
in all important matters by the people
and is universally respected.
!he said persistently. "Why, yes," said
j the wit doubtfully. "It has cleared
| enough for one, but has it cleared
; enough for two?"
I Joseph H. Choate says that once, as a
| Harvard student, he went into a Boston
j cheap eating house and asked the wait
ior what they had. '•Everything," was
j the answer. "Get me some," said Mr.
i Choate. "One order of hash!" said the
Senator Turpie of Indiana says he
j never carried a watch because people
; used to bother him so by asking the
| time. "I thought I'd try my turn at
j bothering somebody else," says the sen
-1 ator.

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