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they please, but they will slide right over the concrete tubes, and trains may pass back and forth within them as safely as passenger traffic is carried on beneath the Hudson river in the McAdoo tunnels, or beneath the Detroit river.
It was a west bound passenger train stalled at Wellington by snow-blockades that was swept to destruction at the beginning of last March, together with four electric locomotives used in the Cascade tunnel, which had been recently electrified, and a part of the town of Wellington. For weeks and weeks workingmen continued to take out the bodies of the victims, some buried under fifty feet of snow and debris. Soon after traffic was resumed Mr. Hill, chairman of the Great Northern board of directors, with L. W. Hill, his son, president of the road, L. C. Gilman, assistant to the president, and A. H. Hogeland, chief engineer of the system, visited the mountain division, and studied the problem from all angles.
Observation convinced the officials that
the only way to render the tracks immune from such disaster was to set the rails back into the mountain, and erect coverings that no avalanche could budge.
"We must make the mountain district impregnable against snowslides, even if an outlay of millions of dollars is necessary," declared Mr. Hill emphatically, and aside from the concrete sheds the railway magnate ordered more than $1,000,000 spent in an effort to prevent blockades and delays to through trains during the winter months. Two miles of the main line near Berne, east of Wellington, are in process of rebuilding, new buildings were erected at Wellington, a water supply system is being installed between Wellington and Scenic, and at Wellington a rendezvous has been made for the scores of men that each winter fight the snow king in the Cascades. From this point men may be rushed down the west side of the mountains or through the Cascade tunnel to the eastern slope.
Not before in the world have reinforced concrete snowsheds been constructed to protect a long stretch of track, as in the Cascades. Preparatory to the building of them and the erection of some wooden sheds the Great Northern placed orders for 11,000,000 feet of lumber. In the concrete work 30,000 barrels of cement were used, with 2,400 tons of steel as reinforcement. Relays of men worked night and day rushing the construction, as haste was necessary if the great task was to be completed before the winter snows again brought danger.
The mountain side of solid rock was excavated for fifty feet back from the old tracks. For most of the 3,300 feet the concrete construction rests against the mountain wall. The concrete roof, ten inches thick and sloping one foot in five, is twenty-two feet above the double tracks of the main line. Reinforced concrete pillars set ten feet apart in the walls give additional support.
Great Northern engineers declare that these so-called sheds will last for all time to come, and that danger is virtually eliminated. Each year snows and blockades made traffic extremely difficult to maintain through the Cascade district, but next winter with the improvements that have been made the operating officials expect less trouble than ever before. FOR years all cotton men, whether growers, ginners or manufacturers, have recognized that a radical improvement was necessary in the present method of ginning cotton. The enormous loss in wasteful ginning methods, estimated as amounting to $40,000,000 on each year's crop, could be saved for the mills of this country, with the use of a perfect gin. Roller gins have been recognized for years as the proper gins to use. delivering the cotton fiber in its full length, uncut and unbroken, while
ROLLER COTTON GIN AT LAST
C. E. HAYES
the saw gins materially damage the fiber. But the roller gins in use, working by reciprocating motion, have a very small capacity, about 40 to 50 pounds per hour as compared with the saw gins which turn out from 400 to 500 pounds of lint per hour. Also the roller gins in use have only been adapted to the ginning of the very longest varieties of cotton, like Sea Island and Egyptians, and not much success was achieved with them in the ginning of short staple or upland cotton which comprises ninety-nine per cent, of the cotton crop in this country.
Magnified Cotton Fibers Showing Cuts And
For years inventors have been working to improve the capacity of the roller gin, knowing that when the quantity of output would equal the saw gin, the latter would die out.
Some years ago Charles J. McPherson of South Framingham, Mass., became interested in the improvement of cotton ginning and as a result of his experiments invented what he calls the rotary comb roller gin. This gin will soon be in the market in competition with the saw gin.
The new gin uses a rotary process which gives it a rapid ginning action and a great capacity, turning out from 400 to 500 pounds of short staple cotton per hour while the fiber is uninjured and the quality of the lint perfect. Many points of superiority are claimed for this new gin over the saw gin. Among them is the saving in fire losses which now occur in saw ginneries through the action of the rapidly revolving saws encountering pebbles or small particles of hard metals which are frequently brought to the ginneries in the seed cotton. Sparks are flashed as a result and fires ensue, thus causing insurance rates on ginneries to be very high. The action of the rolls in the rotary gin is to smother the fire should one start in the gin. Repeated tests having been made to demonstrate this fact. There is no danger whatever to operators of the new roller gin. Thousands of employes in Southern ginneries are maimed or less seriously injured each year by saw gins.
The new gin has ginned wet cotton
Perfect Cotton Fibers From Roller Gin.
great saving to him in the preliminary processes in the mill, besides making a stronger yarn. As a result roller gin cotton sells from one-half to three cents per pound more than saw gin cotton.
The gin consists of two sets of double rolls, the rolls of each set revolving in opposite directions. One of these is a ginning* roll, and is covered with some soft material having a gentle friction—usually walrus hide—which will thus not only not injure the fiber, but likewise should be free from the danger of heating excessively. The other roll is a combing roll and consists of a shaft on which are set spirally two pointed soft metal disks. The lint on the seed is caught by the ginning roll and drawn inside a polished steel plate or blade against which the ginning roll revolves. This action holds the seed firmly against the dull edge of the blade and it is combed from the lint by the points of the rapidly revolving disks. After being detached by the comb roll, the seeds are forced through a grate underneath by the rotary action of the comb roll, and the lint, now free, is blown by means of a suction fan to a condenser in the rear of the gin. The simplicity and efficiency of the process are apparent at a glance.