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THEN "Jim" Fike drew hoppers and the drought, until Fortune
up a pair of jaded ponies began to smile. He picked up a few hitched to a dilapidated more acres at a time until he became wagon and faced the set- among his neighbors what they call in
ting sun on the lonely Kansas a "prominent farmer." He was prairie in Thomas County, Kansas, the kind of man who wins popularity twenty-five years ago, he didn't have $25 easily and his neighbors called him“Jim.” to his name. Now that same "Jim” Fike He was appointed registrar of the land spends that much every week for gaso office under President Cleveland's second line alone and the most of the prairie he administration and after his term exsaw by the light of that setting sun is pired he was elected a railroad commishis own and on it is the largest wheat sioner. Then Jim Fike quit politics and farm in the world.
went back to farming. Twenty-five years ago there were not By that time the farmers in western ten carloads of wheat
Kansas had begun to raised in Thomas
learn to grow wheat. · County. “Jim” Fike
Fike. started in with requires that much
sixteen hundred acres now to seed his one
and he gradually infarm. To do the work
creased his holdings on that farm requires
until in 1909 he sowed the services of more
ten thousand acres. men than there were in
From that area he harThomas County when
vested 120,000 bushels "Jim" Fike went there.
and made a profit of When James Fike
$60,000. Last year he arrived in Thomas
had twelve thousand County he took up a
acres in winter wheat quarter section of one
and harvested 600 hundred and sixty
acres more in spring acres. He stuck to it
wheat. His profits last through fat years and
JAMES M. FIKE.
year probably were The farmer who manages his farm as a lean, through the grass
merchant does his business.
at least $75,000. Every
drives over his farm in a forty-horse power motor-car and directs the operations like the field marshal of an army.
After the harvesting is finished, four threshing machines are kept busy for a month, threshing the grain. The granaries on the farm make a small village in themselves. Immediately after the harvesting is finished, the big plows are put to work, hauled by steam or gasoline tractors, and the ground is thoroughly stirred to a depth of from eighteen to twenty-four inches. In this way the moisture that comes in the fall and winter gets a chance to permeate to a great depth and the effect of the occasional drought is minimized.
In Colby, the county seat, Mr. Fike has a large machine-shop where all his repair and manufacturing work is done. There, through the winter, his machinery is overhauled and made ready for the spring and summer, and between times new machinery is built. The surplus product is sold to neighboring farmers, who prefer the home-made machine to the factory-made because it embodies Fike's ideas and their own of what it should be. Last year Fike employed six steam-plow outfits. Now he is changing
them all to gasoline power because of the CE
expense of hauling fuel and water to
make steam. "JIM" FIKE IN THE FIELD.
Ten years ago when Fike began his Not "too successful' to direct personally.
extensive operations his neighbors
warned him to “stop before you go pound of his winter wheat last year broke.” Now they look upon him as an graded No. 2 hard, Turkey red. Most oracle. His income is said to be greater of it went directly to Kansas mills, the than any other man's in Kansas, but he balance selling in the market for $1.04 a is still "Jim" Fike and not to be disbushel.
tinguished among his neighbors by any Jim Fike manages his wheat farm on extraordinary exterior mark. They call exactly the same principle that the mer- him the wheat king, but he says he is chant or the manufacturer in the city just a farmer. That's the secret of it. does his. The leaks that cost the aver. He is "just a farmer,” and nothing else. age farmer half his yearly income are He's a specialist. So wherever men grow absent from the Fike farm. He has his wheat or sell it he is known and no man's business office and his bookkeeper and a advice is more eagerly sought in the strict account is kept of everything that wheat region or on the board of trade. is bought, sold and issued to be used. His motto is plow deep and plow early. He knows just what he has all the time “When you plow early you kill the and just where it is. He employs 250 weeds,” Fike says, “and when you plow men and five hundred horses in the har- deep you conserve the moisture. Most vest season and he is always the first farmers sow too much seed. I sow from man awake and the last man to bed. He half a bushel to three pecks to the acre."
CAN OF CONDENSED POWER
AR out on the southwest coast themselves coldly regarded as only has-
an advancing conqueror, stand would suspect it of being an engine, for three giant engines. The man who it seems to be nothing but a round steel placed them there received a small for- tower having the appearance of a young tune in bonuses over his contract price light-house. This new giant came on on account of their high efficiency— sixteen freight cars and is known as a which shows that they are among the Curtis Vertical Turbine. On the 20th very most efficient engines in the world. of last December he began to spin and But still they are not good enough. Not- to roar, and ever since has stood out in withstanding faithful turning out of wonderful contrast to the three old-time 20,000 horse-power for twenty hours a giants. While they are able to turn out day so that the people of Los Angeles 20,000 horse-power together, the newcan enjoy trolley rides, they now find comer—although not a bit bigger-can
THE SMALLER IS THE MORE EFFICIENT. A 15.000 kilowatt turbine, occupying 2.128 square feet A 5.000 kilowatt engine, Three such as this occupy 10.640 of floor space.
square feet of floor space.
do it single handed. While they occupy wheel reverses the air again to its origa space one hundred and forty feet by inal direction. It is then ready to give seventy-six feet, he works comfortably the second moving wheel a push. The in a corner fifty-six by thirty-eight. The second tight wheel again directs it for old timers, grinding out a hundred turns the third revolving one. And so it finds a minute, shake the earth so it can be its way down through the can and away, seen in the bubble of a surveyor's level giving each of the six little wheels a hundreds of feet away: but the new kick as it goes. boy turns 750 times a minute and never A turbine is nothing more. The great quivers. All the beautifully scientific steel tower which encloses it is the cams and levers on the old timers that cracker can. The alternate discs are have been perfected and refined to such very much like the little ventilators, exactness since the time of James Watt being alternately spinning and station—these the new giant dispenses with ary. They have many thousand little altogether. He is a most deceiving in- vanes, are some fourteen feet in diameter dividual, and were it not for his trick of and run over six miles a minute. The blowing your hat off when you come into central spindle is a massive shaft as the hot draft from his whirling magnets, thick as a policeman and weighs as much you might never suspect him of moving as a switch engine. Instead of our long at all.
breath of air, the turbine has a perpetual There's the beauty of your turbine. As blast of superheated steam roaring an exponent of the simple life he is through it, starting at nearly 200 pounds not to be excelled. He just spins. pressure and gradually expanding larger There's nothing to him. Anybody can and larger and dropping down in presunderstand him. We could make a small sure till it blows out underneath into one ourselves in an hour out of a tin the cool condenser at only about one can. Let us choose one of those tall thirtieth the pressure of the air one round cans such as ginger cookies come breathes. This extraordinary transition packed in, and begin by melting the from 175 pounds steam at a frightful bottom out of it. Next we will procure heat to cool fog at almost no pressure at a dozen of those little brass wind-mill all occurs in the space of ten feet and ventilators such as are sometimes put takes place in a small fraction of a secinto office windows to whirl around and ond; yet there are no valves intervening distribute the incoming air. Six of and a ten penny nail could be dropped these must be just the right size to fit from the top down to the bottom through tightly in the can; the other six must be the little ports without interruption. If a trifle smaller so as to go loosely into the noise of this continuous explosion the can. The first six must be cut of steam could get out of the steel jacket to whirl to the right; the others to whirl it would probably be heard for five or to the left. Now we start with a tight ten miles. one and fasten it near the bottom of the Now all this mass of metal—the discs, can. Through the little hole in its cen- the shaft, the great electric "field" on its ter we put a smooth round rod for a upper end, weighing altogether about revolving shaft. The next windmill is 100 tons, or as much as a powerful locoopposite in direction, loose enough to motive, revolves twelve and a half turns whirl in the can but tight on the little every second; and if the shaft should shaft. The third is right handed again, ever rest its weight on even the smoothfirmly fixed in the can and loose on the est possible bearing it would melt it in a shaft-and so on till the can is full. mighty few minutes. This entire 100 Now we take a long breath and blow tons, however, rests on no bearing at all, down through the can. The wind, but floats—floats on a little pool of oil hitting the first wheel, starts it spinning; no bigger than a wash basin; and two but, in passing through it, is itself spun strong pumps see to it that the oil in the in the opposite direction. No sooner is little pool never drops below a pressure it past the first wheel, however, than it of 900 pounds per square inch. strikes the second wheel of opposite di- The beautiful ease with which this rection and stuck fast in the can. This huge top spins was impressed upon the writer on last New Year's Day. A care- and stopped all the trolley cars in the less or ill-informed mechanic, working whole city; but the turbine spun serenely near it, accidentally short circuited about on; and, after they had pulled the a third of its total current through the switches and shut off the steam, conhandle of a monkey wrench and into a tinued to spin by its own momentum for steel column. Instantly there was three hours. a noise like an explosion, followed Before this article shall have time to by a gorgeous copper-colored fire appear, the turbine will have a twin that burned with a roar like a hun- brother spinning beside it in the opposite dred rolling drums. The tremendous corner; so that a power company on the jolt thrown back by this flaming same land and in the same building (save arc upon the power-house threw the for extra boiler room) has increased an three old giants all out of step so that old plant to three times its original their pulsations of current interfered capacity.
THROWING DEATH OFF THE TRAIL
A SEQUEL TO "HAUNTED HOUSES OF DEATH":
F. C. WALSH, M. D.
THE cure of “consumption” is that the popular magazines, if given the
a medical problem ; its pre- opportunity, will continue to do more vention a social one,—not for the future, in the way of disseminatfrom choice, but rather from ing practical information, than all other
necessity. If the available methods combined. Even now they are figures be made to conform with facts performing a function properly the duty instead of meeting the requirements of of good government. optimistic theory, it must be admitted There is no cure for tuberculosis, and that tuberculosis is on the increase, re- probably never will be,-accepting the gardless of all statements to the contrary word “cure” in the sense of some special In questions of public policy, physicians medicine. From many points of view are poor executives, and weak in mili- this very hope of a cure has had its bad tant, harmonious organization. As re- effects. For one thing, it has taken both gards the prevention of tuberculosis, the public and medical mind too much they have had their hour of opportunity, away from the important necessity and and failed; it is becoming a necessity practical benefits of prevention. A disthat this phase of the problem be turned ease prevented is better than cured, for over to a properly informed public. If no one is so well off physically or finanthe medical men cannot or will not act cially after any illness, and particularly except as isolated individuals, then the does this truth apply to tuberculosis. people themselves must take some col- All disease is undesirable, except for lective action on their own initiative. those who live by it. Furthermore, the The public cannot do this without some successful prevention of a disease does information as to a proper method. Un away with any need for its “cure.” This fortunately, any information which hap- is well exemplified in the case of yellowpens to be practical, is usually buried out fever. We have never succeeded in findof sight of the people in the purely tech- ing a cure for that former scourge of nical pages of the medical journals, end- the South, but we have done far better. ing then and there any possible career We have wiped out the disease bodily, of usefulness. It would appear from this bag and baggage, by simple, preventive