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ators to which they are attached. One

One the increases in capital stock made posfour hundred horse power engine ran sible by them. seven months without stopping. The Producer gas, then, is made with approducers do even better. The Erie paratus which consists of a generator, a Railroad has two producers of 200 horse vaporizer and a scrubber.

The generpower each at Jersey City, one of which ator is a steel cylinder lined with firewas in continuous operation for seven brick, and having a revolving grate at the years. With the exception of the en- bottom. The bottom is closed by a water gineer in charge, the work around a gas seal which permits cleaning and removal producer power plant can be done by un- of ashes without interrupting the operaskilled men. If a gas receiver is used, and tion of the plant. At the top is an autoall large plants have them, the engine is matic charger, with double shutters, always ready to start. It can be brought through which coal can be introduced into full service in half a minute to a without interfering with the working of minute, for the cylinder requires no the generator. warming up and no draining as a steam To start up, the generator is filled with engine does. Even the producer can be fuel and lighted and the blower turned put in operation in fifteen or twenty on. Small plants have hand blowers, the minutes instead of the hour or hour and larger ones have blowers operated by a half needed to raise steam under a compressed air, which is stored while the boiler. Finally the gas producer power plant is in operation. When the coal is

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TWIN TANDEM 3000-HORSEPOWER GAS ENGINE. This huge machine is started by compressed air, stored while the engine is at work.

plant is quiet and law-abiding. It is not incandescent, the air valve at the bottom forever lying in wait to get a chance to is closed and the valves are opened which blow the plant and everyone around it permit the gas to flow into the vaporizer. into smithereens. Explosions of cylin- This is a water-jacketed pipe or vessel ders or accidental gas explosions doing in which water is maintained at a condamage of any consequence are almost stant level. In passing through tlie unknown.

vaporizer the gas gives up its heat and in The instrumentality through which doing so generates a little steam in the such economic miracles are wrought surrounding water, which, mixed with possesses a lively interest for all. Rad- air is fed to the generator. The gas then ical reductions in the expense of power flows into the scrubber where impurities means a cheapening in the cost of pro- are washed out in a cylinder of coke upon duction of manufactured articles. Of which water is sprayed, through a water course the ordinary citizen does not seal and then over trays filled with sawdirectly profit by these economies, nor dust, when it is ready to go into the should he expect to do so ; but he is freely engine cylinder or into the receiver to welcome to the pleasure of reading about wait until wanted. The process is automatic and the apparatus requires no at- are in successful operation and the field tention, except to put in charges of coal for their operation is unlimited. about three times in ten hours, to clean The gas producer is not as clumsy nor out the scrubbers every two or three as bulky as it would appear from a writweeks and to remove the ashes when ten description. Just to give an idea of you happen to think of it.

its simplicity and compactness, it may be If bituminous coal, which produces a said that a forty horse power producer good deal of tar, is used, the scrubbing recently attached an automobile

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apparatus requires to be more elaborate weighed but 250 pounds. The space octhan if anthracite or coke is used. In cupied was a negligible factor, as may large plants the gas is stored in a be inferred by the fact that the appearceiver as it is made. In small plants a ance of the automobile was not materisuction producer is used. In this case ally changed. In a test run the producer the suction of the engine draws off the consumed nineteen and one-eighth gas just as it is required, thus doing pounds of coke and two gallons of water away with the necessity for a receiver. per hour, making the cost six cents an The same operation which draws off the hour as compared with forty cents for gas sucks sufficient air and steam into gasoline. the generator to combine with the carbon A German manufacturer has turned and keep up the supply of gas. Only out a portable gas producer and engine anthracite and coke can be used in the on wheels to take the place of the portsuction producer. Bituminous coal con- able steam engine. The hopper carries tains too much tar. Suction gas pro- coal enough to keep the generator going ducers are particularly adapted to any for forty-eight hours. Narrow gauge work where small power is required, in- locomotives using producer gas are built cluding automobiles and motor boats; by the same manufacturer. but plants as large as 500 horse power The gas engine itself has been radically improved. It is no longer the cylinder only twenty-five per cent is single acting single cylinder affair of its utilized in work. Of the rest forty per callow days. Ten years ago a Scotch


cent goes into the water jacket and man found out how to make double act- thirty-five per cent is lost in the exhaust ing gas engines. Then others discovered and in radiation. that by driving two single acting cylin- There are many who feel sure that the ders tandem they could get as many ini- next step in advance in power producpulses on a single crank as with a simple tion will be the gas turbine. A number steam engine, and, with twin tandems, have been tried, but none have proved as many impulses as from a cross- successful. The most recent was built in compound steam engine, and at the same France. In a trial last September it contime have a motor that was just as steady

trived to turn into effective work eighrunning as the best regulated steam en- teen per cent of the heat value of the gine. This was all that was required to fuel supplied to it. One of the great adapt the gas engine perfectly to driving problems confronting the inventor who electric generators or doing other work would produce a gas turbine is how to requiring smooth, steady running. Large keep his machine from melting. The engines are started by compressed air temperature in an internal combustion which is stored for the purpose while engine sometimes reaches 2,000 degrees the engine is at work.

Centigrade, which is above the melting No large vessels have yet been point of platinum, to say nothing of cast equipped with gas producers and en- iron. The ordinary gas engine can be gines; but it has been demonstrated on kept cool with a water jacket; but the paper, at least, that such installation is swiftly revolving blades of a turbine are entirely practicable. Vertical gas en- a different matter. The Frenchman regines of 3,000 to 5.000 horse power have ferred to kept the temperature of his turbeen built. Reversing, which is essen- bine blades down by introducing low tial in a marine engine, may be effectel pressure steam.

From this it may be by the use of compressed air. It is esti- seen that the gas turbine has a long way mated that the saving on the initial cost to go to get out of the woods. Indeed, of a 10,000 horse power producer gas The-Man-Who-Knows-It-Isn't-So has engine installation on shipboard would demonstrated the utter impossibility of be in the neighborhood of $45,000, that ever producing a practical gas turbine, the annual saving in operating expenses. just as conclusively as he proved that, would be somewhere near $60,000, and steamboats wouldn't go, that the first that the additional space saved if occu- transcontinental railroad could never be pied by cargo would pay ten per cent on built, or that the automobile was imposthe investment.

sible and dangerous and ought not to be While the producer gas engine is able allowed, any way. to show a record of results so far su- Edison' says we know nothing now, but perior to the best performances of the that five hundred years hence we may steam engine there is still abundant begin to suspect. Perhaps the final soluscope for the exercise of inventive talent.

tion of the power problem may fall under Of the heat generated in the gas engine suspicion in even less time.

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BURDOCK. Fifty thousand pounds of this "worthless” plant are imported annually from Belgium into the United States.

Make Money Growing Weeds

By Edward B. Clark

Hundreds of thousands of dollars are sent abroad every year to pay for the dried leaves, seeds and roots of various medicinal plants which grow in abundance in this country, but which are classed by American farmers as weeds and ruthlessly destroyed. This article points out the opportunity for the establishment of a prohtable weed farm.-EDITOR.


HROUGH the centuries else and with the word must go, seemman has been consider- ingly for all time, the general impression ing the lilies of the field of worthlessness. If it were not for some to the neglect of the of the weeds, spring would be put back weeds thereof. The lily a month. The early green in many cases bases its claim to con- is the green of the weed and often the sideration on its beauty first flower of the year is the weed's off

and on the scriptural spring. The weeds spread tables for the injunction, and both are potent. The birds in winter. The goldfinch and the weed has a beauty for those who see crossbill feast on the seeds which the tall things aright, but the spoken word has stems hold above the drifted snow, and not been for its consideration, but for its while man may feel as he may, no birci condemnation. The weed, however, is will despise that which gives it dinner. worthy, though man would banish it, if Recently the Bureau of Plant Industry he could, to the waste places.

of the United States Department of AgEven the nature-lovers of the kind sci- riculture has been giving its attention to entifically bent, refuse to speak of the the weed. Today it is telling the farmer weed as a plant; a weed it is and nothing that that which he has been looking upon a

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as a pest has its uses and that it may There are weeds in this country profit him to consider the weeds. It is against which extermination laws have not a matter of common knowledge that been passed which hold in their leaves, some of the weeds “infesting” the land stems or roots medicinal properties which will produce the crude drugs which have a value in the work of preserv

ing the health of the nation. It is possible in ridding land of weeds in order that crops may be grown, to make of the uprooted "pests” a source of income. Moreover it is possible to maintain upon land given over as worthless for crop growing purposes, a weed plantation, which after the harvest, will prove itself to be not less profitable than some of the tilled fields.

Lobelia (Lobelia inflata) is a poisonous weed which grows abundantly in nearly every section of the country. It has all sorts of local names, be

ing known in different parts of the land as Indian tobacco, wild tobacco, bladder pod, asthma weed,

gagroot, vomitwort, low belia and eyebright. The lobelia sprang into fame-perhaps notoriety were the better word—years upon years ago.

Samuel Thompson, a New Hampshire physician, experimented with the lobelia weed and, it was charged, used it so extensively in his practice that he succeeded in killing several of his patients, the poison of the weed doing the deadly work. It was said that Thompson by the use of lobelia "sweated two children to death." He was accused also of killing a Captain Trickey and a young man nanied Lovell with over-doses of the weed. The doctor was arrested and tried for murder, but finally was acquitted. His life was one constant warfare with the regular practitioners, and his use of lobelia was the cause of it. The

regulars said that Thompson's theory GOLDEN Seal.

and practice of medicine was, "I The Indians early discovered its medicinal properties.

purge 'em, I sweat 'em, and whether

they want to die or not, I let 'em." today, in large part, are obtained by im- The leafy stem of the lobelia grows ocportation from abroad. Alice Henkel, an casionally to a height of three feet from assistant of the government's plant indus- a fibrous root. The whole plant contains try bureau, says that the roots, leaves and an acrid milky juice. It flowers from

. flower of several of the weed species re- July until the frost comes, the blossoms garded as plagues in the United States being pale blue and minute. The leaves are gathered, prepared and cured in and the flowering tops are used in mediEurope, and not only form useful com- cine, for notwithstanding their drastic modities there, but supply to a considera- properties, they are of salutary service in ble extent the demands of foreign lands. skilled hands. The seeds also are in good

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