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A Safe Toy CamuaoHa

A COLLEGE professor has, by his in**■ vention of a toy cannon, made the Fourth of July a safer, though, if possible, a noisier, day. His cannon is operated by acetylene gas, touched off by two dry batteries. The turning of a key charges the noisemaker with a mixture of air and acetylene. The cannon is fired by turning another key, and the report that follows is said to rival the thunders of heaven. As recharging by the flowing in of the gas occurs almost instantly, a skillful manipulator may fire the cannon every other second, or thirty times a minute. Absolute safety is guaranteed in its operation. The hand may be held over the cannon's mouth with impunity. The only drawback to the use of the machine is perhaps its first cost. Five dollars is" the price asked.

FloaftiE&§> Steel Spaim

'I "HE James Bay Railroad Company of A Canada desiring to place a steel bridge span in position adopted the somewhat unusual method of floating it on scows, upon- which a superstructure had been built especially for the purpose. The illustration shows the manner in which the operation was performed. Cables were attached and the strange load slowlv drawn over the waters of

Lake Muskoka to its position on the railroad line. The weight of the span is one hundred and thirty-six tons.

Alasfea9s Telegraphs

F XTRAORDINARY results, in consideration of the conditions,have been achieved by the United States troops of the Department of the Columbia in the construction and maintenance of telegraph and cable lines in Alaska. The submarine cable system begins at Seattle, Washington, extends to Sitka, thence to Yaldez, and on to Seward, on Resurrection Bay, a distance of 1,838 miles. Two branches, one from Sitka to Skagway, a distairce of 413 miles, and the other from Yaldez to Fort Liscum, a distance of four miles, make the total mileage 2,255.

The volume of business transmitted over these vables, especially the trunk portion from Seattle to Sitka, has become so great that steps have been taken to accomplish its duplexing which will make the capacity of the cable equivalent to two wires.

The land telegraph system begins at the terminal of the submarine cable at Yaldez and extends as far as Fort St. Michael. From Fort St. Michael across Norton Sound a wireless system has been installed with terminals at Fort St. Michael and Safety Harbor, 107 miles apart. From Safety Harbor a land line

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MsdMinigJ a Newspaper

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PERHAPS nowhere else in the world are seconds of such momentous impor{3 rjjniett&' tance as in the mailing ^> room of a modern daily paper: and nowhere else is system—pure, concrete, mechanical system—of such vital necessity.

When John Jones, of Miles Away, opens his paper and swears because the little red or green or yellow address label on it covers a particular bit of the news, he thinks it was put there for spite. And if it happens more than once or twice he is pretty apt to write to the paper's home office about it. Then, if the paper rejoices in a good circulation manager he receives in reply a short, courteously worded letter form which tells him just why it occurs. And after that Mr. Jones knows that when his label covers some of the news—instead of being on the headlines of the paper, as it should be—it is

because his paper happened to be an inch or So out of line with the rest of the pile when the mailing machine operator stamped it, and that if the operator had stopped for even the instant necessary to chanee or adjust his label it is very probable that .Mr. Jones—and some five hundred other subscribers on that particular line of railway—would not have received their paper until some time next day. And then Mr. Jones begins to understand the value of seconds in a newspaper mailing room.

Imagine a long, low-ceiled apartment crowded with tables and large iron sack racks under which hundreds of empty canvas mail bags are suspended. At the tables are men bending over narrow strips of paper, cutting or tearing them into still narrower ones and pasting these together, end to end, in a long, continuous strip as they work. This is the paper's mailing list. And somewhere

IN THE MAILING ROOM Of A GREAT NEWSPAPER.

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subscribers and postoffices. This is the route heading, and designates the line of railway to which Mr. Jones' and the other five hundred subscribers' papers shall go; and because they are thus separated and are thus placed in a sack and consigned to this particular line of railway, Mr. Jones and the other subscribers always receive their papers at the earliest possible moment. That is system in a mailing room.

After the mailing list is cut up and pasted together in a strip hundreds of yards in length, and containing thousands of names, it is distributed to the several mailing machine operators who wind it on little brass machines, in the front of which are knives arranged like a pair of scissors to clip and paste the

It is almost midnight: the last page has shot down the elevator; been whisked to the plate box: cast in the form of a metallic half-cylinder, and, still hot, is placed upon the press. A whistle shrills out and the presses begin to revolve; slowly at first, then faster and faster, until'their roar shakes the building and the whirling gears on their sides change to living bands of flame.

Faster and faster they go: the papers spout from their mouths in a white avalanche under which press boys stagger in the gloom.

Out in the mailing room everything is apparently confusion: a swirling mob of half-clothed men sweat and struggle under the electrics, while at the tables the mailing operators with their queer little

„ machines dab, dab, fiercely away at the piles of paper that melt under their touch. Others are wrapping and tying, wrapping and tying, and the sacks on the racks fill to bursting with the bundles. Every new moment outside the door a truck, automobile or mail wagon dashes up, is loaded down, and goes tearing off into the night.

Slowly the inexorable seconds tick away. Mails are made when the last heavy sack, flung into the rapidly moving railway car ricochets against a tired postal clerk who hurls it angrily on top of the pile behind, to swear at the blackness two hundred miles away when he heaves it out again.

Steaming horses shiver for an instant in the glow of the mailing room doorway, and then, their loads complete, dash madly away; every nerve in their game bodies tense in the race against time.

Back in the pressroom the registers are clicking; cveiy monstrous press is hot to the touch, and a thousand papers roll from their mouths with each drop of oil on their bearings.

The pressmen shout and chatter in the

uproar and run swiftly back and forth across the cement floor. Then stand to watch, with solicitous eyes, the swift rush of the paper above them as it reels dizzily in and out of the presses: one instant a smooth expanse of white, and in the next, printed, cut, folded and belched out with a hundred of its brothers sprawled on top.

Hour after hour the work goes on; a fine white dust from the presses drifts into and chokes the mailing room.

Outside the first gray light of the morning climbs into the east, and through the railing that blocks one end of the room the faces of myriad .newsboys appear. High up on the building sparrows are chirping and fluttering sleepily across the window ledges, and down in the dark street the early milk wagon noisily takes its way.

Presently the roar of the presses sinks to a subdued murmur that finally dies away. And out in the quieted mailing room gaunt, hollow-eyed men fling themselves thankfully across the rough tables to sleep in the red dawn of another day.

The paper is mailed.

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