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yielded millions in gold and diamonds from land where it takes three acres to keep one sheep—"and then the animal gets more exercise than food.” Johannesburg has arisen with its skyscrapers and opulent homes. Why, only fifteen years ago the now thriving Buluwayo was Lobengula's savage kraal, overrun with his blood-thirsty impis. Today one catches the Cape-to-Cairo Railroad at Buluwayo station and may push on in a luxurious Pullman car to the great Zambesi, and far beyond by the Uganda Railroad, from whose very car windows lion and rhinoceros can be shot!
That is what human enterprise has done for Africa ; and the half-way house is the Zambesi. The Cape-to-Cairo road has just been carried across in front of the Falls with a daring bridge-span of 650 feet; so that the train de luxe crawls across, more than 400 feet above the dread “Boiling Pot," on its way north, having traversed the railroads of Cape
THE DUKE OF ABERCORN, R. G. Colony; the Central South African rail President of the Victoria Falls transmission scheme. ways, the new Rhodesian roads and others.
falling boulders from the blasting going The bridge at the Falls was built out on below. “No 'downward motion of the from either bank of the terrible ravine stones," he says, "could be discerned, so until the steel-work of the cantilevers vast was the depth—only the dwindling met in the middle. While preparing the of the rocks as they fell lower and lower, foundations of this marvelous flying and at last a muffled report as of an exspan over the world's greatest wonder, plosion and a splash fifty feet high." Wilson Fox, the engineer, had to think The bridge was a dream of Cecil out a way of crossing the yawning vol- Rhodes, who foresaw the railroad tapcanic rent. First he shot a rocket car- ping the great Wankie coal fields of 500 rying a: string; and with this a wire rope square miles, dozens of gold fields, and was made fast across the gorge. Next Mr. Fox seated himself in a little “bo'sun's chair"-a scrap of wood suspended by four ropes, with a canvas back and a foot-rest—and one brilliant November morning he crossed the Zambesi gorge for the first time on record.
Thirty yards out the chair was swaying 420 feet above the tortured and fallen river imprisoned between its colossal walls. As he crossed, the engineer beheld the
Natives on the Zambesi, JUST ABOVE THE FALLS.
the vast copper deposits of Barotseland. His mind's eye saw in the future a “United States of Africa,” risen up to compete with ourselves and old Europe. He foresaw here, where the mighty Zambesi fell, a “City Beautiful," named after Britain's greatest queen ; with parks and fine hotels, and humming factories and
nese or reluctant kaffirs, but labor from one great central “mill," as it were, driven by the mile-wide Zambesi through its fall of 400 feet. The diamond mines of Kimberley should profit too—those queer volcanic "pipes” from which have been won sixty tons' weight of glittering gew-gaws, whose value can hardly be
COPYRIGHT, BRITISH POUTH AFRICA CO.
TOP OF THE WESTERN CATARACT.
forty-five mile gorge.
radiating busy streets. He foresaw the computed in figures. And the Transconpower latent in this mighty, cataract tinental Railroad shall be electrified by developing a gold region as large as the same power, quarries and forests deTexas, not to mention the vast iron veloped, and electricity transmitted on fields, the timber and ivory and other vastly increased Niagara lines to the gold treasures of tropical Africa.
fields of Mazoe, Hartley and Lo MaAt this moment the great engineers of ghunda, as well as to light the fast-growthe world—including some of our own- ing cities of Salisbury, Gwelo and Buluare within sound of the Zambesi thunder, wayo. Telegraphs and telephones, too, plotting and planning how to turn the —but why continue the list? The force almost inconceivable energy, amounting of the Falls is to be the new heart of
e estimated power of thirty-five Africa, in the more literal sense that its million horses, into electrical force which power will drive life in all directions shall radiate in all directions over Africa, through the Dark Continent. settling like a lightning flash the dread One night, eleven years ago, a little labor problem on the Rand, where bullion group sat in the Athenæum Club in Lonworth nearly two hundred million dollars don—that palace of bishops and states: is produced every year. No more Chi- men, in Pall Mall. In the group was our own engineer, George Forbes; an- ever be sold to the Rand mines 600 miles other was Alfred Haggard, the novel- south, which are constantly installing maist's brother; and the third, W. A. Wills chinery worth tens of millions. It was of the British Chartered Company of hoped only at that time to attract manuSouth Africa, now Chairman of the Af- facturers to the river's banks, with the rican Concessions Syndicate.
promise of cheap and continuous power. Wills was describing the Falls, and Rhodesia's mines were to be developed, remarked that Niagara was a mere cas- with a few tramways and electric lighting cade compared with them. “Why don't schemes. Later on, however, progress you harness 'em up?" asked Forbes, the in electrical science made transmission Niagara engineer, "and develop Africa ?" possible over immense distances.
A daring idea, worthy of an American, Meanwhile the famous engineer, Sir to plant turbines under the very noses of Charles Metcalfe, appeared on the scene, the hippopotami who swarm in the and reported favorably. Gradually the mighty river; to sweep aside the sacred great financial powers of the world beveil of mist and install queer engines to came interested, and money was forththe horror of the trembling Barotsi. coming to any amount. Last year the Forthwith Forbes and Haggard took the Rand mines were about to lay down next boat to Cape Town to see Cecil gigantic local power plants worth milRhodes. But they found they had been lions of dollars, but orders for them forestalled by H. B. Marshall, the Johan- were countermanded in view of the startnesburg millionaire. Rhodes suggested ling development of power from the that all should combine forces and make Victoria Falls. This step was taken after a joint arrangement with the British the feasibility of the greatest industrial South African Company.
scheme in the world—not even tarring There was little hope, however, in the Panama Canal—was pronounced those early days of transmission schemes, upon favorably by a committee of great that power generated at the Falls should engineers, representing various nations. Thus, Mr. Ralph D. Mershon, of New of time before a transmission cable went York, stood for America ; Sir Douglas out into the North Rhodesian copper Fox and Sir Charles Metcalfe for Great fields, the vast deposits of Tanganyika Britain ; M. Blondel for France ; Dr. Gis and the golden mines of Lo Magliunda, bert Knapp for Germany; and Dr. Ed- as well as to cotton mills using local ouard Tissot of Bâle represented Swit- Rhodesian product. The Rand mines zerland, so famous for the transmuting today pay from $125 to $200 per horse of waterfall energy into electrical power power per annum for power, either in the It seemed to these men only a question form of steam or electricity generated
THE FAMOUS BRIDGE OVER THE VICTORIA FALLS, BEFORE SPAN WAS COMPLETED, Part of falls in the background. Notice the safety net, provided for the workmen, who, however, did not like it,
saying that it made them nervous.