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BRITISH PACIFIC CABLE STATION ON FANNING ISLAND.
due south of Hawaii.
the current which causes the signal. The send messages to different capitals. A reading of a message by the sounder, gentleman in the audience rose and said, which is practiced on land lines, is not “Ask l'ienna what time it is?" The anpossible with long ocean cables, as the swer came, '8:20 P. M.," it being then signals could not be made intelligible by nine o'clock in London. The inquirer that means; and so all recording is done thereupon observed, “That's a lie; the by the siphon. If the message has to lecturer is an impostor.” The time in be received from or transferred to a land Vienna should have been 9:40; but the line at the cable office, it is transcribed cable was broken across the Channel, and into longhand, and then disposed of by the secretary of the cable company, who other operators at the land-line instru- personated these places, instead of addments, just as in an ordinary telegraph ing the forty minutes, took them off. office. Sometimes defective chirography causes very ridiculous mistakes, as in the
Cost of Cables case of the message sent from Calcutta An Atlantic cable costs about half as to London some years ago, which read, much as a first-class battleship; and for on receipt, “Viceroy twin sons”—to the maintenance, in about a proportionate
PERFORATED RIBBON CONTAINING MESSAGE TO BE SENT. The large holes in top and bottom row are the various letter combinations, through which contacts are made to control
variations in the current; the middle row of small, evenly-spaced holes, is part of the feeding device.
degree. The fifteen cables now sub- in a cable is determined with remarkable merged in that ocean, therefore, repre- accuracy nowadays by the electricians at sent the outlay on a large modern fleet. the terminals; for the resistance in ohms These lines have a total mileage of about of the complete cable is known, and the 40,000, and a capitalization of $100,000,- resistance of the portion which can still 000, while their gross annual traffic is be energized enables them to give a revalued at $6,000,000. The tariff when pair ship directions which will place her the first cable was laid was $5 a word; within a mile of the fracture in midnow it is down to 25 cents, and some ocean. On reaching the locality, she cable reformers predict a ten-cent rate “trawls" for the cable with grapnels, and, in the not distant future.
having got it on board, “splices” it, or
inserts a new section, cutting out the Repairing Ocean Cables
broken piece. Sometimes a cable is reRepairs are frequently very protracted paired very speedily and cheaply; but and costly. They are necessitated by a one trans-Atlantic cable cost $375,000, or variety of causes-crushing by icebergs, almost a tenth of its original figure, to dragging anchors, etc.; and recently a make good; while a cable in the Bay of cable was put out of service by a whale, Biscay used up 300 miles of new mawhich, getting the cable in its mouth, terial and was worked at for 215 days, floundered about so that the cable was before it was perfect again. It has been twisted in a loop around its jaw, effect- stated that the cost of repairing one Atually imprisoning the monster and lantic cable has averaged $40,000 a year drowning it. The location of a break for thirty years. In one instance the
outer shield of steel wires was aban- Atlantic cable between Brest and New doned, and 100 miles of new cable, with York, 3,305 miles; while the United only rope protector, was inserted in mid- States Pacific cable from San Francisco ocean, but with such unfortunate re- to Honolulu is 2,300 miles. The largest sults that the experiment is not likely cable is the Anglo-American cable, laid ever to be repeated.
in 1894, between Valentia, Ireland, and The greatest depth at which a cable Heart's Content, Newfoundland, a dishas been laid is 3,211 fathoms, on the tance of 1,950 miles, which has a conBritish Pacific cable; and the greatest ductor of 650 pounds of copper to the depth from which a cable has been recov- mile and can transmit nearly 100 words ered is 2,744 fathoms, between Lisbon a minute by the "auto" working duplex. and Madeira. The grappling for a cable, Heart's Content is also the cis-Atlantic and raising it from such a depth, rarely occupy less than 24 hours, though the picking-up gear of one of the largest ships is capable of lifting thirty tons at a speed of one knot per hour. Once the repair ship Minia lifted a cable from three miles of water beyond the Newfoundland Banks, and was six hours getting it to the top. Although gutta-percha is the insulating substance chiefly used, some 2,500 miles of cable have been treated with vulcanized india-rubber, and have worked with much success for years, india-rubber being found superior to gutta-percha for tropical waters infested with teredos or sawfishes, which are the worst enemies of cables in moderate
WILLIAM BELLAMY. depths in those regions.
Superintendent of Cable Station at Heart's Content, the
first Trans-Atlantic Cable Station. The World's Cable Business The world's total of cable mileage, January 1,
landing-place of the first ocean cable ; and 1904, was:
for nearly forty years, without a single Government-owned ..............22,799 miles intermission, has been carrying on the Company-owned ................187,122 miles
work of a half-way house between the Total ............ ..........209,921 miles
two hemispheres. It is the premier cable Their total capitalization was $223,257,720. Of this total mileage, Britain possesses 131,593,
station of the world. It handles 5,000 all but 10,700 being company-owned. About messages every day, and does a specially 13,000,000 cablegrams are transmitted across large volume of stock-exchange business, the world's under-sea wires annually, or 36,000 its land-line connections leading directly every twenty-four hours. The figures for landline messages annually are 478,300,000, and
into the bourses in London, New York, daily 1,400,000; and the estimated yearly outlay and Chicago, and messages being transfor the world's cables and land lines is $850,- mitted between the brokers of the former 000,000
two cities, and replies obtained within The longest stretch of cable is that be- one or two minutes. About 75 per cent tween Vancouver, B. C., and Fanning of the cable business is in "code" words; Island, on the British Pacific system, and while ordinarily 5.95 plain language 3,457 miles, the next being the French words go to one code word, yet some pri
ENERALLY speaking, the life of all truly great
life in the gross darkness of indigent humility,
A Commercial Necessity Evolved Through the Application of Electricity
to Industrial Uses
By J. B. BAKER, S. B.
LECTRICITY is one of the most with the finest wire that can be manuK important agents of modern civ- factured, and, near the lower end, a thin
ilization. Its applications have aluminum dynamo-disc embraced by
profoundly affected the whole of steel magnets—this is a meter. It is of modern life. Stupendous amounts of very delicate and exact construction, proelectric power are used to propel the vided with registering dials, and conever-multiplying trolley cars, to illumi- nected to the service wires in the path nate lavishly our streets and homes, and of the electricity that is to be measured. to drive the machines in our factories. From the electrical power that passes
These millions of kilowatt-hours (a through it, its own rotation abstracts kilowatt is about one and one-third horse scarcely more than a chip floating on a power) in electrical energy, must be mill stream takes from the power of the measured if they are to be paid for, whether it is a matter of the lighting of a house or of a whole White City (Chicago) pleasure resort. The energy that an electric company delivers to its cars or to its street-lighting circuits, should also be measured; for modern conditions demand careful accounting, and the manager must show a due output of electric work for every pound of coal burned under the company's boilers. Electric meters, then, and vast numbers of them, are needed; and the manufacture of “recording wattmeters” has arisen in the last fifteen years from comparative insignificance to the front rank among great electrical industries. Delicate and Complicated
Mechanism Like many other supremely useful things, an electric meter is an unobtrusive object. To the casual observer, it is a black box, mill wheel. It is a very high grade intucked away in a corner, with a strument, as durable as any machine, and row of dial hands in front that designed to run in exact accordance withi make it look cousin-german to a gas me- the amount of electric power passing ter. But this is only the external ap- through it, running very slowly when pearance. On removing the case, there registering the power consumed by a is a perfect revelation of dainty mechan- lamp or two or a small fan motor, and ism. A hollow shaft, literally "as light speeding up when the "load" increases, as a feather" but wonderfully rigid, turn- say, to a general illumination. Its reing on a jewel bearing, and carrying, finement of construction, and the success near its top, a motor armature wound with which friction has been eliminated,
ASSEMBLING AN INDUCTION METER. The iron field cores, built up of thin sheets of iron insulated from one another, are being screwed to the aluminum frame of the meter. All parts are drilled from templates,
which facilitates rapid and accurate assembling.