Page images

ment is made by dropping a specified The “arc" meter measures the current coin in the slot.

flowing from the central station to supIt is the practice of central stations to ply arc lamps. The "polyphase” meter install "primary meters” on their switch- has been developed in response to a deboards to measure the total energy that mand for a meter that could render an goes out, thereby providing a perfect accurate record of single-, two-, or threecheck on the aggregate amounts deliv- phase electrical energy upon a single ered to their customers. Some meters dial. capable of measuring up to 25,000 horse-power in electrical energy, are made for this purpose.

Electric railway companies employ meters on their cars as a check on the efficiency of the motormen. No system of inspection can equal the infallible and convincing record of the car meter in revealing careless use of controller or brake, often amounting to a loss of 20 per cent.

The "two-rate” meter has been designed to encourage the use of electricity by automatically throwing resistance into the meter circuit whereby the meter is made to run more slowly for current con- Wherever electric power is used and sumed between certain hours of the day paid for, an electric meter is required; during which the central station is or and in recent years the enormous growth dinarily under light load. This is ac- of the use of electricity has resulted in complished by the use of an apparatus phenomenal increase in the demand for mechanically separate from but electri these instruments, which have been found cally connected to the meter, and com to be indispensable requisites of comprising a clock mechanism and batteries. mercial success.


The expert compares the readings of the instruments on the bench and panel,
with the running of the meters, one of which is shown at the right.
The current passing through meters and instruments

is controlled by the panel switches.

[ocr errors]

Infant Incubators

Machines for Rearing Prematurely Born Babies are of Ingenious Construction.

and Save Many Lives


Special Correspondent, THE TECHNICAL World MAGAZINE

NFANT incubators, or machines for ants of Silesia and Westphalia sometimes

saving the lives of prematurely born placed infants in a jar full of feathers. babies, deserve a place in the first In England, the cot or cradle was put

rank of the great inventions of the close to the hcarth, and it was necessary day. They originated in France, and are to watch the fire day and night so that the product of a peculiar state of affairs the temperature might not vary. The use in that country, which for a time seemed of hot-water bottles inserted in the bedthreatened with “race suicide” because of ding of the cot is also a very general the great mortality from premature practice in this country and Europe, and births. Although the incubator is con- this method is adopted in many maternity structed of glass and metal, and permits and other hospitals. But such devices of a good view of the infant inside, the are not uniformly reliable; their success conditions in the interior of the machine depends upon the intelligence and assidas regards temperature, humidity, air, uous care of the attendant; and the acetc., are made as nearly as possible like cidental opening of doors or windows, those of the child's ante-natal environ- an unexpected or sudden gale, or a fall ment.

of temperature, may defeat the effect of While the machines have been em- even the most elaborate precautions. ployed for several years in France and Some sixty years ago, Dr. Crédé, of Germany, they have only recently en- the University of Leipzig, sought to eftered conspicuously into American life. fect an improvement on these primitive They have been shown at fairs and spe- and unreliable methods. He constructed cial exhibitions; and a display of them a sort of box with double metallic sides; at the White City, Chicago's great new the space between these walls could be amusement resort, has proved one of the filled with hot water so as to maintain the most attractive features of the big show. desired temperature within the box. The Here may be seen from six to a dozen infant, covered with blankets and resting of the tiny scraps of humanity reposing in a basket or cradle, was placed inside. in their little nests unmindful of the Incubators of this description are still gazes of the curious crowds without. employed in the Charity Hospital, BerThis strange exhibition is in charge of lin. Dr. Martin A. Couney, a scientist who In 1878, Doctor Tarnier—when visitintroduced the machines into Germany, ing the artificial couteuses (as incubators England, and America. He watches over are called in Europe) installed by M. the infant brood with the care of a real Odile Martin at the Jardin d'Acclimataparent, and performs the office of a foster tion for the rearing of poultry—thought father to the little ones born of mechani- that he might utilize a similar apparatus cal mothers.

in the case of prematurely born infants. Science has long since discovered that M. Vartin was therefore requested to conthe only way of saving prematurely born struct a couveuse sufficiently ventilated children is to protect them absolutely and large enough to hold one or two infrom change of temperature and from fants. This was done, and the first cold. For such purposes, children used c0117'cuses were introduced at the Paris to be wrapped in wadding or in sheeps' Maternity Hospital in 1880. They conskins with the wool adhering. The peas- stituted a noteworthy step forward in

the right direction; but the apparatus had to be warmed anew three or four times a day, and its successful employment depended on the care and watchfulness of the attendant. Good results, nevertheless, ensued, and many lives were saved.

proportion is set down at from 15 to 30 per cent of the births. The minute and delicate care which these weakly infants require, especially in winter, to protect them from the cold, is so great that till now most of them have died." But Doctor Vallin added: "Since Doctor Tarnier introduced at the Paris Maternity Hospital the ingenious contrivance

[ocr errors]


Showing heating and ventilating devices. Doctor Vallin, in a report presented to called a couveuse, a large number of these the Academy of Medicine of France, No

of France No infants have been saved. This apparatus, how

ever, cannot be readily employed. It is necesvember 12, 1895, said:

sary that a number of experienced persons "We are obliged to regard as prematurely

shall be always in attendance, for a delay of born all infants who do not weigh at birth 2

24 to 48 hours might result in the death of the kilogrammes 500 grammes (5

new-born infant."

pounds 9 ounces); and they are numerous, for the Dr. Jules Rouvier of Baireuth, in his



[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

state of enfeeblement, only 20 per cent, according to Uffelman, live twelve months, and ii per cent two years. The greater number die during the first day or the first week of their existence. Of 1,961 children born at the Paris Maternity Hospital in 1881—that is, before the introduction of the couveuse641 were premature births. The mortality during the first two weeks of the prematurely born amounted to 32 per cent; that of the other infants was equal to 8.62 per cent.

America, 213 per cent of the total num-. ber of babies born are of premature birth, according to official estimates. Of the prematurely born in New York State, 94 per cent die. The same ratio will probably obtain in the rest of the country where infant incubators are not employed.

Under these circumstances, any successful attempt to improve the construction of incubators and to render life-saving apparatus available to the general

« PreviousContinue »