Page images

anism for working them. On one side of the restaurant is fitted an "automat" bar, where, by dropping the indicated price into the proper slot, the wished-for drink comes to the waiting customer. Shelves, all around, on the little elevators, bring up hot soups, hot roasts, cold meats, pies, sandwiches, tea, coffee in fact, whatever is on the menu, and that is changed daily. All the customer has to do is to decide what he wants, drop his coin in the little opening, and await results. In less than a minute, up comes his meal, raised by electricity from the kitchen in the basement; and it comes either steaming hot, or ice-cold, just as ordered, and clean, fresh, and sweet, with no dirty-handed waiter, with black cuffs and greasy napkin, to take your appetite away while handing it to you.

The beverages-milk, tea, coffee, syrups, and mineral waters-are served from tanks or kettles. The dropping of the coin into the proper slot opens the faucet only long enough for the right quantity to run into the cup or glass, which is conveniently placed to receive it.

[ocr errors][merged small]

The "automat" machines are divided into three classes-"hot-food" machines, "cold-food" machines, and "liquid" machines; and they all work nearly alike. In the hot-food machines you drop your coin and receive, in exchange, a metal check. The coin falls to the kitchen where the chef sees it in a tube indicating a particular order. The dish is prepared by one of the under cooks; and the chef, after glancing to see that it is all right and appetitlich, puts it on an automatic dumb-waiter, which, by its own mechanism, goes up to the waiting customer. He sees his order inside one of the glass receptacles, drops in the check he holds, and the dish is lowered automatically to an opening below, where he lifts it out, and carries it to a table.

The cold dishes are released at once, when the coin is dropped in, just as you get a piece of tutti-frutti or a caramel or a cigarette from the penny-in-the-slot machine. The "drinks" machines work similarly; but they have a self-measuring contrivance that is certainly complicated. In serving the liquid, the glass or cup is filled with mathematical precision; and the moment the holding vessels are emptied, an electric bell gives such notice in the cellar-room below, and the tanks are refilled. The machines all work automatically, and there are, and can be, no mistakes. The only employees are the manager, the girl who makes change and hands out the napkins, and one or two boys who remove the empty plates and wipe off the tables.

There are two such restaurants in Philadelphia, and one in New York; and it has become quite the proper thing to give "Automat" parties. The restaurant is rented for the entire evening. The party, arriving after the theater, amuse themselves by drawing cocktails from faucets, and dropping a coin in the slot for the salads and other cold dishes.


The Automatic Bootblack

"Put a nickel in the slot and get your boots polished"-this is the invitation of the Berlin mechanical bootblack. There is a platform whereon is a sort of cylinder containing brushes which revolve in several different directions and among which you insert your foot. Upon the

platform is a metal foot-rest which works. the other to the tender mercies of the

up and down in a slot under a central opening in the cylinder. Upon mounting the platform, you drop your nickel in the slot, and move the handle, just as in other machines; this starts the wheels in motion. You place your foot upon the rest. and move it in among the brushes, two of which smear the boot with polish. Then you press your foot down, and the rest sinks below the level of the polish-laden brushes, and into a nest of swiftly revolving brushes, which put a "shine" upon the boot in almost less time than it takes to tell you about it.

At the sides of the machine are handrails by which to hold on while you balance yourself upon one foot and submit

brushes. These machines are made single, for polishing ordinary boots; or triple, with stands side by side, and labels designating one for patent leather, another for ordinary black leather, and the third for tan shoes. Electricity operates these machines, the dropping of the nickel and the moving of the handle serving to close a switch which starts a small


Some time ago a machine for polishing shoes by electricity made its appearance in New York and was expected to do wonders; but though it frightened the bootblacks at first, they soon recovered, and now regard the electrical shiner as a bogey to laugh at, not to fear.

Folks in Ruts

OH' world is full o' ruts, my boy, some shaller an' some deep:
An ev'ry rut is full o' folks, as high as they can heap.
Each one that's grovelin' in the ditch is growlin' at his fate,
An' wishin' he had got his chance before it was too late.
They lay it all on someone else or say 'twas just their luck-
They never onct consider that 'twas caused by lack o' pluck.
But here's the word of one that's lived clean through, from soup t' nuts-
Th' Lord don't send no derricks 'round t' hist folks out o' ruts.

Some folks has stayed in ruts until they didn't like th' place,
Then scrambled bravely to th' road an' entered in th' race.
Sich ones has always found a hand held out for them t' grab
An cling to till they'd lost the move peculiar to a crab.
But only them that helps themselves an' tries fer better things
Will ever see th' helpin' hand t`which each climber clings.
This here's the hard, plain, solemn facks, without no “ifs” or “buts”—
Th' Lord don't send no derricks 'round t' h'ist folks out o' ruts.


[merged small][graphic]

Old Round Stone Tower at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, built during the Indian Wars, and the scene of many traditional exploits.


Plaza at Santa Fe, New Mexico, showing the Governor's Palace. Seat of Spanish, Mexican, and U. S. Government for 25 years. In this building the late Gen. Lew Wallace wrote "Ben Hur."

[merged small][graphic]

The Heard House, Ipswich, Mass. Built in 1795 by Col. John Heard, a Revolutionary officer and a personal friend of Washington. It has been in the family ever since.


The Henry House, Bull Run Battlefield. Scene of the fiercest fighting in both battles. Still standing in a state of comparatively good preservation.

Producer Gas Plants

A Brief Description of the Pressure and Suction Types of Producer Plants



Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Harvard University

RODUCER plants are of two kinds, according as the flow of air through the producer is caused by air being forced in from below or by a partial vacuum being created above the fuel. The former is called a

pressure plant, the latter a suction plant.

Pressure Type

The general arrangement of the pressure type of producer gas plant is shown in Fig. 1, in which the arrows indicate the direction of flow of the gas. A small boiler supplies steam to the "blower." The gas escapes from the producer at a high temperature and goes to an "economizer," where it gives up much of its heat, either to fresh air, which is about to be forced through the producer, or else to water, the vapor from which mixes with the air. The gas then passes to the "scrubber," where it meets a spray of cold water, which further cools it and takes from it dust and solid impurities,

[blocks in formation]

chemical purification is necessary; if bituminous coal is being burned, the cleaning is somewhat more complicated, as the tar and other troublesome substances in the gas have to be extracted before it can be used.

Suction Type

The suction type of gas producer plant can be used only when the operation of the engine is continuous for long periods. It has considerable advantage over the pressure type in compactness, but is rather troublesome to start. The flow of air and vapor through the fuel in the producer or generator (Fig. 2), is dependent on the sucking action of the engine each time it takes in a charge, so that no boiler is needed to produce the blast. The volume of gas generated is always equal to the amount that the engine uses, so that no gas holder is required between the producer and the engine, its place being taken by a small




gas tank. To start the producer working, a small hand- or belt-driven blower is used; and the products of combustion are sent past a by-pass valve directly to the atmosphere until the escaping gas will burn steadily. The by-pass valve is then closed, and the gas is forced through the scrubber and purifier into the gas tank, and the whole apDRIP paratus is filled with gas. When good gas appears at a test cock near the engine, the engine is put in operation and the blower is stopped, its function being performed thereafter by the engine. The hot gases escaping from the generator go first through an economizer or vaporizer (not shown in Fig. 2); and the steam formed there is con


after which it goes to the "purifier" for the extraction by chemical process of certain undesirable components and for the completion of the removal of solids, and thence to the "gas holder." If anthracite coal or coke is used, very little

« PreviousContinue »