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ological Survey is the bureau which is doing this irrigation work, but it must not be thought that the Interior Department is simply exercising a formal supervision of this new work. Secretary Hitchcock is most enthusiastic over this vast problem of the irrigation of America's arid lands, and his firm attitude on this cement question and on others of a similar import, shows that he proposes

information is disclosed that immediately at the proposed dam site occurs excellent material, in unlimited quantities, for the construction of first-class cement, so that the government held a card up its sleeve. In fact, the estimates of the engineers placing the cost of the project at three million dollars was based on the calculation of $3 a barrel for cement, or a difference of $1,200,000. Mr. Davis told me last winter that the cement could likely be made by the government for $2.50 a barrel or less. If the trust had won its fight, the dam and project would have been increased in cost to $4,200,000. There was considerable scurrying about at Washington when the cement people found out where the government stood. They realized that if the government built a cement mill and manufactured its own cement they would not only lose a large order, but that it would be, in a way, establishing a precedent. The government was interfering with private enterprise. The various cement men saw their Representatives and Senators, and had it been simply a question of a saving of government money, the outcome might have been uncertain. But when it became generally known that any increased profit. which went to the cement manufacturers, must be paid by the people and farmers of Arizona, it put a different phase on the subject and the fight was soon over. Under the irrigation act the settlers or water users under any project must pay back every cent expended by the government on the irrigation works.

The Reclamation Service of the Ge

GIANT CACTUS OF COLORADO. This curious plant is a native of the country adjoining

the Roosevelt Dam Project.

to make government irrigation not only at least a million, if not a million and a a success, but to protect the interests of half dollars, and it is a matter for conthe irrigators, even to a point of raising gratulation that the Attotney-General upcontroversial questions and incurring the held the position of Secretary Hitchcock. hostility of interested parties.

This cement venture of Uncle Sam's in A very recent development wherein Arizona is apparently working out satisthe government showed its anxiety to factorily. The work is well under way make the irrigation scheme a success and on the Roosevelt dam, and the governconstruct works at the cheapest rate pos- ment has been busy with preliminary sible came to light when Comptroller work for over a year—building an exTracewell of the Treasury Department pensive rock road from Phoenix to the disallowed what he termed a railroad re- dam site at a cost of about $100,000, bate, in favor of material transported for building this cement mill at a cost of irrigation construction. Secretary Hitch- $120,000, constructing an expensive cock held that the reduction of the rate diversion canal and tunnel above the dam was not, as a matter of fact, a rebate, but site, and generating, at that point, 10,000 that the government was entitled to se- horse-power, to be used in running the cure the lowest possible rates from the mill and in furnishing light and power railroad companies, moreover the saving for drilling operations in the tunnels, to the government meant, in reality, a hoisting materials—in other words, buildsaving to the pioneers and settlers, who ing the dam. So the Salt River will would take up their little tracts of land forge its own fetters and construct a under the irrigation projects, since they gigantic wedge 230 feet high, to create would have to pay back to the govern- the greatest artificial reservoir in the ment the cost of the construction, and the United States, a lake with a capacity of cheaper it could be made, the less burden 1,100,000 acre feet, or the inconceivable would fall upon them. This difference number of nearly 350,000,000,000 galor so-called rebate will amount, in the lons. transportation of irrigation materials to The fuel used in burning cement in the complete the projects now under way, to kilns is crude petroleum from the Cali

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reasonab, delivered atelt dam site

fornia oil fields. Some 400 tons of ma- liminary work at the Roosevelt dam site chinery and sixty tons of structural iron cost $5.35 a barrel delivered at that point. were required in building the cement mill, This was reasonable, compared with $9, the ball mills weighing about twelve tons but Uncle Sam had the bit in his teeth each and the tube mills when ready for and he proposed to go the limit. The grinding about twenty tons. The crusher present figures of the government men weighs fifteen tons and the rotary kilns are only $1.60 a barrel for the cement for burning the cement are seventy feet making, and if the cost of the plant, $120,long and weigh forty tons each. At- 000, be added to the cost of the 200,000 tached to the mill is a well-equipped barrels of cement required, the total cost laboratory under the charge of two chem- of the government cement will be only ists, who will devote all their time to $2.20 a barrel. This means a saving of standardizing the cement materials and $2.61 a barrel, even against the low bid testing the products of the mill.

of $4.81, or $522,000. It may be stated that before the cement After the dam and canals have been manufacturers gave up the fight last win completed, the cement plant will still be ter, they dropped down from $9 to $4.81 capable of further use and considerable a barrel. The cement used in the pre- salvage can doubtless be realized.

THE golden moments in the stream of life rush

past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels

come to visit us, and we know them only when they are gone.-GEORGE ELIOT.



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THE practicable limit, in size, of ing each in one piece, as was originally

one-piece, granite columns, seems intended, followed operations which to have been decided by recent taxed the resources of mechanical science

experiences in the construction of and caused the loss of thousands of dolthe new Cathedral of St. John the Divine lars. in New York. This is now rising slowly T he pillars were quarried at Vinalfrom its foundations, which consumed so haven, Maine, by the Bodweil Granite much money and so many years in the Co., being taken from the Wharff quarry, laying, over on Morningside Heights. the only one in New England where such The structure is, noteworthy, in that it immense blocks could be obtained. They will be one of the grandest churches in weighed three hundred and twenty-five the world when finished. Moreover, tons when first got out and were eight there have just been placed in it, eight and a half feet square and sixty-seven immense granite columns, which tell a feet long. story of pluck, patience, and persistence Granite lies in great natural sheets, the rarely equalled in granite cutting. horizontal divisions of which are as plain

These eight pillars, which are the larg- ly visible as the layers of a Washington est in existence, excepting those of the pie, which they somewhat resemble. Cathedral of St. Isaac in St. Petersburg, These sheets are usually thin near the are six feet in diameter and fifty-four feet surface of the ground, but increase in high, standing on fifteen-foot pedestals. thickness with the depth, so that in openThey are each in two parts, respectively ing a quarry it is generally necessary to thirty-six and eighteen feet in length. blast out and remove the superincumThe discovery of the necessity of divid- bent, shallow strata. In quarrying, there ing them in this manner, instead of mak- must be a front and two ends clear, and free from "salt cracks,” faults, and other imperfections. A line of "foot holes," as far back from the face of the ledge as the thickness of the block desired, is first drilled, the holes being eighteen inches to two feet deep and three or four feet apart. In line with these are drilled other holes only three inches deep, called "plugged and feathering" holes. In a plugged and feathering hole are placed two pieces of steel, joined into a spreading socket at the bottom. A wedge is then driven into this socket, all the holes being wedged and driven at once so that a break may be started all along the line. The foot holes are similarly wedged. If this line of cleavage were placed too near the edge it would "run off” or split along the upper front edge of the block; but when it is placed far enough inward the resistance of the mass of the rock holds back the lateral shove of the wedges, and thus the ledge's inertia helps to split it.

The block when split off falls on a number of huge rollers, or else is afterward wedged and jacked up, to permit of the insertion of such rollers underneath it. Sometimes rollers are dispensed with and the stone is rolled over and over on a bed of cordwood sticks, called "dunnage,” which is reduced to splinters by the enormous pressure. Whichever method is adopted requires the use of complicated tackle, often with double and triple purchases, or "luff on luff," as the sailors say.

In getting out the mammoth blocks for the cathedral columns these processes were followed in much the same way they would have been had the piece not been of unusual proportions. It was in the later stages of the work that the greatest difficulty was encountered. The magnitude of the undertaking will be better understood when it is known that these immense masses of stone were to be put in a lathe and turned down to dimensions, exactly the same as if they had been

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