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A Severe Fire Test
These piles will be driven every fifteen HE BALTIMORE FIRE was the feet, directly supporting the lines of
severest test to which buildings of track, as this is where the greatest strain steel construction have been sub
will occur. jected; and their sound condition after A test was made recently, on the Jerwards—as to supporting columns, gird
sey side of the river, where one of the ers, joists, and the structural parts of the piles was allowed to support a weight floors—thoroughly vindicates the main principles of modern fireproof construction. Every building in the path of the fire that was not of steel construction was leveled to the ground, only a mass of debris being left to give evidence of what once was. Thus it follows that modern fireproof construction will enable a burnt building to stand while others will fall. On the other hand, the inadequacy of steel-frame buildings as at present constructed, was made manifest in the fact that the fire was able to come in at the windows, and everything was burnt entirely out, from basement to cornice, except the steel skeleton. Therefore, as in this case the window openings proved to be the vulnerable points where the fire was admitted, and as no building is strictly "fireproof" so long as it is possible for fire to shoot in at any opening,
MARYLAND Trust BUILDING, BALTIMORE. adequate window protection as well as
This building stood, while non-fireproofed structures steel construction is necessary for com collapsed. Tbe three lowest stories were faced with lime
stone, the upper stories with terra cotta, both materials plete safety.
showing good fire-resisting qualities.
of about 300 tons during six weeks. At Railroad Tunnel Piling
the end of that time, there was no apTHE ABSOLUTE SAFETY of the preciable settlement or displacement of new North River tunnel of the
the pile. Pennsylvania Railroad is assured The method of sinking this test pile by the system of support adopted, which was particularly interesting. A hydraulic is to be from the bed rock underlying the screwing machine with a stroke of 18 silt that envelops the tunnel. Cast-iron inches was prepared, and was tested to a piles are to be used, screwed through the water pressure of 1,500 pounds per sand and mud until rock is reached. square inch. The bottom of the pile was
STEEL BRIDGE ON THE OROYA RAILROAD, IN PERU.
fitted with a screw about 5 feet in diame be cut in the course of construction, one ter, pitched to 12 inches. A remarkable -the famous Galera tunnelma mile and feature of the experiment was the vary a-half long. ing distance the pile was driven at single It is on this road that the signal turns of the screw. One turn sunk the achievement of constructing a lofty steel pile 1.2 feet, while another only showed bridge connecting two tunnels was ac.21. foot.
The average was 10.7 inches. complished (see the accompanying illusDuring the fortieth revolution, even tration). In building this
this bridge, though subjected to a turning moment which spans a crevice 575 feet wide and of 439,800 foot pounds, the pile refused hundreds of feet deep, it was necessary to move, and the tests for supporting to lower all material from the top of the strength were begun. During the first cliffs by wire cables. five days there was a subsidence of 14 The whole stupendous task was made inch under a dead load of 500,000 pounds. possible only by the liberal use of the This was the only noticeable change, ex "V switch," or "switchback.' In one incept a compression of about 1-250 inch stance on the Peruvian railroad it was
in the pile itself. The entire series of found necessary to construct a switchtests lasted for nearly six months, with back in the side of a mountain, the train weight varying from 400,000 pounds to heading in on the lower level and back600,000 pounds. A number of drop tests ing out through an upper tunnel almost were also made.
exactly above.-H. H. Lewis in The
Coaling at Sea
United States, and each ten miles VER SINCE THE FIRST USE represents an engineering achievement. OF STEAM as a motive power, There does not seem to be any obstacle methods of coaling ships at sea have too great to be overcome by that little constituted one of the important problems body of silent, modest workers we char of naval strategy. Broadside coaling has acterize merely as railway builders. always been dangerous, and the majority
How many of us can call to mind the of fore-and-aft systems have been so names of the engineers who projected complicated as to be of doubtful value. and built that marvel of engineering, the The Lidgerwood Mfg. Co. of New York Orova Railroad of Peru, which reaches have on the market, however, a marine an elevation of more than 15,000 feet cableway for coaling that seems to have above sea-level? The two
The two Americans at last satisfactorily solved this difficult who constructed this road, Messrs. problem. One of their installations was Meiggs and Thorndike, were considered on the Russian battleship Retvican, recrazy when they proposed it. It was cently brought into prominence—or, necessary to carry the roadbed for miles rather, put out of action—at Port Arthur. through galleries cut in the solid face From a mast on the floating source of of the rock, and the workmen engaged coal supply, the cableway is connected in cutting the galleries were in many to the after mast of the ship to be coaled, cases lowered in cages from the cliffs in such a manner that if the single towabove. More than sixty tunnels had to line connecting the two boats becomes
parted, the coaling apparatus is detached By means of these cableways, battleships from the forward ship without damage can take coal at any time from any masted and can then be recovered by the collier. vessel. This is an important feature, as all liabil This system has been adopted by the ity to excessive strain on the masts of United States Government and is used either ship is thus avoided. The diagram on a number of the first-class battleships, shows the method of operation. The sea including the Illinois and the Massaanchor is necessary to steady the collier. chusetts,
Life Stories of Successful Men
The Wonderfully Romantic Career of the Russian Minister of Railways
Its Message of Encouragement and Hopefulness
By HENRY M. HYDE
Editorial Writer on the Chicago Tribune
ORN on the vast estates of his intendent of a railroad in South America; princely father, with the prestige that he went back to Russia-still under of four hundred years of nobility an assumed name—and by sheer merit,
behind him, it might be supposed as an obscure railroad employee, forced that the career of Prince Hilkoff, the Im his way upward until he attracted the atperial Russian Minister of Railways and tention of the Great White Czar, one of Transportation, would have little of in whose trusted ministers he has since spiration about it for a poor boy born in been—then you begin to realize that what a cabin and forced to climb upward by Michael Hilkoff has done in the world is his own unaided efforts.
fit to stir the pulse and rouse the ambition But when you know that Hilkoff came of even the most sluggish. to the United States as a poor emigrant, Let no man or woman lose heart or and under the name of John Magill en confidence so long as it is possible for a tered the Pennsylvania Railroad shops at boy born in the Russian purple, and fallen Philadelphia at a wage of $1 a day; that from that dizzy height to the position of he worked for several years as a railroad a common laborer, to climb again under brakeman and engineer, and finally
and finally another name, dignified by no other title rose-still as John Magill-to be super than that of a master of his business, to
a place much greater and nearer to the employment was an immediate necessity. throne than that he originally occupied. The first opening that offered was a If such a thing can be done under the job attending a bolt-making machine, at despotic government of Russia, what may wages of $1 a day. not be accomplished in a freer and less "Your name?"asked the foreman, when caste-ridden country?
he reported for work. It was the emancipation of the serfs by “Mi-kale," began the young Russian the great Czar Alexander II, grandfather slowly, his tongue hesitating when it of the present Emperor, which ruined the came to English. father of Prince Michael Hilkoff (or, as it is spelled in Russian, Khilkov), and sent the son forth into exile as plain John Magill. It was the thorough knowledge of mechanical and locomotive engineering, acquired in the United States, which made it possible for John Magill to go back to Russia and rise again to a more than princely estate.
Prince Michael Hilkoff looks like a typical down-east Yankee of the old school. In the proper costume, he might easily pose as Uncle Sam himself, for his short white goatee, and his thin, erect figure, with its broad shoulders and long legs and arms, are all in character.
He has paid, in all, three visits to the United States. He came first in 1857. At that time he was a young Russian swell of twenty-one. While a student at the University of St. Petersburg, he had read, in a French translation, the Leatherstocking novels of Fenimore Cooper, and they had first aroused his interest in the wonderful country beyond the ocean. PRINCE HILKOFF, RUSSIAN MINISTER OF RAILWAYS. At sixteen he was an officer in the Empress's Guards and something of a favor "Magill, heh?" snapped back the busy ite at court. Then he persuaded one of foreman. "Well, what's your first his old tutors to accompany him on a visit name?” to the United States. He bore personal “John,” answered the Prince, deciding letters of introduction to the President on the moment that that would do as well of the United States and to other promi as anything. And so he was fitted with a nent people; and during his stay of sev new name which served him for a good eral months he saw much of country and many years. was fêted by society. Returning to Rus After a vear or two in the machine sia, he became an official of the Czar's shops, during which the Prince was court.
studying mechanical engineering, he A little later, in 1861, came the eman found a place as brakeman on a freight cipation of the serfs, which almost im train. Later he became a locomotive enpoverished his father, who demanded that gineer, and he added to the practical the son leave the service of the Czar. A knowledge acquired in that way a thorbitter quarrel followed between father ough technical and theoretical knowledge and son, as a result of which Michael acquired by study after hours. Hilkoff renounced his ancestral titles and Presently he was promoted again. estates, resigned his office at court, and This time he became superintendent of a sailed for America as a common emi- railroad down in South America. There, grant. He landed at Philadelphia, and also, he served several years; when, his poverty was so great that to secure finally, a longing for his old home in Rus