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discovery of Gillis's Land, first sighted by the Dutch navigator, Gillis, in 1707, and reported by him to be in latitude about 80° north.
With the exception of vague rumors in 1863 and 1864, no subsequent expedition had been reported as having seen territory. Mr. Jackson and his comrades went last summer to Cape Neale at the southwestern extremity of Franz-Josef Land, and discovered an unknown land lying far off to the northwest-presumably the lost Gillis's Land. They approached it, but could not land on account of rough weather. The cape discovered lies at 80° 30′ north latitude and 42° 30' east longitude. They named it Cape Mary Harmsworth.
Aerial Navigation.-On November 28 Professor S. P. Langley's aerodrome (p. 468) again demonstrated the possibility of mechanical flight. Launched from a specially constructed stage, it remained aloft 1 minute 45 seconds, flying 1,500 yards in a horizontal direction, and, when its power was exhausted, dropped gently down without mishap. Professor Langley's experiments have all been tried on an island in the Potomac river about thirty miles below Washington.
The aerodrome is almost entirely made of steel, and contains a peculiar steam engine of rather more than one horse power. During the last trial the engine generated sufficient power to turn the propellers something more than a thousand revolutions per minute. The weight of the machine itself is thirty pounds, and the boiler carries two quarts or about four pounds of water. The movable parts of the machinery weigh twenty-six ounces. The fuel employed is gasoline, converted into gas before use. The aerodrome is about fifteen feet long, and measures fourteen feet from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. Its wings are of silk and are stationary. The machine is driven through the air by means of two screw propellers, one on each side, about four feet in diameter.
Longest Geodetic Line.-The United States Coast and Geodetic Survey has recently completed a survey of the longest base line ever measured upon which to establish subsequent surveys. The preliminary work, it will be remembered, was completed about a year ago (Vol. 5, p. 962).
The line is known as the transcontinental arc, and extends along the 39th parallel from a point on the Atlantic coast ten miles south of Little Egg Island lighthouse, below Cape May, to a point on the Pacific six miles north of Punta Arenas lighthouse, near San Fran cisco. The length of the arc at sea level, i. c., following the curva ture of the earth's surface, is 2,625.8 miles. This differs by 111 feet from the length indicated by the radius of the 39th parallel as given by Bessel, the astronomer of Königsberg, Germany, who first calcu lated the diameters of the earth and measured the distance from our planet to 61 Cygni; one of the nearest of the fixed stars. It also varies by 98 feet from figures based on the radius of the same parallel as calculated by Sir Andrew Clarke of Glasgow University. The
work of determining the radius of the 39th parallel has not yet been performed by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.
Power From Niagara Falls.-At midnight on November 15 the Niagara Falls electric power was first flashed over the wires to Buffalo, N. Y. A current of 1,000 horse-power was transmitted by the Niagara Falls Power Company to the power house of the Buffalo Railway Company. Street cars have since been successfully operated in Buffalo by means of the new power; and the incident is no doubt only the beginning of a more extensive transmission of the vast energy centred at the falls to other industrial points along the river and inland. history of the enterprise is very briefly outlined as follows:
The first use of Niagara's power was made in 1725, a primitive sawmill being operated. Nothing more was done in this line until 1842, when Augustus Porter conceived the plan of hydraulic canals, and in 1861 one was completed The Niagara Falls Power Company was incorporated March 31, 1886. The Cataract Construction Company, from whose plant power has just been delivered in Buffalo, was incorporated in 1889, and work was begun on October 4, 1890. It took three years to build the tunnel, the surface canal and the first wheel pits. The canal, 250 feet wide, with an average depth of twelve feet, draws off sufficient water from the Niagara river, a mile and a-quarter above the falls, to serve for the development of 100,000 horse power. The walls of the canal are pierced at intervals with ten inlets for the delivery of water to the wheel-pit in the power house, which stands at the side of the canal. The pit is 178 feet deep, and connects by a lateral tunnel with the main tunnel, which acts as a tail race and delivers the water back to the river below the falls. The tunnel, which has a maximum height of 21 feet and width of 18 feet 10 inches, was a large undertaking, involving the labor for over three years of 1,000 men, the excavation of over 300,000 tons of rock, and the use of 16,000,000 bricks for lining. The turbines were built after designs by Faesch and Piccard of Geneva, Switzerland. They work under a head of 140 feet, and each develops 5,000 horse-power.
The first distribution of power was made to the works of the Pittsburg Reduction Company, adjacent to the canal, in August, 1895. Other and later users of the power have been the Carborundum Company, the Calcium Company, the Buffalo & Niagara Railway Company, and the Niagara Falls Electric Lighting Company.
In December, 1895, the city of Buffalo granted a franchise to the company to supply power to that city under the terms of which it had to be prepared to furnish 10,000 horse-power to consumers by June 1, 1896, and 10,000 additional horse-power in each successive year. The first customer under this arrangement was the Buffalo Railway Company, which arranged to take 1,000 horse power, at a rate of $36 per horse-power per year. The current is transmitted by a pole line, consisting of three continuous cables of uninsulated copper, the total length of which is seventy-eight miles.
To meet the future demand, the Niagara Falls Power Company is preparing to install seven more generators of 5,000 horse-power each, which will be exactly similar to those already in place. When the
necessary extensions have been made, the pit will be 430 feet long and 185 feet deep; and the total capacity of the plant will be 50,000 horse-power, or one-half of the capacity of the canal.
A Sea Trolley Line.-On September 12 a trolley line -the most novel in the world-was opened, to run through the sea along the southern English coast from Brighton to Rottingdean.
The idea was first conceived by Mr. Magnus Volk, an English man, three years ago. The track is laid on the hard bottom rock along the beach, which is uncovered at low tide. It consists of paral lel double tracks, each pair of two feet eight and one-half inches gauge, and spaced eighteen feet between the two outer rails, thus giving a broad effective gauge of eighteen feet for the tall spiderlegged car that has to stride both as if a single track. The rails are laid on huge ties of solid concrete, built up from the solid rock and incorporated with it. The car, which resembles the upper structure of a yacht, stands upon a frame of drawn steel, consisting of four sprawling, hollow legs, powerfully girded together. Each leg carries a four-wheeled truck, resting upon one of the small double tracks below; and each truck is protected by a bogie, looking like a doubleended rowboat turned upside down.
The power is brought from an overhead trolley, and operates two electric motors under the deck, which transmit the power to the wheels by shafting carried down two of the hollow legs and armed with toothed gearing below. The brakes are worked by rods passing down the remaining legs. The current carries a force of 500 volts, and the motors have each thirty horse-power. The speed of the car is five and a-half miles an hour when the tide is in, and seven miles at low tide. Trial tests of the working of the road have been successful.
Miscellaneous.-An apparatus called a "methydric sphere" has been invented by an Italian named Corzetto, to enable persons to descend to any depth in the sea. Its principle is the use of compressed air. An accident happened during a recent trial at Spezzia, and the inventor and two companions were immersed under water for eighteen hours. All were nearly asphyxiated when rescued.
The name "phellosine" has been given to an artificial substitute for cork, invented by a Frenchman.
It consists of cork bark ground to an impalpable powder and the powder agglutinated by a solution of nitrocellulose in acetone. The materials are mixed in such a manner that the result is a doughy mass. This is put into molds, compressed, and subsequently allowed to dry spontaneously. The material is but a trifle, if any, more combustible than cork itself. While this is a fact, however, the manufacture of phellosine is attended with danger of explosions.
A successful application of the serum method of treatment for the cure of insanity has been reported by Professor Vires of the Montpelier Insane Asylum near Paris,
The patient's name was Mlle. Félice Languerre; and the cure is
said to be permanent. The treatment is based on the theory, held by some medical men, that insanity, like rabies, tetanus, diphtheria, tuberculosis, and many other ailments, is due to the presence of special microbes or bacteria. Serum taken from the blood of a person who has just recovered from madness, is injected into the veins of the patient to be treated, and is supposed to act through containing an anti-toxic element which neutralizes the poisonous effects of the germs in the blood of the patient.
The claims for this new treatment of insanity will be accepted for the present by the medical world, only with great reservations.
Experiments recently conducted in England have demonstrated the practicability of using water-tube boilers successfully to run the most powerful engines in the largest ships.
Belleville boilers of over 25,000 horse-power capacity were recently installed in the British man-of-war Powerful-the first attempt to use them on such a large scale. The trial tests resulted most favorably. The contract horse-power requirements were exceeded; steam was maintained with ease and regularity; the discomforts attendant upon the old forced draft were done away with, the temperature in the stokehole never exceeding 90°, and in the engine rooms 75°. The great saving in weight of the boilers for a certain horse-power allows of a larger coal-carrying capacity; but this is offset to some extent by the necessity of increased coal consumption.
A SUCCESSOR to the late Sir J. E. Millais, president of the Royal Academy of England, who died August 13 (p. 766), was chosen on November 4 in the person of Mr. E. J. Poynter.
POYNTER, EDWARD JOHN, was born in Paris, France, March 20, 1836, son of Ambrose Poynter, an architect, and grandson of the sculptor Thomas Banks. He was educated at Westminster School and at Ipswich Grammar School in England, and subsequently studied art in English schools from 1854 to 1856, and in Paris from 1856 to 1859, where he was a pupil of Charles Gleyre. In 1869 he became an associate of the Royal Academy. In 1871 he was appointed Slade professor of art at University College, London, and again in 1873 for four years. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1876, and in 1894 he was appointed director of the National Gallery. For several years he was director for art and principal of the National Art Training School at South Kensington. His first picture in the Academy was Israel in Egypt (1867). Since then he has ex
hibited almost yearly, some of his best known pictures being Perseus and Andromeda (1872); Atalanta's Race (1876); The Fortune Teller, his diploma picture (1877); Zenobia Captive and A Jersey Lily-Mrs. Langtry (1878); Nausicaa and Her Maidens Playing at Ball (1879); A Visit to Esculapius (1880); In the Tepidarium (1882); Psyche and The Ides of March (1883); Diadumene (1885); On the Temple Steps (1890); The Meeting of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (1891): When the World was Young (1892); and Hora Serena and Idle Fears (1894). He also painted cartoons for the mosaic of St. George in Westminster
palace and a fresco at St. Stephen's church, Dulwich. He is the author of Ten Lectures on Art, published in 1879.
The first annual exhibition of the American Academy in Rome. Italy, was held in December.
This is the only artistic institution in Europe which has been established to give to American students the assistance and standing they require. Its permanent home is in the Villa dell 'Aurora, where space is provided for students of architecture, painting, sculpture, and archæology. Several large funds have been established, the income from which is devoted to scholarships for the promotion of art study. These include one scholarship in architecture, out of the central fund; two in sculpture, founded by bequest of W. H. Rine
hart of Baltimore, Md.; and one, the Jacob H. Lazarus scholarship in pictorial art. Each of these gives the winner $1,000 a year for a term of years. The most noteworthy exhibitors in the present display of the work of the academy, are Harold Magonigle, W. S. Aldrich, John R. Pope, Percy Ash, and George W. Breck.