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at Gatun, will, when that vast structure' separation between them and the clerks has been completed, stand on the bottom accomplished itself without the slightest of the artificial lake already described, friction or real feeling. eighty-five feet beneath the surface of the The only untoward incident in connecwater. In expectation of this premedi- tion with this arrangement arose, so they tated catastrophe, however, a new town say, when, on a luckiess occasion, Rear has been recently built on neighboring Admiral Endicott, of the United States hills. Indeed, since the Americans have Navy, one of the most dignified officers occupied the Canal strip villages of up in the service, attempted to enter withto-date pattern, provided with all modern out his coat (the day being very hot) a improvements, have been springing up mess-hall which was forbidden to the with almost magical rapidity_each one coatless. An attendant politely tapped of them having a handsome club-house him on the shoulder, and indicated that and great mess-halls for the officials, the hall near by, in which the laborers clerks, and laborers. Overlooking the were busy at their mid-day meal, was the Culebra Cut is one of these towns, with appropriate place for him to dine. Of five thousand inhabitants—the veranda- course, it was all explained a few moencircled and screen-protected houses be- ments later, but meanwhile the anger and ing mostly of the peculiar pattern which disgust of the admiral at the supposed Chief Engineer Stevens described as re- indignity offered him may easily be sembling an owl: all feathers and very imagined. little inside works.
When finished, the canal will be Speaking of the mess-halls, a curious guarded at each entrance by two great difficulty recently arose because of the modern fortresses, unsurpassed in unwillingness of the clerks to eat with strength by any in the world. Comthe laborers. But the problem was solved manding as advantageously as possible in a remarkably simple and easy way. It the approaches from the sea, they will be was ordered that those who wore coats as near the water's edge as practicable, at meals should mess in one hall, while in order to be able to drop explosive those who preferred to dispense with that shells upon the decks of hostile ships. garment should eat in another hall. In- Such forts are very different from those asmuch as the laborers invariably elected of the old style, which were usually mato take their meals in their shirts, a sonry structures with high walls. Instead
of such an arrangement, they may be said to consist of a series of concrete-lined pits below the level of the ground, in each of which stands a huge high-power gun, concealed from view save at intervals when it is uplifted above the parapet to shoot. From the water's edge back to the line of the gun-pits extends a gradual slope of concrete, over which are several feet of earth, so that the entire defensive outfit has, so to speak, the landscape for its roof. Such a fortress, REPAVING THE CITY OF PANAMA WITH Vitrified Brick LAID UPON Concrete. in fact is a congeries of little forts; and even if one of the strong armed force landed at a distance latter should be captured by an up or down the coast and marched enemy, it could not be held, be against it. But, as a precaution against cause all the others would immedi- such a military movement, our governately turn their guns upon it.
ment would, in the event of war, place a Thus defended, the canal cannot possi- considerable army on the Isthmus—the bly be attacked successfully from the locks being protected by supplementary ocean. The only way in which it could fortifications which will be erected in be seriously threatened would be by a their immediate neighborhood.
Victory in Defeat
The soul that strives for higher destiny,
A strength of will from baffled effort draws;
-EUGENE C. Dolson, Rural Magazine.
“MAXIMHURST," MR. MAXIM'S SUMMER PLACE ON LAKE HOPATCONG. The library is shown on the right and the cottage in the back ground. The man standing by the tree is Edwin
Markham, the poet.
HE common idea that fact that their makers might reasonably
an explosive is some- be supposed to be familiar with such thing which is very agencies. Unsuccessful attempts to ticklish, which must be wreck the Winter Palace at St. Petershandled with the great- burg, the British houses of Parliament, est care, else it will “go the Nelson monument at Montreal, the off" and smash things Frederick the Great statue at Washing
generally, is founded on ton, and other instances, are readily rea curious, popular misapprehension. called. Even persons who make a speMany explosives possessing the most cial study of explosives sometimes deadly potentialities may be handled and achieve remarkable failures, as illustrated knocked about with the greatest uncon- in the United States dynamite cruiser cern, may be stirred up with red-hot Vesuvius, and in the test of the Isham pokers, set on fire, and shot out of guns, shell at Sandy Hook, New York. all without explosion unless a proper There is enough explosive energy in a agency be employed.
grateful of coal, if it could be liberated The frequent failure of the bombs of and controlled, to hurl a 1.000-pound proanarchists and others to accomplish their jectile through a foot of solid steel. But intended purpose is due to the ignorance there can be no explosion without oxydisplayed in their preparation, despite the gen, and the coal in the grate will not burn faster than the supply of air which T here are two ways of "setting off”? reaches it will permit. If the coal could an explosive—by burning and by detonabe furnished all at once with enough air tion. The former is progressive from to effect its complete combustion it would one particle to another, like fire in a explode with as great violence as if it grate only infinitely more rapidly. As were so much dynamite. Flour mills combustion of this kind, from exposed sometimes blow up from the formation of surfaces, requires an appreciable time for an explosive mixture of flour dust with the consumption of the explosive body, atmospheric oxygen, and accidents are it is adapted to the purposes of guncommon from the use of naphtha and powder. The detonative form of exploother volatile substances in cleaning sion, being simultaneous throughout the clothing, due to the formation of an ex- mass, is unfitted for use in guns (which plosive mixture of the vapors with the would be smashed to pieces) but is air.
adapted to shattering or disruptive purAn “explosive," it will thus be seen, is poses, such as blasting and as bursting a very comprehensive term, being applic- charges in shells, torpedoes and submaable to any combustible substance com- rine mines. Substances of the latter sort bined with sufficient oxygen to burn the are termed high explosives. combustible. The explosive may be I have spoken of the safety with which either a mechanical mixture or a chemi- the most dangerous explosives may ordical compound, and the explosion comes narily be handled. As an example, a conwhen, by whatever agency, its constituent siderable quantity of gun cotton (celluparts are disrupted from one another, or lose, such as pure cotton, treated with made to react on one another, resulting nitric acid) may be ignited, and will burn in the formation of a gas occupying sev- quietly without detonation; but if a suffieral hundred times more space than the original material, and simultaneously developing a high temperature by which its expansive force is further multiplied. It is · estimated that when nitro-gelatin is exploded the volume of gases and heat developed are such that the products of its combustion occupy space equal to 10,000 times the original volume of the body. Some liquid oxygen explosives occupy, when detonated, 15,000 times the original space. Typical of the mechanical mixture explosives are gunpowder and mixtures of finely powdered charcoal and liquid air. These, at elevated temperatures, react on each other and become gaseous. As types of the other class (chemical compounds) are nitro
Liquid ExploSiVES BY THE GALLON. glycerin, liquid acety
These bottles contain a liquid which equals in power pure nitro-glycerin, and yet lene and liquid ozone,
cient mass be ignited the localization of Glonoin Oil. In 1865 a representative of heat and pressure on the surface of the Nobel, the inventor, came to America to burning body will cause the whole to be try to introduce the material to miners detonated, owing to the energy required here. He stopped at the Wyoming Hoto displace the products of combustion tel, on Greenwich Street, in New York, as rapidly as they are set free. Gun cot- and running out of funds was obliged to ton may also be dissolved in acetone and leave his baggage and a large can of the poured on a glass plate and dried, and oil at the hotel as security. As made at the product will be a hard substance that time nitro-glycerin was not a very which will not detonate; but reduce this pure nor stable product, and was liable substance to a powder and it can be ex- to start decomposing and blow up at any ploded. A torpedo filled with wet com- time. A guest at the Wyoming Hotel, pressed gun cotton will not explode if a using the can of Glonoin Oil one morning shell should penetrate it and burst in the as a rest to black his boots, noticed some mass of gun cotton. Even nitro-glycerin red fumes escape from it. He called the
may be burned like oil in small quanti- attention of the proprietor to the fact, ties, and a stick of nitro-gelatin may be who grabbed the can and threw it into the ignited and used to light a cigar. In- street. An explosion followed which did deed, the familiar handling of explo- considerable damage to the hotel and sives by miners and by employes in pow- shattered all the windows in the neighder factories sometimes breeds a con- borhood. tempt for the explosive material, how- Professor Mowbray, who made nitroever, which has disastrous results. Mr. glycerin for the work on the Hoosaç TunHudson Maxim, well known as an inven- nel, profiting by the Wyoming Hotel epitor of high explosives, tells the following sode, was the first to make a really pure story:
nitro-glycerin, (formed by passing glyNitro-glycerin was originally called cerin into a mixture of concentrated