Page images
[merged small][graphic][merged small]

A Fascinating Trip that Robs the Volcano of Some of its Terrors



NE of the most interesting trips to Pugliano passing through the Strada taken by the European tourist, di Chiaja, showing the Italian city street is that from Naples to the top life as well as the suburban life of the

of Mount Vesuvius—a jaunt San Giovanni and Portici, and giving one now taken with ease and comparative a fine view of the Bay of Naples. safety by the aid of electric power, and The Vesuvius electric railway begins affording experiences unique in attract at the northern quarter of Resina, at iveness and excitement.

Pugliano, and passes through a most inSeveral forms of electric traction are teresting cultivated section, with vineemployed in conveying the traveler from yards, orchards, and gardens on every Naples to the crater of the volcano. As side, to the Royal Observatory, which is far as Pugliano, the journey is taken by 595.75 meters (1,954.5 feet) above seameans of the ordinary electric cars or level. On the last portion of this section, trams used in Italian cities; and from where the train ascends the slope of this point to the top of Vesuvius, one Monte Cateroni, an electric locomotive portion is of rack-and-pinion construc is required for pushing the electric cars tion, another is of ordinary adhesion up the rack railway from the generating traction, while the last section which station at the foot of Monte Cateroni. passes up the steep side of lava deposit This portion of the trip is most thrilling to a point 1,181.26 meters (3.875.5 feet) and interesting, as deep ravines, with above sea-level is a cable road.

intervening stretches of chestnut and The trip is full of interest, and the acacia woods,

acacia woods, are seen, while excellent scenes most varied, the road from Naples views may be had of the Bay of Naples.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

few hundred feet of the crater—which three sections, two of which are of the is finally reached by foot-dark brown adhesion type, while the third, between lava is noted on every side, frequently the two, about one mile in length, is of colored pink and green by the rays of the rack-and-pinion construction, the Strub sun. The great cone of ashes is seen system being employed, which is similar above the mountain of lava, over which to that used on Jungfrau Mountain elecrises a black column of smoke. The tric railway. fields of petrified lava spread out in most The cable line begins at a point 793.6 curious and fantastic formations.

meters (2,603.6 feet) above sea-level and The highest section of the Mount rises to a height of 1,181.26 meters Vesuvius electric railway is a cable road (3,875.5 feet), with grades varying from which

constructed twenty-three 35 to 65 per cent. The cable cars each years ago, since which time it has carried carry twenty-one persons,

and are many tourists to the top of the cone, or provided with hand brakes as well as a




[graphic][merged small]

complete equipment of automatic brakes sisting of 300 cells, which are used for for both sets of wheels. About 12,000

taking care of the peak of the load and persons are carried to the top of this for regulation. cable line each year, the largest numbers The electric locomotive used on the during March and April, the average for rack railway is provided with two 85-H. these months being more than 2,000 pas

P. motors, operating at a speed of 700 sengers.

revolutions per minute. It weighs someThe electric generating station for the what over ten tons, and operates at a Mount Vesuvius electric railway operat- speed of 6 to 8 kilometers (about 334 to 5

miles) per hour, drawing a load of more than ten tons. The locomotive is provided with emergency brakes as well as hand brakes, together with automatic brakes which are so arranged that the current is shut off when the speed of the locomotive exceeds the limit that has been decided upon.


ing between Pugliano and the lower station of the cable road, is located at the foot of the rack-and-pinion section, 249.6 meters (818.8 feet) above sea level. The power station is provided with two four-cycle gas engines of Swiss make, each having a normal capacity of go H. P. and operating a direct-current shunt-wound dynamo at a speed of 700 revolutions per minute. These directcurrent generators were designed for a maximum pressure of 770 volts, and supply a maximum of 137 amperes at a normal pressure of 550 volts. They send current to a set of storage batteries con



Each of the electric cars weighs somewhat less than nine tons, and is provided with single trucks having two axles. Each car is provided with three com

[graphic][merged small]

partments seating eight passengers each. construction, and

construction, and power house, was The rack-and-pinion section of the road about a quarter of a million of dollars, has much higher grades than the adhe- or somewhat over $50,000 per mile. The sion section, the latter not exceeding 8 cost of repairs is very high, especially on per cent, while the maximum for the the upper section, where, as during the former is about 25 per cent. The rails present eruption, deposits of lava have are fastened to wooden ties, the gauge given much trouble. being i meter (39.37 inches). The rack The trip to the top of Mount Vesuvius

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

rail is located in the center between the is comparatively safe, as great pains has running rails.

been taken with the brake equipment of The total length of the electrically the cars and locomotives. It is possible operated sections is nearly five miles, and for the motorman on the front of the the trip over these portions of the road car to operate the brakes of the locomounder ordinary circumstances takes about tive in the rear and to signal the engineer 50 minutes.

when necessary. Telephone communicaThe total cost of the Mount Vesuvius tion is also provided between all stations electric railway, including cars, track of the line and the power house.

The Finsen Light

Application of Light Rays to the Cure of Lupus and Other

Diseases-The Work of the Late Doctor Finsen


Fellow in Physics, The University of Chicago


HE WORLD has just lost one of Pictou, of France, written in 1832 and that small band of men who toil describing how some soldiers, who had ahead, blaze the trails, and point been confined in a dungeon, had been

out the paths of advance for the attacked by smallpox and had recovered multitude. A cablegram from Copen- without being scarred. Although up to liagen, dated September 24, 1904, announced the death of Prof. Niels R. Finsen. His life was one which may well inspire others, and his discoveries will place his name with those of Lister and Pasteur.

Though a native of the Faroë Islands, he spent the first twenty-one years of his life in Iceland. Leaving there, he entered Copenhagen University, where he took his Doctor's degree in 1890. Although well trained for his profession, he found himself unable to follow it because of physical weakness; so he accepted a position as preceptor in anatomy at Copenhagen University. He was not content, however, merely to attend to his university duties, and accordingly employed his spare time, as far as he was able, in experimenting on the action of light on the body. Believing that light could be used to cure disease, he set himself the task of finding its healing value. A reason for his choice of this line of work may be seen in his statement:

"All that I have accomplished in my experiments with light, and all that I have learned about its therapeutic value, has come

this time Finsen had never seen a case because I needed the light so much myself; I

of smallpox himself, this note of Dr. longed for it so."

Pictou's, together with the results of his His residence in Iceland during his own experiments, caused him, in 1893, youth had created in him an intense love to publish a paper with the title, “The for the light and sunshine.

Influence of Light on the Skin," in which He tried the action of lights of differ he announced a light treatment to preent colors upon various animals, and con vent the disfiguring scars usually left by cluded that the blue, violet, and ultra- smallpox. In August, 1893, Dr. Svendviolet rays (the chemical rays) were the sen made the first test of his theory at only ones valuable for his purpose. Bergen, Norway, and fully confirmed it. this time he came across a paper by Dr. The treatment consists in keeping the



« PreviousContinue »