Boys’ Second Book of Inventions

Boys’ Second Book of Inventions

Author:
Ray Stannard Baker
Author:
Ray Stannard Baker
Format:
epub
language:
English

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Author: Baker, Ray Stannard, 1870-1946
Technology — Juvenile literature
Inventions
Boys’ Second Book of Inventions
BOYS’ SECOND BOOK OF
INVENTIONS

BOYS’ SECOND BOOK
OF INVENTIONS

BY RAY STANNARD BAKER
Author of
Boys’ Book of Inventions, Seen in
Germany

FULLY ILLUSTRATED

NEW YORK
DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
MCMIX
Copyright, 1903, by
McCLURE, PHILLIPS & CO.
Published, November, 1903, N

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER I
PAGE
The Miracle of Radium 3
   Story of the Marvels and Dangers of the New Element
Discovered by Professor and Madame Curie.
CHAPTER II
Flying Machines 27
  Santos-Dumont’s Steerable Balloons.
CHAPTER III
The Earthquake Measurer 79
  Professor John Milne’s Seismograph.
CHAPTER IV
Electrical Furnaces 113
  How the Hottest Heat is Produced—Making Diamonds.
CHAPTER V
Harnessing the Sun 153
  The Solar Motor.
CHAPTER VI
The Inventor and the Food Problem 173
  Fixing of Nitrogen—Experiments of Professor Nobbe.
CHAPTER VII
Marconi and his Great Achievements 207
  New Experiments in Wireless Telegraphy.
CHAPTER VIII
Sea-Builders 255
  The Story of Lighthouse Building—Stone-Tower Lighthouses,
Iron Pile Lighthouses, and Steel Cylinder Lighthouses.
CHAPTER IX
The Newest Electric Light 293
  Peter Cooper Hewitt and his Three Great Inventions
— The Mercury Arc Light—The New Electrical
Converter—The Hewitt Interrupter.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Page
Guglielmo Marconi Frontispiece
M. Curie Explaining the Wonders of Radium at
the Sorbonne
5
Dr. Danlos Treating a Lupus Patient with Radium
at the St. Louis Hospital, Paris
13
Radium as a Test for Real Diamonds 19
At the approach of Radium pure gems are thrown into great
brilliancy, while imitations remain dull.
M. and Mme. Curie Finishing the Preparation of
some Radium
25
M. Alberto Santos-Dumont 29
Severo’s Balloon, the “Pax,” which on its First
Ascent at a Height of about 2,000 feet,
Burst and Exploded, Sending to a Terrible
Death both M. Severo and his Assistant
33
The Trial of Count Zeppelin’s Air-Ship, July 2, 1900 37
M. Santos-Dumont at Nineteen 41
M. Santos-Dumont’s First Balloon (Spherical) 43
M. Santos-Dumont’s Workshop 45
“Santos-Dumont No. 1” 49
Basket of “Santos-Dumont No. 1” 52
Showing propeller and motor.
“Santos-Dumont No. 1” 54
Showing how it began to fold up in the middle.
“Santos-Dumont No. 5” Rounding Eiffel Tower,
July 13, 1901
57
The Interior of the Aërodrome 61
Showing its construction, the inflated balloon, and the pennant
with its mystic letters.
The Fall into the Courtyard of the Trocadero Hotel 65
Santos-Dumont No. 5.
“Santos-Dumont No. 6″—The Prize Winner 69
Air-Ship Pointing almost Vertically Upward 73
Falling to the Sea 73
Just Before the Air-Ship Lost all its Gas 74
Losing its Gas and Sinking 74
The Balloon Falling to the Waves 75
Boats Around the Ruined Air-Ship 75
Manœuvring Above the Bay at Monte Carlo 77
Professor John Milne 80
From a photograph by S. Suzuki, Kudanzaka, Tokio.
Professor Milne’s Sensitive Pendulum, or Seismograph,
as it Appears Enclosed in its Protecting Box
81
The Sensitive Pendulum, or Seismograph, as it
Appears with the Protecting Box Removed
81
Gifu, Japan, after the Earthquake of 1891 85
This and the pictures following on pages 89, 101, 111, are from
Japanese photographs reproduced in “The Great Earthquake
in Japan, 1891,” by John Milne and W. K. Burton.
The Work of the Great Earthquake of 1891 in
Neo Valley, Japan
89
Diagram Showing Vertical and Horizontal Sections
of the More Sensitive of Professor
Milne’s Two Pendulums, or Seismographs
93
Seismogram of a Borneo Earthquake that Occurred
September 20, 1897
94
Effect of the Great Earthquake of 1891 on the
Nagara Gawa Railway Bridge, Japan
101
Pieces of a Submarine Cable Picked Up in the
Gulf of Mexico in 1888
108
The kinks are caused by seismic disturbances, and they show
how much distortion a cable can suffer and still remain
in good electrical condition, as this was found to be.
Record made on a Stationary Surface by the
Vibrations of the Japanese Earthquake of
July 19, 1891
111
Showing the complicated character of the motion (common to
most earthquakes), and also the course of a point at the
centre of disturbance.
Table of Temperatures 115
Mr. E. G. Acheson, One of the Pioneers in the
Investigation of High Temperatures
125
The Furnace-Room, where Carborundum is Made 131
A great, dingy brick building, open at the sides like a shed.
Taking Off a Crust of the Furnace at Night 135
The light is so intense that you cannot look at it without
hurting the eyes.
The Interior of a Furnace as it Appears after the
Carborundum has been Taken Out
143
Blowing Off 147
Not infrequently gas collects, forming a miniature mountain,
with a crater at its summit, and blowing a magnificent
fountain of flame, lava, and dense white vapour high
into the air, and roaring all the while in a most terrifying
manner.
Side View of the Solar Motor 155
Front View of the Los Angeles Solar Motor 159
The Brilliant Steam Boiler Glistens in the Centre 163
The Rear Machinery for Operating the Reflector 167
Trees Growing in Water at Professor Nobbe’s
Laboratory
187
Experimenting with Nitrogen in Professor Nobbe’s
Laboratory
191
Mr. Charles S. Bradley 198
Mr. D. R. Lovejoy 199
Eight-Inch 10,000-Volt Arcs Burning the Air for
Fixing Nitrogen
200
Machine for Burning the Air with Electric Arcs
so as to Produce Nitrates
201
Marconi. The Sending of an Epoch-Making Message 206
January 18, 1903, marks the beginning of a new era in
telegraphic communication. On that day there was sent by
Marconi himself from the wireless station at South Wellfleet,
Cape Cod, Mass., to the station at Poldhu, Cornwall,
England, a distance of 3,000 miles, the message—destined
soon to be historic—from the President of the United
States to the King of England.
Preparing to Fly the Kite which Supported the
Receiving Wire
213
Marconi on the extreme left.
Mr. Marconi and his Assistants in Newfoundland:
Mr. Kemp on the Left, Mr. Paget on the Right
217
They are sitting on a balloon basket, with one of the Baden-Powell
kites in the background.
Marconi Transatlantic Station at Wellfleet, Cape
Cod, Mass.
229
At Poole, England 231
Nearer View, South Foreland Station 235
Alum Bay Station, Isle of Wight 237
Marconi Room, S.S. Philadelphia 241
Transatlantic High Power, Marconi Station at
Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
247
Work on the Smith Point Lighthouse Stopped by
a Violent Storm
254
Just after the cylinder had been set in place, and while the
workmen were hurrying to stow sufficient ballast to secure
it against a heavy sea, a storm forced the attending
steamer to draw away. One of the barges was almost
overturned, and a lifeboat was driven against the cylinder
and crushed to pieces.
Robert Stevenson, Builder of the Famous Bell
Rock Lighthouse, and Author of Important
Inventions and Improvements in the System
of Sea Lighting
256
From a bust by Joseph, now in the library of Bell Rock Lighthouse.
The Bell Rock Lighthouse, on the Eastern Coast
of Scotland
257
From the painting by Turner. The Bell Rock Lighthouse was
built by Robert Stevenson, grandfather of Robert Louis
Stevenson, on the Inchcape Reef, in the North Sea, near
Dundee, Scotland, in 1807-1810.
The Present Lighthouse on Minot’s Ledge, near
the Entrance of Massachusetts Bay, Fifteen
Miles Southeast of Boston
260
Rising sheer out of the sea, like a huge stone cannon, mouth
upward.
“—Longfellow.
The Lighthouse on Stannard Rock, Lake Superior 261
This is a stone-tower lighthouse, similar in construction to the
one built with such difficulty on Spectacle Reef, Lake Huron.
The Fowey Rocks Lighthouse, Florida 264
Fourteen-Foot Bank Light Station, Delaware
Bay, Del.
268
The Great Beds Light Station, Raritan Bay, N. J. 270
A specimen of iron cylinder construction.
A Storm at the Tillamook Lighthouse, in the
Pacific, one mile out from Tillamook Head,
Oregon
275
Saving the Cylinder of the Lighthouse at Smith
Point, Chesapeake Bay, from being Swamped
in a High Sea
279
When the builders were towing the unwieldy cylinder out to set
it in position, the water became suddenly rough and
began to fill it. Workmen, at the risk of their lives,
boarded the cylinder, and by desperate labours succeeded
in spreading sail canvas over it, and so saved a structure
that had cost months of labour and thousands of dollars.
Great Waves Dashed Entirely Over Them, so that
They had to Cling for Their Lives to the
Air-Pipes
285
In erecting the Smith Point lighthouse, after the cylinder was
set up, it had to be forced down fifteen and a half feet
into the sand. The lives of the men who did this, working
in the caisson at the bottom of the sea, were absolutely
in the hands of the men who managed the engine
and the air-compressor at the surface; and twice these
latter were entirely deluged by the sea, but still maintained
steam and kept everything running as if no sea
was playing over them.
Peter Cooper Hewitt 292
With his interrupter.
Watching a Test of the Hewitt Converter 299
Lord Kelvin in the centre.
The Hewitt Mercury Vapour Light 305
The circular piece just above the switch button is one form of
“boosting coil” which operates for a fraction of a second
when the current is first turned on. The tube shown
here is about an inch in diameter and several feet long.
Various shapes may be used. Unless broken, the tubes
never need renewal.
Testing a Hewitt Converter 311
The row of incandescent lights is used, together with a voltmeter
and ammeter, to measure strength of current, resistance,
and loss in converting.

BOYS’ SECOND BOOK OF
INVENTIONS

CHAPTER I
THE MIRACLE OF RADIUM
Story of the Marvels and Dangers of the New Element Discovered by Professor and Madame Curie

No substance ever discovered better deserves the term “Miracle of Science,” given it by a famous English experimenter, than radium. Here is a little pinch of white powder that looks much like common table salt. It is one of many similar pinches sealed in little glass tubes and owned by Professor Curie, of Paris. If you should find one of these little tubes in the street you would think it hardly worth carrying away, and yet many a one of them could not be bought for a small fortune. For all the radium in the world to-day could be heaped on a single table-spoon; a pound of it would be worth nearly a million dollars, or more than three thousand times its weight in pure gold.
Professor and Madame Curie, who discovered radium, now possess the largest amount of any one, but there are small quantities in the hands of English and German scientists, and perhaps a dozen specimens in America, one owned by the American Museum of Natural History and several by Mr. W. J. Hammer, of New York, who was the first American to experiment with the rare and precious substance.

M. Curie Explaining the Wonders of Radium at the Sorbonne.

And perhaps it is just as well, at first, not to have too much radium, for besides being wonderful it is also dangerous. If a pound or two could be gathered in a mass it would kill every one who came within its influence. People might go up and even handle the white powder without at the moment feeling any ill-effects, but in a week or two the mysterious and dreadful radium influence would begin to take effect. Slowly the victim’s skin would peel off, his body would become one great sore, he would fall blind, and finally die of paralysis and congestion of the spinal cord. Even the small quantities now in hand have severely burned the experimenters. Professor Curie himself has a number of bad scars on his hands and arms due to ulcers caused by handling radium. And Professor Becquerel, in journeying to London, carried in his waistcoat pocket a small tube of radium to be used in a lecture there. Nothing happened at the time, but about two weeks later Professor Becquerel observed that the skin under his pocket was beginning to redden and fall away, and finally a deep and painful sore formed there and remained for weeks before healing.
It is just as well, therefore, that scientists learn more about radium and how to handle and control it before too much is manufactured.
But the cost and danger of radium are only two of its least extraordinary feature

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