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The Scientific American Boy | by A. Russell Bond



The aim of this book to suggest certain diversions of this character for the boy camper which, aside from affording him plenty of physical exercise, will also develop his mental faculties, and above all stimulate that natural genius which is characteristic of every typical American boy. To this end the story contains descriptions of a large collection of articles which can be made by any boy of average intelligence, not only in the camp but at home as well.

TitleThe Scientific American Boy
AuthorA. Russell Bond
PublisherMunn & Co
Year1906
Copyright1905, Munn & Co
AmazonThe Scientific American Boy

Scientific American Boy

Or

The Camp at Willow Clump Island

By A. Russell Bond

New York

New York

Munn & Co., Publishers 1906

Copyright, 1905, BY MUNN & CO., NEW YORK

Press Of The Kalkhoff Company

New York

Fun in Swimming

Fun in Swimming

-Preface
All boys are nature lovers. Nothing appeals to them more than a summer vacation in the woods where they can escape from the restraints of civilization and live a life of freedom. Now, it may appear to...
-Chapter I. "Bill."
Bill, he was it, the Scientific American Boy, I mean. Of course, we were all American boys and pretty scientific chaps too, if I do say it myself, but Bill, well he was the whole show. What he didn'...
-The Old Trunk
But hold on, I am getting ahead of my story. I was rummaging through the attic the other day, and came across an old battered trunk, one that I used when I went to boarding-school down in south Jersey...
-Christmas Vacation
This was how the society came to be formed. Bill, whom I met at boarding-school, was an orphan, and that's why he was sent to boarding-school. His uncle had to go down to Brazil to layout a railroad, ...
-Bill's Skate Sail
The old sheet which Mother furnished us was laid out on the floor and two corners were folded over to the center as shown in the drawing, making a triangle with base 7 feet long and sides each about 4...
-Willow Clump Island
The next day we tried the sails and it didn't take me very long to learn how to steer the device. The wind had changed again and this time blew up the canal. We took the line of least resistance, and ...
-Organizing The Society
The camping idea met with the hearty approval of all, and it was decided to begin preparations at once for the following summer. Dutchy, whose father was a member of a geographical society, suggested ...
-Chapter II. Skate Sails
The duties of the secretary, as defined in the constitution which Dutchy Van Syckel drew up, were to keep a record of all the acts of the society, the minutes of every meeting, and accurate detailed d...
-The Double Swedish Sail
Bill evolved some new types of sails which differed materially from the type described in the first chapter. One was a double sail--the kind they use in Sweden, he explained. One of the sheets which...
-The Single Swedish Sail
Another sail of similar form, but for use of one boy only, is shown in Fig. 10. This had a height of six and one-half feet at the forward end and three feet at the rear; and its length was five feet. ...
-The Lanteen Sail
The lanteen sail we found to be a very good rig. It was made in the form of a triangle, measuring eight feet on one side, seven and one-half feet on another side and six and one-half feet on the third...
-The Danish Sail
But the most satisfactory sail we found to be the Danish sail, though it was not until we had served quite a long apprenticeship and sustained many pretty bad falls that we mastered the art of manipul...
-Bat's Wings
One more sail deserves mention. It was Bill's idea, and it came near to ending his career the first day he tried it. It had no spars at all, but was merely a strip of cloth of somewhat triangular shap...
-Chapter III. Snow Shoes, Skis And Swamp Shoes
The next day, Sunday, it began to snow, and we realized that our chance of skating up to Willow Clump Island was spoiled. All the afternoon it snowed, and the next morning we woke to find the ground c...
-Chair Seat Snow Shoe
The first pair was made from a couple of thin wooden chair seats which we found in the shed. They proved quite serviceable, being very light and offering a fairly large bearing surface. The chair seat...
-Barrel Stave Snow Shoe
Another pair of shoes was made from barrel staves. At first one stave was made to serve for a shoe, but we found that two staves fastened together with a pair of wooden cleats were much better. Jack w...
-Barrel Hoop Snow Shoe
Now that Jack had shown his ingenuity, Fred thought it was his turn to do something, and after mysteriously disappearing for the space of an hour we saw him suddenly come waddling back to the shed on ...
-The Sioux Snow Shoe
The Sioux snow shoe was the first type we tackled. Two strips of hickory 4 feet long and 3/4 inch square in section, were bent over a pair of spreaders and securely fastened together at each end. The ...
-The Iroquois Shoe
But the best snow shoe we made was the Iroquois shoe. The frame of this shoe was made of hickory strips of the same width and thickness as used in the Sioux shoe, but 8 feet long. The strips were bent...
-The Ainu Snow Shoe
One of the snowshoes described in the book was very much like Fred's barrel-hoop snow shoe in appearance. According to the description, it was a type used by the Ainus, a peculiar people living in the...
-The Norwegian Ski
The Norwegian ski was made of close-grained wood, 1 inch thick, 3-1/2 inches wide and 6 feet long. About 18 inches from the forward end the wood was planed down to a thickness of 1/4 of an inch. This ...
-The Swiss Snow Shoe Or Swamp Shoe
The Swiss shoe was made primarily to assist us in exploring some boggy land a short distance up the river from our island. The original swamp shoes were made from the bottoms of two old baskets, and t...
-Chapter IV. Tent Making
We had a farewell meeting of the society the evening before Bill and I had to return to boarding-school. At this meeting plans were made for the Easter vacation. We also considered the matter of getti...
-Word From Uncle Ed
Bill's letter to Uncle Ed was answered as quickly as the mail could travel to Brazil and back. Uncle Ed heartily approved of our plans, and said that he would be delighted to join the expedition. He c...
-The Canvas Tent
When at last spring arrived and we returned to Lamington on our Easter vacation, quite a sum of money had been collected, nearly $15.00, if I remember rightly; at any rate plenty to buy the materials ...
-Tie Blocks
These were made of wood 1/2 inch thick, 1 inch wide and each measured 3 inches long. A hole was drilled into the block at each end and through these holes the rope was threaded. A knot in the rope the...
-The Annex
We were surprised to find out how small the tent was after it was set up. We could see at once that when we had put in all the stores and provisions we would need, there would not be room enough for s...
-Chapter V. Preparing For The Expedition
School closed on the 21st of June that year, just ten days before the expected arrival of Uncle Ed. The first thing we did was to set up our tent in the back yard and camp out so as to become acclimat...
-Tent Fly
Again we had to visit the village storekeeper; this time we bought out his whole remaining stock, sixteen yards of drill. This was cut into four-yard strips, which were sewed together as before and th...
-Provisions And Supplies
The ten days before Uncle Ed arrived were busy indeed. We had to gather together the necessary provisions and supplies. Our personal outfits were very simple. Each member supplied himself with a chang...
-Crossbow
Reddy had a shotgun which he wanted to bring along, but my father, and Dutchy's as well, wouldn't let us go camping if there was to be any gunpowder along, so we had to leave it behind. Of course we d...
-Megaphone
Another device we made in preparation for the expedition was a megaphone. A sheet of light cardboard 30 inches square was procured. At the center of one edge a pin was stuck into the cardboard, then a...
-The Scow
Our scow was made as follows: Two 3/4-inch pine boards, 12 inches wide and 12 feet long, were selected from Reddy's father's lumber pile. These were used for the side pieces of the boat, and we tapere...
-Chapter VI. Off To The Island
The morning of July 2d dawned bright and clear, but long before daybreak the members of the S. S. I. E. E. of W. C. I. were astir. The jolly red sun peeping over the eastern hills witnessed an unaccus...
-A Unique Alarm Clock
We hadn't expected to see Reddy Schreiner at such an early hour, for he was always a sleepyhead, and no alarm clock would ever wake him. But this was an exceptional day, and, besides, Reddy was quite ...
-The Trip To The Island
Our scow was not large enough to carry all the things we had to take with us, but as Mr. Schreiner was going to take Uncle Ed up in his wagon, we left the rest of our luggage for him to bring along. W...
-Preliminary Exploration
As no better position offered at the time we pitched our tent in the clearing, pending a thorough search for a more suitable place elsewhere. Around the tent we dug a trench about a foot deep to preve...
-A Rustic Table
Uncle Ed entered into our fun at once. He was as enthusiastic as a boy over the surroundings, and when we told him of the old bridge he started right off to investigate, taking the ax with him. Soon h...
-The Small Filter
Well, now, boys, said Uncle Ed, wiping the perspiration from his forehead, I am as thirsty as a whale. Where do you get your drinking water? Is there a spring on the island? We told him that we...
-The Barrel Filter
Immediately after breakfast the next day we started out in two parties to search the island. The only discovery of any moment was that made by Dutchy's party, which found a small island separated from...
-The Klepalo
Our camp outfit was further augmented by a dinner call. We discovered the necessity of such a call on our very first day of camping. Dutchy was so excited by his discoveries of the morning that he sta...
-Chapter VII. Surveying
One of the first things we did after getting fairly settled in our new quarters was to make a complete survey of Willow Clump Island and its immediate surroundings. Our surveying instruments were made...
-The Surveying Instrument
Out of a 1-inch board we cut a base 15 inches long and 4 inches wide. In the center we sawed out a circular opening of about 3 inches diameter and covered this at the bottom by a circular piece 1 inch...
-Spirit Levels
From one of his pockets Uncle Ed produced two small bottles, the kind used for holding homeopathic pills. These he filled nearly to the top with water, corked them and wedged them into grooves cut len...
-The Tripod
The tripod head was formed of a wooden disk 5 inches in diameter, with a wooden pin projecting from its center adapted to engage the hole in the circular piece above referred to. To the bottom of the ...
-Surveyor's Chain
We made a surveyor's chain of wire links, each 12 inches long, instead of 7.92 inches, which is the length of a standard surveyor's link. The wire we used was No. 16 galvanized iron, which was rather ...
-The Surveyor's Rod
We completed our outfit by making a surveyor's rod out of a straight stick of wood about 6 feet long. A target or sighting disk was mounted on the stick. This disk was 6 inches in diameter, and was sa...
-A Simple Method Of Surveying
Of course, none of us had studied trigonometry, but Uncle Ed devised a very simple method by which we could determine distances quite accurately without much figuring. If you will tell me the leng...
-Mapping The Island
Most of our surveying was done by actual measurement, the surveying instrument being used only to determine the exact direction of the measurement. However, there were some measurements which we could...
-Chapter VIII. Swimming
Lake Placid was a favorite swimming place for us. We used to plunge in from the branches of a tree which overhung the water a little ways above the lagoon and made a natural springboard. We could all ...
-Swimming On A Plank
We didn't expect to see him again that afternoon, for the pace he was leading should have carried him miles in no time; but while he couldn't swim, Dutchy had his own ideas of fun on the water. It was...
-Shooting The Rapids
The next day, while Uncle Ed was taking a nap, we stole off to the upper end of Lake Placid, each one towing a plank. We needn't have been so afraid of Uncle Ed, for we found out later that he intende...
-Restoring The Drowned
It was on the second day after Dutchy's exploit of the rapids that Bill came so near drowning. He probably would have drowned if Uncle Ed hadn't been on hand to work over him. Bill was a fine swimmer,...
-How To Work Over A Patient Alone
If you boys hadn't been so excited, he said, I would have made you rub Bill's body and limbs while we were pumping the air into him, but I knew you would get in the way, and be more of a bother tha...
-Chapter IX. Bridge Building
Willow Clump Island was, for the most part, a trackless wilderness, and as soon as we had made our map we laid out roads to the different important points. Our main highway ran from Point Lookout to T...
-Spar Bridge
We ran a bridge across the mill-race at its narrowest point. This bridge was made of trees which we had cut down in making our road. It was quite a piece of engineering, built under Uncle Ed's guidanc...
-The Rope Railway
The mill-race was crossed further down by a rope line on which we rigged a traveling carriage. A light manila rope was used, anchored to a tree at each side about fifteen feet from the ground. A pulle...
-Suspension Bridge
Fig. 97. Barrel-stave Flooring. Our aerial railway didn't last long. We soon tired of it, and instead utilized the materials for a rope suspension bridge. We procured from Lumberville half a ...
-Pontoon Bridge
At the head of the mill-race, where the channel was fifty feet wide, we built a pontoon bridge. We were fortunate in securing six good cider barrels at low cost, also a quantity of slabs from one of...
-The King Rod Truss
Our bridge building operations were not entirely confined to the island. Two of them were built on the Schreiner grounds at Lamington. Reddy Schreiner's home was situated a little distance above the t...
-Stiffening The Bridge
The bridge was a pretty good one, except for a slight unsteadiness between the center and either end. When Uncle Ed saw it he showed us at once where the trouble lay. Our intermediate cross beams were...
-The King Post Bridge
The other bridge on the Schreiner property was built in the following summer, just before we started on our second expedition to Willow Clump Island. It spanned the brook at the gorge, and was therefo...
-Chapter X. Canvas Canoes
Like all inhabitants of islands, we early turned our attention to navigation. Our scow was serviceable for transporting materials back and forth across the strips of shallow water between our quarters...
-Uncle Ed's Departure
Owing to a sudden business call Uncle Ed left us after he had been with us nearly three weeks. But, before going, he explained carefully to Bill just how to construct a canvas canoe. Jack, the cook, w...
-A Visit From Mr. Schreiner
We invited Mr. Schreiner to spend the night with us, and this he did after fording with some difficulty the swift-running river. In the morning we showed him our quarters, our filter, the roads we had...
-The Sailing Canoe
Immediately after Mr. Schreiner's departure we started work on the canoe. A strip of spruce 1 inch thick, 3 inches wide and 12 feet long served as the keelson. At the stern a post 1-1/2 inches thick, ...
-Stretching On The Canvas
The frame was laid in the center of the canvas and the latter drawn around it. Then with a large needle and strong twine we sewed both edges of the cloth together with long stitches, lacing the canvas...
-The Rudder
The canoe was now complete except for the rudder, which was cut from a 1/2-inch board to about the shape shown in Fig. 114. Strips 1-1/2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick were nailed to each side of the ...
-The Deep Keel
We planned to use our canoe as a sailboat, and had to provide a deep keel, which, for convenience, was made detachable. This keel was 6 inches wide, 1/2 inch thick and 6 feet long, and was fastened at...
-Canoe Sails
Our boat was fitted with two masts, a mainmast and a mizzen or dandy mast. The former was 6 feet long and the latter 4 feet long, and each measured 1-1/2 inches in diameter at the base, tapering to ab...
-Lee Boards
One thing that bothered us greatly in sailing was the keel of our canoe. It was forever getting twisted, particularly when we tried to make a landing. There were only a few places along the island whe...
-The Indian Paddling Canoe
Our sailing canoe proved such a good one that we decided to build a second. This was to be much lighter, for paddling only, and of the true Indian shape, with wide, bulging sides and raised stem and s...
-Chapter XI. House Building
One afternoon Fred, who had waded over to Lumberville after some provisions, came splashing back holding aloft a large square envelope. It was from Uncle Ed and contained a photograph of a group of Wi...
-The Grass Hut
The grass lodge appealed to us as very picturesque, and we set to work immediately on its construction. We made our hut much smaller, however, only 12 feet in diameter, and 8 or 9 feet high. First we ...
-The Goblins' Dancing Platform
Just above the town of Lumberville there was a cliff which rose sheer 200 feet above the level of the river. So perpendicular was the cliff that a stone dropped from the overhanging ledge at the top w...
-Dutchy Takes A Dare
Our first task was to try some other approach to the top of the cliff. At one side of the overhanging ledge there was a fissure in the rocks which ran from the base of the pillar to the foot of the cl...
-A Path Up The Fissure
It was up this fissure that we decided to haul materials for our tree hut. Our first task was to build steps and ladders in the steepest parts. We had no tool for cutting out niches in the rock, but w...
-Rope Ladders
The rope ladders were made of two parallel side straps, tightly stretched between the fixed sticks, and then at intervals of fifteen inches we inserted the ends of the ladder rung between the strands ...
-The Derrick
A derrick was constructed of two sticks 10 feet long, which were bolted together at the top, and secured about five feet apart at the bottom by a cross piece, as shown in Fig. 136. The derrick was the...
-The Tree House
The tree had two large limbs which extended out at a wide angle from the main trunk. Across these two limbs, at about seven feet out, we laid our first girder, nailing it securely in place. Then to th...
-Sliding Doors
We had two doors; one at the back of the house, from which a ladder extended down to the ground, and another opening out onto the veranda, from which we dropped a ladder down to the Goblins' Dancing P...
-Chapter XII. Trouble With The Tramps
We were a proud lot when the house was finally completed. From the veranda we had an excellent view up and down the river. We could see our camp on the island and keep watch of our goods. Late one aft...
-A Council Of War
Immediately we summoned a war council. Dutchy and Jack were chosen by lot to guard the camp, while the rest of us started in pursuit in canoes. By the time we got under way the sun had dropped back of...
-Vengeance
It seemed as if darkness never would come. It was scarcely dusk when our patience gave out and we paddled up stealthily, hugging the shore. Bill gained the scow unnoticed, but just as he was about to ...
-A Double Surprise
It was now quite dark, and we had some difficulty in groping our way back to camp. There was no moon and the stars were obscured by clouds. Our only course was to follow the shore line until we got ar...
-Tramp-Proof Boat Mooring
Around the camp fire that night we discussed our adventures and made plans to prevent their recurrence. It was evident, for one thing, that we would have to moor our boats off shore in such a way that...
-Chapter XIII. Wigwagging And Heliographing
Our tramp adventure was really quite a blessing to us, for it taught us the necessity of a good signaling system between the Goblins' Platform and the island and led to our learning how to wigwag, and...
-Wigwag Signals
There were only three different movements that could be made with flags, but in the book different combinations of these movements were given to represent each letter of the alphabet and the numbers f...
-Wigwagging At Night
At night we used a torch in place of a flag. The torch consisted of a roll of dried birch bark tied with wire to the end of a staff. It was found necessary to place another torch on the ground directl...
-The Heliograph
The book that Uncle Ed sent us had in it a description of a heliograph, that is, an instrument for sending signals with flashes of sunlight. Although our wigwagging system was good enough for our requ...
-The Single Mirror Instrument
The first thing we did was to procure a small mirror about 4 inches square, mounted in a wooden frame. Then we got a pair of small square head bolts about 1/4 of an inch in diameter and 1 inch long, a...
-The Sight Rod
At the end opposite to where the mirror frame was swiveled we mounted a sight rod, which was merely a round stick of wood 1/2 inch in diameter and about 8 inches long. We cut the stick from one of the...
-The Screen
The screen, or shutter, of the heliograph was mounted on a separate tripod, so as to prevent shaking the mirror when it was operated. It was made something like a window shutter. We cut out two slats,...
-Focusing The Instrument
We were now ready to commence operations with our instruments. The heliograph was set up on the ledge at the top of the cliff. First the disk was turned down, uncovering the point of the sighting rod....
-Heliograph Signaling
When at last we succeeded in properly focusing the mirror Bill pressed the key down three times, sending three quick flashes to Jack as a signal that he was ready to begin. Reddy wigwagged back O. K.,...
-The Double Mirror Instrument
Our heliographing instrument did excellent service sending flashes from the cliff to the island, but we couldn't make it work very well sending messages from the island to the cliff, because we had to...
-Chapter XIV. Ice Boats, Sledges And Toboggans
As our vacation was drawing to a close, we began to make plans for the Christmas holidays. Our previous Christmas vacation had been so completely taken up with preparations for the trip to Willow Clum...
-Breaking Camp
Consequently, on the first day of September we gathered up our belongings, corraled our chickens, packed our goods, and the next day started for home. Mr. Schreiner, in response to a letter from the s...
-The Ice Boat
School commenced on the 20th of September that year, so we hadn't much time to spare. Work was begun immediately on the ice boat. Our first ice boat was rather a crude one. A 2 by 4 inch scantling 14 ...
-The Sledge
Our sledge was patterned after a picture of one used by Peary in one of his Arctic expeditions. First we got four strips of hickory 1 inch thick, 1-1/2 inches wide and 8 feet long for the runners and ...
-The Toboggan
The toboggan was made of light flexible hickory boards, 1/4 of an inch thick, 6 inches wide and 8-1/2 feet long. Three of these boards were used, and they were fastened together with cross sticks or b...
-The Rennwolf
The runners of the rennwolf were made of hickory strips, 1 inch thick, 2 inches wide and 8 feet long. At their forward ends these strips were tapered down to a thickness of 1/2 an inch and curved upwa...
-Ice Creepers
In order to provide a better hold for the propelling foot, we fastened around the toe a strap of leather, through which a number of long tacks projected. Their sharp points would stick into the ice, a...
-Chapter XV. The Subterranean Club
I am afraid we were not very glad to get back to school that fall. It seemed very hard to give up the sport we had been having, and our heads were brimful of new schemes which we could hardly wait to ...
-A Cave-In
Bill had read somewhere that if you dig a cave under a tree the roots of the tree will support the ground on top and make a natural and substantial roof. It sounded very reasonable, we thought; in fac...
-Excavating For The Cave
We immediately set out to make the necessary excavation. The side of a bushy knoll was chosen as a suitable site. First we carefully transplanted the bushes that grew in the square we had marked out f...
-Covering The Cave
We avoided piling on the dirt very deep, because there was danger of breaking in the roof with a heavy load. A thin layer of sand covered with the top-soil brought up the level to about that of the re...
-The Big Bug Club
Of course, we had to organize a secret society, to occupy our subterranean dwelling. In that I fear we overstepped the rules of the school. Of course, Mr. Clark knew of our cave, in fact he visited us...
-Midnight Banquets
I suppose we could have just as easily have tiptoed downstairs and out the back door, but it would have spoiled the romance of it all. The absolute stillness and the pitch black darkness of the night ...
-The Club Pin
The only other charm our secret club afforded was the wearing of a mysterious club pin. It was a silver beetle, with the letter G engraved on the head and the letter B on the body, while down the cent...
-The Combination Lock
We found it necessary to close the entrance of our cave with a door fastened with a padlock, so as to keep meddlers out. The entire school had watched us build the cave house, and, of course, knew jus...
-Chapter XVI. Scooters
Hello, Dutchy! What in thunder have you got there? It was Bill who spoke. We were on our way home for the winter holidays, and had been held up at Millville by Reddy Schreiner, who had informed us t...
-A Sail In The Scow
There was nothing to do but to jump in, though I, for one, would have taken the train in preference had there been one inside of two hours. Dutchy, however, seemed to be in a surprisingly good humor, ...
-Our Craft Strikes The Ice
Dutchy talked so incessantly that we hadn't noticed the field of ice which we were nearing. Just at this point Bill turned around with an exclamation. Here, Dutchy, you crazy fellow, where are you...
-The Scooter Scow
A Sail on the Scooter Scow. Fig. 191. Scow with Runners nailed on. The only thing we could do was to wait until the wind or current carried us to the ice or land. In the meantime D...
-Scooter Sailing
But to return to our sail home to Lamington, we were not out on the open water long before the current carried us back to the ice ledge. Reddy jumped off and soon returned with the steering oar; then ...
-A Meeting Of The Society
Why not mount the sailing canoe on runners, instead of the scow? You would have a very light rig then, and it would sail like a streak. Mr. President, said Reddy, your plan sounds first-rate, ...
-An Interview With Mr. Van Syckel
This was agreed upon, and in the morning, as soon as breakfast had been downed, the entire society marched in a body into Mr. Van Syckel's library. I was appointed spokesman, with Bill to back me, whi...
-The Scooter Canoe
Naturally we were very much elated at our success, and straightway made for the barn, where we began operations on the scooter canoe. The sleigh was an old-fashioned affair, with rather broad wooden r...
-Chapter XVII. An Arctic Expedition
As soon as our scooter canoe was completed we prepared for the long-planned winter expedition to Willow Clump Island. The weather conditions were ideal. We had had ten days of steady cold weather, whi...
-Willow Clump Island In Winter
We brought no tent with us, as we expected to take up our quarters in the straw hut. When we reached the hut we hardly recognized it. It was almost completely covered with snow and looked like an Eski...
-Kindling A Camp Fire
In the meantime Jack scoured the island for some dry wood. In this he was not very successful, because everything was covered with snow, and when he tried to kindle a fire in the open space in front o...
-The Outdoor Fireplace
But there were more things to be learned about open fires. In our summer outing Jack had done most of his cooking on a kerosene stove, and he soon found that it was a very different matter to cook ove...
-A Stone-Paved Fireplace
The following summer we continued our open fireplace experiments. Instead of using logs we drove stakes into the ground, forming a small circular stockade about 2 feet high and 3 feet in diameter. A p...
-A Cold Night In The Hut
But to return to our experiences on the island. We found it very cold on the first night in the hut. We were afraid to build a fire inside lest the straw thatchings would catch lire, and so we huddled...
-Mountain Climbing
Each fellow was provided with a pair of ice creepers of the same sort as we had used in connection with the rennwolf (see page 170). In addition to this each boy was provided with a home-made alpine s...
-A Poor Shelter
The climb was without mishap and we reached our tree house, only to find it so badly racked by storm and weather that it was clearly out of the question to attempt to spend the night there. The wind h...
-A Costly Camp Fire
After supper Bill and Reddy went into the hut to arrange the straw bedding, while the rest of us gathered wood for a huge bonfire in front of the hut. The wind was blowing right down the river and we ...
-A Friend In Time Of Trouble
Old Jim Halliday greeted us very gruffly. He said he wouldn't have us in his barn. You'll be amussin' up the hay so't wouldn't be fit fer the horses to eat. Any boy that is fool enough to build a fir...
-Chapter XVIII. Tramping Outfits
Our winter expedition to Willow Clump Island filled us with a wholesome respect for Arctic explorers. If we could find it so uncomfortable with the thermometer only at 10 degrees above zero, what woul...
-Sleeping Bags
In one of the books Dutchy came across the description of a sleeping bag. It was made of reindeer's skin sewed into a large bag with the fur side turned in. This bag was large enough to hold three or ...
-Bill's "Mummy Case."
Our second sleeping bag was Bill's own design, and was, in many respects, an improvement on the first, though it looked ridiculously like an Egyptian mummy case. The inner bags were just like those of...
-The "A" Tent
Fig. 205. The A Tent. In connection with the sleeping bags it may be well to describe here a curious shelter Dutchy and I came across in one of our tramps. It was just about dusk one day wh...
-A Camp Chair
The camp was also furnished with an easy canvas chair, made by driving a couple of short posts in the ground for front legs and a pair of longer ones for the back. A piece of canvas was hung over thes...
-The Camp Bed
Fig. 208. Canvas Bed. But what interested us most was the form of bed they had. This, like the chair, consisted of a piece of canvas arranged to be supported on posts cut from the woods in th...
-The Camp Bed In A Shower
As a precaution against rain, a tall post was set up at the head and another at the foot of the bed, and a rope was stretched over the posts with the ends fastened to stakes drive n into the ground. O...
-A Nightmare
I slept in the mummy case that night and Dutchy in the first sleeping bag. It must have been about midnight when I was awakened by a most unearthly yell. It sent the cold chills running up and down my...
-Pack Harness
In the morning our friends broke camp and started westward. Dutchy and I watched them packing up their goods into a couple of very compact bundles, which they strapped to their backs with a peculiar p...
-Riveting
The method of riveting together the leather straps may need a word of explanation. A copper rivet was passed through a hole in the two straps; then the washer was slipped over the projecting end of th...
-Chapter XIX. The Land Yacht
Only one thing of importance occurred between our Christmas holidays and Eastertide: this was Bill's invention of the tricycle sailboat or land yacht. We had returned to school with sailing on the bra...
-The Frame Of The Yacht
I followed him to the shed at the back of the school and found that he had already procured a couple of scantlings for the frame of the boat. The sticks were 2 inches thick and 4 inches wide. The back...
-A Simple Turnbuckle
At the hardware store of the town we bought a pound of No. 16 iron Fig. 215. The Backbone and Crosspiece. wire, eight large screw eyes and six eye bolts, with nuts and washers. Both th...
-Stepping The Mast
Our next task was to step the mast. We found in the shed an old flagstaff 15 feet long and 3 inches in diameter. The lower end of this, for about a foot, we whittled down to a diameter of 2 inches, an...
-Mounting The Frame On Bicycle Wheels
We were now ready to mount the frame on the bicycle wheels. We used only the front wheels of the bicycles with the forks in which they were journaled. The shanks at the top of the forks were firmly dr...
-The Tiller
For a tiller we used a piece of an old rake handle. A small hole was first drilled into the handle and the end of the stick was then split through the hole, permitting the projecting shank of the fork...
-A "Leg-Of-Mutton" Sail
Everything was now completed but the sail. This was a triangular or leg-of-mutton affair, of the dimensions given in Fig. 222. It was made of light canvas, 30 inches wide, of which we bought 14 yard...
-A Sail Through The Country
Our land yacht proved to be quite a successful craft in the flat country around the school. Of course, we could not sail everywhere; a country road is too narrow for any tacking when it comes to saili...
-Chapter XX. Easter Vacation
Just before Easter that year Bill's Aunt Dorothy invited him to spend Eastertide with her and bring along his roommate. I accepted the invitation with alacrity. Bill had once spent a whole summer at h...
-Bill's Cave
He introduced me to a cave which he believed was known to only two other boys, both of whom had since moved to New York city. The mouth of the cave was almost closed by a large boulder that had lodged...
-The Barrel Stave Hammock
Hanging between a couple of projecting rocks was a hammock made of barrel staves. The hammock was a very simple affair, made by drilling a 1-inch hole in each end of each barrel stave. The staves were...
-The Barrel Armchair
Aside from the hammock and the rustic furniture there was a fine armchair, made from a barrel that had been sawed off, as in Fig. 229, to form the arms and back. The barrel was raised from the ground ...
-The Summer Toboggan
Bill informed me that he and his two chums used to spend hot summer afternoons in this cool place whittling out various ornaments and making furniture for the cave. In one corner were a number of home...
-Tailless Kites
There's a better place over on the other side of the hill, he said, and led the way to his favorite coasting spot. Fig. 234. Coasting in Summer. But here our attention was dive...
-A Five-Foot Malay Kite
For the 5-foot kite we used two sticks of hickory 3/8 of an inch wide, 1/2 an inch thick, and each 5 feet long. According to directions, one stick was laid across the other at a point two-elevenths of...
-An Eight-Foot Malay Kite
Our 8-foot kite was made in the same way only the sticks were 3/4 inch thick, 1 inch wide and 8 feet long. The cross stick was fastened 17-1/2 inches (two-elevenths of 8 feet) from the top of the back...
-The Elastic Belly Band
An important change was made in the belly band of the kite. The lower strand was made elastic by tying it fast to a number of heavy rubber bands, as in Fig. 242. When flying the kite, if a sudden, str...
-Putting The Kites To Work
Bill tested the strength of the kite once by hooking a spring scale to the kite string. The scale was made to register weights up to 25 pounds. But our kite yanked the pointer immediately past the 25-...
-The Diamond Box Kite
Professor Keeler also gave us instructions for making a diamond-shaped box kite, and though we never built one, it may not be amiss to publish his instructions here. I quote from the chronicles of the...
-Chapter XXI. The Water Wheel
Summer found us again on Willow Clump Island with heads full of new ideas. Bill had come across an old copy of Ewbanks' Hydraulics in the school library. It was a book describing machines of the anc...
-The Water Wheel
Our first work on reaching the island was to erect a water wheel, or noria, as it was called in the book, in front of the camp. It had been a great nuisance to keep our filter barrel full. Every few...
-Surveying For The Water Wheel
We first determined the height of the upper filter barrel above the level of the river. This was done with our surveying instrument, which was set level with the top of the barrel. We sighted with the...
-Towers For The Water Wheel
First we built the towers to support the wheel. One tower was 16 feet high and the other only 10 feet. The large tower was made something like a very tall and narrow saw-horse. Two stout poles 17 feet...
-The Wheel
We were now ready to make the wheel. From Lumberville four 1/2-inch boards, each 3 inches wide and 15 feet long, were procured; also a bar of iron 3/4 of an inch in diameter and 2 feet long. At the ce...
-The Buckets
Eight large tomato cans were now procured and fastened to the spokes at the ends on the inner side, that is, the side the hub was nailed to. We couldn't very well nail on the cans, so we punched two h...
-The Paddles
Then we cut sixteen paddles of the form shown in Fig. 257. Eight of these were 12 inches long, and the rest measured 18 inches. A slot 3 inches deep was cut in each paddle of just the right width to s...
-The Receiving Trough
Our next task was to nail the receiving trough in place on the higher tower. We set up the towers on land and mounted the wheel between them with the axle resting in the crotch of the short tower and ...
-Setting Up The Towers
Our filter was located nearly 20 feet from the end of the river, and in order to get a good current of water to revolve our wheel we had to place it about 15 feet from shore. This necessitated buildin...
-Mounting The Water Wheel
Then came the task of mounting our wheel in place. We were working in a pretty strong current and found it no easy matter. In the first place, the wheel was floated down to the towers, but there it go...
-Cooling The Filter Barrel
The trough line was very leaky and a great deal of water splashed out of the buckets. But for all that, within a few moments our barrel was full and overflowing. We hadn't figured on its filling so ra...
-The Canvas Bucket
This same trick was used for cooling our drinking water whenever we went off on an expedition away from camp. We had a heavy canvas bucket, the kind used on ships. We would fill this bucket with water...
-Mr. Halliday's Water Wheel
We thought he was fooling at first, but when he had assured us that he was in earnest, Bill told him that we needed our own plant, but we could build him a similar and even better current wheel for an...
-Chapter XXII. The Log Cabin
Immediately after fitting out Jim Halliday with his water wheel we set to work on our log cabin. As a model we had a photograph of a log hut which Uncle Ed had sent us. As the cabin was designed parti...
-Foundation Of Log Cabin
First we staked out the plan of the house. It was to be 12 feet long by 10 feet wide, so we leveled off a space of this area, and at the corners, where the greatest weight of the building would come, ...
-A Logging Expedition
The logs for the house were cut from a tract of wooded land about five miles up the river, belonging to Mr. Schreiner. To be sure we could have cut the timber from our own island, but when Reddy had s...
-The Log Raft
This was done by running a pair of ropes alternately over and under the logs at each end (see Fig. 264). About fifteen were thus fastened together, and then as an extra precaution a log was laid acros...
-The Sail-Rigged Raft
When we went up the river again we carried the oars with us, also the sail and mast belonging to our ice boat, as there was a good breeze blowing down-stream. Our second trip was more successful. The ...
-Building The Log Cabin
Our third expedition completed the number of logs we required for the log cabin. Two large 12-foot logs were chosen for the foundation logs at the front and rear of the building. The logs were flatten...
-The Roof Of The Log Cabin
Then we started laying the roof. A 16-foot log was now notched in place at each side, with its forward end projecting about 3 feet over the front of the cabin to form a shelter in front of the buildin...
-The Door And Window Frames
We were now ready to cut out and frame the doors and window openings. The front window of the cabin was to be close beside the door, so we merely widened the door opening at the top to include the win...
-The Fireplace
Then came the task of building our fireplace. First we sawed out the opening, cutting right through the rear foundation log. Then we gathered from the river a large number of the flattest stones we co...
-The Proper Way To Build A Stone Wall
In making our chimney we could not rely on the red shale to hold the stones as firmly as good lime mortar would, so we had to be careful that each stone, as it was laid, had a firm bearing. The stones...
-The Floor Of The Cabin
A number of logs were now laid on the ground to serve as floor beams. Slabs were used for the floor. We had some trouble in making the floor perfectly even, because the floor beams were rather irregul...
-The Door Hinges And Latch
A door was now constructed by battening together a number of slabs. In place of a hinge a hole was drilled into the sill and another into the lintel directly in line with it. Two sticks of wood were t...
-The Window Sash
For our windows we made wooden sashes which fitted nicely into the window openings. A small hole was drilled through the sash at each side into the frame, and nails inserted in these holes held the sa...
-Bunks
Our next work was directed toward providing sleeping accommodations in the log cabin. A large log was laid on the floor the full length of the cabin, as far out as possible without interfering with th...
-Stopping Up The Chinks
The log cabin was completed by stopping up all the chinks between the logs of the walls. Strips of wood and bits of bark plastered with mud were driven into all the cracks and crevices until everythin...
-Chapter XXIII. The Windmill
When our log cabin was completed we immediately transferred our camp from the tent to the hut. But at the very outset we were confronted with the problem of getting drinking water. We hadn't thought o...
-Digging The Well
That sounded logical, and so we adopted the plan at once. We chose a spot quite near the hut for our well. When we had dug down about 6 feet we struck water, but continued excavating until the water l...
-The Windmill Tower
The mouth of the well was carefully covered with planks while we constructed the windmill above it. For the tower of the windmill we chose four long sticks. They must have measured about 16 feet in le...
-The Crank Shaft
The shaft was a piece of heavy iron rod which we procured from the blacksmith at Lumberville. Under Bill's direction the blacksmith hammered a U-shaped bend at the center of the shaft, so as to form a...
-The Wind Wheel
Our next task was to construct the wind wheel. First we procured three boards, each 3 inches wide and 3-1/2 feet long. A 1/2-inch hole was drilled in the center of each board, and then, with these hol...
-A Simple Brake
A brisk northerly wind was blowing when we set the wheel in place, and it began to revolve at once, before we could nail it to the clamp. To stop it we nailed a stick of wood to the tower, so that its...
-The Pump
Our pump was made of a galvanized leader pipe; that is, a pipe used to carry off rain water from the roof of the house. The pipe was only about 8 feet long, and so we had to piece it out with a long w...
-The Pump Valves
We plugged the bottom of the leader pipe with a block of wood, in the center of which a large hole was drilled. The hole was covered with a piece of leather nailed at one side, so that it could lift u...
-Action Of The Pump
It was rather a crude pump, but it did all the work we required of it. As the wheel went around the crank shaft would move the piston up and down. Whenever the piston went down, the air in the pipe wo...
-Chapter XXIV. The Gravity Railroad
About all we lack now, said Dutchy, when the windmill had been completed, is a railroad. Then suppose we build one, was Bill's unexpected rejoinder. We all thought he was joking, but he wa...
-The Car
First we got a 2x4-inch scantling, and cut from it two lengths, each 4 feet 6 inches long. These were laid on edge just 30 inches apart, and then a number of boards were nailed across from one scantli...
-The Flanged Wheels
Next we sawed out the wheels of our car. From a board of hardwood 3/4 of an inch thick four disks, 12 inches in diameter, were sawed out. Then from a board 1 inch thick four 9-inch disks were sawed ou...
-The Car Axles
For the car axles we bought four 1/2-inch bolts, 6 inches long, with two washers and two nuts for each bolt. In each side of the car, about 8 inches from the ends, we nailed face blocks; that is, bloc...
-Mounting The Wheels
First a washer was placed on the axle, then the wheel was applied, with the larger or flange disk against the face block, after which another washer was slipped on. Fig. 299. Car Body with ...
-The Railway Track
The trestle was now begun. First we erected a level platform, which was to be the starting point of the railway. This was made very substantial by planting the corner posts firmly in the ground and th...
-The Carpenter's Miter Box
To make sure that the ends were all cut to the same angle, we made a carpenter's miter box. Two sideboards were nailed to a baseboard, making a trough large enough for the scantling to be set in it....
-Laying The Track
From the bottom of the inclined trestleway we continued the track down the slope to the river; but for the sake of economy, instead of using 2 x 4-inch scantlings for the rails, we bought a number of ...
-The First Railway Accident
Dutchy was the first one to try the railway. He sneaked back to the platform while the rest of us were putting a few last touches on the track. The first we knew the car came tearing down the track at...
-Testing The Track
We had to cut a new flange disk for the broken wheel, and to prevent the flanges from splitting off again we nailed a batten across the inner face of each wheel extending down to the very edge of the ...
-Chapter XXV. The Cantilever Bridge
There is one more piece of work done by our society which yet remains to be described, and that is the cantilever bridge. This we all voted to be the greatest of our achievements on the island. To be ...
-Frames For The Cantilever Bridge
The frames with which the cantilever bridge was built were made of saplings from 3 to 4 inches in diameter. We procured them from Mr. Schreiner's lands up the river. In making the frames the sticks we...
-Erecting The Towers
We built the complete set of frames before attempting to erect the bridge. Then we began by building the towers. Two A frames were set on end and spaced 4 feet apart at the top and 5 feet apart at the...
-Setting Up The Frames
A B frame was now hauled out to one of the towers and lifted by its narrower end, with fall and tackle, until its lower tie piece rested on the projecting ends of the center crosspieces of the tower. ...
-Binding And Anchoring The Structure
As the different frames were coupled together, we bound the overlapping ends with soft iron wire. The place where frames B, C, E and F came together was quite a vital point, and we took pains to make ...
-The Center Panels Of The Bridge
First, the frame H was wedged into place and thoroughly fastened by a liberal winding of wire. Next the frames I and J were set in place, and in order to do this we had to remove the upper tie pieces ...
-A Serious Interruption
We were just preparing to lay the tracks across the bridge when we met with a serious interruption. Mr. Halliday had told us that a few days before our arrival that summer Mr. Smith, the owner of the ...
-Dispossessed
But the new owner of the island was even more of a boor than we had anticipated. As soon as he landed he wanted to know what we were doing on his property, and peremptorily ordered us off. Bill ans we...
-Farewell To Willow Clump Island
We spent several days on Kite Island, knowing that we were safe from intrusion, because the Gill crowd had but one boat, and that was on the Jersey side of the island. We felt confident that they woul...
-Reddy's Cantilever Bridge
I believe I have given a careful account of everything that was recorded in the chronicles of the society. We were too discouraged to undertake anything new in the two weeks before school opened. I pr...
-Scientific American
The Most Popular Scientific Paper in the World SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN Established 1845 Weekly, $3.00 A Year; $1.50 Six Months This unrivaled periodical is now in its sixtieth year, and, owing to...









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