The rapid increase in our subscription list during the past few months is very gratifying to the publishers of this magazine. The wide territory from which subscriptions have been received enables us to say that the "Sun never sets on Amateur Work."
Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Hawaii, Alaska, many countries in South America and Europe gives to our circulation an international character.
This may prove of decided value to the "Society of Model Makers" when organized, enabling the members by correspondence to obtain information about work in all sections of the globe. As our readers undoubtedly have kindred interests, those contemplating a foreign trip will be given the names of subscribers in the countries they contemplate visiting, and we feel confident that acquaintances formed in this way will be pleasant and profitable to both visitor and visited.
The organizing of the "Society of Model Engineers" is progressing as rapidly as circumstances will permit, much correspondence being necessary in the drafting of the articles of incorporation, constitution and by-laws. We have received a large number of letters from readers expressing a desire on the part of the writers to become members, and we have no question of the very successful results which will follow when the Society is in active operation. Many writers have suggested that the Society procure designs and, parts for model engines, tools, etc., and one of the first things to be taken up will be the offering of prizes for the best designs and descriptions for various models. Readers having any particular wants in this line, are invited to express them by letter, that those of greatest interest may receive first consideration.The mention of the proposed " Society of Model Makers" has occasioned this question from a few readers - "Of what value is model making?" The answer has been the subject of a number, of articles in this column, but its importance is great enough to warrant further attention.
The making and use of well designed and constructed working models, is probably the best possible method of learning the construction and operation of the machine of which they are a reproduction on a small scale, short of actual work upon those of full size. As circumstances prevent the great majority of readers from complying with the latter condition, the model alone remains as a subject for work and study, hence its great utility as a means of instruction, combined generally with the additional advantage of being the source of much enjoyment.
The practical side lies in the fact that knowledge acquired in this way may, at some future time be of the utmost value in fitting one to occupy a more responsible position in industrial life, but even if such direct benefits should not follow, many advantages not so evident are quite probable. The ability to grasp mechanical con.-ditions may enable one to appreciate the merits or the faults of an invention or industrial enterprise to the end that a profitable venture is begun or an unprofitable one avoided.
The amateur mechanic or electrician of ability and experience is not the one who puts time or money into Keeley motors, non-refillable bottles or gold-from-sea-water delusions, but, on the contrary, it is the class who have given no time to model making and study, and are consequently without the education to be derived therefrom who, because of that ignorance cannot discover the false note accompanying such enterprises, and rush into investments which can never prove profitable, and many times lose the savings of years.