Interposing low pressure steam turbines between reciprocating engines and their condensers is becoming an increasing custom. The provision of a producer and a gas engine in lieu of a steam plant for propulsion purposes on freight boats in Germany is also attracting attention. Eleven of these boats, carrying 240 tons of freight each, have been thus equipped. The fuel consumption has been found to be only 1.32 pounds of anthracite coal per h. p. hour.
To remove rust from steel, immerse the article to be cleaned in a strong solution of cyanide of potassium. Mix to the consistency of thick cream a paste of cyanide potassium, castile soap, whitening and water, and after immersion, brush the steel briskly, using the paste.
A fatal accident in a San Francisco sewer, due to the presence of foul air in a dead end, again calls attention to the necessity of care in entering such places unless it is known that they are properly ventilated. It sometimes happens that in old combined sewers an opportunity is afforded for foul air to collect, and anyone who enters such a pocket does so at the risk of death. In the San Francisco case a workman entered such a dead end in order to clean out a connecting sewer entering it. He was overcome by the gases and lost his life, and several men who entered the sewer to recover his body barely escaped. Such places in a sewerage system should not exist, but as they still remain in some cities, effective precautions should be taken to prevent any such fatalities to the men who must work in them.
The flaming arc lamp was rather late in securing a footing in this country, but is now receiving enough careful study by American electricical engineers to afford definite information before long concerning its place among our illuminating apparatus, says the "Engineering Record. " Its brilliant light, yellow, white or pink, makes it an astonishing sight, while its efficiency is equally surprising. It gives from five to ten times as much light per watt as the common enclosed arc lamp, and bids fair to become as cheap as any illu-minant. At present it labors under the disadvantage of evolving such a quantity of fnmes that its use indoors is unadvisable until some remedy for this condition is found. It must also be trimmed more often than the enclosed arc lamp, being on a par with the open arc in this respect.
The " Boiler Maker " gives the following receipt for steam titters' cement. Dissolve one part, by weight, rubber or gutta percha in sufficient carbon disulphide to give it the consistency of molasses, then mix with six parts, by weight, linseed oil and leave exposed to the air for twenty four hours; then mix to a putty with red lead. A less brittle cement is made by using oxide of iron in place of red lead.
When made in thin sheets, gold has remarkable properties, says the "Engineer." Gold leaf used by decorators is transparent, and the light which passes through it is green. If, however, a film of the metal thinner than this is obtained, its color by transmitted light inclines to blue purple. If these thin films are subjected to an annealing process, below the melting point of gold, the transparency is much increased and the color varies from pale brown to pale pink.
Progress in mechanical flight is slow but sure, says the " Engineer. " Orville and Wilbur Wright have for three years been experimenting with inclined curved surfaces, first in gliding flight and more recently, with newer propulsion. Last fall they succeeded in making flights of 20 miles made up of straight lines, circles and ellipses, with aud against a stiff breeze and in calm weather. The weight of machine and operator was 629 pounds and the gasoline engine used was a 34 h. p. air-cooled, four cylinder machine. Several eye-witnesses have substantially corroborated the statements of the Messrs. Wright in regard to these flights which were made near Dayton, O. This achievement which has recently been announced to the Aero Club of America seems to mark distinctly the beginning of successful mechanical flight by a power driven machine carrying a man.
A circular of the Crude Oil Power Co. 101 Life Building, Kansas City, Mo., is interesting in explaining a device handled to furnish the source of power for gas engines. The mechanism and principle involves a horizontal rotating drum with interior spiral ribs, enclosed in an outer casing. The crude oil enters the drum at one end, and by rotation and the spiral ribs, is carried slowly and uniformly through it. While the oil is passing through the drum it is exposed to sufficient heat to generate gas, which is drawn off and utilized by the engine in proportion to the amount generated and the residue is discharged.
The heat is supplied by the exhaust of the engine, which passes between the drum and the outer shell, keeps the drum at a certain temperature, just high enough to get ail the gas out of the oil. The rotating drum stirs up the oil, turns it over, carries it in a thin sheet up on the sides of the drum and exposes it to the heat. This is the best method of generating gas from crude oil. By it the gas is generated without an excessive amount of heat, the residue is discharged as soon as the gas is extracted, thereby obviating the necessity of the continuous cleaning heretofore necessary, while it insures a regular uniform supply of gas to the engine. Owing to the difference in cost between gasoline and crude oil, comparing as some 18 to 4 cents, and it is stated one gallon of crude oil will develop nearly as much power as a corresponding amount of gasoline, the bringing of this California practice East deserves attention.