This section is from the book "Amateur Work Magazine Vol6". Also available from Amazon: Amateur Work.
The touchstone of the jeweler is known as basanite, a silicious rock or jasper of a velvety, black color. It is used to determine the amount of alloy in gold, the mark of the specimen on the stone being compared with the various known grades of gold.
The discoveries connected with radio-activity have enormously increased the estimated stores of energy surrounding us, but these stores have not yet yielded up mechanical effect for the use of man, if we except the radium clock.
The element of power is the most vital of any that enters into the cost of the manufactured article, therefore, the constant endeavor has been and is, to produce power at the lowest cost. The enormous loss which lies in the conversion of coal into work is due to the large number of transformations which the thermal units are obliged to pass through before the desired result is obtained. Fuel burned directly at or in the engine has been found to accomplish the purpose by reducing the number of intermediate transformations. This type of engine is the gas engine, which has now reached the point of economical and satisfactory operation.
A good use for the phonograph is its employment for preserving records of rapidly decaying dialecis of the Isle of Man and Guerns y. In the former island the dialect language is one of the Gaelic group, and so rapidly is it disappearing, that it is anticipated that it will become exti:.ct during the present generation. The 'Manx Language Society is despatching phonographs to remote paits of the Island, the aged inhabitants of which still retain a pure accent, and the numerous records thereby obtained aie to be preserved. In Guernsey the dialect is the old Norman French, and in its main features is exactly the same as that used by the cultured class in England in the early centuries. In this instance, it is said, the phonograph is to be utilized for the collect ion of the dialect poems, folk songs and folk lore of the island.
To clean smoky chimneys, dilute a teaspoonful of sulphuric acid (oil of vitriol; with live or six times its bulk of water. Dip into the solution a piece of flan-nel tied to to a stick and draw the flannel through the chimney, then rinse in water and wipe dry.