The same principle has been applied by the genius of Sir William Armstrong and others to the working of cranes and other machines for the lifting of weights, etc.; and under the form of the accumulator, with its distributing pipes and hydraulic engines, it provides a store of power always ready for application at any required point in a large system, yet costing practically nothing when not actually at work. This system of high pressure mains worked from a central accumulator has been for some years in existence at Hull, as a means of supplying power commercially for all the purposes needed in a large town, and it is at this moment being carried out on a wider scale in the East End of London.

Taking advantage of this system, and combining with it another scientific principle of wide applicability, Mr. J.H. Greathead has brought out an instrument called the "injector hydrant," which seems likely to play an important part in the extinguishing of fires. This second principle is that of the lateral induction of fluids, and may be thus expressed in the words of the late William Froude: "Any surface which in passing through a fluid experiences resistance must in so doing impress on the particles which resist it a force in the line of motion equal to the resistance." If then these particles are themselves part of a fluid, it will result that they will follow the direction of the moving fluid and be partly carried along with it. As applied in the injector hydrant, a small quantity of water derived from the high pressure mains is made to pass from one pipe into another, coming in contact at the same time with a reservoir of water at ordinary pressure. The result is that the water from the reservoir is drawn into the second pipe through a trumpet-shaped nozzle, and may be made to issue as a stream to a considerable height.

Thus the small quantity of pressure-water, which, if used by itself, would perhaps rise to a height of 500 feet, is made to carry with it a much larger quantity to a much smaller height, say that of an ordinary house.

The above are only a few of the many instances which might be given to prove the general truth of the fact with which we started, namely, the close and reciprocal connection between physical science and mechanical engineering, taking both in their widest sense. It may possibly be worth while to return again to the subject, as other illustrations arise. Two such have appeared even at the moment of writing, and though their practical success is not yet assured, it may be worth while to cite them. The first is an application of the old principle of the siphon to the purifying of sewage. Into a tank containing the sewage dips a siphon pipe some thirty feet high, of which the shorter leg is many times larger than the longer. When this is started, the water rises slowly and steadily in the shorter column, and before it reaches the top has left behind it all or almost all of the solid particles which it previously held in suspension. These fall slowly back through the column and collect at the bottom of the tank, to be cleared out when needful. The effluent water is not of course chemically pure, but sufficiently so to be turned into any ordinary stream.

The second invention rests on a curious fact in chemistry, namely, that caustic soda or potash will absorb steam, forming a compound which has a much higher temperature than the steam absorbed. If, therefore, exhaust-steam be discharged into the bottom of a vessel containing caustic alkali, not only will it become condensed, but this condensation will raise the temperature of the mass so high that it may be employed in the generation of fresh steam. It is needless to observe how important will be the bearing of this invention upon the working of steam engines for many purposes, if only it can be established as a practical success. And if it is so established there can be no doubt that the experience thus acquired will reveal new and valuable facts with regard to the conditions of chemical combination and absorption, in the elements thus brought together.

WALTER R. BROWNE.