With the idyls and historic or picturesque subjects that the Universal Exposition gives us the occasion to publish, we thought we would make a happy contrast by selecting a subject of a different kind, by presenting to our readers Mr. Layraud's fine picture, which represents the gigantic power hammer used at the St. Chamond Forges and Steel Works in the construction of our naval guns. By the side of the machinery gallery and the Eiffel tower this gigantic apparatus is well in its place.

MARINE IRON AND STEEL WORKS AT SAINT CHAMOND

UNIVERSAL EXPOSITION - BEAUX ARTS - MARINE IRON AND STEEL WORKS AT SAINT CHAMOND - PRESENTATION OF A PIECE OF ORDNANCE UNDER THE VERTICAL HAMMER. - PICTURE BY M. JOSEPH LAYRAUD.

The following is the technical description that has been given to us to accompany our engraving: In an immense hall, measuring 260 ft. in length by 98 ft. in width, a gang of workmen has just taken from the furnace a 90 ton ingot for a large gun for an armor-clad vessel. The piece is carried by a steam crane of 140 tons power, and the men grouped at the maneuvering levers are directing this incandescent mass under the power hammer which is to shape it. This hammer, whose huge dimensions allow it to take in the object treated, is one of the largest in existence. Its striking mass is capable of reaching 100 tons, and the height of the fall is 16 ft. To the left of the hammer is seen a workman getting ready to set it in motion. It takes but one man to maneuver this apparatus, and this is one of the characteristic features of its construction.

The beginning of this hammer's operation, as well as the operations of the forge itself, which contains three other hammers of less power, dates back to 1879. It is with this great hammer that the largest cannons of the naval artillery - those of 16 inches - have been made (almost all of which have been manufactured at St. Chamond), and those, too, of 14, 13, and 12 inches. This is the hammer, too, that, a few months ago, was the first to be set at work on the huge 13 in. guns of new model, whose length is no less than 52 ft. in the rough.

Let us add a few more figures to this account in order to emphasize the importance of the installations which Mr. Layraud's picture recalls, and which our great French industry has not hesitated to establish, notwithstanding the great outlay that they necessitated. This huge hammer required foundations extending to a depth of 32 ft., and the amount of metal used in its construction was 2,640,000 pounds. The cost of establishing the works with all the apparatus contained therein was $400,000. - Le Monde Illustre.