This section is from the book "Bepler's Handy Manual of Knowledge And Useful Infomation", by David Bepler. Also available from Amazon: Bepler's Handy Manual of Knowledge and Useful Information.
The Largest Fortification in the World
The largest single fortification is Fortress Monroe, at Norfolk, Virginia. It has already cost the U. 8. Government over three million dollars. The water battery is considered one of the finest military works of the world.
The Largest Hanging Bell in the World
The largest hanging bell in the world is in a Buddhist monastery, near Canton, China. It is eighteen feet high and forty-five feet in circumference, and is of solid bronze. It is one of eight great bells which were cast by command of the Emperor Yung-lo about a. d. 1400, and is said to have cost the lives of eight men, who were killed during the process cf casting. The whole bell, both inside and out, is covered with an inscription in embossed Chinese characters about half an inch long, covering even the handle, the total number being 84,000. The characters tell a single story - one of the Chinese classics.
Largest Cave in the World
The largest cave is Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, U. S., in it is a subterranean river which is navigable and contains blind fishes.
Largest Body of Fresh Water on the Earth
The largest body of fresh water is Lake Superior, U. S., its greatest length is 400 miles and it3 greatest breath is 160 miles; its mean depth is 90 fathoms, its area is 32,000 square miles, it is about 635 feet above the sea level.
Largest Island in the World
The largest island is Australia. It is 2,500 miles in length from east to west and 1,950 miles from north to south; it has an area of 2,984,287 square miles, about as large as the United States of America.
The Longest Tunnel in the World
The longest tunnel is St. Gothard, on the line of railroad between Lucerne and Milan. The summit of the tunnel is 990 feet below the surface at Andermatt, and 6,600 feet beneath the peak of Kastelhorn of the St. Gothard group. The tunnel is 26 1/2 feet wide and 19 feet 10 inches from floor to the crown of the arched roof, it is 48,840 feet long, nearly 10 miles.
Most Extensive Park in the World
The most extensive park is Deer Park in the environs of Copenhagen, in Denmark, Europe. The inclosure contains 4,200 acres of land and a small river runs through it.
Longest Span of Telegraph Wire in the World
The longest span of telegraph wire is in India, Asia, over the river Kistuah, between Berzorah and Sectauagrun. It is more than 6,000 feet long and is stretched between two hills, each of which is 1,200 feet high.
Most Remarkable Artificial Echo on Earth
The most remarkable artificial echo known is that in the Castle of Simoneita, about two miles from Milan, in Italy. It is occasioned by the existence of two parallel walls of considerable length. It repeats the report of a pistol sixty times.
The Largest Stationary Engine in the World
The largest stationary engine in the world is at the famous zinc mines at Friedensville, Pa. It is known as the "President," and there is no pumping engine in the world that can be compared with the monster. The number of gallons of water raised every minute is 17,500. The driving wheels are thirty-five feet in diameter and weigh forty tons each. The sweep rod is forty feet long, the cylinders 110 inches in diameter, and the piston-rod eighteen inches in diameter, with a ten-foot stroke.
The Largest Flower Known
Raffiesia Schadenbergia is the largest flower known, it grows in the Philippine Islands, it is 3 feet in diameter.
The Largest Smokestacks in the World
The Townsend Works, at Glasgow, Scotland, smokestack is 488 feet in height, of which 454 feet is masonry and 34 feet on top is a copper pipe, it has a base of 32 feet, and it cost about §40,000.
Tennent & Co. of Glasgow, Scotland, smokestack is 435 feet high, it has 40 feet base and 13 1/2 feet flue.
Dobson & Barlow's, England, smokestack is 361 1/2 feet high, has a base of 33 feet 10 inches and 13 feet 2 inches flue.
The fourth largest in the world and the largest in the United States is at the Fall River Iron Works, Massachusetts, it is for 40 boilers to supply three triple expausion engines of 1,350 horse-power each. The smokestack is 350 feet high, its base is 30 feet and the top of the flue is 21 feet. The entire structure rests on a solid granite foundation 55x30 feet and 10 feet deep, in its construction are used about 1,700,000 bricks, 2,000 tons of stone, 2,000 barrels of mortar, 1,000 loads of sand, 1,000 barrels of cement, and it cost $40,000.
The Largest Telescopes
The largest refractor, Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton, Cal., 36 inches, constructed by Clark, Warner and Swasey, 1887. The largest reflector, Lord Rosse, Birr Castle, Ireland, 72 inches, constructed by Lord Rosse, 1844.