The Baldwin Library
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NEW YORK: HUNT & EATON
CINCINNATI: CRANSTON & CUTS
Copyright, 1893, by
HUNT & EATON,
Composition, electrotyping, printing, and binding by
HUNT & EATON,
150 Fifth Avenue, Ner York.
LIFE ON BOARD A SCHOOL-SHIP............................ 7
BALLOONS LOST AT SEA ............................. ....... 12
MAKE YOUR OWN TELEGRAPH............................. 17
HOW TO MAKE AN ELECTRIC BATTERY .................... 21
FIGHTING FOR A WIRE...................................... 27
A UNITED STATES LIFE-SAVING STATION................... 36
How TO RUN A BOAT CLUB............................... 41
THE STORY OF A GREAT RACE. .......................... 49
MODEL YACHTING.... ........... ........................... 55
A GREAT YACHT RACE..... .............................. 67
A YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHER ................................. 72
How TO MAKE A RAILROAD CAR .......................... 97
THE FESTINA "............................................. 10
How TO MAKE A BANJO. ...... .......................... 114
AN AQUARIUM, AND HOW TO MAKE IT .................... 121
HOW TO GROW A MINIATUREi OAK TREE IN A BOTTLE..... 125
How TO SIT A HORSE ............................... .... 127
H INTS ABou'r SWIMMING ................................... 129
TO MAMMOTH CAVE ON A BICYCLE ........................ 131
SKATING ................ ................................. 138
BASEBALL ................. ................................ 142
THE BATTLE OF BOONTOWN................................ 144
FOOTBALL ........... ................. ..................... 148
CAPTAIN BESS.............................................. 150
CRICKET .................................................. 157
LACROSSE..................................... .... ......... 163
K ITES...................... ................. ............ 168
EASY EXPERIMENTS FOR OUR BOYS......................... 171
-- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
4 ~ ', I
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" NOW, THEN, GO! "
LIFE ON BOARD A SCHOOL-SHIP.
/ f- OMETHING there is about a
life at sea that strongly ap-
/ peals to the imagination of the
average boy. He wishes un-
"'" usual experiences and strange
adventures, and surely these lie
Over sea. So strong is the de-
sire with some that they are not
'% 'i -' satisfied short of actual trial, and it is from
these that Uncle Sam recruits his navy.
S "" The government has two places for train-
'ing these boys for the service-the Annap-
'| olis Naval Academy and the apprentice
training ships. The one furnishes it with
officers, the other with skilled seamen.
The life of the apprentice is more rigorous
than that of the cadet. Great care is
used in their selection and preparation for the duties on a
man-of-war. The boys to enter the service must be between
the ages of fourteen and eighteen years, and be of robust
frame, healthy constitution, and intelligent mind. Strict at-
tention is paid to the stature, no one who is manifestly under
size for his age being received. They must be able to read
and write, although this condition is sometimes relaxed when
the applicant is otherwise very bright.
The boy who wishes to enter the service and feels that he
has these qualifications presents himself before the ship's ex-
OLD FRIGATE CONSTITUTION."
amining board. This is something of an ordeal for the re-
cruit. The board consists of the captain, a line officer, and
the senior medical officer of the vessel. The captain's room
is usually the most cozy of the ship. It is a curious combina-
tion of a gentleman's library and a shipmaster's office. The
A, reversed compass above his head keeps
him informed as to the ship's course. A
f'barometer hangs at his side, while on the
Stable are spread charts and mariners' in-
struments. Books line the walls, and scat-
'tered about are bric-a-brac and mementoes
c.... 'picked up in various ports. The officers
-. are in full uniform. The examination of
the boy is made, and if everything is satis-
factory the agreement is then read and ex-
,plained to him.
Do you voluntarily consent to all the
conditions in that ? asks the captain.
Young America, who is usually too frightened or excited to
haggle about the terms, though the accompanying parent or
does, signs the pa-
per and is enlisted.
As soon as pos-
sible after enlist- s '/
ment the boys are
transferred to the
is not handsome, I
though convenient ..../
and roomy. There ., \
in perfection is : '-
economy of space. ,.
and the water-
tanks are in the
hole-a dark, uncomfortable place where rats hold carnival
and culprits do penance. The first deck contains the offices,
armories, and seamen's quarters. On the second are the
spaces devoted alternately to eating and sleeping, the school-
rooms, and the sick bay, while above are the guns and quar-
ters for training.
The life is one of routine. The morning bell strikes at five
o'clock, and there is a stir among the hammocks and an ap-
pearance of sleepy heads. There
is a general bustle of dressing, and
everything seems in confusion.
l But scarcely five minutes elapse
before the petty officers are in full
S swing of their several functions in
---- the separate parts of the crew, the ham-
Smocks are neatly stowed away in the net-
tings, the clothesbags are in their racks,
and the boys are ready for their early cup of
coffee. They then set about their first tasks
TAKING AN OBSERVATION
WITH THE SEXTANT. -some to scrub down the decks, others to
wash clothes; and this last is no small task, especially in
summer, when the suits worn are of white canvas and easily
soiled. This work usually takes a couple of hours, and it is
relieved by breakfast. This over, they return again to their
work-some to the schoolroom, some to the gymnasium, and
some to the mastery of seamanship.
The boys manage to illumine the day with some gleams of
fun. Hammock-slinging is a merry time, for sailors' ham-
mocks are not to be trifled with.
One boy, desirous not to display his ignorance of them be-
fore the other boys, resolved to
make his first attempt at getting
..- ---.. into one when no one was looking.
The opportunity came, and he made
Sa bolt. Unfortunate jump it proved,
for he went clean over the ham-
mock, striking the boy beyond, and
SAILOR BOY'S HAMMOCK.
both went down in glorious confusion.
Fresh recruits are not the only victims. The stillness of
the night is frequently broken by a sudden bump, followed by
a suppressed giggle, and all know that the knife has been ap-
plied to some one's hammock. The demerit book contains
marks which speak forcibly, if not eloquently, on this point.
The demerit system employed is a rather complex one.
The amount of liberty each boy is given depends upon his de-
portment. They are divided into sections on this basis, those
in the first division being allowed two afternoons ashore; those
in the second one, and those in the third, none at all. A
printed list of the misdemeanors, with the punishments at-
tached to each, is posted on the ship. The list is a constantly
growing one, keeping pace with the mischievous inventions
of the youthful mind. The records, though somewhat cabal-
istic, are yet interesting reading. Here you see such entries
as Franklin Smith, O. T. C. & S.," which signifies that
Smith returned frpm his holiday on time, clean and sober.
Sometimes the entry is simply D "-drunk, and the poor
fellow spends the night in the brig.
The summer cruise is the one break in the year's routine.
The apprentices study the English branches, gunnery, and
seamanship, together with gymnastic training and drill in
the use of signals. The boys, as a result of this physical
training, are sturdy, manly-looking fellows. The cruise is
to give them practical experience. Although it is a change
it gives more than one of the boys a touch of homesick-
ness. They are placed on men-of-war and billed for trips
which may be prolonged to two or three years. The bustle
and excitement of getting under way, the new scenes that
surround the apprentice on the man-of-war, the feeling that
he is actually in the service, for a time overtop other thoughts.
But when the pilot is set ashore and the marine band starts
"The Girl I Left Behind Me," and the ship turns toward an
unknown ocean, courage weakens.
The inducements offered the bright, energetic boy in the
naval service-if he must begin as an apprentice-are small.
Promotion above the rating of a petty officer is impossible.
There are five grades of apprentices. The boy enlists as a
third-class apprentice. He may then, as he acquires profi-
ciency, be promoted to second and first class apprentice and to
two grades of seamen apprentices. The boys must serve un-
til they are twenty-one years of age. Despite its hardships,
however, there is a peculiar attraction to the life which one
who has felt its spell cannot soon forget.
BALLOONS LOST AT SEA.
ON the 7th of January, 1785, a little more than a year
after the Montgolfier brothers distinguished themselves
by the invention of air-balloons, Blanchard, accompanied by
Dr. Jeffries, succeeded in crossing the English Channel. This
was for a long time the only fortunate attempt at a maritime
ascension. On the 15th of June in the same year Pilatre de
Rozier lost his life while making a similar attempt from Bou-
Toward the middle of the year 1845 a man by the name of
Comaschi, from Boulogne, set out with his balloon from Con-
stantinople. He was seen to take his course to the ocean,
but was never again heard of. On the 7th of October, 1849,
an aeronaut who had before made many aerial voyages,
Francis Arban, ascended from Barcelona never to return.
Judging from the direction of the wind, it seems certain that he
found his fate in the Mediterranean.
C.:'ui. ai and a;' ;: always call i', i .-i lO[1.air-e.. but they
demand ea much the more admiration when Mi:,y are in.'l:ii.
by i,.-,-,-rc- ir-: senthuerats, by noble I I: -:, by the love of sei
new or patriotism. Of auh a nature were the deeds of two
aeronauat of the .I :c of p;O. i-M. Prince, the ..,;1., and M.
Laeae the .i-, who perished ., c- .-lv in the Arl nIt'.
un. ,- asceaded i:,..i ',;i.. %,l,,-,l,-
if. i' ;ol. in the : ,.: Jacquard,
S .. '- ', .im (over : 1
S. ) of tters and p 1. ii- It
was eeven o'elekin the evening of a
very dark At ,'. t. .1. a ves-' '
sel near .I n.-.. oboservd in the
water the 1,I,,.* sent out from the
,1.:._h', ..i 1n. was the last
news o the brave ii. ..,v, Wii ,
out doubt he was carried .;. to the "
oe"an. Before his .1.- i,. however,
having throw to t
of ,]r *. .a, I .- a
:p. and the letter:
most part, It -Ii I1 II
.1 I IM. wh' on
neatly at an end,
ascenlded in the net
Wallnce, met the
11. noble Prince,
over the whole of
was seen i" I fro
afterward (.:n, iT .
.t- from the coa
in a 11 i.- i,. and
vored 1. the
Ad his ti iin,
s were for the
O l l, u
lie p.h W -T 1
salne fate as ,/ ,,,i
M i 1 and /
.._ li l':-. I' / -
Sts he .t .
-,- .; ,,
1868, After being carried out to sea in his aerostat he found
at a lower level a countercurrent which led him back to the shore.
Two different times he was seen to drift out over the open sea
and back again to the coasts. The existence of these higher
countercurrents is not infrequent in a maritime atmosphere.
It was by their aid that Lhoste on the 9th of September,
1883, made his first journey across the British Channel from
Boulogne-sur-Mer to Folkestone; he maneuvered so well, and
so skillfully appropriated to his own use the two aerial currents,
making between them angles of about forty-five degrees, that
he succeeded in steering himself toward the coasts of England,
tacking like a sailboat. Lhoste was then twenty-five years
old. Before this successful journey he had made, either alone
or with one of his friends, Eloy, three maritime ascensions,
when he had always been fortunate enough either to regain the
shore or be picked up by some vessel. The 27th of May,
1883, he went up at seven o'clock in the evening fror Saint
Omer, made a circular voyage around the North Sea, and
landed at Holland in fourteen hours.
Lhoste was completely fascinated with aeronautism; the
danger of maritime ascensions acted upon him as an irresistible
attraction. Two fatal events, which succeeded each other, did
not lessen his enthusiasm. His companion, Eloy, met his death
at the time of an ascension from Lorient, July 14, 1885. He
went up at half-past six and sailed toward the ocean; boats
followed him, but night closed in and he was lost to view. In
the morning they found the balloon floating in sight of Belle
Isle-en-Mer, and discovered also near the island of Groix, the
,jacket and cap of the unfortunate aeronaut, who was certainly
drowned while trying to swim ashore.
Three days after, on Friday, the 17th, F. A. Gower, an
American, was also lost at sea in his little balloon, La Ville
d'Hyeres, with which he started from Cherbourg. He antici-
pated some interesting experiments in the use of military bal-
loons. Possessed of much assurance and boldness, he suc-
ceeded in crossing the channel from Dover to Boulogne.
When he ascended from Cherbourg he was obliged, for want of
ballast, to drop to the sea. A vessel discovered him, but just
OUR BOYS. 15
as she was going to his help the balloon broke loose, rapidly
rising into space. The inexperienced aeronant had cut the
ropes which bound his skiff to the balloon; when last seen he
was floating on the surface of the billows alone in his frail bark
half submerged, and making, doubtless, desperate appeals for
help; he perished a short distance from the coast.
Even these warnings did not serve to dampen Lhoste's ar-
dor. The 29th of July of the following year he ascended
ALN IN HIS FRAIL-BAR--
.. 'f '
AL O-NI N I A R.
.. ..--- -
"* % --' .------ /,'- -- -
from Cherbourg with one of his friends, Mangot, a young aerial
voyager, who was then but eighteen years of age. His bal-
loon was provided with a float similar to Sivel's cone anchor,
a very valuable piece of apparatus for maritime voyagers, as
it allows the aeronaut some sort of attachment to the ocean,
and thus gives a greater security. The two aeronauts set out
at ten o'clcok in the evening; at four the next morning they
passed above the coast of England just south of Portsmouth,
and at six landed in the vicinity of London.
After these repeated successes Lhoste gained great confi-
dence in maritime ascensions; he no longer recognized their
peril, and firmly believed in their future utility.
The 13th of November, 1887, he ascended from the gas-
house of La Villette, at Paris, with his comrade, Mangot, and
one young passenger, M. Archdeacon. The balloon, which
started at eight o'clock, descended at Quillebeuf at eleven in
the morning. M. Archdeacon stepped out. The wind blew
very fresh from the southeast toward England. "Mangot,"
said Lhoste to his friend," if we continue our course for Cher-
bourg, the wind is brisk, in a few hours we could alight in
What was said was done. The balloon left the earth; it
shot like an arrow in the direction of the channel; a boat per-
ceived it floating at large. Later the winds changed; the two
young men were forced to drop to the sea, where the angry
billows got the better of their fearlessness. The vessel Prince
Leopold" witnessed the frightful catastrophe without being
able to bring the needed help.
Of what value are all these dangerous experiments, do you
ask? Assuredly life is a precious thing, and it is criminal to
hazard it foolishly. But the aeronaut has in view the ad-
vancement of the art for which he works, as well as a fond-
ness for venturesome enterprises.
MAKE YOUR OWN TELEGRAPH.
ANY ingenious boy, at a small expenditure of time and
money, will be able to construct his own telegraphic in-
strument if he follows carefully the instruction here given.
The telegraphic apparatus (Fig. 7) consists of three princi-
pal parts-battery (Fig. 6), sounder (Fig. 1), and key (Fig.
In Figs. 1 and 2 are given diagrams of the sounder."
The first thing in its construction is the making of the electro-
magnet (b). a, a, Fig. 3, are two tire-bolts, in 2. long, I in.
thick, annealed by heating. Two nuts must be procured for
each bolt. b b, b b are circular disks
b g3. of thick leather (patent leather is more
ornamental) 7 in. in diameter. The
Saheads of the bolts should be countersunk
in the first pair of disks so that they
Only project about A of an inch. The
first nuts should be screwed up as far as
d a they will go and the second disks firmly
pressed down against them. Now wind
b the spools with No. 24 cotton-covered
magnet-wire if it is desired to use the
instrument only at home on a very short circuit. If it is to be
used on a line between two or more houses they must be
wound with No. 36. When they are done they may be
covered with thin patent leather to give a finished appear-
ance. c is a strip of soft iron 21 in. long by 3 in. wide,
and about in. 1ig 4
thick, at equal
distances from E
the ends of b
which two holes
1-- in.apart from
the centers must Oe a Of
be drilled, to ad-
mit the ends of
the bolts. Two
smaller holes for
fasten the mag- )
net to the base
must also be
drilled k in. from the ends. This strip of iron is fastened on
with the second pair of nuts to the bolts.
Next comes the armature (c, Fig. 1). A plan of this is
given in Fig. 4. a is a strip of brass 3x3xA inches. This may
be obtained from the framework of an old clock. g is a strip
of soft iron 11x x3, inches, soldered to about the middle of the
brass strip. c is a piece of telegraph wire 1 in. long and
_Fiq J. C
g A Sb
0 b c
sharpened at both ends. One end of the brass strip is bent
over the wire and soldered. Two holes must be drilled in the
brass strip: one about halfway from b to c, which allows the
wire hook g to fit tightly, and the other about in. from the
end larger than the screw f, Fig. 1. Next comes the bearing
of the axle, c. This is a piece of brass Ix- xf-. Near one end
is punched a dent as deep as possible, and near the other end two
holes are drilled
to admit screws -F. 6 -
to fasten them to
post (e, Fig. 1) b
which is at the a, -
proper height to z
hold c about I
of an inch from c
when level. The
width must be
regulated so as
to have the ends of the axle fit easily yet not fall out,
It is better, if an old clock can be procured, to take the
piece of brass just mentioned from where the screw that
regulates the balance is leaving it in to make adjustable
bearings, f. The screw g, Fig. 1, regulates the distance of c
to o, and the screw f, passing through the hole in the arma-
ture, regulates the "play" of c from o. a is a thumbscrew
-7, 7. passing through the post / to regu-
late the spring i. t, t are binding
screws to which the ends of the mag-
net wires are fastened. The base
I'' may be made in any way desired,
Stwo holes being made in it to allow
the first pair of nuts to fit into. In
connecting the magnet wires, if they are wound in the same di-
rection, connect the outer ends of one coil with the inner end
of the other, the other two ends being connected with the
A very simple key may be made as in Fig. 5. a is the base;
b a stiff brass spring having a flat knob fastened on the end
and the other end fas- tened to the base; c
is a screw with its head filed flat and a switch
which fits under e, and the other end con-
nected with b as shown; f, f are two
p 1 atinum points or pieces of platinum foil
soldered to the lever and screw c;, the
screw g regulates the distance that the
spring can rise. A battery is made by
immersing pieces of gas-carbon and zinc in
a solution of salt and 1 water. One cell of
such a battery should run the instrument
alone. The number of such cells on a line
must be determined by trial. A diagram of
the battery and the connection of the instruments is given in
Fig. 6 and 7.
HOW TO MAKE AN ELECTRIC BATTERY.
U NDER this heading we give to our boys the necessary
instructions for making a battery of great power,
suited to such work as running motors and small in-
candescent lamps, electroplating, etc.
Figs. 1 and 2 represent the battery in perspective
and section. The parts are the jar, the porous cup,
the zinc plate, the carbon plate, and the liquids.
The jar (a, Figs. 1 and 2) should hold a half gal-
lon or more. If it is purchased from a dealer in
electric supplies a 5x7 round jar should be selected.
Earthen jars will answer, but they are much less
durable than glass. The acid used in the battery will
soon find its way through the pores of an earthen jar.
If such jars are used they should be insulated from
the shelf or table on which they stand by strips
Sof glass. The top of the jar, whether it be glass
or not, should be coated inside and outside with a
layer of beeswax and resin to prevent salts climbing from the
liquid to the top of the jar. The mixture should be about one
part beeswax to four parts resin. They are simply melted to-
Sa V b ci b a
a n i
gether and applied with a brush while hot. The jar should be
warm when the mixture is applied.
The porous cup must be purchased from a dealer. It should
be about 7 in. high and 31 in. in diameter. It should be coated
with beeswax and resin at the top to check climbing salts.
The porous cup stands inside of the jar, as seen at b in Figs.
1 and 2.
The zinc plate should be 6 in. long, 2, in. wide, and in.
thick. It will weigh about a pound. These plates can be
purchased either cast or rolled and cut any size required.
They are expensive, however, and they can be easily and
cheaply made. Zinc has a very low melting point, and scrap
zinc can be bought for two cents a pound. Melt it in a ladle
and pour it into a mold of the required shape and size. If a
large number of plates are wanted it will be well to have an
iron mold made, but if only a few are needed they may be
cast in sand or in a mold made of plaster of Paris.
The zinc plates must be amalgamated before they are used.
To amalgamate them proceed in the following manner:
Fill a small jar with dilute sulphuric acid to a depth equal to
a little more than half the length of a zinc plate. Stand a plate
in the acid and let it remain a few seconds. A longer time
will be necessary if the plate is not clean. When the plate
has been removed from the acid place it in a suitable dish and
pour a few drops of mercury on it. Spread the mercury over
it with a swab or with the end of a flat stick. Then wash the
plate with water, to remove the acid, and proceed in the same
way to amalgamate the other end.
In preparing the dilute sulphuric acid for this purpose use
one volume of acid to eight volumes of water. An earthen
jar should be used to mix them in, as heat is generated, and a
glass vessel would be broken. Be careful with the sulphuric
acid, as it is very corrosive.
The zinc plate stands in theporous cup, as seen at c in Figs.
1 and 2.
The carbon plates shown at d d in Figs. 1 and 2 are about
I in. thick, 2- in. wide, and 7 in. long. In giving these
dimensions we are supposing a 5x7 battery jar will be used.
These plates may be bought this size, or they may be bought
in large sizes, say 12x14, and cut into plates of the required
size. The large plates are cheaper in proportion to their size.
To cut the plates make deep scratches on both sides with
the point of an old jackknife guided by a straightedge, then
break over the edge of a table or bench. The object of hav-
ing two carbon plates in each cell is to expose a larger amount
of conducting surface, thereby reducing the internal resistance
of the battery and the tendency to polarize. The amount of
carbon surface necessary will depend upon the use to which
the battery is to be put. For incandescent lighting four plates
in each cell are advised; for general use one or two will be
It will be observed that all the carbon plates in the same cell
are connected with each other by a metallic conductor-e,
Figs. 1 and 2. This makes them practically one plate of large
surface. A carbon cylinder, perforated to allow free circula-
tion of the liquid, would be a perfect arrangement, but carbon
cylinders are hard to obtain and very costly. A very cheap
and also a very perfect method of extending the carbon sur-
face is to use a single plate and pack crushed coke, free from
dust, around it, filling the entire jar outside of the porous cup.
If this method is employed a glass tube should be placed in
the jar before the coke is put in. This tube should reach from
the top of the jar to the bottom, and should be large enough
to receive a siphon, which may be made of a piece of quarter-
inch rubber tubing. The use of this siphon will be explained
We will now consider the methods of connecting the zinc and
carbon plates with connecting wires. Metal clamps are often
used for this purpose, and they are very serviceable for tem-
porary use, but they cannot be recommended for permanent
use, because they soon corrode and the contact with the plate
is impaired or destroyed. A perfect and permanent connec-
tion with the zinc plate may be made with mercury as follows:
Cut a piece of No. 14 rubber-covered copper wire ten or
twelve inches long. Remove the rubber insulation from each
end about an inch and clean the wire with sandpaper. Bend
one end into a hook, as shown in Fig. 3. Rest the lower end
of the zinc plate in this hook and lower it into the porous cup.
Then pour in mercury until it is about one eighth of an inch
deep in the bottom of the cup, as seen at h in Fig. 2.
This method has several advantages besides permanence.
It keeps the zinc plate constantly amalgamated, which is an
important consideration. It enables us to use the entire plate,
as the upper end simply drops down into the mercury when
the lower end is consumed. If a clamp is used as a connect-
or the upper end of the zinc must be thrown away, or at least
recast, when the lower end is consumed. With the mercury
connection scraps of zinc in any shape may be used in an
emergency by simply dropping them into the cup.
There are two excellent methods of connecting the carbon
plate with a conducting wire. In either case the upper end of
the plate must first be soaked in hot beeswax and resin. This
fills up the pores and thus prevents the liquid rising to the top
of the plate by capillary action. After the plate has been thus
treated the beeswax and resin must be carefully scraped off
the outside, as it would otherwise act as an insulator between
the plate and the metallic conductor.
The first method of attaching a conducting wire is by means
of a copper plate fastened to the carbon with machine
screws and nuts, as shown in Fig. 4. The wire may be
attached to the projecting end of the copper plate by a solder
joint. The screws and nuts and the entire copper plate must
now be covered with a thick coat of beeswax and resin to pro-
tect them from the acid.
The second method is by means of a lead cap which may be
cast upon the carbon in a mold made of plaster, sand, wood,
or metal. The carbon should have one or two holes drilled in
it before the cap is cast on. The lead will run into these holes
and keep the cap from coming off. If this method is used a
binding screw may be cast into the lead cap, or the end of the
wire itself may be cast into the cap, as shown in Fig. 5. The
lead cap and an inch or two of the wire should be covered with
beeswax and resin.
The connections between the cells and outside of the battery
should be made with solder if binding posts are not used. The
size of the wire used in connecting the carbon plates with each
other in the same cell and with the zinc plate of the adjoining
cell should be about No. 14.
The liquid in which the zinc plate stands in the porous cup is
a solution of common salt in water about two thirds saturated.
The liquid in which the carbon stands in the glass or earthen
jar is made by mixing one volume of sulphuric acid with eight
volumes of water, and adding as much pulverized bichromate
of potash as will dissolve in the mixture. This will be found
to be about a pound of the bichromate to each gallon of liq-
uid. Bichromate of soda is in some respects preferable to
bichromate of potash, and it is a cheaper salt, but it is not so
common in the market. The liquids should stand at the same
height in the jar and porous cup, and this height should be
about five and a half inches in a seven-inch jar. When the
liquid has been used until its strength is exhausted it may be
removed from the battery with a siphon and replaced by new
liquid. To start the siphon immerse it in a pail of water, and
when it is full pinch it in the middle, to keep the water from
running out; lift it from the pail, and put one end into the
liquid to be drawn through it.
No rule can be given in regard to how often the liquids
should be renewed unless the work done by the battery is
regular. A little experience, however, will enable any one
using the batteryto make his own rules. It will be found that
the salt water will require renewal more frequently than the
acid solution, but fortunately the salt water is very cheap. In
regard to the acid solution, its color indicates its condition.
It has a bright red color at first, but it gradually turns brown,
and finally green, before it is worthless.
Some care is necessary in handling this battery, as the acid
used in it is very destructive to clothing, carpet, and floor.
The cellar is a good place to keep it if it is well insulated.
The even temperature of the cellar is a favorable condition,
and the moisture of the place will tend to keep the liquids from
evaporating. It must be remembered, however, that the bat-
tery must be well insulated if it is put in a damp place.
This battery gives a very powerful current and polarizes
very slowly. The zinc does not need to be removed from the
liquid when the battery is not in use, as the salt water does
not attack it when the circuit is open.
FIGHTING FOR A WIRE.
N the spring of 1886 I severed my connection with the
"Chicago Herald" and took the police "run" on the
"St. Paul Globe." I was what is known to the profession
.as police reporter. My duties were to watch the police de-
partment and gather from its members all the news I could,
being always alert for clews that might lead to sensational
At that time there was a sharp rivalry between the "Globe"
and its morning contemporary, the "Pioneer-Press," and the
reporters on both papers were doing their best to secure ex-
clusive news, known to them as "scoops," for the publications
that they represented.
Late one afternoon in April, about three weeks after I had
accepted the position on the "Globe," as I was sitting in the
police station wishing that something unusual might happen,
information was received by the chief of police that a cyclone
had swept over the city of St. Cloud, and that there had been
a terrible loss of life and property.
I hurried to the "Globe" office, and informed the managing
editor of what I had heard. He ordered me to go to St.
Cloud, which was about seventy-five miles distant, on the first
train that left for that place, and to telegraph the "Globe"' all
the details of the calamity that I could gather. I hastened to
the depot and found that a special train was being made up to
S carry physicians, surgeons, and reporters to the scene of the
cyclone. I presented my credentials to the conductor in
charge of the train and was given transportation.
It was growing dark when the train pulled out of the depot
and sped away over the rails on its mission of mercy. A
heavy thunderstorm had set in. The wind blew a gale and
drove the rain and hail against the windows and sides of the
The train was given the right of way over all others, and
but one stop was made on the trip. The engineer was ordered
to cover the distance as soon as possible, and the cars swayed
and tottered as they were swiftly dragged over the rails by the
powerful locomotive. I shall never forget that ride. The en-
gineer told me afterward that the darkness was so great that
the light from the powerful lamp at the head of his locomotive
illumined the rails not more than ten feet ahead of the cow-
catcher. The trip was made in one hour and a half, which,
under the circumstances, was considered remarkably quick
In passing through the train before it started I found three
representatives of the "Pioneer-Press" aboard-a discovery
that gave me great uneasiness, for I was the only representa-
tive of the Globe there, and I did not like the idea of be-
ing obliged to compete single-handed with three men in a case
of that kind. But there was no help for it, and I determined
to do my best to get all the news to the Globe."
I thought it very probable that in sweeping through the city
the cyclone had torn down the telegraph wires and it would be
almost a miracle if a single line was preserved. If there was
only one wire in working order I wanted it, and as the train
rushed through the night I wrote a description of the ride
nearly a column long, determining to hasten to the telegraph
office as soon as St. Cloud was reached and file my report, in
this manner securing a wire and holding it until I could learn
some facts regarding the work of the cyclone, prepare more
copy," and thus keep the wire hot." I knew that as
long as I kept copy" in the hands of the operator to be sent
no other reporter could get the use of the wire. If there were
several wires working, and facilities for sending the news were
equal to the demand, of course there would be no occasion for
this precaution; but the interest of the Globe" demanded
that I should be prepared for any emergency.
I never had visited the city of St. Cloud, which was a place of
about ten thousand inhabitants, and it occurred to me, after I
had finished writing the description of the ride and replaced
on my head the derby hat that I had used as a writing desk,
that I should lose a great deal of valuable time in inquiring
the way to the telegraph office. On an occasion like this
every minute counts heavily. It was very important that I be
able to go directly from the train to the telegraph office, so I
asked the conductor what direction I should take from the
platform of the rear car to reach the office. He told me to go
eastward from the depot two blocks, turn to the left and go
two blocks, then turn to the right, and after going a half a
block I would find the Grand Central Hotel, off the rotunda of
which opened the telegraph office.
I fixed these directions firmly in my mind, and as the train
neared the city I made my way through the crowded aisles of
the cars to the rear platform of the last coach, and when the
train had slackened its speed sufficiently to enable me to leap.
off and keep my feet I did so, and alighted in the mud a few
yards away from the depot platform.
As fast as I could run through the rain and the darkness I
followed the directions given me by the conductor, and was
soon at the hotel, excited and breathless. I quickly made my
way through the crowd that filled the sidewalk, and, opening
the door of the telegraph office, burst into the room with an
abruptness that startled the young lady who was busy at a
table, by the side of which sat a young man rapidly writing
and piling his manuscript near the young lady's elbow. The
sight of this young man at the table filled me with apprehen-
sion, and, hastily crossing the room, I asked the young lady
if I could get a wire for special correspondence for the press.
She informed me that I could not; that all the wires were
down with the exception of the one that she was working,
and the local correspondent of the Pioneer-Press"' had filed
enough copy to keep that wire busy until three o'clock the
I knew that the "Pioneer-Press had a correspondent in
every town and city of any importance in the State, but the
probability that their St. Cloud correspondent would secure a
wire as soon as possible after the cyclone had struck the city,
and if there was but one wire in working order he would have
it, had not occurred to me. When I fully realized the situa-
tion I was for a moment nonplussed.
There was no time to be lost, however, and I soon recovered
my self-possession sufficiently to inquire of the young lady in
charge of the office if she could tell me where I could find a
telegraph operator. She pointed to a young man in the hotel
office who was leaning on a glass case filled with segars. I
had determined to get a wire if there was one to be found
within a radius of ten miles of St. Cloud, but I knew the wire
would be of no value to me if I could not find an operator. I
approached the young man pointed out to me and asked him
to go with me.
"Who are you?" he asked in surprise.
A representative of the press," I replied, and if you
come with me it will be money in your pocket. Make up
your mind quickly."
My suggestion of money had the desired effect, and as the
young man walked with me out of the hotel I asked him if he
knew where I could find a telegraph wire not in use. He sug-
gested that I might be able to get one at the railway station.
Fearful that if there had been a clear wire there the Pioneer-
Press" men had secured it, and with the operator at my heels,
I ran toward the station. When we arrived there the station
agent informed me that there was but one wire that could be
worked, and the damaged condition of the railroad over which
the storm had swept made it necessary for the train-dispatcher
to use that wire continually, and it would be in use all night
and probably the next day. I offered the agent a large sum
of money if he would allow me to use the wire one hour. I
begged him to consider the importance of my getting at least a
list of the dead and wounded to the Globe." He said he
understood the situation perfectly, but money would not tempt
him to neglect his duty. While the reply of the agent caused
my heart to sink within me I could but respect him greatly for
In a hurried conversation with the operator I learned that
about three miles distant there was a station on the Northern
Pacific Railroad, and that I might possibly secure the train-
dispatcher's wire there, since that road lay beyond the track
of the cyclone.
Together we ran to the nearest livery stable. I was ex-
ceedingly anxious now, for my only chance of getting a line
through to the Globe" that night lay in securing a wire at
that station, and I had learned that the "' Pioneer-Press re-
porters were exerting themselves to their utmost to keep me
from getting a wire, in which event it would be a glorious tri-
umph for their paper over the Globe."
When we reached the stable I ordered the man in charge to
get me a horse and carriage in the shortest possible time.
Can't have a team, sir," he promptly replied; my horses
have been goin' all day, an' they're completely tired out."
Nonsense; I must have one I I'll pay you any price you
Thisis a sad time with us, sir," said he, apparently struck
with my earnestness, an' if it's er case of life or death you
can have a team, an' 'twon't cost you nothing ; but don't drive
the horses harder 'n you can help."
I assured him that it was an urgent case, and in five minutes
I was seated in a carriage with the operator by my side, urg-
ing the weary horses through the mud and rain in the direction
of the distant railway station.
Our way out of the city lay by the engine house of the fire
department, which had been converted into a morgue. I wanted
to get, if possible, a list of the killed and the injured, and we
stopped at the door of the engine house. When I entered the
long, narrow building twenty-one dead bodies lay stretched
upon the floor as they had been taken from the ruins and
brought in to be identified.
As I passed through the doorway I met a man going out,
and I asked him if it were possible to get the names of the
people known to have been killed or injured.
"Are you a newspaper reporter?" he asked.
I replied that I was.
"What paper?" said he.
"The St. Paul Globe,' I answered.
That's the paper I read," he said. "I think I can give
you some information that will be valuable to you. I am the
editor of the Weekly Times here, and have got a complete
list of the dead and the injured so far as is known up to this
Fortune had smiled upon me at last. I copied the list and
gained from the editor valuable information regarding the
appearance of the cyclone, the course it had taken, and the
amount of damage it had done to property. Cautioning the
editor not to allow himself to fall into the hands of any other
reporter, I climbed into the carriage and drove away.
The horse struggled painfully through the mire of the coun-
try road that was now and then revealed to us by flashes of
vivid lightning. Occasionally the poor animal would wander
from the road and stumble along the gutter until brought to a
standstill by a fence, when the operator or myself would alight
and lead the bewildered beast back to the beaten track.
We were nearly an hour on the road when we at last drew
rein at the station. There was a light burning in the agent's
office, and with doubtful heart I walked across the platform
and opened the office door.
Have you got a wire in working order?" I inquired of the
agent, who sat nodding with drowsiness in his chair.
You can try the dispatcher's wire, over there," he replied,
lazily crossing his legs. "I don't know whether the storm
has affected it."
"Try it," I said to the operator.
He stepped to the key and called St. Paul. A minute later
he told me that the wire was clear and I could send my report
directly into the telegraph editor's room at the Globe"
office. The operator in the telegraph office at St. Paul had
connected the wire with the special wire that ran into the
"Globe" building, thus saving considerable time, as the
sheets containing the report would not have to be carried from
the telegraph office to the editorial rooms.
My joy at this discovery was great, and I told the operator to
prepare for several hours of steady work. With an eye to bus-
iness, he asked me what compensation I proposed to give him
for his work. I answered his question by asking what com-
pensation he expected to receive.
"Twenty dollars an hour," he replied.
It is more than I will pay you," I said.
At this the operator turned and walked out of the room,
WEL, H YU / ,' A R
S"WELL, HOLMLIES, YOU GOT IT, AFTER ALL."
ss~~f~itj~F~;'y~l'''i~_~i$*~ ___ :.--.
saying that he was going back to the city. I would have paid
him five times the price he demanded rather than to get no re-
port to my paper; but he knew he had an advantage of me,
and I did not intend to pay him the price he asked, if I could
avoid it. I followed him out on the platform, and said:
I will give you five dollars an hour. You know that is pay-
ing you splendidly for your work."
"I won't take a cent less than twenty dollars," he re-
Very well," said I, "I will drive back to town and look
for an operator who will work cheaper."
I started toward the carriage, and as I did so the sound of
galloping horses and excited voices urging them on came to
my ears. I at once concluded that the "Pioneer-Press" re-
porters had heard of the station, and were hastening to secure
the wire if there happened to be one there. It would not do
to lose a second now, and, turning to the operator, I said:
"I'll split the difference with you. I'll give you ten dollars
an hour, with the understanding that you will work as long as
I ask you to."
All right," he replied, much to my surprise.
I caught his arm and almost dragged him back to the sta-
tion. Throwing off our coats we sat down, he at the key, I
by his side. I had written a page of copy and he had
just started to send the date line when, drenched with rain and
spattered from head to foot with mud, two "Pioneer-Press "
reporters rushed into the room. Theyrecognized me at once,
and, putting on a pleasant smile, one of them said:
Well, Holmes, you got it, after all."
I informed them that I was there to stay until the "Globe "
went to press the next morning; and they drove back to the
city probably more leisurely than they had driven to the station.
For fear of any accident happening to the wire I carefully
wrote out the names of the dead and wounded, and sent them
first, after which I sent a description of the storm and the ter-
rible work it had done.
The first word of the report was received at the "Globe"
office a few minutes past ten o'clock. The wire worked with-
out a "hitch until three o'clock the next morning, and the
" Globe" gave a seven-column report of the disaster, and
published the only correct list of the killed and injured, from
which I inferred that the editor of the Weekly Times had
heeded my caution not to allow himself to fall into the hands
of other reporters.
I remained five days on the ground, reporting the details of
the awful work done by the cyclone, whose victims numbered
one hundred and twelve human beings.
A UNITED STATES LIFE-SAVING STATION.
THAT yellow building down by the sea, just back of the
white sands, shelters the crew and apparatus of one of
Uncle Sam's Life-saving Stations.
It has in front a big door, while in the rear, at one cor-
ner, is a smaller one. The big door flies open only when the
boat-carriage and other apparatus are to be hurried out.
Through the other door pass the members of the crew. Let
us follow one of the crew as, after patrol duty, he enters
that humble door. It is a day of dreary mist, of rain that
smites pitilessly all along the sloping beach, and the shelter of
the life-saving station will be doubly welcome. We enter the
kitchen or living room. It is a small room, simply furnished,
serving for every kind of purpose save that of sleeping. Be-
tween two windows stands a big cook stove. An extension
dining table and chairs complete the furniture of the living
room. On the wall is a clock stamped "U. S. L. S. S.,"
and near it is a barometer. In one corner is a case marked
"U. S. L. S. S. Library," and below it hang two patrol lan-
terns and two sockets for coston signals. Around the walls
in different places are overcoats, hats, jackets, comforters.
Upon the door leading outside are tacked various printed cir-
culars about waterproof dress, time-detectors, marine glasses,
and other matters of station interest.
A stairway leading up from this living room takes us to the
keeper's private quarters and a long room for the crew, wfth
comfortable cot beds ranged along its sides. From this long
room a short stairway climbs up to the scuttle in the roof and
a railed platform with its flagstaff. Here on fair, cloudless
days an outlook is maintained, the men on watch duty closely
inspecting the blue sea to detect any sign of a craft in distress.
On the way to this outlook we see a box of signal flags to be
used in communicating with any needy party that can talk
back after the same fashion.
In a life-saving station the great magnetic center is the boat
room. This usually opens directly out of the living room. In
the center is the surfboat, twenty-six feet long, furnished with
air chambers at stern and bow. It has a low steering oar
measuring twenty-two feet. The crew pull six oars. A hint
of their dangerous service is given in the cork jacket or life-
preserver lying on each seat. The jacket must be put on be-
fore the surfman can begin his fight with the breakers. Over
at the left of the room is the handcart packed for service at
any moment. It contains a breeches-buoy, which is a large
cork ring, from which dangle short legs. Whoever the tailor
that cut those breeches, though he did not consult the fashion
plate, he shaped legs that would do the needed work. There
is a Lyle gun for shooting lines to a wreck, and tackle and
falls, cartridges, pick-ax, shovel, rope. Above the hand-
cart is a life car. There are air chambers at the ends of the
car, and in the center is an opening for the admission of pas-
sengers, called the "manhole." This can be securely closed.
The car will hold four persons, but if one be fat and big, alas
for the others! If a man is going to travel by that car, let
him go with as little baggage on his bones as possible, or he
will crowd his neighbors.
The crew of the station consists of a keeper or captain, and
six, seven, sometimes eight or more surfmen. These are
hired for what is known as the active season." Neptune"
can be an exceedingly active force at any time on our rocky
Atlantic rim, but he flourishes his trident most vigorously, we
all know, during the months of September and April. The
keeper carries a responsibility as head all through the year.
-~ ~ I,' I
A RF.SCU'R WITH THE PREFCIIES-BUOY.
If in June an accident should happen on the shore he can
summon his men from the potato fields orfishing boats to which
they have scattered. The surfmen are accepted for their
knowledge of boating, and are muscular fellows on the sunny
side of middle life.
At the stations night and day are divided into watches. In a
stormy, winter night, the patrolling of the beach is no holiday
task. One man equipped with coston signal, lantern, and time-
detector goes out in one direction; another patrolman simi-
larly furnished takes the opposite. Through their watch they
pace their beat, traversing the shore of sand or rock with its snow,
ice, and pools of water. Each patiently plods his beat to its
close, and there, attached by a chain to the wall of a building, is
a key. This he thrusts into a hole in his "time-detector," turn-
ing the key with a sharp click. This indicates that a mark
has been registered on the dial of the detector, showing that the
patrolman has gone his beat. The next morning the keeper
opens the detector and removes the dial. It should show
three marks between eight and twelve corresponding to the
three journeys of the patrolman, one at fifteen minutes of nine,
and another at nineteen minutes often, and a third at eleven
o'clock. This man's watch is the second, the first running
from sunset till eight. The third stretches from twelve till
four, and the fourth ends at sunrise, or eight, perhaps. Then
the day watches begin.
Ugly enough is the patrolman's duty at times. In thought
follow him bending his head before the storm, at intervals rais-
ing it to scan the blackness out of which thunders the roar of
the breakers. The wind threatens to blow out his lantern, and
he must prevent that. Bowing, hugging his lantern, occasion-
ally lifting his eyes, he sees, perhaps, an angry curve of fire
above the sea. "A rocket! a wreck?" he cries. He pulls
out his coston signal, ignites it, and, waving that answering
torch of crimson fire, hurries back to the station. He rouses
the crew. The big door of the boat room is thrown back.
Out rumbles the carriage, burdened with the surfboat, but
perhaps nothing can be done with it, and out clatters the hand-
cart. If the sea is too rough for the surfboat, or other reason
forbid its use, the handcart is drawn in a proper position
on the sands. It is unloaded. The wreck gun is fired, send-
ing over the wreck a shot to which is attached a line. If that
line drops down upon the wreck, the shore and ship are quickly
joined by other apparatus that insures the riding of the breeches-
buoy to the wreck, bringing off one at a time, or the passage
of the life car that will transport four, provided they be not
The disaster may be at such a time and of such a nature
that the surfboat can be used. There are lifeboats in service
on the Pacific and the Lakes, but along the Atlantic coast the
surfboat is preferred. The Florida coasts are peculiar. The
ingenious coral polyps are the builders of those shores, and in
a shipwreck the vessel is likely to be thrown up so high that
the danger to life is not serious; but there is an after-risk of
hunger and other discomfort on shores bleak and deserted.
The life-saving stations there are houses of refuge, occupied
by a keeper and his family, and to many poor, surf-driven,
surf-chilled fellows they must be homes of warm, attractive
~: _. '~-~-~
HOW TO RUN A BOAT CLUB.
T HERE is a fascination about water and boats in them-
S selves, and when to this is added the spirit of loyalty
to club, crew, or college, boating becomes one of the
most attractive of pastimes.
S First of all, we will suppose that four boys have
Possession of an ordinary round-bottom, clinker-built
Sboat (about eighteen feet long and four feet beam),
and the right of navigation on a river or lake. The
four boys above mentioned are at present anxious to
organize a crew, put their boat in good trim, and
then learn to handle her in a seamanlike manner.
We shall try to frame what we have to say in such a
way as to give these four sturdy young tars the assistance they
As to organization, when the numbers are so limited little
formality will be required. Usually a club of this kind has
two sets of officers; one to serve in a parliamentary capacity
-president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, etc.-the
other to have charge of the active work, commodore, vice
commodore, purser, etc. Of course if the club included a
dozen or so boys and owned a number of boats, perhaps an
eight-oared barge, this elaborate organization might be neces-
sary, but we are taking the simplest form of a club, which
might be organized in hundreds of towns and villages all over
There is a great deal in doing a thing systematically, thor-
oughly, and in the right way. A touch of discipline is a good
thing. It is well for a boy to learn to obey implicitly even a
commander appointed in play.
Let us contrast two scenes. Four boys come romping down
to where an ill-kept, leaky boat is moored to a river bank.
The pleasure seekers tumble into their craft, stepping on the
seats and struggling to get at the rudder. They push and yell
and, perhaps, get a little angry. They shout at each other to
do this and that; they splash with the oars, and clumsily push
the boat out into the stream. There is no order or discipline,
and we are glad to lose sight of the squabbling crew around
the first bend.
Again, four neatly uniformed young fellows unlock a small
boathouse and disappear inside. We do not follow them, but
we hear no sound of conflict. In a few moments a boat is
pushed carefully out under the water door. One of the crew
sits at the stern, two others on the rowing seats, and the fourth
at the bow. The boat is neatly painted and scrupulously clean,
the brass oarlocks glisten in the sun, and the oars lying along
the thwarts shine with oil and varnish. As the boat comes out
into the stream the oarsmen lift their long oars and hold them
perpendicularly in the air, the handles resting on the bottom
board. "Let fall!" shouts the captain at the stern. The
oars drop together into the oarlocks. "Make ready!" The
arms and backs come aft in readiness for the next command,
"Give way," at which they begin a regular clean-cut stroke,
and the boat glides away. We are sorry that it rounds the
curve so soon.
These outline pictures give us an idea of what we would
have our four young friends accomplish. The organization
need take little time. Elect a captain whose word must be law,
a boatswain next in command, and a purser to take charge of
the club funds. An appropriate name and uniform will easily
We will suppose that our craft is an ordinary clinker-built
(or, in less nautical terms-clapboarded) boat about sixteen
or eighteen feet long and three and a half or four feet broad.
We have assumed that this boat has seen rough service on river
or lake, and is shabby as to paint, broken in many places, not
quite dry, and decidedly dirty. It is the mission of our ama-
teur boat club to rescue her and put her in a
stanch and trim condition.
First of all, she must be hauled out of the
water at some point where the bank is not too
high and affords a level space for work. Then
she must be stripped of everything detachable--
oarlocks, bottom boards, slats, and seats, if pos-
sible. Now, she must have a thorough bath. Scrubbing
brushes and soap used vigorously, and followed by pailfuls of
water, will soon dislodge the grime and sand from the crevices.
Then the boat should be half filled with water, rocked for a time,
and finally turned upside down on a couple of low horses"
to drip. This position makes it possible to examine the bottom
and locate any leaks which need more than heavy coats of
paint. The boat should be allowed to dry thoroughly, but not
to stand any length of time in a hot sun to shrink and warp.
Next, any carpenter work in the form of repairs, new slats,
seats, etc., should be done. We would say here, that it is
most important that all splits, breaks, or rough places should
be carefully attended to, and that no nails or screws should be
allowed to project. Paint will do much, but it cannot cover
deficiencies of this kind, nor is it at all seamanlike to do such
superficial work. The leaks, if they are small, should be
tightly packed with tow or cotton rags, but broad cracks should
in addition be covered with thin strips of tin or copper fas-
tened by small tacks. When all these small jobs, inside and
out, have received the proper attention, then comes the ques-
tion of how to paint her.
We give two or three designs from which our readers may
make a choice, unless they prefer some original combination.
1. Outside: Plain white, with a blue stripe, half an inch
wide, around the top board. Name onthe stern. Inside: Lead
color. Hard wood (if any) scraped, oiled, and varnished.
2. Outside: Same as No. 1, except the bottom, which is
painted green below the water line. Inside: Buff, ribs painted
3. Outside: Black, with half-inch stripe of white, red, or
gold. Name on bows in small letters. Inside: Pure white,
hard wood polished (No. 1).
In No. 1 we have, perhaps, the more common style. It is
easy to keep clean inside and is perhaps the best for pleasure
boats. No. 2 is more fancy, but belongs to the same gen-
eral type. To our mind No. 3, which is a man-o'-war boat,
is the most attractive, although the most difficult to keep ship-
shape. For that very reason, perhaps, it will keep the crew
steadily at work and give them cause for greater pride in the
neatness of their boat. The more polished and varnished the
wood the better.
As to the quantity of paint, the outside will need two, or
perhaps three, thick coats. Be careful not to add a second
coat before the first is thoroughly dry. The inside will require
two thinner but neatly laid coats. Be sure not to daub the nat-
ural wood when painting near it. It will be better to employ
a regular sign painter to put the name on the bow. Do not
let him use large or fancy letters or add any flourishes.
In the drawing we have the interior of a well-arranged boat.
At the stern is a backboard, D, on which the boat's name may
also be lettered, cushions, CC, accommodating three or four per-
sons, a lattice-work after-deck or floor, B (made of hard wood,
oiled and varnished), and foot braces, A A, which move in
notches and may be adjusted to rowers of different length of
Oarlocks may be divided into two classes: those which
permit the oars to be feathered," turned freely in any direc-
tion; and, second, those which allow only a backward and
forward hinge motion.
A shows a simple form of the first class. It consists merely
of two stout round pins of oak or other heavy wood, fitted
into two adjacent holes in the gunwale of the boat, and reach-
ing down into a second pair of holes in a block fastened below
inside. This oarlock is used often in ships' boats and small
sail craft. It is essentially a salt water" lock, and is seldom
The oarlocks B and C are two forms of the most usual and
perhaps best type. They are made of brass or galvanized
iron. The latter material is stronger, although the former may
be given a fine polish. These locks fit in iron sockets and
when well oiled turn easily. Small eyeholes are cast in the
sides, by means of which cords may be fastened to them. It
is important to have these cords always secure, as without them
it is an easy matter to lose a lock. We should advise our
readers to use this kind of a lock. Show these cuts to the
local blacksmith, and he will quickly give you a pair of wrought
iron locks which will stand service. -(
D, E, and F are for fixed oars. They
need little explanation. D is simply an
iron pin over which the oar fits; E is
a wooden or iron pin to which the oar is
fastened with a piece of rope. This
type is much used in boats in the Med-
iterranean seaports, and is employed
exclusively on the "caiques," or gon-
dolas, of Constantinople. '
In F we have the form used on most
river boats in this country. The oar is
attached to the lock, which pulls out of
its socket when the former is removed.
This is a convenient form for lumbermen,
etc., who have occasion to drop their
oars suddenly and attend to some other
task, but for our amateur club we can hardly recommend it as
"shipshape." As to a rudder, G shows the simple arrange-
ment. Two long pointed hooks on the rudder fit into eyeholes
which are screwed to the sternpost. The rudder head may
be made of hard wood. Handsome crosspieces of open
iron work, nickel or silver plated, are always to be had.
Steering lines of stout, white cotton rope are to be preferred to
colored picture cord. Everything neat, simple, and scrupu-
lously clean, should be the boat club's motto.
We shall not consider the many different types of oars, only
that to be used with the oarlock which we have recommended.
First of all, the club must decide whether to use two pairs of
short oars or one pair of long oars. In the former case the
oars should be of ash, about eight or nine feet long, with well-
tapered and symmetrical blades. The middle parts, which come
in contact with the oarlocks, should be covered with leather.
Very small tacks should be used for this purpose. It is bet-
ter to let a harness maker sew the collar around the oar and
then secure it with a few small tacks.
If the long oars are preferred they should be from eleven
to twelve feet in length and have long handles, for as each
oarsman will use only one oar he must have room for both
For long rows and cruising the small oars are better, but for
spurting in open water the long "pair-oars," as they are
called, will be found effective.
For the work of an amateur club, such as we are proposing,
we should not advise the use of racing sculls or light, fancy
oars. They are more appropriate for a shell or light barge
than for a captain's gig on a man-of-war.
Our boat lies at her moorings, glistening with paint, varnish,
and polished brass work. The cushions are in place, the rud-
der ready, and the oars lie along the thwarts (seats). See,
here come the crew in their new suits-blue blouses, baggy
trousers, and jaunty hats. They seem like regular salts. Let
us see how they handle their craft.
One man stands at the bow and the captain at the stern,
while the two others step in the boat from the dock. Notice
that they do not step on the seats, and that they place their
feet on the middle of the bottom board. Now the captain
takes his place on the cushion at the stern and grasps the steer-
Push her off," comes the order. The bowman, who has
unfastened the painter, shoves the boat out into the stream
with the boat hook.
"Oars up." The rowers take their oars (we are supposing
a pair-oar, that is, where each man rows one oar) and, rest-
ing the handles on the bottom board, hold the blades perpen-
dicularly in the air.
"Let fall." The oars drop, not too heavily, into the oar-
"Make ready, starboard, go." The rower whose oar is on
the right side of the boat rows a few strokes.
'Vast starboard." The starboard rower ceases to row,
his strokes having turned the boat's head from the shore.
"Ready all." Both rowers
bend forward as in Fig. 1. The
backs are straight, the arms
thrust well out, and the oars
poised in the air just above the
water. The man nearest the .
captain is the ''stroke," and -
the other oarsman keeps his eye ----- F=-
fixed on the stroke's neck. FIG. T.
"Go." At the word the
oars dip into the water until the
blades are just covered, and,
with straight backs and heads
well up, the rowers swing smart-
ly back with a snap near the
beginning until they reach the FIG. 2.
position indicated in Fig. 2.
They do not lean back so far as
to make recovery of the up-
right position difficult. The body
stops first, and the hands bring FIG. 3.
the oar handle up nearly to the lower part of the chest.
This movement from Fig. 1 to Fig. 2 is the stroke. Now
comes the recover. The body remains perfectly still, while
the hands, depressed a little to raise the blade from the water,
are thrust quickly forward to their full extent. The body fol-
lows them easily, and position ( Fig. 1) is recovered.
This is the essence of a good stroke. We have said nothing
of feathering," which is generally practiced by good oars-
men. It consists in turning the blade of the oar flat on the
recover. It is done for several reasons, among which these
are prominent: 1. When rowing in a rough or choppy sea the
oars need not be raised so high; 2. In pulling against a head
wind feathering considerably decreases the difficulty of re-
cover because less surface is exposed; 3. "Feathering" is
often necessary to steady light racing shells, the oars skipping
along the surface of the water on the recover.
"Feathering" is done entirely by the wrist, as shown in Fig.
3. At the beginning of the stroke the wrists are held straight, as
in b, and the oar blade is perpendicular to the water. Toward
the end of the stroke the wrist begins to turn toward the rower,
until at the beginning of the recover it is in the position a, and
the oar blade is parallel to the water. The wrist keeps this
position during the recover until, near the end, it begins to
straighten, reaching position b again in time for the stroke.
We have given now all the instructions strictly necessary to
master the stroke. Careful reading of these hints and diligent
practice will enable the crew to row well and scientifically.
All that is said of single oars may be applied to pairs, except
the orders Oars up" and Let fall."
THE STORY OF A GREAT RACE.
ACK is a Harvard freshman, and a nice fellow too. I've
always known him, and was always with him until a year
ago, when he went to college at Harvard and I came to Yale.
We're friends just the same now, and he went to the Univer-
sity boat race with me at New London-the eight-oared race
on the Thames River between Harvard and Yale.
We went up from New Haven together. Jack, freshman-
like, had decked himself all over with Harvard's crimson
colors, and he confessed to me that he felt out of place among
so much blue; for I think every person but Jack in those
seventeen cars had on more or less blue ribbon, and even the
red smokestack of the locomotive carried a long blue streamer,
planted there by one of my adventurous classmates.
Up at New London everything was astir. At the dock
people were crowding on board of tugs and yachts, and on
shore they were hurrying toward the grand stand on Winthrop's
Point, near the finish, or to the "Observation train." We
followed these last and found a score of platform cars rudely
fitted with tiers of plank seats and shielded from the sun by
an awning of white cotton cloth.
As each of the twenty-four cars held its full number of
seventy-two persons, we calculated that 1,728 people saw the
race from the train. This moving grand stand was to be
kept opposite the boats, so that its occupants might see the
A little after six o'clock we were hauled into position, the
train was made up, and two engines began pushing and pull-
ing it out from the dirty railroad yard into the bright green
We ran along the Thames shore for four miles to the start-
ing point. Behind us the hills cut off the slanting beams of
the low sun, and in front was the broad, blue, rippling river,
with bobbing flags marking the miles and half miles of the
racing course. Away down at the finish we could see the
blackness of a crowd on Winthrop's Point, and before them
on the water lay anchored a yacht fleet of fifty sail, cleft in
the middle by a lane two hundred feet wide, through which
the crews were to dash to the winning post. Ahead of us, on
the opposite shore, was the navy yard; still further north were
the snug quarters of the Harvard men, and further yet a dark
blue banner marked the boathouse of Yale. Looking ahead,
as we rounded a curve we caught the rare beauty of our own
long train-a quarter mile of color-gay with mingled red and
We halted at the starting point and waited, talking over the
chances of the race and the loveliness of the scene, until after
seven o'clock. The sun had just set when the eight stalwart
oarsmen of Harvard paddled across the stream in their narrow
shell, looking in the distance as if they sat astride a floating
log. Soon Yale came swinging down stream to her place.
Two men in skiffs hold the light shells on a line. The boats
are so near the high bank that we on the train cannot see them.
We see only a dozen crowded steamers hanging in midstream
waiting for the word; we see only the referee as he leans for-
ward in the bows of the Yale steam launch and shouts in a
ringing tone to the brown-backed giants under the brow of the
"Can you hear me, Yale?" (Yale has the west course and
is farther from him, but nearer us.)
"Are you ready? "
:- l'-.Y I~- .~L~ Iv..J ..L_ --
" ARE YOU READY ? GO!
- .. .
The crimson oars were the first to dip, and when we saw the
shells a second later the Harvard boat had poked its tawny
nose a foot before the prow of Yale. Then the crowds on sea
and shore, who had been hushed for a moment in their excite-
ment, broke loose in a tumultuous shout. Gray-haired men
yelled with the boys, and I noticed that some of the girls
screamed too, in their own scared sort of way. Ribbons and
flags flapped as though a hurricane had struck us.
The crews were in full view now, the sixteen strong naked
backs alive with quivering muscles, rising and falling in per-
fect time. We were making all the noise; they were silent,
only for the shrill cries of the coxswain and the low orders of
We were all yelling at the top of our lungs, and I could feel
Jack quiver with excitement and his voice was lost in the
swelling cry of "'Harvard!" as the crimson slowly lengthened
their lead. The boats were moving swiftly, and the train was
now hurrying along the track over which we had come so
quietly a few minutes before.
After two minutes Harvard ceased to gain, and by inches
Yale was making up her loss. I began to pluck up courage.
My voice was almost gone now, but I would have given my
last breath to help on that thundering cry of "Yale!" which
told that the boats were abreast again.
At the end of the first half mile Yale had the lead, and I
was calm enough to count the strokes of both crews. Harvard
was rowing 36, Yale 32 to the minute. But there was no doubt
that the Yale boat was moving more swiftly than her rival. I
looked at the two crews. Physically they were well matched;
the papers said the Harvard men averaged 160 pounds apiece,
two pounds more than Yale. There was but one noticeable dif-
ference in their movement. After the Harvards pulled their
oars through the water the men recovered" with a snap,
rushing aft in the boat with their slides and throwing forward
their hands and shoulders. This, or something else, broke the
even motion of their shell and made it pause between
strokes. The Yale crew recover" slowly. They hurry their
hands forward, but move slides and shoulders very gradually.
Their shell moves steadily on. But the Harvard men gain
time for four more good strokes in the minute than Yale can
pull; so her style also has its advantages.
But I have spent five minutes in studying the crews, and
Harvard still clings to Yale. They have rowed a mile and a
half, and the leaders have never yet been far enough ahead to
show clear water between the boats. So with the shells lapped
we pass behind Mamacoke, the rocky promontory which for a
fourth of a mile cuts off our view of the river. We give our
men "three times three" once more before we lose sight of
them, and the Harvard supporters, still hopeful, if no longer
confident, answer with an encouraging cheer. Then for two
endless minutes we saw nothing but the gravelly banks of a
We didn't talk much, Jack and I. We hadn't much to say,
and had very little voice to say it with. So we were silent,
watching the men on the engine in front. They would be the
first to see the crews. Both colleges were represented there;
but it was the blue that leaped into the air as we rounded the
hill and saw again the river and the straining oarsmen. In a
second the train caught the omen, and was blue with flags and
rocking with cheers.
Two miles, and the boats still lapped! Could we never shake
them off, or would they dog us to the last and then row us
down at the finish? No, they had fought their fight, and
gradually Yale pulled away. Open water danced between the
stern of Yale and the bow of Harvard, now at the two-and-a-
half-mile flag, and the gap grew to three boat lengths, then to
four. The race was Yale's. Down through the lane of yachts
and steamers swept the laboring champions, and, only a few
yards between them and victory, Harvard's gallant crew dashed
on, fighting to the last, and finishing but fourteen seconds be-
No. 2, of Yale, the youngest fellow in the boat, put his last
morsel of strength into the final strokes and then fell back
fainting on the knees of No. 1. But a splash of cold sea-
water in the face brought him to his senses, and he smiled with
the rest as the referee announced that Yale had won the race,
54 OUR BOYS.
time 22 min. 56 sec., and delivered to the captain the rich
silken flags, which were the only prize of victory.
Jack and I made our way quietly back to the city with the
crowd. The blue was flying everywhere. But I liked the way
Jack stood by his colors. He said he was sorry, of course,
that his crew hadn't won, but he was as proud as ever that he
was a Harvard man, for it was no disgrace to be beaten in
such a hard race."
THE sight of a smooth, clean block of clear white pine sends
a boy's hand into his pocket in search of a jackknife as
surely as he has a spark of ingenuity in his make-up. If the
block is two or three inches wide and a foot long it almost as
certainly suggests a boat, and ten chances to one the youngster
will be found for an hour or two thereafter in some out-of-the-
way corner laboriously whittling his prize into some sort of
resemblance to a craft that he has seen or of which he has
heard. He manages tolerably well, perhaps, with one side of
the bow and with the opposite side of the stern, but when he
comes to finish off both sides, so that they shall be exactly
alike fore and aft, his troubles begin, and only end when he
cuts his finger by an unlucky slip or breaks his knife in trying
to hollow out the inside.
Perhaps, however, he has the use of a set of tools and some
kind of a shop, and in that case the result of his labors is con-
siderably more like a real boat, and straightway he proceeds
to rig it with a mast and sails; and very likely has no end of
fun with it, though its sailing powers may be very limited and
it will only sail in one direction, and not very certainly even in
that. There is no reason, however, why, with the same
amount of work, he should not construct a boat that will sail
reasonably well in any desired direction, and beat any craft of
her size that is not still better planned and more skillfully con-
structed. Everybody knows that model yachts are now built
of large size-six feet or more long-and wonderfully com-
plete in their fittings and equipment, but with these we will not
deal at present.
Let us suppose that we have a block of white pine about
three times as long as it is wide, and rather less than half as
thick as it is wide. To be exact and have figures to follow,
let us say twenty-one inches long, seven inches wide, and three
inches deep. If you are not a good enough carpenter to
square and smooth it nicely find some one to do it for you. A
lopsided block will make a lopsided boat which will not sail.
Draw a straight middle line A B, from end to end on top and
c AJ//AR 2.
bottom, and across the ends of the block, meeting the two long
lines. (See Fig. 1.)
Take a piece of thick paper or thin cardboard the exact
size of the block and draw upon it the shape of the deck. To
make the two edges alike double the paper on the line A B,
and cut through both thicknesses. (See Fig. 2.) Lay this
pattern on the block and mark the deck plan, using the edges
of the paper for a guide.
Take a similar piece of paper and mark the bottom plan on
the other side of the block. (See lower plan, Fig. 2.) Next
take a piece of paper the size of the side of the block and
draw upon it a curve like that shown on the side of Fig. 1.
Cut it out as in the case of the deck and bottom plans, and
mark the line on both sides of the block itself.
In drawing these curved lines it will be found very con-
venient to have a thin, slender strip of wood which when bent
will form a true curve. Such a strip may be cut from a piece
of thin stuff such as is used for placing behind framed mirrors,
or it may be sawed from the edge of a three-quarter-inch pine
board. The curves which it will naturally take are good ones
to follow. Stout pins or fine wire nails may be driven lightly
into the wood and the strip bent against them to hold it firmly,
while drawing the lines.
Turn the block bottom uppermost, fix it firmly on the bench,
and begin cutting away the corners until at the middle or cross
section the block is something like C, Fig. 2. Toward the bow
and stern the cross sections should be like D, Fig. 2.
When the parts between the side lines and the bottom lines
have been trimmed off, cut away all outside of the deck line,
keeping the block the same size as the deck plan as far down
as the wood remains. This done the block will look some-
thing like Fig. 3, the sides being all curved plane surfaces,
with an angle separating them along the side line. Now trim
away these angles carefully, making fair round curves, and
finish first with coarse and then with fine sandpaper. The
block will then have become a very fair model of a rather
broad, shallow boat with a flat floor, to which a keel can be
attached when the time comes.
The next operation is hollowing the interior. And this is
perhaps the most difficult. It ought really to be done before
shaping the outside, but that requires such careful measure-
ments that it is probably best for most young builders to shape
the outside first. It is very encouraging to see something that
really looks like a boat at an early stage of the work. The
reason why the hollowing ought to be done first is that the
block is then regular in shape and can be held firmly in a vise
or laid flat on the workbench, where it will remain steady
while working with a gouge. However, as we have shaped
the outside we must make the best of it.
A row of three-quarter-inch auger holes two inches deep
bored along the center line serves as a good guide for the
gouge. Aim to make the sides half an inch thick, except
near the bow and stern and along the bottom, where they
should be thicker for strength. At first free strokes may be
made with the gouge, working from the ends toward the
middle; but when the thickness is reduced to about an inch
more, care must be taken and the thickness must be constantly
tested by feeling with the thumb and finger. It is possible, of
course, to make the sides thinner than half an inch by careful
work. If in spite of all care the gouge cuts through, two
courses are open to the builder. Get a new block and begin
over again, or cut away around the hole till the edges are half
an inch thick, and then fit in a piece of wood as accurately as
possible, covering all the edges with glue. Marine glue is best,
but that is not easy to obtain in this country. Common glue
will do very well, as the hole is to be painted over inside and
out. Of course the mended place must be left twenty-four
hours to dry before trimming off the projecting parts of the
plug, but work may continue on the rest of the interior, and
the keel may be set in place.
This last should be half an inch thick and about two inches
wide at the deepest part, near the stern. From a point about
six inches from the stern it should narrow to nothing at the
bow. The width given is greater than necessary, since it can
easily be trimmed down if desired. Fasten it from the inside
with three or four long, slender screws passing through the
bottom from the inside.
The deck is of pine, one quarter or one eighth of an inch
thick. Turn the boat upside down upon it and mark the shape
with a pencil. Cut it out, leaving a little to spare. Nail it to
the gunwales with three or four fine wire nails on each side,
but do not drive the nails home, as the deck will have to be
removed before being finally fastened in place. Trim off the
edges and sandpaper them till they are fair with the sides all
Cut a circular or oval opening in the middle of the deck
large enough to admit the hand, and save the piece that is cut
out for a hatch cover. It will be quite a close fit if neatly cut
out, and a piece of the same material cut a little larger and
nailed to it with fine brass wire nails, and with a coat of paint
or glue between the two pieces, will make a very satisfactory
When all is done give the whole interior, including the under
side of the deck, a coat of paint or three coats of brown shellac
varnish. A great advantage of shellac is that it dries ia a few
minutes, and, while it is not quite so brilliant as coach varnish,
is good enough for most purposes. The outside may as well
be painted or varnished at the same time, and then both can-
The best material for sails is fine white muslin, a yard of
which may be purchased for a few cents. The sloop or cutter
is the handiest rig, and that is accordingly described, though
a schooner rig may be made on the same general principles.
Now, one may guess at the relations of sails and hull, and
may, perhaps, make a lucky hit and get them nearly right, but
it is quite easy to make a sure thing of it by a few simple rules.
There are two points in every sailing vessel that must be-known
before she will sail properly; namely, the center of lateral
resistance of the hull, and the "center of effort" of the
You will need two or three bags of ballast, weighing, say,
a quarter of a pound apiece. Have them small enough to go
through the hatch. Shot is the best ballast, but sand or small
stones will do. Bags are desirable because they will not shift
easily if the boat keels over. A lead keel is best of all, but
that is more trouble to make, so inside ballast is recommended.
Place the ballast so that the boat will float with the bow rather
higher out of water than the stern, and then with a stick try to
push her gently sidewise through the water. A few trials will
show the point where she balances-namely, the center of
lateral resistance. Make a mark where the stick rests, so that
you will always know where this center is.
Next draw the sails on a piece of stiff cardboard and cut
out the irregular figure that includes them both. (See Fig. 4.)
F/IGURE 4. SAIL PLAN
From this cut out a narrow space representing the space
between the two sails. Stretch a cord tightly between the two
fixed points and balance the cardboard sail pattern upon it,
taking care that the forward edge of the mainsail is parallel, or
nearly so, to the edge. Mark the line upon which the pattern
balances (dotted line, Fig. 4). Somewhere it passes through
the center of effort, and that is enough for present purposes.
Now take the pattern and hold it upright on the deck in the
position that will be occupied by the real sails, and move it till
the center of effort is exactly over the center of lateral resist-
ance. Then you can mark the place where the mast should be
stepped and see how long the bowsprit must be. If you do
not like the look of the sails when the two centers correspond
you can shift the center of effort aft by increasing the width of
the mainsail, or forward by increasing the size of the foresail;
or you can shift the center of lateral resistance by moving bal-
last or by trimming away the keel, as may seem necessary.
At any rate bring the two centers as nearly as possible one
above the other.
When this is done cut the sail patterns apart and use them
to mark out the shape of the sails on the muslin. The foremost
edge (the luff," as the sailors call it) of the foresail should
be on the selvage of the muslin, and so, too, the aftermost
edge (or "leech") of the mainsail. These are the two edges
most likely to stretch. Allow enough material for turning in
a hem on all the edges.
The mast should be about half an inch in diameter for a
twenty-one-inch model, and about two feet long from foot to
truck. The other spars are slightly smaller, and all are
tapered a little toward the outer end. The spar at the foot
of the mainsail is called the boom," and that at the head
the "gaff." It is a good plan also to have a light boom at
the foot of the foresail. Small hooks may be screwed into
the ends of the gaff and booms, which hook into small screw
eyes set in masts and bowsprit.
The sails are laced to the spars with needle and thread, and
the foresail is in like manner attached to the forestay and to
its own boom.
The rigging is best made of small fishing line, and to set it
up so that it can readily be taken down a number of small
brass hooks are convenient. These may be made of wire, or
the ordinary hooks and eyes of the shops may be made to
answer. It is very convenient to be able to take everything to
pieces so that the boat can be more easily carried.
The mast is stepped simply by boring a half-inch hole in
the deck and another in the block of wood screwed to the bot-
tom inside. To step the bowsprit, set a half-inch screw eye
at the extreme bow and a smaller one on the deck three or four
inches nearer the mast. This should pass through the deck
into a cleat on its under side, and the keel of the bowsprit
should be cut to fit this smaller screw eye and project half an
inch beyond it.
The bowsprit is held in place by the bobstay," the line
passing from the bowsprit end to a screw eye set in the cut-
water near the water line. It is made fast to the bowsprit and
hooked into the screw eye. The forestay" is also made
fast to the bowsprit and hooked to the masthead. It should
be made so short that when fastened the mast will bend slightly
forward. Probably the forestay will be enough to prevent the
mast from jumping out of its step, but if not, side stays may
be made fast to the mast head and hooked to screw eyes
set in the gunwales nearly opposite the mast. The halyard
which holds up the gaff is hooked to the mast and made fast
to the gaff.
The sails are regulated by means of lines called sheets,"
which are made fast to the booms and carry a small ring on
the other end, which runs upon a wire stretched across the
deck, say, quarter of an inch above it at the points marked
A B in Fig. 5. Small screw eyes may be set in the deck or
gunwales to support these wires, which are called "horses."
The rings are "'travelers."
The boat is now ready for service. She might be made
prettier and more graceful in many ways, but she should give
a fairly good account of herself on any point of sailing. It is
impossible to tell beforehand how any boat is going to behave.
She may need to have her ballast shifted toward bow or stern.
She may sail better on one tack than on the other; many
large craft do that; and all vessels have little peculiarities that
can only be found out by becoming intimately acquainted with
A great deal of ingenuity has been expended upon contriv-
ing models and sail plans that will steer themselves, and some
skillful builders dispense with rudders altogether. They claim
that their boats will go in any direction if the sails are prop-
erly trimmed. It is better, however, to have a rudder. The
simplest form for our model is seen in Fig. 5, two screw eyes
being set in the stern post and keel, and two corresponding
hooks, or pintless," in the rudder. If, however, an over-
hang stern is preferred the rudder must be made with a round
post which fits into a hole bored upward on a line with the
stern post through the overhang of the stern. Th6 rudder
post may be tapered, in which case the hole must be tapered
also. It may be bored with an ordinary bit and reamed out
so that it will be largest at the lower end. This is done so
that the rudder can be pushed in tightly enough to stay in any
position in which it is set. It must be remembered, however,
that the wood will swell as soon as it is wet, and if pushed in
too tightly at first it may become so firmly set that you cannot
get it out until it dries and shrinks. Another way is to make
the rudder post without a taper and long enough to reach up
through the deck. Such a one should fit loosely enough in its
case to turn easily whether wet or dry.
At the head of the rudder post is fitted a slender handle, or
tiller, in such a manner that whatever the position of the rud-
der its end will press firmly upon the deck. A row of pins is
set crosswise of the deck (brass wire nails are as good as any-
thing), and by springing the tiller upward and letting it down
between any two of these pins it will hold the rudder at any
A more scientific way is to have a self-acting rudder, one
that is made partly of lead, so that when the boat leans over
to one side the rudder will swing of its own weight to the same
side. Some model yachtsmen have a set of several differ-
ently weighted rudders to use in winds of different strength.
If the self-acting rudder is tried it is best to make it rather
broad and have a good solid strip of lead at the aftermost edge.
A still easier way, however, is to let the tiller project aft from
the rudder head (see Fig. 5) and have a leaden weight fitted
to it which can be moved back and forth on the tiller, accord-
ing to the amount of helm required. The tiller may be made
of a piece of stiff brass wire, and the leaden weight may be
fastened at any point by a small wedge or plug of wood thrust
into the hole through which the wire passes. The best way of
all is to have a screw thread turned on the wire or to buy a
brass rod with a thread turned upon it.
A number of trials will have to be made before you can tell
with certainty how much or how little helm will be required
with a given wind. The point to be aimed at is so to adjust
the helmn that the boat will sail as long as possible on one tack
without going about. As all winds are more or less variable
it is usually necessary to give her rather more helm than she
really needs to bring out her best speed.
The general courses which a boat may sail are four in
1. Close hauled-that is, with her bow pointed as nearly
as possible in the direction from which the wind comes.
2. On a reach-that is, with the wind blowing more or less
directly against her side.
3. With a free wind-that is, blowing from behind, but not
4. Before the wind.
In the first instance the mainsail must be sheeted in rather
close, and the forestay sail a little less close. Start her off on
either tack and watch her behavior. If she shows a tendency
to fall off-that is, present the broadsides of her sails more and
more squarely to the wind-she has too much helm; but if, on
the contrary, she keeps coming up into the wind and shaking
her sails she has too little helm, and must be treated accord-
On a "reach" the sheets are slacked away till the booms
form an angle of about thirty degrees with the hull. On this
course she will require more helm than when close hauled.
With the wind free, or on the quarter, the booms are slacked
away to an angle of about forty-five degrees and still more
Before the wind the main boom is at a right angle with the
hull and may very likely require to be held in that position by
means of a line passing forward and known as the boom
tackle." Give her all the helm possible, for on this course the
tendency is very strong to shoot up into the wind. This may
sometimes be corrected by booming out the forestay sail on
the opposite side from the mainsail. To do this another light
spar is required, one end of which is attached by means of a
hook to the after end of the forestay sail boom, while the other
end is in like manner fastened to some point on the gunwale.
With the sails arranged in this manner the boat should be very
fast down the wind, but it is not always easy to make her do
it until her habits are well understood.
There are ingenious and elaborate devices for self-steering
boats, whereby the main sheet is attached to the tiller and the
action of the rudder becomes more or less powerful according
to the pressure of the wind upon the sail. These devices re-
quire such nice adjustment that a description is not attempted.
The places to see model yachts in their greatest perfection
are probably Prospect Park, in Brooklyn, N. Y., and Central
Park, in New York city. On the lakes in these parks of a
66 OUR BOYS.
Saturday afternoon one may generally find a very considerable
fleet afloat, some of them almost large enough to carry their
owners and requiring two men in a rowboat to manage them
and prevent accidents. Such vessels are very pretty and
scientific, but they are a great bother, and for most people are
not half so much fun as a boat less than two feet long such as
has been here described.
The pursuit of model yachting as a sport and recreation,
not only for boys but for grown-up men who love the water, is
becoming more popular every year, and the model yacht fleet
in America is setting a noble example to the navy of the
United States. Model steam yachts are already in demand,
and ironclads with ramming arrangements and electric lights
are only a question of time.
A GREAT YACHT RACE.
F Queen Elizabeth was frightened at the approach of the
Spanish Armada, how, we wonder, would she have re-
garded such a flotilla as crowded New York harbor ? Majestic
ocean steamships, great, white Hudson River boats, harbor
excursion steamers, trim yachts with shining paint and bur-
nished brass, tugs, rowboats, and everything else that floats,
even a reckless United States naval cutter, crowded around
two snowy mountains of canvas, the "Volunteer" and the
"Thistle." Here were the Goulds, the Astors, and the Van-
derbilts, in their costly private yachts, and the Joneses,
Browns, and Smiths, apparently just as happy in their dingy,
wheezy tugs or crowded steamers. So closely massed were
the craft that one could easily imagine that a second Xerxes
had thrown a bridge of boats across a western Hellespont.
The black smoke and blue steam from
hundreds of vessels rose in beautiful con-
trasts, and thousands of flags and stream-
ers floated in the almost breathless air. --
Is there going to be any wind?" is
the anxious question all over the fleet.
Old salts knowingly scan the sky and
dubiously shake their heads. The flags
flutter feebly, the yachts' sails are flat
and lifeless. It is noon. Suddenly a t
slight breeze straightens out the flags, a
gun fires, the "Volunteer" and "Thistle"
swarm with sailors, up come the anchors,
the Scotch boat rounds to, begins to feel
the air, and she moves off like a huge
bird. The Volunteer" soon follows,
but is much more sluggish than her black-
hulled rival, who turns and wheels with THE AMERICA'S CUP.
marvelous ease. The Scots are jubilant, and the bagpipes
play. Softly, Caledonian friends, that famous centerboard is
not down yet. The yachts tack back and forth until the last
gun fires, when they make for the starting line. The
"Thistle" crosses first amid a perfect pandemonium of
whistles, great and small, deep and shrill; the "Volunteer"
is close behind, sluggish no longer. Like a race horse she
leaps after her rival. What, do the bagpipes falter? The
Yankee is gaining on the canny Scot. The Thistle" goes
about toward Long Island, but the Volunteer keeps on her
way. It is an unlucky move for the Scotch skipper. He finds
himself in a dead calm, while the "Volunteer" is skimming
SHEER PLAN OF THE THISTLE."
away toward Sandy Hook. At last he escapes and begins a
hopeless chase. The race is really over now. The Boston
boat is showing a clean pair of heels to the cutter from the
And now while the yachts are on their way to Sandy Hook
let us see what the race means. Why are these two boats,
costing thousands of dollars, and built especially for this race,
chasing each other down New York harbor, while England and
the United States wait breathlessly for news of the result?
In August, 1851, at Cowes, England, the Yankee schooner
"America" won what was then known as the "Queen's
Cup," but has since been called the "America's Cup." In
1857 the owner of the "America gave the cup to the New
York Yacht Club on condition that it should be a perpetual
challenge cup-that is, that under certain rules any foreign
yacht could try to win the trophy. Six unsuccessful attempts
have been made by England to recover this coveted cup, and
let us trust that the efforts of the future will be equally
But to return to the race. The procession," as the wags
term it, is still going on in the same order, and there is no
danger of it being reversed. The Volunteer" has passed
Sandy Hook and is flying out toward the lightship, eight miles
away on the broad Atlantic. The great fleet rush after her,
and the "Thistle" is left two miles in the rear. As the
steamers sweep out into the open sea an elated and inebriated
fellow-passenger wisely remarks, It takes a big ocean to
hold all these boats." This gives, perhaps, an exaggerated
idea of the flotilla, but it was large enough for the harbor if it
didn't occupy the entire surface of the Atlantic. Soon the
white sloop rounds the lightship and scampers for home like a
frightened gull. But she has no cause for alarm. It is twenty
minutes before the "Thistle arrives and begins the hopeless
chase. Once inside the Hook the Volunteer turns toward
the Narrows, and has a straight course before the wind to the
finish line. See, her men who have been lying flat on deck
are up and at it." A spar swings out to starboard, a white
sail flutters for a moment, swells into a lovely curve and the
" spinnaker is set. Could there be a more glorious sight?
The huge mainsail on one side, balanced by the snowy
=_,. -,- -_ -------r;----_
spinnaker on the other, a great topsail surmounting both, the
whole aglow with the ruddy light of the sinking sun. The
steamers and yachts have formed a broad avenue all the way
to the finish. Along this waterway the proud boat glides like
a triumphant Roman general entering the imperial city. But
no Caesar ever had such an ovation of steam whistles, shouts,
and cannon as greeted the great white sloop as she majestic-
ally crossed the line and calmly furled her sails. The captains
hung on their whistle cords, the people yelled and cheered and
tossed their hats and went wild with excitement. The first
race was ours, and whatever the final result we cannot forget
the triumph of that moment. Nineteen minutes later the
" Thistle received a warm welcome-much warmer, in fact,
than she would have found had she come in ahead. The first
race is over. We have met the enemy and they are ours.
There is a bad leak in the bagpipes.
The second day's race was twenty miles out to sea and re-
turn, starting from the Scotland Lightship. The Volunteer"
gained an immediate advantage, which she maintained to the
finish, winning in magnificent style by eleven minutes. There
was plenty of wind, and no interference on the part of steam-
ers. The race was fair and decisive. The "America's
Cup was safe.
A YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHER.
TOM WOOD was a grammar school boy of fifteen, with a
bright eye, a clear brain, and a thirst for experimental
knowledge. The pictorial instinct which is first betrayed in
scrawls upon the slate which need a label to indicate definitely
the purpose of the limner, and which is afterward developed
by practice of the school drawing lessons, was a prominent
feature of Tom's mental outfit. His sketches and caricatures
revealed the inspiration of the true artist, and his more careful
studies carried up the percentage of his class in the exami-
nations and were a prominent factor in the average hope of
The love of doing and making things, and the passion for
finding things out, are usually coupled with a creditable degree
of skill in the use of tools and a fair endowment of what the
Down Easter calls gumption."
Tom was that way himself. In all that pertains to deftness
with the jackknife he was a past master. He had dabbled in
such branches of chemistry and optics as are within the reach
of a boy of limited income, until his friend Joe Hardy, who
adds to his already brilliant repertory of words an occasional
French expression, spoke of him as quite aufait in such
The epidemic of amateur photography, which has numbered
so many victims, unhesitatingly marked Tom for its own. Here
was a process which, instead of a feebly attempted copy of
nature, gives us nature itself, with every gradation of light and
shade and every detail of form and texture. It was so admi-
rable in its methods and so perfect in its result sas compared
with the best efforts of his pencil that his soul yearned to pos-
sess its secrets and perform its miracles. But how?
A catalogue of the appliances by which the necromancy was
to be accomplished was sent in return for a small remittance
in stamps forwarded by Tom and Joe, and the twain eagerly
perused its contents. A brief study revealed the fact that an
outfit would cost ten dollars, and as the sum was many times the
amount of their combined funds they were in despair. It
could not be done.
Still their interest in the subject incited them to continue the
perusal of the pamphlet, and they were rewarded by finding a
description of the process, which, with its plain formulas and
definite directions, was simplicity itself. Anybody could do
it if he only had the apparatus; but the obstacle seemed in-
Tom studied the problem by day and dreamed of it at
night. He knew something of the laws which govern the re-
fraction of light, as illustrated by the burning glass or his
grandmother's spectacles. The essential features of the
photographic camera seemed to be a darkened chamber (in
fact, as his philological friend Joe assured him, the full name
" camera obscura meant precisely this), a small aperture on
the side nearest to the object to be taken," and a place to
put the picture plates in focus. His bedroom window looked
out upon the red woodhouse, the new carriage house, the
grape arbor, and orchard, while a thousand feet distant was
the domicile and outbuildings of the Hardys, and, still
beyond, the hills and the sky. Why not darken the window
and make a camera of the bedroom? Jiminy! It was just
They studied the catalogue again and found that a box of
one dozen 4x5 dry plates already sensitized could be bought
for ninety cents, and though the raising of this amount might
require some good financiering they were sure they could man-
age it, and Tom believed himself capable of solving any
merely mechanical problems that might present themselves.
Luckily it was vacation, and they could command the neces-
In the first place they fitted a board a foot wide across the
bottom of the window, and in the middle they bored a one-
inch hole, blackening its interior to prevent the reflection of
any stray rays of light. On the outside of the hole they fas-
tened a piece of sheet lead, in the center of which was a round
aperture of one quarter inch in diameter. Against the inner
side of the hole they secured a spectacle glass, taken from a
pair of grandmother's the nosebridge of which had been
broken. Tom explained to Joe that this was the lens, while
the hole in the board was the lens tube, and the piece of lead
the diaphragm or stop of which they had read in the much-
Tom next proceeded to cut a hole five inches square in the
Board at one side, and to cover it with red
S paper. This," said he to Joe, is my red
lantern. You know it says that the box of
plates must be opened 'only in red light,'
and not too much of that; but I guess the
C A 3B two thicknesses of this paper will make it
safe enough." He then arranged a flap of
cardboard with a cloth hinge, so that the red
light could be shut out when desired, and
covered the top of the window with shawls
and quilts till not a ray of light could pene-
FIG. i.-A, tube; B, trate it.
diaphragm; lens. As the demonstration of the experiment
drew nearer the two boys were in a glow of expectancy. The
screen of red paper was found to diffuse a glow of rosy light
on everything within range, and was pronounced just the
thing. This was shut off and the room was absolutely dark,
excepting the beam of white light that came in through the
lens. The grand test was now to be made, and Tom actually
trembled with excitement. A piece of white paper was held
just back of the lens, and a round spot of white light was seen
upon it. They were disappointed. As they drew the paper
away, however, traces of color and form began to show, and
when at a distance of about twelve inches, wonder of wonders !
there was the picture, clear and distinct, in all the beautiful
tints of nature! Soft, fleecy clouds were drifting across the
lovely blue of the sky, the green trees were waving in a fresh
breeze, the distant hills were hazily outlined against the hori-
zon, and everything was as perfect as nature itself! It was
bottom up, but that didn't matter. The apparatus was perfect
so far as that particular view was concerned, and the boys felt
that they were well repaid for their trouble, even if they never
made a photograph. The experiment had furnished fun
enough for one day and a basis for a series of highly ornate
and picturesque dreams that night.
The cost of the chemicals was by no means formidable.
Tom knew a druggist who let him have such things at about
the cost price. A quarter of a pound of oxalate of potash
cost ten cents, four ounces of copperas two cents, and the
same quantity of hyposulphite of soda another two cents.
These were purchased the next day and the chemical outfit was
complete. Tom took two round vials, a big and a little one,
cut off the top just below the neck with one of those glass-cut-
ters you buy at the corner of Fulton Market for ten cents, and
pasted a strip of paper the whole length of each. He then
borrowed the druggist's graduate and poured into the vials
different quantities of water, marking the paper the height to
which the vial was filled by each, and when he got through he
had two accurate measures for
liquids-one for ounces and the
other for drams.
On reaching home he put the
four ounces of oxalate into a bottle,
added one pint of water, and shook I
it occasionally until dissolved. The 6 I
four ounces of copperas were put 3
in another bottle with one pint of
water, and the hyposulphite was
dissolved in one and a half pints of
water. As the plates were small
any table utensils of six inches or
more in diameter would answer for developing-trays-large
dinner plates, for instance.
The plates had been bought in the meantime, and all was
ready. Two ounces of the oxalate solution were measured
and poured into a tumbler, and three drams of the copperas
solution were added to it. The combined liquid changed in-
stantly to a deep orange red. This was the developer. Two
ounces of the hypo solution were poured into another tumbler,
and both were taken, with the two dishes and the box of
plates, into the bedroom.
A table of the same height as the lens was moved in front
of the window, and on the table was placed a frame having
two grooved uprights
for holding the 4x5
plates in .position. In
--" ---: constructing this Tom
had used a piece of
cardboard of the same
size as the plate, and
this was now in the
grooves. A flap was
fitted over the lens so
as to shut off its light
FIG. 3.-A, lens aperture; B, rack for holding when necessary,and the
card and plate. window was darkened.
The rack carrying the white card was now slid on the table
until the image of the outside landscape was perfectly sharp
and clear, and the rack was fastened in place. The light from
the lens was shut off and the red light let on. The box of
plates was opened and a plate put in the rack, with the dull
or gelatine side next the window. Now comes the vital test of
The light from the lens is let on for just three seconds and
again shut off. The plate is put in the dish and the developer
poured on it, and it is rocked back and forth so that the liquid
flows evenly over its surface. For a few seconds the boys
watch the surface of the plate with breathless attention. It
looks perfectly plain, and, by the red light, of a delicate pink
color. For the first ten seconds nothing appears, then a dark
patch spreads over the top, then the outline of the nearer
buildings comes out, with windows, doors, and other detail.
The boys are enraptured. The distant hills grow darker and
merge into the sky. The foliage takes form, and the whole
seems turning gray, and, as this is the stage at which, accord-
ing to the directions, the development should stop, the solu-
tion is turned back into the tumbler, the plate rinsed with
water from the pitcher, and then the hypo solution is poured
The effect of the hypo was singular. The milky and trans-
lucent coating of the plate (it was not really pink, that was
the effect of the red light) slowly became transparent, ex-
cepting the dark parts which made the picture. It was a
"negative," sure enough. The parts that were light in the
view were black in the negative, while those that were dark
showed nearly or quite transparent, while all between were
represented by variously graded half-tints.
When Tom held up the cleared plate to the red light he went
into ecstasies over the result. He knew now that it could be
carried out into daylight, as the hypo had dissolved out all the
silver salts that had given light sensitiveness to the film. All
that remained to do was to wash the plate thoroughly and dry
it, when it would be ready to print from.
The simplest kind of printing is the ferrocyanide, or
"blue print," such as you have seen in the show cases of
dealers in mathematical instruments. The photograph supply
dealers sell a nice printing frame for fifty or sixty cents, but
our boys had already exhausted their funds. So they impro-
vised a frame in this way: They took a pane of glass, cut
with the ten-cent glass-cutter, an inch wider on each side than
the negative, or 6x7 inches, and having cut a half-inch
board to the same size they glued upon one face of it a piece
of canton flannel. First they laid the glass on the table, on
this the negative, gelatine side up, then a 4x5 piece of
the ferrocyanide paper (purchased from the dealer), yellow
side down, and lastly the board, with the flannel next the
paper. The four were then fastened together by four spring
clothespins at the corners. Next the affair was placed in the
sunshine for ten minutes or more, glass side up. By the end
of this time the picture should be printed, and it was taken in
out of the sun, released from the clamp, washed in plenty of
water, and dried. When thus finished it was a beautiful view
in blue and white, which delighted not only the Wood and
Hardy families, but all the neighbors, and earned for Tom and
Joe the reputation of being the smartest boys in town.
The ferrocyanide, or "blue print," is a very attractive
picture, as Tom explained to Joe; the color is a beautiful
Prussian blue, lovely in tint and absolutely permanent.
Every bright boy of fifteen ought to know that the root, fer
means "iron;" but not everyone knows, as Tom did, that
Prussic acid is hydrocyanic acid, and that this particular com-
bination of iron and cyanide is the color whose commercial
name we just mentioned.
Joe remembered that prussic acid was "that poison stuff I
read about a while ago. The book says that its toxicant
action (a good word for our philologist) "is so sudden and
powerful that a drop of it placed on the tongue of a dog will
kill a man in five minutes."
"I guess you mean the dog, don't you?" said Tom.
"Well, yes," said Joe, thoughtfully, "I guess it was the
dog, come to think of it."
As I said before, the pictures were charming. The tones
varied from a dense indigo to the tints of the sky on a perfect
June morning, while at the other end of the scale the high
lights were a pure white. The boys were enchanted with their
success, and the prints were exhibited with a perceptible glow
of pride and satisfaction to an admiring circle of friends and
Tom's father was a well-to-do farmer, the chairman of the
school committee, and a believer in educational progress. As
he examined the pictures, the result of perseverance and in-
genuity as well as of artistic taste, his face betrayed his
sympathy with the artist and his admiration of the work. He
remembered how his father, thirty years before, had repressed
with a strong hand his own artistic efforts and longings, and
the feeling-almost aversion-that he felt toward him for
years, and had hardly yet outgrown. His own boy should be
encouraged and assisted, instead of being censured and re-
pulsed, and he would enjoy his success as if it were his own.
Boys," said he, you have done something so wonder-
ful that it seems to me almost like a miracle. The pictures
are really excellent, and I want to patronize you. What will
you charge me for a dozen of them?"
The possibility of the intrusion of a commercial problem
of this nature had not occurred to our young friends, and
they were unprepared to answer.
"Well," said he, I will give you three dollars for a dozen
as soon as you get them done."
The boys were delighted to receive so practical an evidence
of appreciation and so welcome an addition to their financial
resources, and they accepted the proposition of Mr. Wood
with profuse thanks and the assurance that they really didn't
expect any such good luck."
As the next day was Saturday, and the sun shone clear and
bright, the prints were made and the cash turned into the
In a country place like Byfield intelligence spreads rapidly,
and it did not take many hours for the circulation of the main
facts among the boys and even the elder people. Among the
admirers of the work was an aunt of Tom's who was in
ecstasies over the accomplishment of her young nephew.
"I want you," said she, "to make a picture of my house
just like this, and I will pay you the same price and send you
lots of customers besides."
Here was a serious dilemma. Aunt Alice's cottage was a
mile away and could not be moved over and got in range of
the little aperture in Tom's bedroom window, nor could the
Woods' domicile be carried around to this or the other local-
ities where views were waiting to be made.
Tom was in a quandary, but he had no idea of being van-
quished by the difficulties that at first seemed insurmountable.
He was silent and thoughtful for a few days, and for as many
nights he cheated himself of sleep to think it over.
At last the idea which had so long evaded his mental grasp
dawned upon him, and he was enraptured. The proverbial
kitten with the dual caudal appendage, or old Euclid with his
" Prop. 11th, 4th book," could not have been more thoroughly
pleased. He could hardly wait till morning to impart the de-
tails of his plan to Joe and commence the construction of the
The undertaking which he now proposed was the building of
a camera which could be used to take'an unlimited number of
beautiful views instead of a single one. He had a few well-
selected tools, and he could procure such materials as a
country town would furnish and the cash in hand would pay
for. In getting his plans in practical form his knowledge of
drawing was of great service and his mechanical skill in-
We will try to describe his invention so clearly and to illustrate
it so fully that any one of our young readers whose aspirations
run in the same direction may easily make an outfit for
A feature of the camera which Tom had seen in the cat-
alogue, and which filled him with despair, was the bellows
which allows the camera to be shortened or lengthened, and
i---------i ------ --
which makes it look like an exaggerated accordion. He ad-
mitted to himself that it was entirely beyond his skill. He
could manage the rest, but this was the part which cost him so
much thought and the obstacle which he had the final satis-
faction of surmounting.
"You remember," he said to Joe, "that we moved the
white card to and from the window till the picture was clear
and sharp on it. That's what they call 'getting the image in
focus,' and in order to do it we must make the portable
chamber so that the lens at one end can be moved toward or
from the plate at the other end. Next we must make it all
dark inside, like my bedroom, so that no rays of light can get
in except through the lens, and then it will make a picture
all right and we can carry it about and make a picture any-
Now if you will look at my drawings, I guess you will
understand it. Here in front (Fig. 1) is the board (D), same
as we had in the window, and here is the one-inch hole (')
through it. The spectacle glass (F) is at the back, and the
stop in front-only instead of the piece of lead I shall use a
cover (G) made of thin cigar box wood with a one-eighth-inch
hole in the center, and I have put another cover or cap (H)
outside of that without any hole, and both swing on the same
screw, which is turned up a little tight. The stop and cap are
shaped like this (G'). The cap is for shutting off the light
before and after the 'exposure.'
"This lens board of one-inch stuff is the front of a box
(A), the sides of which (B, B) are three-eighths stuff, and the
back open. Inside of this slides another box (C, C) which
can be pushed out or in like a telescope, and is as good or
better than the bellows. This box is without front or back,
but with a groove made by the strips (a, a, a, a) around the
inside of the rear end-one side being left open so that the
plate holder can be slid into the groove, making the back of
the camera. As light cannot shine round a corner the strips
will keep it out effectively."
But," said Joe, how can we look in to get the plate in
focus, as you call it, without letting the light in and spoiling
That's easy enough," said Tom. "Where this dotted line
is at the back of the camera we will put a pane of ground
glass, or, if we can't get it, a sheet of thin white paper.
Then if I cover my head and the back of the box with a cloth
to keep out the outside light I can see the picture through the
ground glass, don't you see?"
Well, I declare," said Joe, if you haven't got a head!
It is the same as the white card, but translucent enough to
show the picture through. But how will you get the plate in
and out without exposing it to the light?"
The plate holder fixes that," said Tom. You shut the
plate in a flat box with a sliding cover, and the box slides into
the grooves, as I told you, after the ground glass is taken out.
Here, look at this drawing (Fig. 2). In the first place I cut
out a piece of eight-ply cardboard, just half an inch larger all
round than the 4x5 plate, which, of course, would make it
5x6 inches. Next I made two of the same size, but with the
center cut out just the size of the plate, like the inside line.
Then I made a third the same, except that the margin at one
end was wider, like the dotted line (b) projecting inward one
eighth of an inch beyond the other two. The center of the
next card is cut out by the other dotted line, and I was care-
ful to save the piece cut out. The last is just like the first
two, and after they are all cut out I paste or glue them to-
gether, just in the order I have described them. I finally
cover the edges with opaque paper and make the inside black.
Here is a section showing how it will look if cut through
the side at A. D is the whole card or the back of the holder;
d is the fourth of the cut-out cards, three sides of which (c,
c, c) an eighth of an inch narrower than the others and the
fourth side missing. This leaves a groove or recess in which
the piece we saved (C) slides, making the sliding cover of the
box. The section at B' shows the opening left at a by the
missing side of the recessed card, and e shows the projection
(b) of the third cut-out card.
To use the plate holder we pull out the slide (C) by a
piece of cambric we have pasted on the end and left project-
ing. This leaves the whole front of the plate holder open.
Take the holder, slide, and box of plates to some place where
we can shut out all but red light.
"Now take the plate out of the box and place it in the
holder, gelatine side up, sliding the end under the projecting
edge of the third card, b. You can see how it will look by
observing the sectional drawing (Fig. 2), in which E is the
plate and e the projecting edge of the card. This holds it
from tipping forward when in the camera, getting out of focus,
and in the way of pushing in the slide after the exposure.
Now push the slide into its groove and your plate is shut
up safe from the light and can be carried anywhere without
danger. Don't you see?"
OUR BOYS. 83
At this point Tom surprises his friend by producing the
plate holder all made and showing it to him.
"I don't see how you can make such beautiful things,"
said Joe. I could no more do it than I could fly over the
"And I don't see how anyone can write such splendid
compositions as you can," said Tom. "I guess every fellow
has his own line of talent. Father says that everyone ought
to be able to do at least one thing better than anybody else."
l .P -----------
Sction at B.
.......- .--.- .-
Tom wished to reciprocate, and his compliment was really
well deserved, although Joe's essays were sometimes more
flowery than logical.
Well," said Joe, "when are we going to build the camera?
You haven't got that done, I suppose?"
I have started on it," said Tom, but I want some hinges
and a screw to fasten it to the top of the tripod. How much
cash have we on hand?"
Nearly four dollars," said Joe.
Then we will have the ground glass instead of paper, and
I will make a frame for it like a plate holder, only I will cut
the back out so we can see through it. It will slide in the same
grooves at the back of the camera, and as the two glasses will
be in the same place the plate will be in focus if the ground
The next Saturday the boys went to the village and made
their purchases. They found at the hardware store some hinges
of the required pattern, while an ingenious blacksmith made
them a screw and plate, finishing it in time for the boys to
return to dinner. On the way back they called at the grocer's
and bought a couple of empty boxes of three-eighths stuff,
which were to be used as stock for the camera.
After dinner the work was begun. The front board was cut
out 5x6 inches, plus the thickness of the inner box. The for-
ward section was formed around this by accurate fitting and
nailing with one-and-a-quarter-inch brads, and as the focal
length of the lens was eight inches each of the sections was
made five inches long to allow a cap that would keep the
light out. The rear section fitted nicely into the forward one,
and a flap of cloth was pasted on at the inner end, like a
weather strip, to make it light-tight. The right hand side of
the rear section and of the groove was cut off to permit the
plate holder and ground glass to be slid in, and the face against
which the plate holder rested, as well as the interior of the
groove, was lined with plush to exclude every ray of light.
The inside of the camera and lens tube was painted black to
prevent reflection of stray rays from the lens, and the outfit
was complete, needing only a tripod as a matter of convenience.
The three hinges purchased at the village were like the one
shown here (B, Fig.
3), but just four times
f '4 as large. Each of these
-- was screwed to the end
0 e of a stick one inch
square and five feet
F,3 long, sawed off a little,
.- beveling at the upper
end and sharpened to a
point at the lower ex-
==- ;--' tremity, to prevent slip-
Ep i n g. A triangular
piece of one-inch hard-
wood board (A) was
next sawed out, a hole
(d) for the tripod screw was bored in the center and the legs
screwed on, as in our cut. The upper illustration represents
.. ,I, t._, : \ / --.'' V
A WARNING TO YOUNG POTOGAP
a "plan" of the bottom of the triangular tripod-top with one
leg screwed on. The lower one is an elevation," showing
the side of the leg C, and another leg, D, turned down in po-
sition for use. E is the tripod screw for holding the camera
The plate to which the tripod screw was fitted was next let
in and fastened to the bottom of the forward section of the
camera, which was then mounted on the tripod ready for
On the next holiday our young friends were eager to try the
new apparatus, and, after filling the plate holders, of which
they now possessed a pair, they started for Aunt Alice's. The
day was a perfect one, bright and clear, and the sun lit up the
pretty cottage with its environment of trees and vines, making
a charming picture, full of lights and shadows. The boys as-
sisted the amiable mistress of the house to bring out the ole-
ander and orange tree and a dozen of smaller plants, placing
them upon the veranda steps, and Aunt Alice sat down among
them with the dog and cat, while five-year-old Gertie sat by
her side and the baby slept in her arms.
Tom got the camera (Fig. 4) in
position, put in the ground glass,
S opened both the shutters, and put
an old shawl over his head to
observe the effect. It's just el-
Py egant, Joe," said he. And Joe
had to see and admire before any-
thing more could be done.
When the camera had been moved to the right distance to
take in the picture, and the back had been slid out and in till
the focus was perfect, the caps were both swung in place to
shut out the light and the plate holder was substituted for the
ground glass. Next, the slide was drawn back just far enough
to uncover the plate, a pencil mark having been made as a
guide before the plate was put in.
Everything was ready for the denouement.
Now," said Tom, with an assumption of professional dig-
nity, look right here and keep perfectly still." While Joe
managed to keep the curiosity of Gyp and Tabby just enough
excited to secure their undivided attention, Tom swung the out-
side lens cover back and left it open for just five seconds, re-
covered it, and the exposure was finished.
All done, and thank you," said Tom, politely, while
Aunt Alice expressed her surprise that it was so soon over.
The boys next carried the camera to a more distant point,
where the picture would include the whole cottage, with the
trees, the grape arbor, and the front fence, and after making
another exposure they started for home to develop the plates.
They took the plate holders to Tom's chamber again, and by
the red light they had the supreme satisfaction of producing
two excellent negatives and afterward of making the dozen
pictures, adding another three dollars to the treasury surplus
and creating a new fervor of admiration among the people of
The possession of a portable apparatus gave our young
artists the opportunity of making quite a variety of charming
views of the scenery of the vicinity, and the practice of their
art awakened in them a new appreciation of nature and a habit
of searching for the beautiful and picturesque. The education
thus acquired was of value not only in the special and practical
line of their newly developed industry, but besides, and better
than this, it imparted a fresh impulse to the mental and invent-
ive faculties, and inspired a new growth in culture and refine-
ment. Both had been trained in the Sunday school and brought
up under the best of home influences, and the study of nature
under such conditions would be almost sure to lead to a deeper
reverence and a warmer love for the Author of all that is good
The money gained by the sale of pictures and the habits of
thrift and industry which were acquired by practice in art and
finance, were but a part of the real advantage derived from
the pursuit of photography.
Up to this time the boys had attempted no pictures but the
" blue print," and they began to feel as if a little variety, if
not improvement, would be achieved by the adoption of some
Some of their schoolmates who admired unreservedly at
first had asked them, "Why don't you make real photo-
"Well," said Joe, "'photo' means light, and 'graph'
means to draw or write. You know what 'graphic' means, I
guess? Our pictures are made by the action of light and are
But why don't you print them in black and white, or in
those pretty brown-blacks and purple-blacks, like the regular
"The fact is," said Joe, "we think the blue pictures are
about as pretty as any and more of a novelty."
He didn't like to confess that he had wished that the
pictures looked a little more "professional," as the boys
called it, and that a prominent reason for their adherence
to the blue formula was their ignorance, so far, of any other
On the first opportunity Tom and Joe met to discuss the
new problem. They were both of the opinion that an advance
along the line of new printing methods would be desirable;
but they were afraid that the processes required too much skill
and could only be managed by the aid of a teacher. Tom was
going to the city in a few days, and it was decided that he
should make inquiries and report on his return.
Come to think of it," said Joe, "you had better take
along some money, and if you see anything we want just buy
it and bring it home. I'll risk your judgment, anyhow."
Tom had seen in some paper an advertisement of supplies
for amateur photographers, and he made a note of the ad-
dress and paid the store a visit. He explained that he was a
beginner, and that he wanted the materials and directions for
the simplest process of making pictures in black and white.
The dealer listened with amused interest to the story of their
past successes as enthusiastically related by Tom, and gave
him a good deal of information and advice.
"The thing you want," said he, "is the chlorobromide
process. It prints in the sun just the same as the blue print,
only you have to watch it a little more carefully so as to print
it just enough, and you finish it by toning in a solution that
is already mixed and no trouble of any sort."
After a few more questions and answers Tom bought two
dozen sheets of the sensitized paper for thirty-eight cents, and
a pint bottle of the toning solution for seventy-five cents. The
dealer explained that the "bath," as he called it, could be used
over and over, adding a little fresh solution from time to time as
needed, so that it was by no means expensive. At his sug-
gestion Tom also bought two oblong japanned pans for ton-
ing the prints and a one-pint glass funnel. Tom figured that
the cost of the prints would be about the same as the ferro-
cyanide, and he believed that with the aid of the accompany-
ing directions he could manage the manipulation. The sup-
ply dealer gave him a sample print, representing a pretty
mountain scene with a cascade falling down between massive
rocks which were covered with mosses and ferns and flanked
by fir and hemlock trees. Tom was very glad of this, as it
would demonstrate to his partner the judiciousness of his pur-
chases and, incidentally, serve as a sort of standard of excel-
lence, the approximation of which would be their aim while
perfecting themselves in the working of the new process.
Joe was delighted with the print. Its colors were pure black
and white, and the various gradations between, like the tints of
a perfect steel plate or other engraving, giving firm contrasts
and beautiful half tones.
I think I see," said he, why the black and white pic-
tures outlive all others in popular favor. It is because no other
colors present so strong contrasts. Black is the very darkest
color and white is the very lightest, so that the contrast is
much more striking than between white and blue or any other
I never thought of it before," said Tom, a little surprised
at the flow of Joe's erudition, "but I guess you are right.
Now let's look at the directions and see what's to be done. It
says that the print must be examined from time to time dur-
ing the process of printing in order to tell when it is finished.
We can't do that with our printing frame, as we could never
get the paper back in place if we once took it out. You
know we have got them right by timing the printing, and
we have wasted a good deal of paper in learning to judge
of the light before we could get it
A just right."
"Well," said Joe, what are
we going to do?"
In matters that involved inven-
tion he was in the habit of leaving
the whole affair to Tom.
S"I saw," said Tom, "a printing
A frame at the store which opened at
the back by a hinge, so that while
B one end was held down by a stiff
SI spring, keeping the paper firmly in
ij,. 2 place, the other could be lifted, the
print examined, and, if not finished,
A4 it could be clamped down again
and put in the sun a while longer.
/ I have been thinking about it, and
J I believe I can make one, though
it will not be dovetailed at the
corners or made so nicely as the machine work. I shall
make it in this way." And he sketched rapidly his plans for
the new printing frame, explaining as he went along, so that
Joe could see just how the construction would go on and what
the result would be. Joe expressed himself as charmed with
the simplicity and ingenuity of the plan, and it was agreed that
the work should commence at the first opportunity.
On the next holiday he went over to Tom's workshop and
found him already busy.
In the first place he got out two strips of board, one of
which (shown in section at A, Fig. 1) was one inch wide and
three quarters of an inch thick, and the other (B) one and
a quarter inches wide and one inch thick. Two pieces of the
widest (B) six and one sixteenth inches long, and two pieces
of the other (A), just two inches shorter, were sawed off and
the long and short one were nailed together with one-and-a-
half-inch brads, so that they were just even on one side, while
B projected a quarter of an inch at the other side (as shown
in section at Fig. 1) and each end of B projected an inch
beyond the ends of A (like Fig. 2). The two pieces of A
were sawed seven and one sixteenth inches long, and two of
B just two and a half inches shorter, and they were nailed
together as in Fig. 3, in which A extends one and a quarter
inches at each end beyond B.
The frame was now ready to make up by lapping or halv-
ing" together at the corners. Fig. 4 gives a plan" view
of the frame at this stage, AA being the one-inch wide pieces
and BB the projecting extra width of the lower pieces. The
dotted lines give a sort of isometrical perspective (get your
dictionaries, boys), showing how the joint is made and how
strong it is when all nailed together. A still nicer job can be
made by gluing it up, but it
necessitates waiting for the
successive parts to dry.
After this part of the work /'
was satisfactorily completed
a pencil mark was drawn all
around the lower face of the A
frame three eighths of an _
inch from the inner edge, ------- ,- -.--
and the corner was beveled----------
off to prevent the shadow of the frame from falling on the
print if it did not exactly face the sun. Tom did this very
easily with a wide chisel and a pocket knife. Fig. 5 shows a
section of the frame after this change was made, c being the
point on the face of the frame from which the line is drawn,
and b the part removed, the
'- dotted line showing the orig-
) A final contour. A similar bevel
- was taken off the sides of the
Fg. 5. \ frame at the back a quarter of
I\an inch deep and wide (see
a, Figs. 5 and 6).
The back of the frame (C, Figs. 5 and 6) is made of half-
inch stuff, just the size of the recess at the back-in this case
a little over 4x5 inches to allow of slight variation in the size
of the plates. This back is sawed in two halves (at the dot-
ted line, Fig. 6), and a hinge ( G) of thin leather is glued on.
A flat spring (D, D) half inch
A wide, of spring brass or steel, is
screwed or riveted to the center
C of each half of the back, the
,E 0 D E screw admitting of a sideways
swing of the ends. This spring
A -is curved upward at each end, so
E j- E that when pressed down and
1 swung under the buttons, E, E,
it bears firmly upon the negative
(F, Fig. 5) and holds the paper
1,9. 6. down closely to it. The bevel
(a, a, Figs. 5 and 6) was taken
off to permit the ends of the spring to slide under the ends of
the buttons, E, E, which are screwed rigidly to the wood.
They are a little narrow in the drawing, but should be three
quarters of an inch wide and one inch long. A one-inch burr
makes a good enough button and costs almost nothing.
When the frame was completed Tom proceeded to illus-
trate its use.
"Here is the frame," said he, "and here is the hinged
back. You place the negative in the frame, laying it back
down and gelatine side up. Nowwe laythe paper on the neg-
ative, sensitive side down. We now put the back in and
press the ends of the springs down and under the buttons,
and we are all right to print."
At this point Mrs. Wood called from the back door that
dinner was ready, and the meeting was adjourned until this
very pleasant duty had been discharged.
After dinner the new chlorobromide prints were to be at-
tempted, and the boys were impatient to begin. One of the
choicest negatives was placed in the frame and a sheet of the
new chlorobromide paper was placed upon it, face downward.
The two sides were the same color and looked much alike, but
a close inspection showed that the sensitive face was smoother
and better finished. One half of the back was placed in po-
sition and the ends of the spring swung under the buttons;
then, after being sure that the paper was accurately placed,
the other half was clamped down and the frame was placed in
After a few minutes the frame was taken in out of the direct
sunlight, one spring loosened, and that half of the frame
lifted. The printing had commenced, the darker parts of the
picture having turned a queer reddish brown.
The boys were much interested in the gradual development
of the print and the novel color which it took on, and im-
mensely pleased with the working of the new frame which
permitted such easy and frequent inspection of the process.
"I wonder if it is done," said Joe, after about ten min-
I guess not," said Tom. The directions say we must
print it till it is much darker than the finished print is expected
to be, as it bleaches out a good deal in toning and fixing."
What is the 'toning and fixing,' as you call it, for, any-
way?" asked Joe.
The toning," said Tom, "turns the red-brown to purple
or black and bleaches the whole print several shades, so that
the high lights become white, giving brilliancy to the pic-
ture. The fixing dissolves from the paper all the sensitive
chloride of silver which the light has not already acted upon,
so that there is nothing left which is changeable by light, and
the picture remains in status quo ever after."
Good boy!" said Joe. Your chemical knowledge is
only exceeded by the elegance of your diction. By the way,
isn't that print about done? "
The forgotten picture was hastily taken in and examined, and
it was so dark that both declared it spoiled. Even the sky was
a decidedly reddish tone, and the detail in the darker parts
was almost gone; but they decided to save it and tone it with
Another negative was placed in the frame, another print
made, and then another, till four of the precious pieces of
paper had been printed and were ready for toning.
Now came a stage of the work with which they were unfa-
miliar, and which they attempted with some misgivings, but
with strict attention to the directions. In the first place they
put the prints, face downward, in water, in one of the new
pans, moving them about constantly, so that each should be
equally exposed to the action of the water, and changing the
water twice. This was done in daylight, but in a part of the
room where the light was quite dim. While they were soak-
ing Tom mixed the toning and fixing bath by measuring four
ounces of solution out of the bottle, pouring it into the pan
and adding to it eight ounces of water. As the directions
enjoined care in confining each operation to its own vessel
they named the pan first used the first wash"' pan, and marked
it F. W., while the toning pan was marked T., and the third
pan, in which the final washing was done, L. W., for "last
When the preliminary soaking was finished the prints were
placed in the toning pan, moved about as before, and the
change in color observed. They were now face upward in
sufficient light to show the color plainly, and the lower print
was constantly pulled out and placed upon the upper, so that
all was uniformly wet with the bath.
Pretty soon the prints began slowly to turn lighter and at the
same time to a sort of purple. Tom was delighted, as this
was just what he expected. Slowly they turned through the
intermediate shades till the reddish hue was all gone, the skies
were almost or quite white, and the darker parts almost black.
The colors faded till two of the prints were entirely too light,
and the first, which was supposed to be spoiled by over-print-
ing, was the only perfect one of the four.
"Isn't it too bad," said Joe, "that we didn't make them
all like that? "
Well, I don't know," said Tom. Perfection is gener-
ally reached through successive failures, and we have learned
by this blunder just how to do it. We need not make the
same mistake again."
"That's so," said Joe. 'Experimentia does it,' as our
old teacher used to say."
OUR BOYS. 95
When the prints had reached the tint that seemed to be
about the thing they were well washed in the third pan, chang-
ing the water two or three times, and were then ready to dry.
The toning bath was poured into the quart bottle and put away
for future use, and the pans were washed and dried.
The prints were very good. They looked more like a steel
plate than the common photograph, and were admired by every-
body. The young partners were overrun with orders for work,
their pictures were circulated far and wide, and their treasury
was replete with shekels.
...Fo... ,,I- -- -. -----
xycrw ill all Liles, Vvl x.1wC1- FLOOR.
HOW TO MAKE A RAILROAD CAR.
IRST of all get a large piece of heavy cardboard, and with
a ruler and pencil draw Fig. 1, copied exactly from the
model card. It will be better to just double the dimensions
given. Be careful to make all measurements exact with
the ruler. A pair of compasses will be invaluable in doubling
distances. When drawn, cut the floor out, cutting all lines
(-----) and leaving all others. The wings sticking out at
each end are the steps, and you must cut in each side of them
as far as the platform. Next take a piece of pine one eighth
of an inch thick and cut it just the shape of the car floor and
platforms, not including the steps. This done, glue mucilagee
or paste will be almost useless) the paper on the board so that
they just fit upon each other. Now bend the steps down. So
far we have a firm floor, platform, and steps. Next draw two
sides like Fig. 2. This requires care and patience rather than
artistic skill. A ruler, compasses, and pencil are needed.
When these are ready to put on, moisten the edge of the floor
board with glue and apply one side piece, bending it at the
corner in a right angle, thus bringing the car end into place.
The notched place under the door will fit down over the plat-
form. The projecting flange to the left is to be bent and
glued to the inside of the other side piece, which is ap-
plied in the same way as the first. Pins should be stuck along
the edge of the side pieces along the floor until the glue is
dried and the cardboard firmly attached.