THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
A SUBMARINE VESSEL IN BATTLE.
The "Argonaut" may approach her enemy with only her observing tower above the surface, and as
this is armored and presents such a small target it could not be hit with a ball of sufficient caliber to do
any harm; or she may approach on the bottom and rise up under the enemy if at anchor, and secure a
time-fuse torpedo to her bottom; or she may beftted with tubes to fire automobile torpedoes. In the
latter case she need not approach nearer than 300 or t00 yards.
STORIES OF THE WONDERS
OF MODERN SCIENCE
RAY STANDARD BAKER
DOUBLEDAY & McCLURE Co
1 8 9 9
COPYRIGHT, 1899, BY
DOUBLEDAY & McCLURE CO
: '. -
I. A VOYAGE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA 1
II. LIQUID AIR 43
III. TELEGRAPHING WITHOUT WIRES 79
IV. THE MODERN MOTOR VEHICLE 121
V. X-RAY PHOTOGRAPHY .. 173
VI. TAILLESS KITES 207
VII. THE STORY OF THE PHONOGRAPH 251
VIII. THE MODERN SKYSCRAPER 283
IX. THROUGH THE AIR 323
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
A SUBMARINE VESSEL IN BATTLE rontispiece
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ATLANTIC 1
THE ARGONAUT SAILING ON THE SURFACE 3
SUBMERGING THE "ARGONAUT" 8
THE "ARGONAUT" SUBMERGED-A SCENE IN THE
LIVING- ooM 11
FISH LOOKING IN AT THE WINDOW OF THE ARGO-
THE "ARGONAUT" IN DRY-DOCK 1
AMIDSHIPS CROSS SECTION OF THE "ARGONAUT" 18
RESTING UNDER THE SEA .21
SIMON LAKE 23
THE SUBMARINE BOAT" ARGONAUT" ON A WRECKING
DIVER LEAVING THE "ARGONAUT" UNDER WATER 30
CUTTING A CABLE BROUGHT-UP THROUGH THE DOOR
OF THE DIVER'S COMPARTMENT 31
LONGITUDINAL SECTION OF THE LAKE SUBMARINE
BOAT "ARGONAUT" .34
THE "ARGONAUT" IN THE PEARL, SPONGE, OR CORAL
THE "ARGONAUT, JUNIOR" 38
BURNING FELT WITH LIQUID AIR 43
SOME OF THE MACHINERY USED BY MR. TRIPLE FOR
MAKING LIQUID AIR 47
FILTERED LIQUID AIR IN A DEWAR BULB, AND LIQUID
AIR IN AN ORDINARY GLASS BULB 51
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
MIR. TRIPLE ALLOWING THE LIQUID AIR TO FLOW
FROM THE LIQUEFIER 53
POSSIBLE METHOD OF CAUTERIZATION WITH LIQUID
LIQUID AIR BOILING ON A BLOCK OF ICE 57
LIQUID AIR OVER FIRE 59
AN ICICLE OF FROZEN ALCOHOL 00
HANGING FROM A BLOCK OF FROZEN MERCURY .61
DRIVING A NAIL WITH A HAMMER MADE OF MER-
CURY FROZEN BY LIQUID AIR 63
LIQUID AIR IN WATER 64
IRON AND COPPER TUBES BURST BY EXPLOSION OF
LIQUID AIR WITH OILY WASTE .67
BURNING STEEL IN AN ICE TUMBLER PARTLY FILLED
WITH LIQUID AIR 68
RUNNING AN ENGINE WITH LIQUID AIR 71
CHARLES E. TRIPLER 74
SIGNOR MARCONI AND HIS EARLIER APPARATUS FOR
TELEGRAPHING WITHOUT WIRES 78
THE WIRELESS TELEGRAPH STATION AT POOLE, ENG-
LAND, SHOWING SENDING AND RECEIVING INSTRU-
MENTS. IN RIGHT-HAND CORNER IS THE COPPER
REFLECTOR USED IN DIRECTING WAVES 81
THE ROYAL YACHT OSBORNE," FROM WHICH THE
PRINCE OF WALES TELEGRAPHED WITHOUT WIRES 85
MAST AND STATION AT SOUTH FORELAND, NEAR
DOVER, ENGLAND, USED BY MARCONI IN TELE-
GRAPHING WITHOUT WIRES ACROSS THE CHANNEL
TO BOULOGNE, FRANCE 89
THE GOODWIN SANDS LIGHTSHIP 91
WILLIAM MARCONI AND HIS ASSISTANT, A. E. BUL-
SOUTH FORELAND, THE ENGLISH STATION FROM WHICH
MESSAGES WERE SENT WITHOUT WIRES TO BOU-
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
LOGNE, FRANCE, THIRTY-TWO MILES AWAY. THE
MAST SUPPORTING THE VERTICAL WIRE IS SEEN
ON THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF 97
THE APPARATUS EMPLOYED AT SOUTH FORELAND
LIGHTHOUSE FOR COMMUNICATING WITH THE GOOD-
WIN SANDS LIGHTSHIP AND WITH BOULOGNE 103
THE MAST AND STATION AT BOULOGNE, FRANCE, USED
BY MARCONI IN TELEGRAPHING WITHOUT WIRES
ACROSS THE CHANNEL 109
TRANSMITTING INSTRUMENT AT BOULOGNE STATION 115
A FRENCH TOURING CART, DRIVEN BY GASOLENE 120
A MOTOR TALLY-HO, PROPELLED BY STORED ELEC-
A TYPICAL AMERICAN ELECTRIC CARRIAGE 123
A LIGHT RUNABOUT, DRIVEN BY GASOLENE 124
M. JENATZY AND HIS "NEVER CONTENT," MAKING
SIXTY-SIX MILES AN HOUR 125
THE SERPOLLET STEAM CAB 127
MORRIS & SALVIN'S "ELECTROBAT" 127
A DAIMLER PETROLEUM-ENGINE CARRIAGE 128
THE SERPOLLET STEAM CARRIAGE 129
DURYEA MOTOR WAGON, WINNER OF THE CHICAGO
"TIMES-HERALD" RACE, NOVEMBER 28, 1895 .129
AN ELECTRIC HANSO CAB 131
FETCHING THE DOCTOR. ALREADY PHYSICIANS HAVE
FOUND THE AUTOMOBILE OF SPECIAL SERVICE TO
A DAIMLER MOTOR CARRIAGE NEAR FIFTH AVENUE
AND FIFTY-EIGHTH STREET, NEW YORK 187
MODELS OF THE MOTOR AMBULANCE, MOTOR TRI-
CYCLE, AND MOTOR OMNIBUS NOW COMING INTO
USE .. .. 141
THE TRAINING COURSE FOR AUTOMOBILE DRIVERS AT
AUBERVILLIERS, NEAR PARIS 145
xii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
A MOTOR FIRE-ENGINE. THE LARGEST FIRE-ENGINE
IN THE WORLD 149
A TYPICAL MOTOR TRUCK. MOTIVE POWER, COM-
PRESSED AIR 153
A HORSELESS AMBULANCE ON THE BATTLEFIELD 159
A DAIMLER MOTOR CARRIAGE ON THE PONT AU
CHANGE, PARIS. 165
DR. WILLIAM KONRAD RONTGEN, DISCOVERER OF THE
COINS PHOTOGRAPHED INSIDE A PURSE 176
PHOTOGRAPH OF A LADY'S HAND, SHOWING THE BONES,
AND A RING ON THE THIRD FINGER, WITH FAINT
OUTLINES OF THE FLESH 177
SKELETON OF A FROG, PHOTOGRAPHED THROUGH THE
FLESH. THE SHADINGS INDICATE, IN ADDITION
TO THE BONES, ALSO THE LUNGS AND THE CERE-
BRAL LOBES 179
PICTURE OF AN ALUMINUM CIGAR-CASE, SHOWING
CIGARS WITHIN. 182
A HUMAN FOOT PHOTOGRAPHED THROUGH THE SOLE
OF A SHOE. THE SHADING SHOWS THE PEGS OF
THE SHOE AS WELL AS TRACES OF THE FOOT 183
SKELETON OF A FISH PHOTOGRAPHED THROUGH THE
THOMAS A. EDISON EXPERIMENTING WITH THE IRNT-
GEN RAYS 191
PHOTOGRAPHING A FOOT IN ITS SHOE BY THE RONTGEN
PROCESS.-A PICTURE OF THE ACTUAL OPERATION
WHICH PRODUCED THE PHOTOGRAPH SHOWN ON
PAGE 183 193
BONES OF A HUMAN FOOT PHOTOGRAPHED THROUGH
THE FLESH 197
CORKSCREW, KEy, PENCIL WITH METALLIC PROTECTOR,
AND PIECE OF COIN, AS PHOTOGRAPHED WHILE
INSIDE A CALICO POCKET 199
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
RAZOR BLADE PHOTOGRAPHED THROUGH A LEATHER
CASE AND THE RAZOR HANDLE 201
THE KITE BUOY IN SERVICE 207
THE EDDY TAILLESS KITE 209
THE EDDY TAILLESS KITE 210
-THE HARGRAVE Box KITE 211
NEW YORK, EAST RIVER, BROOKLYN, AND NEW YORK
BAY, FROM A KITE 213
CITY HALL PARK AND BROADWAY FROM A KITE 214
PHOTOGRAPHIC VIEW FROM A KITE 215
ONE OF CAPTAIN BADEN-POWELL'S TWELVE-FOOT KITES 217
THE START 219
A LULL IN THE WIND. CAPTAIN BADEN-POWELL IN
THE BASKET 220
"WILL IT LIFT A MAN ?" .. 221
" UP IT WENT" 222
CAPTAIN BADEN-POWELL IN THE BASKET LEAVING THE
GROUND, BUT STILL HELD BY BYSTANDERS 223
THE BASKET, FORTY FEET FROM THE GROUND .226
EMPTY BASKET ABOUT SEVENTY-FIVE FEET FROM THE
PHOTOGRAPHING FROM A KITE LINE 233
DIRIGIBLE KITE-DRAWN BUOY 286
KITE-DRAWN BUOY 287
FIG. 1.-VIEW OF A MODERN Box KITE .. 288
FIG. 2.-CENTRAL TRUSS. 240
FIG., 3.-LONGITUDINAL CORNER SPINE 241
FIG. 4.-DIAGONAL STRUT 242
FIG. 5.-FIRST FORM OF BRIDLE 243
FIG. 6.-SECOND FORM OF BRIDLE: c, ENLARGED
KNOT LOOSENED 245
CAPTAIN BADEN-POWELL FOLDING UP A BIG KITE 247
SCOTT'S PHONAUTOGRAPH 250
SARAH BERNHARDT MAKING A PHONOGRAPH RECORD 251
EDISON'S FIRST PHONOGRAPH 254
xiv LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
CROSS SECTION OF EDISON'S FIRST PHONOGRAPH,
SHOWING METHOD OF OPERATION .256
MAKING A RECORD ON ONE OF THE EARLY FORIS OF
THE GRAPHOPHONE 259
SHOWING HOW THE RECORD IS ENGRAVED ON THE
WAX CYLINDER-MUCH ENLARGED 259
PREDECESSORS OF THE GRAPHOPHONE. 261
BETTING SPIDER DIAPHRAGM ATTACHMENT 264
IN A PHONOGRAPH-RECORD ROOM--AKING A RECORD
OF BAND MUSIC 267
A DUET WITH ACCOMPANIMENT .. 271
ONE OF THE NEWEST TALKING MACHINES 273
A MODERN HIGH-CLASS PHONOGRAPH. 276'
A PHONOGRAPHIC RECORD 277
ANOTHER VIEW OF "SHE WAS BRED IN OLD KEN-
THE TALLEST BUILDING IN THE WORLD 282
REALTY BUILDING, PHILADELPHIA, AS IT LOOKED JULY
REALTY BUILDING, PHILADELPHIA 289
THE FIRST FLAG AT THE SUMMIT OF REALTY BUILD-
FIRST STONEWORK, SIXTH AND NINTH STORIES, REALTY
RUSHING THE STONEWORK ON FOUR FLOORS AT ONCE. 301
STONEWORK COMPLETE FIRST IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
ROOF-BUILDING ON THE REALTY STRUCTURE 309
DETAIL OF STEEL SKELETON WORK, SHOWING HOW A
BIG BUILDING IS BRACED AND RIVETED TOGETHER 311
JOINING OF BEAMS AND PILLARS 312
READY FOR INSIDE FINISHING 313
SHOWING IMMENSELY STRONG SKELETON WORK OF A
TALL AND NARROW BUILDING IN BOSTON 315
INTERIOR "WELL" OF A SKYSCRAPER LOOKING UP 317
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
WING OF A SOARING BIRD 22
PROFESSOR LANGLEY'S .AERODROME IN FLIGHT: A
VIEW FROM ABOVE 823
PROFESSOR S. P. LANGLEY 326
DIAGRAM OF THE FINAL AERODROME .329
BONES OF A BIRD'S WING AND OF A HUMAN ARMI-
SHOWING THEIR CLOSE RESEMBLANCE 331
SKELETONS OF A MAN AND A BIRD DRAWN TO THE
SAME SCALE, SHOWING THE CURIOUS RESEMBLANCE
BETWEEN THEM 332
PREPARING TO LAUNCH THE AERODROME 335
DIAGRAM SHOWING THE COURSE OF THE AERODROME
IN ITS FLIGHT ON THE POTOMAC RIVER AT
THE AERODROME IN FLIGHT, MAY 6, 1896 39
OTTO LILIENTHAL, "THE FLYING MAN" 342
A START FROM A WALL 343
LILIENTHAL STARTING FROM A HILL 844
PREPARING FOR A START FROM A HILL 45
SOARING IN A STRONG BREEZE .. 846
DESCENDING IN STILL AIR 348
A DESCENT IN STILL AIR 349
THE DESCENT 351
CHART OF ONE OF LILIENTHAL'S FLIGHTS 352
A SAFE LANDING 354
THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
THE BOY'S BOOK OF
A VOYAGE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.
Simon Lake's Submarine Boat, the Argonaut."
.._.S-N LAKE'S curious
Craft, the "Argonaut,"
is a submarine boat,
and much more be-
sides. She not only
swims beneath the sur-
face of the water and
Supon it, but she adds
to these accomplish-
ments the extraordi-
L. _TE-_-- nary power of diving
AT THE BOTTOr OF TIHE deep, and rolling along
ATLANTIC. the bottom of the sea
The" Argonaut" here lies sub-
merged in twenty-eight feet of 01 wheels. No ma-
ater. chine ever before did
that. Indeed, the Argonaut" is more prop-
erly a sea-motocycle" or sea-tricycle" than
2 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
a boat. The inventor himself has described
it as a boat-wagon for riding on the bottom
of the sea."
In October, 1898, the Argonaut" lay off the
pier at Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. She
had just finished a tedious voyage from Balti-
more, where she was built, and she was quietly
anchored from a barrel buoy.- Mr. Lake had
invited Mr. Stevens, the artist, and myself to
make a trip with him on the bottom of the
ocean. As we walked up the pier, we watched
eagerly for the first glimpse of the wonderful
sea-wagon of which we had heard so many
There she lies," said Mr. Lake, not without
a touch of pride in his voice.
SBut all we could see was a great black letter
A, made of gas-pipe, rising forty feet above the
water. A flag rippled at its summit. As we
drew nearer, we saw- that the big A rested on
a small oblong deck, shouldering deep -in the
water. At the center of this deck there was a
slightly higher platform surmounted by an
iron tower about the size of a small barrel. A
curious brass cap which covered the top of the
tower was tilted back, and as our boat ran
alongside, a man stuck his head up over the
rim and sang out,
"Ahoy there "
TRE "ARGONAUT"LL,;~. SArklING ON THE USFAC
A VOYAGE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 5
A considerable sea was running, but I ob-
served, that the "Argonaut was planted as
firmly in the water as a stone pillar, the big
waves splitting over her without imparting
any perceptible motion.
"She weighs fifty-seven tons," said Mr.
Lake, "and there are only two or three tons
above water. I never have seen the time when
We scrambled up on the little platform and
peered down through the open tower-" con-
ning-tower," Mr. Lake called it-into the
depths of the ship below. Wilson, the engineer,
had started the fire in his gasolene engine, and
it wasn't long before we saw a white plume of
steam rising from the very summit of the gas-
pipe frame above us.
"This leg of the A," explained Mr. Lake,
"carries off the burnt gases, and this one
brings in the fresh air while we are submerged.
You see the pipes are tall enough, so that we
can use them until we are more than fifty feet
under water. Below that we have to depend
on the compressed air in our tanks, or on a
hose reaching from the upper end of the pipe
to a buoy on the surface."
Mr. Lake had taken his place at the wheel,
and we were going ahead slowly, steering
straight across the bay toward Sandy Hook
6 TIE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
and deeper water. The "Argonaut" makes
about five knots an hour on the surface, but
when she gets deep down on the sea bottom,
where she belongs, she can spin along more
"Are you ready to go down? asked Mr.
The waves were already wl.hi..' entirely
over the lower platform and occasionally break-
ing around our feet, but we both nodded sol-
"Open the center compartments," Mr: Lake
shouted down the conning tower. I'm flood-
ing the air ballast compartments," he ex-
plained. Usually we submerge by letting
down two half-ton iron weights and then, after
admitting enough water to overcome our buoy-
ancy, we can readily pull the boat to the bot-
tom by winding in on the weight cables. Un-
fortunately we have lost one of the weights,
and so we have to depend entirely on the
The "Argonaut was slowly sinking under
the water. We became momentarily more im-
pressed with the extreme smallness of the craft
to which we were trusting our lives. The little
platform around the conning tower on which
we stood-in reality the top of the gasolene
tank-was scarcely a half-dozen feet across,
A VOYAGE' ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 7
and the Argonaut" herself was only thirty-six
feet long. Her sides had already faded out of
sight, but not before we had seen how solidly
they were built, all of steel, riveted and re-
enforced, so that the wonder grew how such a
tremendous weight, when submerged, could
ever again be raised.
"We had to give her immense strength,"
said Mr. Lake, to.resist the watei pressure at
great depths. She is built of the same thick-
ness of steel as the government used for the
2,000-ton cruisers 'Detroit' and Montgom-
ery.' She'll stand a hundred feet, although
we never took her deeper than fifty. We like
to keep our margins safe."
I think we made some inquiries about the
safety of submarine boats in general. Other
air compartments had been opened, and we
had settled so far down that the waves dashed
repeatedly over the platform on which we
stood-and the conning-tower was still wide
open, inviting a sudden engulfing" rush of
You mustn't confuse the 'Argonaut' with
ordinary submarine boats," said Mr. Lake.
" She is quite different and much safer. When
I first began experimenting, I saw that the
greatest problem of submarine navigation was
the inability to steer accurately when sub-
8 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
SUBMERGING THE ARGONAUT."
The man is looking up through the conning-tower at the compass.
merged. You see, below the surface of the
water you have four directions in which you
may go instead of two, as on the surface, and
no one has yet succeeded in inventing a rudder
that will keep a submarine boat in a steady
course, so that it will not leap out of water at
A VOYAGE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 9
one moment and plunge to the bottom at the
next. I simply gave up the problem and de-
cided to run on the bottom, where I can steer
as easily as if I were on shore."
That was originality; it was so simple that
no one ever had dreamed of trying it before.
I think we'd better go below," said Mr.
Lake, with a trace of haste in his voice.
I went first, slipping hand over hand down
the ladder. Mr. Stevens followed, and a great
wave came slapping in after him, sousing down
over his shoulders. Mr. Lake quickly shut
down the conning-tower cap and screwed it
fast over its rubber rims.
We found ourselves in a long, narrow com-
partment, dimly illuminated by yellowish-green
light from the little, round glass windows.
The stern was filled with Wilson's gasolene
engine and the electric motor, and in front of
us, toward the bow, we could see through the
heavy steel doorways of the divers' compart-
ment into the lookout-room, where there was a
single round eye of light.
She's almost under," said Mr. Lake.
I climbed up the ladder of the conning-tower
and looked out through one of the glass ports.
My eyes were just even with the surface of the
water. In the trough of the waves I could
catch a glimpse of the distant sunny shores of
10 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
New Jersey, and here and there, off toward
Staten Island, the bright sails of oyster smacks.
Then the next wave came driving and foaming
entirely over the top of the little vessel, and I
could see the curiously beautiful sheen of the
bright summit of the water above us. It was
a most impressive sight. Not many people
ever have had the opportunity of looking
calmly upon the surface of the sea from below.
Mr. Lake told me that in very clear water it
was difficult to tell just where the air left off
and the water began; but in the muddy bay,
where we were going down, the surface looked
like a peculiarly clear, greenish pane of glass
moving straight up and down, not forward, as
the waves appear to move when seen from
Now we .were entirely under water. The
ripping noises that the waves had made in
beating against the upper structure of the boat
had ceased. As I looked through the thick
glass port, the water was only three inches
from my eyes, and I could see thousands of
dainty, semi-translucent jelly-fish floating
about us lightly as thistle down. They gath-
ered in the eddy behind the conning-tower in
great numbers, bumping up sociably against
one another, and darting up and down with
each gentle movement of the water. And I
THE "ARGONAUT" SUBMERGED-A SCENE IN THE LIVING-ROOM.
On the left, MRr. Lake is seated; the steersman is in the center. The feet of the lookout in the
conning-tower can be seen on the ladder to the right.
A VOYAGE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 13
realized that we were in the domain of the
I returned to the bottom of the boat, to find
that it was brilliantly lighted by electricity,
and to have my ears pain me sharply.
"You see, the air is beginning to come
down," said Jim, the first mate, "and we are
getting a little pressure."
I held up my hand and felt the strong gust
which was being drawn down through the tall
air-pipe above us. It was comforting to know
that the air arrangements were in working
Mr. Lake now hung a small mirror at an
angle of forty-five degrees, just at the bottom
of the conning-tower, and stepped back to the
steering wheel. Upon looking into the mirror
he could see the reflection of the compass,
which is-placed at the very highest tip of the
brass binnacle that crowns the conning-tower.
We can't use a compass down here," said
Mr. Lake, "because there is too much ma-
chinery and steel."
Mr. Lake has found by repeated experiments
that the compass points as accurately under
water as on the surface.
Jim, the mate, brought the government
chart, and Mr. Lake announced that we were
heading directly for Sandy Hook and the open
14 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
FISIL LOOKING. IN AT THE WINDOW OF THE ARGONAUT."
Both pictures are from photographs taken by Mr. Lake out of the forward
lookout window of the Argonaut," while she was running up the Patapsco
River to Baltimore.
ocean. But we had not yet reached the bot-
tom, and John was busily opening air compart-
ments and letting in more water. I went
forward to the little steel cubby-hole in the
extreme prow of the boat, and looked out
through the watch-port. The water had
grown denser and yellower, and I couldn't see
much beyond the dim outlines of the ship's
spar reaching out forward. Jim said that he
had often seen fishes come swimming up won-
deringly to gaze into the port. They would
remain quite motionless until he stirred his
head, and then they vanished instantly. Mr.
Lake has a remarkable photograph which he
took of a visiting fish, and Wilson tells of nur-
turing a queer flat crab for days in the crevice
A VOYAGE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 15
of one of the view-holes. As I turned from
the watch-port, my eye fell on an everyday-
looking telephone, with the receiver comfort-
ably hung up next the steel walls,
Oh, yes," said Jim, we have all the mod-
ern conveniences. That's for telephoning to
the main part of the boat when the diver's com-
partment is closed and we can't get through."
He also showed me a complex system of call-
bells by means of which the man at the look-
out could direct the engineer.
"When we are down in unknown waters,"
he said, we have a big electric search-light
which points out the way."
At that moment I felt a faint jolt, and Mr.
Lake said that we were on the bottom of the
sea, thirty feet below the surface.
The bottom here is very muddy," he said,
"and we are only resting a few hundred
pounds' weight on our wheels. By taking in
or pumping out water we can press down on
the bottom like a locomotive or like a feather.
Where we have good hard sand to run on we
use our wheels for propelling the boat; but in
mud like this, where there's nothing to get
hold of, we make our propeller do the work."
Here we were running as comfortably along
the bottom of Sandy Hook Bay as we would
ride in a Broadway car, and with quite as much
16 TIE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
-\-^ I--' a pi
TIE "ARGONAUT" IN DRY-DOCK.
Drawn from photographs by Mr. Lake. The door of the diver's compart-
ment, just under the bow, is open, and resting on some of the keel-blocks.
Through this door the divers leave the boat when it is submerged, compressed
air in the compartment preventing the entrance of water.
safety. Wilson, who was of a musical turn,
was whistling "Down went McGinty," and
Mr. Lake, with his hands on the pilot wheel,
put in an occasional word about his marvelous
invention. On the wall opposite there was a
A VOYAGE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 17
row of dials which told automatically every
fact about our condition that the most nervous
of men could wish to know. One of them
shows the pressure of air in the main compart-
ment of the boat, another registers vacuum,
and when both are at zero, Mr. Lake- knows
that the pressure of the air is normal, the same
as it is on the surface, and he tries to maintain
it in this condition. There are also a cyclo-
meter, not unlike those used on bicycles, to
show how far the boat travels on its wheels; a
depth gauge which keeps us accurately in-
formed as to the depth of the boat in the
water; and a declension indicator. By the long
finger of -the declension dial we could tell
whether we were going up hill or down. Once,
while we were out, there was a sudden sharp
shock, the pointer leaped back, and then quiv-
ered steady again. Mr. Lake said that we had
probably struck a bit of wreckage or an em-
bankment, but the "Argonaut" was running
so lightly tlat she had leaped up jauntily and
slid over the obstruction.
Strange things has Mr. Lake discovered
about the bottom of the sea. He has found
that nearly all sea roads are level, a fact of
great importance to sea carriages like the
"People get the impression from the sea-
18 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
AMIDSHIPS CROSS SECTION OF THE ARGONAUT."
bottom contours of the school-books,"' he says,
"that the ocean is filled with vast mountain
ranges and deep valleys. As a matter of
fact, these contours, in representing thousands
of miles of width on a printed page, greatly
exaggerate the depth, which at its greatest is
only a few thousand feet, thus giving a very
A VOYAGE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 19
false idea. Some shores slope more than others,
but I venture to say that there are few spots
on the bottom of the Atlantic that would not
be called level if they were bare of water."
We had been keeping our eyes on the depth
dial, the most fascinating and interesting of
any of the number. It showed that we were
going down, down, down. When we had been
submerged for more than an hour, and there
was thirty feet of yellowish-green ocean over
our heads, Mr. Lake suddenly ordered the ma-
chinery 'stopped. The clacking noises of the
dynamo ceased, and the electric lights blinked
out, leaving us at once in almost absolute dark-
ness and silence. Before this we had found it
hard to realize that we were on the bottom of
the ocean; now it came upon us suddenly, and
not without a touch of awe. This absence of
sound and light, this unchanging motionless-
ness and coolness, this absolute negation-this
was the bottom of the sea. It lasted only a
moment, but in that moment we realized
acutely the meaning and joy of sunshine and
moving winds, trees, and the world of men.
A minute light twinkled out like a star, and
then another and another, until the boat was
bright again, and we knew that among the
other wonders of this most astonishing of in-
ventions there was storage electricity which
20 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
would keep the boat illuminated for hours with-
out so much as a single turn of the dynamo.
With the stoppage of the engine the air supply
from above had ceased, but Mr. Lake laid his
hand on the steel wall above us, where, he said,
there was enough air compressed to last us all
for two days should anything happen.
Indeed, the possibility of "something hap-
pening had been lurking in our minds ever
since we started.
What if your engine should break down so
that you couldn't pump the water out of the
air compartments ? I asked.
'" Here we have hand pumps," said Mr. Lake
promptly, "and if those failed, a single touch
of this lever would release our lead keel, which
weighs three. thousand pounds, and up we
would go like a rocket."
I questioned further, only to find that every
imaginable- contingency, and some that were
not at all imaginable to the uninitiated, had
been absolutely provided for by the genius of
the inventor. And everything from the gaso-
lene engine to the hand pump was as compact
and ingenious as the mechanism of a watch.
Moreover, the boat was not crowded; we had
plenty of room to move around and to sleep,
if we wished, to say nothing of eating.
Indeed, John had brought out the,kerosene
RESTING UNDER THE SEA.
From aflash-light photograph of the Argonaut's cre turned ii" in the living-room. The door in
front opens into the air-lock, diver's room, and forward lookout compartment (see the longitudinal section).
On the right is the telephone by which communication is maintained with the forward compartments when the
diver's room is in use.
A VOYAGE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 23
ii i -, ,
'I"' I : '
.' :'" I i ',
Drawnfrom life by W. D. Stevens at Atlantic Highlands, October 16,1898.
stove, and was making coffee while Jim cut the
"This isn't Delmonico's," said Jim, "but
we're serving a lunch that Dehlonico's couldn't
serve-a submarine lunch."
By this time the novelty was wearing off,
and we sat there at the bottom of the sea,
24 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
drinking our coffee with as much unconcern as
though we were in an uptown restaurant. For
the first time since we started, Mr. Lake sat
down, and we had an opportunity of talking
with him at leisure. He is a stout-shouldered,
powerfully built man in the prime of life, a
man of cool common sense, a practical man,
who is also an inventor. And he talks frankly
and convincingly and yet modestly of his ac-
"When I was ten years old," he said, "I
read Jules Yerne's Twenty Thousand Leagues
under the Sea,' and I have been working on
submarine boats ever since."
At seventeen he invented a mechanical move-
ment; at twenty he was selling a steering gear
which he had just patented. In 1894 he began
to build his first submarine boat. Like the
practical man he was, he decided to make a
practical boat. Most submarine-boat building,
he thinks, is like Arctic exploration. It would
be a nice thing to find the North Pole, but it
wouldn't be of much use after it was found.
"I don't depend on the government to buy
my boat," he said, "although I am sure it will
be indispensable in warfare for placing tor-
pedoes, cutting cables, and so on. The main
object of boats of the Argonaut' type is com-
mercial, to assist in raising sunken vessels,
THE SUBMARINE BOAT ARONAUT" ON A WRECKING EXPEDITION.
A VOYAGE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 27
removing the treasure from wrecks, placing
difficult submarine foundations, and any kind
of work that requires diving. There are mil-
lions of gold in old wrecks right around New
York, and I confidently believe that we can
get some of it."
Having finished our lunch, Mr. Lake prepared
to show us something about the practical oper-
ations of the "Argonaut." It had been a
good deal of a mystery to us how workmen
penned up in a submarine boat could expect to
recover gold from wrecks in the water outside,
or to place torpedoes, or to pick up cables, or
to catch fish and clams as the crew of the
"Argonaut often had done.
"We simply open the door, and the diver
walks out on the bottom of the sea," Mr.
Lake said, quite as if he was conveying the
most ordinary information.
At first it seemed incredible; but Mr. Lake
showed us the heavily riveted door in the bot-
tom of the diver's little room. Then he in-
vited us inside with Wilson, who, besides being
an engineer, is also an expert diver. The mas-
sive steel doors of the room were closed and
barred, and then Mr. Lake turned a cock, and
the air rushed in under high pressure. At
once our ears began to throb, and it seemed as
if the ear-drums would burst inward,
28 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
"Keep swallowing," said Wilson, the diver.
As soon as we applied this remedy the pain
in our ears was relieved; but the general sensa-
tion of increased air pressure, while exhilarat-
ing, was still most uncomfortable. The finger
on the pressure dial kept creeping up and up,
until it showed that the air pressure inside of
the compartment was nearly equal to the water
pressure without. Then Wilson opened a cock
in the door. Instantly the water gushed in,
and for a single instant we expected to be
drowned there like rats in a trap.
This is really very simple," Mr. Lake was
saying calmly; "when the pressure of the air
within is the same as that of the water with-
out, no water can enter."
With that Wilson dropped the iron door,
and there lay the muddy bottom of the sea
within touch of a man's hand. It was all easy
enough to understand, and yet it seemed im-
possible, even as we saw it with our own eyes.
Mr. Lake stooped down and picked up a
wooden rod having a sharp hook at the end.
This he pulled along the bottom.
You see how easily we can pick up a cable
and cut it," he said. Why, the New York
telegraph cables, the most important in the
world, are all within a few miles of this spot.
The mine wires during the war were near here.
DIVER LEAVING THE ARGONAUT" UNDER WATER.
The compartment from which the divers descend is heavily charged
with compressed air to preventthe water from entering when the door
is opened into the sea, the pressure being increased one atmosphere,
orfifteen pounds, to the square inch for every thirty-fivefeet of descent
below the surface.
crY, -~ K
CUTTING A CABLE BROUGHT UP THROUGH THE DOOR
OF THE DIVER'S COMPARTMENT.
From a photograph.
A VOYAGE ON TEE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 33
We could have crawled along and cut every
one of them, and no one ever would have been
the wiser. MIore than that, if the 'Argonaut'
had been at Santiago, we could have cleared
the harbor of Spanish mines within forty-eight
hours without the possibility of discovery.
And after that "-Mr. Lake grew enthusiastic
-"we could have crept along until we were
just under one of the Spanish ships. Then our
divers would have stepped out and deliberately
set mines or even fastened torpedoes to the bot-
toms of the ships. When the work was done,
we could have backed away, playing out our
wires, until we were well out of reach of the
effects of an explosion. And then, a connec-
tion of wires, and Sampson would have been
saved the trouble of smashing Cervera."
Indeed, it seemed the simplest thing in the
All you have to do when you want a good
mess of oysters or clams," Wilson put in, is
to reach down and pick 'em."
"Yes," added Mr. Lake, "the 'Argonaut'
or a boat like it will some day be the means of
helping science to a much better knowledge of
the wonders of the bottom of the sea. Think
what treasures a scientist could get as the
'Argonaut' crawled slowly along the bottom
with this door open."
34 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
( ; 5i.iH k, F F r nF4
-. O oo
LONGITUDINAL SECTION OF THE LAKE SUBMARINE BOAT
A, gasolene engine, thirty horse-power, which supplies all the power used in
moving and operating the boat. BB, the two anchor weights used in sinking
the boat. C, one of the two driving wheels. E, rudder and guiding wheel.
FFFF, the living-room," in which are placed the engine and all the other ma-
chinery and apparatus for operating the boat. G, the air-lock: it affords pas-
sage to andfrom the diver's room without reducing the air-pressure. H, the
diver's room, whence free passage is secured into the sea. K, bow compartment
where the search-light is placed. L, the forward lookout compartment. MM, gas-
olene tanks. NNi, compressed-air reservoirs. 0000, water-ballast compart-
ments. PP, permanent keel. PQ, drop keel. R, dynamo. S, conning-tower.
T, binnacle. The compass in this binnacle is in direct view from the outside
steering gear; but from the conning-tower it is read by reflection. U, outside
steering gear. In generalform the" Argonaut is cylindrical, or cigar-shaped,
with a very bluff bow and a pointed stern, and is thirty-six feet long.
But the "Argonaut's most serious work is
in wrecking. Mr. Lake explained how diffi-
cult it was for divers to go down to wrecks
fhom the surface, owing to the great weight of
air-tubing and life-lines, and how, if the water
was at all rough, the attendants' boat usually
bobbed up and down so violently that it be-
came dangerous for a diver to remain below.
THE "ARGONAUT" IN THE PEARL, SPONGE, OR CORAL FISHERIES.
In the old way the divers could stay under water only for a minute or a minute and a half at the most, during which time they had to go up and down perhaps
fifty or sixty feet, thus giving them opportunity at the bottom to make only a hasty exploration, and perhaps get a shell or two. The submarine vessel could wheel
along over the bottom, and the pearl shells, coral, or sponges could be recovered -through the open door, or divers could be sent out in their armor to search the
bottom lor a hundred feet on either side of the vessel.
A VOYAGE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 37
In great depths the diver cannot stay sub-
merged more than an hour, often less, and
three-quarters of the time is frequently spent
in getting up and down.
You see we are at the bottom all the time,"
said Mr. Lake; we just push our nose up into
the wreck, and the diver steps out with a short
air-tube, and works right in the path of our
search-light. He can come back in a minute
for tools or to rest, and go out again without
delay, no matter how high the waves are run-
ning on the surface. You can see for yourself
what a tremendous advantage we have over
ordinary wreckers. There is no reason why
we shouldn't stay submerged for days at a time
and work continually."
These and other possibilities that seemed
hardly short of magic Mr. Lake explained to
us. As we came up he told us of his plan to
build at once a hundred-foot boat for practical
work, the Argonaut" being regarded more
in the light of an experiment.
"And some day," he laughed, "I'm going
to build an excursion boat as a Coney Island
attraction, and a little later I'll have a private
submarine yacht and go riding on the sea bot-
tom among the West Indian Islands. There
the water is clear as crystal, and the sea scenery
is magnificent, with clean white sand, cliffs of
88 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
THE ARGONAUT, JUNIOR."
Mr. Lake built this, his first experimental submarine boat, in 1894. After
several successful descents, she was abandoned, and now lies at Atlantic High-
lands, half buried in the sand. Dimensions: length, 14 feet; width, 44 feet;
depth, 5 feet.
bright coral, forests of sea-trees full of fish,
sponge growths, and other wonderful objects.
I shall have large windows in the pleasure
yacht, so that we can enjoy all of these things
as we roll along, and possibly I may look for
some of the sunken treasure ships of the buc-
caneers and of the old Spanish navy."
We were now rising again to the surface
after being submerged for more than three
hours. I climbed up the conning-tower and
watched for the first glimpse of the sunlight.
There was a sudden fluff of foam, the ragged
A VOYAGE ON TEE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 39
edge of a wave, and then I saw, not more than
a hundred feet away, an oyster smack bound
for New York under full sail. Her rigging
was full of men, gazing curiously in our direc-
tion, no doubt wondering what strange monster
of the sea was coming forth for a breath of air.
On our return to shore Mr. Lake showed us
the little Argonaut, Jr.," his first experiment
in submarine boat building. It was hardly
larger than a big dry-goods box, and built
entirely of wood, but Mr. Lake told me that
he had actually made many descents in it.
"IEvery one said that I would be drowned,"
he cried, but here I am alive and well;" and
he looked out across the bay, where his new
"Argonaut," the boat that has proved the
feasibility of his cherished plans, reared her
big A in the sunshine.
A Machine that Liquefies and Freezes Air.
LIQUID air is a clear, sparkling substance re-
sembling water, but it is so cold that it boils
on ice and freezes alcohol and mercury. Al-
though fluid, it is not wet to the touch, but a
drop of it on a man's hand burns like a white-
hot iron. It may be dipped up and poured
about like so much water, but if it is confined,
it explodes more terribly than nitro-glycerine,
and when left standing in the open air for a
few minutes it vanishes in a cold gray mist,
leaving behind only a bit of white frost.
Charles E. Tripler, of New York City, has
invented a machine for producing this most
marvellous of liquids in large quantities, and
he has found many curious and wonderful uses
to which it may be put. He predicts that it
may sometimes rival electricity in the variety
of its adaptations; he tells how it will be used
to cool hospitals and hotels, cauterize wounds,
drive the machinery of submarine boats, flying
42 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
machines, and horseless carriages, furnish am-
munition for military purposes, and perform
many other mechanical wonders.
Until twenty years ago scientists believed
that air was a permanent gas-that it never
would be anything but a gas. They had tried
compressing it under thousands of pounds of
pressure to the square inch, they had tried
heating it in the hottest furnaces, and cooling
it to the greatest known depths of chemical
cold, but it remained air-a gas. One day in
1878 Raoul Pictet submitted oxygen, of which
air is largely composed, to enormous pressure
combined with intense cold. The result was a
few precious drops of a clear bluish liquid that
bubbled violently for a few seconds and then
passed away in a cold white mist. Pictet had
proved that oxygen was not really a permanent
gas, but merely the vapor of a mineral, as
steam is the vapor of ice. Fifteen years later
Olzewski, a Pole of Warsaw, succeeded in
liquefying nitrogen, the other constituent of
air. About the same time, Professor James
Dewar, of England, exploring independently
in the region of the North Pole of tempera-
ture, not only liquefied oxygen and nitrogen,
but produced liquid air in some quantity and
then actually froze it into mushy ice-air ice.
The first ounce which he made cost more than
BTURNING FELT WITH LIQUID AIR.
$3,000. A little later he reduced the cost to
$500 a pint, and the whole scientific world
rang with the achievement.
When I visited Mr. Tripler's laboratory I
saw five gallons of liquid air poured out like so
much water. It was made at the rate of fifty
gallons a day, and it cost, perhaps, twenty
cents a gallon. Not long ago Mr. Tripler per-
formed some of his experiments before a meet-
ing of distinguished scientists at the American
Museum of Natural History. It so happened
that among those present was M. Pictet, the
"father of liquid air." When he saw the
prodigal way in which Mr. Tripler poured out
the precious liquid, he rose solemnly and shook
Mr. Tripler's hand. "It is a grand exhibi-
tion," he exclaimed in French; "the grandest
exhibition I ever have seen."
The principle involved in air liquefaction is
exceedingly simple, although its application
has sorely puzzled more than one wise man.
When air is compressed it gives out its heat.
Any one who has inflated a bicycle tire has felt
the pump grow warm under his hand. When
the pressure is removed and the gas expands, it
must take back from somewhere the heat which
it gave out. That is, it must produce cold.
Professor Dewar applied this simple prin-
ciple in all his experiments. He compressed
46 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
nitrous oxide gas and ethylene gas, and by ex-
panding them suddenly in a specially con-
structed apparatus he produced a degree of cold
which liquefied air almost instantly.
But nitrous oxide and ethylene are exceed-
ingly expensive and dangerous, so that the
product which Professor Dewar drew off was
worth more than its weight in gold.
At the earliest announcement of the lique-
faction of air Mr. Tripler had seen, with the
quick imagination of the inventor, its tremen-
dous possibilities as a power-generator, and he
began his experiments immediately. After
futile attempts to utilize various gases for the
production of the necessary cold, it suddenly
occurred to Mr. Tripler that air also was a gas.
Why not use it for producing cold?
"The idea was so foolishly simple that I
could hardly bring myself to try it," he told
me, but I finally fitted up an apparatus,
turned on my air and drew it out a liquid."
Mr. Tripler's work-room has more the ap-
pearance of a machine shop than a laboratory.
It is big and airy, and filled with the busy lit-
ter of the inventor. The huge steam boiler
and compressor engine in one end of the room
strike one- at first as oddly disproportionate in
size to the other machinery. Apparently there
is nothing for all this power-it is a seventy-
SOME OF THE MACITNERY USED BY MR. TRIPLE FOR MAKING LIQUID AIR.
five horse-power plant-to work upon; it is
hard to realize that the engine is drawing its
raw material from the very room in which we
are walking and breathing. Indeed, the ap-
paratus where the. air is actually liquefied is
nothing but a felt and canvas-covered tube
about as large around as a small barrel and
perhaps fifteen feet high. The lower end is
set the height of a man's shoulders above the
floor, and there is a little spout below, from
which, upon opening a frosty valve, the liquid
air may be seen bursting out through a cloud
of icy mist. I asked the old engineer who has
been with Mr. Tripler for years, what was in-
side this mysterious swathed tube.
"It's full of pipes," he said.
I asked Mr. Tripler the same question.
"Pipes," was his answer-" pipes and coils
with especially constructed valves-that's all
there is to it."
So I investigated the pipes. Two sets led
back to the compressor engine, and Mr. Tripler
explained that they both carried air under a
pressure of about 2,500 pounds to the square
inch. The heat caused by the compression had
been removed by passing the pipes through
coolers filled with running water, so that the
air entered the liquefier at a temperature of
about fifty degrees Fahrenheit.
50 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
"One of these pipes contains the air to
be liquefied," explained Mr. Tripler; "the
other carries the air which is to do the lique-
fying. By turning this valve at the bottom of
the apparatus, I allow the air to escape through
a small hole in the second pipe. It rushes out
over the first pipe, expanding rapidly, and
taking up heat. This process continues until
such a degree of cold prevails in the first pipe
that the air is liquefied and drips down into a
small receptacle at the bottom. Then all I
have to do is to turn a valve and the liquid air
pours out, ready for use."
Mr. Tripler says that it takes only fifteen
or twenty minutes to get liquid air after the
compressor engine begins to run. Professor
Dewar always lost ninety per cent. in draw-
ing off his product; Mr. Tripler's loss is inap-
Sometimes the cold in the liquefier becomes
so intense that the liquid air actually freezes
hard, stopping the pipes. Wonderful as it is
to see ice that is made of air, it is not so won-
derful as Mr. Tripler's story of the significance
of this phenomenon. He tells how at some re-
mote age in the future, all of the atmosphere
which we now breathe will fall in drops of
liquid, just such as he produces in his labora-
tory, and great lakes and oceans of air will
FILTERED LIQUID AIR IN A DEWAR BULB, AND LIQUID
AIR IN AN ORDINARY GLASS BULB.
The Dewar bulb is composed of two bulbs with a vacuum between, which
prevents the passage of heat, thereby protecting the liquid air so that it vapor-
izes very slowly. The other bulb, not so protected, has collected a shaggy coat-
ing of frost.
form on the earth, much resembling the pres-
ent lakes and oceans of water.
When the earth grows so cold that the air
is liquefied," said Mr. Tripler, "of course all
52 THE BOY'S BOOK OF AIVENTIONS.
the water on the earth will long ago have been
frozen solid. Indeed, it will be as hard as rock
crystal, and not unlike that substance in color
and texture. After the air is all in the form
of lakes or oceans, the cold will continue to
increase until they in turn are frozen hard.
After that the hydrogen, helium, and possibly
some other very light gases, of which we may
now have little knowledge, will fall in the form
of rain, and then the world will be absolutely
dead and inert, frozen as hard as the moon."
This entire process of the universe is typified
in Mr. Tripler's laboratory, where every de-
gree of temperature, from the heat of a steam
boiler nearly down to the cold of interstellar
space, can be produced at any time.
When you come to think of it," says Mr.
Tripler, "we're a good deal nearer the cold
end of the thermometer than we are to the hot
end. I suppose that once the earth had a
temperature equal to that of the sun, say,
10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It has fallen to
an average of about sixty degrees in this lati-
tude; that is, it has lost 9,940 degrees. We
don't yet know just how cold the absolute cold
really is-the final cold, the cold of interstellar
space-but Professor Dewar thinks it is about
461 degrees below zero, Fahrenheit. If it is,
we have only a matter of 521 degrees yet to
MR. TRIPLE ALLOWING THE LIQUID AIR TO FLOW FROM THE LIQUEFIER.
On striking the warm out r atmosphere, part of the liquid air instantly vaporizes, andflows out upon the floor in thick, billowy clouds.
I __ 1___ ___
lose, which is small compared with 9,940.
Still, I don't think we have any cause to worry;
it may take a few billion years for the world
to reach absolute cold."
Mr. Tripler handles his liquid air with a
freedom that is awe-inspiring. He uses a bat-
tered saucepan in which to draw it out of the
liquefier, and he keeps it in a double iron can,
not unlike an ice-cream freezer, covering the
top with a wad of coarse felt to keep out as
much heat as possible.
"You can handle liquid air with perfect
safety," he said; "you can do almost any-
thing with it that you can do with water, ex-
cept to shut it up tight."
This is not at all surprising when one re-
members that a single cubic foot of liquid air
contains 748 cubic feet of air at ordinary press-
ure-a whole hall-bedroom full, reduced to the
space of a large pail. Its desire to expand,
therefore, is something quite.irrepressible. But
so long as it is left open it simmers contentedly
for hours, finally disappearing whence it came.
There being no way to confine liquid air in any
considerable quantity, its transportation for
long distances is therefore an unsolved problem,
although Mr. Tripler has sent large cans of it
to Boston, Washington, and Philadelphia.
"It is my belief," comments Mr. Tripler,
56 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
POSSIBLE METHOD OF CAUTERIZATION WITH LIQUID AIR.
" that there will be little need of transporting
it; it can be made quickly and cheaply any-
where on earth."
Liquid air has many curious properties. It
is nearly as heavy as water and quite as clear
and limpid, although when seen in the open air
it is always muffled in the dense white mist of
evaporation which wells up over the edge of
the receptacle in which it stands and rolls out
LIQUID AIR BOILING ON A BLOCK OF ICE.
Compared with liquid air, the temperature of which is 312 below zero, ice at
320 F. is as hot as a furnace, and it produces the same effect on liquid air that
a hot fire would on water. The teapot is covered with white frost: moisture
congealed from the atmosphere.
along the floor in beautiful billowy clouds.
No other substance in the world, unless it be
liquid hydrogen, is as cold as liquid air, and yet
Mr. Tripler dips his hand fearlessly into a pail
of liquid air, but he is careful to withdraw it
instantly. The reason that it does not freeze
him at once is the same that enables the work-
man to dip his hand into molten lead, the mois-
ture of the human flesh forming a little cushion
58 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
of vapor which keeps away for a second the
effect of the cold or the heat. A few drops
held in my hand for an instant felt exactly
like a red-hot coal. It does not really burn, of
course, but it kills, leaving a little red blister
not unlike a burn. For this reason, one of its
prospective uses will be for the purpose of
cauterization in surgical cases. It is not only
a good deal cheaper than the ordinary caustics,
but is much more efficient, and its action can be
absolutely controlled. Indeed, a well-known
surgeon performed a difficult operation on a
cancer case with liquid air furnished by Mr.
Tripler, and reported the case to be absolutely
It is a curious thing to see liquid air placed
in a teapot boiling vigorously on a block of ice,
but it must be remembered that ice is nearly
as much warmer than liquid air as a stove is
warmer than water, so that it makes liquid air
boil just as the stove makes water boil. If this
same teapot is placed over a gas flame, a thick
coating of ice will at once collect on the bot-
tom between the kettle and the blaze, and no
amount of heat seems-enough to melt it.
Alcohol freezes at so low a temperature-
202 degrees below zero-that it has been used
in thermometers to register all degrees of cold.
But it will not measure the fearful cold of liquid
air. I saw a cup of liquid air poured into a
tumbler partly filled with
alcohol. Mr. Tripler
stirred the mixture with a
glass rod. It boiled vio-
lently for a few minutes
and then the alcohol thick-
ened up slowly until it
looked like maple syrup;
LIQUID AIR OVER FIRE.
Liquid air is so cold that when placed over a hot gas-stove, frost not only
coats the entire receptacle in which it is contained, but a thick plating of ice
gathers on the bottom directly over the blaze.
60 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
AN ICICLE OF FROZEN ALCOHOL.
An alcohol thermometer is supposed to measure all degrees of cold, but liquid
air freezes alcohol in a few seconds to a hard lump of ice.
then it froze solid, and Mr. Tripler held
it up in a long steaming icicle. Mercury
is frozen in liquid air until it is as hard as
granite. Mr. Tripler made a little pasteboard
box the shape of a hammer-head, filled it with
mercury, suspended a rod in it for a handle,
and then placed it in a pan of liquid air. In a
few minutes the mercury was frozen so solid
HANGING FROM A BLOCK OF FROZEN MERCURY.
The mercury is poured into a paper mold having a screw-eye inserted in
each end. The mold is then placed in a basin of liquid air, where the mercury
is quickly frozen solid. Suspended in the manner shown, the mercury block
will support several hundred pounds for half an hour.
that it could be used for driving nails into a
hard-wood block. What would the scientists
of twenty-five years ago have said if any one
had predicted the use of a mercury hammer for
Liquid air freezes other metals just as thor-
oughly as it freezes mercury. Iron and steel
become as brittle as glass. A tin cup which
DRIVING A NAIL WITH A HAMMER MADE OF MERCURY
FROZEN BY LIQUID AIR.
has been filled with liquid air for a few min-
utes will, if dropped, shatter into a hundred
little fragments like thin glass. Copper, gold,
and all precious metals, on the other hand, are
made more pliable, so that even a thick piece
can be bent readily between the fingers.
Not long ago Mr. Triple took a can of liquid
air to the Harlem River, and poured it out on
64 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
the water in order
to see its effect.
Small masses of it
at once collected
in little round
balls on the sur-
face of the river,
and being so much
colder than the
water, they froze
small cups or
boats of ice, in
which they began
up against one
another like so
many lively water
bugs, finally boil-
ing away and
LIQUID AIR IN WATER. leaving the min-
Liquid air is slightly lighter than water. iature ice boats
When a small quantity of it ispoured into a .
tall flask of water, it floatsfor afew seconds; quite still. If a
and then the nitrogen boils away, leaving the all
liquid oxygen, which, being slightly heavier small quantity of
than water, sinks in big silvery bobbles. liquid air is placed
in a tall jar of water, part of the liquid nitro-
gen, which is lighter than water, will evapo-
rate first, then the liquid oxygen, which is
slightly heavier than the water, will sink in
beautiful silvery bubbles.
I saw an egg frozen in liquid air. It came
out so hard that it took a sharp blow of the
hammer to crack it, and the inside of it had
the peculiar crystalline appearance of quartz-
a kind of mineral egg. At one time in Bos-
ton, Mr. Tripler had some of his liquid air with
him at a hotel, where he was explaining its
wonders to a party of friends. The waiter
served a fine beefsteak for dinner, and Mr.
Tripler promptly dipped it into the liquid air
and then returned it with some show of indig-
nation to the chef. It was as hard as rock
crystal and when dropped on the floor it shiv-
ered into a thousand pieces.
"The time is certainly coming," says Mr.
Tripler, "when every great packing house,
every market, every hospital, every hotel, and
many private houses will have plants for mak-
ing liquid air. The machinery is not expensive,
it can be set up in a tenth part of the space
occupied by an ammonia ice machine, and its
product can be easily handled and placed
where it is most needed. Ten years from now
hotel guests will call for cool rooms in summer
with as much certainty of getting them as they
now call for warm rooms in winter.
"And think of what unspeakable value the
66 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
liquid air will be in hospitals. In the first
place, it is absolutely pure air; in the second
place the proportion of oxygen is very large,
so that it is vitalizing air. Why, it will not be
necessary for the tired-out man of the future
to make his usual summer trip to the moun-
tains. He can have his ozone and his cool
heights served to him in his room. Cold is
always a disinfectant; some disease germs, like
yellow fever, it kills outright. Think of the
value of a 'cold ward' in a hospital, where the
air could be kept absolutely fresh, and where
nurses and friends could visit the patient with-
out fear of infection! "
The property of liquid oxygen to promote
rapid combustion will make it invaluable, Mr.
Tripler thinks, for use as an explosive. A bit
of oily waste, soaked in liquid air, was placed
inside of a small iron tube, open at both ends.
This was laid inside of a larger and stronger
pipe, also open at both ends. When the waste
was ignited by a fuse, the explosion was so
terrific that it not only blew the smaller tube
to pieces, but it burst a great hole in the outer
tube. Mr. Tripler thinks that by the proper
mixture of liquid air with cotton, wool, glycer-
ine, or any other hydrocarbon, an explosive of
enormous power could be produced. And un-
like dynamite or nitro-glycerine, it could be
handled like so much
sand, there being not
the slightest danger
of explosion from
though, of course,
it would have to be
kept away from fire.
It will take many
to ascertain the best
method for making
this new explosive,
but think of the
reward for its suc-
The expense of
and its difficult IRONAND COPPER TUBESBBURST
BY EXPLOSION OF LIQUID AIR
transportation and WITH OILY WASTE.
storage would be en-
tirely done away with. 1No more would war-
ships be loaded down with cumbersome explo-
sives, and no more could there be terrible
powder explosions on shipboard, because the
ammunition could be made for the guns as it
was needed, a plant on shipboard furnishing
the necessary liquid air.
Liquid air, owing to the large amount of
68 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
BURNING STEEL IN AN ICE TUMBLER PARTLY FILLED
WITH LIQUID AIR.
A point of interest in this experiment is the contrasts in temperatures;
steel is burning at 3,5000 F. in an ice receptacle containing liquid air at 312
oxygen which it contains, will make steel burn
violently. Mr. Tripler places a little of it in a
tumbler made of ice, and then thrusts into it a
steel spring having at the end a lighted match.
The moment the steel strikes the liquid air it
burns like a splinter of fat pine. This experi-
ment shows a most astonishing range of tem-
perature. Here is steel burning at 3,500 de-
grees above zero in an ice receptacle containing
liquid air at 312 degrees below zero.
But all other uses of liquid air fade into in-
significance when compared with the possi-
bility of its utilization as power for running
machinery, which is Mr. Tripler's chief object.
I saw Mr. Triple admit a quart or more of the
liquid air into a small engine. A few seconds
later the piston began to pump vigorously,
driving the fly-wheel as if under a heavy head
of steam. The liquid air had not been forced
into the engine under pressure, and there was
no perceptible heat under the boiler ; indeed,
the tube which passed for a boiler was soon
shaggy with white frost. Yet the little engine
stood there in the middle of the room, running
apparently without motive power, making no
noise and giving out no heat and no smoke,
and producing no ashes. And that is some-
thing that can be seen nowhere else in the
"If I can make little engines run by this
power, why not big ones? asks Mr. Tripler.
And run them entirely with air?"
70 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
"Yes, with liquid air in place of the water
now used in steam boilers, and the ordinary
heat of the air instead of the coal under the
boilers. Air is the cheapest material in the
world, but we have only begun learning how
to use it. We know a little about compressed
and liquid air, but almost nothing about utiliz-
in'g the heat of the air. Coal is only the sun's
energy stored up. What I do is to use the
sun's energy direct.
"It is really one of the simplest things in
the world," Mr. Tripler continued, when
you understand it. In the case of a steam-
engine you have water and coal. You must
take heat enough out of the coal,, and put it
into the water to change the water into a gas
-that is, steam. The expansion of this gas
produces power. And the water will not give
off any steam until it has reached the boiling
point of 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
"Now steam bears the same relation to
water that air does to liquid air. Air is a
liquid at 312 degrees below zero-a degree of
cold that we can hardly imagine. If you raise
it above 312 degrees below zero it boils, just
as water boils above 212 degrees. Now, then,
we live at a temperature averaging, say, sev-
enty degrees above zero-about the present
temperature of this room. In other words,
RUNNING AN ENGINE WITI LIQUID ATR. ,
we are 382 degrees warmer than liquid air.
Therefore, compared with the cold of liquid air
we are living in a furnace. A race of people
who could live at 312 degrees below zero would
shrivel up as quickly in this room as we would
if we were shut. up in a baking oven. Now
then, you have liquid air-a liquid at 312 de-
grees below zero. You expose it to the heat
of this furnace in which we live, and it boils
instantly and throws off a vapor which ex-
pands and produces power. That's simple,
isn't it ?"
It did seem simple; and you remember with
admiration that Mr. Tripler is the first man
who ever ran an engine with liquid air, as he
was also the first to invent a machine for mak-
ing liquid air in quantities, a machine which
has since been patented.
In some respects liquid air possesses a vast
supremacy over steam. In the first place, it
has about one hundred times the expansive
power of steam. In the second place, it begins
to produce power the instant it is exposed to
the atmosphere. In making steam, water has
first to be raised to a temperature of 212 de-
grees Fahrenheit. That is, if the water as it
enters the boiler has a temperature of 50 de-
grees, 162 degrees of heat must be put into it
before it will yield a single pound of pressure.
74 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
CHARLES E. TRIPLE.
After that, every additional degree of heat pro-
duces one pound of pressure, whereas every
degree of heat applied to liquid air gives about
twenty pounds of pressure.
"Liquid air can be applied to any engine,"
says Mr. Tripler, and used as easily and as
safely as steam. You need no large boiler, no
water, no coal, and you have no waste. The
heat of the atmosphere, as I have said before,
does all the work of expansion."
The advantages of compactness, and the ease
with which liquid air can be made to produce
power by the heat of the atmosphere, at once
suggested its use in all kinds of motor vehicles,
and a firm in Philadelphia is now making ex-
tensive experiments looking to its use. A sat-
isfactory application may do away with the
present huge, misshapen, machinery-laden au-
tomobiles, and make possible small, light, and
Mr. Tripler even predicts that by the agency
of liquid air, practical aerial navigation can be
assured. The problem which has hitherto de-
feated the purposes of aerial navigators has
been the difficulty of producing a propelling
machine sufficiently light and yet strong
enough to keep the propeller in motion. Liquid
air requires no boilers, no fuel, no smoke-
stacks, and the machinery necessary to its use
will be a mere feather's weight compared with
the ordinary steam engine.
Much has yet to be done before liquid air
becomes the revolutionizing power of which
76 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
Mr. Tripler has prophesied. It has many dis-
advantages as well as advantages, and it will
undoubtedly take Mr. Tripler and other inven-
tors many years to perfect the machines neces-
sary for using it practically. It will probably
be chiefly valuable in cases where a source of
power must be produced at one place and used
at another. This much, however, has been
positively accomplished: A machine has been
built which will make liquid air in large quan-
tities at small expense, and an engine has been
successfully run by liquid air. Other devel-
opments will undoubtedly come later.
SIGNOR MARCONI AND HIS EARLIER APPARATUS FOR TELEGRAPHING WITHOUT WIRES.
TELEGRAPHING WITHOUT WIRES.
IHow Marconi Sends Messages Through Space.
MaRcoNI was a mere boy when he first be-
gan to dream of the marvellous possibility of
sending telegraph messages without wires.
He was barely twenty-one, a shy, modest,
beardless youth, when he went up to London
from his quiet country home in Italy to tell the
world about one of the greatest inventions of
the century. A few months later this boy
had set up his apparatus and was telegraphing
all sorts of messages through the air, through
walls, through houses and towns, through
mountains, and even through the earth itself,
and that with a mechanism hardly more com-
plicated or expensive than a toy telephone.
The present system of telegraphy by means of
wires, the sending of long despatches over con-
tinents and under oceans, is quite wonderful
enough in itself, but here was an inventor who
did away entirely with wires and all other
means of mechanical connection, and sent his
80 THE BOY'S BOOK OF INVENTIONS.
messages directly through space. It is for this
that Marconi was famous the world over at
The young inventor is described as being
tall and slender, and dark of complexion. Al
though he bears an Italian name and was born
in Bologna, Italy (in 1874), and educated at
Bologna, Leghorn, and Florence, he is only
half Italian, his mother being an English
woman. Hle speaks English readily and
fluently, and he appears to like London better
than his native land. His first experiments
were carried on in the fields of his father's
estate, and consisted merely of tin boxes set up
on poles of varying heights, one of which was
connected with a crude transmitting machine,
and the other with an equally crude receiver,
which he himself had manufactured.
Before going into the details of Guglielmo,
or William, Marconi's apparatus and telling
more of his astonishing successes, it may be
well to look somewhat into the theories on
which he bases his work. It must be under-
stood, however, that Marconi was not the first
to suggest wireless telegraphy, nor to signal
experimentally for short distances without
wires; but he was the first to perfect a system
and to put it into practical operation, and to
him, therefore, belongs the laurels of the inven-
THE WIRELESS TELEGRAPH STATION AT POOLE, ENGLAND, SHOWING SENDING AND RECEIVING IN-
STRUMENTS. IN RIGHT-HAND CORNER IS THE COPPER REFLECTOR USED IN DIRECTING WAVES.
Drawn from a photograph.