The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, March 01, 1879, Page 87, Image 23

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    March, 1879.
We frequently hear the remark that the time
will toon come when the course of invention
will be run; when, like Alexander, inventive
genius will weep, because there are no more
worlds to conquer. The fact that iron fingers
have in so many branches of industry been
made to perform tasks onoe done by bone and
sinew; that electric throbbing have outstripped
the fleet messenger in business affairs, and the
iron horse with food of burning ooals carries
the love-letter and the meal-sack, where onoe
the out-fed country steed galloped along the
hard-beaten road. These facts are impressive
and suggestive, but not convincing on the sub
jeot of an ultimate limit to inventive usefulness
or inventive power. The ball of progress in
rolling along has wrapped about it many a layer
of ideas formed into tangible facts; but the per
iphery grows, and the capacity for enlargement
grows with it As the circle of knowledge
widens, the illimitable space beyond still more
increases, and there is both more to learn and
greater ability to learn it If the nmlt of
man were the sole gauge of his demands, there
might well be a point at which invention, satis
fied with granting all needful things, would be
compelled to rest But "to want means both
"to lack" and "to desire;" the food and shelter
and clothing absolutely requisite devolop into
luxuries of palate and (esthetic taste. The rude
needle of bono that sewed with sinew the boar
skin cloak and made of it a deiinitn garment,
was an invention that might have sufficed in its
line, had the skin-garment satisfied ; but demand
and supply are comnieusurately progressive;
esch surpasses each, onward in the march of
progress; and now we have that household com
panion, the sewing machine, purriug like kit
ten, while basting, sewing, hemming, gather
ing, tidily at high speed; this modern sewing
machine being as legitimately the development
of the bone needle, as the fashionable garment
of to-day is the outgrowth of the fig leaf of Eve
and the skin covering of her son.
Our wauta have become artificial. With suc
cessive generations, luxuries develop into cus
tomary grants and eventually become necessities.
Our condition is ameliorated, and henoe our
appreciation sharpened, while certain faculties
have become dulled and invention must supply
their places or their deficiencies. Where inven
tion hsi produced an effect it is for invention
to extend and perfect it Thus, in every walk
of life it is for cunning brain and deft fingers to
effect new combinations or perfect the old, fear
leu of thwart or limit In proof that with im
provement criticism becomes more keen, and
demauda more imperative, we have only to look
about us for promising fields to engage the in
ventor. While the harvest of golden grain no
longer falls before the classic sickle, and the
hay maker has oaased to be a picturesque inspir
ation for the poet the root-crops still demand
personal delving and grubbing, and the ripened
fruiti still call for human pickers to pluck them
on by one. For the invootors who would de
vise a mode removing half the blossoms from a
peach tree, without injuring the buds which
form the next year's bearing stains, there awaits
a magnificent prize. Ramie and other fibers still
defy the textile art; and the gorgeous aniline
dyes fade with a summer's sun. Household
fires, onoe eynonyms of health and cheerfulness,
are now gloomy and noxious monuments of oar
heedlessness of things sanitary. Those do
mestic conveniences that should minister to our
comfort and well-being, poison us insidiously
but sorely. Our vaunted gaslights blacken oar
paint and kill oar window plants, while in the
street, the pipes which lead the gas destroy oar
shade tree. Oar sewers and oar drains are
confounded in nam and in use, and both of
then an poisonous. Oar chimney breath
forth sntok which is un consumed fuel, aad
heooe wasteful. Oar steam boilers, with Partly
consumed fool, supply oar engines with wet
team, aad the engines (whoa cylinders have to
be supplied with oil, through faultv deeign and
workuiausiupi waste part ot the remainder.
Onr hones, shod with no regard to humanity or
for tractive effect draw wagons or can which
rattle our teeth out, on road or rails whioh
rattle the vehicle to pieces. The explosives
which long ago wen constrained to throw hurt
ful missiles, have but in one instance -blasting
been employed in eaoaful work ; if we may
except the gunpowder pile driver, the precursor
of a long line of exploaive motor yet to come.
For these, and hundreds of other evils, inven
tive genius must provide th remedy; aud as
new and artificial want arise and develop into
necessities, upon the inventor, ever in the van
guard, devolves the duty of exploring the land
of the possible and providing for the legions of
the actual.
It might be said that as science falls into the
ranks of knowledge, and art after art is added
to the forces of man, the field of true invention
would narrow, and that of improvement, oombi
nutiou and application correspondingly widon.
And this distinction may not perhaps be im
proper to draw, nor inappropriate to apply,
Certain it is, that as oliaervation and experience
lay down the facts, and reason deduces there
from the theories and evolves from these again
the laws which govern things tangible aud
forces intangible, the plane of the inventer will
rise higher and higher, and his usefulness will
never diminish. It is to him that races uulmrn,
nations unformed, countries unexplorad, look
to for their betterment and the achievement
of their substantial welfare. Through him the
antagonism between man anil man -the foul
distinct ions of caste and olass -will be swept
away; aud better men, under better live aud
higher pleasure and comforts, achieve the
destiny Title 1 for them in the day when the
rooky rib of this earth were formed.- I'oly
ttthit Rtrirw.
The Boaton Adveri'utr for January ad, con
tains, under th head of "(Iranite Planed Like
Wood," an article on a new machine for planing
stone rapidly, built on the principle of the 1
planing machine. The article begins by saying
that when swiftly ravnlving knives wen first
made to do the work of horiaontal planes upon
plank and hoard, great wnndsr was expressed,
and the planing machine came at once to bs the
talk of town and country . We have all become
used to that and aee no impracticability in the
use of steel vs. wood in th rapid displacement
of the rough surface of the latter.
Next in order one might rasaonably eipeet
that soma ingenious man would devise a method
for the cutting of soft atone, such as freeatoii.
sandstone, anil the like, but that chisels or tools
of any sort that oould be mads, would, when
drivon, dull quickly, and render the operation
practically of little value. Huoh a plan for the
ontting of marble onold not 1st entertained, for
the herd material must be removed by well
directed strokes from a powerful arm. Tlx
inventor of the above mentioned machine has
now shown what may be accomplished. I
darning, a it wen, to meddle with softer
sulMtanos, he selects for the teat of bis invea
tioo the hardest of all granite, and the hard set
granite at that II "I h. we II, Easily aad simply
a the surface is rsmovsj from a pine board and
caused to fly off in chips, the flinty roughness is
aud to leave the fan of the gnat I Jock, and
only a So powdor remains to prove that a
strange work ha been done by the ingenious
application of steeL "If then uuuld be mads a
tool that would not require constant watching
aad vsry fnqueit abarpeamg, you might plane
granite, eaid a practical granite cutter, The
inventor showed him that for 4ft minute hi
machine could ran ooatiaaoasly end the tool be
uninjured, aad he was not little surprised to
out the amount of work done by the machine
in that abort spas of tiase. The tool oaa b
changed in a few ariaat, aad the whole
machine at oaa pat into opera t
The remarkable success attained by Mr.
E. J. Muyhridg, of Han Francisco, in the pro
duction of accurate pictures of hone in rapid
motion, ha stimulated other persons in a sum
lar direction. The process baa recently been
applied by lien. Abbott of th United states
Engineering Coins, for recording the effects of
the most sudden and violent exploeiona by gun
powder and dynamite. The Geuerai ha ahowa
that however instantaneous an siplosioo ap
pear to take place, it occupies, notwithstand
ing, a measurable amount of time, whioh ucji be
readily measured and th accompanying effects
accurately recorded by this nw application of
tho camera.
Among other experiment, Gu. Abbott em
ployed that instrument to make a series of pic
tare of th different stags of ths iploiaa of
submarine torpedoes. In order to accomplish
this, according to th Many'artwrrr ami Unilltr,
and in order to mak sis pictures, h had a key
board constructed Ilk that of a piano, con
iting of sci en keys. 1 lie pressure of each of
th keys dosed a elruuiti that of the lint ky
want to th torpedo and eiplndad it; the re
maining an key were each connected with a
fa, winch sustained by a thread the screens
of in camera, prepaid to tak pictures of ths
explosion. Any of the key, when touched,
ignited the fun, which disrupted th thread
aud dropped th screen; in th latter wm a hoi,
passing la-fore th objective of th camera, giv
ing, during that passage, an exposure of which
the time was estimated to ba at most the one
twentieth of a second. If. now, the key of
this bey hoard were rapidly played, all th
seven key oould b touched la sueeesalon, In
any previously determined velocity, always
giving tint th plneiiin itswlf, and than the
espiatiire of it effect in the eainera In (uucee
slvs periods of 'ten ths of seconds, or more or
leu, u deeirad.
The firet eiwriment wa with th ploetHi
of MX) pounds of dynamite, estimated equal so
fi.OOO pounds of gutiwdr, and th pictures
taken at intervals uf one tenth of a second, so
that all the suooesslvs picture were tak aw m
not much more than hall a aeooud. Thl u not
oven vry npid succession, ss almost aay
pianist can easily play twice as many snoeeswive
beys in that time. The result wm aa si plosion
in ths pi. lures of all th aoeeiv results,
snalyied and in order Among other carious
effects, the photographs showed that a oka
horizontal fore wm developed by the eiplnelnn.
other eiiasrimeut showed Oust depth WM an
important factor Th torpedoes wen espliaHed
near together, one three and the other til ft
deep; the tint throw an a column of water twice
a high as th latter. To ascertain how s tor
pedo aft. . ted a hull, or brnk up a ship, two
chargss of IB pounds each were placed three
feet under the bottom of a hull 1 ho ova saw
nothing but a confused outburst of water, by
reason of th persistence of Image on th rot ma;
but ths photographic uf a wm vary araea
quicker than th eye, m proved by th nets of
photographs, which showed the whole manner
in which the hall yielded to the hoea, th
hap aad poeHloa of th dlffereal frogmen!
while flying up la th air aad coming down
again All this WM distinctly pictured in th
series of photographs, still, from the lime the
torpedo wm fired until the pierce had onn
dowa, only about two seconds elapsed, while la
four end oo half enl lb water where the
v easel floated wm quiet again.
liana A Wansaa s tables bav lately been
published, aad show a total laeroM la too
population of the earth of tft.UJti.UJu, partly
arming from natural growth aad partly (row the
showing of new and wore saet i IMO.