IT is a popular fallacy that a fireman can be trained to endure almost any degree of smoke, thanks to the frequent use in the daily press of such terms as “smoke eaters.” Beyond certain limits even the fireman is unable to withstand smoke, and it interferes greatly with his fghting fires at close range, especially in cellars. Consequently, for many years there has been a demand for a practical smoke helmet or other device that would supply fresh air or oxygen to the fireman at work in an atmosphere impossible to breathe. Though they are used extensively ir.. Europe and supplied to a number of American fire departments, such devices have never found wide favor in the United States, where they are regarded by many fremen as cumbersome and of limited utility. Nevertheless, American firemen have been anxious to find suitable apparatus of this nature, and the investigations of mine rescue experts with such appliances have been observed with interest. The fireman demands, a light weight device that shall be simple and reliable, ready at a moment's notice, yet easy to adjust and manipulate. Under conditions where a line of hose may be used, this has been secured in a recent invention by James D. Halloran of the New York fire department, which tested in actual service at a fire on September 19th, has been found to work with great success. It consists of an auxiliary line of hose connecting with the outside air, through which pure air is drawn by the passage of the water through the nozzle of the main line of hose, and distributed by means of tubes connecting with a rubber piece covering the nose and mouth of the fireman like the nose guard of the football player. The device involves a cylindrical brass piece or collar, which is screwed on the end of an ordinary control nozzle, such as is found in the equipment of any hose wagon. To this is attached a brass pipe about three feet in length which opens on the main bore, through which the stream passes, and connects with the air supply hose already mentioned. From this brass pipe are taken three flexible pipes which terminate in the rubber face pieces held by the teeth. When the water in the main line of hose passes through the nozzle it sucks or draws the air from the outside through the small hose, so that it is available in abundance for breathing through the flexible pipes, so long as the water is flowing. The principle is very much the same as the familiar water-blast pump of the laboratory, and the application seems to be no less successful. Its particular usefulness will be in cellar fires, where dense smoke is usual and gives great trouble to fremen. Here combustible rubbish is responsible for many serious fires, which often could be more promptly extinguished were the firemen able to get directly at the seat of trouble, instead of being forced to use cellar pipes directed from I above. It is of further interest that this new device was supplied to a double section hose company in the high pressure district whose equipment now represents the last word to be said in fire department practice. and to this organization also has been assigned the fireman inventor. This company has to deal with many cellar fres and the new smoke protector will not only have the surest possible trial but will be greatly appreciated by the firemen themselves. Changing conditions in fire fighting demand improvements in apparatus and methods, and the mechanical training now being received by firemen is bund to produoe many ingenious inventions, of which Mr. Halloran's smoke protector is a sample. Notes for Inventors Aluminium Pulleys.-One of the big machinery concerns of this country recently made some pulleys of aluminium to meet some special conditions required by one of its patrons and the innovation proved to be such a desirable one that more were made at once and now they have been adopted as standard by that particular concern. They are said to have many advantages over those of cast steel. It is necessary to make some slight departure from the usual shape but this is a very trivial matter. The Telautograph in Desks.—Telautograph machines, which reproduce a written message at more or less distant stations, have been introduced into desk drawers, for use by bank presidents and public men, enabling the latter to make inquiries of clerks and secretaries without the knowledge of the caller. It is possible to write a message under these conditions and receive an answer concerning the personality or business of the individual seated at one's elbow, without leaving the desk or seemlllg to make any inquiries. A Striping Machine.-Striping is a branch of the painter's art which requires special qualifications and the man who has a reputation for gOOQ striping has no fear of losing his job. Carriages, motors, machinery, farming implements and a great variety of similar articles are not regarded as properly finished if they are not striped. This has always been done by hand, the painter using a long haired brush, but the greatest essentials to the work is a steady hand ' and a good eye. Thus equipped, he becomes so expert that he makes a straight line better than others do with a straight-edge. A hand device has been recently invented for performing this work, and it greatly facilitates the task for the reason that the painter is enabled to do twice as much work in a given time. The apparatus is designed on the principle of the fountain pen. It fits in the palm of the hand and is supplied with a bulb by which the flow of paint is controlled. A number of interchangeable wheels are supplied with the striper and with these it is possible to make a great variety of stripes as well as small borders, such as walls of Troy, oak leaves and similar designs. A Safety Device for Trolley Cars.-A trolley car which eannot start while a passenger is in the act of alighting or boarding the car has been in experimental use for a short time at Portland, Me. Such a feature will prevent most of the accidents which railway companies are compelled to pay damages for, and if successful, will meet with immediate adoption wherever the open end cars are used. The invention consists of a hinged step which is depressed a distance of a half an inch by a weight of less than ten pounds. This depressed position of the step has the effect of breaking an electrical circuit connected with the contractor and the latter fails to close by any act of the motorman while there is any weight on the step. The same principle has been applied to the elevator which wiil prevent that kind of accident which is so common, that of the car starting when a person is just in the act of entering it, the prospective passenger being crushed between the car and the wall of the building. A section of the elevator floor at the entrance yields slightly under the weight of a person and this throws into action a safety device which prevents the starting of the car. Bricks That Float.-At the present time there is no particular demand for a brick that will float but such a thing will be regarded as a curiosity the world around. In the development of a special brick, designed to be used as an insulation in the construction of cold storage plants, breweries and refrigeration plants and is meant to take the place of cork, flax, charcoal fiber and sawdust, all of which are imperfect insulating materials, the use of which IS attended by foulness and rot or are otherwise offensive. The brick, in waterproofing, is so burned that 45 per cent of its volume is confined air, with the result that one of these breks being cast upon the waters, will float along like a block of wood. d A New Letter Box.—The latest sugges- tt tion for letter boxes is one made of pressed s, steel, without any ledges or places in d which a letter might become lodged in its interior . . This is a trouble which exists A despite the greatest care. Many letters are delayed or fail of delivery entirely by being caught inside the letter box and l securely held there. Another feature of , the new box is that it has a drop bottom, . which is almost as great a consideration to the postal authorities as the smooth interior, for it permits a box filled with hundreds of letters to be emptied as e quickly as another containing but a few ” letters. The carrier's receptacle is swung under the box and the bottom opened so that all letters drop at once down into the e bag without any possibility of loss or - delay. r i Another Worthington Pump Patent Ex-. pires.-The patent to Charles C. Worth-) ington, No. 526,429, having issued Sep-1 tember 25th, 1894, expired on September f 25th, 1911. This patent involves the gradual closing of the valves at the end of the plunger stroke and enables a pump to be driven by a direct-acting steam engine with an increased velocity and avoids wear and tear upon the valves by slamming . Worthington has later patents still in force among which are Nos. 584,533, 584,534, No. 607,902 of July 26th, 1898, and No. 657,976 of September 18th, 1900. The original Worthington pump patent, No. 24,838, was issued July 19th, 1859, to Henry R. Worthington and included two direct acting pumping engines propelled by steam or other fluid and so arranged that each engine actuated the inlet and outlet valves governing the motive power of the other, thereby insuring the constant action of at least one pump piston upon the water and relieving the action of the pump from shocks and concussions. This was one of the most important pump patents eVfr issued and the invention was a valuable contribution to the art to which it relates. Metal Cloth.-An entirely new product, which takes up a position about midway ^between artificial silks and the fibers hitherto known which have been made from metal, has just been placed upon the German market by a well-known Elber-feld firm. In contradistinction to the metal fibers so far known, Renar yarn does not consist of a metal core or main-thread spun round with tinsel; it is a core, made of any suitable medium which, by means of a special chemical process, is entirely covered with a metallic coating which becomes thoroughly incorporated with the core. At the same time all the metallic lustrous-particles are so embedded in the external coat that they are protected against atmospheric or other extraneous influences, and thus maintain their sheen or luster for an indefinite period. The yarn is not only produced in the original colors of gold, silver, copper, old gold, etc., but is supplied in any modern shades required; all these colors are characterized by a fine, striking metallic luster which will not fail to please, and which are reminiscent of silk and metallic lustrous combinations. The yarn can also be worked up with artificial silk. From experiments made, it is fully proven that this new yarn is perfectly “fast;” that is to say, it retains its color and never gets black or oxidized. Patents to Former Examiners.—Among the patents issued on August 15th, 1911, is one, No. 1,000,414, to Charles J. Kintuer of New York city, for a hose connection, and another, No. 1,000,476, to Oscar Woodward of Montclair, N. J., for a typewriting machine. Both of these inventors were formerly principal examiners in the United States Patent Office, and a patent, No. 1,000,435, for a valve, was issued on the same day to Edward N. Pagelsen of Detroit, Mich. Mr. Pagelsen was also, at one time, a member of the examining QOrps of ·the Patent Office.