It is rather difficult to classify the musical instn ment shown in the accompanying engravings. Like a cabinet organ it is played by operating a pedal, but as it is a stringed instrument it has no bellows. Like a guitar it is provided with strings of catgut stretched over a fretboard, but the strings instead of being picked by hand are vibrated by means of an endless moving tape. Probably its nearest analogue is to be found in the ancient hurdy-gurdy, the predecessor of the violin, which while similar to a violin in other respects, was played by means of a revolving wheel instead of a bow. The harmochord, as the new instrument is called, was invented by Prof. Ferdinand Freytag, of San Francisco, with a view to producing violin effects in a simple manner. The instrument is provided with five strings stretched over a sounding board. The sounding board is mounted on a stand in the lower part of which is the operating pedaL By means of a series of pulleys above and below the strings an endless tape is led either up or down in close proximity to each string. This system of pulleys is set in motion by the pedal and the speed of travel of the tape is thus directly under the operator's controL Above the sounding board is a series of rollers which bear against the endless tape near the strings. These rollers are connected to a set of selecting keys at the right-hand side of the sounding board. There are five of these keys, and they serve to select the string which i.3 to be sounded. When a key is depressed it causes its roller to press the tape against the corresponding string. The string is thus vibrated in a nianner similar to the vibration produced by means of a bow. Several strings may be vibrated at the same time to permit of playing chords. The instrument is provided with a fretboard which assists the beginner in fingering the strings. The quality of the tone produced by the harmo-chord can be varied by regulating the speed of the tape and the degree of pressure applied to the keys. To be sure it will produce only "straight bowing" effects, but its range is greater than that of the violin. The strings are tuned in the following order, beginning with the highest tone: E, A, D, F, and A. Its scope is four and a half octaves, and in its lower notes it resembles a 'cello. The inventor claims that with this instrument any one musically inclined may learn to produce violin effects with a proficiency and finish that would require many years of practice on the violin. The Introduction of Lapland Reiudeer Into Labrador By D. W.Prowse Over the whole vast peninsula of Labrador both white men and the Eskimo have only one domestic animl, the Eskimo dog. Its only use is for trans-portation in winter. Years of training have made this savage beast into an admirable sledge dog, capable of performing marvelous journeys. All the time, however, he has remained a wild animal, as savage as a wolf. Every year one hears of his murderous attacks on human beings. Last winter, on a sledge journey which was protracted by blizzards, the pack of dogs fell upon their drivers, and devoured the whole family. For over a year Dr. Grenfell, C. M. G., head of the Deep Sea Commission of Labrador, has been hard at work promoting the introduction of the Lapland rein-deer into Newfoundland and Labrador, to supplant the treacherous dogs. The reindeer will furnish the La brador popu I a t io n with food, both milk and meat, and splendid warm clothing, also with the very best means of transportation in winter. Anyone who knows about Sheldon Jackson's introduction of the tame reindeer into Alaska, and the s ple n did results achieved in that desolate country, can have no doubt abou t the like results at Labrador. The condition of both the country and the inhabitants is very much on a par. I have always declared that the tragedy of last winter should sound the death knell of the murderous Eskimo dog. While the credit of this great move is due to Gren-fell, it if only right that we should also givp honor to those who have aided him. Foremost was the present governor of Newfoundland, Sir William Macgregor, G. C. M. G. He is well known to the world of science in connection with the School of Tropical Medicine. He took the keenest interest in the reindeer. With the assistance of the Moravian missionaries he made a collection of the Labrador mosses and lichens, so as to ascertain if they were the true indigenous food of the reindeer. There have always been wild reindeer in Labrador, and it wag believed that the true reindeer moss could be found. The collection of mosses was sent to Kew, the headquarters of botanical investigation for the British Empire, and the authorities there certified that it contained all the varieties of the reindeer food. To make the project a success, it was felt that a herd should be brought over, two to three hundred reindeer, with Lapland herdsmen and their families. Grenfell on his round of lectures created such enthusiasm that the necessary money was soon contributed. Mr. Wood, secretary of the Deep Sea Commission in London, put himself in communication with correspondents in Norway, and secured a herd of three hundred then on an island off the coast. After long negotiations and hard bargaining, a steamer was chartered for 1,500 to take the deer across. Through Sheldon Jackson, a Norwegian in western America was secured who was an expert in the business of transporting the reindeer. All was going welL Nansen, the Norwegian ambassador in London, was doing all in his power to favor the project, when a difficulty cropped up that seemed for the time insurmountable. The laws of Norway prohibited the exportation of reindeer moss, and without this special food the reindeer could not possibly be carried across the Atlantic. Wood, the secretary, was for a time in despair, but through the influence of Nansen, the King of Norway, and our Foreign Office, the difficulty was smoothed over, and Wood is now in Norway, attending to all the details of the expedition, which sails early next month. Every care has been taken to secure the very best animals. 270 are does and 30 bucks; about 25 are thoroughly trained sledge reindeer for journeys. The best and most intelligent Lapland herdsmen, with a Norwegian interpreter, have been secured, and all will be under the control of Kjellman, a Norwegian thoroughly experienced in the business. For the future management of the herd at Labrador, advantage will be taken of Sheldon Jackson's experience in Alaska. Settlers and Eskimos will associate with the Laps, and be taught how to manage the herds. To guard the animals from possible attacks by the savage Eskimo dogs, every precaution will be taken. It will be made first of all a condition that all dogs be destroyed around the place where the herds are located, as a prime condition before distributing the tame reindeer among the inhabitants. The deer are also guarded by the Lap herdsmen and their trained dogs. The caribou, especially the bucks, are fighting animals, anG'can strike fierce blows with their horns and hoofs. They would be quite a match for their savage assailants. It is anticipated that the Eskimos and settlers will soon learn how to take care of the reindeer, and to appreciate the immense ad-vantages of securing such valuable domestic animals. A Ballon-Sonde at 84,624 Feet Altitude. According to an interesting report in Petermann's Mitteilungen, a ballon-sonde, or "sounding balloon," has been launched from Strasburg to a height of 16 miles. The altitude generally reached by balloons seldom exceeds 1114 miles. The phenomena as regards the temperature and moisture of air recorded during this ascension consist of a regular reduction of temperature until —62 deg. C. at a height of 9 miles, after which a regular heating through a thickness of up to 6 miles is observed in higher altitudes. According to a note recently published by R. Dongier in the Revue Scientifique, there would be a relatively hot layer, being the isothermical zone which corresponds to an altitude variable between 26,246 and 39,370 feet. There are generally in the atmospherd two main layers, which are strictly different as regards their thermical and hydrometrical properties. Whereas in the lower stratum the temperature and moisture undergo a reduction more or less rapid (according to altitude), such changes are of feeble intensity in the upper stratum, in which the atmosphere can be considered as made up of a number of thin layers, the temperatures of which would vary slightly either in one direction or another, thus determining changes in the speed and direction of winds. The lower stratum would on the contrary be affected by heavy vortices, cyclones, and a t m ospheric depressions. Much t r o u-ble is caused in brazing by not using thor o 11 g h 1 y f used borax. Dry borax does not ai.-swer, a s it swells w h i 1 e bra zing, and makes the joint porous. It should be melted in a clay or iron crucible to a clear liquid so as to drive off all water. Such b or a x will not swell when used for brazing.
This article was originally published with the title "A New Musical Instrument Which Produces Violin Effects"