How To Make The Alabama And Maine Into Pre-Dreadnoughts. To the Editor of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN: As a reader of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, I am particularly interested in the articles on the naval development. I wish to know through your paper why the following changes would not be practical in remodeling the battleships "Idaho" and "Mississippi." Bearing in mind the results gained by adding 20 feet in length to the "Maine" class over the "Oklahoma's," which equals 948 tons displacement, 5,603-horse-power, 2 knots speed, 2 6-inch guns with ammunition, and 400 tons of coal. I would cut these ships in two, just aft the boiler rooms,, and build 30 feet, keeping as near the same beam as possible 77 feet. This 30 feet would be used almost entirely for boilers, engines and coal. I think that another set of boilers could be installed, adding one-half to the "boiler power. A new set of engines would have to be built to handle the 15,000-horse-power thus developed, and I think that the speed would be raised at least 114 knots, not much of an increase, but enough to allow these ships to steam with the 18-knot "Louisiana" class without reducing the speed of the whole fleet to 17 knots. I would replace the 8-inch guns with four 10-inch 45-caliber guns and add two 7-inch and four 3-inch guns to their present batteries. Thus we would have the following results: Present. Remodeled. Length, 375 feet to........................405 feet. Beam, 77 feet to about.......?...............78% feet Displacement, 13,000 tons to about.........14,500 tons Horse-power, 10,000 to about..............15,000 H. P. Speed, 17 knots to about..................lS^. knots Bunker capacity, 1,750 tons to about......2,100 tons Battery, 4 12-inch, 4 10-inch, 10 7-inch and 16 3-inch guns. The armor to remain the same as originally designed. This would be a rather costly change, but when a warship is needed the expense is a small item, and these two ships, with the increased speed and heavy batteries, would be a welcome addition to our first line of pre-dreadnoughts. . W. W. BASS. Chicago, 111. [Such changes as are suggested by our correspondent would be too costly for the benefits secured. It would not be possible to install four 10-inch guns-- the weights of guns, turrets, etc., would be prohibitive. The money would give more fighting value if applied to entirely new ships of the dreadnought class.--ED.]