To the Editor of Scientific American: I beg to call your attention to Fig. 7, illustrating my recent article, “The Harvest Moon.” My drawing showed the illuminated hemisphere on the left. Of , course, I see how it happened, but it is misleading. Feedebic R. Honey. Hartford, Conn. Comparison of the Distance Traveled by Earth and Bell Telephone Messages The Orbit of Universal Service In one year the earth on its orbit around the sun travels 584,000,000 miles; in the same time telephone messages travel 23,600,000,000 miles over the pathways provided by the Bell system. That means that the 7,175,000,000 Bell conversations cover a distance forty times that traveled by the earth. When it is considered that each telephone connection includes replies as well as messages, the mileage of talk becomes even greater. These aggregate distances, which. exceed in their total the limits of' the Solar system, are actually confined within the boundaries of the United States. 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INVENTORS' NUMBER NOVEMBER MAGAZ/NE NUMBER of the SC7EN77F/C AMER/CAN /SSUE OF NOVEMBER 18th, 1911 Although every number of the Scientific American discusses the inventions and inventors of the day, there will be published on November 18th a mid-month magazine number which will display the inventor in a new light. Articles will 'be. published which will show how much he suffers from our antiquated legal system and will explain his need of sympathetic governmental support. His foibles, too, will not escape notice. There will • be an arraignment by Mr. Melville Church of our marvelously complicated method of trying patent infringement suits. Mr. Church is one of the most eminent patent lawyers in this country, a man who has figured prominently in some of the most important patent cases that have been tried in this country. He points out what a burden is imposed by the present method of taking testimony in chambers without any Court supervision and how enormously expensive a trial may be before the infringer is successfully brought to book. We need only mention the scores of volumes of printed testimony taken during the trial involving the validity of the Selden patents, to drive home the utter absurdity of our Court procedure. The inventor who has suffered because of the slowness of our judicial machinery will read Mr. Church's article with interest and profit, for he will learn what steps are being taken to protect without impoverishing him. The great industrial corporation (the “Trust” of whom we have been hearing so much of late) has changed the aspect of invention. It now pays to invent thousands of little feeding devices, thousands of little trains of gears and levers and cams, which, fifty years ago, might not have proved so profitable. An invention that means a saving of one cent per ton in the handling of raw material becomes of industrial importance for the simple reason that the “ Trust” deals in gigantic masses. In an article entitled “The Industrial Corporation and the Inventor” this aspect of modern invention is treated. Fascinating is the story of making big fortunes out of patents on small and apparently unimportant things. Every time anybody in the United States pulls the cap off a beer bottle or a soda water bottle, he puts the fraction of a cent into the pockets of a Baltimore inventor. Elias^ Howe, who first made the sewing machine practical by placing the eye of the needle near the point, admitted that he had collected $ 1 ,-185,000 in royalties. The man who invented ingrain carpet with the threads so interwoven as to prevent wrinkling, is now better off by $4,000,000 for his thought. A government clerk named McGill found it hard to hold together many pages of thick documents. He got over the difficulty by inventing the little brass paper fasteners which we all use. He died rich. His invention made money. These are but a few of the facts taken from a striking article by Mr. William Atherton DuPuy on the big fortunes that have been made on little inventions. Perpetual motion is the inventor's Will-o'-the-Wisp. In the Inventors' number will be found an article in which the various forms of perpetual motion apparatus that have engaged the attention of dreamers for years are explained and their fallacies set forth. There is a funny side to invention as the Inventors' Number will tell you. What possible use could there be in encouraging birds to infest the farmer's grain fields by providing fence posts with birds' nests in them ? Or of table knives with mirrors in the handles to permit the users to inspect their teeth now and then ? Or of a telescopic anti-collision pilot for railway trains running in advance of the locomotive and bearing an automaton that rings a loud gong? These and even more ridiculous inventions will be described in the article on “ The Funny Side of Invention. “ In addition to these articles, there will be the usual Scientific American material—the articles on current scientific discoveries, the Department of Curiosities of Science, the Science Abstracts and the rest. Price Fifteen Cents On A// News Stands