Model of a Giant Steamship IN the Scientific American of December 17th, 1910, we described the “Europa”, now under construction for the Hamburg-American Line. This vessel is nearing completion, and in the meantime its name has been changed to Imperator A model of this vessel has been constructed, which is particularly interesting from the fact that it is one of the largest and most complete steamship models ever made. It will be recalled that the vessel measures 900 feet in length as against 860 of the Olympic and has a beam of 96 feet. It will carry 4,250 passengers, and some idea of this number can be obtained when we consider that the three largest hotels in New York city have a combined capacity of about 3,235 persons. The vessel is unusually commodious. It will contain a Ritz-Carlton restaurant, a grille room, tea garden and even a rathskeller. All of this will he shown in miniature in the 21-foot model. The model will be lighted with miniature electric lights, so that the spacious dining rooms, Roman baths and other features of the interior may be plainly seen. Propeller-driven Suspended Trolley Car WHILE the use of a suspended car is not altogether new, yet the one now being tried out in Burbank, California, is unique in many ways. The chief point of interest is the fact that it is driven by a huge propeller, itself of novel design, which is operated by a 26 horse-power gas engine. The car is no mere toy model, but a fifty-foot structure of steel and aluminium, which has a carrying capacity of 56 passengers. It is built in a torpedo shape, and while the photograph shows the uncovered ribs, the finished car will be covered with a light, flexible covering, with celluloid windows. In addition to the propeller in the rear, another will be placed -in the front of the car, doubling its power, and acting as an auxiliary in case of break-down. The short length of overhead track, about a quarter of a mile, has made it impossible to test the new device for speed, but it operates perfectly, showing that it is no mere theoretical invention. Forty people have been carried with ease at one time. The six-foot propeller is of great Interest, being a radical departure from accepted forms. It will be noted that the two blades are like enormous fans, being formed of sheet metal on ribs of steel tubing. A number of ingenious devices, tiltirtg planes to lighten the car while in motion, apparatus for raising and lowering the car at stations, etc., have been designed to perfect this new vehicle. An Aviator's Impromptu Bath FLYING over water has always had a fascination for aviators, and with some of them the closer they can fly to the surface the better they like it. At the Boston meet last summer T. O. M. Sopwih, the winner of the $20,000 De Forest prize for the first flight by an English aviator in England across the Channel to the Continent, played leap frog with the motor boats in the harbor, and greatly scared their occupants. He followed this up by performing similar feats with the automobiles on the Boulevard, and when he came across a horse the animal is said to have lain down on the ground in fright. While repeating this performance over water and scaring the bathers at Brighton Beach last September, Sopwith, who was accompanied \ly that other daring aviator, Lee Hammond, met his Waterloo. He was barely skimming the surface and had just risen to a height of 15 or 20 feet in order to fly back over terra firma, when his motor stopped and the aeroplane dived into the water. Both aviators jumped and escaped without becoming entangled in the wreckage. The aeroplane stopped bottom side up and completely submerged. Our photograph shows the skids, with their wheels, projecting slightly above the surface. The machine was towed ashore by motor boats. In a few days Sopwith had it fully repaired. A Fountain Pen for Draughtsmen ADETACHABLE container for drawing ink which can be slipped into place on the handle of a draughtsman's pen has been devised by a Los Angeles inventor, and by its use the constant dipping into the ink bottle is obviated. The danger of dropping ink upon the paper is, avoided likewise. Another advantage is that a number of these coii-tainers may be carried in a pocket case, Meteorology in American Universities MR. ANDREW H. PALMER calls attention, in Science, to the gratifying increase in the extent to which the science of meteorology is being taught in American universities. Students in medicine, engineering, agriculture and forestry are showing a growing interest in this subject, which until rece.ntly was conspicuous by its absence from nearly all university curricula. At the University of Minnesota instruction in meteorology was first given four years ago. Last year the classes in this subject, under Prof. E. M. Leh-nerts, numbered eighty-seven students, being the largest in this branch of science in the country. The University of Wisconsin has a separate department of meteorology, under Mr. Eric R. Miller, the official in charge of the U. S. Weather Bureau .station at Madison, which is domiciled in one of the university buildings. Three courses are open to undergraduates, and four to both graduates and undergraduates. At the University of Nevada instruction in meteorology will be offered for the. first time during the coming college year. The instructor will be Mr. S. P. Fergusson, late of the Blue Hill Observatory. The University of California is also about to inaugurate courses in meteorology and climatology, under Mr. W. G. Reed, Jr., who for some years past has been an assistant under Prof. R. DeC. Ward, of Harvard. The last university offers five courses in climatology and meteorology, one of which, a research course, is given at the Blue Hill Observatory by Prof. A. L. Rotch; the others at the university by Prof. Ward. At Williams College courses in meteorology have been given for several years by Prof. Milham. There are a number of other universities and colleges, not mentioned by Mr. Palmer, at which brief courses in meteorology are given by local officials of the United States Weather Bureau, among them being the Universities of Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Washington Cornell University, Norwich Universify, and Drury College. At still other universities and colleges the officials of this bureau give frequent or occasional lectures. In fact, educational work in meteorology is recognized as one of the regular functions of the Weather Bureau, the personnel of which includes all the professional meteorologists of this country with a few notable exceptions.
This article was originally published with the title "Curiosities of Science and Invention"