THAT DOLLAR MUSIC BOX. Our attention has been called to an advertisement under the above caption which recently appeared in the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, and a correspondent has sent us one of the boxes. It is simply a poorly made mouth harmonicon constructed of tin and wood, and affords music about equal to that which can be produced by applying a piece of paper to a comb, and singing through it. The instrument would amuse a small child for a few minutes, and is worth to those who want so poor a tiling about five cents. In other words, the thing is a swindle, and the parties who sell it are swindlers, who have no right outside the penitentiary. We do not intend to admit such advertisements into our columns, but they get into the office through advertising agents ; and in spite of all the precaution which we endeavor to observe in the matter, our clerks either thoughtlessly or stupidly take in some which would have been refused- admittance had they been previously brought to our notice. Now we put it to those of our readers who have been deceived by this advertisement, does not " swindle " appear upon its very face ? and is there not something so very absurd in the thought that a music box can be bought for one dollar, to play eight select tunes, that you are astonish! at' yourselves, for nibbling at the bait ? We recommend all who want cheap music in choice variety to purchase a Jews-harp, upon which a hundred tunes may be executed, if one only knows how to breathe forth sweet sounds. PATENT OFFICE FRAUDS.—Upon another page we present a startling array of figures which show how the treasury of the Patent Office has been fradulently depleted of many thousands of dollars—paid in by honest inventors. The report has since come up in the House, and the Committee were called upon to fix the responsibility upon the shoulders of the officials guilty of these corrupt practices. The Committee seemed afraid to speak out, however, and the public are left to conjecture who the parties are. Thus the affair is partially glossed over, and nobody is to be held accountable for a swindle which, in any country where honesty was the rule, would consign the perpetrators inside the walls of a prison. If Congressmen were clean-handed themselves, they could go about these investigations with a determination to expose and punish those who are guilty of these glaring frauds. NEW YORK CITY ELEVATED BAIL WAY.—The new propelling machinery has lately been put in operation and a passenger car run on the first half mile section, in Greenwich street, between the Battery and Cortlandt street, New York city. The cn-j is moved by means of a small wire rope, or cable, which as at present arranged seems to work easily. We understand that the Company is perfectly satisfied with the machinery. We lately took a ride on the road, and everything seemed to operate well. The cable is supported upon little trucks or dogs, which run upon small tracks in the center of the main track. Connection is made between the car and cable by means of a rock shaft on the car, which comes in contact with the dogs. A series of springs on the bottom of the car prevent any sudden shock when the car is put into connection with the cable. The car may be connected or disconnected at will by simply moving the rock shaft. The car wheels are of wood, and the vehicle makes but little noise. The track ia supported on pillars, rising from the sidewalk, sixteen feet high.
This article was originally published with the title "Editorial Summary"