A common way of playing trap and ball is to have a shoe of wood, and a spoon in the heel, with a long end hinged to the shoe by a bit of wire. The ball is placed on the spoon end, and the long end smartly struck, when the ball is thrown out in the direction shown by the dotted line, and it can again be conveniently struck by the bat. The dotted lines in the illustration show the alteration of position which takes place when the ball is discharged from the shoe. "But," it may be said, " the spoon which moves the ball moves in a segment of a circle, and, of course, the ball will continue in the same path ; how, then, can it be made to fly up " It must be noticed that the spoon can only ascend a cer- tain distance, because its passage is arrested by the long end meeting the shoe, and the ball, having motion imparted to it, flies off in a right line from the moment in which its motor stopped. The same is, perhaps, better illustrated in the sling. A bit of leather and two strings, having a stone held in the leather, is whirled rapidly round by the hand, and one string being suddenly let go, the stone flies off in a straight line, or in other words, at a tangent with the circle it has been describing. Playing ball is good healthy sport for this cold weather, and Helps to make ruddy cheeks and warm hands. The dry frosty days are just the time of year when it is most easy to be successful with electrical experiments ; and a very simple one we give our readers to perform, as illustrative of electrical attraction. Lay a watch down on the table, and on the glass balance a tobacco pipe very carefully. Next take a wine glass, rub it quickly with a silk handkerchief, and hold it for half a minute before the fire, then apply it to the rear end of the pipe, and the latter, attracted by the electricity excited by the friction and warmth of the handkerchief and glass, will immediately follow it ; and by carrying the wine glass around, always in front of the pipe, the latter will continue its rotary motion, the watch glass being the center on which it rotates.
This article was originally published with the title "Science in Sports" in Scientific American 13, 24, 192 (February 1858)