In 1894 a great impetus was given to the automobile carriage b y a competition organized in Paris by the Petit Journal. The course was from Paris to Rouen, 75 miles, and the prizes amounted to $2,000. Fifteen competitors started in the race, the best time being 5 hours and 40 minutes. On June 11, 1895. occurred another race in France, for prizes aggregating $8.000. The course measured 727 miles, and was from Paris to Bordeaux and return. Sixty-six vehicles competed, and the best time was made by a petroleum carriage, which made the entire journey in 2 days and 53 minutes, or at the rate of 149 miles an hour. With a laudable intent to a w aken widespread interest in the motocycle, two papers offered last July sub-stantial prizes aggregating $10.000 to be competed for by horseless vehicles. The Chicago Times-Herald offered $5,000 in fo u r prizes for the winners in the race of November 2, and the Engineer of London offered about $5,000 for a race to be held in E n gl a n d Under the existing law in England, which prohibits the use of steam carriages on the roads at a greater speed than four miles pel- hour, no adequate competitive trial could take place, but a repeal of the law is confidently expected, so that al low i ng time for necessary legislation the competition can scarcely take place at an earlier date than October, 1896. No vehicle must weigh over two tons, the limit being fixed by the Shaw-Lefevre bill. which was introduced during the last Parliament. W hen the Times-Herald first m ad e its oiler, it was feared that the time was too short for American inventors to construct motocycles which would stand a fai r trial when compared with the skilled construction of the most experienced French and German makers. This prediction was fulfilled. for out of nearly oiie hundred machines entered, an d aft er a postp on emen t of over three week s, only six con testants started on Thanksgivi n g day morning. November 28. 11 is probable the terrible storm just preceding the day fixed for t h e trial and th e accumulation of snow and mud deterred many from appearing. The route selected was as follows : Midway Plaisance, Washington Park, Fifty-fifth Street Bo u l evard, Michigan Boulevard, Rush Street, Lake Shore Drive through Lincoln Park, the Sheridan Drive and Kenmore Avenue to Evanston ; thence south on Clark Street and Ashland Avenue to Roscoe Street and Western Avenue, west on Belmont Avenue, southeast on Milwaukee Avenue to Humboldt Boulevard and through Humboldt, Garfield and Douglas Parks to Western Aven ue Boulevard, east on Fifty-fifth Street boulevard and Washington Park to Jackson Park and the Midway. Three days before the race, Chicago was visited with a veritable blizzard, which almost entirely cut off the city from telegraphic com m unication, crippled railroads, and brought the cable and trolley cars to a standstill. The streets were choked with snow, which was soon mixed with the accumulations of dirt, until they became well nigh impassable. The snow was 12 inches deep in places. It was in the midst of this city of snow and slush that six motocycles started for their race at 8:55 A. M. on Thanksgiving morning. The vehicles competing were : The Duryea motor carriage, of Spring field, Mass.; the Morris & Salom e 1 ect robat. of Ph iladelphia. Pa.; the Benz-Mueller mo-tocycle, entered by Mr. H. Mneller, of Decatur, Ill.; the Roger motocycle and the De la Vergne motocycle, of New York ; and the Sturges electric motocycle, of Chicago. The course was fifty-four miles long. The De la Vergne machine quit at Sixteenth Street ; the Morris & Salom electrobat and the Sturges electric motocycle m ad e s hor t r uns and then dropped out of the race. B o th the electric vehicles returned in good condition and made a good showi n g under the circ u m sta nces. The Roger machine broke its running gear when half of the course was covered and lost the race. The probable w inner of the first prize was the Charles E. Duryea gasoline motocycle.which made the fifty-four mile run in ten hours and t wenty-three minutes. The Benz-Mueller motocycle cauie in sec o n d, covering the course in eleven hours and fifty-eight minutes. Considering the condi ti on of the roads, this showing was very satisfactory. An engraving of this machine wil l be fo n n d in our paper of N ovemher 16, 189.5. The prizes offered were as follows : First prize—$2,000 and a gold medal, the same being open to competi tion to the world. Second prize—$1,500. with a stipulation that in the event the first prize is a warded to a vehicle of foreign invention or manufacture, this prize shall go to the most successful American competitor. Third prize—$l,OOO. Fourth prize—$500. The third and fourth prizes are open to all competitors, foreign and American. We present an illustration of the first prize winner. The Duryea carriage is made by the Duryea Motor Wagon Company, of Springfield, Mass. The Duryea wagon weighs about 700 pounds and is built for either two or four persons. The one shown in the engraving is arranged for Wo people. It is driven by two three-horse power motors, which use ordinary stove gasoline, so that the expense of running is less than one-half cent a mile. The wagons have a carrying capacity of eight gallons, so that they will run from 100 to 200 miles. The wagon needs recharging with water each day, and both the gasoline and water can be supplied to the wagon in fiveminutes. The object of the tank of water is, of course, to prevent the motor from overheating. Its runs backward or forward with equal facility, and has four speeds forward and one speed backward. It can be geared to different speeds to suit the roads of any locality, and may be run at any speed desired below its liuiit over roads over which ordinary traffic travels. The wheels of the carriage are 34 and 38 inches in diameter and are equipped with 2% inch pneumatic tires, and it is easily governed, being steered and speeded by the same lever, being steered by a sidewise motion of the lever and speeded by a vertical motion. It is provided with a powerful brake, and as its motors are wholly independent, one will propel the carriage even if accident affects the other. As an electric spark explodes the charge, the danger of explosion is reduced to a minimum. A Drop of Water. The water which is now in the ocean and in the river has been many times in the sky. The history of a single drop taken out of a glass of water is really a romantic one. No traveler has ever accom plished such distances in his life. That particle may have reflected the palm trees of coral islands, and has caught the sun ray in the arch that spans a cloud clearing away from the valleys of Cumberland or California. It may have been carried by the Gulf Stream from the shores of Florida and Cuba, to be turned into a crystal of ice beside the precipices of Spitzbergen. It may have hovered over the streets of London, and have formed a part, of murky fog, and have glistened on the young grass blade of April in Irish fields. It has been lifted up to heaven and sailed in great wool-pack clouds across the sky, forming part of a cloud mountain echoing with thunder. It has hung in a fleecy veil many miles above the earth at the close of long seasons of still weather. It has descended many times over in showers to refresh the earth, and has sparkled and bubbled in mossy fountains in every country in Europe. And it has returned to its native skies, having accomplished its purpose, to be stored once again with electricity to give it new life-producing qualities and equip it as heavens messenger to earth once more. —Chas. S. Whiting, in the Museum. Calcium Carbide. At the annual meeting of the German Electrochemical Society, Dr. Borchers exhibited an apparatus by which he not only succeeded, nearly ten years ago, in preparing calcium carbide, but also showed that all the oxides which were regarded as irreducible could easily be reduced by the action of carbon. It consists of a small cham ber or furnace of fire brick, through the walls of which pass thick carbon rods 40 m m. in diameter. Inside the chamber these are connected by a thinner carbon rod, 4 mm. in diameter and 40 mm. long. The furnace is fed with a mixture of lime and carbon. The action is not electrolytic ; the effect of the current being simply to heatthe lime to a tempera-ture at which it is reduced by the carbon. An E.M.F. of 12 volts and a current of 90 amperes is used. The current may be either direct or alternating ; and by diminishing the iength of the thinner rod calcium carbide can be produced with an E.M.F. of only 1 volt. so that electrolysis is out o the question. The reactions which take place are: (1) CaO + C = Ca-hCO ; (2) Ca-f C2=CaC2. The above reactions are supposed to have been discovered by Moissan and Wilson, but the author refers to publications by Whler (1862) and himself (1891).— Zeits. f. Elektrotechnik. u. Elektrochem. ; Jour. Soc. Chem. Ind. POTASSIUMORTHODINITROCRESOLATE is the name ol a new antiseptic discovered in Germany, but as it is intended to be used generally, it is also called antinou-nin. One part of the substance in from 1,500 to 2,00( parts of soapsuds is destructive to all the common parasites injurious to plants. Yeast used in brewing remains fresh for a long time when treated with it ; i1 destroys all bacteria, and yeast can endure a solution as strong as five per cent of the substance. It is odor less and very cheap.
This article was originally published with the title "The Chicago Motocycle Race"