Oddities in Inventions A Novel Milk BottIe.-When unskimmed milk is delivered to the consumers in the usual type of bottle, the cream forms a l:yer floating on the milk. In pouring out the contents of the bottle they are necessar!'l y more or 1 ess dI' St urb e d an d mingled. To provide a bottle that shall b e free from thIO S d ef ect I' S th e purpose of recent patents here illustrated. The device is extremely sim pIe , resembl I n g .n general outlme the customary mIlk bottle ' from w hI· Ch 't d'ffers b y havm'g a 1 ateral neck f ormed ab out th e po .nt wh ere the Milk bottle with a cream tap. bottle reaches its largest diameter. Through this neck a eurved tube of glass, paper or other suitable material is inserted, being free to slide in and out a certain distance, or to rotate about its axis. Both necks are closed with paper lids in the usual way. The operation of the device is so straightforward as to hardly require explanation. When it is desired to draw off the top layer of the cream the curved tube is turned with its Iner end directed upward. If eream from a lower layer is required, the tube is turned aecordingly. In transit, the tube is pushed in as far as it will go, to proteet it against injury. Tubular Springs.-Everyone is familiar with the faet that for a given weight a tubular rod has much greater rigidity than a solid bar, and the use of such tubular members in bicyeles, automobiles and airships is a matter of eommon knowledge. No one, however, seems to have thought, until quite recently, of employing tubes in the construction of springs. A series of experiments' carried out at the laboratory of Arts and Crafts (Franee) has shown that tubular springs of the eonstruction shown in our illustration give Tubular coil spring. every satisfaction and possess many advantages, as is pointed out in “La France Automobile et .Aerienne.” As regards weight in partieular, the eeonomy gained varies somewhat according to the dimensions, ranging from about 40 to 60 per Cent. But this is not by any means the only advantage. The smaller mass of the spring implies less inertia, with the result that the spring obeys more promptly the impulses whieh it receives. This is of importanee where the spring is required to take up sudden jerks or rapid oseillations. Another effeet of the small inertia of thp spring is that an impulse e(mmunieatpd to one end of it is very rapidly propagated along its whole length, whereas m the case of a massive spring it is apt to ?e taken up by the first two eOlls alone, whleh are thus placed under severe strain and may be rupt . red : StIll another ad . antage IS that, m vlew of the slight thICkness of the materIal, It can be more thoroughly tempered. Among the applicatIOns WhICh suggest themselves for the new tub ular spr!.ng, the first that occurs to one's mmd IS Its use for the alI,ghting | members of an aeroplane ' in which it wI' ll replace the usual rubber bands. So f ar as weIght IS concerned, there will be a slight advantage in favor of tbe tubular spring; as regards working efficiency and durability, the tubular spring is far ahead of the rubber band. The theory of the tubular spring follows along the same lines as that of the tubular rod. As is well known, it is the outer fibers of a rod which are placed under the greatest strain in bending, while the eentral fibers are practieally unstrained. Thus the tube is obviously the most advantageous form for a member which is to sustain bending stresses, inasmuch as all the peripheral fbers, that do the main work, are preserit, while the central fibers, which are com-1 paratively useless and merely add ballast, are simply eliminated. Root Shield for Sewer Pipes.-In their seareh for moisture the roots of trees are very apt to work their way between the joints of sewer pipes, eventually obstructing the pipes to such an extent that they are eompletely clogged. Then it is neeessary to tear up the ground and cut away the roots, for it is impossible to clear the pipes in any other way. This trouble is due, of eourse, to the fact that sewer pipes are ordinarily loosely teleseoped, which results also in leakage at the joints. To pro teet the pipes against roots, an inventor has recently devised a guard, consisting of two telescoping shield mem- Sewer pipes protected and unprotected from roots. bers, adapted to fit ovpr the joint. The flared end of one of the pipes serves as an abutment for one of the shield sections, while a lead ring serves a similar purpose for the other shield section. The spaee enelosed by these sections is filled with eement. The two shield members are eoupled by means of eross pins, fitted through ears in one member and bearing against lugs in the other. The aecompanying drawing shows a guard in seetion as well as an exterior view. I t also shows the efeets of the roots on an ordinary sewer pipe. Refrigerator for Show Cases.-With a view to displaying meats and other provisions in a show ease, while keeping them fresh and in a wholesome condition, an inventor has devised a novel form of refrigerator. The accompanying sketch shows a sectional view of a portion of a show case equipped with this system. At the right hand end is the refrigerator. proper, consisting of a box provided with a perforated tray or raek, on which a block of ice may be sUpported. A large port connects this icebox with a com- partment below the showcase proper, and here a fan is provided, whieh serves to drive air through a tube leading to the opposite end of the show ease. A constant circulation is had by providing a port to eonnect the show ease with the upper part of the refrigerating box. The arrows show the eourse of the air. The inventor has found that by this means he may eool the meats in his show ease sufficiently to eover them with a eoating of frost even in warm weather. Rest for Tobacco Pipes.-One of the disadvantages of the ordinary tobaeeo pipes is the faet that it eannot be laid down without danger of spilling the tobacco ashes, and there, is even the possibility of aecidentally setting fire to material coming in eontact with glowing embers of tobaceo. To prevent sueh eonditions, a Canadian inventor has designed a elip adapted to grasp the stem of the pipe and provided with legs which will support the bowl of the pipe in an upright position. These legs may be folded against the stem when desired. Instead of employing a elip, he also provides a ferrule or sleeve, equipped with supporting legs, whieh may be used to eonneet the stem with the mouth-pieee. Combined Salt and Pepper Shaker.- An inventor has recently hit upon a seheme for eombining salt and pepper shakers in such a way that one will act as a eover for the other so that each eondiment will be kept in an inclosed receptacle, in whieh no moisture may normally enter. Each reeeptacle is complete in itself but is eonnected to the other by a pair of ehannel-shaped plates whieh engage flanges on the meeting edges as shown in the eross- sectional view, Fig. 2. , Salt or pepper may be shaken out of this eombined receptacle on sliding one member uponi the other so as to uneover a set of perforations in the faee of the eompartment from whieh the desired eondiment is to be taken. Figure 1 in our drawing illustrates the shakers moved to such position. After one has helped himself to a quantity of salt or pepper he eannot stand the shaker upon the table with the parts in the position illustrated, for they will not hold their equilibrium. In order that the shaker may stand upright, the two memhers must be slid back to normal position, so that eaeh will rest on the table. Machines for Dealing Cards. -Two machines for dealing eards are described in a r e ce n t issue of La Nature. One of these devices, which is extreme l y simple, is represented in Figures 1, 2 and 3. The pack of cards is placed in a box B (Fig. 1), which it fits exactly and which is open at one end, A rubber wheel R. turning on an axis one end of which, M, is fluted so that- it can easily be turned with the fingers, is brought to br upon the cards by turning the hinged arm which carries it. When the wheel is turned in one direetion, as shown in Figure 2, it expels the top card; when this object has been effected the motion of the wheel is stopped by the impact of the a rm D upon the pack of cards. The wheel is then rotated in the opposite direction (Fig. 3) until the arm D strikes the edge of the box. This reverse motion serves to replace any of the upper ,eards which may h a ve been dislodged slightly in dealing the first card. The operations above described are repeated for each card. With a little praetice eards can be dealt very quickly and thrown to a considerable distance. When the front of the pack is pointed slightly upward, the cards turn in the ;air before falling, but if the direction of 28a SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN September 23, 1911 the pack is slightly downward the cards do not turn. Hence the cards can be dealt with their faces up or down, at will. The other machine, the invention of J. Olivier, is automatic and much more elaborate. It is designed especially for the games of bridge and whist, but it can be adapted to other games, using packs of 32 oj 52 Cards. The machine (Fig. 4) works silently and occupies little space. It is wound up with a key for a certain number of deals, 1( 01 12, and a bell gives warning that the machines must be wound up after the next deal. A circular base, resting on rubber feet, contains the clock work and supports a rotating platform on which the cards are placed. The platform is turned by a ratchet wheel, a quarter-revolution at a time, and at the end of each motion a rubber cam projects the top card in the direction of the player. The appal-atus stops automatically after each deal. It is started by placing the cards in position and pressing a button. Notes for Inventors New Vacuum Cleaners.-A vacuum cleaner operated hy gas is a new thing for which one great advantage is claimed and that is that it destroys the dirt which fnds its way into its interi(r. Thus it is ll't necessary to empty the machine. It is not designed to be portable but to b( built into the cdlar of the house with pipe connections with each floor. It is only necessary to start the engine which is like any small gas engine and very simple to manipulate and then to make the necessary connection with the hose at the point of operation. The dust taken from the floor returns to the machine, where it passes through the flame and is entirely destroyed, the dURt passing up the chimney with the exhaust of the engine. In the creation of the vucuum, superheated steam is used. Water is fed into a coil through a needle valve and as it drops from the point of entry, it is turned into steam and finally into superheated steam. ''he latter is then carried through a curved pipe and forced through a small noz;de into a cone shaped chamber. The action of the steam in rushing into the chamber forms the vacuum. The force of this is said to be sufficient to lift an ordinary building brick and hold it in md-air. Another of the recent improvements in vacuum cleaners is one whieh is worked by the water power secured from an ordinary fttucet. ''he device is designed either for portable use or stationary installation. The machine weighs but twenty-two pounds and may be readily carri!d around the house and placed wherever there is a convenient water outlet. A short tube connects it with the water pipe and a longer one of non-collapsible rubber permits the application of the vacuum at the desired point, remote from the machine. In the handle of the apparatus there is an observation glass for the purpose of watching the work. The machine is successfully .operated by a pressure of fifteen pounds which is available in most all water systems. One of the newest features for the convenience of the automobiler is a small vacuum cleaner which is operated by the exhaust from the engine and this is useful not only in the cleaning of the interior of the car but also in removal of the accumulation of dust from the clothes of the passengers after a long ride. A Pocket Camera.-It is always the big fsh that get away and the big game that is encountered by. the would-he sportsman when he is without his gun. So the camera worker realizes that he misses many desirable views and snapshots because these opportuI:ties are met with at times when he is minus his camera. Even as compact as these instruments have been made by modern ingenuity it is not convenient to have one's camera always in hand. Hence many oxcellent views are lost, for it is generally impossible to return Lo the spot on another occasion and find the same combination of elements which goes to make up a desirable composition. The newest arrival in the camera field is a really and truly vest pocket one, and in such a shape as this the photographer may never be caught unawares. It is not a toy, but designed for serious work. It makes use of either plates or cut films measuring one and three-quarter inches by two ::md a quarter. These are carried in holders. The instrument is fitted with a fne lens and the pictures made are of such a character that they will stand enlargement up to six and a half inches by eight and a half under all ordinary circumstances; but if the original negative is made under favorable conditions, the enlargement may be greater. While direct prints make very pretty pictures, it is designed that generally enlargements shall be made. For this reason an enlarging machine has been designed for the special purpose of making prints from these negatives. It is so complete that enlargements may be made quite as readily as direct prints. The camera is made in two parts, one carrying the lens and the other the plate. These two are held together by the bellows and a spring hinge. When the parts are collapsed the whole forms a small and compact package which readily slips into the pocket. In fact, the whole outfit complete takes up hut little room in the traveling bag or in an emergency could be carried in two pockets. Young Stokes Takes Out a Patent.- William E. D. Stokes, Jr., of New York city and George W. Davis of Galilee, N. J., assignors to W. E. D. Stokes of New York, have secured a patent, No. 1,001,227, for an aerial for wireless telegraphy and telephony and 1,001,228, for a receiving circuit in the same art. The aerial patent provides two vertical points of support with a wire between them and a series of vertically arranged wires standing in a plane and a switching device by which any of the aerial wires alone can be connected to the receiving circuit. The receiving circuit includes a large copper plate connected to the aerial and embedded in insulating material and supported parallel with the ground by insulating standards. A Barbed-wire Improvement.-In the manufacture of barb-wire, which is turned out in great quantities, it has been heretofore necessary to make use of a double strand of wire, the two being twisted and the sole use of the extra strand is for the purpose of holding the harb in place. A new machine for the manufacture of this article has been recently perfected by which the barb is pressed in place firmly around a single wire. This saves wire in two directions, namely, in the use of the extra strand and in the cutting of the barbs, the latter being twisted only once, while formerly they were given a double twist. The new machine also has the advantage of increased speed and economy of operation. Stopping Trains When the Motorman is Killed.-Trains of the Interborough lines and those of the Hudson tunnel are being equipped with a safety device which overcomes the possibility of a train running wild when the engineer is killed, injured or othense incapacitated. It consists of an electric button which is placed in the handle of the controller and normally, when the operator is at his post, this is in a depressed position, but the instant his hold on the handle is released for any cause whatever an electric circuit is made and the brakes of the train are set. Erratum I N our issue of September 16th we published an article entitled “ Inventing for the PublIc.” Among the portraits of the government officials who had given their inventions to the public, appeared those of L. V. Page, director of the office of Good Roads, and J. E. W. Tracy. Through an error Mr. Page'H name appeared below Mr. Traey's portrait, and Mr. Tracy's name appeared below Mr. Page's.
This article was originally published with the title "The Inventor's Department"