A Type writer for the Blind IN view of the highly developed sense of touch in blind persons, the idea naturally suggests itself to construct a typewriter especially for their use, with the keys marked with the characters in raised type. A machine of this character, shown in the accompanying illustration, is the invention of M. Cayzergues, of Paris. Needless to say, when the operator has A typewriter for the blind. become proficient, the marks upon tho keys are no longer necessary, and in fact the provision of raised characters upon the keys is the least of the special features required in a machine for the blind. What is needed is some arrangement whereby the operator is able to check up his work as he goes along and to correct any mi:-' ;<kes that may occur. With this in view, the machine which lias been built is a combination of two separate prin ting mechanisms, both operated simultaneously from the same keyboard. One set of Ievers produces a record in raised characters on a paper cylinder, while another set at the back produces the usual written copy upon a separate sheet. The copy thus obtained represents the ordinarv letter form as employed for business and other purposes, while the record on the paper cvlinder i s made in the special character used by the blind , consisting of a combination of small dots. In this way the blind writer is furnished on the one hand with a copy of his letter and on the other hand with a means for reading his writing as he goes along. The new typewriter is not very much more complicated than the usual form. Each paper roller slides along a toothed rack in such a way that every time a key is struck, both carriages move along the distance of one tooth. The spacing of the lines is effected by hand by pushing a lever, so as to shift the roller carriages one space. The front carriage is arranged to operate the rear carriage through a rod and gear coupling. The raised lvcnru is so placed that the operator can run his fingers over it practically without interfering with his work. When desired, the special mechanism for the blind can be disconnected and either part of the machine used separately. Springless Truck for Rough Ground rpHE accompanying engraving illus- trates a very novel form of vehicle, which, by the use of eight wheels, dispenses with all springs, the wheels being so mounted as to enable it to travel over rough ground without being materially lifted by the obstacles over which it passes. A closer examination of the engraving will reveal the construction. Each wheel is mounted in a separate fork hinged to the frame above. The forks are connected in pairs by links running from crank arms on each to a common cross tree. As a result, should one wheel strike an obstacle, it would swing backward to clear the obstruction and in so doing would draw the cross tree backward, pulling its mating wheel forward. There would thus be a co-operative action between the two wheels in passing over the obstacle which would result in a practically level running of the vehicle body. Such being the casE), there would be no necessity for springs. Of course, the truck body would not run perfectly level, but the rise and fall would be considerably less than with a four-wheeled truck of the ordinary construction. As most of the work done in drawing a vehicle consists in raising it over obstructions, it follows that the flexible wheel mounting here shown would call for much less tractive effort than is ordinarily the case. Novel Cotton-picking Machine 'T'HE machine which is pictured in the accompanying engraving is not completely automatic in its action. It is provided with a number of pickers, each of which must be separately controlled by an operator. The machine is driven by a three-horse-power kerosene engine, the entire outfit weighing about 800 pounds. The pickers operate somewhat on the principle of the spiral screw-driver. They consist of a shaft which rotates and at the same time has a reciprocal motion, so that it will alternately protrude and withdraw into a casing. The latter movement is produced by means of a guide with a double spiral groove. v. t In- end of the shaft is a finger adapted to catch the 'cotton boll and twist it out of its pod, after which the picker is withdrawn within its casing, the boll is stripped from the finger and carried bv means of an air blast through a cleaner that removes any leaves or sticks that may adhere thereto, and deposits the clean cotton in a bag. The picking finger is operated by means of a flexible shaft, while a separate flexible tube runs to the picker to convey the cotton to the cleaner. By providing individual control of the pickers, the cotton may be picked from parts of the plant which might be inaccessible to a purely mechanical machine. On a test with the cotton picker illustrated, two men being employed, a hundred pounds of cotton was picked per hour. Youngest Patentee of Record THERE is no age limit to patentees. Take the patent, No. 465,066, of December 15th, 1891, to Donald M. Murphy, of St. John, Canada. One might think from his X mark signature to the specification that Donald could not write his name, and he could not, for he had no book learning, but he did have the inventive ability to produce a sounding toy for which the United States Patent Office granted him a patent. But do not blame him for his lack of schooling, for Donald was only six years old when he filed the application, and as far as is known the youngest applicant for patent in this or any other country. His picture formed a part of the Patent Office Exhibit at the Chicago Worlds' Fair in 1893. The toy patented to him is a simple contrivance including a bar with handle knobs at its ends and two clapper disks slidable along the bar so they can sound against each other and against the handle knobs. See accompanying illustration. Notes for Inventors Death of Thomas Hall.—Thomas Hall, known for his inventions in connection with the manufacture of typewriters, died recently at the age of 77. He won a prize at the Paris Exposition of 1867, by the exhibition of a keyed typewriter. Mr. Hall also invented a number of sewing machine attachments and an improved drill grinder. He was born in . Philadelphia, February 4th, 1834. Fire Arm for Stage Use.—Most of us cannot shoot straight with a revolver | designed for straight shooting, but to make sure of this John E. Banner, of Mt. Airy, N. C., has patented (No. 1,007,174) a shooting implement in the form of a revolver which has the muzzle end of the Clapper invented by a six-year-old boy. barrel closed and its bullet passage or bore deflected at its discharge upwardly and out through the top of the barrel so the bullet will pass almost vertically upward. A Cloud Protector for Aeroplanes.— Army and navy ordnance experts are giving much time and thought to the best manner of attacking airships aloft. Various guns for firing at the fliers have been invented. “Is it not practicable,” says one of our correspondents, “to provide some means, chemical or otherwise, by which the aviator can, at his pleasure, produce some cloud like vapor to envelope his machine and obscure it from the view of the enemy? The artificial cloud might he visible, but would only form a large target while the machine, the real objective point of the firing lines, would form only a small part of the target, decreasing in proportion to the size of the cloud the prospect of being struck by the projectiles. “ Color Changing Flaming Arc Lamp.— Color effects in arc lamps are sought by a patent, No. 1,007,869, to Chas. W. Hill, of Lakewood, Ohio, assignor to National Carbon Company, of Cleveland, who provides an electrode for flaming arc lamps, in different portions of which are incorporated different substances, adapted as they volatilize, to give to the arc stream a characteristic color, thus imparting a succession of color changes to the arc as the electrode is consumed. Prevents Hen from Setting.—Setting hens are proverbially persistent but Vern M. Osborn, of Los Angeles, in patent, No. 1,008,050, furnishes a poke like device which he straps on the hen showing setting proclivities, the device being provided with a pair of legs which project down in front of the hen's legs so that she cannot assume her usual posture on the eggs. A Hewitt Vapor Converter.—Peter Cooper Hewitt of Ringwood Manor, N. J., has secured a patent, No. 1,007,694, for a vapor rectifier in which a container has a conducting receptacle with hollow arms extending from it and conducting caps, constituting the terminals of the arms and forming the main positive electrodes of the apparatus, while the negative electrode is contained in the receptacle. A Multi-blade Safety Raz.or.-'--A razor described in patent No. 1,007,847, granted to' Axel Anselin Carlson, of Lindsborg, Kansas, has a casing and a blade guard. A carrier having a number of blades is revolubly mounted in the casing so that any one of the blades which are removably and yieldingly mounted- in the casing may be brought into operative position, relatively to the guard.
This article was originally published with the title "The Inventor's Department"