In a recent visit to the Exposition in Atlanta the attention of our correspondent was called to a specimen of red iron ore in the Alabama building. It was in the form of a monolithic column, twenty-two feet high, and was said to represent in its height the thickness of the vein of ore in the Birmingham, Ala., district from which it was taken. Naturally such an exhibit arrests the attention of the iron-working community and inspires the spectator to know more of this iron wonderland. It was in pursuit of more knowledge of this subject that led the writer to visit Birmingham, and he was enabled thereby to procure some illustrations from recent photographs taken of interesting features of the place and its industries. When it is seen that such vast stores of iron are concentrated in so accessi ble a location as Birmingham, with its network of rail ways diverging to all points of the country, the reflection comes, What effect can t h is profusion have upon less favored fields ? The earliest workers in iron, the Phoenicians, producing small quantities, with abundant timber at hand for producing the charcoal fuel, did make iron that excelled in quality for the purposes for which wrought iron was useful. It can be said truthfully that the ores of Birmingham, with coal and coke as the reducing fuel, are also capable of producing a superior wrought iron for all com mercial and mechanical purposes. The demands of the present day, however, nave a wider field, in the various grades of steel and malletry is familiar to every traveler in the vicinity of an iron district. In this view are shown the rows of ovens, in which the superabundance of the bituminous element and impurities are eliminated by charring. Raw bituminous coal is prone to cake and clog up the charge in the furnace, and besides this, elements other than pure carbon are driven off by coking, and the fuel brought nearer to that most perfect of fuels for smelting, wood charcoal. The coal used is brought from the mines, in drifts with the mountain side, and run in chutes down into cars as shown in our view at the Sumter coal mine, on Blue Creek. Where the coal lies deeper in the earth and requires power to bring it to the surface, it is necessary to use cables from hoisting engines for this purpose. We show in a view the engine house and machinery used at Henryellen coal mines, in the Birmingham district. This photo clearly shows its operations, with the winding drums in the background, from which lead cables to the mines below, and which are rotated by the engines shown in the front. The view of the Ishkooda ore mine has been selected as exhibiting the magnitude of the ore deposits in the Birmingham district. This in teresting view shows the portion worked, of a solid vein of red fossiliferous iron ore, in which vein there is a thickness of thirty feet, varying hut sligh tly from these figures, though the working 5 shown was for special reasons located at the twenty-foot depth. The massive column showing in the front is a solid block of iron ore. As a representative type of the blast furnaces in this district a view of the Ensley furnaces is shown, having four furnaces or stacks in the plant. The working of one of these huge furnaces will be described in a future issue, together with some notes on the great industries which have been built up in Birmingham in so short a time. Long Distance Signaling. In his annual report, Caotain W. A. Glassford, Chief S i g n a I Officer, Department of Colorado, enters at length into the subject of military signaling over long distances. Successful h eli ()-graphing was accomplish e d over ranges from 20 to 85 miles in length by signal parties from posts ; and ranges of 125 miles will be undertaken during the coming year. Such, indeed, has been the interest in the heliograph that ranges have been tried until now there is but one intervening range to be tested in order to com plete, should it be necessary, a plexus of heliograph sta-tions to connect every post in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico with the D epar t ment Headquarters in Denver. In the preliminary long range practice between Pikes Peak and Denver, Col., the flash from P ikes Peak could be seen with the naked (ye, and this signaling was interestedly witnessed by a number of spectators ; among others General McCook was ct pleased observer of this preliminary work, and it was only then that the possibility of heliographing over the 183 mile range ceased to be considered by many as chimerical. The conclusion arrived at from this experience in long range signaling is, that under the conditions of sunlight or clearness that obtain in this W est e r n region. with a mirror of suf fieient surface area, with some modifications of mani pula-tion, these ranges are only limited by the curvature of the earth and intervening mountains, and are as practicable as the shorter ones. It is not tenable, however, toclaim for such long distance heliographing signaling that it is always to be relied upon, or that it is a practicable means of military communication un-derall circumstances; but for that matter, the heliograph is never to be wholly dep e nd e d on, because, even in short ranges, clouds may intervene in some cases for a long time. A system of repeating signals is accordingly s u g g e S ted. Words deciphered in one message can be recorded. and others added to it from the repetitions until the whole messsage is received. THE following lines have been engraved upon Huxleys tombstone : And if there be no meeting past the grave, If all is darkness, silence, yet tis rest. Be not afraid. ye waiting hearts that weep ! For God still gjveth his beloved sleep, And if an endless sleep he wills, so best I Work of Life Saers. According to the report of the General Superintendent of the Life Saving Service for the fiscal year ended June 30 last, the number of disasters to documented vessels within the field of the operations of the service during the year was 483. There were on board these vessels 5,402 persons, of whom 5,382 were saved and twenty lost. Eight hundred and three shipwrecked persons received succor in the stations. to whom 2.232 days relief in the aggregate was afforded. The estimated values of the vessels involved was $8,001,275, and that of their cargoes $2,645,960, making a total value of property imperiled $10,647,235. Of this amount, $9,145,085 was saved and $1,502,150 lost. The number of vessels totally lost was seventy-three In addition there were 192 casualties to small craft, on board of which were 421 persons, of whom 415 were saved. Life saving crews also rescued 110 persons who had fallen from wharves, piers, etc. The crews saved and assisted in saving 379 vessels, valued with their cargoes at $3,561,665, and rendered assistance of minor importance to 181 other vessels in distress, besides warning from danger by signals of patrolmen 249 vessels. The cost of maintaining the service for the year was $1,345,324.40. The Petrified Trees of Arizona. At a recent meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences a paper on Some Features of the Arizona Plateau was read by L. S. Griswold. In general the plateau surface is between 5,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation above sea levl and strikes one as being remarkably smooth for so high elevation ; there are large stretches of nearly level or gently rolling country, diversified, however, by mesas and outliers with escarpments rising between 50 and 200 feet, shallow but b r o ad o I d stream channels now little used and leading to canons with precipitous walls. On the plateau top are numerous volcanic elevations, varying in age from the young cinder cone to the denuded stock. Over the district silicified wood is well known, occurring at the base of a gravel and sand horizon, little consolidated, belonging to the late Tertiary or Pleistocene time s, and lying with slight unconformity in part upon probable Trias-sic strata and in part upon Carboniferous, the older formations being little disturbed. The trees now petrified originally grew to large size, eight or nine feet in diameter for the largest, pro bably conifers, and perhaps not very different from the forest growth of part of the present plateau. This ancient forest was apparently thrown down by the wind, for tree butts are common in horizontal position while only one was found erect. The gravel and sand covering would seem to have come soon, for only a few have fillings of sediment in hollows or give other indications of decay; the logs were buried at least fifty or sixty feet deep. The weight of the overlying sediments crushed the trees so that the horizontal diameters are commonly g rea t e r than the vertical as they are seen in place. Silicification was probably accomplished by percolating surface waters. as the logs are distant from volcanic v e n t s, as f a r as known to the writer ; then no hot water deposits were seen accompanying the logs, and the distribution as seen t over many miles and reported much more widely would also militate against the theory of change by hot waters. Tlie Lava of Idaho. Ages ago a vast river of fire poured down the center of the State of Idaho, This river consisted of molten Java, was 400 miles long, 100 mills wide. and from 300 to 900 feet thick. Across the corpse of this mighty river of fire a river of water -as s low I y cut a channel in several places. Born in the melting snow of the majestic Tetons, this river has cut its way for hundreds of miles through lava beds, in its course tumbling over numerous precipices until the great climax is reached at Shoshone Falls. where this mighty river makes an awful leap of 210 feet, a magnificent spectacle, in marked contrast to the desolate country on either side. The Hermit of Moose Island. Uncle John Cusack, the hermit of Moose Island, has just sold part of his insular domain in Moosehead Lake, an d, to th is extent, has a bdicated the long seclusion in w h i ch he h as dwelt for ab o ut 30 years. H e retai ns 200 acres, upon w h i ch his house and s table stand. Four hundred acres he has sold to a weal t h y woman, said to be a Southerner, for about $4.000, who will b u i ld there her sum me r residence. It was near the close of the civil war that .John Cusack, now a hale and he arty man of 65 y ears, carne from Reedfield, Me., and pitched his camp upon Moose bland, which subsequently he bought. He was a man of intelligence and some education who had studied law. Here he worked for v ari ou s lumber firms that operated about the head w at e r of M ai n es great ri vers in the Moosehead Lake regi on. Energetic, industrious and tempfrate, he became famous on the west branch of the Pe nob scot for his wonderful skill in log riding, a pro fic i en c y exercised to great ad vant age in getting the log drives down the broken waters of that swift and turbulent stream. Not long ago there appeared in print an account of John Cusacks feat in crossing the Piscataquis River at Foxcroft, standing on a 35 pou n d binding pole. Such a p e rform anee is a comm o nplace one for him. F req u ently, on a wa g er or merely to exhibit h is skill, he has crossed the broad reach of West Cove at the foot of Moosehead Lake, on a pole as slender, and even when u phe l d by not h i n g m ore b uoying t h an a lumbermans pi ck-pole. As to the m atte r of a boat to take him from his isla nd to the mainland lie gives himself littie trouble. To leap upon a log, with a slab or sapling for paddle, propel himself across the divi d -ing channel, is as much a matter of course with him as for an urban resident to step upon a horse car. With such a craft he sometim e s has made strange and adventurous v 0 y-ages. Once as the st ea m er from Ki neo plowed dow n the lake through a h eavy sea, the ships company were astou n ded by t h e sight of a man, in mid-lake, stand-ing breast high in the heaving waters, with which he was battling in seeming pursuit of a small dog that sat in full view above the surface a few feet ahead of h i m. The steamer, changing h er course, slowed down to pick up J oh n Cusack, w h o was m ak i ng the fourth mile of a voyage with an old tree root as his crafc and his dog as pas senge r. He stood upon the larger end of the root, thereby lifting the ot h er end above the water, and upon this upraised t i p the do;. fo u n d a safe if not quite d ry footing. The sight of Uncle John and his dog making similar though l es s venturesome voyages about the lower part of the lake is not uncommon, and the dog has learned to 1 ake his place on the dry end of the stick or root at his masters first word of command. In his primitive castle on Moose Island, John Cusack lives on terms as patriarchal and friendly with the dumb animals w h ich are bis compani on s as did R o b i n so n Crusoe with his goat s. In the summer his sleek oxen, sheep and poultry forage well for themselves over the slopes and fertile meadows of the island. In the winter, should it chance that John Cusack desires to go a way to remain for several days, he does not trouble himself to import a man to care for these creatures. He pitches half a ton of hay down into the middle of the barn floor, scatters corn and grain around where the hens can get to it, op en s the b arn door so that they can go to the s pri n g for water at pleasure, an d goes a way foi an in d efini te time with assured confidence that all will be well at home. Despite his secl n de d and ce libate life—Uncle John is a bachelor—he Ins no aversion to human society, hut, on the contrary, enj oys it, and he is especially galla nt and chivalrous to the fair sex. In t h e solitude of Moose Island he doesnt find much of a field for conversation, but he makes full ame n d s when he em erges, as he often does, into the settled communities. Then, by the stove of a country store or a hotel office, he can talk a continuous streak, without pause for rest or refreshment, for six hours at a stretch, and then stop when time at last i s called as fresh and colloquial as at the beginning. In person the hermit of Moose Island is short and acti ve of m oti on, and his h ai r and full beard are now sprinkled with gray. He dresses nea tly, but on h i s island domain he is prone to discard the use of shoes and stockings as a need 1 ess conventionality, and itis a cold day when he takes the trouble to don foot wear for an informal trip to Greenville, the nearest base of supplies.—Maine State Press. Our Export Trade. A n otable feature of our ex port trade in rece nt mon th s, the B oston Journal of Commerce says, has been the wid en ing of the markets for American manu-factures. Thus this fall $100,000 worth of American cotton fabrics have been sent to Arabia, while Rou-m an i a, Turkey, and Spai n h ave p lace d trial orders for hardware. Russia has bought very large lines of A m erican manufactured rubber. Brazil has place d large orders for chemicals of A m eri can manufacture. France bough t A m erican bicycles to the value of $12,000 this autumn, while the United States of Colombia purch ased $8,000 worth of American w h eels. South and Central American countries have bought large quantities of American cutlery. The Argentine Republic took $60,000 worth of bind ing twine. Electrical material is in demand ill Brazil, w h i c h, between August 1 and Oetob e r 1, p laced orders for more than $30,000 worth of it in the U n it ed States. Australia favors American c ar ri ages, and has bought aiany th i s autumn. South Africa is a very l a rge pur-chaser of American manufactures, notably of agricultural i m ple m ents, machinery, trunks and bags. There h as been a l arge increase in the ex port ati on of agricultural implements this fall, Argentina taking them to the value of $270,000, w h i l e Uruguays pur-chases footed up $52,000. England is the largest purchaser of o u r manufactured goods, es pec i al ly of those that may be called Yankee inveutions. The Australian colonies have recently expended $6O,OOO for American paper and paper goods. The exports above m e n t i oned, it s hou l d be said, are th ose from the port of New York alone, and other ports will eonsiderably swell the total of our ship m en t s to foreign nations. Tree Ages. Gericke, the great German forester, w ri tes that the greatest ages to which trees in Germany are positively known to have lived are from 500 to 570 years. For instance the pine in Boh e m ia and the pine in Norw ay and Sweden have lived to the la t ter age. Next comes the silver fir, which in the Bohemian forests has stood and t h ri ved for up w a rd of 400 years. In Bavaria the larch has reached the age of 275 years. Of fol iage trees, the oak a ppears to h ave survived the lon ges t. The best ex ample is the evergreen oak at A schoffen-b u rg, which reach ed the age of 410 years. Other oaks in Germany have lived to be from 315 to 320 years old. At Aschoffenburg th e red beech h as lived to the age of 245 years, and at other points to the age of 225 years. Of other trees, the h i g h est known are ash 170 years. birch 160 to 200 years, aspen 220 years, mountain maple 225 years, elm 130 years and red alder 145 years. Industrious Leeds. At the recent annual meeting of the Society of Chemical Industry at Leeds, Mayor Gilston delivered himself after this fashion : 1 am not goin g to make any comparison s between the industries of Leeds and other places, because it would be to their d i sad vantage. There are some places that are noted fo r one thing, and t h ey live and someti m es thrive by it. Leeds, I am gl ad to say, is dependent on no one industry. I daresay it would take Mr. Jackson and myself all our time to tell you to-night w h ieh is the staple trade of Leeds. We not only make cloth, but we h a ve one firm that can s u p pl y 10,000 suits of clothes in a single week. That does something to clothe h u m anity, whether it betters it or not. The variety of our industries, to my mind, is but an e vi d en ce of t h e versatility of th e genius of our people. Isometi m es say London is what w e have made it and that it c o ul d not exist without us ; for whenever we have a man who seems to rise above the common h erd, he is T ak e n to London. Even w h en we had m a d e Professor Thorpe wh at he is, t h ey would not l et him rem ain ; they took him to London that he might raise the standard of intelligence of the people there. That is no uncommon practice with Leeds peopl e. In the leat h e r industi y I believe we are second to none. We not only make the leather, but we s uppl y all creation with shoes. Peo p l e go so far as to say that by m ean s of recent d i se o veri es the hides of cattle bou g h t in our markets On Wednesday a n d taken to Mr. Jacksons. on Fri day night reappear as lad i es shoes. You have seen through the steam plow works. We have supplied creation with the means of husbandry. You have seen Green wood & Batleys, where we can destroy creation with almost eq nal ease. I have no fear as to the future of this country, if genius, skill, persever-anc e , and intelligence are allowed fair play in the development of our in-dustries. We have not only iron, ma-chinery, flax, cloth, iinen, gl ass, and porcelain works, but w e have au industry in this town unkno wn almost to y ou. I d a resay not many know that Leeds is a wine-p r 0 d u c i n g cente r; but you mi gh t h a ve h ad y our smpicions raised if if you had g on e round and seen ,he fields of rh ubarb we cultivate. By the railway over which Mr. Jackson so ably presides it is no un-cOinmOnth in.! t o send out 250 to 300 tons of rhubarb in a si n g 1 e month to be m ad e into wine. It was worth coming to Leeds to know that. But to my mind the great aim and object of the society is not to lessen the means of production, nor the am o u nt of employment for our artisan population, but it is to economize and recover what bas been hitherto waste material. This will not only have to be taught in our colleges but put into practice in our workshops. 1 was th rough a l arge chemical works a sh ort time ago and saw a great pile (if refuse from the m aki ng of alkali. When I was a boy I sa w that heap being p i l ed up, wagon a fte r wagon, as a nuisance because it o(cupied useful ground. What did 1 find the other day ? After it had lain there for sixty years they are working that heap over again and converting it i n t o sulphuric acid. T his is one of t h e provinces of ch em i stry. We have been maki n g useful what has been u sel ess. We are making profitable that which was unprofitable in the past, and Leeds, from its great variety of i n dustri es and t h e skill and intelligence and frugality of its people, is in the van of progress. When you, go n tle m en, have t aug ht US h ow to utilize the carbon we send out of o u r chimn eys, the produce of our labor will be less costly and the atmosphere purer. I am sat isfied that Engl and has not yet arri ved at her greatest d evelop m en t, and if English skill is left free fro m fetters of an arti ficial kind, I will back England against creation in her manufactures. A CONCESSION to build a carriage road from Teheran to Bagdad and also to build electric railroads in the suburbs of Teheran has j ust been granted to a German j contractor. Typhold Fever Disseminated Through the JTIilk Supply.* The relation of milk to the spread of infectious diseases bas been most strikingly sbown in an epidemic of typhoid fever that occurred at Stamford, Conn., during this year, the official report of which has been recently issued by Professor H. E. Smith. The evidence gathered shows beyond all question that the disease was propagated by means of the milk supply, so that the epidemic possesses unusual interest for student s in bacteriology and hygiene. The epidemic broke out in April, and within six weeks 386 cases were reported in a town of about 16.000 i nh abitants. Of this number, 65 cas es or 168 per cent were five years old or under, while over one-third of t h e total number were under ten years of age. The mortality statistics of the State of Connecticut for the last 15 years show that less than 10 per cent of the total number of deaths from typhoid have been under 10 years of age. In view of this, the large number of cases in early childhood bas a peculiar significance in explaining the origin of the epidemic, as the infection of the milk supply would be more apt to manifest itself in infants than in adults. As soon as the milk supply was suspected, its sale was prohibited, and in fifteen days (about the usual period of incubation of t h is disease) after this prohibition went into effect the number of new cases dropped from an average of over ten a day to less than two. It was further shown that out of the total number of 386 cases, 352 or 912 per cent lived in families that were supplied with milk from the same dealer. In 14 other cases milk from this same dealer was consumed by parties at a cafe and bakery. In 8 of the remaining cases milk was supplied the parties by the producer from whom the milk peddler obtained his supply. This makes a total of 971 per cent of all cases that received the milk, either directly from the producer or indirectly through the milk dealer wbo peddled the milk. As the milkman in question only supplied about 9 per cent of the total amount used in tbe town, the number of cases that developed on his route is of especial interest. The evidence of a contaminated milk supply was overwhelming, but how to account for the infection of the milk was not so easy. The milk might have become infected in the hands of either the dealer or the producer. Inasmuch as a few cases of the epidemic developed that were not supplied with milk from the dealer, but were supplied by other parties that had been using some of the milk cans in common with him, the presumption was strongly in favor of the view that the infection occurred while the milk was in the hands of the dealer. It seems that the dealer was in the habit of washing out his cans himself, and while he obtained most of his supply fro m the producer in question, at times he secured an extra supply from other parties. No particular attention was paid to the cans that were used, so that they were often mixed up and returned to different parties after they had been cleaned by the dealer. Nocase of typhoid had occurred at the house of either the dealer or the producer, so that direct infection of the milk did not seem p robable. An examination of the water supply was then made. At both places shallow wells were found, that of the milk dealers being only thirteen feet deep with nearly twelve feet of water in it. The well was surrounded on several sides by privies, an extremely foul one being within twenty-five feet of the well. It was the habit of the dealer to first rinse out the milk cans with water from this well, then they were thoroughly cleansed with hot water and soda, and finally rinsed in cold water again that was taken from this well. Both the bacteriological and chemical examination of water from the two wells was made. Neither of the wells was good, and that of the milk dealer was grossly contaminated, having nearly 70,000 germs per cubic centimeter. Typhoid bacteria were not discovered. but this is not surprising. It, is possible that the privy near the well may have been used by some unknown person, as it was closeto and easily accessible from a railroad. There is no positive evidence, however, that the water was contaminated except in the history of the epidemic. The evidence, however, is so strong that there can be no valid objection to the conclusion that milk was infected by washing the cans with contaminated water. H. L. RUSSELL. Torpedo Boat Practice at Newport, R. I. Rules were arranged similar to those which have governed the drill between the torpedo station and the Cushing, except that Lieut. Smith promised not to take shelter behind any obstructions within 2.000 yards—one sea mile—despite the fact that the battleship Maine has four searchlights and should consequently be impregnable against a torpedo attack, if there is such a possibility with a reliance on searchlights alone, without other scouts. The officers of the ship thought they were sure of success in such an attack, and in a harbor where they had but four narrow channels to sweep and a searchlight to each. But they were doomed to disappointment, as the t orpedo boat had an easy task. November 22.—The Cushing ran out to the ship in mid-harbor under running lights. After a brief conference these lights were hidden, and the Cushing sped off toward the channel. The searchlights swept the waters, but the boat was not to be seen. She had doubled her tracks, passed wi t h in 1,500 yards of the ship, and run out to sea. Then she glided up the channel, close under the Fort Adams shore, and then laid out a direct course for the ship. She was discovered only when within twenty seconds of torpedoing distance, and before all the lights could be trained upon her. to say nothing of an effective batten, she had discharged all three of her rockets. When the allotted two minutes had expired after her discovery she was alongside the ship. The second attack, while differing in method, was equally successful for the C ush ing.
This article was originally published with the title "The Iron Industries of Birmingham, Ala" in Scientific American 73, 23, 361-364 (December 1895)