A launch of unusual interest was that accomplished at the shipyards of Messrs. Harland Wolff at Bel fast, when the new fore end of the White Star Mner "Suevic" took the water. It will be recalled that this steamer went on the Stag Rock at the Lizard on the Cornish coast on March 17 last. The Stag Rock is one of the most, if not the most dangerous place around the British Isles, and it was considered by the majority of experts that the vessel would be a total loss; but after a careful examination, the own ers and builders, along with the Liverpool Salvage Association, came to the conclusion that the greater part of the vessel might be saved by cutting her in two. This operation was successfully performed with dynamite and gelig nite. The after portion was drawn clear of the rocks sixteen days after the wreck, the "Suevic's" own engines assisting the tug by work ing full speed astern. This after portion, containing the engines, boilers, etc., the most valuable part of the ship, was towed to South ampton, the engines assisting in the steering by means of the twin screws, and it is now at the Trafal gar graving dock at that port. The old bow was hopelessly lost on the rocks, and is to-day entirely sub merged. It was decided at the time of the wreck to build a new fore end and fit it to the saved portion of the wreck. This work was intrusted to her original builders, Messrs. Harland Wolff. The new por tion, with deck houses, captain's bridge, masts, etc., complete, ex tends from the stem to the bulk head aft of No. 3 hold, t e., the fourth bulkhead from the stem, and it has a total length of about 212 feet. It was virtually this half of a ship that was launched and towed to Southampton. It is to be placed in the same dock where the after portion now is, when the two will be connected together and the ship made as good as when she originally left the builder's. There have been cases where ships have been joined together in this way, though they have been much smaller boats than the "Suevic." The "Suevic" is a twin-screw steamer of 12,500 tons, and was one of the five vessels specially designed and built for the White Star Australian trade. She was originally launched on December 8, 1900. Artificial Sapphires. An analysis of a number of the imitation sapphires that have been flowing into this country from Paris was made recently by Prof. Alfred J. Moses, of Colum bia University. He states that artificial stones con tain more than 99 per cent of oxide of aluminium; the remainder being silica and coloring matter. True sapphires are composed of 97 per cent oxide of aluminium, 2 per cent iron oxide, and the remainder silica, etc. Physical differences are also marked, the artificial stones having a hardness of 8 as against 9 of the natural. The density of the former is also low, 3.62, compared with 3.97 in the latter. In color both stones have practically the same basic blue, but (he artificial gem does not exhibit the same high de gree of dichroism shown by the natural product.
This article was originally published with the title "The Launch of the Bow of the “Suevic.”"