The North Platte semi-weekly tribune. (North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922, January 08, 1915, Image 6

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Robert H'Moulfon
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OW thai scientists have discovered
that high frequency electrical cur
rents are powerful stimulants both
of plant and animal life, the farm
hand of tho futuro may have to bo
a duly qualified electrical engineer
beforo he can get a Job.
It will not be enough for him to
know how to manipulate tho mo
tors and
sion gear
by which
'tho farm machinery
will bo run. Ho will
lliavo to bo up on tho
(chemistry of electric
IJty. Ho will have not
Vonly to know tho uso
f violet rays In purify-
nc tho (lrlnklni- wnlnr
ut will also havo to
cnow whothor ground
wires are better for
foeots, ruby lights for
radishes, mercury va
&or for tobacco and
electric sprinkling for
taomething olso.
Ho win havo to bo
teomethlng of a plant
Neurologist, too. When
ho corn In tho south
forty is getting
norves," or when tho
pats In tho now ground
Is becoming too Born
Violent, ho will hnvn tn
SSatmoStreCt dln8noS08 nnd Prescribe tho proper
nCKmCll0n fr P,nnt growth haB arrIve(1' AnJ
indi Amor,c rmor learns that ho
S l . VV,V!ro.bl0 lh0 0UtmU ot h,a olda
1 y tho uso of electricity, somebody will havo to
MnU a way for him to uso electricity and make a
Jgood profit out of his cropB.
kiiiT T,QlB ng? thoro was a convention of prac
Weal electricians In Philadelphia. Among the ad
dresses one virtually escaped tho atfi o tho
corps of reporters. Yet of nil tho addresses, no o
was moro pregnant of great possibilities.
It was really part of tho report of tho conven
tlons coinmittoo of progress nnd was road by tho
committee chairman, T. 0. Martin of Now York
an authority on things electrical. Ho gavo
and figures to show that plants olectrlcaily treated
row much more rapidly than thoso growln UnX
normal conditions. Why this was so he "did
ssumo to say. Ho simply gavo tho results of
experiments. u,lB QI
The wprk was started on Moralno farm in ihn
fertile Miami river valley, four miles south of DaV
ton, Ohio Dr. Herbert 0. Dorsey, an Jt tad
charge of the experiments, which wore fostered
by the -effort! of P. M. Talt, a former pres Wont
of tho National Electric Light association
In preliminary tests, according to Martin's re
port, small plots wore marked off for exposure
to different kinds of electrification. To insuro
lhat tho soil of one plot was not bettor than that
tot another, top earth was collectod, mixed and
sifted nnd then woh laid to tho uniform depth of
Boven inches over tho eutlro area.
In tho soil of plot No. 1 was buried a wire
pcrcon. Over tho plot was a network of wlro
stretched about fifteen Inches from tho ground
Connecting tho network nbovo tho ground and
the screen below woro several wlro antennae
The screen was connected to ono terminal of a
Tosla coll and tho network to tho other. A trans
former stepped a 110-volt alternating curront up
to B,000 volts, charging a condonsor of tinfoil and
Klass plates, which discharged through a primary
of tlto coil. About ono hundred and thirty watts
wero operated for an hour each morning and
Plot No. 2 was illuminated by a 100-watt tung
sten lamp with a ruby bulb. Tho light was
turned on for three hours dally, beginning at sun-"
down. Plot No. 3 was illuminated tho sumo way,
uxcept that a mercury vapor lamp wob used. No!
4 had no artlllclal stimulation of any kind, being
Intended as a comparison botweon olectrlcaily
oxclted plant growth and that or natural condl-tlons.
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In plot No. 5 was burled a wlro network con
nected to tho terminal of a 110-volt direct current.
Tho positive terminal was attached to a small
sprinkling can with a carbon electrode in its con
tor. Tho can bolng filled, the wator was sub
jected to electrolysis for soveral minutes. Tho
plot was then sprinkled frm tho can, tho theory
being that tho current might flow from tho can,
through tho streams of water to tho soil.
Plots Nos. C and 7 wore BUbdlvldod into four
individual boxes, two feet square, separated by
porcelain insulators and arranged with carbon
electrodes at each end. To these electrodes wore
appltod both direct nnd alternating currents.
After radish and lottuco sood had been plantod
nnd germination had begun, tho various mothods
of electrification woro tried with oxtrcmo caro.
Tho result of tho oxporimonts showed that tho
plants in plot No. 1 grow in every lnstanco far
moro rapidly than thoso in tho other beds and
moro than double tho normal growth as shown In
tho unolectrlflod bod.
From this tho experimenters became convinced
that electrification ot the ground by high-frequency
curronts stimulated plant Hfo to an extent that
warranted a more comploto investigation. So
thoy selected two acres of flat, rich ground.
First a network ot sprinkling pipes was built
15 foot nbovo ground. Tho pipes ran cast and
west a dlstanco ot 200 feet nnd wero spaced at
BO-foot 'Intervals. In the northeast corner ot tho
tract seven copper wires were
stretched north and Bouth, each
being 200 feot long and an Inter
val of IB feet separating thorn.
Tho wires wero elovated suffi
ciently for tho soil to be plowed
with horses. The ends of tho
wires wero attached to insulators
on ton. of gas pipes Bet in con
crete. At tho eastern odgo of tho
house the experimenters built a
small transformer house and In
stalled machinery which would
yield 10,000 volts. A choke coll nnd a Tesla coil
wero used. Tho whole thing was connected up so
that by moans of antennae current from tho wlro
network was sent to tho network or sprinkling pipes,
which, of courso, furnished proper connection with
tho ground. i
By the latter part of last July the system was In
readiness and the currents were tested. At that
tlmo a pressure of G0.000 volts was obtained and the
frequency of tho oscillatory currents was estimated
to bo about thirty thousand cycles a second. Birds
alighting on the wireB wero Btunned and thrown
tho ground, but none was killed.
Tho ground was planted to radlsheB, lettuce, beets,
cabbages, cucumbers, turnips, musKmoions, water
melons, tomatoes, parsnips, beans, peas, corn and
tobacco. All wero planted In rows running east and
weBt, so that one-half of each row was electrified
and tho other half was not.
As a result it was found that practically all the
plants In tho electrified area grew much moro rap
Idly than those out of It. In almost every case the
electrified .vegetables woro ripe two weeks earlier
than those outside tno
Tho electrified end
of the tobacco crop was
cut and It was found
that each plant weighed
1,087 grams. It was two
weeks before the un
treated tobacco could
bo cut and then it
weighed only 1,632
grams to tho plant.
Taking into considera
tion that the most rapid
growth ot tho tobacco
plant is in its last two
weeks before riponlng,
the exnerimenters esti
mated that the actual
increase In weight of
tho plants in the elec
trified zone was 20 per
cent greater than that
In tho unolectrlfled
zone. It this could be
followed out on a grand
scale, it Is apparent
that the effect ot elec
trification on tho an
mml tobacco output of
the nation in a single season would be tremen-
dIUn 'his formal report to the association, Martin
said that many questions had yet to bo answered
beforo tho uso of electricity for tho general stimu
Iatlon ot plant Hfo could bo considered eco
nomically possible. Ho declared, however. Urn
many of these questions are being worked out
in greenhouBos over tho country.
Just aB those Amorfcan experimenters proved
tho importanco of electrification to plant mo, a
group of English oxporlmontcrs proved its im
portance to" animal life. They took two largo
brooders, filled with nowly hatched chickens or
tho same breeds. One of them was subjected to
tho Influence of high-frequency currents and the
other was not. Those In tho former woro found
to grow much moro rapidly than those in the
other. .
Following is a tabulation ot tho results ot elec
trical stimulation of vegetables. It will bo ob
served that in ovory particular tho plants in the
first plot, where tho high-frequency curront and
Tosla coll woro used, excelled those in plot No. 4,
whore natural conditions prevailed:
Prom farm boy, with few educa
tional opportunities, to a leader of men
now representing 55,000 fellow workers
in their fight for better working condi
tions and highor wages, is the record
of Warron S. Stone, grand chief engi
neer of tho Brotherhood of Locomotive
Mr. Stone has been tho principal
figure in tho hearings of tho federal ar
bitration board which undertook to
settle perhaps the most serious contro
versy that has ever arisen between
capital and labor tho differences ex
isting between 98 western railroads
nnd their 55,000 engineers and firemen.
Mr. Stono waa born in Ainsworth,
Iowa, in 1860, and when not working
on tho farm managed to pick up bits of
knowlcdgo in a small country school.
Six months in an academy also enlight
ened him somewhat, ho claims.
When nineteen he entered upon
his career, whero he was destined to
becomo tho champion of his fellow
workers. He was a fireman for five years and six months and later became
an engineer.
During his 25 years in a railroad cab he worked for tho same road, tho
Rock Island, and had tho samo run. ThlB was from Rock Island, 111., to Eldon,
Iowa, a run of about 113 miles, and it passed his homo. Mr. Stono delights
in telling how every day when ho'd come within dlstanco of his home, ho'd.
lot out tho whistle and tho folks, usually his mother, would always como to
the door and wave.
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John Arbuthnot Fisher, Baron
Fisher of Kilverston, who succeeded
Admiral Princo Louis of Battcubcrg as
first sea lord of the admiralty, has long
hold as his motto, "The frontiers of
England are tho coasts of tho enemy."
The son of an obscure Highlander cap
tain and a high-born Singhalese wom
an, Fisher combined a certain amount
of oriental craft with traditional Brit
ish tenacity and reasoning. By sheer
force of mind, strict attention to duty
and persistent labor Fisher rose, step
by step, to the highest rank in 1904.
But even then the commander accept
ed promotion with reservation. Ho
had plans for a reorganization of the
British fleet British naval power then
was not nearly so great as It is today,
nor was it concentrated. In tho old
days tho Mediterranean was regarded
as the scene of possible activities.
Fisher saw a change had been brought
about in England's political relations
and that consequently the North sea
would bo the future fighting place. As a result, when the British empire
entered the present war perhaps 86 per cent of the country's naval strength
was in home waters.
Fisher knows his officers. "Confound him!" snld one who served in tho
West Indies, "I believe ho knows how many drinks I. take every tlmo I go
ashore." Fisher Is silent and discreet. He is nverso to publicity.
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Amateur photographers at the soasldo or ov?n
In London and other big cltlos must bo moro
careful than over how thoy take snapshots during
wartime, for a thoughtless uso of their cameras
limy easily ciiubo thorn to find themselves in
lirlsoii for a few days, to Bay the loast, Pearson'B
Weekly remarks.
In the early days of tho war, for lnstanco, n
perfectly innocent Hull ship chandler, on a holi
day In London, with his wife," was arrested by
the police for taking photographs of Dattorson
bridge. After being detained tho best part ot
lha day, during which inquiries woro mndo, tho
authorities wero satisfied that ho wub merely a
tirmleis snapshotter, but novortholcas thoy
arned him to koep his camora out of uso until
thevwar is over!
There are probably many thousands of ama
teur photographers who, wishing to snap scones
thev neighborhood ot barrackB, or other mili
tary or navl places, find thomsolves arreBtcd aa
If they were apies. If they must tako photo
KrapH In these war clays let thorn resort to tho
Woods and -po'intry lanes, as far from military
scenes as thoy can got.
At tho outsot of tho war tho military authori
ties Issued an ordor that no aoroplanos or air
ships must bo photographed at a distance ot
loss than forty yards, or of an air station at all,
without tho permission of tho authorities.
Germany lias always boon tho most dangerous
country for tho amateur photographer, and moro
than ono tourist has foundhlmsolf roughly ban
dlod by tho Gorman police for innocently taking
Photographs. A special bill was passed a few
years ago threatening tourists with a flno ot 50
or two months' Imprisonment who took photo
graphs without permission.
Tho French officials In tho townB on tho Franco-Gorman
frontier havo always objected to any
ono taking snapshots, and, Indeed, many n tour
ist haB had his camora temporarily confiscated,
to find afterward that his plates havo all beon
rendered usoless,
Italy not only bars pcoplo taking photographs
near fortifications, but forbids tho use ot n
camera In most o the picture gallerlos and museums.
Total plant weight, grams265.70 137.80 109.50 1S0.00 78.60
Kdlblu portion, tfram J39.G0 B7.0 40.00 79.40 31.00
Killblo portion, por cent.... 61.15 41.65 37.31 44.11 39.49
Tops and leaves, grams.,.. 120.50 75.70 C5.90 00.00 41.50
Tops and leaves, per cent.. 43.33 51,92 00,18 51.77 55.68
Hoots, grams 9.30 4.70 3.20 5.60 6.00
Hoots, per cent 3.50 3.43 2.43 3.12 4.S3
Lettuce (ten plants selected
(at random) 67.00 52.00 56.50 46.10 31.30
Edible portion, grams 60.70 47.30 50.20 41.80 28.20
Hoots, grams , 0.30 5.30 6.30 4.30 3.10
Roots, por cent 9.41 10.0S 11.15 9.33 7.99
KJUjlo portion, per cent 90.59 89.93 8S.S5 90 67 92.10
Hampton Dlnwlddow told mo his family Is. a
very old ono. Thoy wero ono of tho first to
como across,
Rhodes Tho grocer told mo yesterday that
now they aro tho last to come across. Judge.
eral Miles, General Crook and others
Apache band when thoy woro exiled to Alabama.
Philippines and stayed there throe nnd a half years,
Governor-elect Whitman of New
York sprung a surprise on tho politi
cians by announcing that ho had se
lected MaJ. Gen. William Wallace
Wotherspoon, late chief of Btaff of tho
United States army, for state superin
tendent of public works, and that Gen
eral Wotherspoon had accepted the
post. Mr. Whitman described him as
"the best man in tho country for tho
position." General Wotherspoon was
retired from the army on November
1 becauso ho was sixty-four years old.
His pay on the retired list is $6,000 a
year. His salary from tho state ot
Now York will be $8,000.
General Wotherspoon is not a
West Point graduate. A son of the
lato AsHlstant Surgeon Alexander S.
Wotherspoon, who served in tho Mexl
''can war, he enlisted In tho navy. He
found ho preferred tho army and won
an appointment as second lieutenant
In the Twelfth Infantry. Ho served
in many parts of tho West under Gen-
In 1891 he took chargo of Goronimo's
In 1899 ho went to the
"My wife is always asking mo what T would
like td out."
"That's kind of her."
"Oh, 1 don't know. When I tell her sho saya,
'The Idea!' and orders something else,"
"Tho man who has saved tho na
tion millions" is the manner in which
David Watson Taylor, tho new chief
constructor of tho United States navy,
has been described. His achievement
in this particular is not the product
of economy atne, but directly the
frutt of his raro scientific attainments.
"Dave" Taylor, as his Intimates
call him, was brn in Louisa county,
Va., March 4, 1864. In 1881 he entered
tho United Statetr Naval academy as
a cadet engineer. In those days 26
cadet engineers were appointed yearly
to the academy, and their admission
was determined b competitive exami
nations of from tho country
at largo. For a country-bred lad edu
cated mostly under his father's roof
tho manner In which", young Taylor
j acquitted himself at the entrance ex
aminations was spectacular, uut of
130 candidates ho passed No. 2, and
soon after onterlng Annapolis ho
showed that ho would not bo content
with second placo. At Kraduatlon ho not only headed his clfUMhut lm limi
won by Ills work the highest percentage of marks of any naval academy grad
uate up to that dale. The record ho made has nover since been equaled at
that Institution. With his academic days finished ho was ordered to sea fpr
tho usual two yoara' tour afloat, but after a short cruise on the European,
station ho was detailed, in October, 1885, to the Royal Naval college. Green;
wlch, England, for a three-years' course in naval architecture.
Chief Constructor Taylor is even more than a jiaval architect; ho la a
marine engineer besides. This is an unusual combination ot technical talents
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