The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, August 25, 1898, Page 7, Image 7

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    'Cbe Conservative.
deep enough under water to strike below
the armored bolt. In the pointed nose
of the 'weapon is a plunger which is
driven home upon contact , igniting the
priming , which in turn ignites and ex
plodes the 150 pounds of wet gun cotton.
The torpedo is prevented from diving or
rising to the surface during its run by
the action of a horizontal rudder which
is controlled by the pressure of the
column of water above it. If the tor
pedo attempts to leave the depth to
which it is adjusted , this horizontal rud
der is acted upon by the varying pressure
and the torpedo is brought back to its
proper depth. The cost of a Whitehead
torpedo is about $3,000.
THE LORDS AND When Mr. Rich-
THK MOON. ard Harding Davis
is in London , and can spare the time , he
visits the terraces of the Houses of Par
liament , where he drinks tea with lords ,
who stop legislating for that purpose.
It was while thus engaged that he
observed the moon rising behind St.
Pnxil's , as is recorded in the book which
he afterward wrote upon the subject.
Now St. Paul's lies northeast from the
terraces of the Houses of Parliament.
Downing has recently had pleasant cor
respondence with Mr. George F. Ives ,
of Danbury , Conn. , a well-known col
lector of Americana. Mr. Ives is just
at present particularly interested in all
that relates to the old days of stage
coaching in New England , and it is with
regard to the history of the Concord
coaches that he has been communicat
ing with Major Downing , who , as head
of the Abbot-Downing Company , prob
ably knows more about those vehicles
than any one else alive.
Major Downing sent Mr. Ives some
photographs of old coaches , and in re
turn received a photograph which is
such a curiosity as to bo well worth
extended description. The original of
this photograph was an old handkerchief ,
printed in 1815 by R. Gillespio , at "An-
derston Printfield , near Glasgow. "
Around the edge is a very neat and
pretty floral border , with the arms of
the United States , the front and reverse
of the dollar of 1815 , a quartette of ships
of war , and portraits of Washington ,
Adams , Jefferson , and "Maddisoii"
Its title is "A Geographical View of
All the Post Towns in the United States
of America and Their Distance from
Each Other According to the Establish
ment of the Postmaster General in. the
Year 1815. " By an ingenious arrange
ment of the towns on the main coast
line and those on the cross post roads ,
the distance from one of these posts to
any other could easily bo ascertained.
The "main line of post towns" extended
"from Passamaquoddy in the District
of Maine 'to Sunbury in the State of
Georgia. " Portsmouth was thoonly
New Hampshire town on this main line ,
having York , Wells , Biddoford , and
Portland on iho one side and "Nowbury
Port , " Ipswich , Salem , and Boston on
the other.
The first of the cross post roads given
on the map led from Portsmouth to
Exeter , 15 miles , to Concord , 40 miles
more , to Hanover , GO miles more , mak
ing a total of 115 miles from Portsmouth
to Hanover. Other New England cross
roads were from Salem to Gloucester ,
Boston to Nantucket , Boston to Barii-
stable , Boston to Newport , Newport to
"Newhavon , " Boston to Providence ,
SpringfiOld to Hanover , Boston to Haii-
over , Boston to Albany , Boston to Que
bec , and Northampton to Williamstown.
Springfield to Hanover was by way of
Northampton , Deerfield , Greenfield ,
" " Westminster Charles-
"Brattleburgh , , -
town , Windsor , and Hanover. The
Boston post for Hanover went by way
of Concord , Mass. , Groton , Ashburn-
ham , Newmarlboro , Walpole , Charles-
town , Cornish , and Lebanon. The dis
tance from Springfield to Hanover was
126 miles and from Boston to Hanover
147 miles.
The object in publishing such a table
as this was to make it possible for the
people to compute easily and with a
handy helper what the cost of postage
on any letters they might chance to
write would be. Nowadays we stick a
two-cent stamp in the corner of an en
velope , and post the letter without fur
ther thought if it is going anywhere in
this broad laud , to Tacoma , to El Paso ,
or any other distance , however much
greater than the extreme limit of 1815 ,
Passamaquoddy to Sunbury.
But in that year , 82 years ago , the
postoffice department was run on other
lines. The following "rates of postage"
are given on the old handkerchief :
"Single Letter conveyed by laud for any
distance not exceeding 10 Miles , 6 cents.
Over 10. not exceedincr GO miles , 8 cents.
" GO " t" 100 " 10 "
" 100 " " 150 " 12 "
" 150 " " 200 " 15 "
200 " " 250 " 17 "
11 250 " " 850 " 20 "
" 050 " " 450 " 22 "
For 450 25 "
Double letters are charged double
and triple letters , triple of these rates.
A packet weighing one ounce avoirdu
pois at tUo rate of four single letters.
"A table exhibiting the lengths and
breadths of the several United States of
America &c. . " includes as states Vermont
" " "Main " Massachusetts
mont , "Nowhampshiro , ,
sachusetts , Rhode Island , Connecticut ,
New York , New Jersey , Pennsylvania ,
"North West Territory
Delaware , Maryland ,
ritory , " Virginia , Kentucky , North
Carolina , Tennessee , South Carolina ,
and Georgia. Now Hampshire is given
as 108 miles long , 55 miles broad , and
including 9,500 square miles in five
. . . ; - w > ; , j
. .ffcags Gfev *
counties. Under population it is bracketed
eted with "Main , " and the sum total
of souls in both is given at 849,000. r
There are many other things of great -3
interest to be noticed in this photo
graphic reproduction of an old handker
chief , and the longer it is studied the
more its quaintness and ingenuity are ap
preciated. Its owner has had but two
photographs finished from the plate ,
with the intention of keeping the repro
ductions raro. Major Downing is cer
tainly fortunate in having received one
of them as a present. Concord , N. H. ,
OI'STAGK-DRIVKKS. there is magic
ill the calling of a stage-driver. Every
body knows and aspires to know the
stage-driver ; everybody is Iniowii by ,
and is proud to be known by the stage-
driver. The little boys remember it a
mouth , if the stage-driver speaks to
them. There is a particular satisfaction
to bo able to distinguish among drivers
and say it was Winkle , or it was Hiiies ,
or it was Mitchell. Of all the people on
the earth , he is the one who rolls by in
a gilded coach ; he is the ouo who sweeps
it high and dry over the world ; he is
the one who rides through his immense
estate with the most lordly and consequential
quential air , and all the rest of us seem
to bo but poor tenants and gaping boors.
It is sometliing to speak to a stage-
driver ; it is a great thing to bo able
to joke with him.
It is a sign of a great man to be recog-
uizecl by the stage-driver. To be , per
chance , laiown by one who knows
nobody is nothing ; to bo known , to be
pointed out , to have your name whis
pered in a by-staudcr's ear by one who
laiows everybody , affects you as if
Omniscience were speaking about you.
The stage-driver differs from the steam
boat captain in that the latter is not seen
to bo so immediately connected with his
craft as the former. Wo meet the cap
tain at the breakfast table ; he is nobody ;
ho is no more than wo ; we can eat as
well as ho can. But who dare touch the
stage-driver ? Who dare swing his
whip ?
How rapidly and securely he drives
down one hill and up the next and
that with fifteen passengers and a half
ton of baggage ! Then how majestically
ho rounds to at the door of the tavern !
What delicate pomp in the movement of
the four handsome horses ! In what
style the cloud of dust , that has served
as an outrider all the way , passes off
when the coach stops ? How the villa-
gerstho blacksmith , the shoemaker ,
the thoughtful politician , and the boozy
loafers that fill the stoop grin and stare
and make their criticisms !
How ho flings the reins and the tired
horses to the stable-boy , who presently
returns with a splendid relay ! How ho
accepts these from the boy , with that
sort of air with which a long might bo