Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, July 30, 1905, Image 20
J Eloctrlclty -T Number Illustrated Bee s: Electricity HE mbcr NUMBER 320. Entered Second Class at Omaha Postofilce Published Weekly by The Bee Publishing Co. Subocription, f 2.50 Ter Year. JULY 30, 1903. Electricity in Its Practical Application to Our Modern Every-Day Life THE word "electricity" is derived from the Greek "electron," which meant amber. The first discovery of electricity vu made by the old Romans, when they found that If a piece of amber be rubbed with cloth it comes into possession of a power which enables It to attract and hold small quantities of certain natter, such as chaff, pith, paper or its like. Ihis was looked at by the old Romans as an Inexplicable phenomenon, as no one seemed to be able to explain the reason. We have- records of this discovery back in time as far as BOO years before the Christian era, so it will be noticed that electricity la not a discovery of late, as generally understood. . Step by step It has been developed, until today we would bardly recognize It as the same power originally discovered in the amber. In stead of producing It by rubbing amber with, cloth we have con atructed dynamos for Its generation, and Instead of being able to at tract and hold only small bodies we have developed It Into a force that turns the world's wheels of Industry and that has so revolntlon lzed the methods of transacting business that it has firmly established Itself aa a necessity for a modern future to do much of the world's work, as well as to make life's play more fascinating. The only similarity between the feeble power of the amber and modern electricity is the mystery. What is It? And how does it look? These questions were all right for the old Romans, but serve as but a poor excuse for the man of normal brains in these enlight ened days of ours. It ought not be necessary for us to see or feel a thing In order to utilize It. We do not apply the same mystery to gas or steam; stillwho has ever seen either? No Mystery (o Electricity There is no mystery to electricity, villi the possible exception of the action of lightning, whi h human brains have not so far been uble to master. Electricity follows nil the common laws of nature, and the fact that its pressure and quantity is measured in volts and am peres instead of iounds nud cubic feet should not confound or mys-' tlfy auy mind that claims ordinary intelligence. 1 lay particular stress on and do most emphaticuliy condemn the very thought of mystery in connection with electricity, because 1 believe it to be one of the very greatest stumbling blocks that could ever be pu in the way of the broadest developments of this, nature's chosen agent Matters of law need only be thoroughly learned by lawyers, med icine only thoroughly known by physicians, architecture by architects, engineering by engineers, for the reason that these branches will only ' develop In their own respective lines, but electricity Is rapidly entering every branch and vocation of every day life. Already at this day It Is employed in medicine, in surgery, in chemistry," In office work. In farming. In mining, in railroading, in the factory, in the residence, etc., bo sides all its special branches, such as telegraphy, telephony, street railway, lighting and power; it is hard in fact, to name a single branch of Industry where . electricity is not employed in one capacity or the other. ' ... Its Laws.Should Be Known' ,t For this' reason 'It seems to me Ino perative,! that a more 'common knowl--edge of It should be spread. . A young ' Wan starting-Into, the world finds him self confronted with electrical appara tus of some kind or other iu every walk of lire. The man who .understands the common pVopertles of the current with lis iunuamentai laws ana rules, wno realizes that It is a friend, not an enemy of mankind, will be broader and better fitted for life's battle. I do not ask that every. man make of himself an ex IK'rt electrical engineer, but simply to acquaint himself with Its fundamental principles and adaptabilities, so that he may handle the apparatus with intelli gence and eliminate all thoughts of mystery. If this could be accomplished, the field of electricity would be broad ened through new discoveries and ap plications, and humanity benefited to an extent that we can hardly ap preciate. To this end I firmly believe end sincerely hope that the day is not far distant, when such fundamental principles of electricity will be taught In our public schools, so as to encourage every brain of normal standard to con tribute its share to the broadest devel opment of this nature's most valuable agent, the possibilities of which today bceem without limit. In regard to the dangers of elee trlclty which discourage many people pie from taking the Interest in it they might, a very few remarks will suffice. Electricity, w hen properly harnessed, is as harmless as a new born babe. Compare it for a moment with steam. We are con tinually raising the pressure of steam to commercially meet its in creasing demands. E.'.actly so with electricity; we are continually raising the voltage or pressure in order to cover more and more ter ritory, which is crying for the assistance of electicity. As these dan gers Increase, It must be borne In mind that millions of dollars are expended every years in salaries, etc., for men of ability aud long actual experience to prescribe safeguards to the public from dangers incident to electricity. It is but fair and Just to say that we are steadfastly keeping abreast with the modern improvements aud without prevent ing a single application, which will benefit the world at large, we have lieou able to make and euforce such measures that render accidents from this source a minimum. If Ignorance and carelessness on the part of Individuals could be obliterated, then our task in this respect would be nearer an end. Where Electricity Plays Its Pari Space will not permit us to enumerate all the functions performed and made possible by the applies- , tion of electricity, but It might be - of interest to glance over some of the minor instances in everyday life where we meet electricity "on duty." Let us for an Illustration fol low an Omaha business man through a day's work after he returns from a trip, say to Chi cago, lie arrives at the Union depot on time after a pleasant night's Journey. The train was well lighted with electric lights, while electric fans were busily spinning around to keep him cool, aud a slight push of the electric button quickly notified the porter that his services were wanted. While looking out of the window he ponders over the wonderful system of railroad signals that automatically Inform the engi neer, if the track Is clear, and which In conjunction with the mammoth electric head light, ren- ', der a Jonrney as safe In the dark est night aa In broad daylight At the depot be boards the elec tric elevator, that IlfU him to the street level, and in a few minutes later be finds himself comfortably seated on an elec tric car, speeding to his home in one of the modern flat buildings. Before entering the car he buys a "Daily Bee," Just off from the electrically driven press, to glance over the news of the entire world, received over the electric wires. Electricity All Around I's At the front door of the flat building he touches the electric button at the telephone lu the vestibule, puts the receiver to his ear, and after - properly ldentiTying himself in response to the question, "Who is there?" pushes open the front door, the electric latch of which has meanwhile been released by the party upstairs pressing the proper button. In order to get the breakfast ready In the short est spnee of time, the electric cooking utensils are readily put Into use. The house Is com fortably heated, not too hot nor too cold; the electric thermostat on the wall keeping the heat constant with less than one degree vari ation. Before breakfast he retires to the bath room, where an electric light bath, which combines the beneficial - effects of the light r a y s with thnnp f K l . . ..... VB- U1C Turkish bath, puts new life and strength into our busi ness man for a hard day's work. As soon as breakfast is is over, the electri auto mobile is in waiting at the front door, and Omaha, the other In his living of bis private residence in York. The conversation, however, reveals that the writer of room New only the letter had to leave New York on his boat a few hours ago without the information requested. A turn of the crank of an "electric call box" on the side of the disappointed Omaha mnn's desk, quickly brings forth a messenger to whom is deliv ered a message to be forwarded to New York by wire, and from there by the Marconi sys tem to one ocean steamer, speeding on its way to the other side of the Atlantic, surrounded by nothing but sky and water. Later iuthe afternoon a reply from this message is re ceived in Omaha and the business is trans acted as satisfactorily, although a trifle more expensively, as though the two men had been in oral communication. ' I '. III., . - O O: . CD iM V - , - Aryf - ." 4 -. -v. .T 0V-sL 1 W I t,. ! -7,:? C, '.-'-!. vfc;v ' v- ! - " '.'' '-" ULVvIAmvt-t Electric Fire Alarms Yf'- Siv nmsssi .r uCf All of a sudden our business man hears : J 'f $f Y ; J 'tflll a great commotion out in the warehouse and ''f I f ' ""V " ''If 111 ? ' the call of "Fire!" lie lnstantl ru0u.to .. v ' J ' - ' ' ' Y'"'" ths scene, only to see that the city Are de- r "': '' '' A ' "TtP V , .' ' - -Hr ''' ". : v i vV.; .-: , .. , 8IO GEKSRATOR AX ELECTRIC UQHT COMPACTS TOWER. HOTJS& F' , 7 HX ; '. V J ,:: ' '. 1, - I V 1 .... . . i i - , v , , r ElCTRICAIi CAKOBLJUOrtJ MACHUni AT OMAHA POflTOPyiCK. -Tf 'M I H Wtitk - ' l' A tt" " ' ' ; ''' ' S'-'' ' : - 1 ' V,: e'- .73 hv-S ,. hr -I. I f . : Lv 'V. . ' :':..::.v-v.' ;iL .iA;:?i:i'7K m J I ' rfi, i mm I.,. ... 1 ..; ,'b 4-j3 l " TTP AMONO TIIB rXECTRIC "vTTRES. l! -1 " -1 , - " - - 4 .1 by this he soon reaches his of fice. Upon his arrival there he opens the telegrams and mail, stamping each letter and blank with an electric time stamp to show date and hour of its receipt lie-calls up by telephone the various depart ments of the factory, where electric motors are operating the machinery at top-notch speed. lie pushes various electric buttons for office boys to distribute mall, etc., to the several departments and to go errondy. One letter received during our business man's absence from Omaha Is from an associate In New York asking for some important Information before he leaves for Europe. As soon as a long distance call can be put through a con versation la carried on between two men, one sitting at his desk in BEHIND THE TELKPUONB BWITCHBO ARD, li "ELECTRIC AUTOMOBILINO. portment la Just through putting out a fire, which, had it not been so promptly reported, might have meant a total loss to stock and build ings. The alarm was sent In auto matically by .the fire alarm system in the building, and a few mo ments later by the box on the uenr est street corner. The moment the alarm was sent in, gongs lu every fire engine room in the city, the police station and the newspuper offices were sounded by the fluid ' thut travels 140,000 miles a second. Simultan eously with this alarm the stall door to every fire horse was electrically . , ; , opened, the horses running to ' their various posts of duty, where the, harness Is "dropped". on them, and men and beasts, , equally faithful, started on their mad dash ' to what might mean instant death to them, - to save the property and lives of others. The time Is swiftly gliding by; but electric lights are turned on. while tbe electric exhaust fans are "pumping" away to expel the foul air from the offi ces; our business man glances at the big clock, regulated by electricity over the wire hourly from Washington, so the exact time may always be known, aud It is time to go home. Electricity In Ihe News After a 6 o'clock dinner, Mr. Busi ness Man locates himself comfortably In a large easy chair and starts to read the dally papers. To avoid the danger and nuisance of scratching matches an electric cigar lighter, placed within easy reach, is employed to light a good cigar and aid the digestion of the news. Here is a heading In the paper, "At tempt to Rob Bank," while the article further discloses that the attempt was unsuccessful on account of the system of electric vault protection, applied to this and other banks, aa well aa the gov . ernment building. The alarm was in stantaneous and the police arrived on the scene before the vault could be opened. Here is an article about the wonderful cures that have been effected by the Fin-;-en rays, named after their discoverer, the professor, of Copenhagen, Denmark. Another announcement Is made of a doc tor, who by means of X-rays Is able to see through a human body to locate broken bones, foreign substances in the flesh, photograph objects through a thlr-teen-inch steel armor plate, etc Next his attention is attracted to an article about the new method of purifying flour by the electric spark and pasteurizing milk with certain rays of an electric lamp. Here is an article about the Niagara Falls plants, by which thou sands of horse power, produced by the falls, that for centuries have been wasted, will be harnessed and distrib uted over the country at very low rates. A little mention Is made of the ex tensive street railway systems, that are gradually honey combing this country, making traveling both more comfortable and cheaper. Home Conveniences It Is about time for the theater; the wife Is attired In her evening gown, and her naturally curly hair has received a trifling assistance from the electric curl ing iron. Our business man dons bis evening dress, with, snow white linen, ironed to a superior finish by electric Ironing machines In a modern up-to-date laundry. , The two of mem are soon seated In the theater facing the big steel curtain which, by means of an electric, motor, is raised or lowered at will In a few sec onds to protect life and property. The theater is brightly lighted with hundreds of electric lights, while electric motors are driving large fans for the purpose of driving hot air Into tbe theater at the floor, as well as to remove the Impure air at the celling. The performance Is ono of the modern scenic productions; the entire stage is one glare of electric light Some of the actresses' costumes are handsomely decorated with miniature electric lights. There are scenes repre senting thunder and lightning, which, by means of electricity, are made so na tural that the spectator at times wonders if it could be real or if it is but an imita tion. After the theater we find our couple back to. their modern flat Before retirlug the electric chafing dish is brought out aud a light palatable lunch is indulged in. The cord of this chafing dish is at tached to the same receptacle on the wall, which Is sometimes used by the ludy of the house for connecting a little electric iron to smooth certain little delicate pieces that arc not entrusted to the laundry. Just lefore retiring our business man puts one hand under the covers of the bed to ascertain if the electric heating pad bas been properly placed and turned on to take off the unpleasant cblll. All the electric lights In the residence are turned off, except those in the bedroom and the elec tric burglar alarm switch is thrown on, which at a glance shows whether or not all tbe windows in the residence are closed, and during the night will turn in an alarm if any window or door is opened or en trance Is otherwise gained to the residence. 1 Can'l Gel Away from the Current Both Mr. and Mrs". Business Man are soon comfortably resting on the soft bed, well prepared for a night's rest after another strenuous day's work. The Mr. has almost dozed off in the arms of Morpheus, when the question is asked: "Did you see in the paper that a man In Lonevllle was electrocuted by an electric wire?" "No." What Electricity Threatens to Do in Aen's Offices IN the desire to save time, space and energy, and promote comfort and convenience, says a writer in Harper's Weekly, numerous applications of electricity have been made. The saving of time and space means the saving of money, and Increased economy and eificiency are .always at a premium. In the business office there are niauy applications of electricity to achieve this end. As an exam ple may be cited the electric typewriter, invented when it was realized that increased speed and facility of operation could be secured if a cer tain amount of the energy used by the typist was supplied Mechan ically, and that the most convenient method for doing this was the electric motor operated by current from the ordinary lighting circuit of a small battery. Then, by simply touching the keys, as effective work could be done as by a blow of considerable force. The same principle was also applied to the adding and calculating machines now so useful in banks and other commercial establishments. In this case, after the appropriate keys have been struck, the gearing of the ma chine is revolved by an electric motor, and the total is automatically given without further attention from the operator, who, with machines of the older type, was forced to move cranks or levers. The next Interesting Instrument that one finds in an up-to-date electrically equipped office is the telautograph, which aut6matlcally reproduces handwriting in facsimile at- a point more or less distant Yhere it is necessary to give exact information to a number of per sons simultaneously and have the same a matter of record, this in strument is very convenient For example, a train dispatcher can an nounce the movements of trains to a number of officials stationed at different points by 6lmply writing a single message. The device is also employed by newspapers and other concerns for writing bulletins, while for direct communication between two persons the apparatus possesses obvious advantages. When used in a bank the cashier or teller may inquire from the bookkeeper as to the amount of balance or other par ticulars of a customer's account the message and the answer being noiselessly sent and received. The same Instrument aside from its commercial applications, finds employment in fortifications, where the artillery officer charged with observing the target and computing the range and direction of fire can send from his station to the gunners in the emplacements detailed and specific instructions as to dlrectipn, elevation, etc., without the possibility of mistake or misunderstanding . attending a verbal order or audible signal. . Attention might be directed, in the typical modern office, to another set of conductors, from the lighting circuit or a battery to a curious instrument mounted on a polished box, and consisting apparently of a pair of metal reels moving speedily but noiselessly, from which a fine steel wire Is being rapidly wound and unwound. This is the teie gra phone, which is Just being established as a valuable adjunct to the telephone, and capable of many useful applications, being, among other things, a substitute for the phonograph. It is susceptible of aumerous adjustments, and can be made to record or reproduce an ordinary con versation, not only after tbe manner of the phonograph, but also when connected with a telephone. It will record the conversation of both parties on an ordinary telephone line. Buch a conversation can be subsequently reproduced at will and as many times as desired. With this same machine, by simply turning an appropriate key, a man may dictate to the machine, aud then a stenographer in an adjoining room or another building can put on her head a telephone receiver connected with the elegraphone, and by turning tbe reproducing key may listen to the dictation, aud transcribe it on the machine. If the desired person is not In his office when someone wishes to communicate with him by telephone, his clerk may arrange the telegraphone to receive any message, or in case the office is left alone this may be done auto matically, and the message will le repeated on the return of the person called for. The telegraphone as a present arranged contains about two miles of flue (1-inoth inch in diameter) steel wire, which is suffl-. clfut for about a half hour's conversation, but at any time a message or all messages may be effectively effaced at will when the apparatus is ready for new records. It operates on an ordinary electric light circuit, aud does not require as mwh currept for ts motors as an in candescent lamp of 6lxtten-candle power. Another Interesting form of telegraphone Is on arranged for repeating and reproducing a con versation, and it bas been found that from 4. single record on the steel wire a number of reproducing circuits can be led. "I notice that paper today states that it happened through bis own carelessness and ignor ance of the work in which he was engaged." "Oh, well! that Is the same old excuse of these large corporations to evade responsibility and the city clectrlclun is brought up to corroborate these statements," and as he in a half dazed condition, with great efforts, employs the last remaining strength of tho body to raise his hand to the switch at the bedside to turn off the electric lights, continues: "Oh! this cruel electricity; It is nothing but a mysterious death dealing something, that ought not be permitted to be perpetrated on an intelligent public Just fur the pecuniary gain of some greedy public service corporation. Per sonally, I won't use the stuff in any shape, manner or form, and don't see why other people don't quit it" WALDEMAR MICIIAELSEN, City Electrician.