Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, November 08, 1908, HALF-TONE SECTION, Image 17

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    unday Bee
ubeorlb le
Best & West
Four Times in Two Years He Has Met the Local Folks Hand to Hand and' Face to Face and Always Left Them Smiling When He Said Goodbye
The Omaha
OUR times within two years President-elect Willam H. Taft,
baa visited Omaha.
Even if a Nebraskan did carry the city of Omaha by
small majority, there is no doubt but what the four
visits which Mr. Taft made to the city increased his popu-
Once Mr. Taft came here to urge the election of republican
congressmen and senators who would uphold the bands Of President
Roosevelt; again he came as secretary of war returning from an In
spection of western military posts; this year he first visited Omaha
as the guest of the McKinley club and city of Omaha, and his last
visit was purely as a candidate for the office of president, to which
he has Just been elected.
Mr. Taft did not talk much with men on tiny of these visits
about the city of Omaha, its resources and industries, its present
and its future. His time was taken up with entertainment; with
pclitical friends and military men, with speaking to help others and
handling hiB correspondence or dictating an address.
Observing things, knowing the needs of the abundance of a city
cr a state feeing the things which make life possible and a people
self maintaining, is one of the qualities which goes with a Judicial
mind and one of the achievements which caused Mr. Taft to be taken
from a Judge's robe in Ohio to build a new nation in Asia. So when
Mr. Taft had been whirled into Omaha to speak at two theaters two
years ago; brought in at night to speak at the opening of a Young
Men's Christian association buldlng, a year later; then cme out as
the guest of the city for thirty-six hours six months later, he left
Omaha knowing more about the city than some of the oldest In
habitants. It was by a process'of "absorbing the spirit of the people and
deducting from that atmosphere a concise statement of" what the
people do for a living, the extent of the public spirit and something
of their hopes for the future . And Mr. Taft has never lost an op
portunity to say a good word about Omaha when he returned to the
east aftor being the guest of the McKinley club. He has praised it
conslstenty not the cheap praise of the poitical aspirant who
"feels honored to stand before such an intelligent audience, but the
'sincere praise of a man who has not played politics in the past and
is not likely to know how to play politics in the future.
Praise for the City
"Omaha is destined to become a metropolis In the west. It Is
a great market located in the heart of one of the richest sections of
th west. The trade now given to the city reaches to the north
Pacific ocean," was one of the tributes paid Omaha by the president
elect, who saw more in Omaha to talk about than most public men
who visit the city. "During the recent financial trouble, Omaha and
St. Taul were the cities in the west who best maintained their equllb
erium and the effects of the so-called panic 'were not notlcable In
Mr. Taft rode through South Omaha In an automobile while It
was raining, hurrying to Omaha in the rain, but he rubbed the sweat
from the window of the Umoslne and looked out The smoke was
pouting out of the chimneys of the packing houses, the yards were
full of scared cattle, the voices of thousands of squealing hogs could
be heard and the atmosphere was saturated with that rich odor of
which all packing centers boast 1
The great statesman had seen other packing plants In other
cities. Ho comprehended in a moment the extent of the business
in Omaha, made a mental comparison and drew the deduction that
South Omaha was a busy packing center. The yards looked crowded
to him and Mr. Taft evidently saw future growth. At his hotel he
looked at the market page of an Omaha paper, glanced at the re
ceipts and shipments of a week and returned to New York better
able to answer questions about the extent of the packing Industry at
Omaha than many who have lived In the city for many years.
Mr. Taft's first visit to Omaha was two years ago In November,
1906. He spoke at the Burwood and at the Boyd theaters urging the
elerticn of John L. Kennedy and republican representatives every
where who could best assist President Roosevelt and the republican
governors In the east and west who were correcting abuses and re
forr.iirs administrations. The very first sentence uttered by the big
powerful man brought a storm of applause at the Burwood. With
one of his expansive smiles, which showed the odd little creases and
wrl. kles at the corners of bis unusually and1 singularly beautiful
eyes, Mr. Taft said:,
"I come before a Nebraska audience with a great deal of hesi
tation, because you have been used to not only forceful speaking, but
to oratory and eloquence and I can bring you nothing of either. I
came here to help, as far as I might, my friend, your representative,
Mr. Kennedy."
Jokes With Millard
Eoth Mr. Kennedy and J. H. Millard, then senator from Ne
braska, bad been working hard on the War department for develop
ments at the forts, supply bureaus and other things which the de
partment controls at Omaha.
"While I am always glad to receive Senator Millard, there has
been times this last winter when it seemed to me tnat their presence
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preparations. He said the public would not stand for the delay. Now
the American people want everything next morning for breakfast.
That has been our experience. As soon as the canal bill was passed
and the commission appointed every newspaper in the country began
to ask 'has the dirt began to fly?' But we let them ask the question
and have taken two years for preparation because we want to do it
right, and I am pleased to announce to you tonight that the dirt
has begun to fly."
The next visit of Mr. Taft to Omaha was June 18, 1907, when
he spoke at the formal opening of the Young Men's Christian Asso
ciation building. As secretary of war he had Just returned from the
military posts in the Black Hills after having made a swing through
Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska.' He visited
the posts here and was entertained at dinner at the Omaha club.
When Mr. Taft delivered his address at the' Young Men's Christ
ian association opening, Omahans got a little closer to him a little
closer than they got the year before when he addressed political
meetings, a little nearer the big heart of the man and were permitted
to know something more of he kind of character he appreciates.
"This association has my highest admiration for the manner
A Century of Airship Evolution
in which it is conducted on severe business principles. The object
of this association being so apparent, what a scope it offers to our
wealthy men to put their money where it will do the most good.
Frequently they keep it in their pockets because they do not know
where to put It.
"It is often more difficult to give money wisely than to make it
Few realize the probems which confront those of millions who deslrft
to give wisely. The furnishing of a Christian home for young men.
who have no homes in which they can enjoy themselves the fur
nishing of a Christian club Is the phase of which I wish to speak
and is the most useful phase."
Tribute to the Y. M. 0. A.
Then the secretary of war paid a high tribute to the work of the
association in connection with the army. He said, "I think of the
Young Men's Christian association as. a part of the government, for
it knows how to attract the man of the army to get them to spend
their leisure hours properly. We are always glad to call upon the
educated agents of the association to help out, for they know better
than our men how to reach the men.
"In the Philippines I have noticed the work of this association.
We took the Philippines because we had to, we got the bear by the
tail and are still holding on. We could not give the islands back to
Spain and we could not let them govern themselves. We must now
teach them by example. It is a poor example when a large part of
the population we send to that country is seen reeling through the
treets and it does not help much in the training we have under
taken. The effects of the tropics on those who come from the tem
perate zone is not always for the best. A brandy and soda seems
to fill the aching void and so it goes on because there is no amuse
ment like this building would furnish."
In general, he said of the association: "The work of the Young
Men's Christian association makes for the righteousness of the com
munity and makes for the betterment of the substratum of this gov
ernment without which it would fall in a few years."
When the McKinley club began plans for Its annual banquet
this year, Secretary Taft was again Invited to Omaha and promptly
accepted. This was the visit which counted for most in friendships.
Mr. Taft met everyone everyone who wanted to meet him. He was
a guest in Omaha, at the forts, in Council Bluffs and put la the
busiest thlrty-slx hours a public man eve,r spent In Omaha unless it
was Theodore Roosevelt. But the secretary of war, now president
elect, enjoyed every moment of the time, stood for any sort of entertainment,-
attended luncheons, banquets and receptions on both sides
of the river with equal ease. At the reception held at the Hotel
Rome, Mr. Taft got a chance to get an idea of what the people will
do to him now that he is president. But he enjoyed it and did many
amusing things.
Particular About Photographs
While Mr. Taft is always willing to acommodate the newspaper
representatives with an interview, ho is a little particular about
having his photograph taken. It was while standing in the reception
line at the Hotel Rome that he showed his discriminating taste as
to the company in which he is photographed. Hundreds waited in
line. The photographers had their Instruments trained on the secre
tary of war, the alcohol lamps were trimmed and burning and the
flash light powder waited to pop. But the photographers could not
get Mr. Taft to turn around a moment for the picture. He stood
shaking hands with a multitude of people. Away back In the crowd
an old man with long white whiskers was leaning on a cane and
showing some nervousness abont getting to shake hands with the
"next president of the United States." The secretary's eye fell on
this old man.
Several more shouts were given by the photographers. An aide
, to the secretary asked him to turn around. But he shook hands with
fifty, and the old man with the white and overflowing whiskers
stepped up.
Mr. Taft grabbed the old man's hand, so dry and drawn it
almost rattled like autumn leaves. Then, holding to the brown hand
he turned around for the photographers with a smile which seemed
to say: "I'll have my picture taken when I find soma one who I
want in the photograph with me."
With the ofricers at the military posts Secretary taft showed
he was an ideal superior officer and as to the firing of the salutes,
he waited with Impatience until the last shot was fired and said
he thought such formal things were all right, but they always tore
up the grass In front of the guns, and It would require many weeks
to grow the grass scorched and torn up by the powder and wadding.
At the Auditorium, where Mr. Taft made an address which he
dictated between times on the day of his arrival, the candidate out
lined what would be the issue of the campaign in which he has Just
been victorious, and summed up the situation thus, "The campaign
will hinge on whether the American people endorse the administra
tion of President Roosevelt or not."
And they have endorsed It.
Secretary Taft did not speak until late that night. The local
spellbinders and the toastmasters took all the time they coud before
the street cars stopped and Mr. Taft had written an address of almost
an hour's length. Just before the banquet opened Mr. Taft allowed
the newspaper men to sort out a copy of the address for their use.
He handed them both the original and the duplicate copies. They
handed him back the original.
in my office was not altogether necessary," was the comment made
by the secretary of war lu Introducing a high tribute to Congressman
Kennedy and Senator MlUard for the hard work they had been doing
for Nebraska and the Second congressional district
A statement was made by Mr. Taft at this time which went
around the country. It was in regard to the Panama canal, and
tailed attention to the unreasonable restlessness of the press and
the people because "dirt was not flying" within bait an hour after
the appropriation for digging the canal was passed and the commis
sion appointed.
"James J. Hill told me, and I supose he is one of the greatest
railroad builders In the country, unless It Is General Dodge, that we
could not build the canal because we could not make the necessary
IT TOOK a century to develop the dirigi
ble balloon after It had been conceived
in Its present modern form. For one
thing, motors of the efficiency of those
now available were lacking. But the
delay was due in at least equal measure to
the fact that no one thought of certain little
details of construction details which may
easily escape the notice of the layman, but
are vital to the airship.
To make a dirigible gas balloon seems in
a way very simple now. Obviously it will
move In any desired direction in the sur
rorndlng air if elongated and pointed like a
submarine and provided with a propelling
Instrument and a rudder. Yet, with one
notable exception, hardly one of the count
less schemes proposed up to the latter half
of the last century touched upon these vital
points. ' Instead there were complicated and
fantastic combinations of the initial round
ball with, useless contrivances of all sorts.
The balloon, like the steam engine, had
Its John Watt very shortly after its birth.
This was a Frenchman, General Meuanier,
who, with keen insight into essential princi
ples, submitted a very creditable design of
dirigible balloon to the French acadamy
as early as 1784. The design was Judiciously
adapted to the only available motive power,
human arms, and there was an astonishing
anticipation of the modern propeller, called
by him a rotating car.
Meusnler's plans were never executed
and were soon forgotten In the storm of the
French revolution. -For over a century they
lay buried In the library of the French acad
emy, and yet they anticipated all the essen
tial points of modern aerostatics. A char
acteristic proof Is found In the general's
statement that he did not expect to drive his
ship against any save the most gentle sephyr
by the sole efforts of Its crew, but that he
expected to be able gradually to steer it
e rose the wind, to raise or lower it without
any loss of ballast or gas and to reach the
destination of a long sky voyage by thus
tal lng advantage of the most favorable air
The Inventor also embodied in his con
struction fundamental features of the first
self-propelled balloon that ever returned to
Its starting point which feat occurred ex
actly 100 years later namely, the oblong
form of the car, which is needed to preserve
the shape of the gas bag, the Internal bal
loon, which keeps the gas bag taut and reg
elates its ascensional force and the system
of Btaying the car fore and aft, which pre
vents It from swinging.
A hundred years elapsed, as has been
said, before there was any real progress.
Then, in 1884, the airship came at last into
existence. Again It was a French officer,
Captain Renard, who led In its development.
Under the stress of the siege of Paris in
1870 the wish for a means of cominuniratlon
by which a besieged fortress coud not only
be left, but also re-entered Just as safely,
had become so deeply rooted in the heart
of the French nation that unlimited funds
were placed at the disposal of a newly
founded military aeronautical department
for the purpose of evolving the perfect air
slip. By Captain Renard the way to achieve
this was pointed out
His work, like that of General Muesnier,
was far in advance of the day. Not only
did he Invent the balloon La France of
1CS4-85, but also the Vllle da Paris In 1907.
In other words, he stopped short at nothing
connected with the navigable balloon prob
lem, and his successors needed In fact only
to add Improved fnotors.
He had to use a very imperfect source of
power an electric motor driven by bat
teries, not. only because the steam and gas
engines of his day were too crude and heavy,
but especially because they offered no pro
tection against the risk of setting the gas on
fire. Glfford, who, in 1863, put rather reck
Messly the first mechanical motor on a primi
tive elongated balloon, using a low pressure
steam engine fired with coke, was obMged to
suspend the car so low that propulsion be
came problematical. Compared to the present
airship, motors of five pounds weight per
horse-power Renard's propelling mechanism,
weighing over 100 pounds per horse-power,
was almost as far from the goal as Meus
nler's human power of more than 600
pounds per horse-power.
Eut Renard settled once for all the great
questions of a shape of small resistance for
the gas bag, the amount of stiffening re
quired, the valud of a high position for the
center of gravity, correct suspension, elimi
nation, surface friction both In balloon
and car proper, placing and shaping of the
rudder, economical propeller and last, but
not least, the equilibrium ' -in flight. All
tbese discoveries were ths result of pains
taking, long and exact experiments with
n.odels, and the last named discovery, that
of a means of maintaining equilibrium In the
air, opened an entirely new epoch. -
Its importance became appreciated only
much later In the life of Its author; in fact,
only shortly before his untimely death. Like
Meusnler's ideas, it was then submitted to
the French academy, and Its value being
recognized, It started In flight a flock of
aerostatic Hedging which were then strug
gled to master the art of true flight and
which Included the balloons Identified with
(Continued on Page Three.)
Fooled the Reporters
But while the secretary was reading he suddenly stopped and
began to Bhuffle the pages of his manuscript.
Everyone at the speakers' table turned white. It was apparent
the manuscript had been Juggled perLaps a few pages lost. The
secretary continued to run through his manuscript and the press
table was wet with the sweat of those who had the manuscript last.
"Well, I'll go on," said Mr. Taft, "I'll have to begin In another
place, I cannot get this straightened out'
He only read a few moments after that and when the address
was over a newspaper representative asked him, "Is It possible that
I misplaced some sheets of your address?"
With a knowing twinkle, the secretary whispered, "No, it was
only getting late and my voice wab bad."
The last visit of Mr. Taft was one of those flying ones which all
presidential candidates make if they go visiting at all during their
campaigns. He arrived late, spoke in South Omaha to a good sized
crowd and the record breaker at the Omaha auditorium.
It was a noticeable feature at the Omaha auditorium that the
applause was well directed as it were. Those who have traveled
with Mr. Taft notice this in ail his meetings. Sentiment causes some
crowds to cheer, others cheer when a speaker talks sense.
All Mr. Bryan has to do to get a hand in Omaha is to refer to
fhe "great state of Nebraska,, or shout as he lets out a Joint or two
and reaches toward the roof "let the peop'e rule." Mr. Taft conld
ay Nebraska was a great state and let the people rule if he cared
to flutter and appeal to sentiment, but he woud not get much of an
outburst. But when Taft, the statesman, defines some policy, puts
a great economic problem in a new light or tells without equvlca
tton or reservation what he intenriu tn An na nraaMon n v. . tti,.
States, he gets applause from an Omaha audience which equals that
which Mr. Bryan gets on his flights of oratory. '
Mr. Taft says, "our rivers should be improved, one at a time,
and each as a great public enterprise. The people can afford to
pay the tax necessary to improve those streams, but no community
can long afford to pay the tax of the present waste of our resources
and Indifference to our advantages."'
The peoole applaud this.
Mr. Taft says his voice usually sounds like the honk of an au
tomobile horn, and whle it might not be pleasing It is at least
fanilllar to the prosperous community of Omaha.
But the ballots of the people have shown thmr orvfer a o!c
with a honk with a brain behind it. to a voice of richer qti!f7' asd
only the ability to construct Right or oratory bhla4 tL "