The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, August 09, 1902, Page 3, Image 3

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ttwel I$mge Tindw
jih aid to Itlarksmanship
An instrument which will enable the
soldier to tell how far away the enemy
is at whom he wants to shoot Is a
very useful thing. The elevation of
his gun in aiming is controlled by the
distance. In a practice range a man
knows what the Interval Is between
himself and the target, and governs
himself accordingly. But In the field,
In actual warfare, It is pretty much
guesswork. For heavy ordnance, either
on shipboard or In coast defences,
range finders have been common for
several years. The need of apparatus
that will perforin the same service for
infantry had not been well met until
recently. There has been, to be sure,
the "mekometer" of the British army.
This consists of a piece of string fifty
feet long, and having various devices
and a man at each end. But Professor
George Forbes, on Englishman,
thought that he could improve greatly
on it, and tried last year. He let the
public know a little about it early In
the winter, went to South Africa a lit
tle later to try it, and recently he told
the .United Service Institution in Lon
don the result of his task.
The Forbes range finder is much
simpler than the "mekometer," and
can be manipulated by one man. who
is himself shielded from the enemy's
fire. There Is a light staff or rod six
feet long, jointed In the middle, so
that it can be folded up when not In
use. The rod is held- horizontally, and.
at right angles with the direction' in
which the man is looking that is,
crosswise in front of his face. At each
end Is a small prism which catches an
image of the enemy, reflects it along
the rod to the middle, where another
prism bends it again, and sends it Into
one barrel of a big field glass. There
are two prisms at the middle of the
rod. Each barrel receives a different
A certain amount of adjustment Is
necessary in order to secure a good,
sharp' image. That adjustment is ef
fected with a screw having an enor
mous flat head which Is subdivided
like a scale. The device is known as
a "micrometer screw," and is com
monly attached to microscopes for fine
focussing and to telescopes for measur
ing angles. On the Forbes range finder
one can determine the distance of the
enemy by noting the position of the
micrometer screw when he has ob
tained a perfect focus. Near the
graduated periphery of the screw head
is a stationary index with a sharp
point, and the numbers extend around
the entire circle. Rotation, therefore,
changes the number opposite the in
dex. To assist the eye in focussing. Pro
fessor Forbes puts Into each barrel of
his field glass, where it will not ob
struct the view too much, a transparent
photograph of a balloon with a short
tall rope. If the centres of the two
barrels are exactly in line with the cen
tres of the pupils, the two images will
coalesce and appear as one, and the
balloon will seem to be suspended In
midair. One photograph can be shifted
sideways with a micrometer screw. It
can be pushed inward toward the other
"barrel or withdrawn. This lateral mo
tion makes the balloon seem to move
toward or away from the observer.
When the tail rope Is thus made to
hang directly over the column of trocps
or the tent on which the instrument
Is trained, the focus Is perfect and the
scale may be read off. Professor
Forbes declares that he found It easy
to get within 2 per cent of the actual
distance by means of his range finder,
when the range was as great as three
thousand yards.
A convenient posture for the man
who uses the range finder is to lie on
the ground, chest downward, resting
both elbows on the earth and holding
the staff up before the face at a height'
of a foot or fifteen inches. The head
must be thrown back a little in order
to look Into the field glass. Since the
Images of the enemy are picked up
by the prisms, out at the end of the
rod, and inasmuch as 'these are six
feet apart, the operator's head may be
concealed behind a tree or boulder.
Professor Forbes rode about for a
week with the troops, and carried the
range finder with him. At. night it
was left with the saddle. On one oc
casion his horse rolled over it, but
Copyright, 1902, by Falk, N. Y.
Exactly how much John W. Gates realized by the recent attempt to
corner the corn market is not yet known. It is estimated, however,
that he and his syndicate netted a cool J4.000.000. The syndicate pro
poses to transfer Its operations from July to September and another
big Gates coupe may be expected in the latter month.
without doing any harm. .The device
could be manipulated so quickly that
it was possible to get the range with
it while other men were making their
preparations to use the "mekometer."
Besides, every person or ordinary ln
1 telllgence could learn in a few minutes
how to operate the new instrument.
What is Roosevelt doing now?
He Is working himself to death tak
ing a rest.
lftactel Teuds
(Berlin letter to the London Leader.)
Hardly a day passes but the news
papers contain striking evidence of the
antagonistic spirit which Is being en
gendered between the Poles and the
Last week It came to the ears of
the publishers of a Polish paper cir-.
culatlng In Westphalia that one of
their compositors was about to marry
a German girl. They considered that
this stamped hi as a traitor to Po
land, and although he had served them
faithfully for many years they dis
missed him on the spot.
A large number of Poles work In the
Westphallan coal mines, and in order
to further the amalgamation of the
races the authorities have issued reg
ulations to the effect that no person
shall be employed underground who
Is not proficient In the German lang
uage. The Poles obstinately refuse to
know a word of German when they
happen to be called up to make state
ments in public.
A few days ago a Polish miner had
to give evidence In a Westphallan po
lice court. He was of course, as inno
cent as a newly born babe of any
knowledge of German until the magis
trate threatened to report the case to
his employers, who would have been
compelled to dismiss him. Thereupon
his German came back, and he replied
fluently to all the question put to him.
His wife had been present during
the hearing of the case, and was wait
ing for him in the passage just out
side the court room door. As soon as
he appeared she bitterly reproached
him for having given away, and to
render her arguments more forcible
soundly boxed his ears. She then
kicked him with such vigor that he had
to race down the corridor Into the
street to escape the attentions of his
"patriotic" better half.
Thougn two is said to be company,
maidens are often happy with a soli
taire. 2-
She I am afraid that mother saw
you kiss me Lost night.
He 'What makes you think so?
She Well. I know that she passed
the conservatory some time between
eight and eleven.