Another geyser is “Old Faithful,” so called because he plays regularly every sixty-five minutes. The crater is quite low, and contains an opening which is only the widening of a crack extending across the whole mound. On the summit are a number of beautiful little pools, several feet deep, filled with water so clear that a name written in pencil on a piece of stone and placed at the bottom of the deepest pool is seen as clearly as if held in the hand. Another remarkable fact is, that the water does not efface the name, even after months of submersion.
Old Faithful begins with a few feeble jets. Soon every spasm becomes more powerful, till with a mighty roar, up comes the water in a great column. This rises to the height of one hundred and thirty feet for the space of about five minutes. After the column of water sinks down there is a discharge of steam.
The “Beehive Geyser” is named after the shape of its cone. The water and steam issue from the opening in a steady stream, instead of in successive impulses, as in the two mentioned above. No water falls back from this geyser, but the whole mass appears to be driven up into fine spray or steam, which is carried away as cloud, or diffused into the atmosphere.
The names of some of the other well-known geysers are the “Giant,” “Grotto,” “Soda,” “Turban,” and “Young Faithful.” The tremendous force with which some of these hot springs even now act, and the peculiarities of the earth’s formation in this section of our country, may give us some faint idea of the phenomena through which our little world has passed until it became the dwelling-place of man.
OUR COUNTRY TO-DAY
The United States is one of the youngest nations of the world. Civilized men first went to England nearly twenty centuries ago, but since Columbus discovered America only four centuries have passed. Each of these four centuries has a character of its own and is quite unlike the others. The first was the time of exploring, the second of colonizing, the third of deciding who should rule in America, and the fourth of growth and development.
During the first century explorers from France, England, and Spain visited the New World, each claiming for his own country the part that he explored. Each hoped to find gold, but only the Spaniards, who went to Mexico and Peru, were successful. There was little thought of making settlements, and at the end of the first century the Spanish colonies of St. Augustine and Santa Fe were the only ones on the mainland of what is now the territory of the United States.
During the second century much colonizing was done. The French settled chiefly along the Saint Lawrence River; the English settled along the Atlantic coast of North America; the Spanish in Mexico and South America; the Dutch by the Hudson River; the Swedes by the Delaware. The European nations discovered that it was worth while to have American colonies.