The Scientific American Boy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 211 pages of information about The Scientific American Boy.



Our tramp adventure was really quite a blessing to us, for it taught us the necessity of a good signaling system between the Goblins’ Platform and the island and led to our learning how to wigwag, and later to the construction of a heliograph.  Uncle Ed, when he read of our experience, sent us the U. S. Army “Manual of Signaling.”  Fred, the tailor of our camp, made us two white flags with red centers.  Each flag was two feet square and was fastened to a light staff about five feet long.  Then we got out the manual and practised sending signals, at first within shouting distance, until we got to be quite expert.

Wigwag Signals.

[Illustration:  Fig. 147.  Ready.]

[Illustration:  Fig. 148.  First Movement.]

[Illustration:  Fig. 149.  Second Movement.]

[Illustration:  Fig. 150.  Third Movement.]

There were only three different movements that could be made with flags, but in the book different combinations of these movements were given to represent each letter of the alphabet and the numbers from 1 to 0.  All these movements were begun and ended by holding the flagstaff upright, directly in front of the body, as shown in Fig. 147.  The first movement was to swing the flag down to the right and back (Fig. 148), the second to the left and back (Fig. 149), and the third forward and back (Fig. 150).  The following table gives the different combinations used for various letters: 

The Wigwag Alphabet.

A 22 J 1122 S 212
B 2112 K 2121 T 2
C 121 L 221 U 112
D 222 M 1221 V 1222
E 12 N 11 W 1121
F 2221 O 21 X 2122
G 2211 P 1212 Y 111
H 122 Q 1211 Z 2222
I 1 R 211 tion 1112


1    1111     4   2221      8     2111
2    2222     5   1122      9     1221
3    1112     6   2211      0     2112
7   1222

The numbers 1, 2 and 3 indicate respectively the first, second and third movements.  For instance, A was represented by the combination 22, which means that the flag must be swept to the left and back twice.  B is represented by the combination 2112, that is, a sweep to the left, two sweeps to the right and a final sweep to the left, as shown in Fig. 151.  The end of a word was represented by a sweep forward and back:  the end of a sentence by two sweeps forward and back, and the end of a message by three sweeps forward and back.  It will be noticed that the same combinations are used for 2 and Z, 3 and tion, 4 and F, 5 and J, 6 and G, 7 and V, 9 and M, and 0 and B. The following abbreviations were given in the Manual: 


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The Scientific American Boy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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