Scientific American Supplement, No. 441, June 14, 1884. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 135 pages of information about Scientific American Supplement, No. 441, June 14, 1884..

* * * * *


This is a pulley recently introduced by Messrs. J. and E. Hall, of Dartford Eng.  With the exception of the boss, which is cast, it is composed entirely of steel or sheet iron.  In place of the usual arms a continuous web of corrugated sheet metal connects the boss to the rim; this web is attached to the boss by means of Spence’s metal.  Inside the rim, which is flanged inward, a double hoop iron ring is fixed for strengthening purposes.  The advantageous disposition of metal obtained by means of the corrugated web enables the pulley to be made of a given strength with less weight of material, and from this cause and also on account of being accurately balanced these pulleys are well adapted for high speeds.


* * * * *



Although the electric telegraph is, comparatively speaking, a recent invention, yet methods of communication at a distance, by means of signals, have probably existed in all ages and in all nations.  There is reason to believe that among the Greeks a system of telegraphy was in use, as the burning of Troy was certainly known in Greece very soon after it happened, and before any person had returned from Troy.  Polybius names the different instruments used by the ancients for communicating information—­“pyrsia,” because the signals were always made by means of fire lights.  At first they communicated information of events in an imperfect manner, but a new method was invented by Cleoxenus, which was much improved by Polybius, as he himself informs us, and which may be described as follows: 

Take the letters of the alphabet and arrange them on a board in five columns, each column containing five letters; then the man who signals would hold up with his left hand a number of torches which would represent the number of the column from which the letter is to be taken, and with his right hand a number of torches that will represent the particular letter in that column that is to be taken.  It is thus easy to understand how the letters of a short sentence are communicated from station to station as far as required.  This is the pyrsia or telegraph of Polybius.

It seems that the Romans had a method of telegraphing in their walled cities, either by a hollow formed in the masonry, or by a tube fixed thereto so as to confine the sound, in order to convey information to any part they liked.  This method of communicating is in the present age frequently employed in the well known speaking tubes.  It does not appear that the moderns had thought of such a thing as a telegraph until 1661, when the Marquis of Worcester, in his “Century of Inventions,” affirmed that he had discovered a method by which a man could hold discourse with his correspondent as far as they could reach, by night as well as by day; he did not, however, describe this invention.

Project Gutenberg
Scientific American Supplement, No. 441, June 14, 1884. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook