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onds, which is- Let me figure. 25.4 into 60, how many times? Multiply that by 60 minutes-at the rate of 141 miles an hour. If you want 100 actual miles traversed, that was done in 58 minutes, 54.2 seconds, at Chicago, August 7, 1915.
By all means pass a law compelling this wild thing to keep down to the old white horse's trot. Amuse yourself.
If not in the home itself, gasolene intends to make great changes in the next thing to the home, the road. At present, as at any time in the last thousand years, it runs right past the Miller place, out of the front gate of which little children come on their way to school or to the grocery at the Corners, with a penny for candy in their fat hands; it runs right past old man Ellert's, who is getting hard of hearing, and whose left leg bothers him since he broke it in two places falling out of the haymow a year ago last spring; right past the cow-pasture gate, from which and to which, nights and mornings, Cherry and Brindle and Jersey Queen take their way, leisurely moving, and solid to bump against when going fast; there are dogs drifting up and down the road, and cats solemnly intent upon their life-work, ridding the country of the song-bird nuisance; poultry there is also. Chickens, once feathered out, can get a gait on, but not so the fluffy little chicks, not so the hen-mother, with her air, "Who but me?" not to be hurried for any sake.
Upon the public highway there are too many creatures seemingly possessed to get right in the way. When they are run over, I'm trying to put it gently, -it tends to cast a gloom over an otherwise perfect day.
A railroad-track in the middle of every country road, with its "Stop, Look, and Listen!" sign would be far more sensible. You'd know when to expect trains; they 'd be right in the one place, and they would stick to the track, in theory at least. But an automobile may be along any minute of the day or night on any portion of the highway, and, if anything goes wrong with the steering-gear, it may take a notion to come through the fence and part way into the house.
We shall muddle through for a while, letting things drift, but some day we shall begin to grow and plan like adults. Then there will be sidewalks for pedestrians on every road, isles of safety, tunnels under, and bridges over, crossings, and complete
exclusion of animal life, so that things can't happen that will cast a gloom over an otherwise perfect day.
I used to think the Federal Government might better spend its money for macadam turnpikes to avert the sure annual loss that comes from mud roads, as tough as taffy, than on battle-ships to avert the mere chance of loss by invading Japanese. A certain person, when he was President,
set me right, I'm glad to say. Mentioning this foolish thought to him in private conversation, he pounded on his desk and rasped out, "The man that thinks that is a greater traitor to his country than ever Jeff Davis was." After that, I could n't very well keep the thought.
And look how right he was! For if the battle-ships they built then are the merest junk, what is macadam by this time?
patching and the new roads built in that time? And you'd have something for
But the horse, limping on roads of solid stone, mutely exclaiming "Ouch!" at every step-where does the horse come in?
The horse propels himself by thrusts, just as the early locomotive did when, though they felt pretty sure that wheels would roll, they did n't feel at all sure that drivingwheels would get along, though they might turn round. Every time a horse digs an iron-bound toe into the road he loosens up the surface. Along comes an automobile. Its weight buckles up a hump of rubber on the tire as it approaches contact with the ground; as it passes the contact with the ground, the rubber
Is that the real question, though? Is n't it, When does
"The mother hen,
snaps back into shape, creates a vacuum, sucks up the loosened road material, and scatters it. The hole grows with every passing car. The more frequent the travel, the more frequent the patching. County commissioners and township trustees are seeking earnestly a road material that will be as solid for automobiles as it is elastic for the horse; dustless and mudless; neither sticky in hot weather nor "slick" in cold; smooth, yet giving a toehold; continuous in surface, yet patchable in small sections; durable, but inexpensive. As well be on the lookout for a razor that will do to cut corn-fodder, too.
It is the horse that complicates the problem; without him it were simple. Build the roads of concrete. Laid honestly, and not too "rich wit' sand," they would last a thousand years, which is plenty long enough for anything to last, be it good or bad. It would cost a lot, but would it cost any more, spread out over twenty years, than the everlasting
the horse go out?
I am aware that this has been said before. When the steam-locomotive threatened the stage-coach and the wagon-train, it was thought to threaten the horse, too. It seems it did n't. If he lost one job, he found another. The plow, which for fifty centuries had been a crooked stick, ironpointed, was turned into a steel tool with scientifically
plotted curves. McCormick invented the reaper; there was a multitude of inventions of horse-drawn implements for the farm.
But gasolene boldly invades the horse's own peculiar province, meaning to put him out of business altogether. The automobile carries passengers in small lots from front door to front door; the locomotive carries them by the battalion from station to station, leaving a gap between the station and the front door. Incidentally, the automobile has revived the roadside inn, which the horse could not keep alive.
But there is now no farm-work for the locked-out carriage-horse to do. In that line, too, the gasolene-engine beats him to death for cheapness and efficiency. It drags the traction-plow and the reaper, it works not only the hay-tedder, the thresher, the silage-cutter, the cream-separator, but after a day's work that would leave the horse too tired to move, it cheer
fully pumps water, and turns the dynamo for the evening lamp not only in the house, but in the barn. Idle, it does not eat its head off, and when needed urgently, you do not have to coax it up to you, only to have it dash off playfully to the other end of the lot just as you 're going to put the halter on. The main problem with the gas-impelled farm-implement is to make it small enough to fit the acreage of the horse-operated farm. But with the aid of the rapid increase of price of agricultural lands, doubling in ten years, the problem will be solved rather by enlarging the farm than by decreasing the size of the engine, for increased industrial power increases the size of the industrial unit. Take a good look at the forty-acre farm while you may.
Seemingly the horse is doomed. was first of all a beef-critter; he may be that last of all. They say he is not bad. to eat. Or he may linger as the dog does, a beloved bother, not a bit of use, but nice to have around.
We shall miss the horse terribly, and the flies and the typhoid. It won't be the same at all. But the disappearance of the peasant farmer, almost totally impervious to the instruction of the Department of Agriculture, will be a more important change that gasolene intends.
And it not only means to do things to the public highways; it has its eye on those quasi-public highways, the railroads.
The attitude of street-railroad companies to a complaining public in the past has been so snippy and up-stage that it is one of the easiest things in the world to keep one's heart from bleeding at the shrieks of agony emitted is picking on them so.
because the jitney
That the jitney That the jitney
is financially irresponsible in case of accident, and nothing like as prompt and generous as the traction companies; that the jitney cannot possibly earn dividends, and is good only to bring in cash to keep starvation from the door of the workman who has a ramshackle car, but not a real job; that the jitney institutes a wicked and reckless competition which destroys the property values of stable enterprises and
robs the widow and the orphan whose little all has been invested in traction stock - these may be all true, but tell it to Sweeney, not to us.
If Sweeney is alderman and, as such, passes on jitney applications for a franchise, he will be glad to hear such arguments: they will come in handy in explaining why he votes "No." But the rest of us have not only a resentful memory of the street railroad's past performances; we have also a romantic nature.
To have an earnest, brave young fellow with nothing but his indomitable courage and a cheap car go to a grapple with a purse-proud corporation, and in a little while have it squalling: "Quit now! You just leave me be!" why, that is the sort of story-book we have been reading. ever since we could read. The earnest, brave young fellow should marry the traction magnate's daughter, certainly; but that comes in the last chapter, and we have only started on the book.
Doubtless the jitney's destructive competition with the street-cars will not last long,-keep your eye on Sweeney, - but while it lasts we shall gladly pile in, ten or twelve of us in one runabout, just to get even with the traction company. It's a matter of principle with us.
And we do not exactly let our love for the steam-railroad run away with us, either. If gasolene intends a hard rap for the steam-railroad, few flags will be half-masted, few bells tolled. But even with concrete highways, screened from leg-travel, I just don't see transcontinental freight moved by the gas-engine. One locomotive can pull a mighty long string of cars, you know. Oh, well, let steam have the long hauls, and gasolene take the short hauls. There should be nice pickings where the rates for local freight are just enough to keep horse-hauling out.
The long string of freight-cars on the steam-railroad is up-to-date enough. It is at each end of the string, where it frays. out into component fibers, where the carloads are gathered and dispersed, that it is old-fogy; right there appears the motortruck.
Improved transportation widens the circle of the market. From the circumference to the center come garden-truck, butter, and eggs, and all such hitherto paying heavy tribute to the railroad or shut out; from the center to the circumference come bread and beer and butchers' meat, groceries, dry-goods, candy, tobacco, ice-cream -all kinds of wares in increasing number and variety. Traveling-salesmen, making their rounds of country stores, buy gasolene, not mileage-books. Even the summer people's furniture comes and goes now by automobile vans in one
day instead of ten. Five-ton motortrucks go far and fast and carry much. With steel-tired
trailers, they have already put the locomotive out of business on many of the "feeder" lines. Some of these keep their tracks from rusting by running combination-cars combi
burro cannot carry enough water for himself, let alone for the man. To-day even Death Valley holds no terrors for the high-powered car.
Not so patent as the changes in our outward life that gasolene intends is the change in our inward life. We are to have a different sort of mind. Every new
kind of locomotion has done that, but not purposively, so to speak. When we ceased to fling ourselves from springing bough to bough, using all four hands, and began to get about only on our hinder pair, leaving the front pair free
to take hold of objects, to examine them, to utilize them if we could, we changed our mind. from brute to human. Also, the mouth, no longer needed as a vise or as a pocket, grew more closed up, and so able to make consonantal sounds, to form words. And language changes the mind, though sometimes you might not think so.
"Seemingly the horse is doomed"
nations not only of freight and passenger traffic, but of motors. For the gas-engine is efficient only at a certain speed. It does not lend itself to gradual accelerando and ritardando; its change of tempo should be made by change of gear. But your railroad car should gradually gather speed, and as gradually part with it, and so, on these supplanters of the locomotive, the gas-engine drives a dynamo which yields the "juice" to drive the electric motor, facile to accelerate and retard.
There is so much to say! I have to leave out such a lot! But just consider for a moment what gasolene has done to change the aspect of the mining industry. Out in the desert there is mineral beyond the dreams of avarice, but the prospector's
When it was discovered that the ox and the horse were not only good to eat, but to get about with, and that two wheels could carry more than two lodge-poles dragged along; when it was discovered that a hollowed log, outfitted with a paddle and later with a sail, was much superior to swimming, especially in cool weather, these changes in the mode of locomotion directly and indirectly made all the difference between the listless mind of the savage and the alert mind of the classic period.
But with them alone humanity could get only so far, and there it stuck as in a bog until the steam-engine, a new kind
of power, came along and pulled it out. It introduced into the world a new kind of mind, just the kind that progress has to have. If the world we live in is unsatisfactory, you may say it is the will of God that it should be so; that gets you nowhere. You may say it is the law of nature it should be so; that gets you nowhere, either. But when by accurate measurement of lengths and weights and temperatures and modes of motion you understand that everything is what it is because of process, then it comes to you that what process has made process can make over. Then if you like not the fashion of this world, you can alter it. It may well be that the possession of a small, round grain of faith enables one to say unto this mountain, "Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea," but if you want it done, you lay down tracks, put locomotives and gondola cars on them, install steam-diggers at one end and barges at the other, and make Goethals superintendent of the job. It is a totally different world not only outwardly, but inwardly from what it was before steam came.
I am afraid you did not get the full force of what I said earlier in the article about Pickard's patenting the crank-andfly-wheel, whereby the back-and-forth motion of the piston-rod is transformed into the round-and-round motion of the wheel. You would think it could n't take them till 1781 to invent that. You would think the crank would be invented not later than the Wednesday following the invention of the wheel. But there was a famine of the kind of mind that can measure accurately and work to measurement, fertile in mechanical expedients. There was luxuriant profusion of the theological mind able to identify the will of God with the will of pastors and masters and all who are set in authority over us, there was a plenty of the juridical mind which clearly sees that the universe is governed by law and derives sustenance from the inference that legislation is much the same as law; but how non-existent was the mechanistic mind that thinks only in terms of process is shown by the fact that Watt
could not get a cylinder eighteen inches in diameter bored more nearly to the round than three eighths of an inch wider one way than another! He had to pack his far-from-steam-tight piston "with paper, putty, cork, and old hat.”
Such has been the development of that mind that to-day you may take a dozen automobiles of a given pattern, dismantle them to the last bolt, toss the pieces into a heap, and, without picking and choosing and trying on, re-assemble them all and ride them away.
Henry Ford's machine-shop has no file! This, to my mind, merits more the laurel crown than the fact that he is the champion of transportation against ostentation or even that he applies to industry the daring novelty that a well-fed horse works better than a rack-o'-bones. Watt could put up with three eighths of an inch out of the way, but an error of 1-1000 of an inch (less in the cylinder) will send the part to the scrap-heap, not to the bench.
The mechanistic mind is wonderfully more frequent since the steam-engine, but gasolene intends it to be general. And here is also where Henry Ford deserves well of the future. It was he who broke down the Selden patent and let down the bars to everybody to invent. So great was the multitude that rushed in to solve the problems of the self-propelling wagon that we hardly realize how many and how great they were, all but two of them uncovered by a patent.
In the questions department of a newspaper there are three that oftenest repeat: "Does a man born in this country of alien parentage have to take out naturalizationpapers in order to vote?" "Is there an Edison star?" and "In going around a curve, does the outer or the inner wheel tend to rise?" We may know that being born into a country is one of the most naturalizing things there are; we may feel pretty certain that Mr. Edison never made a star, lighted it, and sent it up into the sky to shine among the others: but as to wheels going around a corner-well, what's your opinion? Is it the outer or the inner wheel that tends to rise?