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Scientific American Supplement, No. 458, October 11, 1884   By:

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Scientific American Supplement No. 458


Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XVIII, No. 458.

Scientific American established 1845

Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.

Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.


I. CHEMISTRY AND METALLURGY. Chemical Nature of Starch Grains.

The Amalgamation of Silver Ores. Description of the Francke tina, or vat process for amalgamation of silver ores. By E.P. RATHBONE. 6 figures.

Interesting Facts about Platinum. Draw stones used for drawing wire of precious metals.

II. ENGINEERING, MINING, ETC. Modern Locomotive Practice. Paper read before the Civil and Mechanical Engineers' Society. By H. MICHELL WHITLEY 10 figures.

New Screw Steam Collier, Frostburg. 1 figure.

Destruction of the Tardes Viaduct by Wind. With engraving.

Joy's Reversing and Expansion Valve Gear. 1 figure.

The Steam Bell for Locomotives. 2 figures.

Diamond Mining in Brazil. With engravings showing the dam on the Ribeirao Inferno at Portao de Ferro, and the arrangement of the machinery.

III. ELECTRICITY, ETC. The Frankfort and Offenbach Electric Railway. With 3 engravings.

Possibilities of the Telephone. Its use by vessels at sea.

Pyrometers. The inventions of Siemens and others.

IV. ARCHÆOLOGY. The Cay Monument at Uxmal. Discovered by Dr. Le Plongeon on June 1, 1881. With engraving.

V. ASTRONOMY. The Temperature of the Solar Surface Corresponding with the Temperature Transmitted to the Sun Motor. By J. ERICSSON. With 2 engravings of the sun motor.

VI. HORTICULTURE. Halesia Hispida, a Hardy Shrub. With engraving.

Windflowers or Anemone. With engraving.

VII. MEDICINE, HYGIENE. ETC. What we Really Know about Asiatic Cholera. By J.C. PETERS, M.D.

Dr. Koch on the Cholera.

Malaria. The natural production of malaria and the means of making malarial countries healthier. By C.T. CRUDELI, of Rome.

Story of Lieut. Greely's Recovery. Treatment by Surgeon Green.

VIII. MISCELLANEOUS. Bayle's New Lamp Chimney. With engraving.

Lieut. Greely before the British Association.


The electric railway recently set in operation between Frankfort and Offenbach furnishes an occasion for studying the question of such roads anew and from a practical standpoint. For elevated railways Messrs. Siemens and Halske a long time ago chose rails as current conductors. The electric railway from Berlin to Lichterfelde and the one at Vienna are in reality only elevated roads established upon the surface.

Although it is possible to insulate the rails in a satisfactory manner in the case of an elevated road, the conditions of insulation are not very favorable where the railway is to be constructed on a level with the surface. In this case it becomes necessary to dispense with the simple and cheap arrangement of rails as conductors, and to set up, instead, a number of poles to support the electric conductors. It is from these latter that certain devices of peculiar construction take up the current. The simplest arrangement to be adopted under these circumstances would evidently be to stretch a wire upon which a traveler would slide this last named piece being connected with the locomotive by means of a flexible cord. This general idea, moreover, has been put in practice by several constructors.

In the Messrs. Siemens Bros.' electric railway that figured at Paris in 1881 the arrangement adopted for taking up the current consisted of two split tubes from which were suspended two small contact carriages that communicated with the electric car through the intermedium of flexible cables. This is the mode of construction that Messrs. Siemens and Halske have adopted in the railway from Frankfort to Offenbach... Continue reading book >>

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