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Scientific American Supplement, No. 799, April 25, 1891   By:

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NEW YORK, APRIL 25, 1891

Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XXXI, No. 799.

Scientific American established 1845

Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.

Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.


I. ARCHITECTURE. Marble and Mosaic. By T.R. SPENCE. A paper recently read before the Architectural Association, London, containing valuable suggestions for designers of buildings.

The St. Lawrence Hospital for the Insane. A New York State hospital recently built from designs by the State architect. Full description. 1 illustration.

II. BOTANY. Lavender and its Varieties. The history, properties, and technology of this plant. 2 illustrations.

III. CHEMISTRY. A Projecting Apparatus of Precision. A useful adjunct for the chemist's balance, accelerating the operation of weighing. 1 illustration.

Spectrum of the Sun and Elements.

Allotropic Forms of Metals.

IV. HYDRAULICS. The Power of Water, or Hydraulics Simplified. By G.D. HISCOX. Current wheels for power and raising water. Interesting presentation of this practical portion of the subject. 4 illustrations.

V. MECHANICAL ENGINEERING. Compressed Air Production. By WM. L. SAUNDERS. A Sibley College lecture, giving full elaboration to this important subject. The various forms of compressors and general features of the service. 18 illustrations.

Improved Pneumatic Hammer. A suspension hammer capable of delivering 500 blows per minute. 8 illustrations.

The Thermic Motor of the Future? A remarkable exposition of the possibilities of the gas engine. Recent experiments under M. Aime Witz. 2 illustrations.

VI. MEDICINE AND HYGIENE. The Electrical Purification of Sewage and Contaminated Water. By WM. WEBSTER.

VII. NAVAL ENGINEERING. The New German Dispatch Boat Meteor. A German built war vessel of great speed. Her dimensions and rating. 1 illustration.

The Raising of the Ulunda. A remarkable feat. The raising of a steamship sunk off Nova Scotia. 10 illustrations.

VIII. TECHNOLOGY. Starches for the Finishing of Cotton Fabrics. Classification of starches, with illustrations of their appearance under the microscope.


In time of war the dispatch boats are the eyes of the fleet. It is their duty to reconnoiter and ascertain the strength of the enemy and to carry the orders of the commander. For this service great speed is of the utmost importance. As all nations have increased the speed of their war ships during the last few years, it has become necessary to build faster dispatch boats. Although our new vessels of this class, Blitz, Pfeil, Greif, Jagd, and Wacht, fulfill the requirements, still greater speed was deemed requisite, and steps were taken for the construction of the Meteor, which was launched at Kiel in 1890. This vessel is 262 ft. long, 31 ft. wide, and has a draught of 13 ft., and a displacement of 950 tons. There are two independent engines, each of which develops 2,500 h.p., making a total of 5,000 h.p.; and each engine drives a screw. When both engines are running with their full power, the Meteor has a speed of 24 knots (over 27½ miles) an hour, which is equal to the speed of a freight train.[1] As the resistance of the water increases greatly with an increase in the speed of the vessel, the engines of the Meteor are very large in comparison with the size of the vessel. The largest armored vessel in the navy, the Konig Wilhelm, for example, has a displacement of 9,557 tons, and its engines develop 8,000 h.p., driving the vessel at a rate of 14 knots an hour; that is, 0.84 h.p. to each ton of displacement, while in the Meteor there is 5.26 h.p. to each ton of displacement. The Meteor has a crew of 90 men, and an armament of eight light guns, and has no rigging; only one mast for signaling... Continue reading book >>

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