The "Worm" on the Ailanthus

1870 Scientific American  
200 sign aud fiuish in a machine, even when it is employed to do rude work ; but elegance of design does not always mean elab oration . The question of fitnpss is one which should greatly influ ence all consideration of ornament. Nothing looks well out of plac8. A cluster of roses looks very pretty in the center of a panel of an enameled bedstead. On the blade ot a barn shovel sunh an ornament would be simply ridiculous. The cloth plate of a sewing machine may be highly decorated, and such
more » ... ation is in perfect good taste. Sewing' machines are much used amid surr,)Undings of beautiful ohjects. Beau tiful textures are wfllught upon them, and no incongruity re sults from ornament, ation of such machines designed to be used in the housohold. We confess that the hose carts now used by the fire depart ments of our principal cities, in connection with steam fire engines, H,pp',ar to us much more appropriate with their al most entire absence of ornamentation than the elaborately adorned ones formerly in vogue under the volunteer fire-com pany system. Th08e now empioy,'d are made for service and not for sbow, and their fitness for the purpose to which they are applied is an element of comeliness, which more than com pensates for the absence of gay colors and the glitter of pol ished metal. It is because we deem elaborate ornament entirely out of place on locomotives that we reg&rd the reform in this par ticular, now in progress on American roads, as a step in the right direction. Our sense of the fitness of things hus always received a shock when we have seen a highly decorateil loco motive dash besmirched and dingy into a re. iJway depot. A "sweep" could as appropnatE'ly put on a shirt of" snaw white seventeen-hunder linen," in a preparation for the cleans ing of a kitchen chimney, as a manufacturer oJ a locomotive could lavish thereon the ornate display we deprecate, which, besides being out of place, is an element or" expense, and an entailment of increased labor in caring for the costly maclline. But while we find fa ult with extravagant and incongruous ornament, it will not do to ignore the fact that a machine ap propriately decorated s�ands a much better cbance of being well cared for than one totally destitute of attractiveness in appearance. The reflex eff ect of a beautiful design in a ma chine will unconsciously influence its attendants and beget in them increased neatness and care. So there is possibly a danger that in stripping locomotives of their inappropriate and E'laborate finish, the other extreme may be adopted, and what would not only be appropriate but useful in its effects may be neglected. --------�4.��. __ --------PROGRESS OF FOREIGN INVENTION. In connection with the numerous inventions of American origin, which constantly come under our notice, we find it one of the most interesting items of our manifold labors, to follow the progress of invention abroad, and to note the in fluence ofcustoms and national peculiarities upon the require ments which give hirth to the numerous devices of European inventors. Often some of these are almost exactly like those which simultaneously make their appearance here. For in stance we find in the last numh 'r of The Engineer a descrip tion of an impr.ovement in mill picks, attributed to a Chester, England, inventor, similar in all essential respects to the one we ill ustrated and described in our last issue. These comci dences show that a universal want exists for some device of the kind which gi ves rise to them, and that this want has be come so well defined as to have attracted the general notice of inventors in the department which feels the necessity for it. As there are many ways of accomplishing a given end, such devices are :Jpen to cllwpetition on the part of other inventors, who, if they km;ptheir eyes open, will gain many important hints from tllC study, lll' t only of our illustrated descriptions, but from thl) noticc'8 of Europ�an inventions we give frum time to time,. An English inventor has made an improvement in railway time-ta ,lcs, calculated to render their indications and direc tions more intelligible and unmistakable. He inserts under the name of each stati,m on the table or bill a line, ruled hor izontally, and continued under the various times across the sheet, each line having a distinctive color or form. He also uses waved, curved, dotted, and other irregular lines, with or in lieu of straight or colored lines, or both com hined. In some cases he prints the time tabl es in colors, the colors of the va rious stations being the same, and in unison with the figures indicating the times. Another English invention is an improvement in the method of grinding cards on carding machines. He adapts the screw I!haft and the parts in connection therewith to the employ ment of a flat grinding disk, in lieu of a box or roller, where by he claims to obtain a better effect. In an arrangement of the improved apparatus, adapted to the grinding of the roll ers or cylinders in their places, the screw shaft is fi tted to re volve in bearings formed in end plates or frames, which are �uitably formed to fit into the ordinary brackets or bearings, or into brackets provided for the purpose, and on the shaft is mounted a traveling ftame. which carries the grinding disk. The War seems to be stimulating invention in small arms Improvements in bre,ch-]oac1r,rs fol low each other rapidly. The following are some of the most noticeable of r<'cent English improvemonts in this field. In one the breech bolt is hollow, and contains a di�charging piston, the latier being operated by means of a spiral spring, and furni�hed with a tooth or projection by which it is capable of beiug retained in position for firing by a tooth. At the rear end of the upper part of the breech is placed a spring having a tooth at the hinder end, which tooth, when in its normal position, drops into a recess in the upper part of the rear end of the breech
doi:10.1038/scientificamerican09241870-200b fatcat:3av7nhfx7rgqpllspsglbgvnle