Cleopatra's Needles

1876 Scientific American  
CLEOPATRA'S NEEDLES. Of the many monuments which at one period of history rendered Alexandria, in Egypt, the grandest city in the 'World after Rome, but few relics remain beyond the column known as Pompey's Pillar and the two obelisks called Cleo pI. tra's Needles. Of the latter, one is still standing; the other lies prostrate, half buried in' the sand , not many feet from the sea shore, its fall having probably been caused by an earthquake. These curious monuments, which are ex cellently
more » ... ex cellently represented in the engraving given herewith, mea sure 73'6 feet in length, and are supposed to have been made during the reign of Thothmes III, about 1,600 years before Christ, an epoch when ancient Egyptian art vigor ously flourished. They were transported to their present site by Rameses II, from Heliopolis. No hieroglyphics known were more clearly cut and defined than those inscribed on the sides; but since the obelisks have been in nowise pro tected from the weather, the beauty of the carving has yielded greatly to climatic influences, and we can only ob tain an idea of its former perfection by comparison with those obelisks which have been transported to Rome and Paris, and there carefully guarded for many years. The prostrate monument belongs to England , and has been the property of that country since the beginning of the present century, when Mehemet Ali made it a gift to the English government. Up till quite recently, however, the British authorities have not concerned themselvei regarding the stone, for the reason that, its inscriptions having become 50 impaired, Egyptologists reported it as of little value or scientifi c interest. Since the completion of the Thames em bankment, the project has been broached of claiming the monument, transporting it to London, and setting it up in some commanding position. The Khedive of Egypt has ac· knowledged England's right to carry off the obelisk when she pleases; and the probabilities are that, sooner or later, the transportation will be effected, that is, as soon as some one suggests a wholly feasible plan for overcoming the en· gineering difficulties involved in the operation. The last time an obelisk went to sea (that of Luxor, now located in Paris), its behavior was not of the best; for in heavy weather its vast weight seriously strained and nearly caused the foun dering of the vessel in which it had been stowed. The most recent plan for shipping the Nt'edle that has come to our knowledge was suggested last summer, and seemed to find considerable favor at the hands of engineers, though we have not heard of its having been adopted. This was to fasten wooden beams around the stone until its quad rilateral form was changed to a cylinder. It might then be rolled over a temporary road to the sea. The wooden envelope, it wag considered, would diminish the specific gravity of the whole bundle so that it would float in the NEW MECHANICAL AND ENGINEERING INVENTIONS. object of this invention is to provide an improved automatic coup ling for cars. The principal features of the Invention consist in a pair of hook-shaped, vertically moving jaws, held together by springs and operated by levers, In combination with a long piv oted link permanently attached to one of the jaws, each set of jaws carrying one of said links. The Invention also consists In the arrangement of the drawbar, and In a 1Iet of automatically releas Ing levers which, when the jaws are opened by the hand lever, take the link and lift It Into such a position as to allow the lin k to be withdrawn when the cars are to be separated. IMPROVED APPARATUS FOR TRANSYITTING POWER. Joseph L. Crabtree, Flintstone, Md.-This Is mainly an arrange ment of parts to form a wheel, In oombination with a cylindrical end flange, carrying Interior ooga, which gears with a pinion upon an ecoontric shaft, to t;ransmit to greater advantage the power r& ceived. The device is adapted to over lind under shot water wheels. IMPROVED PIPE COUPLING. Isaac Johnson, Chicago, lll.-This Invention relates to a novel mode of connecting the sections of a pipe made of lead aud sheet metal, and oonsists In the employment of a hollow connecting piece annularly grooved near each end, the metal of each pipe sec tion being quickly pressed into the groove. When the tool is pressed and turned around the pipe, the metal is drawn forward and the pipe shortened by filling the grooves, without pulling apart the ends.
doi:10.1038/scientificamerican03251876-199 fatcat:dspe54g4tvfd3cnyyuobt5pkrm