Crank Suggestions for the World’s Fair.
A number of well-meaning people have volunteered suggestions for popularizing the World’s Fair, on the supposition that some striking or startling feature is needed to attract visitors and exhibitors. They have rushed into print with the desire to help the good cause along, and to advertise themselves. Some of these advisers venture upon the domain of engineering, but they occasionally wander over the line and land in the realm of the ridiculous. The daily papers have contained accounts of an indefinite number of such volunteer schemes ; a part offered by public spirited amateurs, a part by cranks and a part by persons who have their little axes to grind. A good deal of ingenuity has certainly been developed. But here is a rank and “ chesnulty ” plagiarism :
One man proposes building the highest tower on earth— Babel and the Eiffel tower not excepted—making it 1500 feet high, and selecting as a site a hill on Staten Island 300 feet above sea level, or rSoo feet in all. At the top he would place a powerful electric light which, he says, would be visible 150 miles out at sea. He only mistakes the range of such a light by about 98 miles, if one measures from the apex of the tower to the level of the water. At a distance of 52 miles his light would be just visible on the horizon, or, if seen from the deck, would appear a little above it. But if he positively insists on “letting his light so shine” as .to be visible at 150 miles’ distance, he will have his tower about right if he makes it IS.OCXJ feet high, or 2.8 miles up in the air—in which case he can treat the opposition Eiffel concern with silent contempt.
Another genius tackles mining engineering and physical geology instead of architecture. This one prefers what is described as an “underground tower.” He recommends “ that shafts be sunk to a depth of 1000 feet or more, of sufficient diameter to accommodate several elevators [cages?], and that the hot air which the engineers will strike after a certain depth be conveyed in pipes to the surface to warm the buildings.” And the newspaper to which the communication was made, in explaining the scheme to its readers, graveiy adds : “ In short, the plan is to go deeper into the earth than anybody has ever gone before to collect scientific data of interest as to the conditions at different depths, and to give thousands the chance to enjoy the sensations produced by subterranean travel and exploring.”
Crank No. 1 should go to school ; crank No. 2 should go West and take that editor with him.—Engineering aiid Mining Journal.
DANGER AT CONNOR’S Point.—Connor’s Point, adjacent to West Superior, Wis., is a peninsula running into the Bay of Superior. Here are large lumber yards, saw mills and coal docks. The channel on the west is blocked by logs out to about 200 feet from the shore, where all the lumber is piled. The east bank is lined with coal docks. In the latter a fire in July threatened the destruction of the entire point. It is almost impossible for the fire boats to render any service to this property, and their only hope in preventing the fire from spreading is in the system of water supply and the small hose companies provided by the mills.