Testing the Strength of Building Materials.
Interesting experiments were made at the Washington university, St. Louis, last week, with an hydraulic testing machine, the largest in the world, capable of exerting the enormous pressure of 1,000,000 pounds. Huge timbers, says The Ohio Vatley Manufacturer, such as are used as pillars in large commercial buildings, were crushed, not broken lengthwise. The almost resistless force of the machinery can hardly be appreciated. A piece of timber capable of sustaining Sooo persons—more than twice as many as could be seated in the music hall of the exposition—was crushed like an eggshell when placed in the machine. The best brick piers two feet square, columns of granite a foot square, and sandstone three feet square, are ground to powder with the greatest ease. A log of selected long yellow-leaf pine eleven inches square and thirty-six inches long was crushed under a pressure of 514,000 pounds. The machine was designed by Prof. J. 11. Johnson, who occupies the chair of consulting engineer of the university, and for the purpose of pursuing investigations being made by the Government on the strength of commercial woods grown in the United States. The specimens crushed will form a part of an exhibit now at the World’s Fair.
The American Fire Engine Company of Seneca Falls, N. Y., has delivered two fire engines to the city of St. Louis at a cost of $9000. The engines were tried and found satisfactory.