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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

50, 100 & 150 Years In the past: April 2021

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1971

Trendy Glass

“A course of whereby plate glass of top quality is made by floating it over a shower of molten tin is quickly changing the standard plate-glass course of within the U.S. The float course of, developed in England about 10 years in the past by the glass-making firm Pilkington Bros. and launched into the U.S. by PPC Industries, does away with the mechanical grinding and sharpening operations that have to be carried out within the standard methodology. It’s subsequently a considerably cheaper course of. Within the float course of the glass because it leaves the melting furnace flows horizontally into the float bathtub, which is an rectangular tank greater than 100 toes lengthy and broad sufficient to hold a ribbon of glass of the widest normal industrial measurement. The ribbon floats on molten tin, which has a wonderfully flat floor.”

1921

Shifting the Plenty

“Within the Grand Central Terminal, within the coronary heart of New York Metropolis, one thing like 600 passenger trains are dealt with day by day. These trains have to be assigned to the right tracks within the terminal with all of the switching and signaling that such operations contain. And if the lengthy out of date apply of utilizing stand switches with particular person switchmen had been nonetheless in vogue, it will require many hundred males regularly on responsibility to function these stands. The current methodology of working the switches and crossovers and indicators from a central level, generally known as an interlocking station, has enabled all these operations over an intensive space to be managed by a small variety of males headed by a ‘director,’ as proven in our illustration.”

1871

Earth: Stable or Molten?

“Though the doctrine that the earth is a molten sphere, surrounded by a skinny crust of strong matter, was as soon as nearly universally taught by geologists, there have of late years been introduced ahead a number of arguments on the contrary, which, apparently, are extra in favor of its being a strong, or almost strong mass all through. As an illustration, whether or not it’s doable for such a skinny crust to stay strong, and never without delay to turn into melted up and absorbed into the a lot higher mass of molten matter beneath it? In actuality, it’s evident that no crust may even begin to kind on the floor, except the sphere itself was for the time being truly giving off extra warmth to the encompassing environment than it may provide from its extra central components.”

Working Like a Canine

“French nails, says the Mechanics’ Journal, are manufactured at Charleville, partly in massive factories by equipment, partly in a mess of small factories, or relatively atéliers, scattered concerning the densely populated villages. These villages, and particularly one in every of them, Neufmanil, will not be solely inhabited by folks, however by an ouvrier [working] class of canines. The labor of those canines, whose hours are as precisely regulated as these of their human fellow laborers, consists in furnishing motive energy to the bellows, which fan the furnaces of the atéliers. They get inside a wheel and switch it, identical to squirrels in a cage.”

Heard It by way of the Grapevine

“The drying of grapes, for making raisins, is changing into a big business in California, the extremely saccharated juice of the American grapes peculiarly becoming them for the aim.”

Scientific American old covers.

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