Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
292
CAPRONNIER—CAPSTAN

suffered much from the attacks made on him by the followers of Bismarck, and he was closely associated with the social ostracism of that statesman; we do not know, however, in regard either to this or to the other events of his administration, to what extent Caprivi was really the author of the policy he carried out, and to what extent he was obeying the orders of the emperor. With a loyalty which cannot be too highly praised, he always refused, even after his abrupt dismissal, to justify himself, and he could not be persuaded even to write memoirs for later publication. The last years of his life were spent in absolute retirement, for he could not return even to the military duties which he had left with great reluctance at the orders of the emperor. He died unmarried on the 6th of February 1899, at the age of sixty-eight.

See R. Arndt, Die Reden des Grafen v. Caprivi (Berlin, 1894), with a biography.  (J. W. He.) 


CAPRONNIER, JEAN BAPTISTE (1814–1891), Belgian stained-glass painter, was born in Brussels in 1814, and died there in 1891. He had much to do with the modern revival of glass-painting, and first made his reputation by his study of the old methods of workmanship, and his clever restorations of old examples, and copies made for the Brussels archaeological museum. He carried out windows for various churches in Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam and elsewhere, and his work was commissioned also for France, Italy and England. At the Paris Exhibition of 1855 he won the only medal given for glass-painting.


CAPSICUM, a genus of plants, the fruits of which are used as peppers (see Cayenne Pepper for botany, &c.). As used in medicine, the ripe fruit of the capsicum mimum (or frutescans), containing the active principle capsaicin (capsacutin), first isolated by Thresh in 1876, has remarkable physiological properties. Applied locally to the skin or mucous membrane, it causes redness and later vesication. Internally in small doses it stimulates gastric secretions and causes dilatation of the vessels; but if used internally in excess for a long period it will cause subacute gastritis. In single doses in excess it causes renal irritation and inflammation and strangury. The administration of capsicum is valuable in atony of the stomach due to chronic alcoholism, its hot stimulating effect not only increasing the appetite but to a certain degree satisfying the craving for alcohol. It is also useful in the flatulency of the aged, where it prevents the development of gas, and has a marked effect on anorexia. It has been used in functional torpidity of the kidney. Externally capsicum plaster placed over the affected muscles is useful in rheumatism and lumbago. Capsicum wool, known as calorific wool, made by dissolving the oleoresin of capsicum in ether and pouring it on to absorbent cotton-wool, is useful in rheumatic affections.


CAPSTAN (also spelt in other forms, or as “capstock” and “cable stock,” connected with the O. Fr. capestan or cabestan, from Lat. capistrum, a halter, capere, to take hold of; the conjecture that it came from the Span. cabra, goat, and estanto, standing, is untenable), an appliance used on board ship and on dock walls, for heaving-in or veering cables and hawsers, whether of iron, steel or hemp. It differs from a windlass, which is used for the same purposes, in having the axis on which the rope is wound vertical instead of horizontal. The word seems to have come into English (14th century) from French or Spanish shipmen at the time of the Crusades. The earlier forms were of a comparatively simple character, made of wood with an iron spindle and worked by manual labour with wooden capstan bars. As heavier cables were supplied to ships, difficulty was found, when riding at anchor, in holding, checking and veering cable. A cable-holder (W. H. Harfield’s) was tested in H.M.S. “Newcastle” (wooden frigate) in 1870 and proved effective; its first development in 1876 was the application in the form of a windlass secured to the deck, driven by a messenger chain from the capstan, fitted in H.M.S. “Inflexible” (fig. 1).

EB1911 Capstan Fig. 1.jpg

Fig. 1.

The capstans and engine are shown at A, A, A, and the windlass B is driven by messenger chains C, C. The four cables (dotted line D, D) lead to their respective cable-holders, fitted with a brake, and by these means each cable-holder can be connected to the main driving shaft, and any cable hove-in or veered independently of the other; by using steam power instead of manual, the previous slow motion was obviated. In H.M.S. “Collingwood” steam power was used to work the windlass directly by means of worm gearing; the windlass was divided into two parts, so that the one on the port side could be worked independently of that on the starboard, and vice versa. An independent capstan in both ships, arranged to take either of the cables, could be worked by hand or steam. In the “Collingwood’s” windlass the cables remained on their holders, and could be hove-in or veered without being touched.

Napier’s patent windlass for merchant ships (1906) resembles an appliance fitted in the earlier second-class cruisers of the British navy (1890 to 1900). Two cable wheels or cable-holders are mounted loose on a horizontal axle, one on each side of a worm wheel which is tightly keyed on the middle part of the axle. A vertical steam engine with two cylinders, placed one on each side of the framing, drives a second horizontal axle which is connected by a set of bevel gears to an upright worm shaft, which works the worm wheel. This worm wheel can be connected by means of sliding bolts to one or both of the cable wheels, enabling one or both cables to be hove-in or veered as necessary. A brake, of Napier’s self-holding differential type, is fitted to each cable wheel, and is controlled by hand wheels on the aft side of the windlass. For warping purposes, warping drums are fitted (made portable if required). A third central capstan, fitted forward of the windlass, is connected to the upright worm shaft by a horizontal shaft and bevel wheels. It can also be worked by manual labour with capstan bars. Fig. 2 represents the arrangement of the capstans on the forecastle of a battleship, fitted by Napier Brothers. Deep-bodied capstans have been superseded by low drum-headed ones, over which the guns may be fired. The three capstans or cable-holders of cast steel, capable of taking 211/16 in. cables, are fitted on vertical spindles, which pass down through the main and armoured decks to the platform one, where the steam engine and gearing are placed. The gearing consists of worm and wheel gears, so arranged that the three capstans can be worked singly or in conjunction, when heaving-in or veering, and the brakes (of the type previously mentioned) are controlled by a portable hand wheel fitted on the aft side of each. The cable-holders can be used for riding at anchor (see Cable). The middle line capstan E is keyed to vertical spindles and can be coupled up to the capstan engine, by clutch and drop bolts in the capstan engine room; it is fitted with a cable-holder, to take either the port or starboard cables, and in addition is provided with portable whelps, enabling it to be used for warping. It can also be worked by manual labour with capstan bars, a drum-head E′, fitted on the spindle on the main deck, enabling additional capstan bars to be used if required.

EB1911 Capstan Fig. 2.—Elevation looking aft.jpg

Fig. 2.—Elevation looking aft.

To avoid carrying steam pipes aft, the after capstan is worked