Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/188

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A class of vessels of much interest, on account of their great destructive capabilities when the conditions are suitable, is the torpedo vessel, of which the Ericsson (Fig. 7), now building, is a representative; they are lightly constructed and provided with powerful machinery to enable them to attain great speed, reaching as high as twenty-eight to thirty-five miles per hour. They are armed principally with torpedo-launching tubes from which are ejected, by compressed air, automobile torpedoes, capable of traveling at a rate of speed of twenty knots per hour at a predetermined depth. The boat or launching tube is trained directly upon the target, and the torpedoes are expelled in a direct line toward it, certain automatic rudders being acted upon by hydrostatic pressure to enable them to keep their course. The head is fitted with a torpedo net-cutting device to enable the torpedo to pass through the net protecting the ship's side and to explode against the side by impact. The most noteworthy achievement by this class of vessels was the blowing up and sinking of the Blanco Encalada by the Almirante Lynch during the late Chilian struggle.

In closing this article it seems eminently proper to acknowledge the distinguished services and untiring zeal of ex-Chief Constructor Theodore D. Wilson, who for eleven years, or during the period of rehabilitation, has most ably shaped the general design and construction of the hulls of our war vessels.



LET us now set our faces westward, toward Asia Minor and Greece and Italy, to view the rise and progress of another philosophy, apparently independent, but no less pervaded by the conception of evolution.

In ancient times it was the fashion, even among the Greeks themselves, to derive all Greek wisdom from Eastern sources; not long ago it was as generally denied that Greek philosophy had any connection with Oriental speculation; it seems probable, however, that the truth lies between these extremes.[1]

  1. The Ionian intellectual movement does not stand alone. It is only one of several sporadic indications of the working of some powerful mental ferment over the whole of the area comprised between the Ægean and northern Hindustan during the eighth, seventh, and sixth centuries before our era. In these three hundred years prophetism attained its apogee among the Semites of Palestine; Zoroasterism grow and became the creed of a conquering race, the Iranic Aryans; Buddhism rose and spread with marvelous rapidity among the Aryans of Hindustan; while scientific naturalism took its rise among the Aryans of Ionia.