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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/468

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454
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

and wider the hole in the gun cotton the deeper and wider were the holes produced in the iron plate, until when the completely perforated gun-cotton cylinder, from which at least half of the weight of explosive had been removed by the boring, was fired, the iron plate was found to be completely perforated.

Advantage was taken of this action of the rapidly moving molecules to produce some beautiful effects by interposing laces, coins, leaves from the trees, and stencils with various devices cut in them between the base of the gun cotton and the iron plate, for after the detonation of the gun cotton the objects were found to be reproduced upon the iron with the utmost fidelity and in their most delicate parts, and the impressions were raised upon the iron as the objects had been before the explosion.

In one instance a disk of gun cotton was placed in a tin which had been used in canning peas. The disk was covered with water so as to be completely immersed in it, PSM V56 D0468 Maple leaf reproduced on iron plate.pngMaple Leaf reproduced on Iron Plate. and a second dry disk, with which to fire it, was placed upon the wet one. The face of the can resting in contact with the iron plate was originally the top of the can, through which the vegetable had been introduced, and it was consequently grooved where the cover was soldered on, and it also had an irregular drop of solder over the vent hole, the solder being raised, therefore, above the general level of the face. On firing, the can was completely volatilized or comminuted as usual, but the face of the can was reproduced in every feature and with the original values of the surface, the groove being indented in the iron, and the solder being raised above the rest of the impression.

In another instance a disk of gun cotton three inches in diameter was placed in a tin can five inches in diameter, and the can, which had a smooth bottom, placed on the face of an iron I-beam. The can was filled with water so as to just cover the gun cotton, a second dry gun-cotton disk was placed on the wet disk of a primer, both being in constant contact with one side of the can, and the system detonated. As a result the can and water disappeared and the face of the beam was torn off, but on recovering the pieces and matching them it was found that not only was the smooth base of the gun cotton and the face of the can reproduced in the iron, but