Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/356

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

And among the leaders of the world, nobly rivaling every other, stands the 'Captain of Industry,' now rapidly developing into general and field marshal. Note what this sort of man has done for the world!

The inventive mechanic and the engineer, learned or unlearned, have, in the course of the nineteenth century, given to the world the locomotive and our whole system of general continental and transcontinental transportation, the steamship and all our contemporary ocean and river, freight and passenger lines, the automobile and the beginnings of a new and still more widely helpful system of common highway transportation. They have given us the mowing and reaping machines which have reduced the time and cost of harvesting to a tenth and less of its former value; the seeding and the threshing machines which have done as much in their special fields; the sewing and the knitting machines which have given the sewing woman and the housewife multiplied working power with minimized exertion and reduced working hours. They have provided the power-printing press with its almost miraculous speed and accuracy of printing, counting, folding and binding together the sheets of a metropolitan newspaper 100,000 an hour; the type-setting machine and the linotype, making easy and productive in hardly less degree the labor of the type-setter; the whole machinery of modern textile manufacturers with its multiplied efficiency and the iron and steel industry, the fundamental element of civilization.

The electrician and the mechanical engineer have provided us with the electric current in useful and infinitely pliable form, transmitting energy of all mechanical prime motors from the source, or point of surrender of energy by nature, to the point of application, a mile, ten miles or a hundred miles away, with little loss and with vast convenience and economy. The engineer is even furnishing power for use in transmitting messages over the telegraph wire. In our homes, steam-heat, ventilation and sanitary life come largely of the inventions, the constructions and the operative mechanism of the engineer, who provides the steam-boiler, the water supply, the forced ventilation, all unknown to our fathers, luxuries to many still, but which will become the ordinary and commonplace comforts of the great mass of the people in the coming century.

The mechanic and the engineer have provided us with iron ships and naval armaments, the battle-ship and the torpedo-boat, the 'submarine,' and guns that have a range of ten to twenty miles. They are thus doing practically all that is actually being done, at the time—they have done practically all that has been done during the century—toward making an end of war by making weapons too effective to permit their use by nations except in desperation and under extreme provocation. Under such provocation, in the future as in the past, nations will probably make war; but it is the engineer, probably, who will