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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/528

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

small as compared with those of the United States, but they indicate a sense of the need of technical education.

The starting of the National Physical Laboratory for the purpose of testing and standardizing and for research on physical constants promises to be of great value. The simple standardizing of screws and nuts will be a great assistance to manufacturers. It is important that these should be made to an exact size, so that in replacing them there may be no misfits. For this it is necessary that the manufacturers' standards should be kept exact.

Trade and technical papers in Britain are awake and are sounding the alarm, which, though it falls on many deaf ears, especially in the case of those who had grown old while Britain was supreme in nearly all departments of manufacture and trade, is yet arousing some response from the younger and more active men who are beginning to learn that the world does move.

American methods are being introduced, and in some cases American energy is being imitated. The Westinghouse Company is building a five million dollar electric plant in Manchester. English bricklayers are accustomed to lay not more than four hundred bricks a day, and they started at this rate, but, under American contractors, were induced to work up to eight hundred a day. A few American bricklayers were imported and set the example of laying nearly two thousand bricks a day, whereupon the English bricklayers in their desire to show that they could equal the Yankees, followed the example set; and buildings that the English master builders said would require five years have been erected in twelve months. It is said that when the plant is installed seven thousand hands will be employed, and that it is the design of the Westinghouse Company to give a lesson to the English engineers as they have to English builders.

Though the United States is so rich in inventions, the United Kingdom is responsible for many of the pioneer inventions, and it seems that she can still make a good showing. The Bessemer process and the Thomas Gilchrist basic steel process are English inventions, and lately the Parson's Steam Turbine has gained prominence and bids fair to start a new era for steam engines. It is thought that in a few years it will be in use on all stationary engines and on steamboats.

In shipbuilding Britain still leads, the cost of building being considerably less there than in the United States. The cost of a ship of about ten thousand tons is approximately $160,000 in the United States and $130,000 in Britain.

Sir Christopher Furness, who has lately been in America, thinks that in the iron and steel trade Britain need not despair. Mr. Schwab says that the United States will be able to compete with the world in