Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/53

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

not on as low a level. To these works the water is brought down in ten pipes, each unit to furnish 14,000 horse power. After being utilized here the water is to be carried through a tunnel in the side of the mountain walls for about four miles, where it is again dropped, this time to the bottom of the valley. In the lower works 120,000 horse power will be obtained. Judging by the progress already made it would seem probable that within a few years the full 260,000 horse power will be available, all to be used for nitrate manufacture. The Tinelv drains an area of more than a thousand square miles of highland. One lake alone near its head waters has an area of fifteen square miles and an elevation of nearly 3,000 feet, while the water of Tinsjö which is below the Rjukanfos, drops 550 feet in reaching Notodden.

The development has been largely carried on by a ScandinavianFrench company and by the Badische Anilin-und Soda-Fabrik, the great dyestuff manufacturers of Germany. These two companies have now combined their forces and each has a half interest in the Rjukan plant. A railroad has been built from Notodden to the foot of Tinsjö, and another from the head of the lake to the Rjukan works. A steam ferry-boat conveys freight trains the length of the lake and a larger one is now building by means of which all trains will go through without change from Notodden to Saaheim, where the lower Rjukan works are situated. It is said to be rather a cross for the owners of the railroad to run passenger trains, but this the government compels them to do. A busy town has sprung up at Saaheim and here, as at most industrial towns in Scandinavia, the workmen are well housed. Every house has a garden where not only vegetables, but also flowers are cultivated with great care. When I was there the poppies and dahlias were in magnificent bloom. In every window, and this is practically true all over Norway, were pots of flowers and Nottingham lace curtains. Notodden, on the other hand, resembled a western mining camp. It has the reputation of being the toughest place in Norway, and though prohibition is legally enforced, there is said to be a large amount of drunkenness. I must add, however, that during two months travel in Scandinavia I saw but three drunken men, one in Stockholm, one at Gellivare in northern Sweden, and the third in Notodden. It is safe to predict that this region of northern Telemarken, which includes the watershed of the Tinelv, will become one of the most important centers of electric industry in the world, though there may be a question as to whether Norway will be able to furnish sufficient labor for the increasing development. The Norwegians are by tradition and habit farmers and fishermen and it remains to be seen how effectively they can be transformed into industrial labor. Nitrate factories will naturally spring up elsewhere, since it is an industry, remarkable in that