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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/398

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392
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

draught the stoke-hole of an Orient steamer is rendered the coolest place when the ship is in the tropics. The electric fan has vastly improved the conditions of the worker in the tropics. I would suggest that each clerk should have a fan just as much as a lamp on his desk. It will pay the employer to supply fans.

In the modern battleship men are confined very largely to places artificially lit and ventilated by air driven in by fans through ventilating shafts. The heat and moisture derived from the bodies of the men, from the engines, from cooking-ranges, etc., lead to a high degree of relative moisture, and thus all parts of the ironwork inside are coated with granulated cork to hold the condensed moisture and prevent dripping.

The air smells with the manifold smells of oil, cooking, human bodies, etc., and the fresh air driven in by fans through the metal conduits takes up the smell of these, and is spoken of by the officers with disparagement as "tinned" or "potted" air. This air is heated when required by being made to pass over radiators. Many of the officers' cabins and offices for clerks, typewriters, etc., in the center of the battleship, have no portholes, and are only lit and ventilated by artificial means. The steel nature of the structure prevents the diffusion of air which takes place so freely through the brick walls of a house. The men in their sleeping quarters are very closely confined, and as the openings of the air-conduits are placed in the roof between the hammocks, the men next to such openings receive a cold draught and are likely to shut the openings. To sleep in a warm moist "fugg" would not much matter if the men were actively engaged for many hours of the day on deck and there exposed to the open air and the rigors of sea and weather. In the modern warship most of the crew work for many hours under deck, and some of the men may scarcely come on deck for weeks or even months. Considering the conditions which pertain, it seems to be of the utmost importance that all the men in a battleship should be inspected at short intervals by the medical officers so that cases of tuberculosis may be weeded out in their incipiency. The men of every rating should do deck drill for some part of every day. In the Norwegian navy every man, cooks and all, must do gymnastic drill on deck once a day. In the case of our navy, with voluntary service, the men should welcome this in their own interest.

In a destroyer visited by me twelve men occupied quarters containing about 1,700 cubic feet of air. There was a stove with iron pipe for chimney, from which fumes of combustion must leak when in use, and a fan which would not work. When the men are shut down the moisture is such that boots, etc., go moldy, and the water drips off the structure. The cooling effect of the sea-water washing over the steel shell of the boat is beneficial in keeping down the temperature in these