Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/187

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Popular Science Monthly



��How the Porto Rican Does a Pushing Business ^HE colored merchant of Porto Rico shown in this photograph may htcrally l)o said to do a "pushing business," for his stock in trade as well as his store itself is on wheels and is pushed about by the owner. Rent troubles this man not at all. If com- petition becomes too great in one spot he can readily seek a * new location to solicit trade and he can go to his customers instead of his customers being obliged to come to him.

These (juaint and curious stores on wheels are everywhere to be met with in Porto Rico. One sees them about the streets of San Juan and Ponce, in the suburbs of Sanlurce and Miraniar they are legion, and one meets them along all the splendid automobile roads that stretch across the mountains and plains of the island. Even in the smallest and most remote villages anfl mountain towns the natives carry on their "|)ush- ing business" methods. The odd custom has much to recommend it aside Irom its picturescjue and unusual aspects. The goods within — usually confections, cakes or other edibles — are carefully protected from flies, insects and dust. In a tropical climate this is of vast importance and in a country where sanitation is as strictly enforced as in Porto Rico it is entirely in keeping with the spirit of the people.

Many of the stores on wheels are very elaborate and ornamental, others show great ingenuity in their con struction while still others are marvelous in their (juaint architecture and gaudy c(jlors. Some, like the one il- lustrated, are in the form of mini a t u re buildings, others an in the shapeof steam ships or war vessels; others are fashioned like little trolley cars while .some re- semble nothing on the earth, in the heavens above or the waters beneath.

��An Air-Propelled Automobile for Three Dollars T an expense of three dollars Meredith Coates of Kansas City, Missouri, built an air-propelled automo- bile which ran at a speed of twenty-two miles an hour along a smooth road. The


����While his vvili; is whcLliiit; llic baby the Porto Rican is wheeling his business

��This machine can go as fast on ice as on land. The only thing it can't do is fly

engine is a five-horsepower motor-cycle engine and it was bought for one dollar. The propeller was made from wood at a cost of another dollar and the last dollar was spent in making the gas-tank, box- ngs, steering-wheel, frame, shafts, pulleys and belt. The apparatus was originally tried out on a canoe and then shifted to a sled. The sled run- ners may be seen attached to the frame in the accompanying illustration. When the ice was gone the propeller mechanism was transferred to the cart frame. The machine has all the appearance of a rac- ing automobile.

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