Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/245

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Popular Science Monthly

Moving Guns with an Electric Battery Crane-Truck

UNCLE SAM may be a bit slow in getting his guns into action, but when it comes to moving them he is right on the job. The photograph shows a two-ton battery crane-truck used at the Naval Gun Factory at Washington for the transportation of guns of all sizes, except the big fellows who are given a moving apparatus of their own. The crane-truck eliminates all danger of fire, and safety and speed are its two best qualities. It can be operated wherever there is room for it to glide about, and it is just as useful on the street as it is indoors.

The battery which serves as the propelling power for the truck operates the crane. The driving and crane control handles are within convenient reach of the driver and he operates them simultaneously. When the truck has completed a day's task of lifting and transporting guns it is used as a trackless locomotive for hauling trailers or gun carriages. Uncle Sam takes particular care to have his shop vehicles electrically operated, to avoid all possible danger of fire.

Surviving Horse-Car Lines in the United States

HORSE-CARS still are operated in at least two American cities, New York and Middletown, Ohio. Tiny, low, short, and mounted on a single truck, these cars were built to haul about twenty persons. To-day they often are crowded with two to three times that number and the horses are sorely pressed to draw the load.

When the Middletown horse-car line went into bankruptcy several years ago a junk dealer bought it for four hundred dollars. His profits have been more than three hundred per cent a year, and if he were to pull up his tracks and sell them and his equipment, he could realize many times his original investment.

Recently an order has been given by the public Service Commission of New York that the horse-cars must go. The reason for the demise of these municipal curios is that the picturesque equipment of 1860 can not meet the traffic demands of the 1916 public.

The crane-truck goes from one part of the factory to another, transporting all the guns except the big fellows which need a special apparatus of their own