Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/33

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Popular Science Monthly


��niann would provide a ship with a cham- berwi shc'il-resistinK section and with a shock-absorlDiiig section, the first aliovo the second, as the accompanying illus- tration shows. The chambers of the first or shell-resisting section are really horizontal tubes, the front series of which arc spirally ribbed. "Should a projectile penetrate the hard face of the armor," says Mr. Gathmann, "it would force its way through the line of least resistance, and thereby glance upward, down- ward or sideward as the case may be, turning or tilting the projec- tile, thereby destroying its penetrating power; s u c h shell s m a \' fracture or explode, but without pene- trating the armor."

A fifteen-inch shell carrying high explosive generates gases on exploding which exert tre- mendous pressure. That pressure must be absorbed, or else it may breach the ship below the armor belt. So, Mr. Gathmann attaches to the lower edge of his chambered belt a series of air chambers or pontoons, each independent of the other.

Study the illustration which accom- panies this article and you will see that this shock-absorbing section consists of five walls: a downwardly-extending portion of the armor belt; a rear plate to which that downwardly-extending portion is bolted; a curved front plate, and two end plates to enclose the pontoon or chamber.

The pontoons seem flimsy, and in reality they are. But they are intended to be destroyed. The pressure of the gases from a huge shell will disrupt one, two, perhaps three shock-absorbing or pontoon sections, but the rest will re- main intact. The air within the cham- ber will have a cushioning effect. Water will rush into the compartment, but the pantoons will still remain in place.

���Rapid gathering injuring the stems with this

��An Instrument for Plucking Flowers

ANF'.W (ierman invention seeks to simjilify the tedious and fatiguing labor of picking flowers and seeds. The instrument, already patented, which is here illustrated, consists of a sheet- metal tube combined with one-blade shears. The lower front part of the tube is formed as a seven-pronged fork

and this fork is

advanced towards the flower to be gathered from below it. The flower is caught by the prongs and is cut from the stem by a knife above the fork that works upon a light pres- sure on the handle of the shears. When separated from the stem the flower falls through the tube into the bag underneath.

The rapidity and ease of gathering reduces the ex- It is also claimed for this instrument that the plants are not damaged as in hand-picking, in which twigs and branches are easily injured and the entire plant is frequently torn out of the ground. Good service has been done 1)%' the device in gathering seeds. The ditiiculty here in hantl-picking is that the dry pods are often crushed and the seed scattered, while by the new method the seedpods fall uninjured into the bag and no seeds are lost. It is also hoped that the instrument, which is the in\-ention of an apothecary of Colditz named Meyer, may prove serviceable in hop-picking. The flower-cutting instrument has been lound particularly effective in cropping dandelions when the plants are young and the flowers only a few inches high. For this kind of work the device is operated along the ground like grass-cutting shears, and as fast as the metal receptacle fills it is tipped and the severed flowers fall into the bag.

��of flowers without can be accomplished instrument

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