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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/859

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Popular Science Monihly


��An Electric Endless-Chain Barge-Loader

A LARGE jubhcr of build- ing material at Wheel- ing, West Virginia, recently had a serious problem to face in the way of expensive hand- ling of materials. On one large contract he had no jilace to unload his materials from the barges on the Ohio River except at the public wharf. No permanent un- loading machinery could be built at that point. It was necessary to sho\'el the sand and gra\el into the dump wagons from the barges. Fin- ally he de\ised the endless- chain loader shown in the accompan>'ing illustration.

This machine is operated by a tive-horsepowcr motor, and current is supplied by the local electric company. By hand-loading, it required two men fifteen minutes to load a one and one-half-\'ard dump-wagon, whereas, with the loading machine, the same wagon can be loaded in less than two minutes.

���Stilts Instead of Overshoes for Muddy Crossings

AMERICANS find it more dif^cult than the English to understand what Dickens means when he says in David Copperfield, "Women went clicking along the pavement in pattens." Pattens were an abbreviated form of stilts. The word is also used by builders as the name of the base of a column or pillar, and so, architecturally, the patten is the supi)f)ri used by a woman to keep her out of the water and mud. From this architec- tural use has corne the secondary application of the word, meaning an arrangement at- tached to the shoe, as shown in the illustra- tion, so that the walker is raised three or four inches above the solid earth. If the mud and water did not exceed that depth the shoes werethuskeptfairlydry.

��Pattens— a necessi- ty in the old days

��An endless-chain loader built to save time and money in unloading sand and gravel in large quantities

��It appears that pattens were not worn solely by the rich, but were luxuries indulged in by the very poor. In speaking of a person who was not especialh" speedy, Ben Johnson uses the comparison, "You make no more haste now than a beggar upon pattens." In the ballad of Farmer's Old Wife occurs this startling expression: "She up with her pattens, and beat out their brains."

This would lead us to belic\-e that al- though the mothers of those days may have believed in applying a slipper occasionally to that portion of a child's anatomy where there is least danger of inflicting injury to \ital parts, it was certainly not done with pattens. In those early times w (imcn belie\ed that they must walk ^ in tills startling inconvenient wa>-, high in the air, to keep out of the mud and water. Then came the era when rubber overshoes were worn and now, judging from obserA-ations made even on coimtry roads, women disdain any protection and go plowing through the mud with thin low shoes, that \\ ere whiteonce. There is an awful series of degenerations from the patten to white slippers in tile mud.

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