Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/233

This page needs to be proofread.


Popular Science Monthly

��217

��Twelve Blind Men Go Bicycling on

Curious Machine ■AT the Royal Normal College for the l\ BHnd at Upper Norwood, London, England, a multicycle is in use which will carr\^ a team of twelve cyclists. It is com- posed of six two- wheeled members, each adapted for two persons, coupled together. There is a connecting bar between each successive pair of wheels to form a complete train twenty-eight feet in length.

Obviously the machine must be guided by a person who can see. This person is in the second seat. The slightest deviation to either side of the front wheels is trans- mitted through the coupling bar to the second pair of wheels, the drivers of which can act in concert, thereby conveying the same information to the third unit, and so on to the end. The sharpest curves can easily be rounded. Often long excursions are taken into the country. On one occasion blind men made trip to Brighton, one hundred miles distant, in ten and three-quarter hours of actual running time, or an average speed of nine and three-quarter miles per hour.

In this way, although each man has all the enjoyment and freedom of motion which is obtained in riding a separate bicycle, the balance is preser\-ed just as surely as it would be in a long, narrow, twelve-wheeled truck. Moreover, the ap- pearance presented is not that of blind men being conducted on an outing. To the average observer, the riders are twelve normal men working individually and in perfect unison. None but the afflicted can realize what this means to the blind.

����Twelve blind men enjoying an outing on their The element of danger from falls is practically

��By drawing the magnet over the face of the plate the metal semicircles may be made to slide along and ar- range themselves in any desired design

��Plate for Making Designs with a Magnet

ANEW game that takes advantage of the child's delight in playing with a magnet is so constructed that letters, numerals, and other designs may be worked out. The essential part is a slotted metal plate. In each slot there is suspended a semicircle of silvered sheet metal, which slides freely through the slot but cannot drop out. The semicircles are all turned in the same direction. By drawing the magnet over the face of the plate they may be drawn to the front so as to make the design desired.

The game is not only amusing but also may be used to teach the younger children the form of the different letters and numerals. An ingenious boy with some knowledge of the rudiments of constructional drawing can make any number of designs with the device and will derive much pleasure and practise from it. As an amusement for a youngster convalescing from an illness the idea is excellent, for it will keep his mind employed without in the least tiring multicycle. ^ini or over-exciting his im-

eliminated agination.

�� �