Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/252

This page needs to be proofread.


236

��Popular Science Monthly

��patch, each seed-planting experimental plot go to the central ofifice of the farm. It is a corporation tradition that system shall be sov'ereign — and it is in Oak Orchard Valley.

Naturally the new order of tilling — the widespread use of the caterpillar tractor and the "mule" — has brought about a new order of barns. Oak Orchard maintains its own machine-shops, lathes, smithies, gasoline stores and maintenance-shops. The old- style rambling barn does not exist. Nor do they thresh their grains or their peas in a shed. The pea-crop of the farm is so large that several different pea-viner stations have been established. The vines are hauled to the various sta- tions and put through special pea-threshing ma- chines, the peas falling into tin drawers which are rapidly hauled by "steel mules" over to the canning factory which lies three miles from the muck- region — on the railroad track. The same principle of speciali- zation for the pur- poses of efficiency has led to the construc- tion of a uniquely designed building known as the "Ordi- nary Storage Cellar."

It is intended for Oak Orchard's immense root crops, such as potatoes and carrots, and serves to keep the vegetables in perfect con- dition until such time as the market is high enough to assure a good profit.

One of the hardest of unusual problems that the big farm has had to cope with is that of wind control. After experimenta- tion a large number of light, temporary fences — split-open fertilizer sacks strung on wires which in turn were supported by light wooden posts — were erected at intervals of two hundred and fifty feet. This form of windbreak, although ex- tremely cheap and very easily erected and removed, has proved very effective.

���A condensing attachment which converts the steam issuing from the teakettle spout into distilled water and delivers it into a receptacle as shown below

��snm

���A Simple Teakettle Attachment for Condensing Water

THE drinking water found in many places is unfit for use because of the presence of foreign substances such as clay and earth in suspension, salts of various kinds in solution, and innumerable organic bodies which cause sickness and disease. To purify such water by filtering is both expensive and unsatisfactory. On the other hand, no apparatus is available which will distill water in an economical manner. To fill such a want a condensing attachment for teakettles has been de- signed by Eugene N. Baldwin, of Joliet, Illi- nois. It can be at- tached to an ordi- nary teakettle to con dense the steam issuing from the spout and to deliver the distilled wa- ter into a suit- able receptacle for use.

The condenser consists of an aluminum tube open at both ends, with an air- tight, water- tight copper tube mounted on top and two flexible tubes and a pipe for cold water attached to the bot- tom. In setting up the apparatus the aluminum tube is placed over the spout of the kettle, and the flexible tube or hose is attached to the cold water faucet. The steam emerges from the spout, enters the tube and, passing down it, is condensed by contact with the walls of the tube cooled by cold running water. The condensed water flows into the receptacle where it is stored until desired for use. The distilled water may then be kept in this receptacle for a few hours. By so doing, the "flat" taste that the water has directly after being distilled will be to a large extent removed. The hardest water may be made soft and usable in this way. Of course it must be kept closely covered until used.

�� �