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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/405

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Popular Science Monthly

��389

��Safeguarding the Eyes of Horses with Goggles

SULPHUROUS fumes rising from heat- ed crude oil made life miserable for the horses and men employed in a Los Angeles briquette plant. Clouds of yel- low smoke, surcharged with the fumes, hung over the yards. Its effect upon the eyes was extremely painful and injurious.

To protect the horses as well as the men in carrying the steaming material to the briquetting machine, both were fitted with goggles. The drivers were equipped with a type similar to that used by motorists, while the horses wore an apparatus composed of circular pieces of mica set in metal rims and held in place by a leather mask.

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��"Busting the Bronchos" of the Sea at Palm Beach

THE Old Man of the Sea and all his mermaids are wondering what the commotion in the vicinity' of Palm Beach can be. Riding the surf each balmy morning appear men and women mount ed upon what appear to be real sea serpents but which, upon closer examination turn out to be steeds made of wood and can- \as. Breasting the waves astride these floating creatures is soci- ety's latest diversion.

The sensation is not so thrilling as surf- riding on boards, as the Hawaiian does it. That is due in part to the fact that these -ea bronchos can be ridden with very- little practice. The photograph gives an idea of the amount of enjoyment the sport affords. The man directing his mount is one of the most expert surf- riders.

����They ride 'the surf at Palm Beach now on curious rolling, pitching horses made of wood and canvar

��Why There Is Nothing "Just As Good" as Cork

HEN a man goes into a hardware store for a supply of cork for some specific purpose, he generally gets what he asks for. The reason why the dealer does not endeavor to persuade him to tr>' some- thing else "just as good," is because there is nothing else he could offer. Cork is cheap, and for ages it has stood alone in its field of usefulness. It is tough and elastic and its specific gravity is only 0.24. This added to the fact that it is impervious to water, accounts for its use in life-preservers. The cork oak which grows principally in Spain, Portugal, Algeria and Southern France, furnishes the supply. Only the outer bark of the tree is used for the commercial product. When the tree has attained a diameter of approximately five inches^ which it usually does by the time it is twenty ^^j ^ > ears old, the cork, as the first

W/t/^^^9l stripping of bark is called, is ^^^g^^ / removed. This cork is so rough, coarse and dense that it has little commercial value. But its re- moval does not kill the tree. On A horse wearing the contrary, it seems to promote goggles to prevent development. The stripping is sulphurous fumes ^q^^ {^ July and August, and great skill is necessary in order not to injure the tree. If it is in- jured at any place the growth there ceases and the spot remains ever afterward scarred and uncovered.

But if the stripping is correctly done the growth of new bark begins at once and the subsequent layer is of finer quality than the one removed. Each year the inner bark — the real skin of the tree — forms two layers of cells, one within, increasing the diameter of the trunk, and the other with- out, adding thickness to the sheathing.

The instruments used in the strip- ping are either the crescent-shaped saws of the Algerians or the long- handled, wedge-shaped hatchets of the Spaniards. A mark is cut clear through the bark around the base of the tree and another just below the main branches. The two parallel incisions are then connected by longitudinal slits, following the deep- est cracks in the bark, after which the bark is pried off.

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