Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/281

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Popular Science Monthly

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��Giant Mushroom Anchors for Holding Buoys

MUSHROOM ' ' anchors take their nam from their shape, mushrooms upside down.

The mushroom anchor illustrated was made by a prominent cast-steel maker of this country for use by the United States Department of Commerce in lighthouse service for buoys. Those of this type weigh 5000 and 7000 pounds each and are made entirely of cast steel except the shackle pin. They are practically one piece. The buoys are attached to these. The anchor holds the buoy in the location desired.

The test to which these anchors are subjected be- fore acceptance by the Government is extreme- ly severe. Each anchor is dropped on a steel block from a height of twenty-five feet.

Should a fracture of any kind appear as a result of this test the anchor is rejected. Formerly these anchors were made of cast iron but the Government's requirements now demand steel because of t the severe treatment to which they are subjected in rough weather.

The Rate at Which Food Prices Have Advanced

HOW much has the cost of food ad- vanced? According to one of the leading statistical houses of America, cab- bage has gone up 850 per cent since last year; onions,

���1,100 per cent; pota- toes, 280 per cent; eggs, 77 per cent; beef, 20 per cent; pork, 70 per cent; butter, 30 per cent; wheat and flour, 46 per cent; beans, 90 per cent.

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��The brass and wind instruments in the orchestra are played by compressed air instead of lung power and operated by one man

��The Compressed- Air Orchestra: Human Lungs Give Place to Tanks

IF the inventors have their way, musicians will no longer need to blow their souls into their instruments. The inflated eye-ball, the puffed cheek, and all the laugh-inducing mannerisms of the men who play the wood and brass instruments will become as history. The flute will chirp, the saxophone grunt, the bass horn growl, without a musician's mouth at a single instru- ment. Human lungs will not be need- ed ; compressed air furnished by a mo- tor and a pump will take their place. The air, after being stored in a tank, as shown at the right of the illustra- tion below is led through a pipe to the music stand and thence through an air tube to the mouth of the instrument. The musician takes his accustomed place in front of his instrument, with his foot on the air- control pedal at the bottom of the stand. He plays with his hands and one foot. The air- control pedal works like the accelerator of an automobile engine; it enables the musician to accurately regulate the supply of air at all times.

The inventor does not make any pro- vision for tone shadings. Although he can regulate the supply of air he can not give delicate gradations of expression. Conse- quently, music from instruments played by compressed air will be more or less mechan- ical. Moreover some brass and wood instruments must be played by living men, because the notes are formed by the lips. But for certain well-defined purposes and in places where the audiences are not over-critical the compress- ed-air orches- tra will prob- ably prove as popular as the mechanic- ally operated piano.

In this way one musician can operate several in- struments.

��Mushroom anchors are used in the lighthouse service to hold buoys in place. They con- tain from 5000 to 7000 pounds of steel each

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