Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/447

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�Popular Science Monthly Detecting the Undertow Before It Catches the Swimmer

DESPITE the precautions taken by bathers and by beach resorts in pro- viding safety lines, life guards, rafts and boats, each summer season a number of swimmers are swept to their death by the treacherous undertow, which is powerful ocean current which goes seaward from a shore on which heavy surf is breaking. Ofttimes an undertow is not -detected until one or more swimmers disappear from view. It may shift from one part of a coast to another, suddenly car- rying away bathers from a resort that is supposed to be free from such danger.

With an apparatus invented by Martin M. Voorhees, of Oak Park, Illinois, it is not only possible to detect the presence of an undertow but to send out a signal to the bathers so that they may be warned in. time to return to shore. As the accompanying illustration shows, the inventor has designed a disk with a ball lever which indicates the strength of the undertow at all times. It is set in the water, preferably at a point where the water is dangerous for unskilled swimmers to venture into. With a strong undertow running, the disk, mounted on hinges, swings outward, pulling a cable which is attached to a signal post situated on the beach.

A pull on the cable accomplishes three things: It causes the dial on the post to register the force of the undertow: it rings an electric gong, and it causes the in- candescent bulbs to light. Persons hear- ing the gong ring or seeing the warning sign illumin- ated are thereby warned against re- maininglong- er in the wa- ter in that locality.

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����When an undertow is running the device rings a bell and lights a warning sign telling swimmers of the danger

��The garage as it looks when completed. Double swing doors admit the automobile

At left: The frame- work of the cathedral - like garage. Sharp angles are eliminated

��A Little Garage Built with the Contour of a Cathedral

THE Gothic lines which characterize the garage here shown were not the result of any religious fervor on the part of the builder. They simply conform to a pop- ular style of architecture now utilized in barn construction in southern Canada.

The absence of sharp angles and ugly cornices forms a pleasing contrast to the familiar style of garage which resembles nothing so much as a huge packing-box deposited in the rear of the house.

Double swing doors are used, admitting any automobile with the top up. With the possible exception of the curved side pieces this style of garage is easier to build than the us- ual type. Be- cause of its sloping sides it does not of- fer as much resistance to high winds as the ordinary garage, and for this rea- son is con- sidered safer. It has no windows.

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