Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/585

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Popular Science Monthly 569

She Was Torpedoed but Her Cargo , Making a Fortune Out of Dust

���Level of grain in ship before bemq torpedoed — Level of qrain . after torpedoinq

��Plugged the Hole

ONE of the most unusual salvages yet recorded in these days of submarine warfare is that of the Norwegian steam- j ship Kongsli, whose cargo of grain swelled to such an extent on the in- rush of water through the ragged hole torn in her side by a torpedo, that the hole was clogged up and the water prevented from flowing in and sinking h e r . T h e vessel was torpedoed about fifteen miles off the coast of Hol- land and was later towed into Yumid- en, nearAm- sterdam, where it was put into dry- dock and her hull repaired so that she w as soon able to put to sea again.

A party of fishermen, approaching the vessel, found her abandoned, for the crew had left her as soon as possible after the torpedo had. struck, because she had listed to a dangerous degree. Even the captain had given her up as lost.

The fishermen, clambering aboard to dis- cover the trouble, were amazed to find that the ragged hole on one side and hull plates torn loose on the other by the force of the explosion had been very effectively plugged by the swollen grain as shown in the ac- companying cross-sectional view.

Of course the ship was then merely floating on the ocean as a boy's boat made of a stick on a pond, and the fishermen were afraid to attempt to tow her because the rush of the water along her sides might have washed away the effective grain seal. Accordingly, they improvised bales made out of canvas filled with grain and forced these into the holes. This made the stoppage secure enough to enable the vessel to be towed to a nearby port.

��The inrushing of the water caused the grain to swell, so that it effectually plugged up the hole made by the torpedo

��from a Cement Factory

THE United States Bureau of Mines has lately issued a statement in regard to a Portland cement plant at Riverside, California, which shows how an apparatus, in- stalled to avoid nuisance and save the health of the work- ers, has become the central fea- ture of the whole establish- ment.

One of the great trou- bles of a Portland ce- ment mill is the dust. It is likely to disturb veg- etation by settling d o v; n on growing things, and it is very unwhole- some. The factory in question was in trouble 0:1 this account and it availed itself of Prof. Cottrell's invention to precipitate the par- ticles on their way to the stack by means of electric currents. Now this dust contains potash, and so efficient is the installation that ninety per cent, of the content of this precious product is recovered in the form of potash salts. The present demand for potash in this country is something like Coal Oil Johnny's thirst, which, according to the legend, was unquenchable. As is well known, we formerly obtained our en- tire supply from Germany. These salts which they produce in California bring as high as $400 and $450 a ton.

The Riverside concern finds that its potash salt output pays its entire operating costs plus a reasonable profit, leaving the cement, which it will soon be producing at a rate of 5,000 bbls. per day, as clear profit. It has no immediate market for so much cement, but what is not sold is kept in storage. — Ellwood Hendrick.

��The November issue of Popular Science Monthly will be on sale on all newsstands, Wednesday, October 10th (west of the Rocky Mountains, October 20th).

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