Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Blakely's Canon.
The Cortland Democrat, Friday, March 21, 1890.

Nineteen Pounds of Dynamite Projected From an Ordinary Cannon.
   UTICA, N. Y., March 14.—The successful test of the Justin explosive cartridge as fired from a nine inch rifle gun, took place in the ravine at Perryville Falls near Canastota to-day. The rifle used was a Blakeslee, made by Fawcett, Preston & Co., of Liverpool, England, for the Confederates in1863. It was used and captured at the siege of Charleston, since when it had not been fired till yesterday. It had a test of 45 pounds of powder and a 275 pounds projectile. The Justin cartridge, which it was to be used to test, is the invention of Dr. J. G. Justin, of Syracuse, who has united with him in the work Messrs. George DeWitt and W. H. Patten of Canastota.
   The object of the test was to determine whether a large amount of dynamite could be fired from a rifle, using gun powder as the projectile force, without the dynamite exploding in the cartridge before it left the gun. There have been a number of experiments made in this direction, including those of Garden who only used two or three pounds of dynamite, and who burst two guns and several shells in an unsuccessful attempt.
   To-day was the first time that dynamite in any large quantities has been fired safely from a cannon, and the last cartridge fired carried nearly nineteen pounds of the deadly stuff till it exploded when the shell struck the solid quartz cliff over a third of a mile away.
   The first test was made at 3 P. M. by firing a shell weighing 280 pounds and containing 5 1/2 pounds of dynamite. The charge of powder was 12 pounds. The shell struck the cliff and one-half of the dynamite exploded. The second shell, fired at 4 P. M., was the same, using 20 pounds of powder. The third shell weighed 300 pounds and contained 8 3/4 pounds of dynamite. The charge was 25 pounds of powder, the service charge for this gun. This shot did great execution on striking the rock. The shell passed through an eight-inch tree on the way, without exploding the dynamite. At the cliff it burst, tore up the rocks generally and split the steel bullet in half, one piece landing nearly a mile off.
   The fourth and final shot was the largest ever fired in the gun since testing; 35 pounds of powder were used. The shell weighing 350pounds, or a hundred pounds more than the regulation, contained nearly nineteen pounds of the best dynamite. The shell blew to powder the quartz block which it hit and the bullet ricocheted up the cliff out of sight. The dynamite all exploded at the moment of contact and would have blown a ship out of water.
   The experiment is a perfect and unqualified success. A public trial will be given later, to which government experts will be invited. The invention consists of a graduated pressure air cushion, which protects the dynamite from exploding at the discharge of the gun.

An Army of Inquisitors to be Turned Loose in June.
   The announcement is made at the census bureau that the work of preparing for the coming enumeration of the population next June is practically over, so far as the central management at Washington is concerned. Up to this time the work of preparation has been confined chiefly to outlining and planning the canvass, determining the extent and scope of the various inquiries, and arranging for a speedy and accurate summarizing of the more important results of the census investigation. From now until next June the more immediate centers of activity will be the district headquarters, at each of which the many details of the exhaustive and complicated canvass contemplated by the superintendent will have to be carefully and patiently looked after. There are 175 supervisors' districts; in each of them 200 or more enumerators will have to be chosen and the exact limits of each agent's work will have to be fixed. Nearly all the supervisors and probably half the enumerators have been selected by this time. But in all the districts, whether already organized or still unorganized, a vast amount of labor and energy will have to be expended to get the big census machine in operation on June 2. The field work will last a month, and from July 1 on, the bureau here will be overwhelmed with a mass of returns from every part of the Union, out of which if things go well, it may be able to make a rough guess, in a month or two, at the population of the country.
  The manner of getting at the number of inhabitants in each State or territory is simple and effective. The supervisor's district is the unit of the system. The supervisor appoints the enumerators, among whom the work in the district is to be subdivided and is responsible for their zeal and accuracy. By a provision of the law no enumerator is to be required to look after a subdivision of more than 4,000 people, and he is also expected to be a resident of the subdivision and personally familiar with a great number of the families which he is to visit.
   The federal census enumerators will begin operations on June 2. The list of questions to be asked every person is as follows:
   1. Give Christian name in full, and initial of middle name, surname.
   2. Whether a soldier, sailor or marine during the civil war (United States or confederate) or widow of such person.
   3. Relationship to head of family.
   4. Whether white or black, mulatto, quadroon, octoroon, Chinese, Japanese or Indian.
   5. Sex.
   6. Age at nearest birthday. If under one year give age in months.
   7. Whether single, married, widowed or divorced.
   8. Whether married during the census year (June 1, 1889, to May 31, l890).
   9. Mother of how many children, and number of these children living.
   10. Place of birth.
   11. Place of birth of father.
   12. Place of birth of mother.
   13. Number of years in the United States.
   14. Whether naturalized.
   15. Whether naturalization papers have been taken out.
   16. Profession, trade or occupation.
   17. Months unemployed during the census year (June 1, 1889, to May 31, 1890).
   18. Attendance at school (in months) during the census year (June 1, 1889, to May 31, 1890).
   19. Able to read.
   20. Able to write.
   21. Able to speak English. If not, the language or dialect spoken.
   22. Whether suffering from acute or chronic disease, with name of disease and length of time afflicted.
   23. Whether defective in mind, sight, hearing or speech, or whether maimed or deformed, with name of defect.
   24. Whether a prisoner, convict, homeless child, or pauper.
   25. and 26. Is the home you live in hired or is it owned by the head or by a member of the family?
   27. If owned by head or member of family, is the home free from mortgage encumbrance?
   28. If the head of the family is a farmer, is the farm winch he cultivates hired, or is it owned by him or by a member of his family?
   29. If owned by head or member of family, is the farm free from mortgage encumbrance? [sic]
   30. If the home or farm is owned by head or member of family, and mortgaged, give the post office address of owner.

   It is estimated that New Hampshire receives $3,000,000 from her summer boarders, and that Maine receives $6,000,000.
   John Jacob Astor served a short time on the staff of Gen. McClellan and never tired of telling how he had to sleep two nights on the bare ground, claiming that he contracted malaria that he never got out of his system.
   John D. Rockefeller’s wealth is estimated at $165,000,000. He devotes two hours daily—from 7 to 9 o'clock in the morning—to the examination of the piles of letters addressed to him soliciting money for various purposes.
   The New York Central railroad is preparing to re-lay its passenger tracks Nos. 1 and 2 with new rails the whole length of the road. The new rails will weigh eighty pounds to t h e yard, which is fifteen pounds heavier than the present rails.
   William H. Finn and Capt. James Pappa, of Oswego, have got out a patent apparatus which is for use of firemen in going into buildings which are full of smoke. Firemen wearing this contrivance have a supply of pure air even in the midst of the thickest smoke.
   A girl employed in a shoe factory at Binghamton had a painful accident a few days ago. While working on a riveting machine she caught her thumb in such a manner as to have a rivet driven through it and clinched. It was half an hour before it could be removed.
   Austin Corbin, the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad magnate, has bought up thirty-five square miles of land in New Hampshire and will turn it into a game preserve, stocking it with bears, buffalo and moose, pheasants, grouse, hares and foxes, after the fashion of England. He will build a stone wall around the entire tract, at a cost of $1,000 per mile.




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