Curious Items from old Scientific American newspapers

Some Curious Items from old Scientific American newspapers
  From Science Notes – Scientific American – April 11, 1896

  In notes presented  before  the Paris Academy of Sciences, L. B. Gustave le
  Bon claims that he has proved by photographic  effects  that  ordinary lamp
  light and gas light are transmitted through opaque bodies,  and states that
  the body might be a sheet of copper one-thirtieth of an inch in thickness.

  His experiments have  been  questioned,  says Science, by M. Niewenglowski,
  who states that he has obtained the same  effects in complete darkness, and
  attributes them to luminous energy stored up in the plates.
  Vangard Note

     The late  Jerry  Gallimore  did extensive experiments  to  determine  if
     quartz crystals really did emit or re-emit energy that could be visually

     The first  photos  were stills until Jerry figured out a way to take the
     pictures using 16mm film.  Visual  phenomena  was recorded with a light-
     tight pinhole  box camera.  Jerry figured that the energy  must  have  a
     high component  of UV and since he could not afford quartz lenses (which
     transmit UV), he simply used a pinhole camera.

     The pinhole camera focus was done  with  the  crystal  being placed in a
     fixed position and the focal plane adjusted for the sharpest image using
     regular light.  Once that was done, he would seal the  unit  and proceed
     with the tests in total darkness.

     The initial  tests  using stills would take about 24 hours of continuous
     exposure to a single 135 film frame.   This  is  simple to do by setting
     your exposure to Base.  The pictures clearly showed  a  light  radiating
     from all areas of the crystal being photographed.

     As the  experiments  progressed,  Jerry tried various film types and ASA
     ratings to see which had the best  sensitivity  and  thus  required  the
     shortest exposure times with the highest resolution image.

     Jerry found  that  he could place a coil of wire around  a  crystal  and
     excite it  with  60  cycle  line  current and the wire would glow like a
     fluorescent tube when photographed in the light-tight box.

     He later got the idea to excite the  silver nitrate of the film based on
     the audio recording principle of biasing an audio recording with a 20KHZ
     signal to  “loosen” the ferrous oxide particles immediately  before  the
     tape reaches the recording head.

     Jerry figured  that  a  magnetic  field,  either  in flux or in a static
     condition, would  produce  just such  excitation.   I  don’t  know  what
     frequency he used but the films showed plain old magnets with no

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     excitation.  The point was, the magnetic field did in fact sensitize the
     film and make the exposure times much shorter.

     In fact,  he  found  that  by using magnets, he could then use an 8mm or
     16mm movie film and get very fast recording  of the images at the normal
     recording speed for such films.

     This was many years ago when I saw these films, but  the  opportunity to
     speak with   Jerry  so  extensively  regarding  these  tests  and  other
     phenomena, I  considered to be a  distinct  honor  and  the  information
     worthy of passing on to others.

     One other  point,  I was allowed to see the same reel  of  film  several
     times.  Jerry did not say anything to clue me in, just said to watch.
     A very  odd  thing happened, it seemed that the images CHANGED with each

     Jerry said that he and his research associates had stumbled on something
     very bizarre that occurs with natural  type  energies.   He  termed this
     SERIES 7 or SERIES 9….I am sorry, but I forgot the  exact  number.  It
     was about  8 years ago and I can’t find my notes on this.  However, I do
     remember he said it related to the  number  of  dimensions  that natural
     energies seem to intersect with.

     The explanation  for  this  apparent  changing of the  image  with  each
     viewing was  that as the natural energy emanations are recorded, they do
     so in a holographic fashion.  This produces multiple perspectives ON THE

     Each time the film is run, a different  perspective  is presented to the
     viewer.  He did not say WHAT caused this perspective to change though he
     hinted it had something to do with a time/space flux,  possibly gravity,
     though I’d not swear to that being his exact explanation.

     Years later,  I  found  a similar type of phenomena in a book on psychic
     phenomena.  It had to do with paintings  that  seem to change over time.
     There were some photographs of paintings over several  years  where  the
     images seemed  to  turn or other aspects of the painting changed.  These
     paintings were on exhibition and not  touched  or  altered artificially.
     When photos from different time periods were compared,  the changes were
     noticed.  This also applied to statues.

     At the time, I wondered if the paint, being oil-based, might have “slid”
     off the  painting  due  to  gravity and time, but why does the image not
     degrade were this the cause??

     I will see if that book can again  be  located  and scan in those photos
     for an auxiliary file that relates to this in a bit more detail.

     For those of us who used to read or still do read science  fiction,  one
     writer did  a  story  on  something  called “slow glass” where light was
     captured in this special glass and only emerged about 100 years later.

     These glasses  were  placed on mountaintops  or  in  other  places  with
     spectacular views  for 100 years to capture the visual  ambience.   They
     were then  sold for very high prices.  In the story I read, a murder had
     been committed and the event was captured in the glass but could only be
     seen 100 years after the event.   It  was  an  intriguing  idea  and  it
     correlates very loosely to the SERIES 7 phenomena.   Dimensional  images
     that could be selected.
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     Could we  use this holographic recording technique for the “new” CD-ROM?
  From Scientific American – April 18, 1896

  It is almost an axiom of the legal profession  that  the  law  is clear and
  certain, and the judges know the law.

  It is one of the first principles of Blackstone that “the  law  cannot make
  mistakes.”   And yet  one  of  the  most  eminent  of  English judges, Lord
  Mansfield, once said, in deciding a case,

       “as to the certainty of the law,  it  would  be  very  hard  upon  the
        misfortune is  that  it  is  so UNCERTAIN that it costs much money to
        know what it is, even in the court of last resort.”
  A gentleman once asked a lawyer what  he  would do provided he had loaned a
  man $500, and   the   man  had  left  the  country  without   sending   any

  “Why, that’s simple;  just  write  him  to  send an acknowledgement for the
  $5,000 you lent him, and he will doubtless  reply stating it was ONLY $500.
  That will suffice  for  a  receipt  and  you  can proceed  against  him  if
  During the late  war  Japanese  surgeons  are  said  to have employed, as a
  dressing for wounds, the ash of rice straw.   This was freely applied after
  the wound had  been  cleansed,  and  sublimate  gauze  or  linen  was  then
  superposed and held in position.

  The ash is  said  to  act  as  a perfect antiseptic, its properties in that
  respect being attributed to the presence  of potassium carbonate, and it is
  certainly the cheapest dressing on record-Pharm. Jour.
  From Science Notes – Scientific American – April 25, 1896

  The Aeolian harp has been put to a scientific use.  Prof.  Carl  Barus  has
  shown that the  sound  made by the wind whistling across a fine wire varied
  with the velocity of the wind.

  He showed that the velocity of the wind could be computed from the pitch of
  the note observed in the case of a given  diameter  of wire and for a given
  temperature of the air.

  With the aid  of  special  microscopic  attachments, the  sounds  could  be
  conveyed through a  distance  so as to be isolated from the other noises at
  the place of exposure.  By the use of  a  number  of wires the direction of
  the wind could be determined.
  Tenacity of Life in Insects

  Mr. J. C. Warburg writes to the Entomologist:

     “When I was still new to collecting in South France,  I  discovered  one
      day, to  my  great  joy, a large female of Saturnia Pyri hidden away in
      some bushes.  The specimen was  the  first  I  had  ever  caught, and I
      decided, on account of its large body, to stuff it (a quite unnecessary
      operation; I have kept dozens since unstuffed).

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      The moth  was  first  apparently  killed by being forced into a cyanide
      bottle, where it was left about an  hour.  The abdomen was then emptied
      and the cavity filled with cotton-wool soaked in a  saturated  solution
      of mercuric  chloride.  The insect, pinned and set, was discovered next
      day attempting to fly away from the setting board.”
  From Science Notes – Scientific American – May 2, 1896

             (this pertains to the plethora of odd flying machines
            seen in the US and particularly in Texas in 1897 though
           this article does not SAY the thing is supposed to fly…)

  The work on Herr Andree’s balloon is  proceeding  rapidly.  A balloon HOUSE
  is to be erected in Spitzbergen.  It will be octagonal in  shape, 25 meters
  high and 37  meters broad.  The walls and floors will be lined with felt at
  such points where the balloon will be liable to touch them.

  The roof will be covered with cotton  cloth  and  the  windows  will  be of
  gelatine in place of glass.  The steamer on which the expedition  will  set
  out for Spitzbergen  will carry about 33 tons of sulphuric acid to generate
  the hydrogen.
  From Science Notes – Scientific American – May 2, 1896

  In a recent  communication to the French  Academy  of  Sciences,  says  the
  American Shipbuilder, an  explanation  is  given  of some  of  the  curious
  phenomena pertaining to  fog  horns.  It has been found that, with acoustic
  signals or sirens, they are surrounded  by  a  neutral  zone,  in which the
  sound is not heard at the sea level.

  This zone is more or less distant, according to the height  of  about 8,400
  feet.  On the  nearer  side of this zone the sound is heard perfectly.  But
  when it is traversed, the sound weakens  gradually  until it becomes almost
  imperceptible, when it increases again, and, on the zone being finally left
  behind, the sound resumes its full intensity.

  Experiments have been  made  with a vessel by causing it  to  approach  and
  recede from a  lightship to various directions in a straight line.  In each
  course the sound was deadened almost  completely  in  a  zone whose central
  line was about 15,000 feet from the siren.
  Scientific American – May 16, 1896

  The Ethereal Electric Light

  At the National Electric Exhibition in this city, on the  evening of May 6,
  Mr. D. McFarlan  Moore  gave  an  interesting  and successful demonstration
  before the members of the National Electrical Association of what he termed
  etherial electric light, which was fully  explained  in  our issue of a few
  weeks ago, vol. 1xxiv, No. 9.

  As has been  stated,  the  gist  of  the invention or improvement  lies  in
  inclosing the circuit  breaker  of the primary circuit of an induction coil
  in a vacuum tube, whereby a perfect make  and break contact is made without
  any loss to the contact surfaces.

  A continuous uniform  vibration  thus  ensues  which,  in   turn,  produces
  continuous and uniform  pulsations  in the fine wire of the induction coil,
  producing uniform discharges from the terminals.

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  He illustrated on  the  screen  many  forms  of  tubes  and explained their
  characteristics.  He could obtain better results with a glass tube in which
  there was a partial vacuum without any  interior  wire terminals than with,
  and simply wrap a piece of wire around the exterior ends of the tube, which
  is enough to produce a glow in the interior.

  A very singular  experiment was the holding in one hand  a  connected  tube
  which glowed brilliantly, and the taking hold of the hand of another person
  who held at  arm’s length a second tube.  As soon as the hands were grasped
  the second tube began to glow with half  the  intensity  of the other.  The
  use of a suspended wire screen from the ceiling was shown.

  Being connected with the regular terminals of the induced coil, it produced
  a magnetic field of some kind, causing tubes of glass held in the hand near
  it to glow  very brightly, and suspended tubes in the form  of  letters  of
  light to appear.

  It furnished a  capital  explanation  or  suggestion  for the production of
  mysterious light at seance circles of  spiritualists.   Mr.  Moore remarked
  that the quality of this light was more like daylight than  any  other, and
  demonstrated what a square inch of daylight would look like; he also showed
  various forms of  incandescent  lights  operated on this plan, including an
  example of a real electrical fountain which was very pretty.

  The novel applications of the tubes to the lighting of rooms was shown; the
  light has a peculiar softness that  is  quite  remarkable,  and  is  to  be
  produced so easily that every home can have it.  The method  is still in an
  experimental state, but  has  a  good  future.  Much applause was given the
  lecturer on the success of the various steps of his demonstration.
  From Scientific American – May 2, 1896

  Intoxicated Wasps

  Concerning his observations of wasps  which  are  addicted  to  the  use of
  intoxicating liquors.  Lawson Tait relates the following:

     “I have been watching the wasps with great interest and have noticed the
      avidity with which they attack certain fruit when fully  ripe,  rotting
      in fact,  and I have also noticed some of the peculiar results of their
      doing so.

      The sugar  in some fruits which  are  most  attacked  by  wasps  has  a
      tendency to  pass  into  a  kind or kinds of alcohol  in  the  ordinary
      process of  rotting, a fact which is easily ascertained by the use of a
      STILL not  large  enough  to  attract   the  attention  of  the  excise

      On such  fruits, particularly grapes and certain plums,  you  will  see
      wasps pushing   and  fighting  in  numbers  much  larger  than  can  be
      accommodated, and you will see them  get  very  drunk,  crawl away in a
      semi-somnolent condition, and repose in the grass for  some  time, till
      they get over the ’bout,’ and then they will go at it again.

      It is  while  they are thus affected that they do their worst stinging,
      both in the virulent nature of the  stroke  and  the utterly unprovoked
      assaults of which they are guilty.  I was stung last  year by a drunken
      wasp, and suffered severely from symptoms of nerve poison for several

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      days.  In   such   drunken  peculiarities  they  resemble  their  human
      contemporaries.” -Registered Pharmacist.
  From Science Notes – Scientific American – May 16, 1896

  Since it has become known that milk  in  a  bucket  standing in a sick room
  will absorb germs, a recent writer (Medical Press and Circular) has applied
  the idea in the treatment of smallpox, fevers, diphtheria, etc. with MARKED

  The patient is laid on a mattress covered with blankets.  He is then packed
  in a sheet  saturated  with  milk,  covering  the  entire  body,  in  which
  condition he remains an hour.  A warm water bath is then given, after which
  the surface is dried and the patient is put to bed.