|Paper||Midvale Journal Sentinel|
|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Midvale Journal Sentinel|
THEJORDANJOURNAL,MIDVALE,UTAH ..... ... ·~ MY FAVO RITE STOR IES By IRVIN S. COBB ~~~ (Copyrl"ht.) Spe.- king of Carrier Pigeons o! carl"ier pigeons-alSpeakin~ though no one has done so lately-reminds me of a yarn th&.t may or may not be true-It sounds almost too ~;ood to be true-that was related at the front In 1918. The version most frequently told bad It that a half company o! a regiment In the Rainbow division, on going forward eany one morning In a heavy fog for a raid· across No Man's land, carried along with the rest of the customary equipment a homing pigeon. The plge;m In Its wicker cage swung on the arm of a private, who likewise was burdened wfth his rifle, his extra rounds o! ammunition, his trenching tool, his pair of wire cutters, his steel helmet, his ga~ mask, his emergency ration and quite a number of other more or less cumbersome Items. It was to be a surprise attack behind a cloak o! the fog, so there wua no artillery preparation beforehand, nor barrage fire as the squads climbed over the top and advanred Into the mist-hidden beyond. Behind, In the post of observation and In the post ot command-" P. 0." and "P. C.," those were called In the algebraic terml- We wl?i nc.w walk the ahlnlno atreeta With which, qulck-apent, to gain tlm6'1 prlze7 of life nology o! the war-the colonel and hla of peace, let not this heart. God 0 frlendahlp'a of wine the quaff And waltofficers aides and hls Intelligence heal; wound blesaedneas, ed for the sound of firing. When after memory etlr our reverent a etlll Let auccess, of glamor final the know Who the of some minutes tlle dlatant rattle eoul after resting of bll81 the feel Who rifle tire came to their ears they beMay we be not eo brutal u to feel &trlfe-gan calculating how long reasonably It 1 No thought for those who from the foolishof troopa thoae mlght be before word reached them by &hall we forget heathen stole wise, one or another medium of communlca• who purchased The prize they lusted fo,......_the round t!on touching on the results of the Love-passlon ed lade joy, this, our earth's weal! foray. But the iround telephone r&mained mute, and no t·unner returned With youth's tl·ne gold7 To whom life May we remember those who, falling, waa a toy reached their goal. through the fog with tidings. The suspense lncreafled as time passed. Suctdenly a pigeon sped Into view, flying close to the earth. With eager Spot Forever Famous eyes following It In Its course the winged messenger circled until It located Its portable cote just behind the colonel's position and fluttering down It entered Its familiar shelter. An athletic member o! the stafl hustled up the ladder. In half a minute he wns tumbling down again, LL those who have visited the clutching In one hand the little scroll battlefield of Gettysburg know of paper that he had found fastened Its faRclnation. First, as one about the pigeon's leg. With fingers drives about the forty square that trembled !n anxiety the colonel miles of battlefield, Ills Interest is In unrolled the paper and read aloud the monuments, the beautiful markers what was written upon it. and statues erected by the various What he read, In the hurried chirog- states of the Union In memory of their work. An opeNJ.tor turned a big crank. The raphy of a kid private, was the fol· dead on this battlefield. Then, thct exProphet began to function forthwith. There wlll lowing succinct statement: "I'm tired tent of the field Impresses one and he be more than 1,400 high and low waters In the of carrying th!s 1-n bird.'' endeavors to reconstruct the battle port of Do-Son in 1927. But foretelling every last lines of the Union and Confederate one of them mean& only seven working hours for troops. , the Prophet. The Pride of a Creative Genius A. cloud possessed the hollow field, Now, l'm not going to give you a detailed techA colored person of a formidable asgathering battle's smoky shield: nical description of the 1\lechanlcal Prophet. That pect was arraigned In a South Carer The Athwart the gloom tht' J!ghtning woul:' require more than 10,000 words, many diflashed, Iina court of justice on a charge of through the cloud some horsemen And agrams and several special fonts of type. You mayhem. As Exhibit A, for the case dashed, can get au Idea from the photograph of the apthe prosecution, the mutilated vic- And from the height• the thunder of by feet 11 about Is which Prophet, the of pearance pealed. tim of his wrath was presented for the 2 and 6 feet high, weighing 2,500 pounds. The face ot eyes. sympathetic jurors' Above the bayonets, mixed and croued, What the Prophet actually does is to calculate little more than a Men saw a &"ray gigantic ghost but was victim the factors thirty some of simultaneous ly the effecl site--a place where a face had Receding through the battle cloud, wl,lch go to make up the tide at a given port. recent And heard across the tempest loud was no longer. but been, These factors depend upo:: the relative positions The death cry of a nation lost I When the jury very promptly and On November 19, 1863, President of the sun, moon and <>arth, the size and shape of Even better than Will Thompson's verdict a returned. had properly very etc. etc., the harbor, the character of the bottom, !amous poem does Bret Harte's "John Abraham Lincoln stood on the battlepresiding the honor, his gu!lty, of set are The mathematica l values of these factors Burns of Gettysburg'' paint the picture fie! d of Gettysburg, just where the complain· chief the to pointing judge, shaft of this national monument rlaee. on cruuks and dials so arranged that the machine o! the battle : defendthe addressing and witness lng On this spot the "Great Emancipator " In motion sums up the resulting tlcle. This sumAnd It was terrible. On the right said: ant, made hie Immortal speech. mation Is shown on the dials on the face of the Raged for hours the heady fight, "This Is the most lamentable exam- Thundered the battery's double baas, machine, pointers lndlcnting the time and the !Ill 1111 ._,,.... 1111 IIIII l1lll correspondin g height of the tide. The stage of ple of brutality I have ever seen In a Difficult muslo tor men to !ace. bench. criminal the on experience long the water· may he read at any time. While on the lett-where now the "Proud and U nalraid', The Prophet takes no chances, however. The Surely no human being, unless he were graves operator, being human, might make a mistake. Inspired by Infernal Influences and Undulate like the Jiving wavee Through the Year• all that day unceaalng sw~t Sf) the Prophet makes a complete record with two hellborn suggestions, could deliberate- That The Boston folk last year were dillUp to the pits the "Johnnlea" ri>ptfountain pens (see photograph) on a strip of pa- ly work such wreckage as you have Round shot plowed the upland glades, posed to weep at what they thought a }ler 370 feet long, which moves along above the worked upon the countenance of a de- Sown with bullets, reaped with blades; pathetic spectacle as they saw the dials at the rate of one f-oot for every day. A fenseless and helpless fellow creature. Shattered fences here and there splendid rearguard of the Grand Army their apllnteril In the air: fixed pen draws a line representing mean sea Demons from below surely must have To..,ed and bare. marching In pouring rain through theb stripped were trees very The level. The other pen traces the curve of the tide prompted you In what you did. It And then, above the roar of battle, streets. In point of fact the last thlna1 and at the beginning of each hour makes a little must have been the devil himself who the immortal words, "The brave men, these boys of Civil war days want Ia urged you on and on." jog In the line. here, sympathy. They do not belong to the "Well, jedge," said the prisoner, living and dead, who struggled The Mechanical Prophet snves Uncle Sum lots It far above our poor sob-stufl brigade. Like their Southern of money each year. How much? Well, the ex- "come to think It over, I ain't shore have coll!lecrated or detract. The world antagonists, they were men from the perts estimate that It would take at least 50 but what you're right. As I look back power to add nor long remember crowns of their heads to the bottom of mathematici ans at $3,600 a year to do the on It now It do seem lak to me 'at will little note, It can never for- their feet, and they still march on. Prophet's work-proba bly 1t would take more. w'en I wuz cuttin' his nose loose from what we say here, but proud and unafraid to the last "ren· his face wid a razor, the devil was ret what they did here." That means $180,000 a year. with death," says the Baltl· Surely the sight of this battlefield dezvous The United States Const nnd Geodetic survey, right behind me say1.n' 'Tha's right, Sun. more CJ"eated in 1807, Is the oldest scientific organization separate him frum his nose.' An' I and of Valley Forge, ot Lexington, of Splendid old men are these on both of the government. Its present activities, greatly 'spects It must a been dem demons you Ticonderoga, should help In the makof Mason and Dixon's line. Army sides enlarged, rover the entire country. Its duties mentioned w'lch suggested to me Ing of good Americans I life did not enfeeble them. Perhaps if are t11US ofilclally set forth: btompln' out his front teeth. they had not marched so much In --!111111111111111l1111 "But jedge, bltln' off his ear wa1 The Coast and Geodetic survey Is charged with youth they would not have been so the survey of the coasts of the United States and stric'ly my own idea !" Leason Patriotic hale and hearty now at an age when coasts under the jurisdiction thereof and the pub· soldier our of Ingraves This the as coasts. long said As covering charts of llcallon most men must do their marching in a cludes basP. measure, trlangulatiQn , topography and When the Dawn of Under- dead are so cherished by the nation as rocking chair If they have been so forhydrography along said coasts: the survey ot rivers to claim a day set apart for their de~· tunate as to live so long. to the head of tidewater or ship navigation: deepstanding Came uratlon In a spirit of proper gratitude sea soundings, temperature and current observaThree cheers and three times three 'Ihe caller was undeniably large. tions along said coasts and throughout the Gulf there need be little fear !or these sturdy survivors of both reverence, and and Japan streams: magnetic observations and re- When he walked he rippled and one that a life spent for the country ls grand armies. They are of the salt searches, and the publication of maps showing the bad the feeling that should he sit apent In vain. variations of terrestrial magnetism; gravity re- down suddenly he'd splash. thnt never loses Its savor. Could some search: determinatio n of heights: the determlna· potent magician of life sprinkle them Dressed In the simple overalls of a lilll11111111111l1111JillJill tlon of geographic positions by astronomic <>bserwith the elixir of youth and set them vatlons for latitude, longtltude and azimuth, and husbandman , be wallowed into the by triangulation , to furnish reference points for office of a lawyer In the foothills of "The Spirit of '61', before us In the radiant and splendid state surveys. manhood that was theirs in the '60s, mountains. the Tennessee Director E(rnest) Lester Jones Is a man of the picked corps o! any armies would post his and name his given Having many experiences. Born In New Jersey In 1870 office address, he stated that he deof the present rival them In dauntless and educatecl at Princeton, he put In ten years of sired to bring suit against a neighbor courage, In unselfish devotion to prinbusiness, research and secretat·ial work. He was tor $10,000 damages on account of ciple? Of such are the eternal klnrmade h~ad of the survey In 1915. He has been a libel. doms of spiritual glory, of such the member of severn! rather Important United States the human sublimity that shines forever "How did he libel you?" asked commissions . He served from private to major lawyer. like the stars. In the n. C. militia. In the World war he was "Well, suh.'' stated the aggrieved commissione d lientl'nant colonel In the army slg• party, "he up and called rue a hipponul corps and Inter colonel in t11e division 'C potamus-th at's wut be done, consarn Le&aon of Memorial military aeronautics. lie served with the A. J~ his picture !" et decornm est pro pa,trla "Dulce F. in France and Italy. He wears on occasl< "When tlid he call you th!s name?" sweet and proper th!ng l! a mort"Reverai decorations. He Is the author of a num· "It's a goin' on two yeat·s ago." one's country; tht•s read9 for die to Is l.er of important goYernment publications on vari"\Vhen dl<l you first hear about It?" of the hero dead, epitaph eternal the ous subjects and of "Sun·eying from the Air" "That very day." bivouac as elsegreat Arlington's In (1022). He Is an organizer and Incorporator or "Indeed," said the lnwyer; •·then and best tlma sweetest the But where. the American LE>glon; wrote and presented the why did you wait nearly two years to Is when lit& country one's for to die first drnft of the preamble and constitution at the begin taking steps to bring suit fruits of the the and has been fulfilled St. Louis convention In May of 1919, and organized against him?" task are ripe for the enrichment o.l and commanded the first post and the first de"Well, sub," stated the prospecttve Charles S. Stone, fifer, and George that granary of Ideal and achievement partment. He Is a member of many organization s, plalntltr, "ontil that there Ringllng social, outdoor, mllltnry, sclentlf:lc and learned, Brothers' circus showed yistiddy in R. Morrill, drummer, members of the we call the nation. Memorial day ls a day of experiDescendants Mayflower of Society the Including Knoxville an' I went down fur to see aamo fife and drum corp• In tho Clvll lt ls a good thing to be thoughtence; marrw!l Is He Revolution. same the of the on Sons up It the and It I'd thought, all the time, that he war, still whooping the past ; better atlll to leara of ful Va. Rixeyville, In lives and Instruments. They both live In Boston, wuz payin' me a compliment." New&. tt.-Drtrolt from \nd are seventy-nine yeara of age. I l Cjlorious (jetlq sburq IJncle Sam's Wonderful 'fide,Predictor and the Men Who Made It • DICKINSON SHERMAN PROPHET, Tide-PreECHAl\ICAL dictor un<l Brass Soothsayer are names frequently given to Uncle Sam's marvel officially known us "United Stutes Coast and Geodetic Survey Tide-Predi!'tin;.r llln<'hlne No. 2." This l\Ie· chanicul Prophet strikes the average vbitor us a superhuman sort of thing, in that the creation works out a complicated mnthematlca ! problem more qnlcklr and easlly than can its crentor. Moreov ~r. it is always right. Yet it shares the common Jot of all prophets: It ls "not without honor Rave in Its own country." Its authority runs to all the oceans of the globe. '"They that ~o down to the sea in ships, that do busine::;~ in grl'at waters" know its truth. Yet Washington itself knows so little of it.!l world-fnmom ; Mechanical Prophet that the wouldbe pilgrim at its shrine must first turn detective. This shrlue is the United States Coast and Geodetic Sllrvl'y, a bureau of the Department of Comn~erce under the charge of Col. K Lester .Jones, director. The survey has Its own builcHng on New Jersey avenne, near B street, S. E.-within a sto"e's throw of the Capitol. Within Its walls ts he atmosphere of a shrine. For the Mechani-cal Prophet itself mny be only a thing ol dials and -cogwheels, but the story of its maldng Is an object lesson In clevoted service, with a human interest ()U .,.of the ordinary. Medal of honor award~ to government employees who distlngu~shed themselves In works of science are proposed In a bill Introduced In the house by The tideRepresentati ve Grlftln of New York. calculating device was devised In the coast and geodetic survey bureau by two poorly paid sclentlfio employees who have never received a word of public acknowledgm ent for their service, Mr. Grlftln pointed out. Thi" device, he added, does the work of 100 mathematici ans and saves the government $200,000 a year. The foregoing paragll!lph In a Washington newspaper Is all the publ!clry this bill recelve<l when it was Introduced by Representati ve Anthony J. Griffin of Nl'w York toward the end of the lust congress. The bill (H. R. 12359) provides: That the President of the U~lted States Is hereby autho zed to present, in the name ot congress oL'-.Qonor and w•ltten testimonial to scien~ a me< or hers or the. federal govQ...ment whose title lalftJrs havo contributed to the advancement of scientific knowledge or applied Its truth in a practical way for the welfare of the human race. Section 2-The official designation of the medal shall ~e. the Jefferson :\iedal of Honor for Dlstlnguls 1!11 Vl'ork In Science. S'lktlon 3-That recommenda tions to the Presl· (!cnt of persons to be considered for the honor contemplated In th:s act shall be made by a commission of three r•ersons, consisting of one representative each from the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association ror the Ad· vancement of Sciences, and the American EngineerIng council, who shall serve without salary. Section (-That not more than five sc\entlfto w~rkers shall receive the medal In any one year end that the persons so honored shall receive the sum of $100 on the presentation or the medal and testimonial, and thereafter, annually for life, a aum of money the amonnt of which shall be fixed by the commls•ion making the award; said sum to be not less than $100 and not more than $500 per annum, which said sum shall be exclusive of salary or pension. Section 6-There Is hereby authorized an appropriation of $1,500 to defray the expenses of securIng a suitable design for the medal and providing aald medal, testimonials and awards for the ftrst year; and thereafter there Is hereby authorized an annual appropriation , for the purposes herein provided, not exceeding $2 500. Section 6-Thls act shall take ertect Immediately. Evidently, accm·ding to the foregoing newspaper parag1·aph, the Griftin bill has especial refer~~ .J to the ;\lechan!cal Prophet, the Inference beIng thn t the men who mncle lt "contributed to the advuncemen t of sclenllfic knowledge or ap· plied Its truth In a practical way to the welfare of the human race." \Veil, let's see. ,ach summer the survey Issues "Tide Tables, t:nlted States ancl Foreign Ports," a publication which foretells for every day of the following year the time ancl height of each high and low water at 84 of the principal ports of the world. It nlso contains tables applying to about 5,500 Becondury ports. The two taken together give the American navigator tide data for any port In A By JOHN the world. 'l'he publlcutlon contains over a million figures, on which depend the safety of life and property. These figures also mean actual dollars, since advance Information means saving of time. "The wind bloweth where it llsteth" still, but the :Mechanical Prophet has eliminated "tide" from the old-time saving clause In schedule OPE-ration: "tide and weather permitting." So that, In hrlef, Is what the Mechanical Prophet has done. Now as to the men who made It: Dr. Rollin A. Harris entered the sE-rvice of the survey In 1800 as a computer. Born In Iiandolph, N. Y., April 18, 18G.1, he was a graduate of Cornell university, with the degrees of l'h.B (1885) and Ph.D. (1888). lle was assigned in the survey to the duty of tidal research. lie produced, between the years 18()4 and J()Oi, a book which has a world-wide circulation, "Manual of Tides." He originated and devr·loped the "stationary wave" theory of the ticles-the modern theory that has been accepted hy practically all the leading tidal mathematici ans. In short, he won recognition by the whole world as Its leading tidal expert. It was Doctor Harris who In 1894 conceived the Idea of the Mechanical Prophet and developed the mathematica l principles Involved. To E. G. Fischer, mechanical engineer of the survey, was turned over the work of embodying the Idea In a machine. The~ie two enthusiasts labored over this machine for fifteen yearli. The work was done In the office or the survey, without extra help and outside of the regular duties of the survey. The Mechanical Prophet was finished and put In operation In 1910. Twelve years of continuous use have In no way affected its accuracy, so carefully and exactly have its builders done their work. Its actual cost was about $20,000. It saves about $1SO,OOO a year. Doctor Harris died In 1918 at fifty-five, killing himself by overwork. At the time of his death he was getting $2,200 a year in salary from the United States government. Ernst Georg Fischer stood the strain better than Doctor Harris and Is stlll living In WashIngton. lie was born In Baltimore August 6, 1852, the son of Georg Ernst and Caroline (Schmidt) Fischer. He was educated chiefly In Germany, speeiulizing in mechankal engineering. In 1876 he married Julia Frances Lawson or Greenville, Ga., who died In 1915. He entered the service of the survey in 1887 and was made chief of the Instrument dlvlsio.n In 1898. He made many improvemen ts in instruments and designed and constructed many new ones. He is a member of the Philosophic Society of Washington, the W nshlngton Society of. Engineers, the Washington Academy of Sciences and the Cosmos club. He was retired August 6, 1922, on a pension of $720 a year from the United States government. It was <luring the time of Leland Perry Shidy as chief of the tidal dlvl~lon of the survey, 1897 to 191G, that the )Iechanical Prophet was conceived, constructed nnd put in operation. He wall born In St. Louis, July 27, 1851, and was edbcated at the )Iissour! State university and Columbian university (now George Washington university). He entered the service of the survey In 1873 as a tidal computer, thus serving 52 years. Ile bas introduced numerous useful methods and laborsaving d<>vices In tidal calculations and Is the author of u numher of pnhlications. lie Is a mem· ber of many scientific societies. Grea~ ;> the pride of Director Jones In itle work and achievement s of the ~urvey. And hlgi1 In his esteem is the Mechanical Prophet. So I was taken to see the Prophet In the very act of prophesying. It was just about rl'acly to calculate the times and heights of the tide for every day in the year 1927 at Do-Son, a port In French Indo-China. The last of the Prophet's cranks and dials was set-a process requiring about three hours of accurate ... .......... .