THE FUTURE OF ELECTRICITY.
A NARROW SQUEAK.
(" Ohclatoharoh Preis.")
la connection with electrical ecionoa, the papers read at Ust meeting of the British Association are fall of new and striking Illustrations of the marvellous progress which has taken place of Ute years In our knowledge of the potentiality of electricity to minister to the wants of nan. In his opening address before the mechanical science branch, Mr W. H. Pearoe dwelt at length upon the history of *' various alteoipts made to utilise eleotrlcity for mechanical purpose?, Referring for Instance to what has been dono daring the iMt six or esven years, in the prod no- • lion of eleotrio Ugh r, Mr Pearoa qaoted figure! to show tbat since 1881 Its'*' com merelal oatpat bad been increased nearly •Ix times, while its prime oost had been diminished eight times." Nor are the aaes of ihis energy confined to the production of light. It can be, and ia being, applied to doing the work for vbioh ■team and water power have hitherto bean mainly nsed, " If," he said, "we have at one pis oe the jenergy of falling water we oao, by means of a turbine and • a dynamo, convert a certain portion of this falliog water Int > an eleotrio current. We trarsmit this current through proper .conductors to any other plaoe we like, ■ad we can again, by means of a motor, eonvett the current into mechanical sgeney, to do work by moving nnohlaery, drawing trainoare, or, in any other way." The waste foroas of nature are thus "within out reach. The waterfalls of Wales may be ntlllied In London ; the torrents of the Highlands may werk tho tramways of Edinburgh ; the waste horsepower of Niagara may light np New foik." At present, it is true the east of transmitting energy for long distances .is ■till very great, but fresh discoveries are being made every week. At a subsequent meeting Professor Ayrton delivered a> most Interesting address on the electrical transmission, of power, which is ddsoribed as one of the moat remarkable delivered daring the meeting. . He described at length the various methods which had .been adopted in making me of electricity for this purpose. The " Speotator " thus summarises his conclusions:— ''In de•crbtng how the men of so ance are getting over the difficulties onneated with eleotriolty as a motive faroe, Professor Ayrton said some very ourlcus things. For Instanoe, he told his bearers that It is .possible tbat the result of certain experiments now being made may be that tho working power of a ton of ooal will be in.oxeaied to* eight times its present value, the energy It con t alps being oonveitid direotly into el-ctria energy, and without the intervention of a #ast9fnl heat-engine. JSqually marvollous /was the aooount of telpherage — eleotrio 1 locomotion — which will enable distant steam or water power • to automatically transport our goods, and In time, It may be< even onr people, over bills and valleys, without roads cr bridges, and, without interfering with the crops or uses to whioh the land may be pat over which the telpher trains poraue tbelr ■Dskellke way, giving as the luxury of ballooning without its dangers.' Evidently eleotriolty Is to be the tireless slave of future civilisations, the hewer of wood and the drawer of water, wfiloh will do the rough work cf the world, and leave to man little or nothing bat to direct and contrive." The most remarkable faot brought pat In the above extract ia that whlnh points to the conclusion that the world Is on the eve of a great discovery ia cocnec tion with the use of electricity as a motive power. At present, great as has been the progress made in the esoDom'cal produo-' tion pf electricity, there Is still admittedly a large amount of waste In the process of changing this energy from one form to another. Bat as we have said, the diffieutyles,. are being gradually overcome. $he discovery hinted at by Professor Ayrton would completely revolutionise our existing arrangements. If the working power of a ton of coal could be in* creased to eight times its present value, there Is aim no limit to the uses to which electricity would be put in the future. Not only would eleotrio light btoome a formidable rival of gas, but oar magnificent and costly steam engines would disappear from oar lailway trains and from onr factories, and their place would be taken by small but far more potent, a« veil at far more manageable eleptiioal motors, doing the work Id slmonf total
The following interesting storp io told by tho correspondent of a Victorian ojuutry newspaper: —"A 0.P.8. In 0 country tovrmhlp, who had two stations soruo dißtanoQ »part, wao pKsaing under tho paw of the Commissioner of Audit. Lunch time was approaching, and a cum of £00 was obviously missing. Asked for an explanation, ho sti(.d he oouldn't recolleot, but ho expected ha paid it Into the account at a township boots fifteen miles owAy. Tho Auditor, drawing on his glovea, remarked that ba would look Into tho matter after lar>rh...- So'iroo'y hid he guno whon iho O.P.S. ruahed to & friend, borrowed the eutn required, and aped to tho only livery Bts^]?. ' Y.iar best horse cud bugyy, qa: ok 1' he said. • Sorry wo havon'b got ono In, elr. Tho Tait wa h»d has just been hired by thp Oommiislonec of Aadlr to drive to .' ' A saddle hor«e then, qu-'ok 1' orlod tho desperate man, and soon he was m;nntod •nd away. By a short oat through tho bash he re»ohed tho bank where the acoond aooount was kept, deposited tbe £6Q. and was jast walking ont of the manago^'a psrlor when he confronted the Comrniasloner eateciog. The two bowdd coldly, •ad the OommUsloner interviewed tho banker requesting to know the amonnt a* credit of the toooant. He was at onoe informed. ' And will yon ploase tell me,' he said, 'wben thi last deposit wae made.' 'Exoase me/ sad the banker, 11 have given you all the information I am able to Bfihrd.' Tho Ooramhstoner had noaed his rat, bat he was a gooibotrted fellow, and pursued tbe Inquiry no further.
Permanent link to this item
THE FUTURE OF ELECTRICITY. A NARROW SQUEAK., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2004, 4 December 1888
THE FUTURE OF ELECTRICITY. A NARROW SQUEAK. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2004, 4 December 1888
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.