The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 1889. JOHN ERICSSON.
The cable has just brought us news of the death of a notable man who has made his mark m the engineering world m the person of John Ericsson, who at one time was looked upon as likely to effeot quite a revolution m connection with travelling by land and sea by substituting caloric for steam power. His efforts m that direction were, however, not crowned with the anticipated success and of all his many inventions or adaptations the " monitor " or turret-ship, a characceriptic feature of modern armorclad war-vessels, is the most enduring monument of his name aad fame. Following are some particulars of the career of Ericsson, as supplied by an English paper : — John Ericsson was born m the province of Wermeland, Sweden, m 1808, entered the navy as ensign m 1820, was employed m surveys m Northern Sweden, and rose to the rank of captain, In 1826 he came to England, hoping to introdtree his invention Of a " flame engine," which should work independently of steam ; but owing to the circumstances under which it was tried, it proved unsuccessful. Soon afterwards he resigned his commission m the Swedish navy; and devoted himself, m England, to' mechanical inventions, including that of the steam boiler on the principle of artificial draught. This principle was applied m the " Novelty," a locomotive engine, which he constructed to compete for a prize offered m 1829 by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway for the lightest and fastest locomotive engine. The Novelty failed, by an accident, to meet the conditions of the prize, which was awarded to George Stephenson. In 1833 he reduced to practice his long cherished project of a caloric engine, which excited much attention among scientific mcii, but ' was not practioally introduced m England. In 1839 he went to New York where he was, m 1841, employed to construct the war Bteamer Princeton, the first eyer built ip which the propelling machinery was below the water line, and out of the reach, of shot. To the London Exhibition m 1851 he sent several inventions, for which he received prizes. In 1852 he built tbe Ericsson, a steamer of 2000 tons, fitted with caloric engines. Although the experiment was gatisfactory m several respects, the engines did nqt develop sufficient power to give a requisite rate of speed, and they were replaced by steam engines. He then turned his at- , tentioA to the jnanufacture of stationary calorip engines, for purpose* jn which no great amount of power was required. He will be best fcnown m history m connection with what is called the "Monitor" system of »»vj.l armament, which consists m placing the gnns ip p» impregnable revolving torrent, mounted I upon a heavily armoured hull. He does not claim to have originated the principle ; but only to have first put it fp practical operation. The Monitor, a small vessel &ijt by h-in m 100 days, proved more than a mafch for the Confederate ironclad Virginia, which had just before (m March, 1862) easily destroyed the two finest frigates m the United Spates navy. Other monitors won many naval battlps. and Ericsson's system was taken up by Ejirope-in nations, and carried out by them Oft S very large scale. His latest war vessel, (tb# Destroyer,, carries a submarine 16in gun, whi/sb discharges 3001 bof guncotton m a 15001 b projectile against an ironclad's hull beneath the armour belt. In 1888 he brought out a «un motor, which develops a steady power, obtained from the inexhaustible supply of direct mechanical energy stored up m the sun. He resided m New York.