TIE ALUMINIUM AGE
The world ha* had us ages of stone and bronza. We are now pisaiog through the iron age. *Wlll this b* aacceedtd by an *g« of aluminium ? We believe that it wilt It taxes one's imagination a little, m confess, bot not one's aredollty, to see, io tbe mind's eye, the bright and beautiful aluminium replacing black and ngly iron In most of tbe latter's present' uses. Fancy houses built of alamialnm hs'ead of Iron. The weight of the new metal ia only a third as maoh bb iron, with equal er greater tensile strength. Tbe girders jandtbe plates could be cast and retdily bandied In sizes far larger than those to which architectural Iron is now oonfiued. Perhaps whole fronts of moderate-siz^d bouses co old be moulded In asi ogle piece. This would greatly facilitate building* operations, which are now slow. Aluminium is m fireproof as iron. The larger the plate* of the metal composing the eide of tbe house, the leas liable nre they to be warped and curled by intense beat, A buildiog with aluminium walls — mob as we have described — would survive a great cenfl »gratioD, m which Iron gtrnotures of existing patterns would wither and crumble to the ground. Aa Aluminium never rusts, a hoosa constructed of It wcnld always exhibit a stiver?, gllstetJog surface. It would require no cleaning, ftxoept as smoke or dust might gradually d'vat its native beauty. A sponge and w&ter would bring all that back.
Whenever aluminium Is ohetp enough for house-building, steamahlpi will be cntde of It. Thw will be a revolution In ocean commerce. Holla of aluminium •hips will weigh only a third as muoh as iron onei of eqnal tonnage. They will be •■ strong and eeoore against damage from eolllßkm m iron* vessels now are. Their far greater buoyancy will be to that extent an increase of safety.
Passenger cars made of aluminium m Hftht and gragefnl patterns — inoludlng irheels of the same metal — need weigh <u> more than the woodden oars of our day, end they would be Incombustible and trould not be readily crumpled or smashed into splinters by collisions. The perils of railroad travelling In the sge of allumlnlom will be WDch less than now.
The ductility of aliominlum will render It the best of all possible materials for bridges. The freight of the wive ropes, m also of the bridge itself, for a given ■pan, being but one-third that of inn, englneen will perform feati of bridge faolldiog now wholly beyond their pewera. Tbe age of aluminium will be the age of bridges. They will piobably be thrown t ver the eaat and north rlvera at intervals of every few blooks, W^ib the 4 soffialect cheapening of allnminfam may come tbe realisation of £he flying machine. One great obstacle to the snecaas of aerial navigation is tbe difficulty of supplying a prao -tfoabfa motor either to propel or to «teer the balloon. Tbe want is still more seriously felt if the design Is to 'dispense with gas an'J imitate merely the movement of a bird's wlnga or a fish's tall In oleaving the air. The email weight of an aluminium engine, driven by com prened sir, gas, or eleotrlolty, compared •with Its it on equivalent, undoubtedly makes tbe altimate saooeas of air sbipe more probable than betore. The sonroes of supply are Inexhaustible. Iton, oopper, allver, gold, are found only Id loealUies geographically small. Bat one of the most universally distributed materials of ihe earth beneath oar feet is clay, the metallic base of which is Alemlnlnm. Having boundless faith m the logenuityof man to overcome diffioul ties; we confidently expect him to wrest ibis now stubborn metal from its nopersbundant combinations, and suable the •orld soon to enter on the age of aluminium.— "Naw York Jouraal of
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TIE ALUMINIUM AGE, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2096, 28 March 1889
TIE ALUMINIUM AGE Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2096, 28 March 1889
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