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A NEW PIER AT SOUTHPORT, LANCASHIRE. This pier was constructed at right angles to the line of promenade facing the sea, on an extensive tract of sand reaching to low water, a distance of nearly one mile. Its length was 1,200 yards, and the breadth of the footway was fifteen feet. At the sea end there was an oblong platform, one hundred feet long, thirty-two feet wide, at right angles to the line of footway. The superstructure was supported upon piers, each consisting of three cast-iron columns, and each column was in three lengths. The lowest length, or pile-proper, was sunk into the sand to the depth of seven or nine feet. These piles were provided at their bases with circular discs, eighteen inches diameter, to form a bearing surface. A gas-tube was passed down the inside of each pile, and was forced four inches into the sand. When a connection was made with the Water Company's mains, a pressure of water, of about fifty lbs. to the inch, was obtained, which was found sufficient to remove the sand from under the disc. There were cutters on the under side of the discs, so that, on an alternating motion being given to the pile, the sand was loosened. After the pressure of water had been removed about five minutes, the piles settled down to so firm a bearing, that, when tested with a load of twelve tons each, no signs of settlement could be perceived. The upper lengths of the columns had cast-iron bearing plates for receiving the ends of the longitudinal lattice girders, each fifty feet long and three feet deep. The centre row of girders having double the duty of the outside ones, top and bottom plates were added. The weight of wrought-iron work in each bay was four tons five cwt., and, of cast-iron work, one ton seventeen cwt. The second bay from the shore was tested by a load of thirty-five tons, equally distributed, when the mean deflection of the three girders, in twenty-four hours, was one and a half inches, and there was a permanent set of half an inch, on the load being removed.
The advantages claimed for this mode of construction were :1st. Economy in first cost, especially in sinking the piles, which did not amount to more than four and a half pence per foot. 2d. The small surface exposed to the action of wind and waves. 3d. Similarity of parts, thus reducing the cost to a minimum. 4th. The expeditious manner of obtaining a solid foundation-an important matter in tidal work. Two hundred and thirty-seven piles were thus sunk in six weeks.
The estimated cost of the pier and approaches was £10,400. The works had been completed for £9,319, being at the rate of £7 158. 4d. per lineal yard. The pier was designed by Mr. BRUNLEES, M. Inst. C. E., and the superintendence of the
construction was entrusted to the author, as resident engineer; Messrs. Galloway being the contractors.--Proc. Inst. Civ. Eng., March 5, 1861.
THE DRUMMOND LIGHT. We announced, some time since, that Professor Grant had been employed by the government to erect one of his powerful calcium lights at Fortress Monroe, in order to shed light upon any nocturnal schemes that might be undertaken in that quarter. This is the most brilliant of all artificial lights, and will serve as a valuable agent even in war.
An improvement in the arrangement of the lime-points has lately been
patented by PROSSER & STANLEY, of London, for increasing the intensity of this light. It consists in arranging two lime-points opposite one another, towards the jets of flame, and they are made to converge toward a common centre, by being gradually pressed forward with a spring or a weight, to keep the points in contact when the flame impinges upon them. These lime cones are retained in tubes, and a fresh surface is continually presented to the action of the ignited gases.
The calcium light consists of a fine stream of hydrogen and another of oxygen gas, carefully brought into contact, and burned upon a piece of puritied lime-fine chalk.
FRENCH WAR STEAMERS. The armed steamship SOLFERINO, of 1,000 horse-power, and to carry fifty-two rifled cannon, was successfully launched at L'Orient on the 24th of June. The lines were designed by M. DUPUY DE LOME, and the ship built under the superintendence of M. DUCHALARD. This completes the six armored steam men-of-war which are actually afloat.
The armored frigate HEROINE is to be laid down on the slip from which the Couronne was launched some time back. The MAGENTA, which was launched on the 22d of June, is 282 feet long, 524 feet beam and 454 feet in depth. The weight of the hull, when it left the slip, was 2,700 tons; when fitted with armor, engines and armaments, the weight will be 5,600 tons.
M. DUPUY DE LOME, Director of Naval Construction at the Ministry of Marine, has received orders from the Emperor to proceed on a tour of inspection of the naval ports of France. The cadres of the personnel of the navy are to be largely augmented, with a view to meet all future requirements.
The screw ship Massena left Toulon for the Hyeres station to try her engines for four days. The steel-plated frigate Normandie is about to commence her trial trips at Cherbourg. The screw ship of the line NAPOLEON has returned to Cherbourg, after having made several successful trial trips with her new machinery. During her last trip, of thirty-six hours, she made thirteen knots an hour, with all her fires lighted, and 11.5 knots with only half her fires.
THE CREWS OF STRANDED VESSELS.
A series of exceedingly interesting experiments, having for their object the providing a certain means of communication between stranded vessels and the shore, as a means of preserving the lives of their crews at a time when communication by boat would be impossible, was brought to a close at Portsmouth recently, in a most satisfactory manner. The trials bave extended over a period of some months, and the means proposed to be employed have been tested in every possible way by the gentleman who has suggested, in fact, carried it out at his own expense, Lieutenant , H, NARES, senior lieutenant of Her Majesty's ship BRITANNIA, Captain Ros ERT Harris, the naval cadet training ship in Portsmouth harbor,
Lieutenant Nares employs the common kite principle an his chief
agent; but while he sends his kite away to leeward, and consequently towards the shore, he retains the means on board the stranded vessel of bringing down the kite when flown sufficiently beyond the beach or over the cliff, so that the line attached to the kite may be hauled upon by the people on shore; and the end on board the vessel being attached to a hawser, and the latter, on reaching the shore, being hauled up the cliff, a means of escape to the crew and passengers, however numerous they may be, so long as the vessel holds together, or however violent may be the surf which intervenes between the ship and the land, is open to all, with the most perfect safety, by a boatswain's cradle, basket or slung cask being attached to the hawser, and hauled backwards and forwards by the people of the vessel and those on shore. To bring the kite to the ground, when sufficiently advanced beyond the face of a cliff or highwater mark, Lieutenant Nares has a second line attached to the right angle of the kite; holding on to this line, and letting go the flying line of the kite, the latter instantly capsizes and descends to the earth. This mode is applicable to the rescue of the crew of a vessel which has been driven well on shore, but is in a position, either from the surf or the formation of the coast, in which no vessel can approach her. Another mode in which this life-kite may be used is where it may be able to effect a landing on a beach to leeward, but the boats are washed overboard or stove, or the position in which the vessel may lie on a bed of rocks may render boats useless. In this case the flying line of the kite is attached by a toggle to the bunghole of a cask, to a couple of breakers with a boat's mast lashed athwart them, or round a man's chest, with the knot between his shoulders ; in either case the kite finds the supporting power, and conveys the object its line is fast to on shore, another line being attached to the cask, raft or man from the vessel, and the communication with the shore is complete.
The particular credit due to Lieutenant NARES consists in having, by his second line, devised a means of bringing a kite to the ground at the moment required, and in also making use of the kite in attaching its flying line to an object in the water, a carrier of his hawser's hauling line to the people on the shore. Kites have been tried before, but have failed for the want of these two great requisites. A few years since a vessel drove on shore on the Devon coast, close under the land. The captain sent up a kite, which flew over the people's heads on shore, but they had no means of reaching it, and the whole of the unfortunate crew perished in sight of the people on shore, who were there ready to aid them could the line from the kite overhead have reached their hands. Recently the brig MERCY, of Bristol, was wrecked at Porthleven, in Mount's Bay.. A tremendous surf was running, but to save the crew it was necessary to form some communication otherwise than by boat. A cask was thrown overboard among the breakers, with a small line attached, and was, after great difficulty and risk of life on the part of the people on shore, got hold of, and a hawser hauled on shore, to which a swung basket was attached, and the crew were saved. In this case the kite would have conveyed the cask to the people on the beach without their having to risk their lives by running into the breakers and surf to lay hold of it.
The concluding experiments by Mr. NARES were made from Her Majesty's steamer BULLFINCH, Lieutenant JAMES. The BULLFINCH, on
this occasion, was six hundred yards from the shore, and the experiments answered perfectly. Lieutenant Nares has presented his plan to the Shipwrecked Fishermen's Society, and also the fifty guineas which had been awarded him.
CAUTION TO MARINERS.
New and Dangerous Bank at the Sulina Mouth of the Danube.—By an extract of a despatch of Her Majesty's Vice-Consul at Sulina, forwarded to Lloyd's by the government, it appears that a new and dangerous bank bas formed off the Sulina bar of the Danube, and a caution is therefore given to masters of vessels to approach the bar with care, in order to avoid the shoals thereby created, and directions are given as follows to find the surest channel to enter the Sulina mouth of the Danube : “Vessels are on no account to approach the bar closer than one mile from the piers, or come into less water than five fathoms, without they get sufficient to the north to bring the light-house to show between the outer ends of the piers, bearing W. by S. half S. magnetic. Vessels must on no account attempt to go to the north of that line. As soon as circumstances will permit, a buoy will be placed on the northeast point of the bank.”
DESTRUCTIVE STORMS IN FRANCE.
The Moniteur de la Côte d'Or states that the loss occasioned by the late storms in that department amounts to £144,000. In the department of the North and the Pas de Calais the crops have suffered. In the district of Dourgne 400 hectares of wheat were injured, and the loss is estimated at £3,200. In Burgundy, the districts of Joigny, Auxerre, Sens and Tonnerre, the ravages have been very great. The value of the crops lost in Auxerre is estimated at £20,000, and in Tonnerre at £10,000. The Moniteur de Calvados estimates the losses in that department at £484,600. In the department of the Haute Garonne the rain and hail did great damage to the crops. In the district of Longages trees were blown down and the countryside desolated. It has been the same in the department of the Vosges, and in the Haute Loire the damage is estimated at £13,400. At Vitry, in the department of the Marne, so violent was the wind that it stripped the roofs of many houses, tore up large trees by the roots, and blew down the church steeple of La Chausee. The rain resembled a waterspout, and was followed by a shower of such enormous hailstones that many persons who could not find shelter were seriously injured by them, and great numbers of hares, partridges and small birds were killed. The gardens, vineyards and cornfields over which the storm passed were ravaged, and all their produce lost. In the south of France storms were frequent. Aveyron, especially, had suffered much from hail. The Emperor has sent for the relief of the sufferers from the storm, £400 to the department of the Cher, £400 to the Marne, £1,600 to the Haute Marne, £1,200 to the Seine-et-Loire, £400 to the Cote d'Or, and £240 to the Allier. Letters from the departments contain fresh details relating to the terrific hailstorm which caused so much damage on the 22d June. At Touhan, near Lyons, the storm was 80
intense that roofs of fifty and sixty feet long were stripped off houses, and the largest trees were torn up by the roots. At Saint-Seine and the neighborhood the hailstones lay so thick on the ground that a trustworthy witness asserts that he saw a bed of hailstones three feet thick on the road between Saint-Seine and Vaux-Saules. All the carriages travelling on the road at that time were overturned. The lightning at the same moment killed several horses in the fields. In the Yonne, on the same day, and at the same hour as in the Cote d'Or, the crops were totally destroyed in the districts of Soigny, Auxerre, Sens and Tonnerre. The appearance of the country is desolate. Vineyards are deprived of vegetation, gardens are laid waste and cornfields are ploughed up. The lightning, moreover, killed a number of cattle in that department. In the Nievre the wind and rain destroyed the growing crops, levelled more than 100 houses, and tore up thousands of trees, particularly in the neighborhood of Cosne. In the Allier three men were killed in the fields. Numerous rabbits and fowls perished in the poultry yards. The corn crops suffered great injury. The loss in that department is estimated at above 1,000,000 francs. In the Jura the hailstorm which was experienced on Sunday week laid waste eight communes in the neighborhood of Couliege. In the Marne numerous dwelling-houses were stripped of their roofs, church steeples were thrown down and several persons were injured. In the Rhone the commune of Chatelet escaped more serious injury by a heavy fall of rain, which dissipated the hailstorm. As a slight compensation, the hay crop is described as excellent throughout France.
SAN FRANCISCO HARBOR. It is said that on the bottom of San Francisco harbor there are quantities of ship's chain-cables and anchors, which would richly repay any company who should set to work systematically to secure them by dragging. The deep ooze at the bottom furnishes a soft bed into which these heavy articles must long since have sunk, so that their recovery would be a work of great labor.
The Alta reports that Mr. Matthews, the diver, who was employed to bring up the boiler of the steam-tug "Diana,” which exploded some time since off Vallejo-street wharf, succeeded in his task. A lighter was anchored near the spot from which he conducted his enterprise. The time he selected was dead low water, at which he succeeded in reaching and securing the boiler in four fathoms of water. It was hoisted into the lighter and conveyed to Stuart-street wharf.
A NAUTICAL SCHOOL IN NEW-YORK. An Act to ESTABLISH A NAUTICAL SCHOOL IN THE HARBOR OF THE
CITY OF NEW-YORK. PASSED APRIL 15, 1861. The People of the State of New-York, represented in Senate and Assem
bly, do enact as follows : Section 1. There shall be organized and established in the harbor of the City of New-York a nautical school for the purpose of educating boys in the learning and duty of seamanship and the science of navigation.
Sec. 2. The said school shall be under the exclusive management and