Thursday, 30 December 2010

Operation and Care of Make and Break Engines

From Marine Gas Engines, Their Construction and Management, written by Carl H. Clark, published by D. Van Nostrand Company in New York in 1914.

CHAPTER XII. Operation and Care of Engines

Starting. - Before attempting to start an engine one should acquaint himself with the operation of all parts of the engine, and the water, oiling, and ignition systems.

If the engine has been standing some time, the ignition system should be tested to make sure that it is in good order. The make-and-break system may be tested by first closing the switch in the circuit, then turning the flywheel until, by observing the action of the mechanism, the points inside the cylinder are known to be in contact, closing the circuit. The wire is then removed from the insulated terminal of the igniter and brushed across it; if the circuit is complete, a brilliant spark will result. If no spark is obtained, all connections must be examined and, if necessary, the sparking points removed from the cylinder and cleaned. After a spark has been obtained through one cylinder the other cylinders should be tested.

The jump-spark system is tested by removing the plug from the cylinder and resting it upon any of the bright metal parts of the engine with the secondary wire still in contact. With the primary circuit closed the engine is then turned until contact is made by the timer, which should be indicated by the buzz of the vibrator. The sparks should pass across the points of the plug at the same time. If no buzz of the vibrator occurs, it shows a defect in the primary circuit. If the vibrator buzzes, but no spark passes the sparking points, it shows a fault in the secondary circuit. This may often be remedied by removing any deposit of carbon or oil which may have collected on the points of the plug, or by fitting another plug. After a rain, or in damp weather, the most common sources of ignition troubles are weak batteries or a "ground." The former can be found by testing the batteries with an ammeter; the latter is caused by the current, especially the secondary, jumping across from the wire to some adjacent pipe or other part. It may be found by carefully examining the wires, or, in the case of the secondary current, the sparks may be seen to pass where the current jumps. The wiring of each cylinder should be tested in turn. At the same time that the ignition is tested, the point of ignition should be noted in reference to some point on the flywheel, and its variation with the different positions of the timer handle noted. The gear or timer should be so set that the spark occurs when the piston is at the top of its stroke.

Oil- and grease-cups should now be filled and a small amount fed from each.

The fuel supply should now be turned on, both at the tank and at the carburetor. The needle valve on the carburetor or vaporizer should be opened slightly and the carburetor primed somewhat to make sure of a good flow of fuel. The engine may now be turned over by hand in the direction in which it is to run, using the crank, lever, or flywheel rim, as the case may be. After a few trials the engine should explode a charge and turn a few turns and possibly continue to run. If it does continue to run, the fuel and air supplies should be adjusted gradually until the engine turns at its highest speed. Oil-cups should then be opened to allow the oil to feed.

If, in the case of a four-cycle engine, it does not start at once, all that is necessary is to turn it under varying conditions of fuel and air supplies, after making sure that the ignition system is operating and that fuel is flowing to the carburetor. In the case of a two-cycle engine the fuel should be shut off and the compression cock opened. It is probable that several charges of gasoline have been taken into the base and not exploded, making the mixture far too rich and "flooding" the engine, as it is turned. The flywheel is now turned several times and the mixture diluted and partially expelled. An explosion will finally take place and the engine run until the supply in the base has been used up.

Another trial can now be made, with a reduced fuel supply, and continued under varying conditions until the engine starts, always making sure that the ignition occurs properly, and taking care not to flood the base. Starting is often made easier by priming the engine, that is, by inserting a small amount of gasoline directly into the cylinder through the compression cock, or through special priming cock which on some engines is provided for that purpose. When turning the engine over by hand, care must be taken to have the sparking gear so set that the spark cannot occur until the piston has reached the top of its stroke. If this is not done and ignition takes place before the piston has reached the top of its stroke, it will be driven violently downward in the wrong direction, giving a "back kick," which is liable to cause damage.

After the engine has run a short time it will often gradually slow down and finally stop, with a muffled explosion in the base. This is a sign of a weak mixture, and the fuel supply should be slightly increased. On the other hand, if the engine labors, slows down, and finally stops, with black smoke issuing from the exhaust, it shows a too rich a mixture and the fuel supply should be cut down.

The best fuel mixture can be found only by experiment, and will even then vary somewhat, according to atmospheric conditions. The proper regulation of the air supply to the fuel supply has a marked influence upon the fuel economy.

Two cycle engines of the two-port type are easily and readily started as follows: The spark is advanced to a point somewhat below the usual running point so that the ignition will take place on the up stroke when the engine is turned in the opposite direction to which it runs. The flywheel is then turned until the piston is at the bottom of its stroke, and is then rocked backwards and forwards a few times; the piston thus acts as a pump, drawing a few small charges into the base and charging the cylinder. The flywheel is then turned quickly in the reverse direction to which it runs, bringing the piston up against the charge, which finally ignites and forces the piston down again, but in the right direction. The flywheel is then released and the engine starts. The spark is then restored to the running position.

This method cannot be used on a three-port engine, which must be started by turning it over the center.

Some engines will start with the compression cocks fully or partly open, which lessons the labor; others must be pulled over against the full compression.

In starting the engine with a crank or lever it should be held loosely in the hand, so as to be quickly released in the event of a back kick. Frequent accidents happen from the discard of this precaution.

Oiling. — When the engine is well started the fuel and air supplies should be regulated until the engine is running on the least possible amount of fuel. The oil supply should be refuted to a point just below that at which smoke would issue from the muffler. Blue smoke coming from the muffler usually shows that too much oil is being fed, which instead of being of use in the engine is burned or carried away by the exhaust, and wasted.

The cylinder oil-cups should be adjusted to feed from three to six drops per minute, according to the size of the engine. Where splash lubrication is used, oil must be fed into crank case or base at intervals. Exterior parts, such as thrust bearing, igniter gear, and pump journals, are, of course, oiled from an oil can when necessary. In running a new engine, oil should be used rather freely at first while the bearings are wearing down into place. The cylinder surface may be greatly improved by feeding in some powdered graphite mixed in oil, which fills up the pores and helps to form a sort of scale on the bore of the cylinder. While too much oil should not be fed, as it is not only wasted, but makes the engine dirty, a sufficient lubrication should be made certain at all times, as much damage may be done in a short time if bearings are allowed to go dry.

Under some circumstances good results can be obtained by mixing the lubricating oil with the gasoline in the tank and feeding both together. No difficulty is experienced with the vaporization and the lubrication is simplified. Although the relative amounts will vary considerably, a fair proportion seems to be about one pint of oil for every five gallons of gasoline.

Spark Advance. — While running the engine it will soon be noted that the time of ignition has a great effect on the speed. It will be found that the engine runs best when the ignition takes place just before the piston reaches the top of its stroke. This is due to the fact that the burning of the charge is not instantaneous, but requires an appreciable time. If the charge is fired at the moment when the piston is at the top of the stroke the time taken by the charge to thoroughly ignite allows the piston to descend through a part of the down stroke, so that some of the effect of the impulse is lost. If the spark is so timed in advance that the charge is completely ignited at the time when the piston is just ready to descend, the full effect of the impulse is received and absorbed.

This advance of the spark is called the "spark advance" or "lead." It will of course vary somewhat according to the speed. The speed of the engine can be varied by shifting the point of ignition, and this is advocated by many. Starting with the spark occurring as the piston is at the top, it will be found that up to a certain point the speed will increase as the spark is advanced. Beyond this point the engine will pound and act irregularly. If the spark is retarded until after the piston has begun to descend, the speed will decrease. The speed of the engine may thus be regulated by changing the spark advance, but this practice is not to be recommended, as nearly the same amount of fuel is passed through the engine per stroke at all speeds. At low speeds the charge ignites so slowly that all the heat generated cannot be absorbed, but is passed along into the exhaust pipe and muffler, heating them beyond their usual temperature. The speed of the engine should be regulated by the throttle which is usually provided for that purpose; in this way the amount of the mixture is cut down in proportion with the speed. The speed should be regulated by the throttle and then the spark advanced to the best point by trial. In this way the greatest economy in the use of fuel may be obtained. Extremely slow speed must, however, be obtained by retarding the spark, in connection with the throttle.

Care of the Engine. — The degree of care which the engine receives, not only when running, but when laid up as well, has a great effect upon its life and also its satisfactory operation. Many engines which are well taken care of while in operation are allowed to suffer from exposure during the time when they are not in use. If the engine is in a cabin boat it is very easily kept in good shape, but if in an open boat, constant care is required to prevent it from being damaged by rust. A cover should be made from waterproof canvas, which will fit snugly over the engine and shed all rain. A water-tight pan under the flywheel will prevent the bilge water from rising around it and causing it to rust. Before leaving the engine for a few days all bright parts of iron or steel should be smeared lightly with grease, which may be readily removed with cotton waste. This precaution will save a large amount of scouring and polishing later.

One should become thoroughly familiar with the construction of his engine as soon as possible. It is not meant by this that the engine should be pulled down just to see how it is constructed, but quite the contrary. As long as the engine is running, particular pains should be taken not to disturb it. The construction should, however, be studied so that in case of necessity it could be taken down. Much expense can often be saved by this knowledge, as there are many small repairs which can easily be made by the amateur owner.

Before starting on a run all nuts and bolts should be examined, and any which may be loose should be tightened.

Engine Troubles. — The presence of trouble in the engine is usually indicated by a peculiar hammering noise, known as a "knock." It may be caused by excessive friction on some part and the oiling system should be at once examined and perhaps an additional amount fed for a few moments. A similar knock may be caused by the failure of the water-circulating pump, which may be told by the unusual amount of heat radiated from the cylinders. The lack of cooling water causes the cylinders to become much too hot for use, increasing the friction and eventually causing damage to cylinders and pistons. If the knock cannot be found in this way, the engine should at once be stopped, as damage may be caused. The knock is probably caused by some part which has become loosened, and all parts should be thoroughly examined. A loose flywheel is a common cause of knocking. Where the flywheel is fastened with a key, the keyway may become worn so as to leave a small space between it and the sides of the key, allowing the flywheel to “play” slightly around the shaft. If this is the case the key should be withdrawn and a slightly wider one fitted, or a thin “shim" of steel may be carefully fitted into the keyway and the key driven in alongside of it.

A bearing which has become overheated and ground out will cause a knock; this is a more difficult cause to remedy, and is likely to require the services of a machinist to reset the bearing.

Sometimes the engine will run with apparently no trouble, and yet will show less than the usual power. This may be due to loss of compression, or in other words, a leakage from the compression space. This may be due to a loose plug or screw at some point, or in the case where the cylinder head is fastened on with studs, it may mean that the gasket under the head has become broken at some point and may be remedied by fitting a new gasket. If the cylinder has been flooded too freely with oil, the excess may carbonize and collect around the piston rings, cementing them to the piston and allowing the gas to escape by the piston. This may often be remedied by flushing the cylinder with kerosene oil. It may often be necessary to remove the cylinder and separate the rings from the piston. In removing the rings from the piston great care is necessary as they are of cast iron and very brittle. Before attempting to remove them they should be well washed with kerosene, to loosen them as far as possible. In removing a ring, one comer should first be raised with a screw-driver or other tool, and a narrow strip of tin placed across the groove under it to keep it from springing back; this is followed up all around the ring, tapping it lightly and adding more strips until the ring is entirely supported clear of the groove. It may then be slid from the piston. Rings and grooves should be thoroughly cleaned with the help of kerosene. In replacing the rings the reverse operation is followed.

In the four-cycle engine it is necessary to "grind in" the valves at intervals when the seats and surfaces become pitted or worn. When the valves are arranged, the inlet valve may be removed to allow access to the exhaust valve. The springs are removed from the stems, the valve is raised and the bevelled edge smeared with a paste of oil and emery. The grinding is done by rotating the valve in its seat by means of a screw-driver or brace; the process is continued until the surfaces are left smooth and polished with no sign of corrosion. This paste is then removed and the finish put on with a mixture of water and pumice. During the grinding the entrance to the cylinder should be carefully stopped with a wad of waste to exclude the emery from the cylinder, where it would do great damage. If the inlet valve is removable it may be ground while held in the hand.

In replacing the valves it may often be found difficult to compress the springs sufficiently lo allow them to be replaced. If no other means is at hand the spring may be compressed in a vise and bound with a few turns of strong cord. It may then be slipped on the stem and the key and washer put on. The string may then be cut and the spring let out.

Care of Spark Coil and Ignition Outfit. — The entire ignition outfit is somewhat delicate and requires its share of attention. It should be examined at intervals to make sure that all binding screws are tight and all contacts good. The insulation should be examined and any places where it becomes worn should be taped. Two parallel wires should never be fastened by a single staple, as the insulation is likely to chafe through, causing a short circuit. Each wire should have its separate staples.

The most common place for a wire to break is at some place where it is bent back and forth, as where the wires are connected to the timer; a short coil at such points will greatly increase the life of the wire.

The entire system, including the plugs and sparking points, should be kept clean and free from oil. Oil on the outside of the plug will cause a short circuit, as does the collection of soot around the points.

The spark coil should be looked over and if necessary readjusted slightly. Many operators set the vibrator adjusting spring too tight, with the idea that the very rapid motion gives a stronger spark. This may seem true when tested in the atmosphere, but on a quick running engine it may give trouble by skipping. A more reliable spark is given with a moderately rapid vibration of the buzzer, with considerably less battery consumption. A satisfactory adjustment of the vibrator may be obtained as follows: The vibrator adjusting screw is drawn back until it is clear of the spring; the spring is then set so that the iron button is from 1/16 to 1/8 inch from the end of the core. The adjusting screw is then screwed in until it touches the spring lightly. The engine is then started and the screw turned in slightly until the engine runs steadily; the spring should be left as weak as possible and still have the engine run steadily. The spring must bear against the screw when the engine is not running, as otherwise no current will pass and the engine will not start. In testing the spark in the secondary circuit, the spark should not be drawn out to the limit, as this strains the coil and is almost sure to cause trouble if there is any weakness in the coil.

Batteries. — The batteries also should be examined occasionally. Weak batteries may be located by testing with an ammeter. When new, dry batteries of the usual size should test from 18 to 25 amperes, and as a rule they should not be used after they have fallen below about 8 amperes. A single weak battery will spoil the action of an entire set; even if no new ones are at hand the action will be improved by cutting out the weak one. In testing a battery, the ammeter should be held across the terminals only long enough to get the reading, as if held there even for a short time the battery s quickly run down.

Batteries which have been run out may be temporarily revived by punching a hole in the top and pouring in the water.

Monday, 20 December 2010

The Secret Circle Mysteries

The Secret Circle Mysteries

Complete 10 Volumes Collection

Hammond, Arthur ( General Editor )


Most contain a map, just a part of the mystery. Located in most provinces of Canada; details of the maps are fictitious. Here is list of titles with respect to the numbers in Series:

1. The Mystery of Monster Lake by David Gammon, published 1962, illustrated by Frank Davies;

British Columbia, Chilliwack and Mount Dalgleish

2. The Riddle of the Haunted River by Lawrence Earl, illustrated by Douglas Sneyd, published 1962;

New Brunswick, Southwest Miramichi River

3. The Legend of the Devil's Lode by Robert Collins, illustrated by Douglas Sneyd, published 1962;

Alberta and BC, Mt. Findlay, Kitimoos and Turner Valley

4. The Secret Tunnel Treasure illustrated by D. Johnson, published 1962;

Quebec and Quebec City

5. The Mystery of the Muffed Man by Max Braithwaite, illustrated by J. Rosenthal, published 1962;

Fictitious community in northern Ontario or Quebec

6. The Clue of the Dead Duck by Scott Young, illustrated by Douglas Johnson, published 1962; near Peterborough, ON.

7. The Mystery of Missing Emerald by Robert Thomas Allen, illustrated by Gordon Collins, published 1963;

Ontario, Toronto

8. The Valley of the Vanishing Birds by Max Braithwaite, illustrated by Wendy Hagwood, published 1963; Alberta, just north of Edmonton.

9. The Mystery of Disappearing Dogs by Arthur Hammond, 1963, first edition

Ontario, Downtown Toronto

10. The Secret of Spaniards Rock by David Gammon, illustrated by William Wheeler, published 1963. British Columbia, Salt Spring, Galiano Island

More on this Canadian series from 1962, later. Also you may want to see the website:

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

On Kedge

Links and information on Kedge emphasizing before it became a National Park

(Images are clickable for larger version)

Here are some family photos at Kedge Lodge including the layout of cabins around Kedge Lodge.

Here is a link to a number of black and white photos including some by Yates circ. 1906.

This document describes tourism in 1900’s.

Digital copy of the Tent Dwellers.

Friends of Keji

Kejimkujik National Park

Web Page by Doug Frizzle, September 2010.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Concerning Garlic

Concerning Our Garlic

Our family loves Garlic; since Gail is such a good cook, we use lots of it. We plan on one bulb of garlic a week or 52 a year. Garlic stores well, we are using it to just about when we bring in the next crop.

Garlic is planted just after the first real frosts, about the second week of October. It is planted so that the top is covered by an inch of soil, then two inches of light mulch is applied over the soil. Garlic is planted in rows of 3, rows six inches apart as are the cloves within the rows. At least 18” is reserved between the row groups, for any weeding.

As mentioned we plan on 52 bulbs for consumption per year. There are on average 4 cloves per bulb, so 52/4= 13 bulbs are required just for planting the following season. So now we are up to 66 cloves required. We plant 100, since we have lots of demands for our almost fist sized Ophio garlic; it is rare for a clove to die overwinter.

Good soil is required for a good crop; light, high compost soil is recommended and an airy location, moderate sun and water. The crop is gathered about August 15, when about half of the leaves, the bottom ones, have died.

Doug Frizzle - Stillwater Lake, Nova Scotia 2010

The Oldest City in the World -1932

From New York Herald Tribune Magazine, Mrs. William Brown Meloney, Editor -
Section XI Twenty Pages -

Sunday, July 31, 1932

Digitized by Doug Frizzle September 2010

The Gateway of the Sun at Tiahuanaco, the World's Largest Piece of Prehistoric Monolithic Sculpture

From a Painting by A. Hyatt Verrill

The Oldest City in the World

By A. Hyatt Verrill

Author of "Old Civilizations of the New World," "The American Indian," "Thirty Years in the Jungle," Etc.

TIAHUANACO, Bolivia, the oldest city in America and perhaps in the entire world, is situated on the trans-Andean plain, 12,000 feet above the sea-literally on the roof of the world. Here, ten miles from Lake Titicaca, are the astonishing ruins of a city populous in the days of Moses, old before the fall of Babylon and ancient at the time of the fall of Rome.

An expedition of the American Museum of Natural History now at Tiahuanaco—the first in thirty years that has received permission from the Bolivian government to excavate at these ancient ruins—has been on the ground for several months and will soon return to New York. Dispatches have announced many important discoveries. Among the noteworthy finds reported are a number of stone images or idols, one more than twenty feet in length; quantities of beautiful though broken pottery, and sculptured stones covered with strange hieroglyphs, or symbols.

When the Inca dynasty was founded, fully 1,000 years ago, this most ancient of cities had been a deserted ruin for so long that the Indians had no legends or traditions as to its origin or its former inhabitants. So the Incas called it Tiahuanaco—"The Place of the Dead"—and let it go at that.

No one can say with certainty when the city was built. But Dr. Rudolph Muller, the eminent German scientist and astronomer, computes its age as between 10,000 and 14,000 years! This he bases upon very careful astronomical observations to determine the extent to which the axis of the earth has shifted since the city was built. The sun-dial arrangement, used by the Tiahuanacans for determining solstices and other dates was the basis for his calculations. Using a formula adopted by the French Society of astronomers, Dr. Muller gave the city's age as 14,500 years. Unable to credit this almost inconceivable lapse of time, he tried another formula, and obtained 10,500 years as the age of Tiahuanaco. Even this would make it the oldest known city on earth, a city antedating by centuries Ur and Ish and the Pyramids. Yet even then, in that dim and remote era of the world's history the people who built this great city beyond the Andes' summit were a highly civilized race, possessing an advanced knowledge of astronomy and mathematics, having a written or at least an inscribed language, and with engineering and architectural abilities which never have been equaled.

Not only is Tiahuanaco the oldest city in America if not in the world—it is also the world's most mysterious city. For no archeologist can hazard a guess as to the identity of the race that built it, why it was deserted, how the people accomplished titanic feats which have no parallel anywhere, whence they came or whither they went or why it should have been built on the lofty plain where its amazing ruins now stand.

It is one of the true wonders of the world; a city absolutely unique. Nowhere on earth is there anything that resembles it in architecture, sculpture or culture. There are no known traces of an earlier culture from which Tiahuanaco might have been developed; no signs of a decadence. Judged only by what is known of Tiahuanaco it might well have been created by one of Aladdin's jinn and inhabited by giants, or brought bodily from some other planet.

Imagine a vast city covering more than a square mile, with immense edifices built of blocks of stone weighing hundreds of tons each and fastened in place not with cement or mortar, but with huge staples and bolts of solid silver!

A city with a stone-faced pyramid 200 feet in height and 700 feet square, towering above the magnificent temples and palaces, with a great stone stairway leading to the summit, where was a huge stone reservoir!

A city with a temple, with a stone-paved court 500 feet square, surrounded by hundreds of great stone columns twenty feet in height, with sculptured stone idols twenty to sixty feet in height, and with a titanic stone gateway hewn from a single block of rock!

Perhaps of all the remains of this once great city, this "Gateway of the Sun," as it is called, is the most famed and the most striking. Hewn from a mass of hard arsenite rock fifteen feet in length, eleven feet in height and nearly three feet in thickness, this marvelous specimen of stone cutting is the largest known example of prehistoric monolithic sculpture in the world. But it is fully as remarkable for the sculptures that cover it as it is for its size. Occupying the entire surface of one side above the doorway is a facade of 112 symbolic figures surrounding a great central figure of the "Condorgod" or so-called Sun God, all in bas-relief and embellished with intricate ornamental designs.

The other side of the huge gateway is even more amazing as an example of stone cutting. Here the ornamentation takes the form of severe moldings in geometrical designs framing six deep niches. Four of these are on the upper portion of the gateway, two on each side; and below these, one on each side of the portal, are larger niches. Not only are these rectangular recesses cut to a depth of several inches, but they are so accurately and mathematically executed that not even by using a steel square, micrometer dividers and a millimeter scale could I find a deviation of more than one-fiftieth of an inch in their angles, lines or surfaces!

To the ordinary visitor the most interesting and astonishing feature of the ruins is the gigantic size of the stones used in the construction of the buildings. There are flights of stairs with each step a single squared cut stone twenty feet in length, ten feet in width and three feet in thickness, flanked by ornately sculptured stone monoliths fifteen feet in height, which serve as newel posts. Yet these huge masses of cut stone are puny things compared to the stupendous slabs that once formed the walls of buildings—slabs larger than any others known in prehistoric architecture.

Blocks weighing sixty to eighty tons each are so numerous they scarcely attract notice; many weigh more than 200 tons each! And all as accurately and smoothly cut, trued, squared and carved as if sawed and planed by the most modern machinery—though for that matter no modern machine is capable of duplicating the work performed by the unknown ancient inhabitants of Tiahuanaco. Moreover, many of these stupendous slabs of hard arsenite rock are elaborately sculptured. Everywhere are geometrical designs cut deeply into the rock or left in bold relief—moldings, squares, rectangles, crosses and Greek key designs.

Often, too, these are cut far into the stone in a series of concentric steps to a foot or more in depth, the deepest portion being only a few inches square. And in many places there are identical patterns in high relief and evidently designed to fit into the recessed cuttings, thus locking the stones together, and so accurately cut that there is less than a millimeter variation in angles or size in a feat of mortising that few modern artisans could duplicate in wood, to say nothing of stone.

In other cases the titanic slabs were designed to serve as tiling for floors. About the edges of these numerous niches were cut, like seats, deeply into the stone, and intended, no doubt, as resting places for idols or statues.

Everywhere along the edges of these enormous stone slabs are numerous deep T-shaped recesses, frequently with the cross of the T extending through the stone as a perforation. In many places two or more of these cuts still remain in line so that their purpose is obvious, for, as I have said, the blocks were originally held in place by immense metal staples or keys. Until quite recently it has always been thought that these keys were of copper or bronze, but as several have been found which are of silver it is safe to assume that all were of the same metal.

This explains why the great structures, built of blocks of stone which should have endured forever, have fallen apart and are shapeless ruins today. Had the stones been fastened in place by means of bronze or copper staples the Spaniards doubtless would have passed them by and the buildings of Tiahuanaco, its palaces and its temples might be standing intact in all their impressive size and marvelous architectural details today. But the conquering Dons, coming upon the ancient deserted city by the lake, saw in the great silver staples only so much wealth. Each of the silver fastenings weighed many pounds and there were hundreds—thousands—of them—a fortune in silver holding the stones in position. Ruthlessly the avaricious conquerors wrenched and pried them loose, leaving the massive walls ready to topple and fall at the first earthquake or to collapse under the wear and tear of the elements through the centuries to follow.

Indeed, vandalism has played a far greater part in the destruction of this ancient city than have earthquakes, storms or the passage of countless thousands of years.

Not only did the Spanish soldiers rip the silver fastenings from the walls of the imposing buildings; the fanatical priests who accompanied them wrought even greater destruction. To their minds the utter annihilation of everything hinting of paganism or idolatry was a sacred duty. Much as we may regret and decry their misguided ideas, we cannot but admire their thoroughness.

Wherever they found a sculpture, a statue, an image, a temple, an altar or anything else connected in any way with the religion of the natives they literally tore it to pieces; and here at Tiahuanaco were stone idols, figures, statues and sculptures by the thousand, even though the people who had raised and worshiped them had vanished ages before and no living inhabitant remained to be converted to Christianity.

What a glorious orgy of holy destruction the padres must have had! It is recorded that in one spot they found an image carved from a single block of stone that measured sixty feet in length and fourteen feet in diameter. By the united labors of thirty men the huge monolith was reduced to fragments in the course of three days. Truly a triumph in the field of destruction—but what an irreparable loss it was to history and to science!

Why the padres ceased their destructive campaign before every idol, image and sculpture was eliminated is something of a mystery. Perhaps the conquerors were impatient to march and seek greater riches than Tiahuanaco offered in the form of silver staples and could not wait for their priests to break up the remaining idols. Possibly they were appalled at the number of stone images and realized the hopelessness of their task. At all events, they moved on, leaving the massive structures of a forgotten race to their fate and leaving scores of great stone idols undisturbed.

But the destruction of Tiahuanaco and its wonders did not end there. Through the four centuries that have passed since then wanton vandalism and destruction have been almost continuous. Every Indian farmer in the vicinity found the ruined city a source of stone for erecting walls about his fields. The slovenly little Indian village near the ruins has its streets paved with fragments of sculptured stones from the ancient city, and many a thatched Indian hut has an ornate, magnificently carved stone doorway filched bodily from the ruins in front of the little church—itself built of stone-work from the ruins—are the heads and shoulders of two colossal stone statues. Possibly they were decapitated by the priests in the days of the conquest, but more probably, finding entire images too large to be moved, the builders of the church knocked the heads from their bodies.

Even the few great stone monuments still standing among the ruins have been wantonly defaced and partly destroyed by soldiers who have used these priceless archeological treasures as targets, for rifle practice.

Finally, and playing greater havoc with the ancient city than the rapacious Dons, the zealous padres, the ignorant Indian farmers, the villagers and the soldiery combined, came the railway.

Straight through the marvelous city the tracks were laid. Ruthlessly buildings, monuments, sculptured columns and idols were throw down and incalculable treasures in pottery and other relics ground to bits by the hungry maws of steam shovels. Then, as a fitting culmination to all this, over 500 trainloads of sculptures, stonework, monoliths and stairways were broken up and crushed to be used in making fills and ballast for the roadbed!

In its heyday—even at the time of the conquest, when it had been deserted for untold centuries—Tiahuanaco must have been a most imposing, most beautiful and an enormous city. The existing ruins show that it covered an area more than a mile square, with paved streets, long rows of great columns, colossal statues and monuments, magnificent temples and palaces and its great stone-faced pyramid rising high above the plain, But today little remains except in three widely separated areas—the Kalasasaya, or Temple of the Sun, with its rows of stone columns and its impressive, marvelous monolithic gateway and gigantic stairway, the Tunca-Punca, or Palace of the Ten Doors, where the largest slabs of stone are lying where they fell after the Dons had pried the silver staples free, and the Akapana or Fortress, the great artificial hill from which the stone facing, the long flight of stone steps leading to the summit, the great stone reservoir, the stone conduit to the base and the monuments that crowned it were crated away, broken up and used in ballasting the railway.

And of all the hundreds—probably thousands—of gigantic stone statues or idols that once stood about Tiahuanaco only one remains, scarred and defaced by bullets, chipped by vandals and curio seekers, but still erect, gazing with sphinx-like, enigmatical face toward the rising sun. If only he could speak what an amazing story he might tell!

Could he but relate all that has passed beneath his sightless eyes the mysteries of Tiahuanaco would be the explained, the myriad puzzles of the past would be solved. We would then know how the inhabitants of the ancient city performed their amazing feats of stone cutting without—as far as is known—the use of steel tools; feats beyond our present comprehension, for no bronze tool ever found would cut hard rock, and no expert stone worker of today will believe for an instant that the accurately and mathematically and perfectly cut Tiahuanaco work was accomplished by the use of stone implements.

Even if the full story of Tiahuanaco is forever sealed behind the stone features of the solitary image much new light will doubtless be thrown upon it when a full report of the museum’s expedition is made public. One noteworthy discovery made was the image of a man with heavily bearded face.

Herein, perhaps, lies the key that may eventually solve all the riddles of Tiahuanaco and other ancient civilizations of America, for the bearded figure is doubtless a statue of the Bearded God— the Feathered Serpent of the Aztecs, the Kulkulcan of the Mayans and the Wira Kocha, or Bearded One, the supreme deity of the pre-Incans. This was the legendary bearded white man who, according to tradition, came from the “Land of the Rising Sun,” who taught the people their religions, their arts, their sciences and their civilizations, and then vanished after prophesying the downfall of their civilizations and the coming of the Spaniards.

Who can say how much of this ancient tradition is legend and how much is truth?

However that may be, the Bearded God is as great a mystery as is Tiahuanaco, the oldest, most puzzling of the ancient American civilizations.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Peter, A True Story


A short story from the “Little Folk’s Illustrated Annual” 1899. Digitized by Doug Frizzle, August 2010.

DOROTHY lived with her grandparents on a little farm among the mountains. She loved animals, and was never without a pet of some kind.
One day as Dorothy's Grandfather was taking the cow to pasture, he noticed three little creatures playing near a large rock. He thought they were young foxes, and he started to catch one; but before he could reach the place two of the little fellows had tumbled into their hole. The other was about half in when Dorothy's Grandfather grabbed him.
It was not a fox, but a baby woodchuck,— a queer, fuzzy little ball of fur with beady black eyes, stumpy tail, and big yellow teeth.
The baby woodchuck bit, and scratched, and struggled to get away. But at last he was tied in a handkerchief, and then he was carried to Dorothy.
Dorothy was delighted with this new and strange pet; and though her Grandfather said woodchucks rarely became tame, she was sure this one would. She named him "Peter," and then took down her old squirrel cage, and lined it with soft hay and placed him in it, with some fresh-cut clover and a little dish of water.
For a few days Peter was very wild. He behaved very badly. He insisted on spilling his water, and he would snap and bite whenever his little mistress replaced it. But by and by he saw that Dorothy did not mean to hurt him. Then he gave up biting. In two weeks he would drink from his dish without upsetting it, and would nibble clover from Dorothy's hand, and let her scratch his funny little head.
In a month Peter had grown to twice his size, and had become so tame that he would let Dorothy take him in her arms and carry him about.
One day little Dorothy forgot to fasten the cage door, and Peter walked out. But he did not go far, and went back to his cage of his own accord. The door was never fastened again, and all day long Peter would play about the veranda or nibble grass in front of the house. He always returned to his wire house for the night. By this time he had learned to answer to his name. He would run to Dorothy whenever she called him.
One day Dorothy's Grandmother was baking cookies, and she gave one to Peter. It was funny to see the little woodchuck taste it, then taste again, as if he were not quite able to make up his mind whether he liked it or not. Finally he decided that he did like it and he ate it all. From this time, cookies were his favorite food. As soon as Dorothy's Grandmother began to bake he would run to the kitchen, and sit on his haunches in the doorway, and wait patiently until his cooky was given him; then he would scamper off to one of his grassy nooks and eat it at his leisure. He would hold it in his fore-paws and nibble here and there in the very cunningest way until it was all gone.
Several times during the summer Peter wandered off to the woods and spent the day. At last one cool October day Peter went off and did not return.
Dorothy was afraid some one had killed him. All winter long she mourned for Peter.
One fine morning in April as Dorothy was walking down the road with her Grandfather they espied a big red woodchuck sitting on a stump in a field.
"Oh, Grandpa!" cried Dorothy, "see that woodchuck! doesn't he look just like my dear old Peter?"
"Perhaps it is Peter," said her Grandfather. "Call him and see."
Stepping to the side of the road, Dorothy waved her hands and called, "Peter Peter! come here Peter!"
And what do you think happened? Why, the big red woodchuck first looked at Dorothy for a minute, with his head on one side, and then came running across the field— and it was her dear old Peter, safe and sound, coming back to her after his long winter sleep.
Dorothy took the great red fellow in her arms and hugged and kissed him. Peter seemed to share her delight. He rubbed his nose against her cheek and grumbled down in his throat as woodchucks do when they are pleased.
Of course Dorothy carried Peter home and fed and petted him, to make up for all the time he had been away. That afternoon Dorothy's Grandma got out her baking tins and rolling pin. And the moment Peter heard the sound, he started up and ran to the kitchen door, and took his old place again, to wait for his cooky. So you see that during his long winter sleep he had not forgotten about the cookies.
One day Dorothy's Grandpa found that his vegetables had been nibbled off, and as Peter had never been known to go into the garden he thought some wild woodchuck had made his home close by to be near Peter. That night he set a trap. The next day when he visited the trap, there, caught fast by one leg, was Dorothy's Peter!
Poor Peter's leg was broken. He moaned and groaned while it was being bandaged. He was put to bed, and Dorothy smoothed him and petted him, and cried over him, and she felt that Peter understood how sorry she was for him.
After a long time Peter was able to go about as well as ever, but he never again showed any inclination to go into the garden.
A. Hyatt Verrill.

There are at least three more of AHV's illustrations in this book. Here is a Whipoorwill.

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.