Thursday, 26 June 2014

How to Operate and Handle a Motor Boat

How to Operate and Handle a Motor Boat
By A. Hyatt Verrill
From The American Boy magazine, July 1910. Digitized by Doug Frizzle, June 2014.

NOWADAYS small power boats are so cheap, so reliable and so simple that many boys and even girls, own and operate their own boats very successfully. But even though the makers’ boast “That a child can run one” may be literally true, yet do not think that because you can “run” your motor that this is all that is necessary or advisable to know. As long as the motor goes well and nothing unexpected happens, the boat will almost run itself, but gasoline motors have a peculiar habit of stopping now and then and balking like a fractious horse with apparently as little reason. At such times the boy that can merely “run” his boat is in a bad fix for unless one knows what the trouble is and how to remedy it, he must call on some other boat to tow him home or depend on his oars and must then go to quite a little trouble and expense to hire some “trouble man” to put his motor in order again. In this little article I shall try to tell you what to do and what is of more importance perhaps, what NOT to do, to operate, care for and handle a power boat intelligently, safely and in a way to get the greatest pleasure and service from your craft with the least trouble and expense.
In the first place always bear in mind that a gasoline engine must have gasoline, proper lubrication, good electrical equipment and proper water circulation in order to run. If your engine has been properly installed and tested any failure in its operation will be due to one of these primary necessities failing, unless something is broken, bent or injured. Nine-tenths of motor troubles are due to electrical faults while the other tenth are usually due to gasoline trouble. Old batteries, broken or worn wires, poor connections, wet or dampness on batteries or spark coil, carbon on spark plug or electrodes and in fact a great number of other little things will stop an engine and cause it to absolutely refuse to work until the proper repair or adjustment is made. And right here let me advise you to always bear in mind that the little things are what count with a gas engine. If your engine has been running smoothly and suddenly stops, or begins to miss explosions and gradually slows down and stops, first look over all your wiring and batteries. Every power boat owner should be equipped with an “Ammeter” a little watch-like instrument for testing batteries. Fig. 1. These Ammeters cost only a couple of dollars and will save you many times that amount in batteries, time and worry. If your wires are all whole, in good condition and the connections at batteries, switch and engine, clean and tight, look to your batteries. Disconnect the wire from spark electrode (on make and break engine) turn on the switch and rub the end of the wire against some part of the cylinder. If a bright spark appears you may be sure that your batteries are not at fault. Turn over your fly wheel (with wire still disconnected) until in the firing position and then rub your free wire against the electrode end. If a spark still shows the trouble is other than electrical. If a spark fails to appear it is a certain sign that your firing points are either dirty, worn or improperly adjusted. Take out the electrodes from cylinder and clean them thoroughly with gasoline and if they move stiffly lubricate with a little kerosene. Now try the spark again and nine times out of ten you will find it sparks all right and as soon as wires are connected your motor will run along smoothly again. Much of such trouble can be avoided by proper and not excessive lubrication.
In the case of your engine being of the jump-spark system you should proceed differently. Remove spark plug, lay it on the cylinder or some other portion of the engine, with wires connected, turn on your switch and turn wheel over until the vibrator on coil buzzes. If your batteries and wiring are in order a bright blue spark will run between the two electrodes on spark plug end. If they do not appear, turn off switch, connect a new plug to wire and try again. If on this trial you do not get a spark your wires are short-circuited somewhere and you must find the spot by going over the wires inch by inch and trying all connections. Also test your batteries and discard any that register lower than ten amperes and place new ones in their places. The vibrator on coil should buzz clearly, steadily, and with a high-pitched tone but unless it works unevenly, or refuses to buzz, you had best not try to adjust it yourself as vibrator coils are delicate instruments and a slight mistake in adjustment may ruin them beyond repair. If you find your sparking apparatus in first class shape and your motor still refuses to work, look to the carburetor or vaporizer for trouble (of course I take it for granted that you will be sure that there is gasoline in the tank) for the cheap vaporizers furnished with many motors are sources of constant trouble and you cannot spend a few dollars to better advantage than by investing in a really good carburetor of the float-feed type Fig. 2, and having it properly installed and adjusted. If the motor refuses to make even one revolution open the drain cock at base of cylinder and turn the wheel over. If gasoline issues from the cock it shows your engine-base is flooded and probably after working the excess out by turning the wheel while the cock is open, your motor will start. As soon as it does so, turn oft your gasoline supply, or needle valve, Fig. 3-A until the motor begins to miss explosions, or back explosions occur. Then turn on the valve slowly until the engine runs smoothly. Flooding will seldom bother you if provided with a carburetor but will happen right along if you depend on a vaporizer. Fig. 3. Sometimes your motor will stop from too little gasoline but this usually is shown by back explosions,—a bumpy sort of sound accompanied with puffs of blue smoke issuing from engine base joints and carburetor. In this case open the gasoline supply, Fig. 2-A, a little more, or turn off the air supply Fig. 2-B-B slightly, until the back-firing ceases. After once adjusting your carburetor so that engine runs smoothly never change it until you have made sure that any trouble is not elsewhere. Sometimes, too, an engine will stop suddenly without apparent reason and even when batteries, coil, and spark are all right and base is not flooded, it will refuse to budge. This may be due to dirt or water in the gasoline. Take the pipe off at carburetor, Fig. 2-C, or remove the cap on top, Fig. 2-D, and let a little gasoline flow through. As soon as the gasoline is clear try your engine again. If your carburetor supply-pipe is provided with a settling chamber this trouble will seldom occur and if you have a float-feed carburetor you can avoid water troubles by draining off a little gasoline from the bottom of carburetor, Fig. 2-E every morning before using your boat. The best way to avoid all trouble of this sort however is to carefully strain your gaso­line through chamois skin when putting it in the tank and by keeping the tank well covered and protected from rain and spray. If your motor gets hot, pounds and stops, or begins to slow down, stop it at once and look after your water cooling system. A water cooled motor—and most motor boats have this type—must have a steady circulation of water through the water-jacket on cylinder. If your engine uses a rotary pump you will seldom have trouble but if a plunger pump is used you will often find that a bit of dirt or weed has caught in one of the check-valves of the water pipe and thus stopped the circulation. To ascertain if this is the trou­ble loosen the cap to the check valves, Figs. 4 and 5 A, A, one at a time, in the pipe either side of pump and see if they are clean. Then try the engine for a few revolutions, and if wa­ter is circulating properly the pipe next to cylinder will feel cold and you can also open the water-jacket drain cock on cylinder to see if water is filling the jacket. Still another way is to loosen the cap on the check-valve nearest the cylinder and if pump is working well the water will spurt out from around the loose cap. As soon as this happens tighten up the cap again. Sometimes your pump may need tighten­ing of the packing around the plunger and if the water fails to circulate after valves are clean, try tightening up the packing-collar a little. Fig 5-B. A great source of trouble in pumps comes from the all-too-common habit of using the pump for a bilge pump at times. This should never be done for even if a strainer is provided so fine as to prevent anything passing through the pump that will clog the valves, yet the fine grit and mud will in time wear out the check-valves as well as clog the water-jacket.
If your engine turns over very hard, open the relief valve on cylinder-head and if it still turns hard you can be sure that your lubrication needs looking into or that something is bent or out of line. Too much lubrication is almost as bad as too little and the common practice of allow­ing your oil cups to run a perfect stream for a time and then shutting them off altogether, cannot be too strongly con­demned. Adjust the oilers until the oil drops evenly and steadily from six to fif­teen drops a minute, keep them filled and keep them open as long as engine is run­ning. The compression grease cups on shaft should be kept filled also and should be turned tight now and then. Do not waste time and strength in cranking an engine; unless something is radically wrong it will fire on two turns as well as on twenty and to keep on turning it over is likely to result in flooding the base with unburned gasoline. If after proper oiling it still turns hard, disconnect the engine shaft from propeller shaft and try it: a properly adjusted and properly oiled motor (up to ten horse power) when free of shaft and load and with compression relief open, should turn easily with thumb and finger of one hand; if it takes more than this amount of muscular effort something is wrong in adjustment or lubrication. Sometimes the cylinder,—especially if the engine has been overheated,—will become dry and the piston will stick. In this case remove cylinder head and pour in a good lot of kerosene. After this has stood some time, wipe out and pour in oil. Then turn engine over a few times, put head in place and try running it. It is not always necessary to take off the head as many engines are provided with a relief and priming cock on cylinder head and oil and kerosene may be poured through this. In the case of a jump-spark motor the plug may be removed and oil poured through the hole. Sometimes an engine will be hard to start, especially in cold weather. If it fails to start on one or two turns it should be primed by injecting a little gasoline through the relief or priming cup. This will usually start the motor but if it gives one or two explosions and then stops, the trouble is in the gasoline supply or carburetor. Always keep all joints and nuts tight and free from wiggling and wipe all grease and oil from your engine after running it. A good engineer can always be told by the condition of his motor or engine and if not neglected a motor can be kept as free from dirt and grease as a sewing machine or typewriter. Learn to know the sounds your engine makes when running smoothly and you will soon find that you are able to detect the least trouble long before the motor stops. Have your batteries and wires where you can reach them quickly, and easily but see that they are thoroughly protected from the weather. A watertight box holding the batteries, coil, etc., placed on a thwart near the engine is very handy and is far better than having them thrown into a drawer or locker under a seat. Fig. 6-B. In very bad, rainy weather or when not in use for some time, the whole box can be taken out and placed indoors thus rendering your boat thief-proof and protecting the electrical equipment at the same time. If you have a jump-spark engine it is wise to provide some sort of protector for the plug, Fig. 6-P, most spark-plugs will short-circuit if wet with rain or spray and cause a lot of trouble. The “Reliance” plug will spark under water but when hot from the engine and then wet by spray, the steam will cause short-circuiting even in this plug. There are numerous inexpensive protectors on the market but even an old cap or a piece of rubber cloth thrown over the plug will help a great deal. Short-circuiting at the plug is easily detected by a crackling sound and blue streaks of sparks running across the plug itself. In case this occurs turn off the switch, wipe the plug dry and smear with thick grease. Have a good kit of tools handy at all times; there should be a hammer, screwdriver, a pair of pliers, a monkey wrench, pipe wrench (Stilson) and an “S” or Westcott wrench. Cotton waste, oil, grease, kerosene, and extra gasoline should always be stored in some convenient locker or box. Fig. 6 (T). Make a point of keeping your brass work polished or at least oiled and clean and free from horrid, green verdigris. Nothing looks worse than neglected brass work and a few moments spent cleaning it is more than repaid by appearances and the saving of corrosion. If you cannot keep it bright and clean, it is better by far to paint it with a good enamel paint.
A few extra screws, nuts, bolts, nails and some electric wire should always be on hand and in case of a jump-spark motor an extra plug should always be carried, as a plug is liable to give out at any time and although usually they can be repaired it saves time and lessens danger to change to a new plug and fix the old one at your leisure. Keep your engine covered with canvas or oil cloth when not in use and cultivate a pride in the appearance of your motor as much as in your boat. I have seen many a finely-finished and “yachty” boat in which the engine was neglected, rusty, dirty and covered with old grease and dirt. Such conditions are inexcusable and point to either slovenly habits in other matters or else to ignorance on the owner’s part as to the requirements of a motor. No piece of machinery can be depended upon if neglected and a gasoline motor, although so strong and simple, is in reality a beautiful and delicate piece of machinery. Such an abused engine may, and at times does, run remarkably well but you may be sure that it would run a hundred per cent better if properly cared for. I cannot tell you everything about a motor or a motor boat in an article like this but I hope that with the above hints you will find many of your troubles ended, but before closing I must give you a list of don’ts which every boy using a boat,— whether power or sail,—should memorize, or if this is not possible, they should be pasted up where he can see them at any time. I have boated and sailed for thirty years in all sorts of craft under all sorts of conditions and have never suffered from any accident or weather, mainly because I have always taken proper precaution and have not been afraid to be on the safe side instead of trying to be smart or "showing off.” The more experienced the sailor, the more cautious he will be and lack of precaution and care only shows ignorance and bravado. Scores of lives are lost every year by boats becoming unmanageable or disabled and not being provided with food, water, oars or anchor.
Don’t go on any trip, no matter how short, without oars and anchor.
Don’t go any distance without a jug of water and a can of biscuit. It is safer to always keep them in a locker. You never know when you may need them.
Don’t overload your boat or needlessly go out in bad weather.
Don’t see how close you can run to larger boats to "get the swell.”
Don’t push your boat at full speed in heavy seas, it strains the boat and engine, throws spray and may result in swamping.
Don’t run before a very heavy sea, go across it diagonally if possible.
Don’t run in the trough of the sea, bring her head up to meet each wave.
Don’t try to lay to (keep your boat motionless) in rough weather without a sea anchor, drag or riding-sail. An old oar, a tin bucket, a bunch of canvas, some cushions or in fact any object that will float, fastened to a line passed over the bows will keep your boat head to the seas and make her ride easily. If you cannot arrange this, a piece of awning or cloth lashed to a pole, or oar, and held upright at the stern like a sail, will keep your boat head on to the wind. If oil is poured on your drag it will help a great deal in heavy seas and even oil thrown overboard from the bows will do wonders.
Don’t expect every other boat to get out of your way, the rules of the road on the water are as definite as on land and must be adhered to. If the other fellow violates them it is no reason you should. Keep to the rules and if anything goes wrong it will not be you that is at fault.
Don’t go out in misty or foggy weather without horn, compass, and bell. A small compass should always be on board.
Don’t go out at night without lights.
Don’t run fast in waters you are unfamiliar with. "Haste makes waste” and a sunken pile, stake or reef can send a small boat to the bottom very easily.
Don’t try to come to a dock under full headway. Better stop too soon and paddle up or start over again.
Don’t allow anyone to smoke near your gasoline tank, or to drop cigar or cigarette ashes in your boat, or to light matches near the bottom of your boat. Friends may not like to obey your orders but friends are cheaper than gasoline explosions.
Don’t look into a gasoline tank or fill it by lantern, or candle light. Use an electric pocket search lamp,—or do it in daytime.
Don’t run your boat when on the mud or sand if you can possibly avoid it.
Don’t let weeds, ropes, or lines get twisted around your propeller.
Don’t start out without gasoline, batteries, and oil.

Don’t fail to use judgment, care, and caution, and follow all directions furnished with your engine or boat without fail.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Boy's Museum -Part 5 cont & 6, Plants and Marine Animals

A Boy’s Museum -Part V. (Continued) and Part VI
Plants, Flowers and Fruits and Marine Animals
Popular Science Department
From American Boy magazine, July 1910; digitized by Doug Frizzle June 2014

The plant and flower collections may be made quite interesting and attractive and as they are easy to preserve and prepare they will doubtless form a large portion of your exhibits. Flowers and plants may be simply pressed between pages of a book, or between cardboard or paper under a heavy weight and later, when thoroughly dry, may be pasted or otherwise fastened to stiff card mounts. A better way, however, is to press the flowers as soon as collected, in a regular flower-press, which consists of sheets of tough blotting or drying paper held in a case of some sort so arranged as to hold the paper and plants tightly in place and yet be easy to carry. There are numerous makes and patterns of these and as they are inexpensive it is better to purchase one than to trust to merely pressing at home, if the flower collection is to form a large portion of your museum exhibits. Many plants and flowers fade after being pressed and dried. If dipped in weak formaline when fresh, this will be in great measure prevented, but recent experiments also show that if the flowers are dried by a high temperature—usually by placing in a dish of hot sand,—the colors remain permanent. Pressed flowers are rather unsatisfactory, as far as the flowers themselves are concerned, and a drawing or colored photograph of the flower, exhibited with the pressed specimen, makes an attractive display. In selecting specimens to press, try and secure those that bear leaves, buds, and blossoms and if possible seed-pods also and whenever you can do so, secure the roots attached to the plant (Fig. 7). All should be pressed together, as this gives a better idea of the entire plant than the different parts preserved separately.
Fruits may be made into an attractive and instructive museum exhibit, and although at first it seems superfluous to show common fruits, yet in reality they are most interesting and may be made to illustrate the variation and development of common fruits. Moreover you will occasionally find prizewinning, or freak, fruits which it is desirable to preserve, and last but by no means least, you may earn quite a little money by making fruit specimens for ornament or for fruit growers who win prizes for their products and wish to preserve them or send them to friends. As it is next to impossible to preserve the real fruit in a natural condition, the best method is to make a wax imitation. This sounds hard, but is in reality very easy and simple. First make a plaster of paris cast exactly as described in my article on the Frog and Fish collections in the April issue. When thoroughly hard remove the fruit from mould and tie the latter firmly together by wrapping with thread or string (before doing this a small opening should be left in one side, where the two halves of mold join which may be cut in with a knife after mold is dry or may be made by placing a roll of clay on one-half of mould when other half is cast in plaster). Now mix up equal portions of beeswax, hard paraffine and a little Japanese wax, bayberry wax or spermaceti. Melt this until thoroughly liquid and then pour into the mould through the opening. When mould is about three-quarters full, stop the hole with a bit of damp clay or cotton and turn the mould about in every direction, over and over and round and round until the wax left in the receptacle in which it was melted has begun to harden. As soon as this is hard you may be sure the wax in the mold is also hard. Now drop the entire mould into cold water and leave it an hour or so. Remove from water, cut the thread or string and work gently at the two halves of mould until they commence to separate. As soon as this happens you must work with great care until one-half of the mould comes off. Then dip the other half containing the wax cast in water and work at it carefully until the wax comes out of the mould and you have a perfect wax duplicate of the fruit that only requires a little trimming and coloring to be so much like the original that even the owner could not distinguish between them. Where the two halves of mould came together and where wax was poured in, there will be “fins” of projecting wax. These should be trimmed off carefully with a sharp knife and any tiny air holes or cracks may be easily filled by heating a small knife blade, dipping up a little wax and moulding it on to the spot required. To color these wax fruits you can use plain oil colors, powder color mixed with turpentine, or better still, you can add powder color to the melted wax and then touch up the finished fruit with any other color required. These wax fruits are hollow and very light and break easily, and the object in turning them about when casting is to insure an even thickness of wax on all sides. You may have one or two failures at first; often the mould will be too damp and wax will cool in layers or streaks; you may stop turning it too soon and wax will all run to one side; you may place in water too soon and cause wax to shrink in on one side, or worst of all your mould may be too dry and the wax may soak into the plaster until you cannot by any possibility separate the two halves of mould. In this case you must make a new mould, but it seldom occurs and if mould is always soaked in water before pouring the wax, and then the superfluous water dried out, you will have no trouble. After a few trials you will get the knack of the work and will be more than pleased at the delicate and accurate wax fruits you turn out and will be constantly on the lookout for new fruits to conquer.

Part VI.—Marine Animals.
To the boy living on or near the seashore during the summer months the creatures that live in the water, on the beaches, or among the stones of the shore, will prove by far the most interesting and largest branch of the collection. The immense number and variety of marine animals is appalling to the beginner, but their ways are so remarkable, their habits so strange and their forms and structure so different from any land animals that once we begin to collect and study them we become enthusiastic in the pursuit. Moreover nearly all marine creatures are easy to collect and prepare, and as few people are familiar with even the commonest species, the collection of marine animals always proves attractive and full of interest.
So many branches of the animal kingdom are represented in marine life and the number of species of each division is so great that in a short time the boy museum builder may divide his marine collections into several separate exhibits such as marine shells, crustaceans, annelids (marine worms), echinoderms (starfish, etc.), fish, sea anemones, etc. The localities where each occurs, the method of obtaining them and their preparation and preservation, vary so greatly that each group must be taken separately and its preparation and collection described in detail.
In the first place marine animal collecting may be divided into—
1st. Shore collecting between high and low tide.
2nd. Collecting below low-water mark.
3rd. Collecting animals at the surface of the water.
4th. Collecting animals at the bottom of the water.
Of these the easiest to collect and the most commonly seen and known are the creatures found between tides on the shores. Here we find a great variety of shells, snails, worms, crabs, shrimps, star fish, sea anemones, etc., and for collecting these the apparatus required is very simple and inexpensive. A few wide-mouthed bottles, a basket or pail in which to carry them in an upright position, a trowel or old knife, a pair of forceps, a dip net and a short bar of iron are all that are needed. Wear old clothes and shoes and start forth on some day when the tide will be very low. Before the tide goes out you may secure a number of good specimens among the flotsam and jetsam cast up on the beach, but you will find that few of these washed up and dead objects are really good specimens. In these places, however, you may usually find the egg-cases of shells (Fig. 1) of skates (Fig. 2) and also many good specimens of small shells and occasionally a well preserved crab or even a horsefish (Fig. 3), also known as the king crab or horse-shoe crab. Among the half decayed sea-weed and trash you will also find many little crustaceans or “sand-hoppers.” The dead and dried things should be placed in boxes or baskets while the living creatures should be dropped into bottles of fresh sea water. As the tide falls you should look along the waters’ edge and search carefully for any living creature that may be running about at the edge of the waves. On a muddy or sandy shore many things may be found by digging in the wet shore, for a great proportion of marine animals live buried in the sand or mud. Many of these betray their presence by little piles of sand, holes, or tiny tubes projecting up above the surface. These creatures are very quick and retreat into the lowest portion of their burrows at the least sign of danger, and in order to secure them one must dig quickly by one strong stroke of a spade, shovel or trowel. A great many underground inhabitants, however, show no sign of their presence whatever, and the best way to get these is to dig up moist sand and mud and sift it through a wire sieve in the water. You will be surprised to find what a lot of queer and beautifully colored marine worms, shells, crustaceans, etc., you will find by this method. If there are any rocky shores near by you will find a rich collecting ground under stones and in the little pools of water left by the receding tide. In such places you will find starfishes crawling over the rocks in the pools or clinging to the under side of stones; hermit crabs (Fig. 4) run about carrying their shell houses on their backs; rock crabs and “fiddlers” scuttle under projecting rocks or into crevices and little groups of delicately tinted sea anemones (Fig. 5) wave their tentacles in the calm water of the tide pools. Among old piles and wharves is also a fine place to collect and by paddling about in a small boat and examining the posts and spiles left bare by the falling tide, you will find a great variety of marine creatures that never occur elsewhere.

After you have collected the creatures found between tides you may turn your attention to those animals found just below low-water mark. To get these you must wade about, pry among stones and sea-weeds, dig into the sand and in fact poke into every crack, crevice and hiding place you find. Among the things living below low-water mark are various interesting crustaceans such as lobsters, swimming crabs (Fig. 6), spider crabs (Fig. 7), mud crabs, a great variety of sea shells, worms, starfish, serpent-stars (Fig. 8), sea anemones and even the native coral (Fig. 9). Here, too, you will find sand-dollars (Fig. 10) and sea-urchins (Fig. 11), which belong to the echinoderm group with the starfishes, although they appear so different. If you rub off the spines on a sea-urchin or sand-dollar, however, you will see the star-shaped pattern on the top of the disk which corresponds to the rays or arms of the starfish. Here, also, you will find numerous sponges such as the common scarlet sponge (Fig. 12), the finger sponge (Fig. 13), and many other species. After collecting a lot of specimens they should be assorted and placed in open dishes filled with fresh sea water and here you may keep them for a time alive to watch and study their habits and odd ways. You will notice that the corals, when undisturbed, project out from the stony matter which we usually consider coral and wave tiny tentacles about in the water and then appear much like their relatives the sea-anemones. You may also watch the starfish crawl about by the suckers on the lower side of their arms, his cousins the sea-urchins and sand-dollars doing the same; while the ever lively and friendly hermit-crabs scuttle about here, there and everywhere. If you have collected a few barnacles you will be greatly interested in watching them as they work their cilliated organs out and in their little shells breathing fresh water and gathering in food at each stroke. These barnacles are very wonderful little fellows and although they bear little resemblance to crabs or shrimp they are in reality true crustaceans and in their young state swim about freely in the water.
To preserve your shore animal specimens the best method is to drop them one and all into a solution of formaline or alcohol for the present and then later on, such things as crabs, shrimp, starfish and other hard-shelled creatures may be removed, pinned out in natural attitudes and dried. A good way to kill and preserve the starfish, so that they remain plump and smooth, is to place them while still alive in a basin of fresh (not salt) water for a few hours. Then soak for several days in formaline and pin out on a flat board. They should then be partly dried in a shady dry spot and when nearly dry should be placed in a moderately hot oven until they are dry and hard. Soft bodied creatures must be kept preserved in alcohol or formaline and some things always contract and look like a mere shapeless lump if thus treated. Among these are the sea anemones and corals. To prevent this you should make a strong solution of chloride or sulphate of magnesia and while the specimens are fully expanded add this little by little to their dish of water until they cease to contract when touched. They may then be dropped into your preserving liquid without fear of their contracting out of shape.
While the beach animals are the easiest to collect and are found among the sand and stones of the shore, another group of marine creatures are always swimming or floating on the surface of the sea and must be collected with nets. The best sort of net to use in collecting these animals is a fine dip-net made of cheese cloth. Two of these nets should be on hand, one fastened to a handle and the other fastened to a rope (Fig. 14), so arranged that it may be dragged behind a sail or motor boat, or even a row boat.
The number of animals living on the surface of the water is very great for, although you would never suspect it, the water fairly teems with little creatures which are quite invisible from above, but which are easily seen when placed in a jar or aquarium. It is the great multitude of such tiny creatures that cause the phosphorescence of the water at night, for the majority of these animals give out a faint glow at night. The largest number of surface animals are found at night in calm warm weather and this is by far the best time to collect them. After skimming the surface of the water with your dip-net, or towing the surface net over the water for a time, the net should be emptied into a clean dish of water. There may be a number of fairly large things in the catch, such as jelly-fish (Fig. 15), small fish or even swimming-crabs, but more probably you will see apparently few living objects. The dish of water should be placed on a black surface and a strong light turned on it. Very soon you will find numerous tiny creatures swimming rapidly about. Some of these will gather in masses near the light, while others will sink to the bottom or gather around the edges of the dish. The most numerous and lively creatures will probably be small crustaceans or shrimp. Some of these are very beautiful and give off a bright phosphorescent glow at night. Other odd creatures looking like Fig. 16 will also attract attention, and although you would never guess it these are really young crabs. Young oysters (Fig. 17), and young barnacles (Fig. 18), will also be in most catches of surface animals and these are most interesting creatures to watch and study. To observe and assort these little beings to the best advantage a lens should be used and by placing a watch crystal filled with the water under a low-powered microscope you may amuse yourself by the hour watching the wonderful little creatures whose existence you would never suspect otherwise. Among these are young starfishes (Fig. 19) and young sea-urchins, with a host of other tiny animals no whit less interesting and instructive but which it is impossible to describe in detail in this article. While most of these little surface inhabitants are too small and fragile to preserve for your museum, you will occasionally secure larger and equally interesting animals. Commonest of these are the jelly-fishes already mentioned. Most of these are very difficult to preserve, but some of them make very good specimens and the only way to determine which may be preserved and which not is to try them all and throw away those that go to pieces or contract too much. Other good sized surface animals are the squids or cuttle fishes (Fig. 20). These are quite common at certain seasons and are caught by the fishermen in large numbers for bait. They are very easy to preserve, but in order to show them to the best advantage they should be fastened to a thin board or piece of celluloid as soon as killed and then kept in formaline or alcohol until thoroughly firm. They may then be placed in a jar, mount and all.
Interesting as you will find shore and surface collecting, if you will start dredging for bottom animals you will find it the most fascinating of all. Here you are working on ground never seen by man and with every haul of the dredge you are likely to find some creature never before known to science and are sure to obtain a great number of animals quite new to you and valuable for your collection. The instruments used in this work are easily made and inexpensive and consist of a rectangular dredge (Fig. 21), a trawl (Fig. 22), and tangles (Fig. 23).
The frame of the dredge can be made by any blacksmith and for boys’ use it may be made of light iron 14-inch thick. The scrapers (A A) should not flare too much, for if they do it will be likely to catch on rocks and other objects, besides digging up a lot of useless mud and dirt. The net (B B) is fastened to the frame by tarred rope or copper wire and outside of the net an open bag of canvas is placed to protect the dredge-net from tearing (X). An old fish net may be made over for a dredge, but if possible it is better to get a good new net. These dredge nets are not expensive and may be bought of almost any dealer in nets and Ashing tackle. It is a good plan to have the lower end of the net left open and merely tied together with rope, as this saves the trouble of turning inside out at each haul. The rope should be fastened to the dredge, as shown in the figure, as by this arrangement the small line (C C) breaks if the dredge catches on a rock or other object, and the dredge thus swinging end on, allows it to pull off the obstruction. A short distance from the dredge a weight should be attached to the main rope to keep the stretch of the latter from lifting the mouth of dredge from the bottom. The trawl (Fig. 22) consists of an iron frame (F), an iron or strong wooden beam (E), and a net with one edge weighted with lead (G). The tangle (Fig. 23) can be made by any boy and consists of bunches of twine or raveled rope fastened to pieces of chains so it may be dragged over the bottom by a rope fastened to the bar (B). The dredge should be used on muddy or sandy bottoms; the trawl on mud, sand, or mixed bottoms, and the tangles anywhere, but preferably on rocky or rough bottoms where a dredge or trawl cannot be used.
To dredge from a row boat or launch is very easy, as it is only necessary to throw over the dredge, trawl or tangle and then row or run the boat slowly ahead until you think it time to see what you have caught.
In dredging from a sail boat care should be taken and the work should not be undertaken unless two persons thoroughly familiar with handling sailing boats are together. If the current is strong the dredge or trawl may be fastened to the bows and the boat allowed to drift slowly, exactly as though she were dragging her anchor, or, if the current is not strong enough to move the dredge, a line may be fastened to the dredge rope from the stern so the boat will swing broadside to the current. If there is no strong current to work for you it is best to tow the dredge behind as slowly as the wind will permit, and for this reason a sail should be reefed close down when dredging even in light winds. The most favorable position for dredging when sailing is shown in Fig. 24, in which the arrow shows direction of wind, A the boat, and B the dredge rope. In this position the boat may be luffed up slightly to keep her moving slowly, while if the dredge sticks or hangs back, the boat may be quickly brought into the wind.

You will find it lots of fun watching the oyster dredges come up and among the oysters you will find large numbers of other shells, lots of crabs, sea anemones, worms, crustaceans and other animals, while star-fishes,—the oysters’ worst enemy,—are everywhere.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Lacey Amy

W(illiam) Lacey Amy, 1877-1962
Lacey Amy sihnature from travel document 1924.

Luke Allan, really, William Lacey Amy. Was a journalist and author British popular novels.

A journalist by training, he joined in that capacity, Medicine Hat Times, before becoming the editor and owner.
In addition to his professional activities, he adopts the pseudonym Luke Allan to publish many works of popular literature. He is best known for the series that takes both the Western novel and the detective novel and Blue Pete's hero, an officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police whose exploits take place in the Canadian Prairies.
Between 1930 and 1938, Luke Allan published seven whodunits located in England where Gordon Muldrew police investigation London. He also gave more than a dozen popular novels without recurring hero.

Another version of the biography states...ALLAN, Luke, pseudonym of William Lacey Amy, born 9 Jun 1877 in Sydenham, Grey Co., Ontario, Canada; died in Pinellas Co., Florida in Nov 1962. He was a journalist and author who travelled extensively in many parts of the world. He chiefly used the pen name, Luke Allan. In 1921 he began a series for which he created a half-breed ex-cattle rustler, Blue Pete, who became an undercover agent for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The last of the series was published in 1950. Blue Pete: Half-Breed, the first of the series, begins in the Cypress Hills near Medicine Hat, Alberta, with a confrontation between Constable Mahon of the Mounted Police and Blue Pete, fleeing for safety to Canada. He becomes the Mountie's friend.


Blue Pete
·                                 Blue Pete: Half Breed (1921)
·                                 The Return of Blue Pete (1922)
·                                 Blue Pete: Detective (1928)
·                                 Blue Pete (1938)
·                                 The Vengeance of Blue Pete (1939)
·                                 Blue Pete Rebel (1940)
·                                 Pete has Blue Country Debt (1942)
·                                 Blue Pete Breaks the Rules (1943)
·                                 Blue Pete: Outlaw (1944)
·                                 Blue Pete's Dilemma (1945)
·                                 Blue Pete to the Rescue (1947)
·                                 Blue Pete's Vendetta (1947)
·                                 Pinto Pete and the Blue (1948)
·                                 Blue Pete Works Alone (1948)
·                                 Blue Pete Unofficially (1949)
·                                 Blue Pete: Indian Scout (1950)
·                                 Blue Pete at Bay (1951)
·                                 Blue Pete years the Kid (1953)
·                                 Blue Pete Rides the Foothills (1953)
·                                 Blue Pete in the Badlands (1954)

Series Gordon Muldrew
·                                 The Masked Stranger(1930)
·                                 Murder at Midnight (1930)
·                                 The Jungle Crime (1931), By Luke Allan, 1 edition published in 1931 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
·                                 The Fourth Dagger (1932)  Review from The Bookman, Christmas 1932.
“The Fourth Dagger,” by Luke Allan, creator of Blue Pete. This opens with an agonised scream for help from the window of a great hotel. The tale is told by Tiger Lillie, crime reporter of a. newspaper, and if he and his friends strain our credulity a little at times, they provide a series of quick-fire adventures which will fully satisfy those who bother less about details than about thrills.
·                                 Murder at the Club (1933)
·                                 Behind the Wire Fence (1935)
·                                 Beyond the Locked Door (1938)
Other novels
·                                 The Lone Trail (1922)
·                                 The Beast (1924)
·                                 The Westerner (1924) 1 edition published in 1924 in English and held by 2 libraries worldwide
·                                 The Pace (1926)
·                                 The White Camel (1926)
·                                 The Sire (1927) by Luke Allan, 1 edition published in 1927 in English and held by 2 libraries worldwide
·                                 The End of the Trail (1931) 1 edition published in 1931 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
·                                 The Dark Spot (1932)
·                                 The Many-Coloured Thread (1932) 1 edition published in 1932 in English and held by 4 libraries worldwide
·                                 The Traitor (1933) 1 edition published in 1933 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
·                                 Five for One (1934)
·                                 Scotland Yard Takes a Holiday (1934) 1 edition published in 1934 in English and held by 5 libraries worldwide
·                                 The Black Opal (1935)
·                                 The Case of the Open Drawer (1936)
Published in French under the title The open drawer , Paris, Librairie des Champs-Élysées, 272, 1939
·                                 The Ghost Murder (1937)
·                                 The Man on the Twenty-Fourth Floor (1937) 1 edition published in 1937 in English and held by 3 libraries worldwide
·                                 The Tenderfoot (1939)

The Blue Wolf : a Tale of the Cypress Hills, by W. Lacey Amy (1913)

From Periodicals:
  • Blue Pete of the Mounted, (ss) Western Story Magazine Mar 5 1921
  • Greater Love, (ss) The Popular Magazine Apr 15 1910
  • Degrading a Generation essay
  • The Town that wasBorn Lucky. [Medicine Hat].Extracted from The Wide World Magazine, 1910
  • Interviewing Mount Robson, by Lacey Amy - with many marvelous photos, including Emperor Falls from The Wide World - The Magazine for Men, June 1915, No. 206, Vol. 35
  • unknown content from The Wide World Magazine - The Magazine for Men, September 1916 probably sword fishing in Nova Scotia
  • Railway Building in the Wilderness - III by Lacey Amy Nov. 1917 The Wide World magazine
Author(s):Keith Walden
Source:Journal of Canadian Studies. 24.2 (Summer 1989): p39.
Document Type:Article
Popular novelist William Lacey Amy (Luke Allan) began writing his series of Blue Pete novels trying to say something serious about western development. His perceptions derived from a common English-Canadian expectation of Edenic transformation as well as firsthand knowledge of life in southern Alberta. Vision and experience did not mesh. Unwilling to question his nationalist assumptions, Amy abandoned any hope of commenting on real western society and moved Blue Pete much closer to the realm of myth.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Blue Pete Book Series

Blue Pete
by Luke Allan
Books in the Blue Pete series

            #1 Blue Pete: Half Breed (1921)

            #2 The Return of Blue Pete (1922)

            #3 Blue Pete: Detective (1928)

            #4 Blue Pete (1938)

            #5 The Vengeance of Blue Pete (1939)

            #6 Blue Pete: Rebel (1940)

            #7 Blue Pete Pays a Debt (1942)

            #8 Blue Pete Breaks the Rules (1943)

            #9 Blue Pete: Outlaw (1944)

            #10 Blue Pete's Dilemma (1945)

            #11 Blue Pete to the Rescue (1947)

            #12 Blue Pete's Vendetta (1947)

            #13 Blue Pete and the Pinto (1948)

            #14 Blue Pete Works Alone (1948)

            #15 Blue Pete, Unofficially (1949)

            #16 Blue Pete: Indian Scout (1950)

            #17 Blue Pete At Bay (1951)

            #18 Blue Pete and the Kid (1953)

            #19 Blue Pete Rides the Foothills (1953)

            #20 Blue Pete in the Badlands (1954)

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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.