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The CHARTS.--A series of charts has been compiled from the observations made by the numerous intelligent navigators engaged in the scientific enterprise set on foot by Lieut. Maury. The pilot chart is derived from these results. The ocean is divided into square districts, of five degrees in length on each side. The winds for each month in each district are then col. lated, and it is hence easy, knowing the prevailing set of the winds for each month, to decide upon the probability of finding in each district a favorable wind. The problem then assimilates to that of the engineer who is called on to make detours to avoid mountain masses in fixing on the best line for a road on land.
The thermal charts are of no little scientific import, and from them we learn the office of the ocean in ameliorating the climates of the earth.
The chart of the trade-winds embodies the results of the observations made on these winds. One remarkable discovery has been made, and it is that the southeast trade region is wider than that of the northeastern trade in both oceans. The average line of division is about 9° north of the equator.
Ocean TELEGRAPH.—The soundings reported in the preceding table establishes, beyond doubt, the practicability of laying a submarine electric cable on the bottom of the ocean.-ED.
Art. III.SUBTERRANEAN TELEGRAPH,
AS COMPARED WITH WIRES IN THE AIR.
OWING to the difficulties experienced in working wires on poles, or in the air, on account of atmospheric electricity, the minds of many are, at present, fixed upon a thousand plans to remedy the evils, and among these diversified speculations is a subterranean telegraph. At present we are disposed to say but little upon the subject
, having serious objections to any and all modes proposed; and as to that which is surrounded with the least evil, we are unable to determine, except upon questionable theories.
An English writer thus refers to the subject, although we believe there are some subterranean telegraphs in France :
“It may be said that much of the alleged damage likely to ensue from the action of natural currents of electricity passing through the atmosphere, would be obviated by the use of wires buried in the earth ; but when it is found in the case of even a single line of telegraph in Prussia, that more than one hundred miles of wire which were buried in the earth—owing to their defective insulation, and the difficulty experienced, and the time occupied in detecting the exact position of those defects, and in remedying them when discovered—have been abandoned, and the wires suspended on posts in their stead, the employment of subterranean wires for the sake merely of lessening the effects of atmospheric electricity cannot be recommended.
"And again, when we call to mind the great additional expense that must be incurred at the first outset, and the great difficulty and expense that must be encountered afterwards in submerging additional wires, when the increasing wants of trade demand such additions, it would appear unwise, in the present unsatisfactory evidence on the subject, to pursue very extensively the plan of burying the wires in the earth, in preference to their suspension in the air, unless money were of little or no importance, and the best possible insulation was demanded, whatever might be the cost.”
We may be too fastidious in our views as to the practicability of a subterranean telegraph ; but until there is more evidence upon the subject, and the plan thoroughly tested, we cannot refrain from entertaining a doubt as to the general feasibility, unless at a very great expense, and even then its economy is very questionable
Our lines are very lengthy, and extend over lowlands and uplands, mountains and valleys, plains and swamps, spreading over every species of formation common to the earth. Through many sections of America, the expense of a subterranean system would be very great, and in fact so large, that the prospective income of many, if not all the lines, would never be commensurate with the hopes and wants of investing capitalists.
Extend our commerce to the port of Singapore ; laden our ships with the natural products of Borneo, Malacca, and other islands of the Eastern Archipelago; admit them free of duty; open for competition the manufacture of gutta percha insulation; and then, and not until then, need we contemplate the beauties of a Telegraph Line, freed from the annoying hin. drances of atmospheric electricity, particularly in the South and West, where Autumn is frequent in the production of the most gorgeous aurora borealis.
T. P. S.
We have seen, within the last half century, the most surprising changes in the condition of human affairs, brought about by the scientific application of established principles to practical uses. Not but that noble buildings, and beautiful statuary and magnificent bridges, remain as monuments of the past; but it was not for antiquity to invent steamboats, or railways, or the Napier press, or the magnetic telegraph, nor to equal even in architecture some of the splendid edifices which mark the progress of our age.
Magnetism, supposed to have but one power, and that a directive one,—to have but one practical use, that by which the navigator steers his bark in safety,-is now applied in the reduction of ores, and in the lifting of weights, and the writing of words, and by its ready obedience to a newly-discovered law, becomes the trusty amanuensis of the telegraphic conductor.
Galvanism, allied to electricity and magnetism, having the characteristics of both, with effects dissimilar, has also given its aid, under the direction of science, and we have its singular cements flowing through the vats of the laboratory, to form new metallic combinations, and to give strength, durability, and beauty to fabrics of indispensable necessity. The galvanic battery arms iron not only with the powers of the magnet, but gives it security from corrosion, and thus we have rapidly coming into use materials with which, but a short time ago, we were entirely unacquainted.
Art. IV.—THE AMERICAN TELEGRAPH CONFEDERATION,
ORGANIZED AT WASHINGTON, MARCH 5TH, 1853—TO ASSEMBLE ANNUALLY
COMPOSED, BY REPRESENTATION, FROM ALL LINES IN NORTH AMERICA USING THE MORSE AMERICAN ELECTRO-MAGNETIC TELEGRAPH.
The origin of this Association was the publication of a call, signed by the Presidents and others of a large number of the Telegraph Lines in the United States, inviting every company, using the Morse system, to send one or more representatives to a Convention, to assemble at Washington City, March 5th, 1853. The object of the Convention, as thus promulgated, was to act on such matters as might be of interest to the lines in common, without regard to the special interest of any given line or connection.
The Convention assembled, and embraced a representation from lines, amounting in extent to at least three-fourths of the wires in America. Various proceedings took place, and among them the adoption of a resolution, presented by Mr. Alvord of Missouri, organizing a General Committee on Čonfederation, to act in the interim of the Convention, with general powers. That committee, at an early day, after the adjournment of the Convention, issued the annexed circular address, which werepublish for more general reflection. It embraces some very important facts, worthy of the daily consideration of every telegrapher, which, too, must sooner or later be an integral on the final adoption of a universality of business system. Finding the business proper for this committee to act upon, as contemplated by the Convention, too great to receive the necessary attention, the editor of the Companion was selected to act as Secretary, and as soon as possible, resigned his offices in the West to assume the new duties at Washington City, under the official direction of the committee appointed by the Convention as aforesaid.
The circular address of the Secretary, following that of the committee, will evidently startle the minds of every telegraph management throughout the country, and at the same time infuse a cheerful spirit, and new hope for success, in the prospect of realizing the immense saving, so emphatically exhibited by that document. The facts therein promulgated are worthy of immediate attention. The plans proposed ought to be adopted without delay, that the benefits may the earlier be accomplished.
To the Presidents of the several Companies using Morse's American
Electro-Magnetic Telegraph, in the United States, Mexico, and the British Colonies in North America.
GENTLEMEN:-In obedience to the directions of the Telegraph Convention, recently held in the City of Washington, the undersigned have the honor to transmit a copy of the resolutions adopted by them, and ask the concurrence and future co-operation of your respective companies.
The members of the late Convention, as well from their observation and experience abroad, as by an interchange of views among themselves, were deeply impressed with the neces. sity of some organization to preserve harmony, and produce uniformity in the mode of doing business by the many compa. nies using Morse's Telegraph. Obviously this can be attained only by laying aside, for the occasion, all animosities and jealousies, which may have grown out of competition, or the violation of exclusive privileges, real or supposed, and waiving for that purpose only, but without abandoning, all conflicting claims. Acting upon these principles, the recent Convention was distinguished by the harmony and good feeling which characterized its sittings, giving promise of good to be derived from the annual recurrence of such assemblages.
It is, perhaps, a public misfortune, that all the principal telegraph lines of the country are not subject to one control, governed by one set of rules, and presenting in all cases an undivided responsibility.
As such an arrangement is obviously impracticable, it becomes important to the companies, and to the public, to secure by other arrangements, as far as practicable, the advantages which would result from a controlling power. Many evils have already shown themselves as incident to the present system, among which are the following, viz. :
1. The adoption of different abbreviations and signals on different lines, rendering their language measurably unintelligi. ble to each other. On some lines it has even been proposed to change the elements of which some of the letters of Morse's Alphabet are composed. It requires no argument to prove that the tendency of these practices is to produce utter confusion in the business of telegraphing; and if allowed to proceed, those engaged in it will become as unintelligible to each other, as were the builders of Babel after the confusion of tongues. This mischief cannot be obviated otherwise than by a concert of ac