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the happy medium. And he must do so with every new fuel he burns, because of the great differences in the burning qualities of fuels, even of the same sort. As for managing the grate, we are told by Mr. A. M. Daniels, expert for the Department of Agriculture, that a fire should not be shaken down more than three times a day, and generally not more than twice. As soon as the first bright spot is seen through the grate, stop shaking. Rock the grate back and forth rather than turn it over completely. Disturbing the fire by poking is also advised against unless this is absolutely necessary. However, some coals make clinkers that fuse into large masses. These will not go through the grate and must be worked up with a poker and taken out through the fire door. But this occurs seldom. To try to work such a mass through the grate would mean that much unconsumed coal would also go through the grate.
Never shake live coals through the grate. To be sure, the ashes could be sifted and these coals recovered; but few of us are willing these days to sift ashes. The better way is to avoid shaking down the unburned coal. In mild weather a considerable accumulation of ashes can profitably be left on the grate.
But ashes should never be allowed to remain in the ash pit. The volume of the ash pit is carefully calculated and is designed to permit enough air to pass into and through it to burn the fuel properly and at the same time keep the grate bars cool enough to prevent injury by overheating. If ashes are allowed to remain in the pit, they prevent uniform air circulation, hinder combustion, and cause damage to grates.
This winter, as never before, many householders will use substitutes for anthracite coal. According to Mr. Henry Kreisinger, of the United States Bureau of Mines, the following fuels, in the order named, are best for house-heating purposes:
1. Anthracite, in sizes from one-half inch to egg size.
2. Coke, in pieces one-half inch to three inches across.
3. Coal briquets, two to three inches in diameter.
4. Screened Pocahontas (semi-bituminous) coal between one-fourth inch and three or four inches.
5. Sized bituminous in pieces one-half inch to three inches.
Soft coal and semi-bituminous coal are both practicable fuels for the home furnace, but they should be used with care and handled in a way quite different from anthracite. When firing anthracite, the best results are obtained by spreading the coal evenly over the entire fuel bed. The fire should not be allowed to become too low before a new supply is added, and the bed should be disturbed as little as possible. This bed should be thick. Semi-bituminous coals of the Pocahontas type can be used in the same way, by spreading them entirely over the fire bed, and to about the thickness of
eight to ten inches. They are nearly smokeless and make but little soot.
Bituminous coal should be fired only by placing fresh fuel over one-half of the fire bed at a time. These soft coals give off great quantities of gas, etc. When half of the fire bed is left uncovered, the volatile matter rising from the fresh charge is quickly ignited by the glowing coals in the uncovered half. If the entire surface of the bed is covered with a heavy charge of coal, the volatile matter arising does not ignite for a considerable time and passes away unburned as tarry, greenish-yellow smoke. Furnace and flues become filled with this smoke, and when finally the fire burns through the new layer of coal the smoke and gas may explode with sufficient violence to blow down the furnace pipes and fill the house with smoke. Such explosions are particularly likely to occur if the coal contains much slack. So be careful when using soft coal to cover only part of the fire at a time.
Soft coal makes a much more intense heat than hard coal does, and is consequently much harder on grates. More ashes will have to be left under the fire, therefore, to prevent the warping of the grate bars.
On account of haulage charges, wood usually costs too much for use in cities; but for towns near woodlands wood is an excellent fuel. Wood needs more combustion space than coal. A coal stove can be changed at very slight expense by having the fire-bricks removed and lighter ones substituted. However, very good results can be obtained in almost any stove with wood. Furnaces can be heated with wood, and many manufacturers make special wood grates for their furnaces. Short blocks eight to twelve inches are best for furnace use. Hardwood is preferable, though any sort of wood will produce heat. The best method of firing is to keep the furnace packed full of wood, with a moderate draught. The simplest and most effective way to use wood in a furnace is to combine it with coal. Pack the fire box with wood to the level of the fire door, and put a layer of coal on top. Some of this coal will settle down in the crevices between the sticks of wood, making a level bed with coal on top.
One of the most economical stoves for burning wood can be made by turning an ordinary furnace into a "Wilson heater." Remove the grate bars and lay fire-brick on the floor of the ash pit. Build a wood fire on the fire-brick, close the ash-pit door tight and keep the ventilator in the fuel door open. A wood fire made in this way will burn very slowly.
Doubtless the most efficient way of all to burn wood is in one of the so-called wood heaters, which are tight little sheet-iron stoves. A very good sized one can be had for $6 or $7, and smaller ones for $4 or $5. One can burn anything in them, and even rubbish or punk wood will heat a room well. We live in the country, and, having our own wood
We have several Time and again
lot, burn mostly wood. of these little stoves. I have noticed, on cold winter mornings that when I start the fire in the stove in our living-room the temperature of the room will rise about a degree a minute. When the temperature reaches the desired point, it is possible to damper down the fire so that the wood merely smolders. Burning thus, a chunk of good wood will last half a day or all night. In the autumn we take the chill off the room by burning one or two newspapers in the stove. The fact that these stoves are as nearly one hundred per cent efficient as any stove can be makes them particularly desirable at a time like this. For half the price of a ton of coal one can buy a good wood heater. Chips, dead limbs from the dooryard trees, rubbish, old papers, etc., will make an unbelievable amount of heat. I knew a man who heated one bedroom with such a stove, and during the course of many years he never bought a cent's worth of wood. The fallen twigs in his yard gave enough fuel to warm the room at rising and retiring time.
No system of heating and no sort of fuel, however, will heat a house properly unless the householder pays attention to the matter of humidity. Air in the open contains a large percentage of moisture. When we shut up our houses, we dry the air. Moist air is like a blanket. It holds the heat within our bodies. Dry air allows it to escape. A properly humid air will feel warmer at 65° than a dry air at 80° and be more wholesome. To moisten the air is a much cheaper way of heating than to buy coal at $14 a ton. So keep the kitchen tea-kettle spouting steam, and on occasion open the cocks of the steam radiators. Set out some pans of water to evaporate. We keep an ornamental brass bowl full of water on the big wood heater in our living-room. Warm water evaporates faster than cold water. Keep your air moist, and it will help you keep your fuel bills low.
Make sure that you have fresh air in the house, as it is wholesome. But you do not need too much fresh air. The construction of the average house permits plenty of air to come in through cracks, and when it is very cold and the wind blows hard far too much fresh air comes in. The average heating system will not warm so much cold air. Then it is necessary to bar this cold air out. Tighten up the joints and cracks by weather strips, pieces of felt, building paper, etc. That will help tremendously to conserve the heat.
In some sections of the country, at least, there will probably be a serious shortage of hard coal this winter. That need not necessarily mean a shortage of heat. Hard coal is only one form of fuel practicable for home consumption. By substituting some other form, at least in part, perhaps we ourselves can make that one lump of coal do the work of two. At any rate, it's worth a try.
"BUCKER" READY TO CROSSCUT A TEN-FOOT FIR. THE SIX-FOOT LOG IN FOREGROUND IS A HALF-BURIED WINDFALL WHICH HAS BEEN DOWN MORE THAN A HUNDRED YEARS BUT IS PERFECTLY SOUND. SHINGLES ARE MAINLY MADE FROM DOWN CEDARS
TY first job in the Western woods was cutting bolts for a local shingle mill. I can still well remember when I dug my first log from under the moss, and sat for a long time on a near-by stump, viewing disgustedly the decayed tree that I was ordered to saw into 54-inch-length shingle bolts. When the foreman approached, I belligerently inquired where he got the idea that I would work up a lot of worthless cull material.
He looked me over carefully, and then cryptically remarked: "I guess you're a newcomer. Pretty green about timber. When you're here a while you'll find that woods used for shingle manufacture are purely by-products, as a rule. A shingle is only a few inches long, and we use timber for it that's no good for other purposes. Timber that has smashed across stumps in falling, making only short lengths available, is conserved by cutting it into shingle bolts.
"You'll also find that big timber, especially the overripe, large cedar, generally has a heavy center rot. When that log goes to the mill, all the clear grades are used for cedar siding and other satisfactory marketable grades that are now and always will be in great de
mand. But you'll find that a lot of timber still remains around the heart rot. This is used for shingles, and makes the finest in the world, but it couldn't be used for anything else, because solid pieces could not be obtained in any lengths suitable for lumber.
"Remember, young fellow, if you're going to remain a shingle-bolt cutter, you'll have to get the idea out of your head that you're going to work fine big, green, merchantable trees," concluded the foreman.
For many years after that, in odd months, I engaged in shingle-bolt cut ting, and it always gave me a great deal of satisfaction to know that the great Coast shingle industry was built on the manufacture of material that would otherwise be practically a total waste.
A CONGRESSIONAL BLUNDER
I was in the State of Washington this summer when the cedar-shingle free list was announced. I couldn't credit the news, and felt certain that the Western Union had made a mistake. I didn't believe for several days that Congress could have made such a willful, wanton blunder. And then my mind reverted to the shingle weavers. There are many
thousands of them on the Coast. They form a substantial part of the population of such cities as Everett, Bellingham, Seattle, Hoquiam, Raymond, and many other cities and towns. These men are much like coal miners for shingle weaving is about the only business that they know. What a shame that scores of mills, formerly beehives of industry, will now have to give way to the whimsical idiosyncrasies of MidWestern Senators and Representatives!
The Farm Bloc group of Congressmen have a just right to feel proud of the protection they secured in the FordneyMcCumber Tariff Bill for the American farmer. There is certainly no one in America that will regret this muchneeded legislation to elevate the standards of the greatest group of American industries. Everything pertaining to the farm has finally received the protec tion that it should have received when the Underwood Tariff of 1913 was placed in effect.
HEAVY TARIFF PROTECTION FOR FARM
The leaders of the Farm Bloc were able to take practically every kind of agricultural product from the free
This incline, more than 3,000 feet long, is typical of the extensive railway work necessary for logging in the Northwest. Sometimes such roads are run every half-mile through the forests. The cedar windfalls in such a tract as this should be made into shingles for reasons of economy of operation and conservation of natural resources
with a tariff that really will result in great benefit to the long-suffering American farmer. The following important products have been taken from the free list and have been protected by the tariff indicated: cattle, 11⁄2 cents to 2 cents a pound; fresh beef, 3 cents a pound; fresh mutton, 21⁄2 cents a pound; fresh lamb, 4 cents a pound; bacon, 2 cents a pound; and cream, 20 cents a gallon. Horses valued over $150 a head were raised from $10 to $30. But in grain protection the Farm Bioc adherents have a just right to feel proud. They took buckwheat off the free list and placed on it a tariff of 10 cents a hundredweight; corn, 15 cents a bushel; corn grits and meal, 30 cents a hundredweight; rye, 15 cents a bushel; rye flour, 45 cents a hundredweight; wheat flour, 78 cents a hundredweight; brewers' grain, $5 a ton; Irish potatoes, 50 cents a hundredweight.
Most men and groups of men vested with unlimited power generally become so intoxicated with it that they shamefully abuse it. Whereas the leaders of the bloc coterie demanded and obtained adequate protection for the farmer, the iron and steel producer, the wool grower, and almost every other conceivable American enterprise, they were cruelly unscrupulous, glaringly arrogant and domineering, toward one of the most picturesque and worthy industries of the Pacific Northwest-the shingle industry.
Despite the pleas of thousands of shingle weavers in the entire business and industry element of the Pacific Northwest, the Mid-Western Senators and Congressmen closed their eyes, and doggedly refused the protection necessary to save the shingle industry from practical annihilation.
Thereby hangs a tale.
The Western shingle industry was originally placed on the free list under the Underwood Tariff Act of 1913. Since that time over 190 shingle mills in western Washington and Oregon have been dismantled. British Columbia, however, enjoying the protecting wing of Congress, has increased its production 250 per cent during this nine-year period of free trading with America; and 85 per cent of British Columbia's entire shingle production is sold in the lumber yards of the United States.
As a direct result, our own great industry has almost ceased to be.
A great many shingle mills had of course hung on. Many that had closed were only awaiting the time when a Republican Congress would recognize the great injustice dealt the shingle industry and place a protection that would again permit this extremely necessary industry to flourish.
I say they were hopeful. They were. But now that they know the truth and realize that Oriental labor receives more consideration from Congress than white labor does, these shingle-mill owners and the thousands of shingle-mill workers, known as shingle weavers, will probably give up the ghost, while a few
will continue to hope against hope that the coming Congress will redeem itself by passing an amendment playing fair with the Pacific Northwest.
It may be that enthusiastic conservationists in Washington have gained, in some mysterious way, the erroneous idea that giving British Columbia the American shingle industry would conserve the cedar in our own country for future generations. I have heard from many sources this conception of what I term the biggest blunder Congress has made in many years.
But I cannot believe that any man living in any part of America could be so densely misinformed regarding the fundamental basis of the shingle industry as to be deceived by the conservation theory. Whatever excuse the Farm Bloc adherents may offer for the iniquitous cedar-shingle clause, one thing is cer tain. Every man that voted for it knew that it meant the death knell to one of the West's leading industries, and they furthermore knew full well that it meant a deliberate waste of millions of feet of cedar timber that will now be consigned to the refuse burner, to make sparks and smoke, whereas formerly great stacks of cedar shingles rose from the manufacture of grades of cedar timber that could be utilized for nothing else.
The action of the Mid-Western Sena. tors and Representatives has therefore added to the waste and created a fire danger in the Western woods for no other apparent reason than to protect Oriental labor used in British Columbia in shingle production.
PLAYING INTO THE HANDS OF ORIENTAL LABOR IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
The very best white labor is employed in the American shingle industry. These men work eight hours a day, and enjoy good working conditions. Now that the industry they have been engaged in has practically been killed, the question naturally rises, Who will be the beneficiaries?
That is easily answered. British Columbia shingle mills are manned almost wholly by cheap Oriental labor. It certainly was thoughtful of Congress to have taken such great pains to protect the Oriental in British Columbia while legislating out of employment a high-grade, substantial white population in Washington and Oregon.
I would like to believe that the action of Congress was one of misunderstanding, rather than a deliberate intention to favor British Columbia and its Oriental labor while destroying our own industry under the mistaken belief that probably the American consumer would greatly benefit, and that American timber would be conserved. I would like to believe that but I don't. I don't think any one else does who is familiar with the facts.
It has been repeatedly asserted by men who should know that behind the shingle tariff laws there was a tremendous lobby, representing interests in
control of nearly one million acres of British Columbia timberlands.
A major part of this vast British Columbia timbered area is controlled by Minnesota capitalists, and I note from the Congressional records that Minne sota politicians in Congress were by far the most active in seeing to it that the Oriental labor in British Columbia gained preference over the white labor of the State of Washington.
If adequate protection to the shingle industry would have created a prohibitive cost to American home builders, there would be slight objection, even in the West, toward shingles being placed on the free list, but it is a well-known fact, from coast to coast, that, since the cedar used in shingles is only a byproduct, and since there are so many hundreds of small operators in the business, the shingle industry was conducted on such a narrow margin of profit as to be almost negligible.
I well remember, several years ago, when a shingle manufacturer of Everett, Washington, purchased an automobile. I met one of this gentleman's friends, and his first remark was: “I guess John has married a rich widow this time. He certainly could never have bought an automobile from the profits of his shingle mill."
There is another story that has gone the rounds of the Washington woods for many years. If this story is not true, it certainly correctly illustrates the profit and loss side of the shingle industry. An old grizzled Washington lumberman had engaged for many years in a bitter personal quarrel with a lumber-owning competitor. The quarrel had waxed hotter and hotter, when suddenly the senior member of the two-party feud was stricken with typhoid fever. A doctor was called, and he informed the logger that he had only a short time to live. The fast-sinking timber owner sent for one of his best friends, and confided to him that he hated to die, mainly because he had never got revenge on his enemy.
"That's easy," replied the friend. "Why don't you will him one of your shingle mills?"
"Done!" triumphantly whispered the sinking timberman, as he turned his face to the wall. "My revenge is complete. I die happy."
Congress may feel proud of its action. I have personally read many different remarks, talked with scores of shingle weavers and shingle-mill owners while I was on Puget Sound this fall. These men, without exception, were so highly incensed that their opinion of the Farm Bloc action could not be published in The Outlook.
One caustic comment appeared in one of the Seattle newspapers, which, in my opinion, covered the subject very well. It declared: "The placing of cedar shingles on the free list, and placing cedar logs on a prohibitively dutiable list, is the limitless, illimitable, and unlimited limit of economic and political blundering."
T must have been twenty-nine, no, thirty years ago that my father bought the Old Lighthouse Point at Middlehaven. He was among the earliest of the summer people to make a home in that part of Maine, and his purchase of the abandoned light and a hundred acres or more of rocks, blueberry bushes, and pasture land was something of an event in the annals of the town.
Middlehaven lies, as you know, on the shore of a heavily wooded island off the mouth of the Kennecataquis River. Its harbor is a crescent which bites deeply into the northern shore of the island. The old light and my father's land marked the western end of the harbor, and from that rocky promontory, reaching up into the deep waters of Kennecataquis Sound, you could look across the harbor and read the history of the town with a single sweep of the eye.
Silhouetted against the woods on the hill behind the town stood a row of great square houses built in the days when New Englanders were at home in all the seven seas. Some of these old mansions, when my father first went to Middlehaven, were beginning to fall into disrepair. They were no longer white with the spick-and-spanness of New England, but weatherbeaten and gray from neglect. To the east and the west of these relics of past greatness were scattered the smaller houses of the fishermen, whose industry, in the want of far adventurers, kept the town alive. There was a none too picturesque street of small shops that ambled along behind the ramshackle piers, and in the waters of the harbor usually twenty or more fishing sloops and dingy trading schooners were waiting for the wind.
I have left the clearest page of Middlehaven's record until the last. Beyond the town, at the other end of the crescent from my father's land, lay what remained of a great shipyard. The masts of a few fishing vessels and a coasting schooner under construction; the great gaunt ribs of an unfinished ship, blackened with years of sun and rain; and the marks where a dozen ways had once run from the yard into the harbor waters, were all that was left of an industry which once had made Middlehaven a name to conjure with among those who followed the sea. In the yard itself the gray-haired workmen told as clearly as the deserted ship of a trade which, after their passing, would be known no more.
This was the Middlehaven to which my father came three decades ago. There is a different Middlehaven nowa Middlehaven of country clubs and summer cottages, of motor boats and motor cars, of strange new faces and harply drawn social lines. am glad
that my boyhood was spent in the Middlehaven that was before the coming of King Gasoline.
E lived the first of our summers in the old light itself. Its stubby tower served on alternate days as a studio for my father and a playhouse for me. Some of our neighbors may have called my father "that cracked artist" when his back was turned, but most of them, I am sure, felt for him sympathy and understanding and made their feelings manifest by a hundred deeds of friendly kindness. It was to one of his neighbors that my father turned for advice in his second summer at Middlehaven. He was planning to build a new stone studio on the seaward shore of his land. The design my father had drawn up himself, and he wished to find a mason who had, as he described it, "a feeling for rocks." "I want a man," he said, "who can build me a house without destroying the face of nature within a radius of twenty miles. I want a man who knows that it is bad for the health of a blueberry bush to cover it with plaster and lime. I want a man who would prefer not to drag a heavy beam through my pet nursery of young pines." Our neighbor observed my father quizzically and tolerantly. "I think I know what you want, Mr. Tilton. You want a man to build you a house that will look as though it growed there. Better try and get Caleb Gurney." Then he added, after a pause, "That is, if he is working."
Father and I hoisted the sail of our dory and set out to find Caleb. We discovered him at last, sitting in the lee of the abandoned ship in the old yard. Great curls of clean shavings lay about his feet; the air was redolent with the smell of wood and the smoke from a stubby corncob pipe which hung at a perilous angle from Caleb's none too determined jaw. As nearly as I can remember, Caleb seemed to me then a man well past middle age. But I was only thirteen myself, and one's views of middle age alter rapidly as the years go by His face was round and full, his hair sandy gray. His skin was flushed and tightly drawn, and his eyes were blue and moist. His neck filled the collar of his flannel shirt to bursting. The picture he made, as I recall it, was not a prepossessing one, but there was a friendliness about his glance which made me instinctively trust him.
My father seated himself on the shavings. He lighted his own pipe before he spoke.
Middlehaven, when you praise a man, don't err on the side of generosity. If Middlehaven says you are a good mason, you must be."
"Well, then, I be," said Caleb. "What was ye wantin' uv me?"
"I am going to build a new house over on the point," said my father, motioning across the harbor with his pipe, "and I want to get a man to do the work who will leave the point so that I can recognize it when he gets through. Do you want a try at the job?"
"I don't know but I might," said Caleb. "I ben workin' here at the shipyard quite a piece, but I'm 'bout through. I like stun work, but somehow every once in a while I get a hankerin' to work in wood. My father was foreman in this yard, and his father afore him. I guess it's in the blood. Somehow, it don't seem right that this kind o' work should die out the way it's done." He shook himself as though to bring back his mind to the present and added: "I'll go with ye, Mr. Tilton-I've heard ye're a good man to work for-an' we'll hev a look at your plan.”
A fair wind carried us back across the harbor. Caleb had taken the tiller as we stepped into the dory. His hand rested upon the helm as delicately as the fingers of a violinist rest upon his bow. wake across the harbor was straight and steady, though Caleb's eyes seemed to ignore both our craft and the mark for which our course was laid.
"You're a good sailor, anyhow," my father said as our keel grated on the beach.
"If I wasn't, I'd be a lummox," said Caleb. "I was sailin' when this young-un here could 'a' put me in his pocket."
Father carried his plan out to the place which he had selected as the site of his studio and explained his wants briefly. When he had finished, Caleb wasted no words in questioning.
"We can bring our stun right here to the shore," he said, "in a scow. Put a pair o' shears on them rocks an' drop 'em right where we want 'em without bustin' a blade o' grass. There's a big stun wall in Deacon Turner's pasture thet runs right down to the shore. We can hev it for takin' it away. Jeff Taylor has an ole sloop we can use as a scow. There's plenty o' water to bring her in here loaded at low tide, an', with thet long ledge out there to break the sea, we can work here 'most any day snug as ye please. And when we get the buildin' done folks 'll trip over it without seein' it, it'll set here so
"They tell me, Mr. Gurney, that you're natcherel." a fine mason."
Nothing was said of wages. The
"Folks hev said I was," Caleb guard project changed swiftly from cne which edly replied.
"And I have generally found," my father went on, "that you people here in
involved "my studio" to Caleb's more inclusive "our house." On what terms the work was prosecuted I do not know.