the main Government Building it is hard to say what you do not want
to see. Perhaps the most popular section is that in the southeast
corner of the building, under the label "Patent Office."
There you see in operation the electrograph,
the machine which transmits pictures by wire; the telautograph,
which enables you to write your signature ever so many miles away;
the voting-machine, the entertaining mutoscopes, the mechanical
mowing-machine, where the mown grass grows again while you wait,
and scores of other ingenious novelties. In a dark room in this
same part of the building the government schools make a novel exhibit
of their work by means of the biograph and phonograph, the performance
taking place at intervals from half past ten in the morning till
five at night. Twice every day, at eleven and at two, there is a
demonstration of wireless telegraphy in the War Department, under
the government dome.
Nernst Lamps Display
The "Dow" Typesetting Machine
the Electricity Building. At the east end of the building is a table
covered with telephonic transmitters, and you have but to hold two
of them to your ears to hear the thunderous roar of the Falls. The
roar was captured by a transmitter in
the Cave of the Winds, and is used as a sort of "bally-hoo"
by one of the great telephone companies. Nearly half of the north
wall of the building is occupied by the big transformer
plant, where the power from the Falls, arriving at the high
and dangerous potential of 11,000 volts, is stepped down to that
of 1,800 volts for use about the grounds.
Model of the Niagara Power House
This is an
electric exposition; the electrical exhibits cannot be contained
in a single building; they are everywhere. Niagara power drives
the trolley which carries you to the grounds; turns the wheels of
the countless machines in Machinery Hall; whirls the electric fans
which cool the theatres in the Midway; illuminates the cycloramas
and other electrical effects and illusions; makes possible the powerful
search-light on the Electric Tower
which sends signals to Toronto ; glows in the blended colors of
the Electric Fountain, and blossoms in a whole firmament of electric
stars which make up the glory of the Pan-American illumination.
All this makes of supreme interest a modest little working-model
of the Niagara Power House, near the western end of the Electricity
Building. A portion of the outer wall is removed to allow you to
see the wheel-pit and penstocks, and the turbines spinning in the
rush of water, revolving the humming dynamos in the power-house
of the apparatus in the Electricity Building is beyond the ken of
the layman; but the improved phonographs which send their strong,
full voices ringing through the building, appeal to the interest
of the least technically inclined. In a green burlaps-covered cabinet
near the centre of the building is shown a novel apparatus called
the akouphone, an electrical appliance enabling the deaf to hear
by increasing the force of sound-waves. The Delany
telegraph system, the model telephone station, and the X-rays
demonstration attract attention by day, while at night the beautiful
display of hanging Nernst lamps in
the draped roof make the building charming beyond its sister structures.
Propylæa, in the Railway Exhibit Building, are dozens of magnificent
big locomotives, and new model trolley cars and devices for automatic
coupling and the like. A big steam shovel, in operation out of doors
just beyond the Railway Building, is a sight worth an effort to
engines in Machinery Hall are in the depressed Central
Court. Among the more interesting exhibits on the ground floor
are the ice-machines, the paper-box making, the great drills and
lathes, and the like. But, then, to those who love machinery it
is all fascinating.
Bronson Hartt. "How to See the Pan-American Exposition,"
Everybody's Magazine, v.5, no.26 (October 1901)