Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/30

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20
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

rather than by the readier means discovered in later times. Thus, when the vestals permitted the sacred fire to go out, it was rekindled by means of the sun's rays, concentrated by a lens. A similar method was employed by the ancient priests of Peru in kindling the sacrificial fire.

PSM V10 D030 Drill of the gauchos.jpg
Fig. 4—Fire-Drill of the Gauchos. (Tylor.)

An instrument resembling that employed by the Brahmans of India is to this day in use among the Esquimaux and the Aleuts (Fig. 6). It consists of a rod, one end of which fits into a mouth-piece, and the other into a hole in a piece of dry wood. The rod is twirled by means of a thong wound twice around it, and pulled to the right and left alternately by the hands.

Slight modifications occur in the form of the fire-drill, and various instruments have been devised to serve the same purpose. For instance, there are the bow-drill and the pump-drill, which latter is used both for obtaining fire and for boring holes in wood, stone, and metal (Figs. 5 and 7).

PSM V10 D030 Bow drill used by the sioux.jpg
Fig. 5.—Bow-Drill, used by the Sioux. (Tylor.)

Of other means of procuring fire we will simply mention, in passing, the striking together of flints, or flint and steel, or iron pyrites; striking together two pieces of bamboo (this method peculiar to China); compressing air in a tube of ivory or of wood (a process adopted by the Malays, etc.).