Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/928

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912

��Popular Science Monthly

���Above: The stairway closed. At right: The stairway lowered. The pulleys are fastened to rafters in the attic

��Want to Go to the Attic? Just Pull Down the Stairs

IN a house in which every inch of space was utilized to advantage, a novel plan was worked out to reach the attic. In fact, no stairway was provided, so far as eye could see. But the ceiling in the hallway of the second story had an unusual panel with a brass handle at one end.

If you desired to visit the attic the secret would soon be made clear. You would simply be advised to take a curved- handled cane which stood in the corner nearby, hook it into the brass handle in the panel, and then pull down on it. Immediately the panel would be lowered and you would find on the upper side a ladder-like stairway leading directly in- to the attic.

The . panel-stairway is operated by a pulley attached to the rafters in the attic and to the inner side of the „ panel, as shown in the illustration above. The arrangement was found desirable in this case because the attic was used only occasionally.

��Something New in Industry — A Mouse Spins Cotton Thread

A THRIFTY Scotchman, David Hutton, conceived the idea of using mouse power commercially. He experimented with mice and found that a mouse will run on an average of ten and one half miles a day. One mouse in Mr. Hutton's collection actually ran eighteen miles in one day. The power of a mouse is not much when compared to horse power; yet it is enough to spin cotton thread.

The cost of mouse upkeep is not very high. One mouse was kept in fine working condition for thirty-five days on one-half penny's worth of oatmeal. During those thirty - five days that mouse ran three hundred and sixty - two miles. Mr. Hutton built a thread mill for his mice which was so constructed that the mouse was able to twist, and reel from one hundred to two hundred and twenty threads a day. The mouse ran ten and a half miles every other day. Two mice were kept constantly engaged in the spinning of thread for more than a year.

In five weeks, on a half-penny's worth of oatmeal, one mouse spun three thousand, three hundred and fifty threads, twenty-five inches long. Counting the earnings of the mouse at the rate paid to women for making thread, it was found that the mouse earned nine pence every six weeks. After deducting the yearly cost of the mouse's rations and the wear on machinery, the profits from the mouse were about a dollar and a half.

���A spinning mill designed to utilize the now wasted mouse power of the world. A mouse operating the machinery can spin three thousand, three hundred and fifty threads, twenty-five inches long, in five weeks

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