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AT THE POND-SIDE
IT was June when Lawrence came to the pond-side to live. His uncle's house stood on a high green bank; and his aunt gave him an attic room with a window that looked out upon the water. The winding shores were fringed with flags and willows, or overhung by shady groves; and all around were orchards and gardens and meadows.
A happy boy was Lawrence, for he was passionately fond of the water, and he had never lived so near a pond before. The scene from his window was never twice the same. Sometimes the pond was like glass, mirroring the sky and the still trees. Sometimes light breezes swept over it, and sail-boats rode the dancing waves. Then there were the evenings, when clouds of the loveliest colors floated above it, and the moon rose and silvered it; and the mornings, when all the splendors of the new-risen sun were reflected into Lawrence's chamber.
"Whenever he had a leisure hour, - for he went to school, and worked in the garden, - he was to be seen rambling by the shore, or rowing away in his uncle's boat; and he found that the faithful performance of his tasks made his sports all the sweeter to him.
As children who play about the water are always in more or less danger of falling into it, Lawrence's uncle had lost no time in teaching him to swim.
" The first thing for you to learn," said the doctor, -for his uncle was a physician,-"is confidence. Plunge your head under water."
Lawrence did so, and came up with dripping hair and face, gasping. The doctor made him repeat the exercise until he neither gasped nor choked.
" That does not hurt you, does it? No. Neither will it hurt you if you sink to the bottom, for you can hold your breath; the water is shallow, and, besides, I am here to help you. Now try to take a single stroke, just as the frogs do. Throw yourself boldly off your feet, and don't be afraid of sinking."
Lawrence, after considerable hesitation, tried the experiment, and found that he could swim a single stroke, and come down upon his feet again without drowning. He tried it again and again, delighted at his success.
" That will do for this lesson," said his uncle. " You have been long enough in the water. Swimming is a fine exercise for boys, and the bath is good for them; but they often make the mistake of staying too long in the water. Especially at first you must be careful: after you get used to it, you can stay in longer. Never go in when you are heated; or if you do, come out again immediately, and continue exercising, so as to keep the pores of your skin open."
Lawrence learned, in his next lesson, to swim two strokes, and in a few days he could swim a rod (16 ½ feet). His uncle then taught him how to dive.
" You must avoid falling flat on the water; for if you do so, from any great height, it will beat the breath out of your body almost as suddenly as if you struck a board. Learn to keep your eyes open under the water. Some people's nostrils are so large that the water gets into their heads when they dive; if that is the case with yours, it will be well to stuff a little cotton into them."
Lawrence found no trouble of that kind. He was soon able to dive, and pick up pebbles, and to swim beneath the surface. His uncle then taught him how to rescue a drowning person.
" If he is still struggling, you must not let him get hold of you, or he will very likely cause you to drown with him. The safest and readiest method is to pull him up by his hair. Be sure and keep behind him as you bring him to the surface. Do not try to do more than to lift his face out of water, as you swim with him to the shore. The human body is so light that it may be supported in the water by a very slight effort; but it is hard to keep any portion of it much above the surface."
" But what shall I do after I get him to the shore?" asked Lawrence.
" That is something very important to learn, which you will very likely find useful some day, if you live near this pond. Three young people have been drowned in it within five years, two of whom at least might have been saved from death, had the persons with them known how to get them out of the water, or what to do with them after they had got them out."
" I wish you would teach me that," said the boy.
" Very well; I 'll give you a practical lesson before long."
HOW THE DROWNED BOY WAS SAVED.
ACCORDINGLY, a few days afterwards, the doctor met Lawrence and his companions as they were coming up from the water, and, seizing his nephew, exclaimed, "You have been drowned, have you ?"
" Not to my knowledge," said Lawrence, laughing.
" Yes; you fell from the boat just now, getting water-lilies. You know how to swim, but you got tangled among the weeds, and were three minutes under water. You have just been fished out, and brought to shore. Lie down, sir, for a drowned boy has no business on his feet."
Lawrence, who understood very well what his uncle meant, dropped down on the grass, and tried to play the part of a drowned person seriously; but he could n't help laughing, and all the while he watched closely to see what was done for him.
" What shall we do, boys?" cried the doctor. " For not a minute is to be lost."
"Carry him home, the first thing," said Tim Hooper.
" No, we have n't time for that, - so many precious minutes would be wasted."
" Put him in a warm bath," said Jake Thomas.
" We could n't do that without carrying him home, or bringing the warm water to him. Besides, the warm bath is hurtful under such circumstances. A person will drown quicker in warm than in cold water. The reason seems to be, that cold water strikes a chill into the blood, so that its circulation is impeded, and less air is required for it in the lungs. The blood goes to the lungs to throw off carbon, and to get oxygen, which is breathed in with the air, of which you know it is a part. When a person drowns, the supply of oxygen is cut off, and the carbonic acid, retained in the blood, poisons it. A person in a swoon may live half an hour under water; for his blood moves so slowly that very little oxygen is required for it, and there is but little carbon to be thrown off. Now if we stimulate the circulation before we manage to get fresh air into the lungs, - as we should if we put him into a warm bath, - you see we should increase the difficulty."
" The first thing I' should do would be to go for the doctor," said Lawrence.
" No, you would n't, for you are drowned, and have no voice in the matter. Besides, I am five miles away, attending to a boy who broke his leg falling from a beam in a barn. But fortunately a boy comes up who has been told what to do in such cases, - fortunately indeed, for already too much time has been lost while we were considering what to do, instead of doing it. This boy knows that the first thing necessary is fresh air in the lungs. To make sure that the passage to the lungs is open, he turns the patient on his face, in which position any water that may have.lodged in his mouth and throat, or anything that may have risen from his stomach and choked him, drops out."
The doctor at the same time turned Lawrence on his face, to illustrate his method.
" In this position, the tongue also falls forward, and opens a passage to the windpipe. But often the tongue is so much swollen that it is necessary to put your finger on the roots of it and press it forward. This should be looked to, and where there is a hand to spare it will be well to keep the tongue in place in that way. Act promptly, and don't be afraid of hurting him. In this case, however, the tongue will take care of itself. All this must be quickly done; and the new-comer hastens to make the patient gasp. He places him on his side, - thus. He rubs his forehead smartly, to bring warmth and sensitiveness to the skin, then dashes cold water upon it. If he has any snuff about him, or hartshorn, or spirits of any kind, he applies them freely to the nostrils. But the drowned boy does not gasp. Then what?"
" Blow in my lungs," said Lawrence.
" But my own breath is exhausted of oxygen, and charged with carbonic acid; and what we want is fresh air. While one of these boys runs for the doctor, and another for dry blankets, this is what the boy who knows does. He loosens your clothes; then turns you down again upon your face, - completely upon your breast, - with one wrist under your forehead, thus, and passes his other hand with a gentle pressure down your back. That compresses the lungs, and drives the bad air out of them. Then, making the other boys help, he turns you again on your side, and partly upon your back, in which position the lungs open again of themselves, and draw in fresh air. Repeat this process six or eight times a minute, -not too often, for the low circulation requires but little air, and too much cools the body. What we want now is to keep the body warm, and to excite circulation. As soon as we have got the artificial breathing started, we strip off all the wet clothes; wrap the body in the blankets which have been brought; let the fresh air blow on the face and chest; rub and slap the body till it is dry and sensitive, and dash cold water upon it; then rub and slap again. If the blankets do not come, throw off your own coats to wrap the body in.
" How long will it take to bring me to?" Lawrence anxiously inquired.
" That depends upon how thoroughly drowned you were. I should not give you up for an hour; but I should not have much hope of you, if I could perceive no movement of the heart, by putting my ear to it, after a quarter of an hour. In five or ten minutes I should expect you to make a little gasp;
and after that I should consider you safe.
" Now, boys," the doctor continued, " remember that, as long as nothing is done to put fresh air into the lungs of a drowned person, it is just the same for him as if he remained all that while in the water. So you must be prepared to do all these things with the utmost promptitude."
He then made them take little Tim Hooper and go through with all the movements with him, as he had done with Lawrence, and repeat the process until they were perfect in it.
" If this was taught in every school where children live or play near a pond or river," he said, " more than half the cases of actual death from drowning might be pre-vented."
The boys laughed, and thought the lesson more a good joke than anything else. They little expected ever to have to practise it. But now see how useful a little knowledge sometimes proves.
December came, and the pond froze over. So thin, however, was the coating of ice that but few boys ventured to go upon it.
"Wait, my boy, a day or two, until the ice is stronger," said the doctor. " Nothing will be lost by waiting; but much will be risked by attempting to skate to-day."
So Lawrence, not without some mutterings of discontent, I am sorry to say, restrained his eagerness to strap on the new skates his uncle had given him, and remained on the shore, watching those who did skate.
Suddenly a boy fell, broke the ice, and went in. Struggling to get out, he slipped under the ice. It was Jake Thomes, one of the boys who had learned the lesson with Lawrence. How little did he imagine, when he laughed at it, that the time would so soon come for it to be practised on him !
" Boy drowned! Boy drowned!" was the cry; and the skaters flew to the rescue.
Lawrence knew that, under such circumstances, his uncle would approve of his going upon the ice, and he started to run to Jake's assistance. But he had scarcely left the shore when he saw the ice give way again, under the weight of two skaters who approached the broken place. There were now three boys in the water.
" This won't do," thought he; and he ran back to the shore. There was a man at work, preparing some hot-beds, in a garden near by. He had already heard the alarm. " Bring planks! a rake!" cried Lawrence.
He seized one of the broad board coverings of the beds, called shutters, and shoved it out before him on the ice. The man followed with another and a long-handled garden-rake. Nothing had yet been done for Jake, "who had not been seen since he went down. Other skaters had arrived; but they were engaged in trying to rescue the two boys who had fallen in after him. It was perilous business. The ice was bending and cracking under them, and they could not reach the edge of it without breaking in, like the others. Fortunately, both boys could swim, and they were sustaining themselves by holding on to coats thrown to them over the edge of the ice. Thus far, at every attempt to get out, they had only broken the ice still more.
Lawrence pushed his shutter close up to the broken place, and, lying flat on his breast upon it, looked down into the clear cold water. He could have seen the bottom but for the floating fragments of thin ice, and the ripples formed by the two boys trying to get out.
" Keep still! keep still!" he cried; but that was not easy for two boys in their position, long as the light reflected from the waves danced his sight, he could see nothing. So he plunged his face into the water, with his eyes open. Beneath the surface, they could see very well. And there, lying on the bottom, in about ten feet of water, clinging fast to some weeds, with his red tippet on his neck and his skates on his feet, was Jake Thomes.
He was directly under the ice Lawrence was on. The plunged face came dripping out of the cold water. " The rake!" The man handed it .to Lawrence, who thrust it down, hooked one of the teeth into Jake's tippet, and drew him steadily up.
The broad shutter distributed the pressure of his weight over so large a surface of the ice that it .did not break, even when he pulled the drenched and lifeless body out.
The situation on the ice being unsafe and awkward, the body was quickly slid ashore on the shutter, and taken to the gardener's house, which was close by the pond. With the other shutter that had been brought, the other two skaters were speedily rescued; and Lawrence had nothing to do but to think of Jake and his uncle's lesson.
"I should n't have stopped to bring him to the house," he said afterwards, " but Peter insisted on it."
Arrived at the house, however, Peter, who was ignorant as an owl of what should be done in the case, left all to the boy.
" 0 yes ! roll him!" said he, " I 've heard that was good, - to get the water out of him."
Lawrence did not stop to explain that the rolling process was not to get the water out, for none could enter the lungs, but to get the air in. He worked vigorously, according to his uncle's directions. Meantime his uncle was sent for; but he was not at home.
Laid out on Peter's kitchen-table, his wet clothes removed, his limbs loosely wrapped in warm blankets, and several persons smartly slapping and rubbing them, according to Lawrence's directions, while Lawrence himself, with Peter's assistance, rolled him from his breast to his side, and over again upon his breast, at the same time keeping a finger at the roots of the tongue, - this was the situation in which the drowned boy's mother found him, when, having heard the terrible news, she came running to Peter's house.
But the peril was now nearly over. Jake had gasped slightly once or twice. Then came the agony of recovering consciousness, in the midst of which .the doctor arrived.
It was then half an hour from the time when Jake broke through the ice, and it was evident to all, that, if nothing had been done for him all that while, his recovery would have been impossible.
" Well done! well done!" cried the Doctor. " You have "made good use of my lesson, boy! Woman, your child is saved."
The hearty praise of his uncle, the joy of the mother, and his own consciousness of having done a good action, made this the happiest day of Lawrence's life.
AMONG THE ICE-CUTTERS.
CUTTING THE ICE.
THE boys - and, I am glad to say, the girls too - had enjoyed a few days of the very finest skating, when one night there came a fall of snow, and the next morning Lawrence, looking from his window, saw the pond covered with a shining white mantle.
" Never mind," said he; " we can sweep places to skate on. A good skater don't care for a space larger than a parlor floor to practise on."
So he went out that afternoon with a shovel and a broom to clear off a little of the snow. He was surprised to find a number of men on the pond before him. They had long chisel-shaped iron bars, with which they were cutting holes in the ice, about five paces apart, all over the pond.
" Look here !" cried Lawrence, running up to one of them, " what is this for ? You 're spoiling our skating."
"Your skating is spoiled already," said the man;
and click! click! his bar went through the ice again. " Our business would be spoiled too, if we did n't cut these holes."
" I don't see how!"
" I 'll tell you how. This coating of snow prevents the ice from forming. Snow is warm; did you know it? A sheep covered up in a drift will live through a night that would freeze her to death if she was exposed to the weather. Just so, a heavy fall of snow is the best thing in the world to keep strawberries and other plants from winter-killing. It keeps the pond warm in the same way. Ice will form, to be sure, under the snow, but so slow we should n't get half a crop if we did n't cut these holes and let the water through."
" I see," cried Lawrence. "The" weight of the snow makes the ice sink a little; that forces the water up, and the water soaks the snow, and then freezes and makes ice."
" Yes, but that top-ice - snow-ice, we call it - is good for nothing. It's only a bother to us, as you will see if you are here when we are cutting. But it don't prevent the ice from forming underneath, as the snow does."
" I understand, - the ice is a good conductor of caloric, and the snow is n't," said Lawrence, who had learned enough of natural philosophy to come to this conclusion.
" But why don't you have some sort of horse-scrapers to scrape the snow off ?"
"We have horse-scrapers, but now the ice is n't strong enough to bear a horse; that's the trouble."
"Will it be good skating after the snow soaks and freezes?"
" It will be pretty rough. There's a good strip along by the Doctor's shore where we don't cut; it is kept for skating and fishing. You can sweep the snow from that, if you like, and cut holes for pickerel too, - a thing that is n't allowed on any other part of the pond."
" How can you prevent it? Do you own the pond?"
"No, but the ice-company have bought the privilege of cutting from all the owners around the pond, and so control it. Pickerel holes would spoil the ice at the time of cutting; besides, the horses would get their legs in them."
Lawrence was very anxious to see the work begin. He skated meanwhile on his uncle's shore, and after the snow-ice had frozen he went all over the pond, - although, as the man had predicted, he found it pretty rough.
Then there came another fall of snow. By this time the ice was firm enough to bear up horses, and the workmen came on, it with plank scrapers six feet broad, and scraped the snow all up, like hay, in big windrows stretching across the pond.
Then there came still another snow, accompanied by sleet, and followed by rain; so that, when the storm was over, the pond was covered with a coarse frozen crust, too hard for the wooden scrapers. This brought out the iron-edged scoop-scrapers, formed for removing either heavy or crusted snow. Each scraper was drawn by a single horse, with a harness which consisted of a simple girth and loops for the shafts.
At last, one bright morning, early in January, Lawrence looked from his window and saw that the ice-harvest had fairly begun. It was Wednesday; there was no school in the afternoon, and as soon as he had eaten his dinner he hastened out to see the ice-cutters.
There were two men fishing on his uncle's shore. Having chopped holes in the ice, they dropped their hooks through them, baited with live minnows which had been caught in the autumn and preserved in tanks for this purpose. Their minnows were in a pail; an axe and three or four pickerel lay on the ice; and each man was watching half a dozen lines sunk in different places, a few yards apart, and adjusted so that a bite at either would pull down a rag of red flannel set up on a stick for a signal.
Lawrence, like most boys, took a lively interest in fishing. But something of still greater interest attracted him to-day; and, stopping but a few minutes to watch the sport, he hastened on to the scene of the ice-cutting.
Two or three hundred men were at work on the pond, in two divisions, one at the upper and the other
at the lower end; presenting, with their horses and ice-saws and ice-hooks and cutters and scrapers and planes, a wonderfully animated and busy picture.
He chose to visit the lower end first, because he there expected to find the man whose acquaintance he had already made. He saw some men at work with a long, straight strip of board and a curious-looking instrument, and ran up to them. One got down on his face and took sight across the board at a target, while the others drew the instrument along the edge of it. They thus marked the ice, somewhat as a school-boy draws a straight line with a pencil and ruler.
The man who had taken sight got up, and Lawrence saw that it was his old acquaintance.
"So you 've come to see the ice-cutting. "Well, here you have what is properly the beginning of it. We are striking a straight line, which is almost finished."
Three or four more lengths of the board brought them to the target, set up by one of the windrows of snow.
" This board is what we call a straight-edge. Here is an arm which we now open; and you see it lies on the ice like a carpenter's square. Now we are to strike another line at right angles with this; and so we lay out our square-cornered fields of any number of acres, which are to be all cut up into such cakes as the ice-man brings you in summer. This instrument we mark with is called a hand-groove.You see it has seven steel teeth, set one behind another, and riveted in this strong iron back. Each tooth is a quarter of an inch broad, and forms a sharp little plough by itself. The first cuts the slightest groove in the ice; the second is a trifle longer, and cuts a trifle deeper; the third, deeper still; and so on, till the last, which leaves the groove an inch and a half deep."
" You go all around your field in this way ?" said Lawrence.
" No, only on two sides. Now see, - here comes an odd-looking horse-machine down the line we have struck. That is what we call a guide-and-marker. The guide is a smooth-edged blade that runs in the groove we have cut. The marker is a cutter made on the same principle with this hand-groove. The two are so fitted and fastened together that, when the guide runs in the groove, the marker cuts another parallel groove twenty-two inches from it."
As the machine approached, Lawrence saw that it was drawn by a single strong rope, fifteen or twenty feet long, which kept it at a distance from the horse. The horse was led by one man, and the machine held by its handles, like a plough, by another. The marker made a crisp, brittle sound, and threw out fine, bright chips, as the teeth cut through the ice; and after it had passed, Lawrence saw that there were two perfectly straight, beautiful grooves instead of one.
Arrived at the comer of the new field, the horse was turned about, and the machine (by means of an ingenious arrangement) turned over, so that, returning, the guide ran in the freshly cut groove, and another groove was cut by the marker, twenty-two inches farther on.
" In this way," said Lawrence's friend, " the machine goes over the whole field, the last groove it cuts forming the boundary of the other side. Then it commences on this line, which we are here running at right angles with the first, and goes over the whole field the other way, cutting it all up into checkers twenty-two inches square. The marker cuts a groove two inches deep. Now you see another machine following it, drawn by a horse, just the same. But instead of being double, like the guide-and-marker, it is a single instrument, made up of teeth like the marker; only the teeth are longer, and they cut deeper. That we call a four-inch cutter, as it leaves the groove four inches deep. That will be followed by a six-inch cutter, and that by an eight-inch, and that again by a ten-inch. Each cuts two inches, which is about as much as a horse ought to be compelled to do. We have also a twelve-inch cutter, but this ice is not thick enough to require it."
" Do you cut clear through the ice? I should n't think that would do."
" No, indeed. This ice is about fifteen inches thick, and we shall cut it only ten inches. We have harvested ice when it was only ten inches thick, and again when it was twenty-three inches; but that is rare. Sixteen inches is a good average thickness for working."
Lawrence remained with his friend until the second line was struck. By this time a new machine, likewise drawn by a horse, made its appearance. It was the ice-plane, twenty-two inches broad, running between two grooves, and planing off'the porous snow-ice which has already been described.
" Now," said the man, " we will see how the ice is housed." And he took Lawrence over a field where a hundred men had been at work all the morning.
It was a busy scene. On one side, the six, eight, and ten-inch cutters were going. On the other, men were breaking off broad rafts of the grooved ice, and floating them along a canal which had been cut to the ice-houses. Some were cutting through to the water with saws. Others were splitting off the sheets, the ends of which had been thus cut, with iron bars called " barring-off bars." Still others, by means of " calking-bars," were calking with ice-chips the ends of the grooves which were to come in contact with the water.
" The calking," said Lawrence's friend, " is to keep the water from running into the grooves. For if it gets into them, it will circulate all through them, and then freeze, and the ice will be a solid mass again, as if it had n't been grooved at all.
"These rafts, or sheets of cakes, are, you see, thirty cakes long and twelve broad. The ends have to be sawed; but every twelfth groove - in this direction, lengthwise - is cut deeper than the rest, so that one man can easily bar off a sheet. Ice splits very easy from top to bottom, but it is hard to split it in any other direction. Lay a cake up out of water in a warm day, and it will always begin to honeycomb from the top downward. Turning it on its side makes no difference with it; the frost insists on taking down its work first where it began to build it up. This shows that ice has a grain."
HOUSING THE ICE.
THE sheet of three hundred and sixty cakes, being split off, with its grooves all carefully calked around the ends and sides exposed to the water, "was then floated off into the canal, and dragged on towards the ice-houses. One man, armed with an ice-hook, - an instrument resembling a pike-pole, - sometimes riding on the sheet, and sometimes walking by the edge of the canal, navigated this checkered raft to the slip, where it was broken up with bars into blocks of six cakes each, by men standing on the platform. Each of these blocks was fastened upon by an iron grapple, and taken by two men and a horse up an inclined plane to the summit of a strong staging built before the windows of a row of white ice-houses. One .man guided the horse; the other guided the block along the smooth rails with a wooden handle attached to the grapple. It was lively 'work, one horse going up after another at a swift pace. At the summit of the staging, the blocks were seized by men with ice-hooks, and shoved along the now slightly declining rails towards the windows where they were wanted. Swiftly sliding, one after another, went the bright crystal masses, to be seized again by men standing at the windows, and whirled into the ice-houses, where, layer upon layer, they were stowed away.
" As soon as the ice in these is built up to the level of this staging, the horses will begin to carry it up the next one " (for there was another staging above the first); " from that we shall fill the houses nearly to the top; then the ice will be completely covered with hay. Each of these vaults," continued Lawrence's friend, as they went up and looked into one of the great, gloomy buildings, into which the blocks went sliding and bouncing, and where several dimly seen men were at work taking care of them, looking like demons in a pit, -" each of these vaults holds five thousand tons of ice. You will see, behind the ice-houses, trains of cars loading at the same time. The cars take the ice to ships in the harbor, and they take it to all parts of the world. We want to cut, this year, sixty-five or seventy thousand tons. Our two hundred and fifty men will cut about five thousand tons a day."
Lawrence noticed that the ice-houses had very thick wooden walls; but his friend said: " Each wall is in reality two walls, two feet apart, with the space between filled in with tan-bark (tree bark), which is the best thing we have for keeping out the heat."
"Do you ever cut two crops of ice the same season ?"
" Seldom. The second freezing makes poor ice compared with the first. I don't pretend to give the reason. There is a great difference in the quality of ice for keeping. Ice cut in melting weather is porous, and won't keep half as long as ice cut in cold weather."
" It seems to me," said Lawrence, as they descended the inclined plane, " machinery might be invented to take the place of these horses in elevating the ice."
" Well, how would you arrange it ?"
" I don't know; but I 've been thinking you might have two wheels, one at the water down there, and the other at the top of the ice-house; have an endless chain pass over them, hung full of grapples; set it in motion by an ordinary steam-engine; and let the grapples catch the blocks of ice in the slip, and carry them up an inclined plane to the stagings."
The man laughed. " Go to the other end of the pond, and you 'll find very much such a machine as you have suggested. A common steam-engine of forty-horse power does the work of a hundred and fifty men and seventy-five horses, and does it quicker and better. We shall elevate all our ice in that way another year."
Lawrence hastened to the upper ice-houses, and saw, to his delight, the operation of the new machine. It was so much like the one he had arranged in his own mind, that he began to consider himself a great inventor. The floating blocks, of two cakes each, "were fed into a little slip under the lower wheel, which revolved just over the water. They were there seized by the grapples, which, coming down empty on the upper side of the moving chain, returned loaded on the under side.
Stiff rattan (a type of palm) brooms, fastened to the platform, swept the blocks clean, as the grapples carried them up. The crystallized pond-water was thus elevated by this chain-pump, and poured into the ice-house windows, - the rattling and sliding masses, as they flew along the stagings, resembling an endless train of silver-bright cars seen on high bridges in the distance. There were four stagings, one above another, running the whole length of a long row of ice-houses. The ice was elevated at one end, so that one machine answered for all. The blocks were launched by the grapples upon a short inclined plane, which set them sliding down the gently sloping staging to the windows, where they were seized. The houses being filled to the level of one staging, the ice was then, by a slight alteration in the machinery, carried up to the next.