Category: Newspapers (Page 1 of 3)

An Indian Railway Station Defended

From The Illustrated London News, January 2, 1858, Volume 32, January – June 1858

East Indian Railway Water-Tank at Barwarie, Defended Against the Mutineers for Thirty-Two Hours

(From a Correspondent at Allahabad.)

I send you a sketch of a Railway Water-tank at Barwarie, twenty-three miles from Allahabad. The village in the distance is Barwarie. The dimensions of the tank were about 18 feet high, 22 feet long, 24 feet broad, and depth of tank 4 feet.

On Sunday, the 7th June, 1857, at noon, the day after the massacre at Allahabad, P. O Snow, railway engineer, Mr. J. Rose, Mr. Mathers, Mr. Leithbridge, wife and child, Mr. J. Keymer, wife and three children, Mr. R. Keymer, all employed on the railway, and Major and Mrs. Ryves, were assembled at the latter’s bungalow at Barwarie, when information was brought that Mr. Lancaster, an inspector, had been murdered, a mile off, when trying to join the above party. Immediately on receiving this news, Mr. Ryves and the women and children were assisted up on the top of the tank, we men intending to come down again for provisions &c.; but, as an immense number of armed natives begun to assemble, it was deemed more prudent to remain where we were, else we might have been cut off.

The natives commenced to loot, and destroy the furniture, &c., in the small bungalow (shown in the sketch) belonging to the railway contractors Messrs. Norris and Co., which having completed, they . went in a mass to my bungalow (about 100 yards in front of the tank), where they began to loot everything I was possessed of, even to taking off doom and windows, and breaking to pieces what they could not take away. Having completed this work of destruction they set fire to the bungalow, outhouses, and everything that would burn. Then, shouting and yelling, they rushed over and surrounded the tank by hundreds, throwing brickbats and stones at us. We kept them off with our guns. The top of the tank had no cover; and the women and children had to be protected by a mattress, which they sat under to prevent being killed by these missiles. The cowardly rascals kept this up constantly (several of us had severe contusions), at the same time demanding money, which we threw them. When they found we had no more left (having expended 3000 rupees), they wanted us to come down. We refused to do so They then brought straw and other inflammable matter, and piled it round the tank, and set fire to it, which caused a great suffering from the smoke and heat, but, the tank being of brick, it sustained no damage. Finding all their exertions to make us yield had failed, they said they would spare our lives if we all turned Mahometans. This, of course, one and all refused to accede to; a party was dispatched, saying the were going to muster a large armed force to escalade our stronghold during the night.; we told them we were prepared to sell our lives in protecting the woman and children. We were thus exposed (14 of us) with no covering from the fearful heat of the sun, very little water to drink, and only parched grain and boiled rice to eat for 52 hours; and had to defend our post against a mob of 3000.

On the morning of the 8th Mr. Smyth, an inspector, joined our party, very severely wounded, having had to run or his life, accompanied by Inspector Thomas, who was murdered that morning when on their way to join us. We pulled Mr. Smyth up to the top of the tank with ropes. This increased our party to 15. He was too weak from wounds to be of any assistance.

Having succeeded in getting a servant to take a note to the commanding officer at the fort of Allahabad, telling him of our position, a relief of 35 Irregular Cavalry were went out to us, and arrived at 4 p.m. on the 9th. Glad we were to see them, and a hearty cheer we gave them, inwardly returning thanks to God for this succour, as we should have had to fight hard for our lives that night. The distress of the poor women and children (without any conveniences) can hardly be supposed except by those who have experienced the heat of an Indian sun in the month of June. Mrs. Ryves was killed by its effects. She died in an hour after the relief had arrived, thus adding another victim to the long list of deaths occasioned by this awful rebellion.

The villagers, headed by the zemindars, were the people who looted, destroyed, and burnt all the railway gentlemen’s bungalows on the line.

T. J. Ryves

Renewed Attempt to Launch the Leviathan

From The Illustrated London News, January 9, 1858, Volume 32, January – June 1858

THE ” LEVIATHAN ” — A renewed attempt has been made this week to launch this vessel. The machinery used and the hydraulic apparatus had been greatly increased in strength, and instead of six hydraulic machines ten have been brought into play, one being the original press used in the operations for carrying out that vast undertaking the Menai Bridge and which alone gave over 200 tons nominal pressure. A progress of several feet each day has been made, and no cessation of operations will take place until the huge ship is fairly in the water.

The New Floating Railway

Some ingenious gentleman, who seem to think that capital does not get sunk rapidly enough in Railways, has proposed a floating line, which will of course if carried out, be exposed to more than the ordinary fluctuations to which these things are liable. The schema may for well enough when matters go on smoothly, but when NEPTUNE has a bill – or a bill-ow – to take up, and BOREAS may be raising the wind to help him out, we fear the traffic on the floating line would be entirely swamped, to say nothing of the difficulty the engineers might experience in taking their levels.


From Punch, or the London Charivari, volume XV

See also: Railway Mania

Obituary: The Atmospheric Railway

Died last week, the Atmospheric Railway. Its death is supposed to have been hastened by the want of breath. When the tube was opened, it was found quite gone. Its loss is deeply regretted by a large circle of India-rubber buffers. A stone will be erected to mark the melancholy fact, with the following epitaph : – “The earth hath bubbles, and this is one of them.”


From Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. XV

Death Blow of the Atmospheric Railway

From the Weekly National Intelligencer, October 7, 1848

The atmospheric railway has probably received its death-blow by the abandonment of that mode of traction by the South Devon Railway Company, after having spent £300,000 in experimenting upon it. The system is found to be too expensive. It costs £108 to earn £100! No more need be said about it. Punch places it in his obituary of this week.


Source: Weekly national intelligencer. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]), 07 Oct. 1848. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045784/1848-10-07/ed-1/seq-2/>

Note on the Death of Isambard Kingdom Brunel

From The Penny Press, October 7, 1859

We have already announced the death of the distinguished engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. His father, Mark Isambard Brunel, came from the vicinity of Rouen, and his architectural achievements exist both in his native country and the United States. In 1793 fled for political reasons from France to New York, where he undertook the exploration and survey of some lands for a French land company, and in 1794 commenced the survey of the Champlain Canal. He sent in a design for the houses of Congress, and was much employed as an engineer and Architect in New York, both by the State and by private individuals. After a stay of a few years he returned to Europe, and visited England. In London, the famous Thames Tunnel remains an enduring monument of his engineering skill. The son appears to have inherited the genius of his parent. Born at Portsmouth, England, and educated at Caen, in Normandy, he early embraced his father’s profession, and when but little over twenty years of age, was resident engineer of the Thames Tunnel. Here he had several narrow escapes from drowning, from the breaking in of the water. After the tunnel was finished, Brunel planned the Great Western Railway of England, and superintended its construction. He also built the Great Western steamer, which at one time created such a sensation, though in every respect it was as far surpassed by subsequently built steamers, as they are by the builder’s last work the Great Eastern. Later, Mr. Brunel conducted the works of the Tuscan portion of the Sardinian railways, and other foreign railways, and during the Crimean war he had the entire charge of the establishment and organizing the Renkioi hospitals on the Dardanelles. He was, at the time of his death, Vice-President of the Institution of Engineers and of the Society of Art, fellow and member of the Council of the Royal Society, and member of many other learned societies. He also received the Cross of the Legion of Honor from Louis Philippe.


Source: The penny press. [volume] (Cincinnati [Ohio]), 07 Oct. 1859. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85025750/1859-10-07/ed-1/seq-1/>

Proposed Tunnel Under Dover Straits

From The Evening Telegraph, January 27, 1869

The project of tunnelling {sic] a passage from England to France under Dover Straits is still talked of in England. The London Daily News of December 25 says of it:

“The plan of tunnelling beneath the Straits is not altogether a new one. Probably the success with which the Mont Cenis tunnel has been worked through the solid backbone of the Alpine range has attracted new attention to a scheme which on the face of it seems far from being impracticable. It must be remembered, however, that the difficulties to be encountered in tunnelling beneath the Straits of Dover are of a totally different character from those which the French engineers have had to meet with in tunnelling through the Alps The soil to be traversed in the former instance would probably be the ‘second chalk formation,’ which may be assumed to extend in an unbroken course from the place of its uprising in England to the place in which it makes its appearance in France. It need hardly be said that the difficulty of perforating this soil would be very much less than that of perforating the hard and complicated material which has been encountered by the French engineers. On the other hand, however, there are dangers and difficulties in tunnelling under the Straits which more than make up for the comparative ease with which the mere process of perforation could be pursued. It needs but a slight acquaintance with the history of the construction of the Thames Tunnel to enable one to recognize the fact that the workers in the suggested tunnel beneath the Straits would be exposed to enormous risks from the effect of the pressure of the sea upon the stratum through which they would have to work. Again and again the water burst into the Thames Tunnel, and drove the workmen out. Brunel himself nearly lost his life during one of these irruptions. Now, if this happened beneath the Thames, what might be looked for from the effects of the enormous pressure of the sea to say nothing of the increased danger during heavy storms ? and then the workmen in the Thames Tunnel had but a comparatively short distance to run, when they were threatened with an irruption of water, if such an event threatened workmen engaged nine or ten miles from either outlet of the suggested tunnel, escape would be hopeless. In a short time the whole length 0f the tunnel would be filled with the waters of the sea, and the labors of years would be rendered useless.

“We urge these considerations, however, not as deprecating the suggested attempt. Doubtless the dangers which we have pointed out may be surmounted by a judicious choice of the stratum to be worked through, and by cautious progress – defenses being continually prepared around every fresh portion tunnelled. The experience pained during the tunnelling of the Thames shows that much can be done in this way; and we also have every reason to believe that once a tunnel was constructed it would be as safe as the Thames Tunnel now is. There are difficulties in the way of ventilation, but such difficulties as these have to be dealt with (and have been most successfully dealt with in the construction of the Mont Cenis Tunnel). Three eminent engineers, Messrs. Hawkshaw, Brunfees, and Lowe, have pronounced the plan to be feasible; and the estimated cost – nine millions sterling – though large, is still reasonable when the value of the tunnel is considered.

“Certainly the idea is at once a bold and an attractive one. Nature’s barriers are being, one after another, overcome. Now a mountain is tunnelled, then an isthmus is cut through, next the Falls of Niagara are spanned by a railway bridge. Hitherto, however, sea-straits have not been successfully attacked, except where – as in the case of the Menai Straits – they are of very moderate extent. When voyagers can pass to France without encountering the terrors of sea-sickness, a veritable triumph will have been achieved over nature.


Source: The evening telegraph. [volume] (Philadelphia [Pa.]), 27 Jan. 1869. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025925/1869-01-27/ed-1/seq-6/>

 

The Railroad Engineer

From The Aegis & Intelligencer, March 30, 1866

One of our railroad engineers, some years since, was running an express train of ten well filled cars. It was in the night and a very dark night too. His train was behind time, he was putting the engine to the utmost speed of which it was capable, in order to reach a certain point at the proper hour, he was running on a straight and level hack, and at this unusual velocity, when a conviction struck him that he must stop. “A something seemed to tell me,” he said, “that, to go on was dangerous, and that I must stop if I would save life.

I looked back at my train and it was all right. I strained my eyes and peered into the darkness, and could see no signal of danger, nor anything betokening danger, and there in the daytime I could have seen five miles. I listened to the working of my engine, tried the water, looked at the scales, and all was right.— I tried to laugh myself out of what I then considered a foolish fear; but like Banquo’s ghost, it would not down at my bidding, but grew stronger in its hold upon me. I thought of the ridicule I would have heaped upon me if I did stop but it was of no avail.

The conviction—for by this time it had ripened into a conviction—that I must stop, grew stronger, and I resolved to stop. I shut oil, blew the whistle for brakes accordingly. I came to a dead halt, got out and went ahead a little without saying anything to anybody what was the matter. I had a lamp in my hand and had gone about sixty feet, when I saw what convinced me that premonitions are sometimes possible. I dropped the lantern from my nervous grasp, and sat down on the track utterly unable to stand.”

He goes on to tell us that there he found that some one had drawn a spike which had long fastened a switch rail, and opened a switch which had always been kept locked, which led on to a track —only about one hundred and fifty feet long which terminated in a stone quarry! “Here it was wide open, and had I not obeyed my premonitory warning—call it what you will—l should have run into it, and at tho end of the track, only about ten rods long, my heavy engine and train moving at the rate of forty-five miles an hour, would have come into collision with a solid wall of rock eighteen feet high.


Source: The aegis & intelligencer. [volume] (Bel Air, Md.), 30 March 1866. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83016107/1866-03-30/ed-1/seq-1/>

Mining Under the Sea

From The Aegis & Intelligencer, March 30, 1866

Some of the coal and copper mines of England are at this time being worked in what appears to he a most singularly dangerous manner. They extend out four hundred yards (near a quarter of a mile) under the bed of the sea, and, in some places two hundred and sixty feet below the level. The beating of the waves against the shores and rocks is distinctly audible, even in calm weather when the explorer gets near the sea level. When storms arise the roar is terrible, and the boldest of men are at times afraid to work lest the sea should break through and fill the mine. Nor is this fear without great cause, for the salt water actually oozes through, and drips, impregnated with the copper ore, into the mine. Three feet of rock is about all that is left, on an average, between the mine and the sea in many galleries. A day’s work in the wrong place with the pickaxe might cause the destruction of the whole works. Indeed, in stormy weather, the salt water jets and spurts through in thin continuous streams. Plugs, sometimes the thickness of a man s leg, alone standing between the miner and the sea to keep it out. — No accident has ever yet happened, but those who remember the Thames Tunnel, twice or thrice filled with water, must feel that some day an accident is almost certain to happen. If it should, the  damage must be immense, and the loss of life great and certain. The veins of copper, however, are rich, and men will follow them to their uttermost, the proprietors of the mines feeling that were an invasion of the water to take place they could slop the leak, as Mr. Brunel did that of the Thames Tunnel, by sinking bags of clay over the hole, and then pumping out the water with their enormous engines.

The consequences, had I done so, can neither be imagined or described, but they could by no possibility have been otherwise than fatally horrible. No one can here doubt of a special interposition of God by which from calamity most terrible, hundreds of lives were wonderfully spared —Home Monthly


Source: The aegis & intelligencer. [volume] (Bel Air, Md.), 30 March 1866. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83016107/1866-03-30/ed-1/seq-1/>

Thames Tunnel Sold to East London Railway Company

From The Aegis & Intelligencer, September 03, 1869

The Thames Tunnel — The Thames Tunnel, which was opened on August 2d, 1848, was closed on July 21, having thus been a public footway for a period of twenty-six years, less thirteen days. It has been purchased for £200,000. (one-third of its cost) by the East London Railway Company, which line will be completed as far as Wapping in a short time. The new Thames Subway from Tower Hill to Bermondsey (Mr. Barlow’s scheme) commenced on February 16th of the present year, is proceeding very rapidly, and, if all goes well will be opened for traffic in three months time. Its cost will be under £200,000. The works of the old Thames Tunnel were commenced in 1852. Physical and financial difficulties delayed the opening for eighteen years.


Source: The aegis & intelligencer. [volume] (Bel Air, Md.), 03 Sept. 1869. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83016107/1869-09-03/ed-1/seq-4/>

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