WHEN VIBBATION COMES.
At the close of the series of extraordinary demonstrations in Mr. Keely's workshop in Philadelphia, Dr. Leidy, the eminent scientist, said: "Some day I suppose a young lady will be able to play on the piano and set her father's mill to grinding."
There is no need to stop at what the fair pianist will be able to accomplish for her long-suffering friends and relations when Mr. Keely's sympathetic attractive force comes into every day use. The fact is there is nothing to show us where to stop; if Mr. Keely is able to bring down the power which holds the planets together he can accomplish anything he likes. We are not at all sure that we would not sacrifice our finger joints, a few of our ribs, an eye, and some other things as Mr. Keely has done, for the possession of a new and unlimited motive power. Of the scientific phases of this discovery we do not in this place care to treat; that the sympathetic negative dissociates molecules just as the sympathetic positive associates them, and that a copper ball, a half pint of fearful and wonderful Schuylkill water, a silk thread and some tenpenny nails can at the instance of a harp move continents, we are ready to admit for the occasion. Let us look at some of the possibilities of Mr. Keely's discovery.
It will be possible, as Dr. Leidy says, for the cherubic girl to thump a piano and make good flour by the same exercise. The young man who has a burning passion for the flute will no longer be a pariah wandering among the attics, if he can drive a stone crusher with his piping of "In the Gloaming." Street railways will be revolutionized again. The superintendent of the road will sit in his office and whistle all the motive power the cars need. Probably the superintendent, however, will only have to see that somebody else whistles. The old phrase, "Whistle and she'll come to yon," will have a literal truth. When a man wants a certain woman to wife he will simply have to whistle for her, and unless she whistles "down brakes" she will have to go. In fact whistling will become a most valuable art. This is somewhat disadvantageous to women, for they do not take kindly to whistling. Still they can fall back on their voices, which are perhaps more generally cultivated than men's. And as we understand the origin of Mr. Keely's mysterious power to be intimately associated with the vibrations of sound, it may be that the human voice with its wonderful vibratory qualities is to be the principal locomotive and engine of the future. The range of the human voice is three octaves, and each note represents from eighty-seven to seven hundred and sixty-eight vibrations of sound per second, these vibrations translated into power would, we should imagine, make every man his own locomotive. More than ever will the owners of voices of great compass have reason to congratulate themselves. Patti's voice, for example, assumes a new value. The phenomenally high note that Nilsson was able to take in "The Magic Flute" represents thirteen hundred sixty-five vibrations in a second. The value of such a note in motive power we do not know, but enough, it may be surmised, to run a sewing machine a whole afternoon.
Looking through a crack in the door, as we have but done, enough is seen to convince anyone of the wondrous results of the new Keely motive power if it motes for all mankind. When the door is flung wide open the world will be dazzled and dumbfounded, we do not doubt.
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