Previous Index Next
Page 109
(previous) (Page 000109) (next)
 
88 THE BOY ELECTRICIAN

It is started on its journey along the rollers of the mill,
squeezed and pressed here and there, as it travels hundreds
of yards — no hand ever touching it. It finally arrives, a
red-hot steel rail, the right shape and the right length.

During this time the steel has made a long journey and
changed from a shapeless ingot to a finished rail, handled
entirely by machinery guided and controlled by one or two
operators, pressing levers and switches.

When almost finished, the rail slides down an incline
before a man Who grasps the rail with huge pinchers, and
standing at one end, runs his eye along it. As he looks
along the rail he sees the defects, moves the left or the right
hand, and another man at the levers of the straightening
machine, straightens the rail as directed.

And soon there are ten rails, perfectly straight, side by
side, with more coming down the incline to meet 'the glance
of the man’s eye.

They are still too hot for any man’s touch and so a man
sitting in a tower touches an electric switch, and along
the overhead rails there comes gliding a monster electro-
magnet.

The magnet moves along, drops down upon the ten rails,
lying side by side and weighing thousands of pounds. The
man in the tower presses another switch, thus turning on
the current, and electricity glues the rails to the magnet.

The ten rails are lifted at once, as easily as you would
lift a needle with your horseshoe magnet; they are carried
to a flat-car, and when lowered in position, the current

Previous Index Next