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time that it ascends it curves without stint, 800 feet across ; on the opposite bank, and so sharply that the combined resist- 300 feet above where we then were, anance of bend and grade amounts in por- other stretch of the road-bed was seen, tions to the equivalent of 220 feet straight chipped out of the hill-side almost at the ascent. This exceeds even the steepness sky-line; but although it was less than a
of the Denver and Rio Grande road, which quarter-mile away in a straight line, we sometimes goes up a direct incline of 208 had to wind through two miles and a half of feet. At one point on the Bell's Gap line sinuosities before we reached it. The bend we found ourselves skirting the edge of a is called Lightning Curve; more playfully, deep chasm which might measure 600 or “Colt-shoe Curve.” The upper extrem
ity is Point Lookout, whence you may gaze down the huge trough of a forest-clad gorge into the Juniata or Logan valley, eight miles away. All around is a wilderness scarcely broken, and the mantled peaks are such strangers to human history that they have not even received names. At Point Lookout the train-men were astonished two winters ago by seeing a noble buck on the steep crest, a few yards above the cars. “Gunning" is still a pastime that means something
in these regions. With the superintendent and two other gentlemen I came down the narrow-gauge in an observation car, at first attached to the rear of a moderately long freight train. The rapid slope of the track left us always higher than the linked coil in front of us, and at one moment the train lay before us distorted by the twist of three distinct curves, while the locomotive was just vanishing around a fourth. Then our car was uncoupled, and braked until the freight got two miles in advance, after which-brakes up!-we resumed the descent alone. With the speed of a swooping hawk we rushed down the inclines, around sharp curves, over web-like trestles, the mountains shooting up on one side; on the other, the deep valley rustling with leafage and yawning below us. Coasting, tobogganing, and the ice-boat tre of the State to the Alleghany River; must take secondary rank when compared and the beginning of the famous Horsewith this exhilarating ride; for here you shoe Curve indicates where the rails crosshave their speed and the excitement with ed this old path, by retaining the name less of danger, and, in addition, the accom- Kittanning Point. John Hart, a German paniments of summer weather, embower-fur-trader, was the first white man who ing leaves, beautiful gliding views, a cool travelled the Kittanning trail, and he was breeze redolent of aromatic forest growths accustomed during his journeys to stop at and sweet wild flowers. The Bell's Gap a given spot, where he and his horse could Mountains are peculiarly rich in woods; rest overnight. That is the origin of layers on layers of green boughs hide "Hart's Sleeping." the piled earth as if they had been heap- Altoona itself is a sum
immering place on ed there for a holiday. But the remorse-account of its excellent hotel, its high sitless teeth of multiplying saw-mills are at uation, its nearness to fine scenery, and work, and in a few years comparative des- the cool air that draws through the valolation will have replaced the ancient ley. But Cresson Springs, 1100 feet above, glory of the hills.
on the top of the Alleghanies, exists espeA link that joined Altoona to our na- cially as a resort for the hot months. tional history at a vital crisis was the Bedford Springs, farther south and lower, connection of the Rev. Robert W. Oliver, is as renowned for its mineral waters in formerly rector of St. Luke's Church, and Pennsylvania as Saratoga is in New York, an intimate of Abraham Lincoln, with the but remains still in a primitive state as abolition movement. Through Christian regards accommodation. and humanitarian impulses he became the Imagine yourself transported 117 miles quiet agent of a line very different from west from Altoona to Pittsburgh, on the but hardly less important than the Penn- western side of the great Appalachian spine, sylvania Railroad, and helped a number and you have the other end of a line along of fugitive slaves to freedom by the “un- which are grouped resources of natural der-ground” route. In the room over his scenery, of wealth in coal and iron, and of study-still to be seen in the parsonage metallurgic enterprise, which give to the of Rev. Mr. Woodle—he concealed John whole district an exceptional combination Brown for weeks during one of the libera- of interests. Considered absolutely, Altor's clandestine journeys. There is an- toona is sooty, but its atmosphere becomes other link with the past in Sinking Valley, crystalline by contrast with the funereal whence our Revolutionary forces obtain- smoke clouds of Pittsburgh, which produce ed lead for their musket-balls during the in one's lungs a pneumonia-like irritation. early part of the struggle with England. The phrase “I have taken cold” may The sinking” refers to Arch Spring, which there be modified to “I have coaled up.” emerges from vaulted rocks, furnishing a Miles and miles of furnaces, iron mills, mill stream that drops into the earth, re- steel - works; acres of coal-laden barges, appears and vanishes several times, and flotillas of hoarse - piping steamboats; a finally is lost in a mountain cave, which clank and din like stage thunder; dusky carries it through to the Juniata on the streets full of bustle where no one lives, other side of the mountain. How char- and quiet outlying streets where everyacteristic the names of this vicinity are! body lives: such on a general view are There are Roaring Spring, Warrior's Mark, the constituents of “Pitchburgh," as, with Lower Number Ten, Fallen Timber, Shade unconscious sarcasm, a darky car-porter Gap, Sabbath Rest-grateful sound this called it. You see it well, or rather see last to tired iron-workers and colliers. how well hidden it is, from the bluff of Sundry forges and furnaces have been Mount Washington, to the top of which dubbed after the wives and daughters of you are hoisted by a steep incline about owners, so that we have Elizabeth Fur- 300 feet high, and so nearly vertical that nace, Olivia, Sarah, Rebecca furnaces, and if you were borne up with your feet in the the like, surviving in these smoky edifices air, the sensation could hardly be more and in the regular designation of post- unpleasant. A man in a small glass cage offices.
at the summit works a couple of levers, In Cambria County there is a spot known which start the machinery and move one as “Hart's Sleeping.” In early days Kit- car up while the other goes down. He tanning Path was the route from the cen- stands there like a mature spider, and cranks his prey up at the rate of 2000 peo- yet nicely philosophical about the preple a day.
sence of this fragile, dainty work in the One of the most curious Pittsburgh in- midst of the shock and gloom and rumble dustries is glass-making. Going to the with which the bulkier, more uncouth offdoor of a factory, I was about to walk in, spring of forge and furnace are brought when I saw a huge mass of something in forth. Who says mythology is a far-off a state of red heat come slowly down shadow ? Was not Vulcan enslaved to through an opening in the ceiling, swing Venus-rude force mated to soft loveligravely across, and then go up out of sightness? And do we not see the two exagain. It went on doing this, and I tremes united again in dingy modern thought it advisable not to go into a room Pittsburgh ? where ornaments of that sort were in the Mild meadows and low hills characterhabit of oscillating without regard to cas-ize Westmoreland, into which one escapes ual human heads. It turned out to be a on coming eastward out of that populous big ball of window-glass, which a man in crater at the head of the Ohio. But the the room above was operating upon. He farms in their turn are underlaid for receives it from the melting furnace as a twenty miles by the mines of the Penn small knob of viscid fire, attached to the and Westmoreland Gas Coal companies, end of a long tube the size of a broom- the largest gas coal sources in the counhandle. He rolls it about a little, trifles try. A little higher, at Johnstown, in with it, and then applies his lips to the the valley of the Conemaugh, we encountother end as if he intended to suck up the er the works of the Cambria Iron Commolten substance; but he is really sending pany, which roar and flame proudly, as if air into it, and presently it begins to swell. aware that they constitute probably the Larger and larger it dilates, until it has biggest single iron and steel works in the become a big inflamed cylinder five feet world. The company employs 8000 operlong and two feet through. He goes to atives; keeps nine furnaces going at this an opening in the floor and swings it to place and four elsewhere; has perhaps and fro to cool it. Then he sticks it into eighty acres under roof at Johnstown; a fire to heat it up, then swings it again, mines 700,000 tons of coal a year for its all the time keeping the breath of life in it own use, and does annually a business of with his lips. Finally it is cooled, the $18,000,000 or $20,000,000. It produced in ends are cut off, and the hollow, transpar- 1881 45,000 tons of iron rails, and 120,000 ent, crystal cylinder is set up on end. The tons of steel, saying nothing of steel blowing and the heat must tell severely on springs in quantity, boiler iron, or the mathe operative's strength. This particular chinery manufactured for its own use. It one was tall and meagre: he had blown is worth recording that eminent foreign both himself and the glass very thin. mechanicians have admitted that at JohnsAfterward the cylinders, having been cut town three times the amount of work is all the way down on one side, and gummed, done which would be accomplished with are taken to another apartment, where they the same plant in Europe. In and out of are heated, flattened, polished, and sliced the shops and all through the yards wind up into panes. This "cutting-room" is forty miles of track, on which trains loaded very dark and perfectly silent. In the with ore, coal, slag, or hot ingots of steel centre is a circular oven with openings are running every moment or two, eightthrough which the several processes are een locomotives being kept in use for this conducted. When the polisher has finish- purpose, and several stackless ones for runed one plate and is ready for another, he ning into the adjacent mines. The steel calls out in a sepulchral voice, “Turn!” ingots, by-the-way, are the largest steel precisely like the ghost of Hamlet's father castings made anywhere, excepting Krupp with his “Swe-ear!” And straightway cannon, and weigh 5500 pounds each, meathe revolving platform in the oven swings suring eighteen inches and a half square, around thirty degrees or so.
and yielding eight rails apiece. The In the factory of Messrs. Atterbury and works were founded at this spot with the Co. spun glass is put into a loom and idea of utilizing the iron ore of the viciniwoven into a fabric of satin lustre and ty; but steel has now become its supreme divers colors, with which mats, caps, and object, and ores are brought from Spain, even an entire opera cloak have been Ireland, Elba, and Michigan, to mix with made. There is something fabulous and the local brown hematites.
The direct water, which actually washes the fire, so as to remove various constituents that might coat and injure the tubes through which it is conveyed. The calorific agent thus prepared not only supplies the furnaces, but runs the hydraulic and other engines, and is in part carried back to the stoves to begin over again. “So that,” said Mr. Webb, the general superintendent,
we come as near to lifting ourcoal flame is not used in fusing the ore, selves by our own boot-straps as is posbut only the gases generated from coal. sible.” This intensified heat is stored in Whit- At Johnstown may be seen a 1000worth stoves-immense iron-bound cylin- horse-power engine making ninety revoluders like chimneys, inside of which the tions a minute-something hardly attemperature is 1700° Fahrenheit. Thence tempted elsewhere; the sawing of rails, it is distributed through pipes wherever it hot and cold; the puddling process; the is wanted; but first the burning gases are Bessemer system; and the Pernot openpassed through a receptacle charged with hearth method of oxidation. The most in