National Geographic : 1938 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Willard R. Culver THERE'S ALWAYS TIME FOR MUSIC IN THE QUARRYVILLE HARDWARE STORE Some customers bring their own instruments; the proprietor keeps three fiddles handy for those who do not, and serves refreshments to all hands (page 32). More than a century ago, this southern Pennsylvania store was established by the father of the present owner. plaster angel. I plunked two bass harp strings that remained in place. A few others, once of gentler voice, lay mute and tangled on the floor. We walked in the garden. "The Ridgely cemetery is just beyond those hydrangea bushes," the woman be side me said, softly. "Eliza is buried there." On a wide, hilly road I drove northward. In Philadelphia * next day I asked a former United States Senator how he would de scribe that city in a few words. "I've heard Boston called a place where every idea has an executive secretary," he replied, "and Philadelphians in friendly jest have been called 'relaxed Bostonians.' There's something in it. We have the same interest in civilization, in the amenities of life, and in the sanctity of convention, that the Bostonian has. "See the University of Pennsylvania, then go to the Franklin Institute- " "Another museum?" "Not a mortuary chapel!" he replied. * See "Historic City of Brotherly Love," NA TIONAL GEOGRAPHIIC MAGAZINE, December, 1932, and "Penn's Land of Modern Miracles," July, 1935, both by John Oliver La Gorce. "It's a living memorial to Franklin." At the Institute a doorman lifted his hand, greeted me courteously, and added in a gentle voice, "I hope you enjoy your visit." About to ask him something, I saw he was a robot! As I entered, I had inter cepted a tiny beam of light; this affected an electric eye and set him going. MACHINES DEMONSTRATE CHEMISTRY Merely by pressing buttons, visitors may perform a hundred scientific experiments. One machine, a glassy array of tubes, broke water into its two component gases by elec trolysis. An electric spark ignited the hydrogen. Exploding loudly, it recom bined with oxygen from which electricity had separated it, and was water again. In one long room a heavy-duty, 350-ton steam locomotive stood on a railroad track, electrified for a museum run. I joined a line of small boys. Ahead of me, a six year-old climbed into the tender alone, non chalantly yanked the throttle, and actually ran the engine down the track a few yards. Then he backed it, climbed down, turned his iron giant over to me, and swaggered off.