National Geographic : 1954 Aug
180 Andrew H. B A Keeper's Skilled Hand Focuses Ry7 Most Norwegian lighthouses now use electricity instea ers like this. Powerful prisms in the huge rotating Fresn from the mantle (upper center) and beam it seawar bull's-eyes revolve, they identify the light with four quick 20-second pause (opposite page). Above Valle, at Rygnestad, antiquarians' efforts have made a museum of ancient heavy timbered buildings of the Aasmund Farm. "Bad Aasmund," a rugged individualist who made enemies as easily as most of us catch cold, was as self-sufficient as he was arrogant. His buildings were, in effect, blockhouses; from small windows he let fly with bow and arrow at such unwanted visitors as sheriffs and tax collectors. "Bad Aasmund" Finally Turned Good Yet in later life, abandoning the role of bad man, Aasmund settled down and became a sheriff and tax collector himself! We marveled at the old stabbur (storehouse on stilts, also his dwelling), dating from the 16th century; one end of the main farm build ing is even older. Pitch in the timbers pro tected them from rot and insects; their sur face, weathered to the color of antique leather, seemed rock hard to the pressure of our thumbnails. "This wood is so old it's petrified," sug gested Alice. Back to the sea at Kristiansand we headed our little ships east and then gradually swung north, making toward Oslo Fjord. We passed Lillesand, where sun light bounced from white mansions, the houses of wealthy sea captains of clipper days. Then Grimstad lay to port. Here Nor way's revered drama tist, Henrik Ibsen, composed his earliest lyrics to relieve un happy days rolling pills as a druggist's appren Brown. National Geographic Staff tice. vingen Light In a plant at Eyde d of gas-lit Dalen burn- hamn, our next anchor tel lens concentrate light age, coke is combined rd. As highly polished with native quartz to ck flashes followed by a make Carborundum sil icon carbide abrasive. Eirik Hammer, manager of the plant, took us through the vast, smoky room where electric furnaces are switched on in sequence to ensure a continuous production of the synthetic min eral. One furnace had recently been broken open to cool. Mr. Hammer picked out big iridescent sili con carbide crystals from one end and small ones from the other, to show how the size of crystals varies in different parts of the furnace. There are commercial uses for all sizes of crystals. Most, of course, go into a wide variety of abrasives. One-third of western Europe's Carborundum output originates in the Eydehamn plant; it is a subsidiary of the Carborundum Company of Niagara Falls, New York.