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By James W. Steele

Steam, metal and electrical energy by way of James W. Steele

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Sample text

Across the space that lies between the exchange takes place--the lightning-flash. In the preceding chapter I have hastily alluded to the phenomenon known as the key to electricity as a utilitarian science; a means of material usefulness. These uses are all made possible under the laws of what we term INDUCTION. To comprehend this remarkable feature of electric action, it must first be understood that all electrical phenomena occur in what has been termed an "_Electrical Field_" This field may be illustrated simply.

In which are included the Dynamo, and its twin and indispensable, the Motor. Ampère is also the author of the _molecular theory_, by which alone, with our present knowledge, can the action of electricity be explained in connection with the iron core which is made a magnet by the current, and left again a mere piece of iron when the current is interrupted. Ten years later Faraday explained and applied the laws of Induction, basing them upon the demonstrations of Ampère. The use of a core of soft iron, magnetized by the passage of a current through a helix of wire wrapping it as the thread does a spool, is the indispensable feature, in some form meaning the same thing, with the same results, in all machines that are given movement to by an electric current.

The converters may contain ten tons or more of liquid metal at one time, which mass is converted from iron into steel at one operation. Forty-five years ago, or less, works that could turn out fifty tons of iron in a day were very large. Now there are many that make _five hundred tons_ of steel in the same time. Then, nearly all the work was done by hand, and men in large numbers handled the details of all processes. Now it would be impossible for human hands and strength to do the work. The steel-mill is, indeed, the most colossal combination of Steam and Steel.

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