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Part 7

Part 7 of Wonders of World Engineering was published on Tuesday 13th April 1937, price 7d.

Part 7 includes a photogravure supplement showing the Mount Pilatus Railway, illustrating the article Stone and Steel on Pilatus.

The Cover

“The cover of this week’s part shows the former German battleship Kaiserin after she had been raised by salvage engineers from Scapa Flow. The tall pipe-like structures are air-locks, through which air was introduced into the up-turned hull of the sunken warship.”

You can read more about the salvaging of the German High Seas Fleet in Shipping Wonders of the World along with a series of articles on marine salvage.

The former German battleship Kaiserin after she had been raised by salvage engineers from Scapa Flow

Contents of Part 7

The World’s Land Speed Record (Part 2)

Thomas Telford

The Triumph of Television

Stone and Steel on Pilatus

Stone and Steel on Pilatus (photogravure supplement)

The Fight Against Fire

Salvage Engineers at Work (Part 1)

Thomas Telford

Thomas Telford

After a period of apprenticeship as a stonemason, Telford became a civil engineer, devoting his energy to bridges, canals and roads, and preparing the way for the industrial development of Great Britain. Modern science, in seeking a secluded site for a magnetic observatory, chose the uplands of Eskdalernuir, a part of Dumfriesshire close to the English border. Isolated even now, Eskdale in the railwayless and almost roadless days of 1757 was uninfluenced by the dawning mechanical age. Yet in that year there was born, in a shepherd's cottage near Westerkirk, a boy, Thomas Telford, who was destined to become the first President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and to find his last resting place with kings and princes in Westminster Abbey.

This is the second article in the series on Makers of Engineering History.

(Page 200)

The Triumph of Television

Television is a science which offers unlimited opportunities to the engineer and the inventor. The television station at Alexandra Palace, London, was the first in the world to provide a regular daily service to the public. Radio sets are now a commonplace feature of many homes, but it is not many years ago that they, too, were novelties and were not taken seriously. It is early yet to say how soon television will become as familiar in the home as wireless; but that it will do so is certain. This chapter, by L H Thomas, describes Alexandra Palace, the world’s first television station in regular service.

(Pages 201-206)

The World’s Land Speed Record (Part 2)

The story of Sir Malcolm Campbell's record-breaking Blue Bird cars, written by L H Thomas and concluded from part 6.

(Pages 197-199)

The Upper Terminus of the Pilatus Railway

“PILATUS-KULM, the upper terminus of the Pilatus Railway, is 5,344 feet above Alpnach on Lake Lucerne. This height is surmounted in a distance of only 5,049 yards, or less than three miles. The average gradient is 1 in 2.8 and the easiest 1 in 5. The terminus at the summit is situated on the second highest peak of Pilatus knows as the Esel.”

(Pages 212-213)

Stone and Steel on Pilatus

The engineers who built the railway to the summit of Mount Pilatus had all the defences of Nature to fight. Ravines had to be bridged, precipices to be scaled and a large amount of grading had to be done. Many visitors to Switzerland know the famous Mount Pilatus and its railway. The story of the building of this railway is one of the most fascinating of all the stories of the engineer’s triumph over the forces of Nature. This chapter, by F E Dean, not only tells the story of the conquest of Pilatus, but it describes also the electrification of the line. This is the first article in the series Railway Engineers at Work.

(Pages 207-215)

You can read more on the Mount Pilatus Railway in Railway Wonders of the World, and in Frederick Talbot’s Railway Wonders of the World (1913)

Stone and Steel on Pilatus: Photogravure Supplement

“A SPECIAL SWITCH SYSTEM is used on the Pilatus Railway to enable trains to pass one another. The presence of the third rail, the rack rail between the running rails, makes it impossible to use the normal type of switch. Two lengths of rail curved in opposite directions are laid side by side in a pit in such a way that either can be moved into position to one of the two sets of rails at the passing loop.”


(Page 211)

The Fight Against Fire

 To protect structures from possible damage by fire many ingenious precautions are taken when building is in progress. To extinguish outbreaks speedily fire engineers have devised many efficient appliances large and small. This chapter is by Sidney Howard.

(Pages 216-221)

Salvage Engineers at Work (Part 1)

Unusually complicated problems of engineering have to be solved by the salvage expert when he has to raise sunken vessels, whether small ships, ocean-going liners or battleships, from the bed of the sea. This chapter is by David Masters and the article is concluded in part 8.

(Pages 222-228)

You can read more about David Masters’ work as a salvage engineer in his book The Wonders of Salvage (1924).

Swith rails on the Pilatus LineTraversing a precipice on the Pilatus Line

Traversing a Precipice

“TRAVERSING A PRECIPICE on the Pilatus Railway. Foot by foot a massive masonry wall was built on the line of the track to the summit. The wall was topped with granite slabs, to which the rails of the single track were bolted down. There was barely room for the track, which has a gauge of

2 ft 7½ in. Brackets projecting from the masonry support a maintenance gangway across precipitous portions of the line.”


(Page 214)