Image from page 110 of “Popular electricity magazine in plain English” (1912)

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Image from page 110 of “Popular electricity magazine in plain English” (1912)
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Identifier: popularelectric619131chic
Title: Popular electricity magazine in plain English
Year: 1912 (1910s)
Subjects: Electricity
Publisher: Chicago, Ill. : Popular Electricity Pub. Co.
Contributing Library: Smithsonian Libraries
Digitizing Sponsor: Smithsonian Libraries

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Text Appearing Before Image:
ELECTRIC LUMINOUS RADIATOR sweating blankets, tea kettles, warmingpads, nursery bottles, waffle irons, etc.,not only popularize the use of electricitybut they increase the income of the cen-tral station very considerably. Figure 7 illustrates an electric lumin-ous radiator which consumes one kilo-watt. If current costs six cents perkilowatt hour, it will cost six cents anhour to operate this radiator. By means of the electric arc and thepassage of current through high re-sistances it is possible to produce reac-tions not otherwise possible. The mak-ing of artificial graphite and of car-borundum are good examples of the tre-mendous heating effects of electricity.(To be continued.) Machine for Winding Armatures This odd looking machine is designedto perform the work of winding slottedarmatures and the inventor is FrederickN. Pike, of New York City. The ordinary method of winding sucharmatures is by hand, mounting thespindle between lathe centers and turning

Text Appearing After Image:
ARMATURE WINDED the spindle in the centers as the con-ditions of winding require. In the apparatus shown the s] indierests in fixed centers and is capable ofautomatic rotation. The winder is so di-rectly connected with the spindle adjust-ing mechanism that, after the wire hasbeen laid in a groove, the spindle is auto-matically shifted the proper number ofdegrees of rotation to suit the armature.In this way, when the wire is laid in theits revolution it reaches aK opposite the first slot. hu d pa 101 ( djac< 104 POPULAR ELECTRICITY MAGAZINE Battery Charging Indicator This apparatus is very simple; it uti-lizes the pressure of the gas which is dis-engaged when the charging of the stor-age battery is completed. Into a glasstube which has been bent twice a smallquantity of mercury is poured; this The thermostat is located in the green-house and set to sound the alarm whencertain temperatures are reached. The

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“I’m a happy woman” thanks to conservation agriculture in Malawi
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Image by CIMMYT
“I lost my husband in 1994, but I don’t complain because conservation agriculture is doing the work my husband would have done,” says Belita Maleko, of the Mwansambo extension planning area, Nkhotakota zone, central Malawi.

Maleko, a small-scale maize and mixed-crop farmer, kept on farming after she was widowed with help from her family. At the invitation of government extension officers and the non-governmental organization Total LandCare (TLC), she began adopting conservation agriculture (CA) practices and sowing plots to demonstrate them to neighboring farmers in 2006. "I’d been hearing about CA from the radio and other people, so I was very interested in trying it. They asked me to host a demo, and I said ‘yes’ and started applying the practices," she says. "This is my sixth year. Some other farmers visit me for advice; some come to field days to see what I’m doing. Some just pass by and observe."

CA practices include eliminating traditional ridge-and-furrow tillage systems, keeping crop residues on the soil, and rotating or intercropping maize with other crops. In addition to labor and cost savings, the improved soil structure resists erosion and increases water infiltration and retention, a huge benefit when drought threatens in places like Malawi, where maize subsists on rain alone.

In Malawi draft animals are scarce and traditional cultivation for maize involves as many as 160,000 hoe strokes per hectare. It appeared strange and somehow unjust to neighbors when Maleko stopped hoe plowing and began to leave residues and stems from previous crops on her fields. "Some asked ‘How can you do this?’" she says. "Others speculated that I was degrading the soil…some people thought I was mad, but I said ‘No, I’m not mad, I know what I’m doing.’"

She notes that those local farmers who are using CA have suffered less from this year’s erratic rains. She has sown cowpea as an intercrop in one of the CA maize plots; she eats the pods and leaves and it boosts soil fertility. The plants are quite small as she had not been able to sow the cowpea at the same time as the maize—the best practice so they grow up together. “During peak period I was in the hospital nursing my daughter, but with conservation agriculture I was able to manage," she says, referring to the reduced labor requirements of CA.

Ongoing support and training from extension workers is crucial as farmers learn new ways of doing things, and how to apply CA most effectively. "I was trained to collect rainfall data; when I see it reaches above 30 millimeters, I sow," says Maleko. "When I have problems, I just go to my extension officer and ask for help. Some people say my husband is the extension worker, but I don’t mind. Some women have stopped talking about me and started to practice conservation agriculture."

Maleko sees conservation agriculture as a blessing that has helped pay for school fees and homestead improvements. "I cannot stop practicing conservation agriculture, because I’m getting lots of benefits," she says. "I have enough time to grow other crops. I’m very happy because I’ve built another house with the proceeds. I don’t even complain about being a widow—otherwise, I wouldn’t have sent my children to school. Married women come to me and ask for food. I’m a happy woman."

Photo credit: T. Samson/CIMMYT.

For more, see CIMMYT’s 2012 e-news story "Conservation agriculture in Malawi: ‘We always have problems with rain here,’" available online at:….

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