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Harry Johnston Speaker at Monthly Meeting Denis StDenis Also Heard

An interesting address on “Explosives” by H.A. Johnston and a message from the Nelson Rotary club from its president, D. StDenis were the features of the meeting of the Associated Canadian Travellers held in the Recreation club Friday.

H.A. Johnston gave an excellent talk on high and low power explosives and answered many questions from those who heard him. He pictured the early work done in the distant ages when explosives were unheard of, and when such marvelous things as the carving of the Pyramids were done without the assistance of explosives or powder. The discovery of gunpowder after the 13th century was the origin of explosives, they being first used in China and in the far east. Gunpowder was first used for war and commercial purposes in England.

The speaker told of the discovery of nitro-glycerin in Italy and of its final perfection for safe use by absorption in wood pulp.

Different Classes

There were three classes of explosives, the nitro-glycerin, ammonia dynamites and gelatine powder, the latter a recent perfection. This new explosive had greatly assisted in mining and made it possible to return to the scene of an explosion 10 minutes after the shots had been fired, whereas in earlier days it was sometimes necessary to wait from 12 to 24 hours before a human could visit the spot. This new explosive was also resistant to freezing and would stand zero weather without freezing.

He referred to the recently perfected explosive known as liquid air. This was in explosive force equal to about 60 per cent dynamite. To use liquid air, however, necessitated a factory or its manufacture on the site, as after 10 minutes’ exposure its explosive power was lost.

It was a common idea today, stated Mr. Johnston, that all explosives were dangerous. This was not so. Explosives today were so completely absorbed that it took a detonator to explode them, and nine-tenths of the explosives manufactured today would burn without exploding. T.N.T. had been used during the war for its safety in handling. It was a powder of about 50 per cent strength and needed a No. 8 detonator to explode it.

The speaker illustrated his talk with several forms of the commonly used explosives and demonstrated how a charge was electrically fired in a mine.

Denis StDenis president of the Rotary club, spoke of the relative ideals of the Rotary, Gyro and Associated Canadian Travellers clubs, all of which were formed for the purpose of service. He told of a proposed banquet of the three Nelson organizations, which would be a great advantage for all clubs and for the community.

He spoke of the work done by the Rotary club locally in buying the property for the boy scouts and other organizations and of the assisitance rendered to a little crippled child at present being treated in Seattle. He stated this child would within the next few weeks return home able to walk.

The gyros, too, had done good work in the city, he stated, and told of the excellent effort which had placed the Nelson Amateur Athletic association on its feet by the sale of membership tickets.

"Your club calls for service. if we can get the three clubs together with a club council, I think we could do for the city and district a great service," concluded the speaker.

Source: "TRAVELLERS HEAR TALK EXPLOSIVES," Nelson Daily News, October 6, 1924.

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