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Timerover51 February 19th, 2014 12:25 AM

T51:1889 Campaign News Flashes
These are the news flashes of the earlier campaign, and are still in effect. Anyone interested in playing should read them for some idea of what might be encountered. (Posted 8 March 2019)


Thymiamata, Mars: New York Herald Special Correspondent Gideon Spilett, December 11, 1889

The death earlier this year of John Ericsson was greatly lamented in the engineering community, however others have continued his work on the solar boilers used so extensively by the great Ether Flyers. At Thymiamata, through the efforts of the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the Edison Company has been erected a powerful solar boiler capable of aiding the Martians in their turning their arid planet into an agricultural powerhouse. The reader must imagine a huge conical lamp-shade turned over on to its smaller end, its inner surface lined with nearly 1800 mirrors 2 feet long and 3 inches broad, the whole supported on a light iron framework, and he will have a good idea of the apparatus used by this new solar-powered water pump. The machine is arranged in meridian, that is, at right angles to the path of the sun, which it follows all day long by the agency of clockwork. In the focus of the mirrors is a boiler, 13 feet 6 inches long, coated with black, heat-absorbing substances. This boiler holds over 100 gallons of water, and being fed automatically will raise steam untended all the day through. The steam is led by pipes to an engine working a pump, capable of delivering 1400 gallons per minute. This water, drawn from the aquifer of the Dead Canal to the north of this Martian city, is capable of supplying 3 acres per hour of pumping with an inch of water for every square foot of land. Agricultural specialists believe that this single device will provide sufficient water for the irrigation of an addition 360 acres of land presently good only for desert scrub. If this is true, or even partially true, Thymiamata will soon become the bread basket of the Tossian Empire.
Note: For those interested in seeing a picture of this solar-powered pump, go to the following website on Project Gutenberg:

It is The Romance of Modern Invention, by Archibald Williams, written in 1902.

Timerover51 February 21st, 2014 10:37 PM

7 February 1890 News Flashes
More News Flashes for the Timerover51 Space: 1889 Campaign


Washington, D.C, Capitol News Service: February 7, 1890.

Secretary of State James Blaine received from the Belgian Ambassador to the United States a formal note of protest over the recent sale of U. S. Civil War-era artillery to the government of Thymiamate and possible sales to the Tossian Empire on Mars, calling it “an affront” to all right-thinking European governments. When Secretary Blaine pointedly asked the Ambassador if the protest was from the Belgian government or King Leopold, the Ambassador reluctantly admitted that is was from King Leopold in his capacity of private citizen and not in his capacity as head of the Belgian government. Secretary Blaine then indicated that he was unaware of any Declaration of War between King Leopold and either the Tossian Empire of Mars or the city-state of Thymiamata, which is any case is quite far from the nearest Belgium territory. He further stated that the weapons were not of the newest model, and were sold in the furtherance of U. S. good trade relations with all of the powers on Mars. Secretary Blaine did not indicate what the U. S. had received for the weapons, but it is suspected that Liftwood and Gumme from the Tossian Empire comprised part or most of the payment. Anything beyond a protest from the Belgium monarch is viewed as inconceivable given the limited military and naval power of Belgium.

Washington, D.C, Capitol News Service: February 7, 1890.

Captain Alfred Mahan, whose recent book, The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783, has caused such a stir in naval circles, called today for the US Navy to build at least 9 fast aerial scouts, for service on the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts, in order to assist the limited number of US naval vessels and aerial ships in locating and engaging any enemy forces threatening the US.

London, England: February 7, 1890

The Royal Geographic Society has announced today the discovery of several extraordinarily large “energy crystals” on Mercury which have been brought to Earth for additional study. While not able to produce as much power on Earth as they would on Mercury, it is hoped that careful scientific study will reveal the secret of these crystals so as to provide a power source fueled by the sun.

Timerover51 February 25th, 2014 03:24 AM


Scientific American Supplement, No. 711, August 17, 1889:


We here illustrate one of a couple of compound engines designed and constructed by Messrs. Ahrbecker, Son & Hamkens, of Stamford Street, S.E., for Captain Mojaisky, of the Russian Imperial Navy, who intends to use them for aeronautical purposes. The larger of these engines has cylinders 3¾ in. and 7½ in. in diameter and 5 in. stroke, and when making 300 revolutions per minute it develops 20 actual horse power, while its weight is but 105 lbs. The smaller engine--the one illustrated--has cylinders 2½ in. and 5 in. in diameter, and 3½ in. stroke, and weighs 63 lbs., while when making 450 revolutions it develops 10 actual horse power.

The two engines are identical in design, and are constructed of forged steel with the exception of the bearings, connecting-rods, crossheads, slide valves and pumps, which are of phosphor-bronze. The cylinders, with the steam passages, etc., are shaped out of the solid. The standards, as will be seen, are of very light T steel, the crankshafts and pins are hollow, as are also the crosshead bolts and piston rods. The small engine drives a single-acting air pump of the ordinary type by a crank, not shown in the drawing. The condenser is formed of a series of hollow gratings.

Image of Engines is Here:

Steam is supplied to the two engines by one boiler of the Herreshoff steam generator type, with certain modifications, introduced by the designers, to insure the utmost certainty in working. It is of steel, the outside dimensions being 22 in. in diameter, 25 in. high, and weighs 142 lb. The fuel used is petroleum, and the working pressure 190 lb. per square inch.

The constructors consider the power developed by these engines very moderate, on account of the low piston speed specified in this particular case. In some small and light engines by the same makers the piston speed is as high as 1000 ft. per minute. The engines now illustrated form an interesting example of special designing, and Messrs. Ahrbecker, Son, and Hamkens deserve much credit for the manner in which the work has been turned out, the construction of such light engines involving many practical difficulties,--Engineering.
Note: The article actually appeared in the Scientific American Supplement, No. 286 June 25, 1881. I changed the date to make it a bit more relevant to the timing of the game. The original article may be read here.

Timerover51 February 25th, 2014 03:30 AM


San Francisco, California: February 10, 1890

The Wells Fargo Express Company it pleased to announce the inauguration of its new Aerial Express Service from New York to San Francisco via Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City (Missouri), Houston, Albuquerque, and Los Angeles. Aerial flyers, weather permitting will depart New York and San Francisco on Mondays throughout the year, and arrive on the opposite coast on Saturday. Cabins for twenty 1st class passengers and thirty-two 2nd class passengers are provided, comparable to the finest Pullman accommodations, while sumptuous meals will be prepared and served to tempt the most delicate of appetites. Space for up to 50 tons of cargo is also available for urgent shipments of goods.

Passengers may travel from coast to coast or from points along the route as space is available. Cargo may also be dropped off and collected at the stopping points on the route. Through fares will be $125 for 1st class and $75 for 2nd class. Cargo will be charged at the rate of $1.00 per 100 pounds per 100 miles, or fraction thereof. Inquire at your local Wells Fargo Express office for further details about traveling on one of our new Wells Fargo Aerial Flyers: the Russell, the Majors, the Waddell, and the Fargo.

View the United States from an entirely new and exciting prospective.
There is some liftwood available for non-military purposes.

Timerover51 February 25th, 2014 03:35 AM


Cold Springs, New York: February 10, 1890

The West Point Foundry is pleased to announce the newest contract from the US Army for the conversion of 12 of the excellent 3 inch Ordnance muzzle-loading rifles to breech-loading, following the same pattern as the 6 weapons so converted in 1879, which proved quite satisfactory in service. The foundry is also contracted to supply 500 rounds of ammunition of various types for each gun. We at the West Point Foundry are proud to continue the tradition of producing fine weapons initiated by our founders in 1817.

Richmond, Virginia: February 10, 1890

The Tredegar Iron Works is proud to announce its resumption of its business relationship with John M. Brooke, developer of the fine Brooke Rifle used so widely and effectively by the Southern Forces in the recent unpleasantness. The Iron Works has received an order for eighteen of the excellent double-banded 6.4 inch rifles firing a projectile of 100 pounds in weight. Mounts for the guns are included in the order, along with a supply of 500 projectiles of various types for each gun. The total value of the order is in excess of $175,000, and the company anticipates that this will just be the start of additional orders. The customer purchasing these magnificent weapons is unnamed, however.
Both the West Point Foundry and Tredegar Iron Works were still in operation in 1890, and the Foundry had converted six 3 inch Ordnance rifles from the Civil War to breech-loading in 1879.

Timerover51 February 26th, 2014 01:56 AM


New York, New York: February 10, 1890

The Century Company is pleased to announce that it has received a contract from the Empire of Tossia for a translation of the Century four volume series, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, into Gaaryani, along with J. Thomas Scharf’s excellent work, The History of the Confederate States Navy, and Lieutenant Commander Caspar Goodrich’s Report of the British Naval and Military Operations in Egypt 1882. Mr. Scharf’s book will be translated with his permission, the Century paying him for the privilege of performing the translation. The Empire of Tossia will be sending qualified translators to New York at the Empire’s expense to assist with the translation. The initial print run will be for 100 copies of each work, but the Century anticipates further sales to the Martian market.
Both the Scharf and Goodrich book can be found and downloaded online, while Battles and Leaders is still an extremely valuable source for Civil War historians. It also is a good source of information on Civil War weaponry, as is the Scharf book. The relevance of the Goodrich book to Mars should be pretty obvious.

Edit Note: Battles and Leaders of the Civil War is available for reading online at the following site.

SpaceBadger July 7th, 2014 03:34 AM

No "News Flashes" since February. Is no news, good news?

Timerover51 March 8th, 2019 04:15 AM


Originally Posted by SpaceBadger (Post 483519)
No "News Flashes" since February. Is no news, good news?

More News Flashes coming.

Timerover51 May 19th, 2020 05:10 AM

I am getting back to work on this, at least for my own enjoyment. I will post some ideas for reading in addition to the books I have mentioned. As for NPC, you might run into any of the following.

Fictional Characters:
Gideon Spilett and Herbert Brown from Verne's Mysterious Island.
Matthew Quigley, wife Cora Quigley, and son Roy (8 years old). Quigley Down Under.
Caleb Pettingill, Former USN Officer (from book of the same name).
Francis Xavier Gordon (R. E. Howard El Borak series)

Historical Characters:
Sir Samuel Baker and Lady Baker
Frederic Remington
Richard Harding Davis
Frank Bullen (see Cruise of the Cacholot on Project Gutenberg)

More to Follow. News Flashes coming too.

Timerover51 July 28th, 2020 02:39 PM

While not a news flash per se, this quote is taken from the book by Sir Samual Baker, THE NILE TRIBUTARIES OF ABYSSINIA AND THE SWORD HUNTERS OF THE HAMRAN ARABS, published in1868 and found on Project Gutenberg.


All was darkness and confusion; everybody was talking and no one listening; but the great event had occurred the river had arrived "like a thief in the night." On the morning of the 24th June, I stood on the banks of the noble Atbara river, at the break of day. The wonder of the desert!—yesterday there was a barren sheet of glaring sand, with a fringe of withered bush and trees upon its borders, that cut the yellow expanse of desert. For days we had journeyed along the exhausted bed: all Nature, even in Nature's poverty, was most poor: no bush could boast a leaf: no tree could throw a shade: crisp gums crackled upon the stems of the mimosas, the sap dried upon the burst bark, sprung with the withering heat of the simoom. In one night there was a mysterious change—wonders of the mighty Nile!—an army of water was hastening to the wasted river: there was no drop of rain, no thunder-cloud on the horizon to give hope, all had been dry and sultry; dust and desolation yesterday, to-day a magnificent stream, some 500 yards in width and from fifteen to twenty feet in depth, flowed through the dreary desert! Bamboos and reeds, with trash of all kinds, were hurried along the muddy waters. Where were all the crowded inhabitants of the pool? The prison doors were broken, the prisoners were released, and rejoiced in the mighty stream of the Atbara. (Emphasis Added)
The would make a great description for the initial surge in a Martian canal, with the suddenness of the change emphasized. When the Arabs that Baker was camping near heard the rumble of the approaching flood, many of them were camped in the river bed, near the existing pools of water. Some barely got out in time. For anyone running a Space: 1889 campaign, this book by Baker would be hard to beat for descriptions of travel along a flooded canal or travel along a Dead Canal. More about those to come.

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