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Ingenious Gas Contraption To Protect Valuable Art of Museum


No more need priceless works of art be devoured by revenous bugs and worms. A lethal chamber, installed by the Fogg Art Museum for fumigation purposes, has inaugurated a new era in the career of old treasures.

Hitherto when insects and larvae attacked fine Gobelin tapestries, or worms burrowed deep into the soft wood of old chairs, very little could be done about it. Now, however, the objects suspected of harboring any of nature's anarchists are simply locked up in a dark safe-like room and thoroughly fumigated with carboxide gas for a period of from 24 to 36 hours.

The process is really quite simple, though it has the record of ninetynine percent efficiency. An old brick vault, in the basement of the Fogg Museum, has been painted with white lead on the inside. The only outlet is a thick steel door. Once the objects are locked up inside, gas from a cylinder is forced into the chamber by a powerful pump. The gas, which is allowed to circulate for at least a whole day, has the ability to penetrate almost any thickness of cloth or fibre, even reaching the innermost grains of a hundred pound bag of wheat with unimpaired efficacy. When the process is complete, the gas is exuded by release of a safety valve and carried off by means of a fan in the outlet pipe. The tapestries and furniture are then removed, having been thoroughly fumigated and all insect matter killed.

Chairs Piled High

With antique chairs of every period piled high on crates and boxes, and chests of intricate design, hailing from some crumbling monastery, treasure troves of fascinating relice--all waiting to be fumigated--the basement of the museum has the aspect of a veritable storehouse. Judging by the array of articles awaiting their turn, the process will be a lerthy one.

This plant is one of the most up-to-date and effective. It is the first successful fumigater to be used by the museum.

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