Letter | Published:

Aseismatic Tables for Mitigating Earthquake Shocks

Nature volume 30, page 193 | Download Citation



IN Mr. Topley's paper on the Colchester earthquake, which appeared in NATURE, vol. xxx. p. 60, he mentions the aseismatic joint designed by my father, Mr. David Stevenson, for mitigating the effects of shocks on lighthouses in countries subject to earthquakes, and from information which Mr. Topley has received and cites it would appear that the appliance had been tried in Japan, found wanting, and abandoned. The facts of the case, however, are as follows, and are supplied to me by Mr. Simpkins, who was engaged in fitting up the apparatus sent out from here, and has only recently returned from Japan. Of the seven lighthouse apparatus designed by Messrs. D. and T. Stevenson and furnished with the aseismatic joint and sent out to Japan, there are three at present in action, and have been so for ten years, viz. Mikomoto, Siwomisaki, and Yesaki. At Iwosima and Satanomisaki, in the south end of the island, the tables are screwed up so as not to act, as it is reported that no earthquakes are felt at these stations. At Tsuragisaki and Kashmosaki, which are revolving lights, the steadying screws sent out with the apparatus (to prevent the table oscillating while winding up the machine, which is the main inconvenience felt, and which was foreseen) were for some reason not put in at these stations, and the tables were firmly strutted with timber to prevent any motion. These two are the only lighthouses at which any damage has been done; while those stations at which the tables are in operation have never suffered at all, although they have been repeatedly subjected to shocks.

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  1. 45, Melville Street, Edinburgh, June 16



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