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I remember an incident involving one of the group whose name must go unmentioned because it occupies an elevated place in the history of electric lighting.Well,he too one night became frozen in the arms of Morpheus and began to breathe pretty loudly in his sleep.The disturbance was like intermittent approaching thunder with crashes between,ending with a periodical gulping that shook the laboratory in the silence of night.'I'll fix him,'said one of the boys with a fiendish grin,'I have a machine that will do the business,and you don't need to waste any more ammonia.'He went away and returned with a contraption that he had been working on the day before.It was a soap box upon which was mounted an enormos rattle that was actuated by a crankshaft turned by hand.'Which it work,boys,'he whispered as he placed the infernal thing near the sleeper on the table and gave it a few vigorous turns. It produced a terrific noise.The poor victim fairly bounced into the air thinking that a tornado had struck Menlo Park! The boys laughed.Some of us dubbed the machine a 'corpse revier'and others called it the 'calmer.'

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  • ddeana
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私は、その名前は伏せておくべきグループの一人が関わった事件を覚えている。なぜならそのことが電気照明の歴史における高みを占めるからだ。そう、彼もまたある晩モルペウスの腕の中でやる気をなくしており(※1)、眠りながらかなりうるさい寝息をかきだした。そのうるささときたら、合間合間で、夜のしじまの中で実験室を震撼させる周期的な雑音で終わりながら、断続的な雷鳴をともなう雷が近づいてくるようだった。「俺がヤツを始末する」と悪魔のような微笑みを浮かべて小僧どもの一人が言った。「俺は役に立つ機械をもっている。君たちはこれ以上アンモニアを無駄にする必要はないよ。」彼はどこかに行き、前日取り組んでいた奇妙な機械装置を持って戻ってきた。それは手動で回転するクランクシャフト(※2)で作動させる巨大なガラガラが取り付けられた石鹸箱だった。「これが役に立つよ、みんな」彼はテーブルで寝ている人のそばに仕掛け物をおきながらささやき、二、三回勢いよく回転させた。それはものすごい騒音を作り出した。あわれな犠牲者は、トルネードがメンロパークを襲ったと思い、まんまと空中に飛び上がったのだ! 小僧どもは笑った。我々の一部は、その機械に「死体再生機」というあだなをつけ、他のものは「落ち着かせ機」と呼んだ。 ※1:became frozen in the arms of Morpheus モルペウスはギリシャ神話に出てくる「夢の神」ですから、これは爆睡していたという意味だと思います。 ※2:crankshaft エンジン構成部品のひとつ

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