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RANELAGH

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 888 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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RANELAGH, formerly a popular resort by the Thames in Chelsea, London, England. About 1690 the land lying east of Chelsea Hospital, and bordering the river about the point where Chelsea Bridge now stands, was acquired by Richard, Viscount Ranelagh, later earl of Ranelagh (d. 1711). He built a mansion and laid out fine gardens, which, in 1742, were thrown open as a proprietary place of entertainment. A building called the Rotunda was erected for concerts, and the gardens quickly became a favourite resort of fashionable society. Balls and masquerades, exhibitions of fireworks, regattas and many other forms of amusement were provided; :'gut by the close of the 18th century Ranelagh was ceasing to attract the public, and in 1803 the Rotunda was closed. The buildings were removed, and the grounds became the property of Chelsea Hospital. They are still included in the pleasant gardens belonging to that foundation, but no traces of the popular Ranelagh are preserved. There is, however, a fashionable modern club of the same name. See Warwick Wroth, London Pleasure Gardens of the Eighteenth Century (London, 1896). RANGE-FINDER, TELEMETER Or POSITION-FINDER (Fr. telemetre; Ger. Distanzmesser; It. Telemetro; Russ. Dalnomier; Span. Telemetro; in the United States the word telemeter is sometimes applied to the stadia used in connexion with the tacheometer), an instrument, of which many varieties have been invented, for assisting the gunner and the infantry soldier in determining the distance or " range "1 to their objective. Nearly all range-finders may be described as instruments which automatically solve a triangle. Usually it is a right-angled triangle, the length of the base of which is known, and one of the sides is the range it is desired to find. They are, in fact, goniometers, but the angle which they measure, whether it may be at the end of the measured base, or that subtended by it, is usually expressed as a function of the angle in terms of the measured base. Thus the range is recorded directly in metres or yards without calculation. It is proposed here r The word " range," from O.Fr. range, from ranger, to place in a row or rank (rang being a variant of rant, whence Eng. rank "), meant properly a row or line of objects, as still in " mountain-range "; the secondary meanings of an area or space of ground, sphere of action, compass, extent, distance, are derived from the verb " to range," to stretch out in a line, to extend, to move about over a given area.to describe principally the range-finding instruments in the British services (1) as used in the fleet; (2) by the army in the field; (3) in harbour defence; and (4) to refer briefly to range-finders, not under these heads, of English and foreign design. 1. The necessity for a range-finder afloat caused the British Admiralty in 1891 to issue an advertisement in the press inviting inventors to produce an instrument which would, amongst other conditions, record ranges with an accuracy of within 3% at 3000 yds. The resulting competition was declared in favour of a range-finder which is the joint invention of Professor Barr of the Glasgow University and Professor Stroud of the Yorkshire College. The naval range-finder consists of a tube 2 which contains two telescopes. It is carried on a frame by bearings, in which the tube is free to revolve about its longer axis. To the frame Barrand is attached a weight capable of movement within a tank. Stroud. This weight balances the range-finder and frame upon knife-edges. By means of the handle on the left of the instrument and an altitude worm beneath it, the motion of the tube is governed, and the line of sight is directed on the objective. By partially filling the tank with water, the swinging of the weight in a seaway can be checked. The frame is supported on a pedestal and can rotate in azimuth upon it (fig. I).
End of Article: RANELAGH
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