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|Original title||Tom Swift and His Big Tunnel, or, the Hidden City of the Andes|
|Genre||Young adult novel Adventure novel|
|Publisher||Grosset & Dunlap|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Tom Swift and His Aerial Warship|
|Followed by||Tom Swift in the Land of Wonders|
Tom Swift and His Big Tunnel, or, the Hidden City of the Andes, is Volume 19 in the original Tom Swift novel series published by Grosset & Dunlap.
The Titus Brothers Contractors company have won a government contract in Peru to blast a tunnel through a mountain and connect two isolated railroad lines. The deadline is approaching, and the contractors have hit a literal wall: excessively hard rock which defies conventional blasting techniques. The company is under pressure to finish, or else the contract will default to their rivals, Blakeson & Grinder. Mr. Job Titus has heard of Tom Swift and Tom's giant cannon, which is used in protecting the Panama Canal, and wants to hire Tom to develop a special blasting powder to help them finish the excavation.
Mr. Damon, Tom's very good friend, arrives in the middle of this conversation, and is unaware of the situation. By coincidence, Mr. Damon is invested in a business which procures cinchona bark from Peru, but production has all but ceased, prompting Mr. Damon to invite Tom to accompany him to Peru and discover the source of the problem.
Tom, Mr. Damon and Mr. Titus (along with Koku, Tom's giant) embark for Peru. On the way, they encounter Professor Swyington Bumper, who is on a lifelong quest to locate the lost city of Pelone. Professor Bumper returns to Peru each season, and has thus far been unsuccessful. When Professor Bumper discovers that Tom is headed to the same general area, Rimac, Professor Bumper decides to join the company.
Early in the book, Tom is working a new gyroscope, but events soon overtake that project, and Tom puts that aside for the time being.
In Tom Swift and His Giant Cannon , Tom has developed a new propellant to launch the projectiles from his giant cannon, and when Mr. Titus requests Tom's help, Tom begins to develop a new blasting powder. Ultimately Tom finds a suitable solution which can blast through heavy rock with ease. While on the job site, several blasts into the mountain, the rock changes into an even harder substance. Tom needs to modify his formula from a "quick burn" into a "slow burn" blast; rather than blasting the rock via concussion alone, the new formula first builds high pressure in the fissures of the rock, before the concussion splits the rock.
In the 1990s TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Indiana Jones is dating Tom Swift's author's daughter, and in one scene assists Mr. Stratemeyer in forwarding the plot of Tom Swift and His Big Tunnel.
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Dynamite is an explosive made of nitroglycerin, sorbents and stabilizers. It was invented by the Swedish chemist and engineer Alfred Nobel in Geesthacht, Northern Germany and patented in 1867. It rapidly gained wide-scale use as a more powerful alternative to black powder.
Gunpowder, also known as the retronym black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder, is the earliest known chemical explosive. It consists of a mixture of sulfur (S), carbon (C), and potassium nitrate (saltpeter, KNO3). The sulfur and charcoal act as fuels while the saltpeter is an oxidizer. Gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms, artillery, rocketry, and pyrotechnics, including use as a blasting agent for explosives in quarrying, mining, and road building.
Nitroglycerin (NG), also known as nitroglycerine, trinitroglycerin (TNG), nitro, glyceryl trinitrate (GTN), or 1,2,3-trinitroxypropane, is a dense, colorless, oily, explosive liquid most commonly produced by nitrating glycerol with white fuming nitric acid under conditions appropriate to the formation of the nitric acid ester. Chemically, the substance is an organic nitrate compound rather than a nitro compound, yet the traditional name is often retained. Invented in 1847, nitroglycerin has been used ever since as an active ingredient in the manufacture of explosives, mostly dynamite, and as such it is employed in the construction, demolition, and mining industries. Since the 1880s, it has been used by the military as an active ingredient, and a gelatinizer for nitrocellulose, in some solid propellants, such as cordite and ballistite. It is a major component in double-based smokeless gunpowders used by reloaders. Combined with nitrocellulose, hundreds of powder combinations are used by rifle, pistol, and shotgun reloaders.
Tom Swift Jr. is the central character in a series of 33 science fiction adventure novels for male adolescents, following in the tradition of the earlier Tom Swift ("Senior") novels. The series was titled The New Tom Swift Jr. Adventures. Unlike the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys titles that were also products of the prolific Stratemeyer Syndicate, the original Tom Swift stories were not rewritten in the 1950s to modernize them. It was decided that the protagonist of the new series would be the son of the earlier Tom Swift and his wife, Mary Nestor Swift; the original hero continued as a series regular, as did his pal Ned Newton. The covers were created by illustrator J. Graham Kaye. Covers in the later half of the series were mostly by Charles Brey. A total of 33 volumes were eventually published.
Pyrotechnics is the science and craft of creating such things as fireworks, safety matches, oxygen candles, explosive bolts and other fasteners, parts of automotive airbags; as well as gas-pressure blasting in mining, quarrying, and demolition. This trade relies upon self-contained and self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions to make heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound. The name comes from the Greek words pyr ("fire") and tekhnikos.
John Henry is an American folk hero. An African American, he is said to have worked as a "steel-driving man"—a man tasked with hammering a steel drill into rock to make holes for explosives to blast the rock in constructing a railroad tunnel.
A tunnel boring machine (TBM), also known as a "mole", is a machine used to excavate tunnels with a circular cross section through a variety of soil and rock strata. They may also be used for microtunneling. They can be designed to bore through anything from hard rock to sand. Tunnel diameters can range from one metre (3.3 ft) to 17.6 metres (58 ft) to date. Tunnels of less than a metre or so in diameter are typically done using trenchless construction methods or horizontal directional drilling rather than TBMs. TBMs can also be designed to excavate non-circular tunnels, including u-shaped or horseshoe and square or rectangular tunnels.
Internal ballistics, a subfield of ballistics, is the study of the propulsion of a projectile.
Smokeless powder is a type of propellant used in firearms and artillery that produces lower amounts of smoke when fired, unlike the historical black powder it replaced. The term is unique to the United States and is generally not used in other English-speaking countries, which initially used proprietary names such as "Ballistite" and "Cordite" but gradually shifted to "propellant" as the generic term.
Drano is an American brand of drain cleaner that is manufactured by S. C. Johnson & Son.
Drilling and blasting is the controlled use of explosives and other methods such as gas pressure blasting pyrotechnics, to break rock for excavation. It is practiced most often in mining, quarrying and civil engineering such as dam, tunnel or road construction. The result of rock blasting is often known as a rock cut.
Suitcase: Failed Experiments and Trashed Aircraft is a four-CD box set released by Guided by Voices in 2000. Named for the reputed literal suitcase in which the bandleader Robert Pollard allegedly stored his hundreds of unreleased tapes, the set is a trawl through decades worth of material from throughout Guided by Voices' recorded career.
Hercules, Inc., was a chemical and munitions manufacturing company based in Wilmington, Delaware, incorporated in 1912 as the Hercules Powder Company following the breakup of the Du Pont explosives monopoly by the U.S. Circuit Court in 1911. Hercules Powder Company became Hercules, Inc. in 1966, operating under this name until 2008, when it was merged into Ashland Inc.
The Great Siege Tunnels in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, also known as the Upper Galleries, are a series of tunnels inside the northern end of the Rock of Gibraltar. They were dug out from the solid limestone by the British during the Great Siege of Gibraltar of the late 18th century.
Tom Swift and His Submarine Boat, or, Under the Ocean for Sunken Treasure, is Volume 4 in the original Tom Swift novel series published by Grosset & Dunlap.
Tom Swift and His Giant Cannon, or, The Longest Shots on Record, is Volume 16 in the original Tom Swift novel series published by Grosset & Dunlap.
Tom Swift and His Electric Locomotive, Or, Two Miles a Minute on the Rails, is Volume 25 in the original Tom Swift novel series published by Grosset & Dunlap.
SpongeBob's Truth or Square is a video game based on the SpongeBob SquarePants episode with the same title. It was released on October 26, 2009 for SpongeBob's 10th anniversary. Altron developed a Nintendo DS version of the game.
The Baltimore Mine Tunnel Disaster was an explosion that occurred on June 5, 1919 just inside the mouth of Baltimore Tunnel No. 2. The Delaware and Hudson Coal Company's mine employed 450 workers and was located in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, about a mile from the center of the city near the modern day corner of North Sherman, Spring, and Pine Streets. Ninety-two miners were killed and 44 injured in the explosion, which was caused by the ignition of black blasting powder. Only 7 miners escaped without injury.
Peru native Brian Miser, also known as The Human Fuse, is a self-taught human cannonball. Featured on the 14th season of America's Got Talent. and a Guinness World Record holder, Miser is a renowned American circus performer. Most commonly recognised for his headlining act at Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, during his touring career. Miser has appeared nationally on Conan O'Brien, David Letterman (twice), Huffington Post and CBS radio over the course of his career thus far. His historic Las Vegas stunt closed down the famous strip and catapulted Miser into the spotlight across the United States.