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Title: Scientific  American, Volume XXXVI., No. 8, February 24, 1877 - A Weekly Journal of Practical Information, Art, Science, - Mechanics, Chemistry, and Manufactures.
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Scientific  American, Volume XXXVI., No. 8, February 24, 1877 - A Weekly Journal of Practical Information, Art, Science, - Mechanics, Chemistry, and Manufactures." ***

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Vol. XXXVI.--No. 8. [NEW SERIES.]

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       *       *       *       *       *

VOL. XXXVI., No. 8. [NEW SERIES.] _Thirty-second Year_.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Illustrated articles are marked with an asterisk.)

  Academy of Sciences, New York.         117
  Answers to correspondents.             123
  Arts, lost, in New York.               113
  Augers and drills (16).                123
  Bain, Alexander.                       121
  Blue glass deception, the.             113
  Blue glass science.                    121
  Boilers for small engines (2,14).      123
  Business and personal.                 123
  Caffeone.                              114
  Chromate of lime, acid (18).           123
  Circle problem, the three (8).         123
  Clock collector, a.                    119
  Coal, burning small (19).              123
  Cremation temple, proposed*.           119
  Dark days (11).                        123
  Dates and the date palm*.              111
  Diseases, infections.                  121
  Dyeing process, a cold (9).            123
  Engines for boats (12).                123
  Floors, filling for hardwood (6).      123
  Friction at rest (15).                 123
  Frost plant of Russia, the*.           116
  Glass making, toughened.               121
  Greenhouses, tar paint in (3).         123
  Harness cockeye, improved*.            118
  Heating ranges (17).                   123
  Heating rooms (7).                     123
  Hemi-plunger, the.*                    115
  Hens, Leghorn.                         114
  Ink, purple marking.                   117
  Iron trade in England.                 117
  Laboratory manipulations.              117
  Lathe chuck.*                          118
  Lathe, screw-cutting.*                 118
  Lead, sea water and.                   119
  Moneyed men.                           122
  Mortar, black (10).                    123
  New books and publications.            122
  Ornaments in winter, natural.          118
  Papin's steam engine.*                 120
  Patent decision, a.                    115
  Patent matters in Washington.          116
  Patent office annual report.           117
  Patents, American and foreign.         122
  Patents, official list of.             124
  Planing mill machinery.                115
  Posterity, for--a suggestion.          112
  Railroad, the Wetli mountain.*         114
  Rock sections for microscopy.          117
  Roofs, leaky slate (1).                123
  Rose bushes, soot for.                 119
  Salicylic acid for the feet.           115
  Sawdust in rough casting.              114
  Seed-distributing panthers.            111
  Self-reliance and success.             121
  Snow a fertilizer.                     119
  Something to do.                       121
  Spectroscope prisms (11).              123
  Steam engine, Papin's.                 120
  Steam engine, the Brown.               120
  Suicide statistics.                    116
  Telegraph, the speaking.               120
  Trolling hook, improved*.              114
  Watch, position of a (13).             123
  Waterproofing, suint for.              114
  White color in animals.                114
  Wire, crossing a river on a.           121
  Wool, purifying.                       114
  Zinc roofs (4).                        123

       *       *       *       *       *

No. 60,
For the Week ending February 24, 1877.

I. ENGINEERING AND MECHANICS.--Artificial Production of Ice by Steam
Power--The American Roller Skate Rink, Paris, 1 engraving.--The Little
Basses Light House, 4 figures.--The Souter Point Electric Light.--On
the Minute Measurements of Modern Science, by ALFRED MAYER.--Method of
Measuring by Means of the Micrometer Screw furnished with the Contact
Level; Method of Electric Contact Applied to Measurements with the
Micrometer Screw, 2 engravings.--Abstracts from Report of the Boston
Society of Civil Engineers on the Metric System.--New Turret Musical
and Chiming Clock for the Bombay University, with 1 page of
engravings.--Water Gas and its advantages, by GEO. S. DWIGHT.--Brattice
Cloths in Mines.--Eight Horse Power Portable Steam Engine, with
dimensions, particulars, and 1 page of engravings.--Clyde Ship
Building and Marine Engineering in 1876.--Four Masted Ships.--New
Bridges at and near New York city.--The Sutro Tunnel.--Independent Car
Wheels.--Passenger Travel, New York city.

II.--TECHNOLOGY.--Design for Iron Stairway, and Iron Grilles, with 3
engravings.--The Process of Micro-photography used in the Army Medical
Department.--Direct Positives for Enlarging.--A Monster
Barometer.--Architectural Science, Carpentry Queries and Replies.--The
Carpet Manufactures of Philadelphia. How the Centre Selvage is Formed,
3 figures.--Glass of the Ancients.--On the Preservation of Meat; a
resume of the various methods now practiced.--California
Pisciculture.--Savelle's System of Distillation, 2 engravings.--New
Bromine Still, by W. ARVINE, 1 engraving.--The Phoenix Steam Brewery,
New York.--French Cognac Distillation, 1 engraving.--Schwartz's Sugar
Refinery, London. General description of the establishment.--Vienna
Bread and Coffee.--How Pictorial Crystals are Produced and Exhibited.

MACCORD; with several engravings.

IV. ELECTRICITY, LIGHT, HEAT, SOUND, ETC.--Magnetic Action of Rotatory
Conductors.--The Sensation of Sound.--Sympathetic Vibration of
Pendulums.--Protection from Lightning.--Musical Tones, photograph of.

V. MEDICINE, HYGIENE, ETC.--On the Treatment of Typhoid Fevers. By
ALFRED L. LOOMIS, M.D.--Hydrophobia Cured by Oxygen.--The efficacy of
Lymph, by M. HILLER.--Success of Chloral Hydrate for Scalds and
Burns.--Uses of Cyanide of Zinc.--Dr. Brown-Sequard on Nerve Disease.

VI. MISCELLANEOUS.--Geological Notes.--A Geological Congress.--The
last Polar Expedition.--Old Men of Science.--Pre-glacial
Men.--Post-glacial period, Esthonia.--Northern Pacific Formations.

dollars_. One copy of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN and one copy of SCIENTIFIC
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All the back numbers of the SUPPLEMENT, from the commencement, January
1, 1876, can be had. Price 10 cents each.

two large volumes. Over 800 quarto pages; over 2,000 engravings.
Embracing History of the Centennial Exhibition. New Illustrated
Instructions in Mechanical Drawing. Many valuable papers, etc. Price
five dollars for the two volumes, stitched in paper; or six dollars
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New subscriptions to the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN and the SCIENTIFIC
AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT will, for the present, be entered upon our books
to commence with the year, and the back numbers will be sent to each
new subscriber unless a request to the contrary accompanies the order.

Instead of a notice being printed on the wrapper, announcing that a
subscription is about to end, the time of expiration is now denoted in
the printed address each week, so that the subscriber may see when the
period for which he has prepaid is about to expire.

       *       *       *       *       *


Even those whose knowledge of the customs of the Orient extends no
further than a recollection of the contents of that time-honored story
book, the "Arabian Nights," are doubtless aware that, since time
immemorial, the date has been the chief food staple of the
desert-dwellers of the East. The "handful of dates and gourd of water"
form the typical meal and daily sustenance of millions of human beings
both in Arabia and in North Africa, and to this meager diet
ethnologists have ascribed many of the peculiar characteristics of the
people who live upon it. Buckle, who finds in the constant consumption
of rice among the Hindoos a reason for the inclination to the
prodigious and grotesque, the depression of spirits, and the weariness
of life manifest in that nation, likewise considers that the morbid
temperament of the Arab is a sequence of vegetarianism. He points out
that rice contains an unusual amount of starch, namely, between 83 and
85 per cent; and that dates possess precisely the same nutritious
substances as rice does, with the single difference that the starch is
already converted into sugar. To live, therefore, on such food is not
to satisfy hunger; and hunger, like all other cravings, even if
partially satisfied, exercises control over the imagination. "This
biological fact," says Peschel, "was and still is the origin of the
rigid fastings prescribed by religions so widely different, which are
made use of by Shamans in every quarter of the world when they wish to
enter into communication with invisible powers." Peschel and Buckle,
however, are at variance as to the influence of the date diet as
affecting a race; and the former remarks that, "while no one will deny
that the nature of the food reacts upon the mental powers of man, the
temperament evoked by different sorts is different;" yet "we are still
far from having ascertained anything in regard to the permanent
effects of daily food, especially as the human stomach has, to a great
degree, the power of accommodating itself to various food substances,
so that with use even narcotics lose much of their effect." The same
author also adds that the date "trains up independent and warlike
desert tribes, which have not the most remote mental relationship to
the rice-eating Hindoos."

It remains for the reader to reconcile this disagreement of learned
doctors according to his own judgment. The evidence of those who
subsist on the date is certainly overwhelming in its favor. The
Assyrians, tradition says, asserted that it was such a great gift to
them that its worth could not be too extravagantly told; for they had
found, for the leaves, the fruit, the juices, and the wood of the
tree, three hundred and sixty different uses. The Mohammedans adopt
the date palm into their religion as an emblem of uprightness, and say
that it miraculously sprang into existence, fully grown, at the
command of the Prophet. Palm branches still enter as symbols of
rejoicing into Christian religious ceremonies; and throughout
Palestine constant reference is found to the date and the palm in the
naming of towns. Bethany means "a house of dates." Ancient Palmyra was
a "city of palms," and the Hebrew female name Tamar is derived from
the word in that language signifying palm. In Africa there is an
immense tract of land between Barbary and the great desert named
Bilidulgerid, "the land of dates," from the profusion of the trees
there growing.


In this country, the date as an article of food is classed with the
prune, the fig, and the tamarind, to be used merely as a luxury. We
find it coming to the markets at just about this time of year in the
greatest quantities, packed in baskets roughly made from dried palm
leaves. The dates, gathered while ripe and soft, are forced into these
receptacles until almost a pasty mass, often not over clean, is
formed. Their natural sugar tends to preserve them; but after long
keeping they become dry and hard. This renders them unfit for use; but
they still find a sale to the itinerant vendors who, after steaming
them to render them soft (of course at the expense of the flavor),
hawk them about the streets. Dates in the pasty condition are not
relished by those who live on them; nor, on the other hand, would we
probably fancy the dried, almost tasteless fruit which, strung on long
straws, is carried in bunches by the Arabs in their pouches.

The date palm (_phoenix dactylifera_) is the most important species
of the dozen which make up its genus. Though slow in growth, it
shoots up a magnificent stem, to the height sometimes of eighty feet,
the summit of which is covered with a graceful crown of pinnated
leaves. The trunk is exceedingly rough and spiny; the flower spathes,
which appear in the axils of the leaves, are woody, and contain
branched spadices with many flowers; more than 11,000 have been
counted on a single male spadix. As the flowers are dioecious, it is
necessary to impregnate the female blossoms artificially in order to
insure a good crop; and to this end the male spadices are cut off when
the pollen is ripe and carefully shaken over the female ones. At from
six to ten years of age, the tree bears, and then remains fruitful for
upward of 200 years. An excellent idea of the palm in full bearing may
be obtained from our illustration, which represents the mode of
gathering the dates, of which a single tree will often yield from one
to four hundredweight in a season. The fruit varies much in size and
quality; and in the oases of the Sahara forty-six varieties have been

The utilizations of the date palm and its products are very numerous.
The stem yields starch, and timber for houses, boats, fences, fuel,
etc., as well as an inferior kind of sago. The leaves serve as
parasols and umbrellas, and for material for roof covering, baskets,
brushes, mats, and innumerable utensils. At their base is a fiber,
which is spun into excellent rope. When the heart of the leaf is cut,
a thick honey-like juice exudes, which, by fermentation, becomes wine
(the "toddy" of India), or vinegar, and is also boiled down into
sugar. The young shoots, when cooked, resemble asparagus; and the
dates themselves are dried and ground into meal, from which bread is

       *       *       *       *       *


It is well known that bees carry pollen from flower to flower, and
that eggs of marine animals are often carried long distances in the
stomachs of aquatic birds. A very curious instance of this kind,
showing how vegetable species may be diffused by means which no
botanist, however acute, would be likely to think of, is mentioned by
Mr. Alfred Smee, who states that, attached to the skin of a panther
recently shot in India, were found numerous seeds, each of which had
two perfect hooks, manifestly designed to attach themselves to foreign
bodies. As the panther moved about it collected the seeds on the skin
and carried them about wherever it went; but when it rubbed against
the shrubs, it of necessity brushed some off, and thus distributed
them. One of the seeds produced a handsome plant, and beautiful
clusters of tubular flowers. It was immediately recognized to be the
_Martynia diandra_--a plant which, although introduced into England as
far back as 1731, has scarcely ever been cultivated, although it has
been commented on by botanists and other writers.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Irish gentleman who declined to aid an enterprise for the benefit
of posterity, remarking that posterity had never done anything for
him, was, after all the sport made of him, no unfair representative of
the bulk of mankind. There is talk enough about doing great things for
the advantage of future ages, but the real motive is apt to be
something very different. To perpetuate their own name or fame, men or
nations often set up lasting monuments, and sometimes unintentionally
convey thereby to after times a few more or less instructive
indications of the artistic or industrial skill of their day and
generation. To further their own immediate ends, or to secure some
benefit to their immediate descendants, men frequently undertake great
material enterprises, and sometimes the work so done remains for ages
the source of perennial good. But very rarely, if ever, can it be said
that any work of man was undertaken solely, or even chiefly, for the
benefit of posterity--more rarely still, for remote posterity.

Hence it happens that we owe far more to accident, to fire, rapine,
volcanic outbursts, and the protecting care of desolation, for the
knowledge we have of times long past, than to any intentional legacies
of art or learning left us by the men of those times. The lost and
abandoned tools, weapons, and ornaments of the stone age are all that
we have to tell us of the childhood of humanity. Had no fiery
disasters ever overtaken the pile-dwellers of the Swiss lakes, we
should probably have never heard of such a people.

To the mud and ashes of Vesuvius, rather than to the historians of the
Roman Empire, we owe the best of our knowledge of how Roman cities
looked and Roman citizens lived eighteen hundred years ago. In the
fragments of a _terra cotta_ library, buried in the ruins of a royal
palace, we find almost our only records of the arts and sciences of
ancient Assyria. Under the ash heaps of a forgotten age, in Cyprus,
Cesnola finds the only known vestiges of a primitive civilization,
reaching far back into the domain of mythology. Thanks to the
destroyers of Troy and Mycenæ, and the protective care of temporary
oblivion, Schliemann is now able to verify tradition and lay before an
astonished and delighted world numerous precious relics of heroic ages
hitherto remembered only in song.

Who can estimate the value of these and similar findings to us--the
value of the revelations they bring of man's condition in those remote
ages? Who can say how many or how few the ages will be ere the time
comes when the antiquaries of the future will be rejoicing over
equally fragmentary vestiges of the doings and possessions of our day?

On the other hand, who can estimate the value of the knowledge lost
beyond hope of recovery, or the checks to human progress experienced,
in the repeated wiping out, so to speak, of the higher races and the
civilizations they embodied? And who can say that similar disasters
may not come again and again to humanity?

Suppose a pestilence peculiarly fatal to the white race should fall
upon the world to-day, crippling, perhaps exterminating, the now
dominant civilized nations; how long would the material elements of
our science and art or general culture remain with power to enlighten
the barbarous tribes that would inherit the earth? Human progress has
more than once been set back for centuries by such natural or
unnatural causes, leaving the sites of once splendid civilizations to
be overrun with barbaric hordes knowing nothing of the better times
that went before.

Suppose, again, that, by one of those geologic changes so numerous in
the history of our unstable globe, the existing continents should sink
a thousand feet. Every center of modern civilization would be
submerged. The great social and political organizations of humanity
would be broken up, and in the wreck of nations that would ensue very
little of the glory and culture of the race could survive. The earth
is dotted with vestiges of lost and forgotten empires. Can we
reasonably assume, in the face of such facts, that the nations of
to-day are immortal?

The question is: Shall we continue to trust to chance, as all other
civilizations have, for the preservation of the conquests we have made
among the forces and secrets of nature; or shall we do something
positive for posterity, and leave the ages to come some certain and
abiding legacy of our treasures of art and learning?

It may be that human progress will go on and on to the end of time
without a break; that in the course of centuries mankind will surpass
us in civilization, knowledge and power, as much as we surpass the
earliest and rudest men we have yet found traces of: maybe infinitely

In such a case, what would not the scholars of, say the year 5000
A.D., or any other future age, be willing to give for a comprehensive
picture of humanity as it exists to-day--for a reasonably complete
library of our literature, science, and art? We may safely assume
that nothing of the sort will be possible if matters are left to take
their natural course. By that time every structure, every machine,
every book, every work of art, now in use or stored away in our
libraries and galleries of art, will have disappeared, a prey to time,
the elements, or the more destructive violence of man.

On the other hand, it may be that, through repeated disasters of one
sort or another, mankind, three thousand years hence, will have lost
all the knowledge men ever possessed, and be slowly struggling upward
for the hundredth time from inherited barbarism. In such a case, what
enormous benefits might not accrue to man from a fortunate opening up
of the wealth of knowledge we possess!

In any supposable case between these extremes of progress or
degradation, a legacy of art and learning, such as we might easily set
apart for remote posterity, would certainly be acceptable, perhaps
extremely useful. Besides, it might be possible for us to set such a
worthy example to those who shall come after us that, come what might,
humanity would never be left absolutely void of the means of
instruction, nor any worthy human achievement be absolutely lost or
forgotten. The experience of these later years has demonstrated the
value of such legacies even when unintentional, unselected, and
wretchedly fragmentary. It has made clear also how a legacy
deliberately made may be indefinitely preserved.

Roughly outlined, the carrying out of such a truly philanthropic
enterprise would involve nothing more difficult than--

_First_. The construction of a practically indestructible treasure
chamber in some secure place; and

_Second_. The preparation of a library well calculated to withstand
the corroding tooth of time.

Two kinds of structures would meet the first demand--massive pyramids
of covered earth or of solid masonry, or chambers hewn from the heart
of some granitic hill. In low latitudes, where glacial action is not
to be feared, the pyramidal form might be preferable: in more northern
regions the rock-cut chamber would probably be at once cheaper and
more durable. In either case, an elevated site should be chosen as a
safeguard against submergence.

To secure the permanence of the records would be more difficult.
Ordinary books and papers would clearly be unsuitable for long
keeping; though for comparatively limited periods they might answer if
securely packed in airtight waterproof cases. Nothing liable to
spontaneous decay should be admitted. Stereotype plates of metal would
be even more open to objection than printed sheets. The noble metals
would be too costly, the baser would corrode; and with either the
value of the plates as metal would be a standing danger to the
deposit. The material basis of the library must be, as nearly as
possible, worthless for other uses (to insure them against the natural
greed of man), yet such as will hold the records sharply and
faithfully under all circumstances. The _terra cotta_ tablets of
ancient Assyria are instructive in this connection. Possibly plates of
artificial stone, or sheets of a _papier-maché_-like preparation of
asbestos, might be less bulky and equally durable.

Having determined this point, and dug from the solid rock a chamber
for the reception of our legacy, the next step would be the selection
of its contents. Obviously the books to be preserved should embrace
first of all lexicons and grammars of every known form of speech,
since it is impossible to tell which of the dialects of to-day will be
the parents of the dominant tongue of any distant future time; while
we may be practically certain that some one or more of the languages
of to-day will furnish a key to any language that men will ever use.
Next in order would come encyclopædias, the most comprehensive and
complete that there might be room for. The sacred books of all nations
might come next; then the works of the great poets, historians and
novelists; after them, the best obtainable records of art, science,
the various industries, and so on, with specimens of the best and most
typical of our works of art, manufacture, and the like.

The spaces between the various articles should be filled in with some
insoluble and neutral substance, to prevent corrosion, or the
infiltration of water and consequent damage to the plates. Then, the
entrance to the chamber being securely sealed, permanent records
should be made in many places and in various ways, setting forth the
purpose of the deposit, its exact location, and the nature of its
contents. Among such records not the least valuable would be deeply
cut polyglot inscriptions on natural cliffs in different parts of the
world, observation having shown that such records may remain to
challenge human curiosity for ages after all other records of their
time have disappeared.

Even a single deposit of this sort might prove of enormous value to
the race at some critical period of its history. But the probability
is that the good work would not end with one deposit. From age to age
this and other nations might repeat the experiment, commemorating in
this way important epochs in their history. The fashion once set might
easily become a permanent feature of all great national celebrations.
The cost would be comparatively small: a penny contribution from each
of the visitors to the Philadelphia Exhibition, for example, would
have been quite sufficient to provide for a memorial of our first
Centennial year that would have carried an imperishable picture of the
civilization of the day to the end of--our first millennium, at least;
and we may safely infer that, whatever may be the condition of the
world at that not very remote epoch, a memorial of that sort would be
something worth having.

As we have intimated, the custom might easily become general, so that
in the course of ages the earth would become dotted with such
repositories of art and learning. Then, come what might to
humanity--whatever might be the ups and downs of nations--whatever
moral, social, or intellectual advances mankind might make--whatever
lapses or disasters might befall them--it could hardly happen that a
knowledge of any considerable period of human history, or the
advantage of any worthy human achievement, could ever be permanently
blotted out and lost.

It is true that "posterity" has never done anything of the sort for
us. It is true that "posterity" may have no valid claim on us for such
a legacy. But we might venture to make "posterity" a present! It would
not cost us much, and it might turn out to be immensely valuable and
useful to some far future age.

       *       *       *       *       *


While the objects of ancient art contained in the Castellani
collection, recently placed on exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum
of Art in this city, are individually of great rarity and
archæological value, they derive additional importance from the fact
that, viewed conjunctively as a collection, they represent connected
histories of two great industrial arts extending over many centuries.
Both in the work of the goldsmith and of the potter, we are enabled to
trace progress from the earliest stages up to a period when the
greatest skill was attained, and even subsequently into the era of
decadence. In both industries, we find that ancient and mediæval
workmen possessed knowledge which we do not possess; and among Signor
Castellani's treasures may be seen handiwork which is the embodiment
of two lost arts, the secrets of which the modern world, with all its
infinitely superior wisdom, has not yet rediscovered.

The productions, in the Castellani collection, of precious metal
workers dating from prehistoric epochs, the exact dates of which are
wholly unknown, and covering the long period ending in the thirteenth
century, are represented by the contents of some twenty cases. The
first three of these receptacles bear no dates. The ornaments which
they contain are of bronze, amber, silver, and glass (the latter
having become converted into opalescent silicic acid), and were found
in Præneste (modern Palestrina, Italy), and in the territory which was
ancient Etruria. Case No. 4 bears date 700 B.C., and here is a rich
treasure of primitive Etruscan and Phoenician ornaments of gold,
adorned with granulated work. Signor Castellani considers that the
workmanship of these objects is so perfect that it is impossible at
the present time to explain the process of execution, and very
difficult to imitate it. The ornaments are of two kinds--those for
ordinary use and those for funereal purposes. The first are massive,
and might be worn for years without injury; the others are extremely
delicate. All are made of the purest gold, and their decoration
evinces the most consummate skill and taste on the part of the artist.
There is, for example, a small flask, shaped something like an antique
wine jar, and about five inches in height. It is of beaten gold, and
is covered with a pattern intended to imitate the similarly shaped
designs of variegated glass of the Græco-Phoenician period. This
pattern is entirely produced by minute globules of metal soldered to
the surface in tiers of zigzag or Vandyke patterns. Another specimen
is a strip of gold covered with granulated lines and bearing a row of
birds in relief. On other ornaments are exquisitely carved heads and
flowers, produced apparently by hammering on the reverse of the
object, but with a delicacy and precision of touch which is simply

The closest students of this ancient handiwork are entirely at a loss
to understand how the processes of melting, soldering, and wire
drawing, which were employed in the art, were performed. Modern
workmen have failed in their attempts exactly to imitate the old
ornaments; and it is certain that the secret of the mechanical agents,
whereby it was possible to separate and join pieces of gold hardly
perceptible to the naked eye, is lost. Signor Castellani has taken
great pains to solve the problem, reading all the treatises of
mediæval goldsmiths, inquiring of all classes of Italian jewelers, and
experimenting with all kinds of chemicals, in the hope of finding the
solder wherewith the minute grains were attached to the surface of the
metal. At last he found some of the old processes still employed in a
remote district, hidden in the recesses of the Apennines, far from the
great towns. Bringing away a few workmen, he gave them much more
instruction, and at last succeeded, not perhaps in equalling, but
certainly in rivalling the ancient productions.

We question whether the Etruscans used fire at all in their soldering,
as it would be almost an impossibility to keep the excessively fine
tools necessary for the work at a proper heat. Mr. Joshua Rose offers
the plausible suggestion that a cold flux was employed, with which the
workman followed the lines or dots of his pattern. Then the gold
granules were possibly sprinkled over the surface, and adhered only to
the solder, the superfluous grains being brushed off after the solder
had set.

There is also a fragment of a finely woven fabric, made of threads of
pure gold, found on the body of a woman in a tomb at Metapontum. This
is without doubt the material to which the Psalmist refers in speaking
of "the King's daughter" having "clothing of wrought gold;" and in the
Pentateuch there is reference to gold threads being used upon looms.

As we follow the various objects in the twenty cases above mentioned,
the decline of the goldworker's art when the use of enamels came into
vogue is evidenced. Continuing on to later periods, the decadence is
more marked under the successors of Alexander. In Rome, under the
emperors, we find gold used as a mere setting for precious stones, and
finally the collection terminates with examples of workmanship of the
time of Charlemagne, when the workmen had lost their cunning, and the
noble metal had been altogether debased to secondary uses.

The second instance where a lost art is exemplified in Signor
Castellani's collection is in the glazing of the Gubbio majolica. We
have not space here to review the magnificent series of ancient
specimens of pottery in detail; and thus it will suffice to say that,
beginning with some of the earliest pieces made by the Arabs when they
occupied Sicily, from the twelfth to the sixteenth century, the
collection presents examples of all the finest types of later mediæval
art. Gubbio, where the peculiar kind of majolica above noted was made,
is a small town once in the territory of the dukes of Urbino; and in
the sixteenth century it became famous for its pottery. This was
attributable to the talent of one man, Giorgio Andreoli, who is
reputed to have invented the wonderful luster characteristic of the
Gubbio ware. The body of majolica is mere common clay; and after the
piece is finished on the wheel, it is dried and burnt in a furnace.
After the biscuit thus prepared has been dipped in the glaze, the
colors are applied on the soft surface of the latter, and the
vitrifying process fuses all into a glossy enamel of the color of the
pigment. This is still the common practice; and we mention it merely
to show that to his pigment and glaze Andreoli must have added some
third substance, which rendered the enamel capable of reflecting white
light as blue, red, green, or yellow light--in other words, of giving
the object a luster of a color wholly different from the tints of the
pigment. He evidently could produce any desired color at will, and the
effects gained are indescribably beautiful. The Castellani collection
contains 130 superb specimens, which glow like jewels. In one, the
scene of the nativity of Christ is provided with the figures in low
relief, and the exquisite cerulean lustre is imparted to give the
effect of moonlight. The rarest pieces are those of which the luster
is a delicate green. Some blaze with yellow, as if of gold; others
exhibit the brilliancy of the ruby; while others resemble the interior
of the pearl oyster shell. Whether this sheen is produced by
polarization of the light in some manner, or whether it is at all
analogous to fluorescence, is yet to be decided. The impression of the
surface with fine microscopic lines might produce an iridescence, but
not separate and clearly defined hues. The ware was intended for
ornamental purposes, not for household use; and it was suspended
against the rich, dark tapestries of the period with which walls were
covered, thus aiding, as it were, in illuminating the apartment with
its exquisite radiance.

       *       *       *       *       *


On September 26, 1871, General A.J. Pleasonton, of Philadelphia, Pa.,
obtained a patent for "utilizing the natural light of the sun
transmitted through clear glass, and the blue or electric(!) solar
rays transmitted through blue, purple, or violet colored glass, or its
equivalent, in the propagation and growth of plants and animals." In
his specification, of which the above constitutes one claim, he states
that he has discovered "special and specific efficacy in the use of
this combination of the caloric rays of the sun and the electric blue
light in stimulating the glands of the body, the nervous system
generally, and the secretive organs of man and animals." He also
states that he finds that vegetation is vastly improved by the
transmitted blue light. These alleged re-discoveries--for the General
only claims to have devised the method of utilizing them--were
extensively promulgated through the press early in 1871. Subsequently,
in 1876, General Pleasonton published a book on the subject, the
volume being appropriately bound in blue and printed in blue ink.
Recently public attention has again been called to the subject by a
New York daily journal. The peculiar kind of glass in question is
known as "pot metal blue," that is, it is stained a bluish violet
throughout, and is not clear glass covered with flashings of blue
glass. It is used in greenhouses, etc., in connection with clear
glass; and in General Pleasonton's grapery it appears that only every
eighth row of panes was blue. Some of the results alleged to have been
obtained by exposing animals and plants are as follows: Twenty grape
vines, in their second year, after being set out under the blue glass,
bore 1,200 lbs. of splendid fruit. A very weak Alderney bull calf was
in four months developed into a strong and vigorous bull. Heifers when
kept under blue glass may safely bear young when 18 months old. A weak
child, weighing but 3½ lbs. at birth, weighed at the end of four
months 22 lbs.--the light in this instance having come through blue
curtains. Two major-generals with rheumatism were cured in three days.
A young lady whose hair had come out regained her tresses; and to
these must be added various other cures of severe ailments which we
have not space here to recapitulate. The above are the alleged facts;
and we propose to consider the supposed discovery in the light of
previous investigations.

With reference to the theories of electricity, etc., advanced by
General Pleasonton to account for his phenomena, their absurdity is so
complete that we shall waste no time over them. The important question
in the matter, and the only one in which the public is interested, is
whether or not blue glass is capable of producing all or any of the
results imputed to its use. In order to clear the way for the
examination of the investigations, the records of which we have
carefully collected, let us consider first those which General
Pleasonton quotes in support of his views. These are (1) Seunebier's
researches, which go to show that the blue and violet rays are the
most active in determining the decomposition of carbonic acid in
plants, and (2) experiments of Dr. Morichini, repeated by Carpa and
Ridolfi, proving that violet rays magnetized a small needle. The first
statement has been totally disproved. Dr. Von Bezold, in his recent
work on color, states that "the chemical processes in plants, as far
as they are dependent upon light, are principally caused by the rays
of medium and of lower refrangibility. The development of the green
color of the chlorophyll, the decomposition of carbonic acid, as well
as the formation of starch, etc., in the grains of the chlorophyll,
are induced by the red, green, and orange rays." The blue, violet, and
ultra violet rays, the same authority goes onto explain, influence
"the rapidity of growth, compel the so-called zoöspores to move in
certain directions, and alter the positions of leaves, etc." In
confirmation of this, we have Sach's experiments in 1872, which show
that light, transmitted through the yellow solution of potassium
chromate, enables green leaves to decompose over 88 per cent. of
carbonic acid; while that passed through blue ammonia copper oxide
decomposes less than 8 per cent. This proves the superiority of the
yellow ray to decompose carbonic acid; and this fact Professor J.W.
Draper discovered a long time ago by the direct use of the spectrum.
In still further confirmation, we may cite the investigations of
Vogel, Pfeiffer, Selim, and Placentim. The last three have conducted
researches in full knowledge of those of General Pleasonton, and their
experiments show that yellow rays are more promotive of the evolution
of carbon in animals and its absorption in plants than any others in
the spectrum, the violet rays having least power in these respects,
with the exception of the red rays in the case of animals. The
absorption of carbonic acid by plants, and its evolution by animals,
we hardly need add, are prime essentials to the growth and health of
each. The notion that light possesses a magnetizing power on steel was
upset by Niepce de St. Victor in 1861. After removing every source of
error, he "found it impossible to make one sewing needle, solarized
for a very long time under the rays of light concentrated by a strong
lens, attract another suspended by a hair, whether the light was white
or colored by being made to pass through a violet-colored glass."

We can proceed further and even show that violet light is in some
respects hurtful to plants. Cailletet, for example, says in 1868 that
"light which was passed through a solution of iodine in carbonic
disulphide prevents decomposition altogether." Baudrimont says that
"no colored light permits vegetables to go through all the phases of
their evolutions. Violet-colored light is positively injurious to
plants; they absolutely require white light." This scientist
instituted the most elaborate experiments on the subject, ranging over
11 years, from 1850 to 1861; and the result of all his labor may be
summed up in the simple statement that no illumination which human
ingenuity can devise is so well adapted for promoting natural
processes as the pure white light provided by the Creator. So much by
way of general denial of the claims of superior efficacy residing in
blue light of any kind.

Now we have yet to examine the peculiar variety of blue light here
used. Sunlight can, by means of the prism, be split into colored rays,
any one of which we may isolate, and so obtain a certain colored
light. Similarly we may obtain light of a desired color by the use of
a colored glass which will stop out the rays not of the hue required.
So that we may obtain violet light from the spectrum or by filtering
sunlight through violet glass. When, however, Dr. Von Bezold, as
above, asserts that the violet rays have such and such an effect, he
means the violet of the spectrum, which has its specific duty to
perform in the compound light of which it is a necessary portion. But
the violet light of the spectrum and filtered violet sunlight are
altogether different things. The first, as our valued contributor Dr.
Van der Weyde has very clearly pointed out, is "a homogeneous color
containing, besides the luminous, the invisible chemical rays without
any caloric rays; while the light colored by passing through violet
glass is a mixture of blue rays with the red rays at the other end of
the spectrum; and it contains a quantity of the chemical rays
belonging to the blue and the caloric rays belonging to the red. In
fact, violet glass passes a light identical with sunlight, only much
reduced in power, containing but a portion of its caloric, chemical,
and luminous agency: being simply deprived of its strongest rays." And
this the spectroscope has clearly demonstrated. Reduced to its
simplest terms, then, the necessary conclusion is that the violet
glass acts purely as a shade for decreasing the intensity of the solar
light. And in the simple fact that it does so serve as a shade lies
the sole virtue (if any there be) of the glass. In 1856, Dr. Daubeny
made experiments on the germination of seeds, and in his report is
this suggestive sentence: "In a south aspect, indeed, light which had
passed through the ammonia sulphate of copper (blue solution), and
even darkness itself, seemed more favorable than the whole of the
spectrum; but this law did not seem to extend to the case of seeds
placed in a northern aspect where the total amount of light was less

In our next issue, we shall review the effects of light and darkness
upon the animal organization, and endeavor to account for the curing
of diseases and the production of other phenomena which have been
erroneously ascribed to the influence of the blue filtered sunlight.

       *       *       *       *       *


Among the various means proposed of late years for building lines of
railroad on the steep slopes of mountains, that of M. Wetli, of
Zurich, Switzerland, has attracted considerable attention from
European engineers. We have already laid before our readers the system
of central toothed rails used on the Righi and other mountain roads in
Europe. In the Wetli system, instead of this rail and the pinion on
the vehicle engaging it, there is a drum having a helicoidal thread
which engages with triangular rails. This drum is attached to the
locomotive. The construction will be readily understood from the
illustrations given herewith, which we take from _La Nature_. The
thread on the drum is precisely that which would be formed could a
rail similar to one of the central angular rails be wrapped around it;
so that it always is in contact with the mid rails, and necessarily
prevents any bodily sliding or rolling of the vehicles over the
regular track when the drum is held motionless. The V-shaped mid rails
are securely fastened to horizontal iron ties, which rest on wooden
traverses. The angle of the V is 50°; the distance between any two
traverses is 2.8 feet.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--THE WETLI MOUNTAIN RAILROAD.]

The locomotive has three coupled axles, on the mid one of which the
drum is attached so as to be raised or lowered to engage the rails at
the will of the engineer: it being possible to cause it to act on the
rails with a pressure of 3.7 tons. The diameter of the drum is 2.14
feet. Its spiral thread is of steel, very solidly attached, and so
made as to grip the rails to a distance of 0.6 inch below the level of
the track. In order to insure this contact, on the drum axle are two
pulleys which run on the exterior road, and of which the diameter
determines the depth of the hold of the threads. These pulleys are
34.7 inches in diameter, while the driving wheels are very slightly in
excess, to provide for the use of tyres.

M. Wetli's invention, as we have described it, was placed between
Woedensweil and Einsiedlen, Switzerland. The difference in altitude
between these points is 1,513 feet, the distance 9.6 miles. The grade
is from 4 to 5 per cent over the first six miles of the way, and
subsequently decreases to 1 per cent. The Wetli railroad was
established last October only on the heavy grade, that is, the first
six miles.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

Early in November, trial trips were made which did not prove
satisfactory. Sometimes the drum thread gripped the triangular rails
properly and acted well; again it would wedge itself upon them, and
often would simply roll over their tops without engaging at all. After
the first trials, during which very many of the rails were broken, M.
Welti re-adjusted the drum thread. Finally, he concluded that he had
overcome all difficulties in his apparatus; and accordingly a formal
trial was arranged on November 30. For about four and a half miles of
the ascent the drum worked well; and the hoarfrost, with which the
rails were thickly covered, showed good contact. Afterward it worked
irregularly; but the station of Schindelleghi, a distance of five
miles, was reached without accident, the locomotive dragging a car
loaded with 20 tons of rails. It was then attempted to make the
descent by the aid of the helicoidal drum; but this jumped the rails,
and broke them almost immediately. By the aid of back pressure of
steam and brakes, the locomotive was stopped. Then, unfortunately, the
engine was started again; but hardly had the descent been resumed when
it was evident that the drum was not holding, and that the speed was
accelerating rapidly. Brakes and steam were both found useless, and
the engine went tearing over the rails at the rate of a mile a minute.
Of the fourteen persons in the vehicles, three were thrown out and
killed, and the rest were more or less seriously injured. The heavily
loaded car left the track, and tore up both central and side rails
until its coupling broke. The engineer, with great intrepidity, clung
to his engine, coolly giving signals to open switches so that the
locomotive might run upon the level track and so expend its momentum;
but the engine left the rails at a sharp curve, destroyed the track
for about a hundred feet, and finally stopped a mass of ruins, with
its brave engineer mortally wounded. Whether the Wetli system can be
made to work as intended by the inventor is regarded as doubtful by
the engineers who have examined into the causes of the disaster.

       *       *       *       *       *


If a man keeps Leghorns he must have no garden, or he must cover the
top of his hen yards. That Leghorns are great layers and active hens,
there can be no denying, but they are great flyers. We have built our
yard a lath and a half high, says the _Poultry Review_, but what do
these saucy things care for that? Although they have the whole outside
world to range in, yet the garden seems to have a greater attraction
than all the rest. The other day we found it necessary to feed a weak
chicken in the garden by itself, so that it might be sure of its
share. A few minutes afterwards, on looking out of the window, we
discovered the weak chicken in the henyard and two Leghorn hens
finishing up its food. We went out, but the two robbers had fled.
Going around the corner, we found them rolling in a flower bed. A
Leghorn will do as much mischief in a garden in five minutes as
anything we know of.

       *       *       *       *       *


Siehr recommends very highly the use of sawdust in mortar as superior
even to hair for the prevention of cracking and subsequent peeling off
of rough casting under the action of storms and frost. His own house,
exposed to prolonged storms on the seacoast, had patches of mortar to
be renewed each spring, and after trying without effect a number of
substances to prevent it, he found sawdust perfectly satisfactory. It
was first thoroughly dried and sifted through an ordinary grain sieve
to remove the larger particles. The mortar was made by mixing 1 part
cement, 2 lime, 2 sawdust, and 5 sharp sand, the sawdust being first
well mixed dry with the cement and sand.

       *       *       *       *       *

SUINT FOR WATERPROOFING FABRICS.--A German chemist has patented the
waterproofing of finely woven fabrics, linen, cotton, etc., by means
of suint composition. He adapts his method to securing the suint to
wool-washing establishments at a small cost.

       *       *       *       *       *


Some very curious physiological facts bearing upon the presence or
absence of white colors in the higher animals have lately been adduced
by Dr. Ogle. It has been found that a colored or dark pigment in the
olfactory region of the nostrils is essential to perfect smell, and
this pigment is rarely deficient except when the whole animal is pure
white. In these cases the creature is almost without smell or taste.
This, Dr. Ogle believes, explains the curious case of the pigs in
Virginia adduced by Mr. Darwin, white pigs being poisoned by a
poisonous root which does not affect black pigs. Mr. Darwin imputed
this to a constitutional difference accompanying the dark color, which
rendered what was poisonous to the white colored animals quite
innocuous to the black. Dr. Ogle, however, observes that there is no
proof that the black pigs eat the root, and he believes the more
probable explanation to be that it is distasteful to them, while the
white pigs, being deficient in smell and taste, eat it, and are
killed. Analogous facts occur in several distinct families. White
sheep are killed in the Tarentino by eating _hypericum criscum_, while
black sheep escape; white rhinoceros are said to perish from eating
_euphorbia candelabrum_; and white horses are said to suffer from
poisonous food where colored ones escape. Now it is very improbable
that a constitutional immunity from poisoning by so many distinct
plants should, in the case of such widely different animals, be always
correlated with the same difference of color; but the facts are
readily understood if the senses of smell and taste are dependent on
the presence of a pigment which is deficient in wholly white animals.
The explanation has, however, been carried a step further by
experiments showing that the absorption of odors by dead matter, such
as clothing, is greatly affected by color, black being the most
powerful absorbent, then blue, red, yellow, and lastly white. We have
here a physical cause for the sense-inferiority of totally white
animals which may account for their rarity in nature. For few, if any,
wild animals are wholly white. The head, the face, or at least the
muzzle or the nose, are generally black. The ears and eyes are also
often black; and there is reason to believe that dark pigment is
essential to good hearing, as it certainly is to perfect vision. We
can therefore understand why white cats with blue eyes are so often
deaf--a peculiarity we notice more readily than their deficiency of
smell or taste.--_Dr. Wallace, British Association_, 1876.

       *       *       *       *       *


Mr. Henry C. Brush, of Brush's Mills, N.Y., has patented through the
Scientific American Patent Agency an improved troller, the novel
feature in which consists in attaching a float to the shank of the
implement under the revolving blade, the object being to keep the
troller near the surface of the water, where the fish may see it more
readily, and whereby the liability of catching in weeds and logs is


A is a float, attached to the shank, _a_, of the troller. B is the
spoon, which is swiveled in the usual manner. The device is very
simple, and is claimed to prevent all the annoyance arising from the
hook catching in sunken obstructions.

       *       *       *       *       *


The process, patented some time ago, for the removal of straw, burrs,
etc., from wool, by treatment with sulphuric acid, has been modified
by Lisc as follows: The stuff is worked for one to two hours in a bath
consisting of about 26 gallons sulphuric acid, of 3° to 6°, 1 lb.
alum, ½ lb. salt, and 750 grains borax. It is then treated in a
centrifugal machine, and afterward subjected to a temperature of 212°
to 248°. For removal of the acid it is first washed with pure water
for 1½ hours, then treated for two hours with fuller's earth, soda,
and lime, and finally washed for two hours with fresh water. As
sulphuric acid can only be employed with uncolored cloths, or such as
have been dyed with indigo, chloride of zinc and chloride of manganese
diluted to 6° are substituted with fabrics otherwise dyed.

       *       *       *       *       *


Caffeone, the aromatic principle of coffee, may be isolated by
distilling 5 or 6 lbs. roasted coffee with water, agitating the
aqueous distillate with ether, and afterwards evaporating the ether.
It is a brown oil, heavier than water, in which it is only very
slightly soluble. An almost imponderable quantity of this essential
oil will suffice to aromatize a gallon of water.

       *       *       *       *       *


The novel form of vessel, to which the above odd name has been given
by its inventor, M. Donato Tommasi, of Paris, France, is a combination
of a boat wholly submerged with a raft: a connecting link, to borrow
the naturalist's expression, between the submerged torpedo boat and
the monitor. The advantages which are expected to be realized from
this hybrid craft, the inventor describes as follows: "It is evident
that a vessel, plunged several yards below the surface of the sea, is
no longer influenced by wind or wave. Let the sea be agitated, let
there be the most violent tempest, yet the boat which navigates under
water will never be wrecked, for the same reason that a fish cannot be
drowned. * * * What a beautiful vision, that of traversing the ocean,
as a balloon floats through the air, with the same tranquillity,
without shocks, without the insupportable rolling and pitching!" etc.
The construction of the invention introduced in this glowing manner
will be understood from Figs. 1 and 2. A is the plunger cylinder,
shown with its side broken away in Fig. 2. In Fig. 1, G is the rudder,
H the propeller, and I the tube through which sea water passes to the
pump. In Fig. 2, C is the smokestack, M M are compartments in which
water may be admitted to increase the weight, and hence the depth of
flotation of the plunger, the same being filled or emptied by the
pump, P. N is the hold for merchandise, partitioned off from the
boiler room as shown.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--TOMMASI'S HEMI-PLUNGER]


From the plunger, A, rise two hollow columns, E, to which metallic
plates, F, are attached to diminish friction through the water. These
support the upper division or platform, B. The second shaft (not
lettered), which rises above the platform in Fig. 1, serves to
ventilate the plunger. The columns, E, serve as shoots down which
merchandise is lowered to the compartments, N; and their upper ends
are received in two immense inverted cups attached to the bottom of
the part, B. Through these cups pass large screws, which confine the
columns so that, by removing the connection, the whole submarine
apparatus may in case of necessity be freed from the upper works. On
each side of the platform, B, which is of elliptical figure, is a
large float, seen in Fig. 3, which, by means of racks and gearing, may
be raised or lowered at will. Usually these floats are carried at a
height of a yard above the water. In calm weather, this distance is
increased, and in storms it is diminished, the object of the floats
being to keep the whole vessel on an even plane, and to prevent too
violent oscillations. In order to facilitate navigation in shallow
water, the columns, E, may be made telescopic, and operated by
hydraulic apparatus, so that they may be shortened at will. Any form
of engine or propeller may be used.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--THE HEMI-PLUNGER ON A VOYAGE]

Besides the advantage of the vessel being unaffected by waves, since
its submerged portion travels far below them, the inventor claims that
it will meet less resistance from the water than would a vessel of
corresponding volume sailing on the surface. It will make faster
progress, because it has no waves to mount and descend; and hence it
always travels in a nearly right line. The screw being submerged at a
great depth will not tend to turn the vessel from her straight path.
The platform being easily detachable may serve as a raft in case of
injury to the submarine boat. For fast travel, on lakes, rivers, and
shallow water generally, M. Tommasi proposes to support his platform
on two floats which rest on the surface of the water. No weight,
therefore, is thrown on the submarine vessel, which need be
constructed with only just enough buoyancy to sustain itself and its
engine. In this way, the upper craft has no engine or other load than
its cargo; and as it merely rests upon the surface, the inventor
thinks that it will skim over the same like an ice boat on ice.

For war purposes, the hemi-plunger is especially adapted, because the
vulnerable portions, engines, boiler, rudder, etc., are wholly out of
the reach of shot. Guns are mounted on the platform, which thus
becomes a circular or elliptical turret, just above the water when the
vessel is in fighting trim. Instead of steel armor, M. Tommasi has a
new invention which he calls hydro-metallic plating. He reserves the
details of this for future publication; but generally the armor
consists of tubes in which liquid is forced under a pressure
equivalent to the resistance, say, of forged steel. He thinks this
will oppose shot as effectually as the solid metal, and will have the
additional advantage of superior lightness.

       *       *       *       *       *

IN-SOLES saturated with salicylic acid have been introduced as a
remedy for perspiration of the feet.

       *       *       *       *       *


A United States patent was granted May 23, 1854, to John Myers and
Robert G. Eunson for a wood-sawing machine for cutting boards into
thin stuff for making picture frame and mirror backs. One of the
principal claims was for the employment of two deflecting plates, one
on each side of the circular saw, by which both sides of the sawed
stuff, as fast as it was cut, was slightly deflected so as not to bind
upon the saw. Suit was brought by the patentee against Dunbar and
Hopper for infringement, and judgment was given in favor of the
patentees, in the United States Circuit Court, this city, the damages
awarded being $9,121. The defendants thereupon took an appeal to the
Supreme Court of the United States, which tribunal has reversed the
finding of the Circuit Court and dismissed the complaint. It was held
by the Supreme Court that, inasmuch as the use of a single deflecting
plate was old, well known, and in common use, it was simply an
exercise of ordinary mechanical skill, and not a patentable invention,
to employ a second deflecting plate, although the superiority of the
double deflectors, for certain kinds of work, appears to be conceded.

       *       *       *       *       *


The planing machine, next to the saw, is perhaps the most important
agent for the conversion and manipulation of wood in use; and before
proceeding to consider it, in its present form, says the author of
this article, Mr. F.H. Morse, in the _Northwestern Lumberman_, it may
not be out of place to notice briefly its origin and history.

The first man to employ power in the operation of smoothing the
surface of wood was Sir Samuel Bentham, of London, England, and to him
belongs the honor of having discovered the principle upon which all
planing machines operate. A brief personal notice of this remarkable
inventor will serve to show under what circumstances the planing
machine originated. His education was secured at the Westminster
school of London, and, as far as can be ascertained from the meager
records of his life that have come down to us, was of the most
thorough kind, both classical and scientific, that could be obtained
at that time (1770). When his education was finished, he was bound to
the master shipwright of the Woolwich dockyard, to whom he served an
apprenticeship of seven years, acquiring in that time a practical
knowledge of the methods of working in both wood and iron then in
vogue, and receiving the best scientific instruction that the
development of that period afforded. After his term of apprenticeship
had expired, he spent about two years in looking up the local
peculiarities of other shipyards whose methods of working differed in
some respects from those of the Woolwich mechanics.

In 1779 he was ordered by the government to examine into the progress
of shipbuilding in Northern Europe, and in carrying out this
commission he repaired to Russia, where he invented the first machine
for planing wood. Its mode of operation, whether reciprocating or
rotating, it is impossible to ascertain positively, but the conclusion
arrived at, after referring to the specifications of his first patent,
which was issued in 1791, is that it worked upon the former principle
by means closely analogous to the operation of planing by hand. He
seems to have made no use of his venture in Russia, though he resided
there several years and filled several important positions under the
Russian Government. He returned to his native country in 1791 and
joined his brother, Jeremy Bentham, who had at that time just received
an appointment from the government to introduce industrial prisons in
England. To utilize the unskilled labor of the convicts, the talents
of Sir Samuel were called into use, and he devised a number of new
machines, the greater part of which were for working wood. For want of
a more suitable place, these machines were constructed at the
residence of Jeremy Bentham, which was thus converted into the first
manufactory for woodworking machines. This factory was established in
1794, but was soon found to be too small for the purpose, and another
building was occupied. In a lecture before the Society of Arts, in
1853, Professor Willis, referring to the shops of the Benthams, stated
that "there were constructed machines for all general operations in
woodwork, including planing, molding, rebating, grooving, mortising,
and sawing, both in coarse and fine work, in curved, winding, and
transverse directions, and shaping wood in complicated forms; and
further, as an example, that all parts of a highly finished window
sash are prepared, also all parts of an ornamented carriage wheel were
made so that nothing remained to be done by hand but to put the
component parts together."

In 1797 the Admiralty consented to the introduction of such of these
machines as could be used to advantage in the different dockyards, and
they were manufactured under the direction of Jeremy Bentham, and
forwarded from time to time to Portsmouth and Plymouth, where they
were used with good results, performing all that was claimed for them.

Bentham was joined in 1810 by another genius (formerly in the employ
of the brothers) by the name of Brunel, who had invented several
valuable machines, among which was one for shaping block shells, which
seems to have had Bentham's indorsement. As Inspector General, in
1803, Sir Samuel advised the Admiralty to introduce many of his new
machines, and also to permit the use of steam engines; accordingly,
the dockyards were fitted with engines for sawing, planing, boring,
tenoning, mortising, etc. The labor saved by their use can be inferred
from the fact that Brunel, who had assisted in their construction,
received as a premium for his inventions the amount saved in the yards
by their use in one year, which reached the respectable sum of
$80,000. In the same year the government settled with Jeremy Bentham,
after arbitration, and allowed him for machines furnished the yards
and prisons, $100,000. We learn from testimony given before the
arbitrators that "Sir Samuel Bentham prepared a system of machinery
for the employment of men without skill, and particularly with a view
to utilizing convict labor. In 1793 patents were taken out on these
inventions to secure their exclusive use for the prisons." The
testimony states that no skill was required in the use of these
machines; they were introduced into the dockyards and worked by common
laborers. It was claimed that nine tenths of the labor was saved by
the use of Bentham's machines, which proves that they were at least
effective, which cannot be said in all cases of those of modern

The patent of Bentham, issued in 1793, is doubtless one of the most
remarkable ones ever issued, both for the importance of the inventions
it protected and the clearness with which they and the principles on
which they operated are described. Richards, in referring to that
section of this patent which relates to rotary tools for woodcutting,
quotes the inventor as saying: "The idea of adapting the rotative
motion of a tool with more or less advantage, to give all sorts of
substances any shape that may be required, is my own, and, as I
believe, entirely new."

For those not skilled in nor acquainted with the nature and extent of
the various operations in wood conversion which come under the head of
shaping with rotary cutters, it will be difficult to convey an idea of
the invention here set forth; it includes, indeed, nearly all
operations in woodworking, and as an original invention may be said to
consist in the discovery of the fact that flat surfaces, or surfaces
of any contour, can be properly prepared by the action of rotating
tools. It is not to be wondered at that such an operation should not
have been sooner discovered, for even at the present time there are
few processes in treating material which seem so anomalous as that of
planing a flat surface with cutters revolving in a circle of a few
inches in diameter.

In reference to planing mouldings, it is said: "If the circumference
of a circular cutter be formed in the shape of any moulding, and
projecting above the bench no more than necessary, the piece being
shoved over the cutter will thus be cut to a moulding corresponding to
the cutter--that is, the reverse of it, just as a plane iron cuts the
reverse. If a plane cutter, such as that above spoken of for cutting a
groove in the breadth of a piece, be made so thick, or, as we might be
apt to say now, so broad, or so long, as to cover the whole breadth of
the piece, it will present the idea of a roller. This I call a cutting
roller; it maybe employed in many cases with great advantage to
perform the office of a plane."

The cutting roller of Bentham is the present cutter block of England,
or the cutting cylinder of America, and after what has been quoted it
may be seen that the idea of rotary planing and moulding machines had
been fully grasped by Bentham. He goes on as usual to the various
conditions which attach to the process of planing, and says further:
"if a cutting roller of this sort be placed with its axis horizontal
and the bench beneath, it may be made to rise and lower. The bench
(machine) may be very readily adjusted, so as to determine the
thickness to which a piece will be reduced by being passed under the
roller." "To gain time, cutters may be applied to different sides of a
piece at once, and such of them as make parallel cuts may be mounted
on the same spindle."

These extracts would not be out of place in an explanatory lecture or
essay on woodcutting at the present day, and cannot help awakening
surprise that they should have been written eighty-three years ago,
when there had, so far as we know, been no precedents, nor even
suggestions from previous practice.

The foregoing shows that nearly all the fundamental principles, upon
which woodcutting by machinery in its present development depends,
were familiar to Sir Samuel Bentham, and though his name has been
almost forgotten, it may be safely asserted that he gave to the world
more useful inventions than any other man of his age. His work shows
throughout a constant method and system of reasoning, which point
rather to a life of persistent labor than to one of what would
ordinarily be called genius. That latter quality he must certainly
have possessed in the highest degree, for without it even his
knowledge and experience could not have been equal to the work he
accomplished. Directed to different ends, his talent and genius would
doubtless have secured for him a fame that would live for years,
though it does not seem possible that he could have conferred upon the
world a greater benefit.

       *       *       *       *       *


A curious and suggestive table of statistics has recently appeared in
France, which will doubtless prove of much value in the hands of
students of psychology and nervous mental ailments. It relates to
suicides; and the conditions, etc., of the people who made away with
themselves in 1874 in France are taken as the basis of the figures. In
that year, 5,617 suicides occurred, the largest number ever known in
any one year in the country. Of these, 4,435, or 79 per cent., were
committed by men, 1,182, or 21 per cent., by women. In spite of the
careful investigations of the police, the ages of 105 people could be
determined. The 5,512 others are divided as follows: 16 years, 29;
between 16 and 21 years, 193; between 21 and 40 years, 1,477; between
40 and 60 years, 2,214; exceeding the last mentioned age, 1,599. About
36 per cent. of these unfortunates were unmarried, 48 per cent.
married, and 16 per cent. widowers. Of those which constituted the
last two classes, nearly two thirds had children. More than seven
tenths of the suicides were effected by strangulation or drowning. The
crime was most frequently committed during spring, when 31 per cent.
of the whole number destroyed themselves; during other seasons the
percentages were: in summer, 27; in winter, 23; in autumn, 19.

Included in the tables are the results of the judicial inquests,
showing the professions and callings of the deceased. About 33 per
cent. were farmers, 30 per cent. mechanics, 4 per cent. merchants or
business men, 16 per cent. members of the liberal professions, 4 per
cent. servants, and 13 percent. were destitute of any calling. The
table even analyzes, in all but 481 people, the motives which caused
the fatal act. Thus we are told that 652 killed themselves because of
reverses in fortune, 701 through family troubles, 572 through
drunkenness, 243 through love, debauchery, etc.; 798 died to avoid
physical suffering, 59 to avoid the penalties of capital crimes, 489
for unclassified troubles, and 1,622 were clearly shown to have been
afflicted with some mental disease.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


_To the Editor of the Scientific American:_

Mr. Charles Williams, of Winoa, Ohio, has written a letter to that
veteran botanist, Humphrey Marshall, of Chester county, Pa., on the
subject of the abovenamed plant, and my opinion concerning it has been
asked for. Seeds of this plant were obtained by citizens of Boston,
who had snow brought from the White Mountains and from the coast of
Labrador, and who stated that they have "now the most unbounded
satisfaction and pleasure of announcing that all signs are favorable
to the realization of their fondest hopes." This wonderful plant, it
seems, was found amid the perpetual snows of the northern boundaries
of Siberia, in 1863, by Count Swinoskoff, the eminent Russian
botanist, and it was by him cultivated at St. Petersburgh. The account
sent me is very vague, and is evidently not from the pen of a
botanist. It is stated that it comes forth on the first day of the
year, grows to the height of three feet, and flowers on the third day.
It continues in bloom for twenty-four hours, then dissolves itself,
being of the finest snow; it has a stalk one inch in diameter, and
leaves, three in number, 1½ inches wide, covered with infinitesimal
frost or snow cones. The flower is of the shape of a star, with petals
3 inches long and ½ inch wide at the broadest part, forming a
basketwork of frost. The seeds are like a pin's head. This is about
all that can be gleaned from the description, and is by no means
satisfactory. Allow me to present my humble views of an analogous
discovery of frostwork on December 6, 1856, in a sandy loam in Chester
county, Pa., near the Paoli monument. In the _Horticultural Journal_
of Philadelphia, then edited by J. Jay Smith (New Series, volume vii.,
page 73, 1857), an account was published of my observations then.
These I have since more fully confirmed. The common dittany (cunila
Mariana) is frequently met with in December, with the base of the stem
surrounded with shellwork of ice, of a pearly whiteness. Dr.
Darlington, in his "Flora Cestrica" published in 1853, page 199, under
the article cunila, observes: "In the beginning of winter, after a
rain, very curious ribbons of ice may be observed, attached to the
base of the stems, produced, I presume, by the moisture of the earth
rising in the dead stems by capillary attraction, and then being
gradually forced out horizontally, through a slit, by the process of
freezing. The same phenomenon has been observed in other plants. See
observations on _helianthemum_, page 27." Had the doctor given a more
extended investigation, I fancy he would have agreed with me as to the
cause. I found hundreds of diversified specimens. I am not aware that
it was after a rain, but I took up a number of the plants, and always
found a vigorous scaly root bud, undergoing development at this early
season under ground, to produce a new stem the following spring. I
came to the conclusion that, as the temperature was below freezing and
snow was on the ground, the expanding bud, in close proximity to the
surface, gave out sufficient caloric or warmth to generate vapor from
the moist soil. This vapor rising around the stem of the plant, and
attracted by it, becomes congealed into what we term hoar-frost, in
numerous forms; some like shellwork, others like tulips, with radiated
petals, variously contorted, and often as symmetrical as snowflake

[Illustration: Root-bud and frost-flower of the Cunila Mariana
(Maryland Dittany). A, the developing or budding root. B, the old stem
of the previous year. C, the congealed vapor or hoarfrost, forming the
first flower of various shapes.]

That plants in germinating have the power of generating heat was
proved by Mr. Hunter and by Lamarck. Experiments of Hales and Du Hamel
show that vegetation is not wholly suspended, however cold it may be;
and that there is a regular and gradual progress till the returning
warmth of spring gives a greater degree of velocity to the juices,
rendering their development more vigorous and apparent. If the
crystallization takes place when the air is calm, the crystals will be
regularly formed; otherwise, when windy, I have seen them like a shell
within a shell, very thin, of a pearly whiteness. Professor Tyndall
has shown in a very beautiful manner that ice is but an agglomeration
of snow crystals: the transparency of the former being due to the
expulsion of the air, entrapped in and causing the whiteness and
opacity of the latter. There is a formation called the snow plant of
California, which arises to some height, and has been compared to
various things, a fountain convoluted and enlarged above, a
crystallized small bushy shrub, etc.; but on closer inquiry, I have
failed as yet to get any definite ideas to its true character. Some
bulbs in the soil might cause such formations by the congelation of
vapor deposited successively upon itself, or the stems of the previous
year's growth yet remaining, and thus give them a sheathing of

The shape of a star is common in snow crystals, which we all know
assume the most beautiful forms, and which are illustrated in various
publications. The eminent botanist Count Swinoskoff should give us
some clue as to the genus or character of the plant, the flower of
which, we are told, melted away on being touched, and as to the
stamens, the diamond seeds like a pin's head, etc. The whole needs
further explanation.

I trust those Bostonians who are in such hope will edify the public as
to the final result of their experiment. What has that veteran in
botany, Dr. Asa Gray, to say about it? Let some one well qualified
tell us more about this frost flower of Russia.

                                     J. Stauffer.
Lancaster, Pa.

       *       *       *       *       *


_To the Editor of the Scientific American:_

From the report of the Commissioner of Patents, just issued, it
appears that its surplus revenue for the past year amounts to over one
hundred and five thousand dollars, and that there is nearly a million
dollars in the United States Treasury to the credit of the Patent
Office; and yet, notwithstanding that this enormous amount is lying
idle, our pseudo-economists at the Capitol refuse to grant the Office
sufficient of its own funds to carry on its business promptly. So much
is the work behindhand in some of the departments that, as the
Commissioner states in his report, some of the attorneys who require
certified copies of papers have been obliged to employ their own
clerks to do office copying, and then had to pay the full legal rate
of ten cents per hundred words, the same as though the Office had done
the work. This style of _economizing_, by making inventors pay two
prices for their work, may be "reform" in the eyes of the average
Democratic Congressman; but speaking for myself, as one of those who
have had to pay twice, I would prefer to dispense with this style of
"retrenchment and reform," and therefore ask you, Messrs. Editors, in
behalf of the inventors of the United States, to so stir up our
legislators that they will allow the Office sufficient of its own
funds to do its work properly, and not delay the work of the
inventor--work that he has to pay for in advance--and so prevent the
discouragement and trouble which these delays always cause.

As the Patent Office has been doing a good business lately, there
appears to be some attempt at rivalry at the Capitol, as the following
list of applications for extension will show:


  ---- Reynolds, power loom brake.
  Strong & Ross, scales.
  Wm. & W.H. Lewis, photographic plates.
  T.A. Weston, differential pulley.
  S.S. Hartshorn, buckles.
  H.A. Stone, making cheese.
  N. Whitehall, cultivator.
  J.R. Harrington, carpet lining.
  H.L. Emery, cotton gins.
  J. Stainthorp, moulding candles.
  Walter Hunt's heirs, paper collars.
  A.B. Wilson, sewing machines.
  S.A. Knox, plows.
  Rollin White, firearms.
  Aikin A. Felthousen, sewing machines.
  H. Woodman, stripping cotton cards.
  L. Hall, heel trimmer.
  J.A. Conover, wood splitter.
  J. Dyson, carding engine.
  G. Wellmann, card strippers.
  E. Brady, safety valves.
  Jearum Atkins, harvester rakes.
  John Thomas, re-rolling railroad rails.
  Thomas Mitchell, hair brushes.
  Stephen Hull, harvesters.
  T.R. Crosby, wiring blind slats.
  G.W. Laban, mitre cutting machine.
  T.A. Whitenack, harvesters.
  J.J. Vinton, furnaces.
  A. Fuller, faucets.
  D. Baker, pitcher spouts and lids.
  G.F. Chandler, refining sugar.
  G.H. Nott, boiler furnace.
  William Hall, lightning rods.
  B.F. Rice, paper bag machines.
  S.D. Nelson, shovels.
  E.T. Russell, car springs.
  Hubbell & Conant, steam pumps.
  C.A. Chamberlain, shovels.
  C.A. Adams, locks.
  E.A. Leland, paint can.

In addition to the above, I find the following names as applicants for
extensions, but the inventions covered by the patents sought to be
extended is not mentioned: S.S. Turner, Arculous Wyckoff, De Witt C.
Cummings, Moses Marshall, J.W. Fowler, and Holloway & Graham. Many of
the applicants have apparently given up their cases for this session,
but they may be only lying back to its close in hopes that in the
final rush their "little bills" may slip through easily.

Several bills tinkering at the patent laws are before Congress, and
one of these (House Bill, No. 3,370) passed the House on the 30th ult.
It has one section that may be made to work great harm to inventors,
as it prevents infringers being sued for more than one year's damages
previous to notice of infringement being given. By this bill, if it is
allowed to become a law, a person will be able to build and use
patented machines or processes for years in some out of the way place
where the inventor cannot easily find him; and should he be
discovered, he can only be sued for one year's damages. There are
other sections in this bill which will bear ventilating.

Another bill, introduced into the Senate by Mr. Paddock, provides that
all appeals from the Board of Appeals shall be direct to the Supreme
Court of the District of Columbia, instead of to the Commissioner as
heretofore; and that the fees shall be the same as now paid to the
latter official.

Mr. Sampson has introduced into the House a bill changing section 4886
so that it shall read as follows: "SEC. 4886. Any person who has
discovered any new or useful art, machine, manufacture or composition
of matter, or any new or useful improvement thereof, not known or used
by others in this country, and not patented or described in any
printed publication in this or any foreign country, before his
invention or discovery thereof, and not in public use or on sale for
more than two years prior to his application, unless the same is
proved to have been abandoned, may, upon payment of the fees required
by law, and other due proceedings had, obtain a patent therefor:
_Provided, That the manufacture or composition of drugs as a medicine
shall not be patentable_." The change is the addition of the words in

The Smithsonian Institute has sent to Congress a memorial setting
forth that the present Institute building is already too small for the
vast amount of articles already placed there on exhibition; that at
the late Centennial Exposition the Commissioners of various countries
presented their entire collection of exhibits to the United States,
which had delegated their care to the Smithsonian Institute, and they
had no place for them; that the armory building was being fitted up
for the reception of the United States Centennial collection, and they
therefore asked that a building be erected for the foreign collection,
which could be used as a national museum, or otherwise we should have
to offend the donors by keeping their valuable gifts stowed away in
cellars and other rubbish receptacles.

Mr. Eads, who is now here on the lookout for his pay for his work on
the South Pass of the Mississippi's mouth, has received intelligence
from the resident engineer at the jetties that the channel through the
shoal at the head of the South Pass is now twenty-two feet deep, and
that the least width at which twenty feet depth is found is one
hundred and ten feet. The principal works to improve this shoal were
constructed during the last six months. The low stage and feeble
current of the river has delayed their effect until the recent flood
from the Ohio reached them, and the problem of deepening the shoal has
been fully solved by the rapid scouring away of the obstruction. It is
stated that the channel is quite straight and is deepening rapidly.
The channel through the jetties at the mouth of the Pass is twenty-one
feet deep. The entrance from the sea through the jetties is one
thousand feet wide, and through the works at the head of the Pass
eight hundred feet.

A recent telegram from Nevada states that the Sutro Tunnel (of which I
gave you some particulars in one of my letters) has now progressed a
total distance of 15,565 feet and has fairly entered the mineral belt,
and will soon help to increase the already vast products of the
Comstock lode.

While on the subject of mining, I will state that the amount of
quicksilver produced in California has increased so immensely during
the last two years that it has attracted the attention of all
interested in the article throughout the world. The receipts for the
year have been 63,928 and the exports 48,010 flasks. In addition to
the receipts there, probably about six thousand flasks were shipped
direct from the mines to Nevada, thus bringing up the total production
to over 70,000 flasks, a gain in round numbers of from twelve thousand
to fifteen thousand flasks over 1875. The exports in that year were
34,844 flasks, or 13,666 less than in 1876.


       *       *       *       *       *

TYRIAN PURPLE INK FOR MARKING LINEN.--Von Bele gives the following
method for preparing an ink for marking linen and cotton: Neutralize
75 grains of carbonate of ammonia with pure nitric acid, and triturate
45 to 60 grains of carmine with the solution. Mordant the fabric with
a mixed solution of acetate of alumina and tin salt, and write upon
it, when it is perfectly dry, with the ink.

       *       *       *       *       *


On Monday evening, January 29, 1877, a meeting of this Academy was
held at the School of Mines, Columbia College, Dr. J.S. Newberry,
President, in the chair. Mr. A.A. Julian, A.M., read a paper on the


The speaker described in detail the various operations, exhibited the
different kinds of apparatus employed, showed the operations, and
exhibited the finished sections. In some rocks a thin chip can be
broken off, others require to be sawn, and for the latter purpose the
diamond saw is best. Having obtained the chip, it is first polished on
one side, then cemented to a little square of glass, and the other
side polished in the same way. The sections must not be too thick, nor
too thin; they are usually made from a hundredth to a thousandth of an
inch thick. Lathes employed in polishing minerals require to be
provided with conical spindles, so that the wear, due to grit and
emery dust getting on them, may be readily taken up. The grinding
wheel may be either horizontal or vertical; the former has the
advantage that the mineral can be held in either hand; with the latter
only the right hand can be employed, and that in an awkward and
tiresome position. Mr. Julian then referred briefly to the kinds of
emery, its preparation by elutriation, etc., and cautioned operators
against using rouge or tin putty powder in polishing rock sections,
although they may be employed in polishing certain minerals and gems.
The object of making the rock sections being to study their
constituents and determine what minerals enter into their composition,
it is important that no foreign substance, liable to adhere to the
specimen and to be mistaken for one of its ingredients, be placed on
the section while grinding. Lastly, the minerals are mounted on glass,
with or without covers, by means of Canada balsam. Square glasses are
to be preferred to the long and narrow strips, usually employed, as
less liable to break in the center, and more easily revolved on the
stage of a microscope.

Mr. L.H. Landy then exhibited, by means of the gas microscope, several
beautiful rock sections, both American and German. The same gentleman
also showed the effect of passing polarized light through certain
crystal sections, the black cross and rainbow-hued rings revolving
like so many wheels as the polarizer was turned.

At the conclusion of this brilliant exhibition, Dr. P.T. Austen made
some remarks on


The points referred to were the apparently unimportant details which
often contribute so much to the ease and pleasure of working. First,
the use of square pieces of felt, such as are used under beer glasses
in saloons, for setting hot beakers and flasks on to prevent chilling
and consequent cracking. Second, in crystallizing substances for
examination under the microscope; one watch glass is placed upon
another with the substance between them, and the upper glass filled
with ether, the cold produced by its evaporation hastening the
crystallization. Third, removing precipitates and solid matter from
flasks, by heating to boiling, and inverting in a vessel of water.
Fourth, crystallization by gradual dilution. Fifth, filter paper
without ash. In German laboratories it is customary to dissolve out
the mineral matter from white filtering paper by washing in dilute
hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids. Sixth, the use of infusorial
silica for drying purposes. Being very porous, it will absorb five
times its own volume of water. If a filter paper, holding a wet
precipitate, be placed upon a layer of this earth, it will become
quite dry in a very short space of time. Mr. Austen also remarked that
substances retain their heat for several days when placed in cork
boxes. To keep a substance air-tight, it may be placed in a flask, the
neck painted with a solution of india rubber in chloroform, and a
plate of glass laid upon it. The solvent quickly evaporates, leaving a
delicate film of rubber, which holds the glass tightly in place.

The next meeting of the Chemical Section will be held February 12; of
the Mineralogical Section, February 19.

       *       *       *       *       *


The annual report to Congress of the Commissioner of Patents, for the
year 1876, has made its appearance.

The amount received on applications for patents, reissues, designs,
extensions, caveats, disclaimers, appeals, trade marks, labels,
copies, etc., was $757,987.65. The amount paid for salaries was
$425,930; other expenses, $226,612. Total payments, $652,542.

  Number of applications for patents during the year 1876         21,425
  Number of patents issued, including reissues and designs        15,595
  Number of applications for extension of patents                      2
  Number of patents extended                                           3
  Number of caveats filed during the year                          2,697
  Number of patents expired during the year                          814
  Number of patents allowed but not issued for want of final fee   3,353
  Number of applications for registering of trade marks            1,081
  Number of trade marks registered                                   959
  Number of applications for registering of labels                   650
  Number of labels registered                                        402

Of the patents granted there were to--

  Citizens of the United States                                   16,239
  Subjects of Great Britain                                          511
  Subjects of France                                                 104
  Subjects of other foreign governments                              172
  Total                                                           17,026

The number of applications for patents was a little less than during
the previous year. The Commissioner suggests that Congress should
appropriate $50,000 to promote the printing of the old patents; that
additional examiners be employed, and more clerks, for the purpose of
expediting the business of the office; that the price of the Official
Gazette be reduced, also the fee for trade mark registration; that the
library fund be increased; that more space be provided for models, and
for the transaction of business.

In respect to the Centennial, the value of new improvements, and the
service of the Patent Office in stimulating discovery, the Acting
Commissioner speaks as follows:

    "The display made at the Exposition by the Patent Office was
    creditable in every respect, and excited general attention.
    About 5,000 models of inventions, representing the leading
    branches of the arts and manufactures, were exhibited in
    suitable cases, and properly labeled, the various publications
    of the Office were displayed, its practice fully explained to
    all inquirers, and copies of the Patent Laws and the Office
    regulations and forms freely distributed. The knowledge of our
    patent system thus imparted to foreigners and all others unable
    to visit Washington has more than repaid the small cost
    attendant upon the representation. The exhibits were sent from
    and returned to the Office with scarcely any damage being

    "But the array of models, etc., made by the Patent Office at the
    Exposition was not needed to illustrate the value of our patent
    practice. The wisdom of that system was demonstrated in the most
    practical and triumphant manner in nearly every branch of that
    munificent enterprise. Not only in the grand display of
    labor-saving machinery, but in the vast collection of
    manufactured articles, and even in the department of fine arts,
    were seen the fruits of that provision in our Constitution
    giving to Congress the power 'to promote the progress of science
    and the useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and
    inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and

    "Whatever persons may do in a 'perfect condition of society' in
    sharing, without price, the fruits of their labors with others,
    it must be apparent to the dullest observer that the wonderful
    growth of the useful arts in this country is due, thus far, to
    the protection given by our Government to property in
    inventions--a property as sacred as any other class of property,
    and whose value is determined by the same general law of supply
    and demand.

    "It may be safely said that two thirds of the manufacturing
    interests of the country are based upon patents, and the welfare
    of all such interests are intimately connected with the welfare
    of the patent system. During the past seven years a larger
    number of applications for patents were filed and patents
    granted than during the entire seventy-eight preceding years,
    reaching back to the enactment of the first patent law. The
    needs of the Office have advanced in proportion to this sudden
    and vast increase of work, but have been but partly supplied.
    Nay, in fact, its already scanty force and accommodations have
    been actually reduced at a time when most required. If these
    vast interests, and the future promotion of science and the
    useful arts are to be encouraged, a liberal recognition must be
    made of the wants of this Office.

    "The Examining Corps, the duties in which are most arduous and
    exacting, comprises gentlemen of legal, as well as scientific,
    attainments. It should be re-inforced by more of the same
    character. They should be relieved, by legislation, of continual
    embarrassment by reason of meager salaries and fears of removal
    incident to merely political changes. The Office would then be
    spared the continual loss of its most experienced and efficient

       *       *       *       *       *


The British _Mercantile Gazette_ of January 15 states that the
situation and prospects of the iron trade have not materially improved
in the month of December, but some week or two must elapse yet before
trade returns to its regular channels. In the north of England the
tone of the market is tolerably cheerful, and prospects, though still
vague, are considered encouraging. Makers of pig iron go into the next
quarter with a good supply of orders on their books, and merchants and
consumers are desirous of buying over the first half of the year.
Notwithstanding the great depression which has ruled throughout 1876,
there is likely to be a greater production of pig iron by several
thousand tons than ever there was before, and the total make must
considerably exceed two million tons, which is twice the quantity
turned out in Scotland, though in the latter district a greater number
of furnaces have been kept in blast. Prices are nominally the same as
were quoted last week, but show an upward tendency. The bulk of the
mills and forges, foundries, etc., have resumed work, and the finished
iron trade is again in full swing. The plate department is well
provided with orders, but the rail manufacturers, though rather better
off than they were, are still in a poor position. The miscellaneous
branches of the iron trade, such as the foundries and tube, wire, and
cut-nail manufactories are generally well off for orders, and
engineers find plenty to do. The wages agreement in the finished iron
trade ends this week, but it is thought that no alteration will be
made. In the South Staffordshire iron trade, work has been only
partially resumed as yet, and many of the mills and forges will not be
started until the quarterly meetings, next week. Orders have rarely
been so scarce as they are at this moment, arrears having been pretty
generally cleared off before the holidays, and no new ones coming in.
Nevertheless, the feeling of the trade is more hopeful than it was a
month ago. The number of furnaces in blast in this district is now
only 58 out of 153; but should the expected improvement in trade
arrive with the quarterly meeting, this number will soon be increased.
In the finished iron branch, in which quotations for marked iron
contain the basis of $45 for bars, makers of leading brands of sheets
and bars are better off than the manufacturers of cheap iron, who
suffer much from competition in the north. Some considerable contracts
for girders, bridges, gasometers, etc., are under execution at the
works devoted to constructive ironwork; but the merchant iron trade,
as a whole, is very dull. Unmarked iron is weak and variable, and to
this circumstance may be attributed the reduction, announced this
week, in various descriptions of common iron hardware.

       *       *       *       *       *


The annexed engravings represent a new lathe chuck, which may be
constructed of any size, which holds tools with great firmness, and
which is provided with an improved device for taking up wear and for
the separate adjustment of the jaws. The implement is made of the best
steel, by special machinery, so that its parts are interchangeable.

[Illustration: VINTON'S LATHE CHUCK.]

Figs. 1 and 2 represent the chuck taken apart so as to exhibit the
interior. Figs. 3 and 4 are sectional views. A is a collar which
encircles the spindle, and has formed on its outer face a bevel gear
wheel, B. C, Fig. 3, is the rear portion of the shell of the chuck
inclosing the forward part of the collar, A. Also on said collar, A,
is a washer, D, which rests against the shell, C, and a nut, E, which
travels on a thread formed on the collar. As it is necessary, as will
be explained further on, to turn the entire shell in order to move the
jaws, the use of the nut just described is to jam the part, C, and the
enlarged portion of the collar, A, tightly together, and so rigidly
hold the jaws in any position in which they may be adjusted. Fig. 1
represents the outer face of the chuck with the jaws and their working
mechanism. Within the chuck, each jaw has attached to it a screw, E.
This enters a bevel wheel, F. As the jaws are incapable of any but
radial motion, it follows that, when the chuck is rotated bodily and
the bevel wheels engage on the motionless gear wheel, B, the effect of
the rotation of said bevel wheels is to cause the jaws to travel
toward or from the center of the chuck face. And it will be further
clear that this motion must be simultaneous in all the jaws. As the
outer portion of the chuck is rigidly secured to the shell, C, by
screws, of course when that shell is jammed, as already stated, by the
nut, E, it becomes impossible to turn the chuck bodily; and hence the
bevel wheels cannot be rotated around the main gear wheel, and
consequently the position of the jaws cannot be altered. The above
comprises the mechanism proper of the device, that is to say, all that
is necessary for moving or clamping the jaws.

There is, however, another feature of considerable importance yet to
be described, and that is the device for taking up any play of the
jaws due to wear, and which enables each to be adjusted so that the
motion of all may be uniform. By referring to Fig. 4, it will be seen
that, above the bevel wheel, there is a projection, into the threaded
interior of which, as already explained, the jaw screw enters.
Surrounding this projection is a sleeve, G, the outer surface of which
is threaded to fit a similarly threaded aperture, cut partly in the
shell and partly in the face plate. The upper portion of the sleeve is
notched to receive a wrench or driver; and beneath the sleeve an armed
washer, H, is slipped over the projection. The arms of this washer
enter recesses in the face plate. It will be evident that, by turning
the sleeve, F, so that the screw works inward, the jaw and all its
appendages will be moved bodily in corresponding direction. But its
movement is limited by the arms of the washer, G, which, through the
narrowness of the recesses, are allowed only just enough play to
compensate for slight changes in the jaw. As the above device is
applied to every jaw, it follows that any one of them may be nicely
adjusted from the outside, so that all are caused to grasp the tool
accurately. The spindle, instead of being solid as represented, may be
made hollow. Patented to J.H. Vinton, August 18, 1874. For further
information, address the manufacturer, Mr. F. Armstrong, Bridgeport,

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: Screw-Cutting Lathes]

An English lathe, now in use at the Rogers Locomotive Works, Paterson,
N.J., contains several novel features. The ways are flat on the faces,
instead of having raised Vs; and this is a feature of all English
lathes, and of those known in this country as the Freeland lathes. A
great deal of discussion has at various times taken place as to the
relative qualification or merits of these two forms of lathe bed. The
advocates of the flat way, with Vs at the edges of the way, claim
superiority on the score of steadiness, increased wearing surface, and
strength; while, on behalf of the raised Vs, it is urged that, the Vs
being true, the saddle is bound to travel true, because there can be
no lost motion on the slides; whereas any lost motion, from want of
adjustment of the slides in flat ways, is liable to be reproduced
twofold in the work, for the reason that 1/100 of an inch lateral
movement of the slide carriage becomes 1/50 of an inch in the diameter
of the work. Then, again, the most of the wear upon a lathe bed takes
place at the part at and near the running center of the lathe, because
the saddle is, on account of short jobs, more used in that part than
on any other. As a result, when wear has taken place, the saddle, if
adjusted to suit the worn part, becomes too tight to travel over the
unworn part of the bed; and hence, after the wear has taken place, a
proper adjustment of the lathe saddle becomes impossible if the job is
a long one. In the case of raised Vs, however, the wear simply causes
the saddle to fall vertically, so that an amount of wear equal to
1/100 of an inch would have the same effect as lowering the tool 1/100
inch, its effect upon the work being almost imperceptible by ordinary
measurement. On the other hand, however, V lathes are usually made
with either a weight or a spring to keep the saddle down; and as a
result, when the cutting tool stands far out from the tool post, the
saddle is apt to tip, especially in the case of boring with a lathe
tool. In some cases, the raised Vs are accompanied with gibs to secure
the saddle; but in many instances the gibs are given too little
wearing surface. In the lathe above referred to, there are three ways
in one casting, with the slide angles on the outer edges. There are
also three separate and independent tail stocks fitting into the two
openings between the ways. The running head has one cone pulley
connected by suitable gearing to three face plates. The three centers
at the running head are stationary. The slide rest saddle spans the
three ways, having a V slide which contains three separate slide
rests, all connected by a nut to the feed screw, so that all three are
operated by the one screw. In addition to this, the two back slide
rests have the nuts so attached that they can be moved by means of a
separate screw, the object being to facilitate setting the cuts, since
it would be a tedious matter to set all three tools to an equal cut,
or to their desired respective cuts, without means of operating two of
them independently. To set the cut during screw-cutting operations,
the ingenious device shown in our engraving is provided. A represents
the cross-feed or slide rest screw, which operates the three slide
rests. It is fast to the notched wheel, B, and is operated by it in
the usual way. C is a short screw which provides journal bearing for
the screw, A, by a plain hole. It is screwed on the outside, and the
plate in which it fits acts as its nut. It is fast to the handle, D,
and is in fact operated by it. The handle or lever is provided with a
catch, E, pivoted in the enclosed box, F, which also contains a means
of detaining the catch in the notches of the wheel, or of holding it
free from the same when it is placed clear. If, then, the lever, D, be
moved back and forth the feed screw, A, and hence the three slide
rests, will be operated; while, if the catch be placed in one of the
notches on the wheel, B, both the screws, A and C, will act to operate
the rests. When, therefore, the operator is cutting screws, he sets
the catch, E, into one of the notches so soon as the tools are
properly adjusted to the work; and then lifting the catch, E, he turns
the wheel, B, so that the catch falls into the next notch, and this
puts the cut on. When the tool has taken that cut, and while the
latter saddle is traveling back, the catch is placed in the next
notch, and so on, the cut for the forward travel always being put on
as above while the saddle is traveling back. Thus is insured an
exactly equable amount of cut on the whole three rests. When the
lever, D, is not in use, the catch is removed from the wheel, B, and
is allowed to rest against the pins, G or A, provided for that
purpose. For piston rods, or for work such as cutting jack screws,
this lathe is very useful. It is obviously, however, a special tool.

       *       *       *       *       *


Now that the hedges are no longer green, and the trees stand black and
bare on the landscape, is the time to seek for endless variety and
beauty waiting to be admired in its turn. What miniature fairy glens
and grottoes are distributed over the hedge banks of our country
lanes! Mosses, delicate and beautiful, may be found in the interstices
of any old wall, or at the foot of almost any tree or shrub. In the
winter time mosses and lichens are found in fruit, and are beautiful
objects. A pocket microscope lens is essential for their proper
observation; and though the delicate carmine cups of the species known
as the cup moss, and the familiar gray and yellow mosaic appearance we
see on twigs and branches on our way, are easily recognized, the study
of this form of winter vegetation is an inexhaustible one, and is an
occupation for a lifetime, if earnestly pursued. We do not however,
suggest that every one who endeavors to recognize the different
species of moss, lichens, or fungi should necessarily do so through
the medium of the microscope; but it will greatly add to the pleasure
of making a collection out of doors if there be a good microscope at
home, so that when the contents of the basket be turned out, after the
winter's walk, there should be interest even in the fragments left,
after a little pile of varied bits has been constructed, rivalling the
choicest summer bouquet in beauty of form and color. We have seen such
a collection formed into a beautiful object by raising a little mound
of rough bits of bark in a plate or saucer, and placing on it
varieties of fungus of every shade of red, brown, yellow, and gray.
They seem to spring forth from a bed of sphagnum or bog moss of
brightest emerald green; while a clump of the screw wall moss in
fruit, with its curious little box-like capsules, supports a gray or
yellow lichen, which has been gently removed from some old wall or
tree. A bit of stick or a twig, incrusted with a bright orange-colored
lichen, supports a trailing branch of delicate green ivy, the most
beautiful and adaptable of all winter foliage. Over this little
arrangement is placed a bell glass, to preserve it from dust and the
effect of a dry atmosphere; and we know how pleasing to the eye is its
varied beauty of form and color, lasting thus, a constant source of
pleasure, for many a day without renewal.--_Chambers' Journal_.

       *       *       *       *       *


We illustrate herewith a very simple little device for attaching
traces to the single tree. It forms a secure fastening which may be
instantly attached, and which, by its construction, is prevented from
wearing out rapidly.

[Illustration: Figs. 1 and 2]

Fig. 1 shows the cockeye attached to the single tree, and Fig. 2
exhibits parts in section, displaying the construction very clearly.
The yoke is of the usual pattern. Swiveled to it is a long loop, which
is chambered out to receive a spiral spring which acts upon a plunger.
The latter is provided with a follower having a semicircular notch,
which corresponds in form to the inside of the end of the loop. The
follower also has guiding lips which extend over the sides of the
loop. Through the yielding of the spring, the space between the
follower and loop adjusts itself to studs or hooks of any size.
Patented December 12, 1876, through the Scientific American Patent
Agency. For further particulars, address the inventors, Messrs. F.W.
Knapp and C. Schallhorn, Fiddletown, Amador county, Cal.

       *       *       *       *       *


Cremation, in this country at least, is not popular. For a time, it
occupied here some public attention, but only in a sensational way;
and the sober discussion of the subject, which followed after its
novelty had worn off, led to the general opinion that, while every one
might be quite willing to see his dead neighbors cremated, no one
would acquiesce in the disposal of his friends and relatives in so
abnormal a manner. Hence, with the single exception of the late
revolting exhibition in Pennsylvania, which we alluded to at the time,
the dead in this country have continued to be deposited in their
hallowed resting places, and have not been packed away, in an
incinerated state, in labeled urns. In Europe, however, cremation
still finds many warm adherents; and during last summer a congress of
the "Friends of Cremation" (a society which, we are informed by
_Engineering_, whence we take the annexed engravings, has branches in
various parts of the world), was held in Dresden. Before this meeting,
a large number of designs for cremation and mortuary buildings were
brought in competition, and finally the prize was awarded to Mr. G.
Lilienthal, a Berlin architect, for the imposing structure illustrated

This will be the grand temple of cremation when it is erected--a
proceeding to take place in the dim future: when or where not stated.
On each side of a central chapel there is a circular memorial hall;
and extending so as to inclose the garden of the establishment, on the
sides of the halls are wings containing a large number of niches for
the reception of funeral urns.

The cremation ceremony is proposed to be as follows: The body, having
been brought into the hall, is subjected to the usual medical
examination; or when an inquest is necessary, it is removed to offices
in another part of the building, where the required investigation can
be held. When all is ready, the body, placed on the platform, B, Fig.
2, is raised by a lift into the hall, A, where visitors are gathered,
and here the result of the medical examination is declared, and
whatever preliminary religious ceremonies that are desired are
performed. The body is then transported to the chapel, E, in front of
the pulpit, F, where the burial service is performed. The bier is
afterward lowered mechanically, and brought to the furnaces, which are
arranged in a semicircle and partitioned for the reception of several
biers. The ashes are subsequently placed in an urn, on which the
name, etc., of the deceased are recorded, and which is set up in a
suitable niche.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--DESIGN FOR A CREMATION TEMPLE]

The building, which we illustrate both in elevation, Fig. 1, and in
plan, Fig. 2, is designed to contain 100,000 urns, and is adapted for
a town of 200,000 inhabitants. The architect has certainly exhibited
much taste in his design for the building, and has provided every
convenience in the internal arrangement for carrying on a large
business in the cremation line.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--SECTION OF A CREMATION TEMPLE.]

       *       *       *       *       *


Never give up a decaying rose bush till you have tried watering it two
or three times a week with soot tea. Make the concoction with boiling
water, from soot taken from the chimney or stove in which wood is
burned. When cold, water the bush with it. When it is used up, pour
boiling hot water on the soot a second time. Rose bushes treated in
this way will often send out thrifty shoots, the leaves will become
large and thick, the blossoms will greatly improve in size and be more
richly tinted than before.--D.H. Jacques.

       *       *       *       *       *


One of those odd geniuses, who spend their lives and means in
collecting curious and rare articles, lately died. His name was
Sylvester Bonaffon, a retired merchant of Philadelphia. His elaborate
collections were sold at auction, and their oddity has attracted
general attention. His chief mania was for clocks, which literally
covered every portion of available space in his apartments, whether
they were placed on chairs, tables, shelves, or hung against the wall.
Some of these timepieces were of unique construction. One clock was
made to run for 400 days after one winding; another was set in the
dashboard of his carriage, and he used Mr. Bonaffon also had an
especial fondness for electrical apparatus. His windows were provided
with ingenious burglar alarms, his rooms with fire alarms, and he
ignited his gas always by electricity. His place of business, his
stable, the Continental Hotel where he dined, were all connected with
instruments in his room; and he even had perfected arrangements so
that he could set at home and send his own messages to California.
Besides the clocks and electric apparatus, there was an immense
collection of _bric-a-brac_ of every conceivable variety, which was
sold at the auction--as is usually the case--at prices much below
those paid by its late owner.

       *       *       *       *       *


Snow is often called the "poor man's manure;" and if it is true that
it has any manurial value, the farmer's prospects for the next season
are certainly flattering. The body of snow upon the ground in all the
Northern and Middle States is very great, and millions of acres of
land are covered by it as with a blanket of the whitest wool. It is
probable that seldom, perhaps never, has so wide an area of our
country been covered as during this month of January, 1877. The
question whether snow is capable of affording to lands any of the
elements of fertility is one often asked; and in reply, the Boston
_Journal of Chemistry_ says that it probably is. The atmosphere holds
ammonia and some other nitrogenous products, which are without doubt
brought to the soil by snowflakes as well as by rain drops.
Experiments both here and abroad would seem to prove the truth of this

Rains are not only valuable for the moisture which they supply, but
for what they bring to us from the atmosphere. During a thunderstorm
nitric acid is produced in considerable quantities; and dissolved in
the rain drops to a high degree of attenuation, its effects upon soils
are highly salutary, as the nitrogen permeates the entire soil.

       *       *       *       *       *


The _Journal of the Chemical Society_ says that freshly cut strips of
lead were kept in a bottle of sea water for four days, the bottle
being frequently shaken. No trace of lead could be detected in the
water, but the bright surface of the strips was coated with an
insoluble lead compound. Hence lead pipes may be used in marine
aquaria without any fear of injury to their inhabitants.

       *       *       *       *       *



It is a matter of history that, as early as 1688, Denis Papin,
Professor of Physics and Mathematics at the University of Marburg,
proposed to substitute steam for powder in the engine invented by
Huyghens, and that in 1695 he published a description of several new
inventions, in which steam played an important part. The Elector Carl,
of Hesse-Cassel, was anxious to be free from the annoyances and
impositions practised upon his boatmen by the authorities at Münden,
and he proposed to avoid that city by constructing a canal connecting
the Weser with the river that flowed through Cassel. Much of the work
was accomplished, and the half finished line of the canal can be
traced even at the present day. Papin was authorized to build a
powerful steam pump by which the supply of water was to be regulated.
A working model of this pump was completed; and the Elector was on the
point of visiting the laboratory to witness its operation, when a
fearful explosion frightened the workmen, and afforded an opportunity
for enemies to intrigue for the expulsion of Papin from the country.
The model was preserved for a long time in Cassel; but at the time of
the French invasion, it disappeared, and no trace of it has since been
found. In writing about his inventions, Papin says, in 1695: "It would
occupy too much space for me to describe in what manner this principle
could be applied to removing water from mines, throwing bombs, sailing
against the wind, and for many other similar purposes; everyone
according to his wants can imagine the constructions that could be
made. I cannot, however, refrain from remarking how much preferable
this power would be to oars for those whose business calls them to the
sea." And further on he says: "The steam cylinders could be employed
for a great variety of purposes." One of the cylinders, which was to
form a part of the pump, was cast at the foundry in Cassel, and after
various vicissitudes has finally become the property of the Historical
Museum in that city, where it will be preserved, with jealous care,
from any further injury. During the recent exhibition of philosophical
instruments in London, this remnant of Papin's invention played an
important part, it having been generously loaned by the authorities
for that occasion. After the flight of Papin from Germany, the
cylinder was used as a receptacle for iron turnings and borings in the
royal works; and after the destruction of those works by fire, it came
into the possession of Henschel, the founder of one of the most
extensive locomotive works in Germany. This man fully appreciated the
value of the historical relic; and when I visited him at the works,
twenty-five years ago, he pointed out with pride to me the inscription
on its side, "Papin's Cylinder," and said that he intended to have it
placed upon a solid pedestal near the gate. His grandson has since
presented it to the city, and its preservation from destruction or
sale is now secured. A copy of the drawing made by Papin of the pump
of which this cylinder was to form a part, and which was published in
1695, has recently appeared in Dingler's _Journal_, and I send it to
you, hoping that you will have it engraved and perpetuated in your
valuable paper. It is a peculiar combination of Savery's invention and
Papin's piston engine, suggested for another purpose, and is a decided
improvement on Huyghens' powder engine.

[Illustration: PAPIN'S STEAM ENGINE.]

A is the boiler for the generation of the steam, provided with a
safety valve (an invention of Papin). On opening the stopcock, C, the
steam passes through B into the cylinder, D, and by its expansion
drives the plunger, E, against the water contained in the cylinder, D,
which is thus forced into the chamber, F, compressing strongly the
air, which in turn expels the water through the pipe, G, to the height
desired. K is a funnel for the fresh supply of water, and at I and H
are valves opening upwards and downwards. After the condensation of
the steam in D, a renewed supply of water, through K, forces the
plunger, E, to the top of the cylinder, ready for the next action of
steam. The strokes of such a pump could not be frequent, and it would
not compare very favorably with the wonderful machinery exhibited in
Philadelphia last summer; but it contains the germ of the idea, and is
worthy of all honor. Having often seen it stated that Papin had
invented a steamboat, I resolved during a recent visit to Germany to
investigate the matter, and especially to search for the
correspondence between Papin and Leibnitz in the library at Hanover.
It will be borne in mind that two hundred years ago, on December 4,
1676, Leibnitz was appointed to take charge of the library in Hanover,
and that he remained in this position until his death in 1716. He
bequeathed his manuscripts to the library; and as he had the habit of
writing upon all manner of loose scraps of paper, it has cost much
labor to assort and classify them.

On making my application to the librarian to be permitted to see the
correspondence between Papin and Leibnitz, my request was at once
granted; and a table having been assigned me, I was able to examine
these precious relics at my leisure. I was also shown a copy of an
original treatise on the steam engine by Papin, which contained
numerous marginal notes by Leibnitz. In one place, Leibnitz criticized
Papin's method for condensing steam, and makes a drawing on the
margin, showing a piston and valve which he thought would be more
practical. It is somewhat remarkable that the Germans have not caused
a fac-simile of this little volume to be published. After considerable
search, I found a copy of the original letter addressed by Papin to
Leibnitz in 1707, asking Leibnitz to assist him in obtaining the
consent of the Hanoverian Government to navigate the river Weser with
a sidewheel steamboat. The letter was dated July 7, 1707, and
contained among other interesting passages the following sentence:
"The new invention will enable one or two men to accomplish more
effect than several hundred oarsmen." It is evident that Leibnitz was
deeply impressed by Papin's letter, and he supported the simple and
reasonable request contained in it by the following petition addressed
to the Councillors of State. This communication from Leibnitz bears
two indorsements, one by the clerk of the council, "_pro memoria_
respectfully, in reference to the passage of a ship from the river
Fulda into the Weser;" the other is in the handwriting of Leibnitz:
"Papin's sidewheel ship." This last indorsement is of great value, as
indicating the fact that Papin proposed to apply side wheels for the
propulsion of his new invention. The following is a translation of
Leibnitz' letter, the original of which I saw in the library:

"Dionysius Papin, Councillor and Physician to his royal highness the
Elector of Cassel, also Professor of Mathematics at Marburg, is about
to dispatch a vessel of singular construction down the river Weser to
Bremen. As he learns that all ships coming from Cassel, or any point
on the Fulda, are not permitted to enter the Weser, but are required
to unload at Münden, and as he anticipates some difficulty, although
those vessels have a different object, his own not being intended for
freight, he begs most humbly that a gracious order be granted that his
ship may be allowed to pass unmolested through the electoral domain,
which petition I most humbly support.

  "Hanover, July 13, 1707."

This letter was returned to Leibnitz with the following indorsement:
"The Electoral Councillors have found serious obstacles in the way of
granting the above petition, and, without giving their reasons, have
directed me to inform you of their decision, and that in consequence
the request is not granted by his Electoral Highness.

  "Hanover, July 25, 1707."

This failure of Papin's petition was the deathblow to his effort to
establish steam navigation. A mob of boatmen, who thought they saw in
the embryo ship the ruin of their business, attacked the vessel at
night and utterly destroyed it. Papin narrowly escaped with his life,
and fled to England, where he endured great hardships and poverty, and
all traces of him were soon lost, so that it is uncertain in what
country he finally died or where he was buried.

This remarkable man was driven out of France on account of his
Protestant faith, and found a refuge in Germany; here he was again
persecuted on account of the injury that ignorant and jealous people
believed his inventions would inflict upon the industries of the
country; and when the climax of steam engines for pumping water and
propelling ships was reached, the enlightened government of the period
"found serious obstacles" in the way of granting him protection, and,
without condescending to state what those "objections" were, secretly
instigated the mob to make an end of the trouble. It is another
instance, unfortunately too often repeated in history, of the mischief
men dressed up in a little brief authority can work upon their
generation. If Papin had been permitted to navigate the Weser with his
ship, and to carry it to London, as was his intention, it is possible
that we should have had steamboats one hundred years earlier than they
were given to us by Fulton. The plan proposed by Papin was highly
impracticable; but a knowledge of what Savery had done in the way of
steam machinery, aided by the shrewd suggestions of Leibnitz, combined
with the practical assistance of Englishmen, would, no doubt, have
enabled him to improve upon his invention until it had obtained
sufficient credit to be secure against the misfortune of being
totally forgotten. After the lapse of 100 years from the date of
Papin's invention, when the first steamboat was put upon the river
Rhine, the vessel was fired into by concealed marksmen on shore, and
navigation was more dangerous than it is now on the upper waters of
the Missouri in times of Indian hostility. It was only after
stationing troops along the banks of the river to protect the boatmen
that the government, fortunately more enlightened than in the days of
Leibnitz, was able to establish steam navigation on a secure footing.

I have thought it worth while to make this contribution to the history
of steam navigation, particularly as I have been able to authenticate
a portion of it by reference to original documents.

Columbia College, New York city, January, 1877.

       *       *       *       *       *


We have heretofore given accounts of the wonderful success of
Professor Bell in transmitting the vibrations of the human voice by
electrical means over a telegraph wire. He has lately made
improvements in his method of transmission, by which he dispenses with
the use of the battery, and substitutes the magneto-electric plan of
producing the current. The Boston _Transcript_ describes a recent
experiment with the new apparatus, by which conversation and singing
was successfully carried on between Boston and Malden, a distance of
six miles. The telephone, in its present form, consists of a powerful
compound permanent magnet, to the poles of which are attached ordinary
telegraph coils of insulated wire. In front of the poles, surrounded
by these coils of wire, is placed a diaphragm of iron. A mouthpiece to
converge the sound upon this diaphragm substantially completes the
arrangement. As is well known, the motion of steel or iron in front of
the poles of a magnet creates a current of electricity in coils
surrounding the poles of the magnet, and the duration of this current
of electricity coincides with the duration of the motion of the steel
or iron moved or vibrated in the proximity of the magnet. When the
human voice causes the diaphragm to vibrate, electrical undulations
are induced in the coils environing the magnets, precisely analogous
to the undulations of the air produced by that voice. These coils are
connected with the line wire, which may be of any length, provided the
insulation be good. The undulations which are induced in these coils
travel through the line wire, and, passing through the coils of an
instrument of precisely similar construction at the distant station,
are again resolved into air undulations by the diaphragm of this

The experiments were as follows: Telephones having been connected with
the private telegraphic line of the Boston Rubber Shoe Company,
conversation was at once commenced. Stationed at the Boston end of the
wire, Professor Bell requested Mr. Watson, who was at the Malden end,
to speak in loud tones, with a view of enabling the entire company at
once to distinguish the sounds.

This was so successful that a smile of mingled pleasure and surprise
played on the features of those present. That it, however, might not
be supposed that loud speaking was essential to intelligibility, Mr.
Bell explained that soft tones could be heard across the wires even
more distinctly than loud utterances, even a whisper being audible. In
confirmation of this statement, Mr. Watson commenced speaking in turn
with each member of the company; and after the efficiency of this
method had been proved to the satisfaction of all, he took up a
newspaper and informed the assemblage that gold had closed the
previous evening at New York at 105-5/8. As there were quite a number
of business men present, the effect that this practical demonstration
of the value of the telephone produced can scarcely be exaggerated.
Other passages from the daily journals were then given, and by this
time the desire for conversation having become general, Mr. Watson was
plied with questions such as: "Is it thawing or freezing at Malden?
Who will be the next President?" etc. It was remarkable that Mr.
Watson was able to distinguish between the voices at the Boston end,
he calling at least one gentleman by name as soon as the latter
commenced speaking.

This went on for some time, until a lady at the Malden end sent the
company an invitation to lunch per telephone, and an appropriate
response was made by the same medium. At length the Boston company
were requested to remain quiet while a lady at the other end conveyed
to them the sweet strains of music. The assemblage thereupon listened
with rapt attention while a young lady commenced singing "The Last
Rose of Summer." The effect was simply charming. The sound of the
voice penetrated into the Boston end of the telephone with a
distinctness equal to that attainable in the more distant parts of a
large concert room, and a unanimous vote of thanks was sent by the
handy little instrument which had procured for the assemblage so
agreeable an hour.

       *       *       *       *       *

The superb steam engine built by C.H. Brown & Co., of Fitchburg,
Mass., which was illustrated and described on page 1 of our current
volume, has been purchased by Messrs. Phineas Jones & Co., and is
being erected in their extensive carriage wheel works at Newark, N.J.

       *       *       *       *       *


A reporter of the New York Sun wanted to realize the sensation of
being suspended on a wire 275 feet from the surface of the earth. He
applied to the engineer of the Brooklyn bridge for permission to cross
the East river on a wire, three quarters of an inch in diameter, which
hangs between the two towers. He was refused permission; but he
finally saw the president of the company, who granted his request.
Arriving at the appointed time, the engineer, Mr. Farrington, said:
"Well, sir; whenever you're ready, I am."

"All ready, said I, as bold as brass outside, and as nervous as the
Endorian witch on the inside. He walked on and I followed, when,
Horror of Horrors--capital H's--to both Horrors--instead of leading me
to the 'cradle,' which I called a raft, he took me to a little square
board held up by two crossed iron arms, called a 'buggy.' It was about
three feet square, and depended from the 'traveler,' a three quarter
inch wire which crosses the river, and is run from tower to tower over
apparatus, by means of a stationary engine. It was too late to back
out, but I didn't feel exactly prepared to plunge in. He did.

"He jumped in, and the little buggy swung from side to side, precisely
as a swing does when you jump on the board and try to steady it by the
ropes. I looked at him, at the scale--that's it; it's exactly like a
pair of scales, with one scale--at the deep depths below us, and at
myself. I imagined the ticklish thrill which would permeate my body
when we started. I fancied the glories of the prospective perspective
before me.

"'Come, hurry up, please,' interrupted Farrington, and with
resignation I hurried down. He stood up. I crouched down. Perhaps you
think you'd have stood up as he did. You're mistaken. I crouched down
and held on tight. Make no mistake. I held on tight and waited for my
thrill. It didn't come. Then I stood up, and Farrington gave the word
'Go.' 'Wouldn't you better take a rope along?' said one of the men.
'Yes, I think I would.' What did he want of a rope? He feared I would
be nervous. He meant to grapple me in the middle of the river, and tie
me in. I knew it. I felt it. But I didn't say a word.

"With a gentle jerk we started--slow, slow, very slow. Farrington
stood in front and watched the wire. I stood behind and watched
myself. I felt nothing. I was'n't exhilarated. I was'n't scared. I
was'n't even timid. I can't look from the top of a house without
desiring to jump off, but I looked down from the buggy and hadn't the
least desire to jump. Farrington says: 'It's because it's so high up.'
Well, we went on without any special sensation till the buggy struck
against a stay rope which reaches from one of the cables to the tower.
In the effort to free the buggy, Mr. Farrington gave a push which
swung us out some little distance and back again, at which a little
piece of indigestion seemed to be monarch of my interior, and for a
moment I was on the verge of a sensation. Having passed the middle,
the ascent was more labored. I waved my handkerchief to the people on
the ferryboats. I looked out toward the sea. I looked up at the
heavens. I even looked toward Harlem, but, like the buyer in the
Bible, I said: 'It is naught, it is naught.'

"In about eight minutes we touched the New York side--all but ten
feet. The red flag waved for the engine to stop. There we hung in
mid-air 275 feet above the level, swinging to and fro like a drunken
buggy, at an angle of forty degrees, and quite uneasy. The rope which
was to haul us on was fastened to the iron--blest be the tie that
binds--and with a few hearty pulls we were brought so near the New
York tower that without difficulty we clambered up. I had made the
trip, but I had not felt a feel. From the top of the New York tower I
saw much, but the chief point of interest was the innumerable jets of
steam which flourish in the air, and fantastically curl off into

"Again the steeples, the tower, and the long, narrow, dirty river
filled the prospect, and the bright sun of a charming day lightened up
the western sky That was all, except to say 'thanks and good-bye,' and
descend the stairs. There were 417 of them stairs, and before I
reached the bottom I was dizzy, faint, seasick, and filled with a
decoction of tickle, so that I had to shut my eyes and rest from my

"Thus ends the trip which filled my anticipatory imagination as the
waters fill the sea, but which resolved itself in realization to a
simple, childlike faith in the fixtures on the wire, and in the skill
and competence of the man who guided them. MONSIEUR X."

       *       *       *       *       *


There is nothing more reassuring in these days, when new "isms" of the
scientists are slowly sapping the foundations of cherished beliefs,
than to remember that, after all, the much vaunted dicta of Nature are
yet opposable by the sound operations of honest common sense. See for
example how one of our evening dailies, tossing the dogmas of
so-called science contemptuously aside, evolves such profoundly
original thoughts as these, to explain the lucid blue glass theory of
General Pleasonton: "The blue glass presents an obstruction to the
sun's rays which can only be penetrated by one of the seven primary
rays--the blue ray; the remaining six rays, travelling with the
velocity of 186,000 miles a second, falling upon the blue glass, are
suddenly arrested; the impact evolves upon the surface of the glass
friction, heat, electricity and magnetism; the heat expands the
molecules of the glass, and a current of electricity and magnetism
passes through it into the room; this current, falling upon animal or
vegetable life within, stimulates it to unusual vigor. Certainly the
results achieved, and abundantly certified to, are marvellous, and
sufficient to provoke further experiments and inquiry." Prior to these
splendid original discoveries of our contemporary, we ignorantly
believed that blue glass only partially sifted out the orange and
yellow rays from the spectrum, and that with this exception, it acted
merely as a screen to diminish the intensity of all the rays. We also
supposed that there was a sharp distinction to be drawn between
sunlight after passing through blue glass and the blue spectral ray:
that in one case all the colored rays were more or less present, and
that in the other but one was. But think of the utter dismay of such
pretenders as Helmholtz, Tyndall, and Henry when they learn that the
undulatory theory of light with which they have so long taxed our
credulity is overthrown--that of the seven primary rays, six bounce
off from blue glass and distribute themselves over the adjoining
neighborhood. That the glass is heated by the impact; and as the sun
persistently emits more rays, there are more impacts and more heat.
The glass gets hotter and hotter; but--mark the scientific acumen
here--just as we are wondering whether it will reach the melting
point, the pores open. It is the Turkish bath of Nature. Electricity
and magnetism, no longer shut out, rush in between the separate
molecules. Hand in hand, these great curative powers seek a proper
subject. They meet (we learn from a report, also in our contemporary,
of Pleasonton's latest triumph) a pig or a young lady whose hair has
come out--a heifer, a rooster, or a rheumatic child. Forthwith the pig
fattens, hair equal to that produced by the finest _tricopherus_
pervades the female scalp, and "unusual vigor" and general happiness
prevail. Such is the boon which Pleasonton bestows on humanity, as
elucidated by the original genius of our contemporary.

       *       *       *       *       *


In view of the alarming prevalence of scarlet fever in many parts of
the country, the following hints by the _British Medical Journal_ are
wholesome warnings: "There are three common ways by means of which
infectious diseases may be very widely spread. It is a very usual
practice for parents to take children suffering from scarlet fever,
measles, etc., to a public dispensary, in order to obtain advice and
medicines. It is little less than crime to expose, in the streets of a
town and in the crowded waiting room of a dispensary, children
afflicted with such complaints. Again, persons who are recovering from
infectious disorders borrow books out of the lending departments of
public libraries; these books, on their reissue to fresh borrowers,
are sources of very great danger. In all libraries, notices should be
posted up informing borrowers that no books will be lent out to
persons who are suffering from diseases of an infectious character;
and that any person so suffering will be prosecuted if he borrow
during the time of his illness. Lastly, disease is spread by tract
distributors. It is the habit for such well meaning people to call at
a house where a person is ill and to leave him a tract. In a week or
so the tract is called for again, another left in its place, and the
old one is left with another person. It needs not much imagination to
know with what result to health such a practice will lead if the first
person be in scarlet fever or smallpox."

Dr. Hutton offers "a warning on the reckless manner in which parents
allow their healthy children to run into the houses of acquaintances
who have members of their families suffering from scarlatina, etc.,
and states that he has seen the infection thus carried from the
patient, and several families attacked."

       *       *       *       *       *


A _World_ reporter has lately visited the works in Brooklyn where the
manufacture of the La Bastie toughened glass is now in active
progress. The manufacturer states that, in June last, his factory was
destroyed by fire, and the introduction of the glass into our markets
has for that reason been delayed. Only one kind of goods, lamp
chimneys, are now made, and the process is as follows: A workman,
having in his hand a pole about eight feet long, with a knob on the
end of the size of a lamp burner, fits a chimney on the knob and
plunges it into the flame of a furnace. He with-draws it twice or
thrice that it may not heat too quickly, turning the pole rapidly the
while, and when the glass reaches a red heat quickly shoots it into
one of a dozen small baths fixed on a revolving table, and seizes
another chimney. A boy keeps the revolving table always in position,
and as the chimneys come around to him, having been the proper time in
the bath, he takes them out to be dried, sorted, cleaned, and packed.
The bath has to be of just the right temperature, as, if it be too hot
or too cold, the chimneys are liable to explode. In either case the
process of annealing is imperfect. By working the tables at a certain
rate, the baths are kept at the right temperature by the immersion of
the red hot glass. Oil or tallow is used in the bath. Any greasy
substance will do, though tallow has proved most satisfactory.

M. De la Chapelle, the manufacturer, states that he has already sold
$150,000 worth of the chimneys. The toughened chimneys are about 60
per cent dearer than those of ordinary glass. The factory is in
Delavan street, Brooklyn, N.Y.

       *       *       *       *       *


This ingenious man, whose inventions in connection with the electric
telegraph entitle his name to be held in grateful remembrance, died in
January last at the new Home for Incurables at Broomhill,
Kirkintilloch, near Glasgow, Scotland, and on Saturday his remains
were interred in the burying ground in the neighborhood of that town
known as the Old Aisle Cemetery. Mr. Bain, who was about sixty-six
years of age, was a native of Thurso. He was the inventor of the
electro-chemical printing telegraph, the electro-magnetic clock, and
of perforated paper for automatic transmission of messages, and was
author of a number of books and pamphlets relating to these subjects.
Sir William Thomson, in his address to the Mathematical Section of the
British Association at its meeting in Glasgow last year, said: "In the
United States Telegraphic Department of the Great Exhibition at
Philadelphia, I saw Edison's automatic telegraph delivering 1,015
words in 57 seconds. This was done by the long neglected
electro-chemical method of Bain, long ago condemned in England to the
helot work of recording from a relay, and turned adrift as needlessly
delicate for that." Mr. Bain was stricken by paralysis, and suffered
from complete loss of power in the lower limbs. For some time he had
received a pension from the government, obtained for him, we believe,
through the instrumentality of Sir William Thomson. Mr. Bain was a
widower, and has left a son and daughter, the former of whom is in
America, and the latter at present on the Continent. Photographs of
him by Mayall were recently presented to the Society of Telegraph
Engineers and the American Society of Telegraphers at Philadelphia.
--_The Engineer._

       *       *       *       *       *


Self-reliance, conjoined with promptitude in the execution of our
undertakings, is indispensable to success. And yet multitudes live a
life of vacillation and consequent failure, because they remain
undetermined what to do, or, having decided that, have no confidence
in themselves. Such persons need to be assured; but this assurance can
be obtained in no other way than by their own successes in whatever
they may attempt for themselves. If they lean upon others, they not
only become dissatisfied with what they achieve, but the success of
one achievement, in which they are entitled to but partial credit, is
no guaranty to them that, unaided, they will not fail in their very
next experiment.

For want of self-reliance and decision of character, thousands are
submerged in their first essays to make the voyage of life.
Disappointed and chagrined at this, they underestimate their own
capacities, and thenceforward, relying on others, they take and keep a
subordinate position, from which they rise, when they rise at all,
with the utmost difficulty. When a young man attains his majority, it
is better for him, as a general rule, to take some independent
position of his own, even though the present remuneration be less than
he would obtain in the service of others. When at work for himself, in
a business which requires and demands foresight, economy, and
industry, he will naturally develop the strong points of his
character, and become self-reliant.

A glance at the business men of any community will show who have and
who have not improved the opportunities of their earlier years. The
former transact their business with ease, promptitude, and profit.
They rely upon themselves, and execute what they have to do with
energy and dispatch. But those who shirked everything in their youth
are compelled to rely on their clerks and salesmen for advice, and are
never ready to act when occasions of profit arise. Many parents commit
a lamentable error in this respect. They lead their children to
believe that they can do nothing without the constant assistance of
their superiors, and after awhile the child becomes impressed with
that idea. Fortunate will it be for him when he emerges from the
parental roof, if he can at once acquire the self-reliance which has
been kept down at home--otherwise he must necessarily fail in whatever
independent enterprise he undertakes; and in such a case, while the
misfortune is his own, the fault lies at the door of misjudging
parents rather than at his own.

       *       *       *       *       *


It is an old trick of despots, and a good one, to employ their
subjects. Why? To keep them out of mischief, Employed men are most
contented. There is no conspiracy. Men do not sit down and coolly
proceed to concoct iniquity so long as there is plenty of pleasant and
profitable employment for body and mind. Work drives off discontent,
provided there is compensation in proportion to the amount of labor
performed. There must be a stimulant. God never intended a man should
sweat without eating of the fruits of his labor--reaping a
reward--more than he intended the idle man should revel in plenty and
grow gouty on luxuries. Industry is a great peacemaker--a
mind-your-own-business citizen. Something to do renders the despairing
good-natured and hopeful--stops the cry of the hungry, and promotes
all virtue. The best men are the most industrious; the most wealthy
work the hardest. They always find something to do. Do you ever wonder
that men of wealth do not "retire" and enjoy their substance? We know
some young men look forward with anticipation to the time of
"retiring." It is doubtful if a man should ever retire from business
as long as he lives. We think we know men who, were they to abandon
business, would be ruined, not pecuniarily, but mentally--their lives
would be shortened. God never intended man's mind should become
dormant. It is governed by fixed laws. Those laws are imperative in
their exactions.

Something to do! "Oh, if I had something to do!" There are young men
who sigh for it, yet one thing they can do--that is, seek for a job.
Once found, provided it is an honest one, do not hesitate to perform
it, even if it does not pay as well as you expected.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Cleveland _Herald_ said, twenty years ago, during a stringency of
the times, that moneyed men are the veriest cravens on earth: so
timid, that on the least alarm they pull their heads, turtle-like,
within their shells, and, snugly housed, hug their glittering treasure
until all fear is removed. The consequence is that a few days'
disturbance of the monetary atmosphere brings on a perfect dearth of
not only the precious metals, but even of paper money, their
representative. Moneyed men never adopt the tactics of mutual support;
hence, as soon as a shot is fired into the flock, they scatter, each
looking out for himself, each distrustful of the other, and each
recognizing only the great law of selfishness, which is to take care
of number one. Courage has saved many an army, even when ammunition
was low; and many a foe has been scattered by one yell of defiance
when there was not a cartridge left.

       *       *       *       *       *


$1.25. New York and San Francisco: A. Roman & Co.

    This book is a very metaphysical treatise on theories of
    government and the duties of citizens to the law, each other,
    and themselves. Theoretical politics are little in favor with
    thinking men of this day; and the social difficulties of our age
    will have to be solved by practical wisdom founded on
    experience. The people that knows that a certain course of
    legislation has destroyed an empire, and that a contrary policy
    has developed one, will care little as to whether or not "the
    will controls the feelings by mediate and indirect force." We
    are unable to find in this book any attempt to apply the finely
    worded theories stated to practical use and popular instruction
    in political science.

ARCHITECTS, AND BUILDERS. By Charles E. Greene, A.M., Professor of
Civil Engineering in the University of Michigan. Chicago, Ill: George
H. Frost.

    The author of this work truly says that any designer who fairly
    tries the graphical method will be pleased with the simplicity
    and directness of the analysis, even for apparently complex
    forms. The hindrance to the general use of the method is the
    want of knowledge of the higher mathematics, which are largely
    used in most treatises on the subject. Professor Greene has
    avoided this stumbling block, and given us a treatise which may
    be understood and appreciated by any one of common school
    education. We therefore give his work a hearty commendation, and
    we hope that every carpenter and builder may be induced to
    analyze the stresses which affect the different parts of
    structures, which he can readily do by carefully reading this

THE HUB: a Journal devoted to the Carriage Building Trades. Published
monthly. Subscription price, $3.00 a year. New York city: The Hub
Publishing Company, 323 Pearl street.

    This journal is widely known for its accurate and extended
    information as to carriage building, trimming, lining, painting,
    etc.; and since its first issue it has maintained its
    reputation, and given the public an immense amount of
    instruction in a spirited and practical manner. The
    illustrations and typography are excellent, and every number
    shows how extended an area it serves as an authority on the
    important industry to which it is devoted.

ASSIGNATS AND MANDATS: the Money and the Finances of the French
Revolution of 1789. By Stephen D. Dillaye. Price, free by mail, 30
cents. Philadelphia, Pa.: Henry Carey Baird & Co., 810 Walnut street.

    Mr. Dillaye differs with the Hon. A.D. White, President of
    Cornell University, as to the relative merits of money and
    promises to pay money; and he begins with the assertion that the
    President's "object is to depreciate American credit, stability,
    and honor." Further perusal, to ascertain the meaning of this
    attack on a patriotic and useful member of society, shows us
    what Mr. Dillaye thinks he means. He talks of credit being the
    vital element of national power; and from this he argues that
    the more "credit" a nation has--that is, the deeper it is in
    debt--the more powerful it becomes. In short, he confuses credit
    as opposed to discredit with credit as opposed to cash--a
    grievous blunder, surely. A nation's credit is like a
    merchant's; it becomes greater only as his debts become smaller;
    and people trust a government for the same reason as they trust
    an individual, mainly because every previous obligation has been
    honorably observed. It is gratifying to know that persons of Mr.
    Dillaye's way of thinking are few and unimportant, and their
    number is diminishing daily.

Butler to the New York Municipal Society. New York city: Published by
Order of the Society, 87 Madison avenue.

    A review of the whole subject of our water supply, its sources
    and the area they drain, the geographical features of the
    district, and the works erected by the city. Mr. Butler
    maintains that the Croton valley, with proper storage
    reservoirs, can abundantly supply the whole city; and that no
    new aqueduct need be constructed in the present condition of the
    public debt.

NITROVERBINDUNGEN. Von Peter Townsend Austen. Leipzig, Germany:
Winter, Publisher.

    We are glad to see that an American is able to publish a very
    useful chemical treatise in Germany, the great head center of
    chemistry. Dr. Austen, one of our most distinguished young
    chemists in the field of original research, has produced a work
    which bears the marks of much patient thought and study. The
    book is dedicated to the renowned German chemist, Professor A.W.

OUR YOUNG FOLKS' MAGAZINE: a Monthly Journal of Instruction and
Amusement. Subscription price, $1.60 a year. Boston, Mass.: Post
Office Box 3090.

    A readable little periodical, well calculated to amuse the
    little ones for whom it is intended.

GLASS FOR THE STUDIO AND DARK ROOM. By Thomas Gaffield. Philadelphia,
Pa.: Benerman & Wilson.

    There is much useful information in this little pamphlet, and
    photographers especially should read it. The matter first
    appeared in the Philadelphia _Photographer_.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *



Ezra Peak, Montana, Kan.--This invention is so constructed that it may
be easily raised from and lowered to the ground, and adjusted to work
at any desired depth in the ground. It is claimed to be of lighter
draft than plows constructed in the usual way, also to be simple in
construction and inexpensive in manufacture. The wheels, the faces of
which are notched to give them a slight up-and-down movement as they
are drawn forward, slightly jar the plows, and thus cause them to be
easier drawn than when smooth wheels are used. The shaft can be
provided with a ratchet wheel and pawl to hold it in any position into
which it may be turned; and to it is attached a rope or chain, the
other end of which, is attached to the forward end of the frame, so
that by turning the shaft the plows may be raised from, lowered to,
and adjusted to work at any desired depth in the ground.


James Willis Hendley, Cedar Hill, N.C., assignor to David N. Bennett
and Samuel T. Wright, of same place.--The objects here are simplicity
and cheapness of construction, and such arrangement of parts as will
prevent the plow becoming clogged with weeds, etc. The mold-board is
welded to the land side, or cast in one piece with it, so that no
brace or other connection is required between the mold-board and
standard; secondly, the curved beam is attached to the heel of the
land-side and supported by a brace, which is bolted to the middle
portion of the latter, and arranged in such relation to the mold-board
that a space is left between them, into which the trash will fall, and
thus be drawn into the furrow and covered.


George W. Osborn, Parkville, Mich.--This is an improved attachment for
seed drills, for gaging the depth at which the grain shall be
deposited in the earth. It consists in an adjustable spring gage bar
attached to the shank of each drill tooth, whereby the teeth may be
made to enter the ground a greater or less depth. It is claimed to
ensure the planting of seeds at equal depth in hard or soft ground,
and to diminish the draft.


Joseph B. Wakeman and John L. Wager, Deposit, N.Y.--The construction
of this implement is such that a large space is afforded beneath the
rake head for the collection of hay. The pivots of said rake head back
are also brought back, so that the teeth may be readily raised to
discharge the collected hay. By an ingenious lever arrangement the
driver is enabled to hold the rake to its work by the pressure of his
foot, and also readily to discharge the hay gathered.


George W. Akins, Bridgeton, Pa.--In this hive, holes are bored in the
sides of the compartment for ventilation, and windows are flared for
the purpose of inspecting the inside of the hive. A frame is used
whenever it is desired to have the honeycomb of any particular shape.
It consists of a form of tin or other suitable maternal, placed on a
frame or slide, and having the shape required in the comb. Bees will
build inside of the form, leaving about one fourth inch space between
the form and the comb. The tin sheet receives a portion of the refuse
matter, and can be readily taken out and cleaned. On the 1st of May
the bees are driven out into another hive and the frames examined.
Three frames are taken out and set in a new box, and three empty
frames are put in their place. The old queen must be put with the new
colony, and half of the bees must be put in each box and shut up, and
put on a stand. The hives are to be opened the next morning. At the
next natural swarming time the swarms can be again divided. The hive
cannot freeze, and it is proof against mice.


Robert Weber, New Ulm, Texas.--In this invention, by loosening a nut,
the point of draft attachment may be raised and lowered to cause the
plow to work deeper or shallower in the ground, or turned to one or
the other side, to cause the plow to take or leave land, and may be
secured in place when adjusted by again tightening the nut.


John Huber and Henry Snell, Girard, Ill.--This machine may be used
simply for stirring up and turning the hay, or for turning the hay and
gathering it into windrows. The shaft of a reel revolves in bearings
attached to the side bars of the frame near their rear ends. To the
bars of the reel are attached spring teeth, which, as the machine is
drawn forward, take hold of the hay, carry it up and over the reel,
and drop it to the ground in the rear of the machine. A carrier takes
the hay from the teeth, when it has been brought to the top of the
reel, carries it over the shaft, and discharges it into a trough, down
which it slides, and is deposited in a windrow along one side of the
path of the machine.


Ira Burley, Redwing, Minn.--This invention consists in the combination
of wheels and axle, tongue, adjusting bar, adjustable brace, uprights,
cross bar, two ropes, and four pulley blocks with each other. To the
forward end of the tongue is attached a loop or clevis, to receive an
iron pin, to be driven into the ground to keep the machine from moving
about while being used. To the pulley block is swiveled a hook, to be
hooked into a loop, attached to the forward end of a lever. The rear
end of the lever passes through a slot in the upper end of a fulcrum
post, and has a notch formed in its lower side to receive a bolt or
pin, attached to said post to serve as a fulcrum to said lever.
Several notches are formed in the lever to receive the fulcrum bolt,
to enable the position of the fulcrum post to be adjusted to regulate
the leverage, and as circumstances may require. To the lever is
attached a strong clevis, to receive the hook of the chain, that is
secured to the stump to be pulled.


Daniel J. Davis, Red Boiling Springs, Tenn.--In this invention two
wheels revolve upon the journals of the axle. Upon the end parts of
the axle are attached the rear ends of side bars, the forward ends of
which are bolted to the outer sides of the forward ends of the plow
beams. The forward ends of the beams are bolted to the ends of the
front bar, to the center of which is secured the forward end of the
central bar. To the beams are attached the plows for opening furrows
to receive the seed as it passes from the conductor spouts. The lower
ends of the spouts or tubes pass in through the sides of the plows, so
as to conduct the seed into the bottom of the furrows before they have
been partially filled by the falling in of the soil. The dropping
plate is concaved around its dropping holes, and is provided with a
plate that may be adjusted to cover one set of dropping holes to drop
the hills twice as far apart as when both sets of holes operate.


Thomas N. Hughes, Muddy Creek, Tenn.--This trap is for animals of all
kinds, as rats, mice, and larger animals, as foxes, minks, coons,
etc., that are allured by bait, and is automatically set again by the
animal caught, to be ready for the next animal attracted by the bait.
It is divided by a longitudinal partition into two main sections, in
which the working parts are disposed. The entrance at the end of one
section has a drop door, which is arranged back of the same, resting,
when closed, on side strips in inclined position, and being supported
on an upright arm, of a centrally pivoted treadle door, at the bottom
of the trap, when the trap is set. The treadle door is only required
to swing sufficiently on its pivots to release the drop door from the
arm, suitable seats at the under side of the trap, at both sides of
the treadle door, preventing the door from swinging farther than
necessary. The bait is placed, in a grated receptacle, near the
treadle door, and entices the animal to pass in, so as to close the
drop door when it arrives at the part of the treadle door near the
bait. The back end of this section is perforated or grated to admit
light, which attracts the frightened animal and induces him to pass
toward the light. The top part of the trap may be grated to admit air,
and the glass door at the end made to slide, to admit the taking out
of the animals for killing them.

       *       *       *       *       *



William Maynard, New York city.--This invention relates to an improved
construction of apparatus for the hydration of gases, and more
particularly chlorine gas for the manufacture of chlorine water for
use in the industrial arts of bleaching, etc. It consists mainly in a
case having an inlet for the water above, an inlet for the gas below,
and provided with an intermediate water percolating medium; combined
with a reservoir located below the level of the case and having a
water-sealed communication therewith, which reservoir receives the
hydrated gases, and which water seal prevents the heavy gas in the
case from passing out through the bottom inlet. The case for the
percolation of water and the absorption of the gas is made of conical
shape, with the largest diameter at the bottom, to produce the
greatest absorption of the heavy gas when first admitted; while
horizontal partitions, or shelves, in said case are provided with
upwardly projecting tubes which hold a permanent surface of water on
the said partition or shelves. The tubes permit, by their peculiar
shape, the water to pass down on one side and the gas up on the
opposite side of said tube, while their alternating arrangement in the
alternating shelves gives a zigzag and long continued passage to the
gas and water in moving in opposite directions through the case.


Martin N. Diall, Terre Haute, Ind.--This inventor saturates wood by
immersing it in any hydrocarbon oil for from six to twelve hours, as
required by the nature of the wood, so that it may take up the
necessary quantity of oil for the required strength of gas. The wood
is then immersed in a bath of water, for taking up a quantity of water
outside the oil, and is then charged in the retorts, the same as coal,
and distilled in the same way. By this process the inventor claims
that he produces fixed gas equal to coal gas, much faster, and with
less expense, the wood and water furnishing the hydrogen, and the oil
furnishing the carbon.


Welmer T. Jahne and Anthony Moors, Jersey City, N.J.--This consists of
a leader made of spring wire, bent into V form, provided with a swivel
and eye at its middle part, and with eyes or loops at its ends to
receive the line and snells. By this construction the snells and hooks
will be kept apart however the line maybe thrown, and however they and
the leader may be turned about by the tide or current. The device is
one well calculated to meet with a favorable reception from fishermen.


Christina Lascell, Newark, N.J.--The object of this invention is to
furnish an improved abdominal corset, which supports the weight of the
abdomen in a perfectly comfortable and easy manner, and throws the
strain on the shoulders and hips of the wearer. The corset is
adjustable to the varying conditions of the abdomen, does not
interfere with the motion and different positions of the body, and is
readily put on and taken off. It has adjustable elastic shoulder
straps, and opening at the sides by lacings and elastic bands and
buttons. The front part of the corset is stiffened by a stay that
slides in a pocket to provide for stooping. A central front and lacing
admit the front part of the corset to expand. The lower extension part
of the corset has short stiffening stays, and it is connected
independently of the upper stays by short side lacing and elastic
straps to the side or hip parts of the corset. A hernial band extends
from the lowermost part of the corset-extension between the legs to
the rear, and is attached by adjustable hip straps to the sides of the


John F. Werner, New York city.--The terrible disaster in the Brooklyn
theater is serving as a stimulus to induce the invention of devices
looking to the prevention of a like occurrence. The present inventor
has devised a new fire escape for theaters, concert halls, and other
public places of amusement, by which the space at the upper parts of
the entrances, halls, or vestibules of the buildings is utilized for
the purpose of forming additional passage ways for the persons in the
buildings, to be used in case of fire for the more convenient and less
dangerous exit of the same. The invention consists, mainly, of a
movable floor, suspended by chains, pulleys, and weights, near the
ceiling of the entrances, and lowered in case of fire. It is supported
on projecting rests of the side walls, at suitable height above the
floor. Sliding extensions and swinging stairs and rear sections
connect with the ground outside of the door, and with the staircases
of the gallery, so as to form separate exits above the regular


James E. Dexter, New York city.--This invention consists, first, in a
magnet having a centrally bored iron core, surrounded by a magnetic
coil, which is enveloped by an iron shell that is concentric with the
central core, and is attached to a flange formed on the lower end of
the said central core. One side of both shell and core are split for
the purpose of obviating residual magnetism. The invention also
consists in combining a spring yoke, a vibrator, and a spring contact
piece, as hereinafter particularly described. The third part of this
invention consists in the arrangement of the key for completing the
circuit, which is made with an insulating exterior, and is provided
with one of the termini of the magnet coil, and bears against the side
of the key to insure a constant contact of the surfaces. The various
parts of the plugger are combined, so that pressing the key with the
finger makes the circuit, and a succession of regular strokes is
produced, the force of which may be varied by an adjusting screw.

       *       *       *       *       *



Joseph W. Thorn, Iuka, Miss., assignor to himself and M.W. Beardsley,
of same place.--In this machine there is a new construction of the
brush drum for simplifying the same, and facilitating the application
of the brush wings, so that they can be readily taken off and put on;
also, an arrangement of the ribs between the saws for facilitating the
separating of the seed from the cotton without breaking and injuring
the fiber. There are also ingenious devices for preventing the seed
from gathering and clogging at the ends of the saw drum.


Nathan H. Fogg, Boston, Mass.--When the car is suspended normally from
the rope, the rubber balls, arranged in sockets near the lower part of
the car, are supported on their seats in a state of rest; but the
instant that the rope breaks or gets detached from the bolt the action
of a spiral spring throws an actuating plate downward, and levers and
ball-carrying rods upward. The balls are thus thrown off their seats
and wedged between the inclined sides of the pockets and the guide
posts of the elevator so as to stop thereby the car.


Achille Parise, Naples, Italy.--This is a new combination lock for
doors, trunks, safes, etc., that admits of a large number of
combinations, and may be opened and closed quickly. It consists of
sliding tumbler plates, having longitudinal slots and a number of
perforations placed at different relative positions to the slots of
each tumbler. The trunks are connected by screw set pins attached to
face slides, and passing through any one of the perforations,
admitting the setting of the tumblers and opening of the lock by outer
projections or buttons of the slides to fixed exterior guides.


Mari A. Cuming and Judson Knight, New York city.--This is a machine
for binding hats, felt skirts, and similar articles, by a uniform and
parallel pressure on the rims, and by facilitating the applying and
taking off of the articles from the machine, and accomplishing the
cutting of the binding or braid and wire in a reliable and improved
manner. Pressure rollers attach the binding and the wire, if one is
required, in connection with a grooved gage that is supported on a
seat of the shaft of the lower pressure roller. The wire is guided by
annular recesses or chamferings at the rear circumference of the
pressure rollers and the groove of the gage. The gage is so connected
to its seat that it may be turned and another guide groove of the same
be exposed to face the pressure rollers, so as to adapt the same for a
variety of work.

       *       *       *       *       *


_The Charge for Insertion under this head is One Dollar a line for
each insertion. If the Notice exceeds four lines, One Dollar and a
Half per line will be charged._

       *       *       *       *       *

Manufs. of Scissors address J.W.D.E., Harmony Grove, Ga.

For Sale--36 in. Lathe, $4.00; 72 in. Lathe, $4.50; 10 in. Pratt
Whiting Shaper, $2.75; 35 H.P. Loco. Boiler, $300; 12 in. Lathe, $65;
at Shearman's, 132 N. 3d St., Phila.

Iron Tubing--Wanted, a yearly supply of 1-4 in. light Iron Tubing.
Address P.O. box 1250, New York city.

Baxter's Adjustable Wrenches--The best for Farmers, Householders and
Mechanics. Greene, Tweed & Co., 18 Park Place, N.Y.

For Sale--Baldwin No. 4 Foot Lathe and fittings; in perfect order.
Address P.O. Box 196, Clinton, Mich.

National Steam Pump--Simple, durable, economical. Reduced price.
National Iron Works, N. Brunswick, N.J.

Manufs. and dealers in Cotton Gins, Grist Mills, and Rice Hullers and
Polishers, address with terms, Y.L. Ridley, Liberty, Texas.

For Sale--Patent Combination Fruit Press, Filter and Funnel. An
indispensable article in every household. For circulars, address G.A.
Newsam, 118 3d Pl. Brooklyn.

Mill Stone Dressing Diamonds. Simple, effective, and durable. J.
Dickinson, 64 Nassau St., N.Y.

Will purchase or introduce, on a reasonable royalty, some good, useful
article. Address, with description and full particulars, A.E. Lowison,
Boston, Mass.

Mechanical inventors familiar with Envelope Manufacturing. L.J. Henry,
615 Kearny st., San Francisco, Cal.

Set of Mechanical Curves, as illustrated in Sci. Am. Supplement, No.
50, mailed on receipt of $5.25, by Keuffel & Esser, New York.

Hyatt & Co.'s Varnishes and Japans, as to price, color, purity, and
durability, are cheap by comparison than any others extant. 246 Grand
st., N.Y. Factory, Newark, N.J. Send for circular and descriptive
price list.

Lightning Screw Plates. A perfect thread at one cut adjustable for
wear. Frasse & Co., 62 Chatham St., N.Y.

Wire Needle Pointer, W. Crabb, Newark, N.J.

Power & Foot Presses, Ferracute Co., Bridgeton, N.J.

Superior Lace Leather, all sizes, cheap. Hooks and Couplings for flat
and round Belts. Send for catalogue. C.W. Arny, 148 North 3d St.,
Philadelphia, Pa.

F.C. Beach & Co., makers of the Tom Thumb Telegraph and other
electrical machines, have removed to 530 Water St., N.Y.

For Best Presses, Dies, and Fruit Can Tools, Bliss & Williams, cor. of
Plymouth and Jay Sts., Brooklyn, N.Y.

Water, Gas, and Steam Pipe, Wrought Iron. Send for prices. Bailey,
Farrell & Co., Pittsburgh, Pa.

Walrus Leather and supplies for polishing Iron, Steel, and Brass.
Greene, Tweed & Co., 18 Park Place, N.Y.

Hydraulic Presses and Jacks, new and second hand. Lathes and Machinery
for Polishing and Buffing metals. E. Lyon, 470 Grand St., N.Y.

Solid Emery Vulcanite Wheels--The Solid Original Emery Wheel--other
kinds imitations and inferior. Caution.--Our name is stamped in full
on all our best Standard Belting, Packing, and Hose. Buy that only.
The best is the cheapest. New York Belting and Packing Company, 37 and
38 Park Row, New York.

Steel Castings from one lb. to five thousand lbs. Invaluable for
strength and durability. Circulars free. Pittsburgh Steel Casting Co.,
Pittsburgh, Pa.

M. Shaw, Manufacturer of Insulated Wire for galvanic and telegraph
purposes, &c., 259 W. 27th St., N.Y.

Shingle, Heading, and Stave Machine. See advertisement of Trevor &
Co., Lockport, N.Y.

For Solid Wrought iron Beams, etc., see advertisement. Address Union
Iron Mills, Pittsburgh, Pa., for lithograph, etc.

Articles in Light Metal Work, Fine Castings in Brass, Malleable Iron,
&c., Japanning, Tinning, Galvanizing. Welles Specialty Works, Chicago,

See Boult's Paneling, Moulding, and Dovetailing Machine at Centennial,
B. 8-55. Send for pamphlet and sample of work. B.C. Mach'y Co., Battle
Creek, Mich.

Wanted--Novel and practical invention, by a reliable house, for
manufacturing. Address Post Office, Box 25, Chillicothe, Ohio.

Chester Steel Castings Co. make castings twice as strong as malleable
iron castings, at about the same price. See their advertisement on
page 125.

Hand Fire Engines, Lift and Force Pumps for fire and all other
purposes. Address Rumsey & Co., Seneca Falls, N.Y., U.S.A.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

S.J.S. will find good recipes for laundry soaps on pp. 331, 379, vol.
31. For toilet soaps, see p. 289, vol. 28.--B.F.T. will find
directions for putting a black finish on brass on p. 362, vol.
25.--J.C.S. will find directions for coloring a meerschaum pipe on p.
90, vol. 36.--A.B. will find a good recipe for Babbitt metal on p.
122, vol. 28.--G.A.D. will find directions for coloring butter with
annatto on p. 187, vol. 31.--L.O.J. will find something on iceboats
sailing faster than the wind on p. 107, vol. 36.--J.M.L. will find
directions for clarifying cotton seed oil on p. 91, vol. 36.--D.V.
will find a good recipe for shoe polish on p. 107, vol. 36.--A.B. will
find directions for japanning on metal on p. 408, vol. 30.--T.S.D.
will find recipes for all kinds of colored fires on p. 203, vol.
34.--G.S.C. can fasten his paper labels to wood with flour
paste.--W.R.B. will find directions for dyeing billiard balls on p.
88, vol. 34.--G.W.M. will find directions for making raisins on p. 59,
vol. 34.--T.F.T. will find something on burning petroleum in steam
boilers on p. 165, vol. 30.--S.B.U. will find some illustrations of
lathes for turning spokes, tool handles, etc., on p. 88, vol.
36.--W.E.P. will find a formula for safety valves on p. 330. vol.
32.--A.O. will find directions for removing mildew on p. 138, vol.
27. For mending rubber boots, etc., see p. 203, vol. 30.--W.C.L. will
find directions for preserving eggs on p. 306, vol. 34.--R.M.G. will
find a recipe for root beer on p. 138, vol. 31.--W.F.H.'s plan for a
refrigerator might answer. See p. 251, vol. 31.--J.C. can remove the
wool from pelts by steeping the skins in water, and hanging them up
till the wool putrifies. Then scrape with a blunt knife. For cleansing
wool, see p. 6, vol. 32.--W.H.J. will find a recipe for a cement for
marble on p. 344, vol. 32.--T.B. can gild his steel scabbard by
following the directions given on p. 106, vol. 34.--A.H.B., J.A.C.,
W.H.H., J.F.P., D.S., J.N.H., J.P., F.F., M.N., M.C., R.C., K.S.W.,
T.J., and others, who ask us to recommend books on industrial and
scientific subjects, should address the booksellers who advertise in
our columns, all of whom are trustworthy firms, for catalogues

(1) R.H.C. says: We have a slate roof which leaks very much. I have
not discovered any defect in the way in which it was put on; it
appears to be perfect. The pitch may be too low, and the rain may be
driven through by the wind on this account. Is there any wash, paint,
or cement that might be used for the purpose of remedying this defect?
A. There is an india rubber paint which is used to make leaky roofs
tight, but we have not learned of its being applied to slate roofs.

(2) C.C.B. says: I am making a small steam engine. The cylinder has,
inside diameter, about 1 inch with 2½ inches stroke. What would be the
most suitable material and dimensions for the boiler? A. Make one 10
or 12 inches in diameter and 18 inches high, of 1/8 inch iron. You can
carry 60 lbs. steam pressure.

(3) M.C. says: I have had charge of some greenhouses that were erected
about four years ago; they are thoroughly heated, and all the pipes
have a thick coat of black paint. The houses never gave any
satisfaction, no matter how healthy the plants were in the fall. Soon
after the fires were lighted both leaves and flowers began to drop,
and some plants died. My predecessors attributed it to gas getting
into the houses. Upon inquiry I found no gas was there except when the
pipes were hot, and that the hotter they were the worse it was. In my
opinion, the cause of the trouble was a strong smell of paint from the
pipes. Since then I only keep heat enough to save the plants from
freezing. A. From your statement there is no doubt that the paint used
on the pipes was an imperfectly purified coal tar. Such tar contains a
great number of hydrocarbons--naphtha, naphthalen, anthracen, phenol,
several organic alkaloids, hydrosulphuric and hydrocyanic acids, etc.,
all of which are more or less volatile at the temperature to which
they must have been subjected. These exhalations have proved fatal to
plant life when in sufficient quantity. We do not know of a better
remedy than that of removing the cause. Painting the pipes with a
strong solution of washing soda and lime would, in a measure, prevent
the escape of the most objectionable constituents into the air, by
forming with them compounds non-volatile at any temperature to which
they are likely to be subjected in contact with the pipes; but the
former would be the surest plan.

(4) C.D.W. asks: The roof of the new Illinois State House, as well as
the stylobate cornices and upper portion of the dome, are covered with
zinc. It has been on about three years, and I am told is materially
affected by oxidation. The theory is that zinc, though subject to
oxidization, has the peculiarity that the oxide does not scale off as
from iron, but forms a permanent coating impervious to the action of
the atmosphere. Some mechanics, however, assert that neither zinc,
copper, nor lead will withstand the action of our atmosphere, as
bituminous coal strongly impregnated with sulphur is almost the only
fuel used. It is claimed by some that the sulphurous acid in the
atmosphere tends to corrode zinc so as to make it worthless for roofs
or gutter linings. A. Are you sure that the roof and gutters in
question are not of galvanized iron, iron coated with zinc? This is
the material most commonly used for that purpose at the present time.
Zinc has been found to be too brittle for the strain to which it is
subjected, in such cases, by the expansion and contraction induced by
changes of temperature. A slight oxidation will adhere to the surface,
but an acid deposit from the atmosphere will penetrate the coating in
points and deteriorate the metal.

(5) N.J.S. says: I have a floor of ash and black walnut which has been
oiled with raw linseed oil once. How can I finish it so as to get a
hard, smooth finish that will not be scratched by boot heels nor be
sticky or retain the dirt as a waxed floor does? A. Oil raises the
fiber of black walnut and gives it a rougher surface than when free
from it. To polish any wood, it is only necessary to fill the pores
well, and then rub it down to a smooth surface. Thus painters prefer
to put on a coat of shellac varnish first, before oiling walnut and
other hard woods. For fine floors, a thin coat of liquid wax is
applied as a finish.

(6) A.J.S. asks: What is the best plan for putting up a cheap dry
house of lumber, for drying (by steam) white oak, hickory, and other
lumber used in wagon and buggy making? A. Make as tight a house as
possible with tongued and grooved siding-boards, floors, roof, etc.,
and provide a stack of steam pipe containing 1 foot of heating surface
to every 50 cubic feet of air contained in the building. Set the steam
pipe in compact shape and enclose it with a casing of galvanized sheet
iron open at the top; supply cold air from outside of the building by
a boxed conduit to the bottom of this stack. The air when heated will
rise and diffuse itself into the room, and as it cools will fall to
the floor; provide registers in the floor, through which it may escape
into other boxed tubes under the floor leading to an upright chimney
discharging above the roof. Let a smoke pipe from the boiler enter the
chimney and extend up inside the flue far enough to heat the same. The
change of air is necessary to dry the lumber. The size of the house of
course will depend upon the quantity of material required to be
stacked up into it at any one time.

(7) G. asks: 1. How do you calculate the amount of pipe of a given
size to warm a room of a given size? A. One square foot of plate or
pipe surface is generally taken as sufficient to heat about 70 cubic
feet of air in dwellings. 2. What allowance should be made for doors
and windows? A. The said foot of surface will heat, in accordance with
varying conditions, from 40 to 100 cubic feet of air, and allowance
should be made for extra exposures, to correspond with that scale. A
steam pressure of 5 lbs. is sufficient for heating purposes. 3. What
is meant by the terms direct and indirect radiation, in giving
capacity of steam generators for heating houses? A. Direct radiation
is used when the pipes are located in the room, and indirect when they
are located in a chamber in the cellar, to warm air which is conducted
to the room by air pipes.

(8) D.M. says: After reading L.S.W.'s reply to J.B.C., p. 75 (6), vol.
36, I think the following demonstration will be more acceptable to
J.B.C.: Imagine three spheres of which the given circles are great
circles, and a plane tangent to the three spheres. Any two of the
spheres may be conceived to have been generated by the revolution of
two of the circles about the line joining their centers. During such
revolution, the lines tangent to the two circles describe a conical
surface. We have, therefore, three spheres and three conical surfaces.
Now the plane, which is tangent to the three spheres, is also
evidently tangent to the three conical surfaces; and therefore the
vertices of those conical surfaces are all in the tangent plane. Now
those vertices are the points (1), (2), (3). But the same points are
also in the plane passing through the centers of the three spheres,
which is the same with the plane of the paper on which the figure is
drawn. Those points, being in two planes at the same time, must
therefore be in the intersection of those planes, that is to say, in a
straight line.

(9) C.W.H. asks: Can dyeing or coloring be done in cold water? A. Many
of the coal tar colors may be used in this way: For animal
fibers--wool, silk, | etc.--the affinity of these colors is so great
that, in most instances, no mordants are necessary. The baths are
usually made slightly acid. With vegetable fibers, however, a fast dye
is not assured without mordanting. Some of the finer goods are
prepared by treating with steam coagulated albumen (animalizing),
gelatin, various tannates, tin salt, alum, and other metallic salts.
The following is, the usual method of treatment, except with goods
intended for very light shades: Pass the goods through a strong
decoction of sumac or other tannin solution for an hour, and
afterwards for an hour or two through a weak solution of stannate of
soda; wring out, dip into a dilute solution of sulphuric acid, and
rinse well in water. The goods are then ready to be passed through the
color bath, slightly acidulated. For different tints, these baths are
worked at different temperatures.

(10) F.W. says: I wish to lay the face tier of a brick wall in black
mortar. How can I make the coloring material and mix it? A. Some
prefer to use red mortar and afterwards pencil the joints with black.
Color the ordinary white mortar with Spanish brown for red mortar, and
with ivory black for black, by mixing in enough of the color in a
powdered state to give a good deep tone.

(11) H.A.S. asks: 1. How many prisms are required in a spectroscope to
detect mineral elements in presence of all the ash ingredients of
organic bodies? A. If we understand you, one 60° prism will answer. 2.
What is the best and cheapest form of apparatus to heat such compounds
for examination? A. Mix the substance with a little pure hydrochloric
acid and glycerin, and introduce into the flame on a coil of platinum

1. Has soup prepared by dissolving meat bones in a Papin's digester
ever been known to produce ossification of any of the soft tissues? A.
We have never heard of such a result. 2. Has it ever been known to
produce a new crop of teeth in toothless persons? A. We have no data
as to such a fact.

I have seen a statement that May 19, 1780, was so dark a day that
candles were necessary everywhere; and I have heard that another
occurred about the year 1820. Has any scientific explanation ever been
given of this phenomenon? A. The darkness on the days you mention were
the result of solar eclipses. They occurred on days of unusual
cloudiness. Perhaps the darkest day in modern history was that caused
by the total solar eclipse in the year 1806.

(12) A.B. says: 1. I have built a boat 15 feet long and 4 feet 6
inches wide. How large a boiler and engine do I require to work her to
best advantage? She is 22 inches deep from top of rail to top of keel.
A. Cylinder, 2½ x 3 inches; boiler, 20 inches in diameter and 3 feet
high. Propeller, 18 to 20 inches in diameter, and of 3 feet pitch. 2.
How fast ought she to run? A. Probable speed, 5 miles an hour in
smooth water.

(13) L.L. asks: 1. Does it make any difference in what position a
watch is in when running? A. For watches adjusted to temperature and
position, it does not make much difference. 2. When not being carried,
what position should it be left in? A. In the case of ordinary
watches, we imagine that the wear will be rather more uniform when
they are in a vertical position. 3. If a person sleeps in a cola room,
would a watch be better under his pillow than on a table or hung up in
the same room? A. It is best not to subject them to great changes of

(14) W.G. says, in reply to C.W.W., who has an engine, of 2-5/8 inches
bore and 4 inches stroke, which runs slower with increase of pressure:
Having had much experience with small engines and boilers, I will
state that I have had the same difficulty when using an upright
tubular boiler, and discovered the following to be the cause: The
upper portions of the tube superheat the steam to such a degree as to
prevent lubrication on the valve and piston surface by condensation,
and thereby reduce the speed of engine. Even with increased pressure,
this effect will be more appreciable when the area and travel of slide
valve are in excess.

(15) J.M.T. asks: Is there friction between two bodies while at rest,
or only when one or both are in motion? A. Both when at rest and in

Why does a balloon rise in the air? A. See p. 64, vol. 32.

(16) S.J.S. asks: 1. How are augers twisted? A. By special machinery.
2. How are twist drills made, and are they single or double grooved?
A. They are double grooved or double twisted, and are cut out in a
milling machine.

Can weights, springs, or water from a tank be used to any advantage to
run a lathe? A. No.

How much do iron and brass, in rods or bands, expand in length when
heated to red heat? A. Iron about 1/8 inch per foot, brass 1/10 inch.

Is the pressure of the air to be added to the weight of water in the
bottom of a vessel in estimating the pressure on the bottom? A. No.

Does a watch or clock run faster when just wound up? A. No.

Is it not moisture in the air that makes it heavier, and so affects
the barometer? A. Yes.

Is the pressure in a siphon equal throughout, or is it greater in the
upper end? A. Equal throughout.

Will it take more power to run two millstones in opposite directions
than it will to run one at the same speed, the other being stationary?
A. Yes, it will take double the power.

1. How are common screws made? A. In lathes, with tools and dies. 2.
How can I make wooden screws perfectly smooth? A. By using keen tools.

What is the simplest way of cutting a square hole in a bar of iron? A.
Drill a round hole and square it out.

(17) G.E.C. asks: Could I have a brick range 2×3 feet, built on a
platform about 1 foot from floor, with two compartments, to be heated
with petroleum, the lower one to be used as an oven, the upper one to
have a stove top to set cooking utensils on, and have a ventilating
pipe run from each compartment of the oil receptacles into the place
in the chimney where the stove pipe usually goes, to carry away any
gas or smoke? I want the oil receptacles to be arranged to be drawn
out, to be filled and trimmed, and I would like four burners to heat
an oven 22 inches square, as hot as the same oven could be heated with
wood. A. We doubt the propriety or the economy of substituting oil for
wood, but something may be done to make the atmosphere of kitchens
more endurable in summer, and permanently so in warm climates. A
double faced range could be made and set in the center of the
thickness of the chimney, with the space above the top of it open to
the exterior of the house; a very slight structure, simply having a
good floor and roof and open around the sides, and built against the
chimney as an extension to the house, would answer for a summer
kitchen, while the ordinary kitchen inside the house could be used in
winter. The transposition could be made by a pair of iron sliding
doors shutting off the kitchen not in use; and these doors could be
transferred from one side of the chimney to the other when the change
of season required it.

(18) A.X.A. says: In your issue of December 2 is a recipe in which
"insoluble acid chromate of lime," and gelatin are to be used; and in
a succeeding number of your paper the modes of preparing the insoluble
acid are given. I have made the acid according to your directions, but
the result of my manipulation of the recipe is a failure. You say:
"Take of insoluble acid chromate of lime one part, and of gelatin five
parts;" but you do not say what further is to be done. Will the acid
dissolve the gelatin, or must warm water be added? In my experiment
the acid would not dissolve the gelatin, and I had to add considerable
warm water before it would do so. A. Dissolve the bichromate of lime
in the smallest possible quantity of warm water, and filter; then add
the gelatin, previously softened by immersion in cold water. Heat the
mixture over a water bath until the gelatin is completely dissolved,
stir well, and use while hot. The recipe should have stated that this
cement was best suited for glassware. The bichromate of potash or of
ammonia will answer nearly as well as the lime salt.

(19) E.C.N. asks: How must a stove be constructed to burn pea coal,
for heating outbuildings? Is there any way of constructing a draught
below the grate of any common heating stove, sufficiently strong to do
without an extra long chimney? A. Use a broad grate to spread the coal
out well, so as to avoid the necessity of heaping it up much; make the
opening for the draft some distance below the grate, and regulate by
the usual slide dampers in the lower and upper doors.

MINERALS, ETC.--Specimens have been received from the following
correspondents, and examined, with the result stated:

F.R.R.S.--The substance you send is carbonate of iron. It is held in
solution in the water by the large excess of carbonic acid which the
water contains. On boiling the water the carbonic acid gas is expelled
and the iron salt is precipitated from solution. The removal of this
and some other objectionable salts which the water very probably
contains, may be removed by the addition of the proper quantity of
clear lime water to it--the lime in this instance will combine with
the excess of carbonic acid and fall to the bottom together with the
carbonate of iron. To determine the precise quantity of lime water
requisite, add the reagent (saturated solution) to a small portion (of
known volume) of the freshly drawn water, in small quantities at a
time, and with constant stirring until no further precipitate forms.
Then by a simple operation in proportion the quantity of the reagent
necessary for the purification of a given quantity of the well water
may be easily determined. An excess of the reagent must be avoided.
This impurity would probably prevent the successful working of an

W.S.W. asks: How is the best rosin, used on violin bows,
prepared?--W.F. asks: What is a simple method for washing clay for
brick and tile making?--E.S.D. asks: What is the best kind of wood to
construct a guitar?

       *       *       *       *       *


The Editor of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN acknowledges, with much
pleasure, the receipt of original papers and contributions upon the
following subjects:

  On Rheumatism.   By A.R.E.
  On Postage Stamps.   By E.B.
  On Boiler Explosions.   By G.B.B.
  On Reaching the North Pole.   By J.H.S.
  On Heating Street Cars.   By P.T.
  On a Hybrid Fruit,   By R.S.B.
  On an Air Vessel.   By J.T.R.

Also inquiries and answers from the following:

       *       *       *       *       *


Correspondents whose inquiries fail to appear should repeat them. If
not then published, they may conclude that, for good reasons, the
Editor declines them. The address of the writer should always be

Inquiries relating to patents, or to the patentability of inventions,
assignments, etc., will not be published here. All such questions,
when initials only are given, are thrown into the waste basket, as it
would fill half of our paper to print them all; but we generally take
pleasure in answering briefly by mail, if the writer's address is

Hundreds of inquiries analogous to the following are sent: "Who sells
a tool for truing up a crosshead wrist? Who sells tools for refitting
steam valves without unscrewing them from the pipes? Who sells
spoke-turning lathes? Who makes machinery for freeing wool of burrs
and dirt? Where can tungsten, or tungsten steel, be procured, and at
what price? Who sells silicate of alumina and silicate of potash?" All
such personal inquiries are printed, as will be observed, in the
column of "Business and Personal," which is specially set apart for
that purpose, subject to the charge mentioned at the head of that
column. Almost any desired information can in this way be
expeditiously obtained.

       *       *       *       *       *


January 18, 1877,

[Those marked (r) are reissued patents.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A complete copy of any patent in the annexed list, including both the
specifications and drawings, will be furnished from this office for
one dollar. In ordering, please state the number and date of the
patent desired, and remit to Munn & Co., 37 Park Row, New York city.

       *       *       *       *       *

  Abdominal corset, C. Lascell                         186,258
  Acoustic telegraph, T.A. Edison                      186,330
  Advertising card, H. Mahler                          186,209
  Air compressor, J. Clayton                           186,306
  Air compressor, W.F. Garrison                        186,336
  Animal trap, T.N. Hughes                             186,252
  Annealing furnace, H.B. Chess                        186,404
  Atomizer, W. Kennish                                 186,208
  Axle tree, trussed, J.B. Brewster                    186,227
  Barbed fence, C.F. Washburn                          186,389
  Bee hive, G.W. Akins                                 186,223
  Belt shipping attachment, R. Denmark                 186,318
  Blotter and paper clip, C.B. Farrington              186,288
  Bone black, cooling, C. Doscher                      186,327
  Book back, metallic, I. Reynolds                     186,216
  Bottle and basket, E. Cusenier, Sr                   186,311
  Bottle for hair dye, T. Divine                       186,321
  Bottle stopper, E.B. Requa                           186,270
  Bread cutter, G.B. Heath                             186,248
  Brick and tile lifter, Braislin & Wood               186,303
  Broom, W.M. Jackson                                  186,254
  Brush handle, I.L. Landis                            186,399
  Buckle, G.F. Eberhard                                186,329
  Buffing roll, L.S. Graves                            186,205
  Butter press, W.S. Alexander                         186,224
  Button, D. Wilcox                                    186,392
  Call bell, A.C. Gould                                186,338
  Car axle lubricator, R. Macdonald                    186,354
  Car coupling, O. & M. Crum                           186,313
  Car coupling, J.W. Skeele                            186,373
  Car roof, H. Aldridge                                186,188
  Car roof, H. Aldridge                                186,189
  Cards for fibers, making, Yates & Kellett            186,396
  Cartridge, J.P. White                                186,220
  Chamber vessel, J.C. Moore                           186,264
  Clamp for ratchet drills, L. Beland                  186,225
  Cloth, folding and scouring, R.D. Nesmith            186,363
  Clothespin, W.S. Davis                               186,314
  Clutch, A.B. Bean                                    186,296
  Coffee pot, W.W. Stevens                             186,378
  Combination lock, A. Parise                          186,268
  Combination lock, G. Winter                          186,393
  Combination tool, I.U. Malphurs                      186,259
  Combustible, J.B.D. Cassinelli                       186,294
  Corn planter, W. Gilman                              186,203
  Corn planter, J.L.G. Schmidt                         186,275
  Corn planter and cultivator, E.C. Gage               186,244
  Corn popper, G.P. Sisson                             186,279
  Corset, J. Mayer,                                    186,210
  Cotton gin, J.W. Thorn                               186,383
  Cotton holder, dental, T. Cogswell                   186,307
  Curtain fixture, Collins & Saltsgaver                186,198
  Curtain fixture, J.B. Marshall                       186,357
  Dial telegraph, J.H.C. Watts                         186,283
  Door and gate fastener, J. Gibbs                     186,337
  Door hanger, W.E. Warner                             186,388
  Door retainer, R.E. Dietz                            186,319
  Drop light, J.A. Evarts                              186,332
  Egg beater, G.P. Sisson                              186,278
  Egg carrier, L. Inglee                               186,253
  Electric gas lighting, C.H. Hinds                    186,343
  Electro harmonic telegraph, E. Gray                  186,340
  Electric dental plugger, J.E. Dexter                 186,234
  Elevator, safety check, N.H. Fogg                    186,241
  Fabrics, winding up, G.E. Jones                      186,256
  Feed apparatus, punching, J. Morgan                  186,212
  Feed bag for horses, G.C. Booth                      186,301
  Fence post, P.J. Rickard                             186,271
  Fire place, H.F. Watson                              186,390
  Fire place heater, J.K. Dimmick                      186,320
  Fire place, portable, T.C. Nativel                   186,361
  Fish scrap, treating, S.L. Goodale                   186,204
  Fly fan, H.B. Baker                                  186,292
  Fly fan, W.R. Fowler                                 186,243
  Folding chair, B F. Little                           186,353
  Friction wheel, E. Brauer                            186,304
  Fruit or paint can, W.H. Fowler                      186,333
  Furnace, evaporating, J. Kitchen                     186,349
  Furnace, smelting, G.W. Swett (r)                      7,468
  Gang plow, W. Fruhling                               186,335
  Gang plow, E. Peak                                   186,269
  Gas and air carbureter, Boomer & Randall             186,302
  Gas governor, J.R. Blossom                           186,299
  Gas, manufacturing, J G. Hunt                        186,207
  Gas retort cover, A. Schwarz                         186,276
  Gate, D. Scherer                                     186,274
  Gill net, D.W. & S.H. Davis                          186,232
  Grafting machine, E. Walters                         186,219
  Grain binder, J.M. Rosebrooks                        186,272
  Grain separator, O.J. Chubbuck                       186,230
  Grain separator, T.J. Doyle                          186,235
  Grubbing machine, I. Burley                          186,228
  Hand truck, H.R. Ferris                              186,237
  Hat bodies, washing, T.C. Beatty                     186,295
  Hats, wiring and binding. Cuming & Knight            186,312
  Hay tedder and side rake, Huber & Snell              186,346
  High pressure hot air engine, O. Stenberg            186,377
  Hook for drawrods, M.B. Eskine                       186,236
  Hoops, racking, S. Parker                            186,365
  Horse power, traverse pinion, J.A. Field             186,238
  Horseshoe, weighted, E.E. Seixas                     186,277
  Hose nozzle, M.S. Curtis                             186,310
  Hot air furnace, J.C. Sanborn                        186,217
  Hydraulic motor, J.M. Bois                           186,195
  Indexer, J. Suter                                    186,382
  Indicator for liquids, I. Levi                       186,400
  Insects, destroying, J.B. Margarit                   186,260
  Iron fence, Nellis & Guttridge                       186,362
  Key board, musical, B. Bishop                        186,298
  Knob roses to doors, W.A. Barlow                     186,194
  Lamp burner, H.H. Doty                               186,201
  Lamp chimney, S.W. Fowler (r)                          7,463
  Lathe chuck, metal, J.H. Harris                      186,245
  Leather-covered nut, L.T. Smith                      186,375
  Letter scales, J.V.H. Nott                           186,267
  Lifting jack, C.F. Davis                             186,315
  Lifting jack, F.M. Lottridge                         186,402
  Lifting jack, D.M. Ross                              186,368
  Lighting alarm clocks, H.J. & W.D. Davies            186,317
  Limekiln, J.W. Devling                               186,233
  Lock for drawers, etc., G.W. Baker                   186,192
  Locomotive engine, W. Wells                          186,285
  Loom, L.J. Knowles                                   186,350
  Loom, Smith & Skinner                                186,374
  Looms, preparing warps for, W. Heaton                186,249
  Molasses gate, S. Barker                             186,193
  Multifold pipe coupling, E.A. Leland                 186,351
  Muzzle bit for horses, A.J. Short                    186,371
  Newspaper file, P.E. Sloan                           186,280
  Odorless air closet, G.R. Moore                      186,266
  Odorless receptacle, G.R. Moore                      186,265
  Oiler, S.S. Newton                                   186,364
  Ordnance, S. Crispin                                 186,308
  Ore and coal jigger, G. Schmauch                     186,370
  Ores, process of treating, G.D. Wyckoff              186,222
  Paper box, R.H. Foster                               186,242
  Paper, cloth, etc., machine for cutting, E. Allen    186,190
  Paper cutting machine, P. McAleer                    186,262
  Paper dish, S.E. Harlow                              186,247
  Paper folding machine, L.C. Crowell                  186,309
  Paper, folding, S.D. Tucker                 186,384, 186,385
  Pasting machine, T. Goodall                          186,339
  Piano forte attachment, E. Zachariae                 186,397
  Pins, dowels, etc., cutting, F.H. Kane               186,348
  Pipes bursting, preventing, A. Bujac                 186,305
  Plaiting machine, E.S. Harding                       186,246
  Plane irons, adjusting, J.A. Traut                   186,281
  Plate for stoves, N.M. Simonds                       186,372
  Plow attachment, D.W. Hughes                         186,344
  Plow stock, R. Weber                                 186,284
  Powder, compensating, Miltimore & Totten             186,211
  Printing telegraph transmit, G.M. Phelps             186,215
  Pulleys from shafting, drawing, H.F. Casterline      186,229
  Pulverizing machine, A.B. Lipsey                     186,401
  Pump, G.R. McCrum                                    186,358
  Quilting frame, H.T. Davis                           186,316
  Railway brake apparatus, H.F. Knapp                  186,257
  Railway car, S.R. & O.V. Wallace                     186,387
  Rake, self-cleaning, V.W. Blanchard                  186,300
  Refrigerating car, J.M. Ayer (r)                       7,467
  Refrigerator, G.H. Crisfield                         186,200
  Refrigerator, J.W. Stewart                           186,376
  Registering fare box, J.C. Strong                    186,380
  Reversing valve, engine, Bevins, Weis & Phillips     186,297
  Riding saddle, J.C. Miller                           186,359
  Rotary engine, D.R. Harder                           186,342
  Sad iron, Baker & Asbury                             186,291
  Sample garment, L.E. Warner                          186,282
  Saw set, C. Heinen                                   186,250
  Saw table, G.E. Burt                                 186,196
  Screw for piano stools, G.W. Archer                  186,191
  Seat, reversible, J.E. Rugg                          186,273
  Seed planter, D.J. Davis                             186,231
  Seed sower, J. Pearce                                186,214
  Seeder and cultivator, W.A. Van Brunt (r)              7,466
  Separating germs from grain, C.A. Duprez             186,328
  Sheep shears, Porterfield & Malin                    186,366
  Sheet metal can, J.S. Field                          186,239
  Shirt stud, C.H. Field                               186,202
  Shot cartridge, J.P. White                           186,391
  Sock and stocking, J.L. Krauser                      186,398
  Socket for scythe shanks, M. Smith                   186,218
  Sofa bedstead, H. Compes                             186,199
  Spark arrester, W.S. Hudson                          186,345
  Spark arrester and consumer, T.E. Roberts            186,367
  Spinning frame, G. Draper                            186,325
  Spinning frame, ring, G. Draper                      186,324
  Spinning frame, ring, W.F. Draper                    186,322
  Spinning machine, G. Draper                          186,323
  Spring back wagon seat, J.W. Wood                    186,394
  Spring bolt for sliding doors, etc., A. Hance        186,341
  Spring for wagons, auxiliary, A.W. McKown            186,263
  Stalls, cutting, J.M. Goff (r)                         7,469
  Stencil plate, Wright & Bryant                       186,395
  Stove, M.L. Wood                                     186,286
  Stove pipe, A.B. Allen                               186,290
  Straw cutter, D. Maxwell                             186,261
  Tempering steel, etc., G.F. Simonds (r)         7,464, 7,465
  Tension regulator, G. Draper                         186,326
  Ticket case, S. Strandgaard                          186,381
  Time attachment for locks, J. Sargent                186,369
  Time lock, E.J. Woolley                              186,221
  Toothbrush, S. Woolverton                            188,287
  Toy card shooter, C.W. Frost                         186,334
  Tubular gang saw, J.A. Balch                         186,293
  Underground telegraphs, W. Mackintosh       186,355, 186,356
  Valve gear of engines, link for, J.H. Luther         186,403
  Vapor burner, W.C. North                             186,213
  Variable cut-off, J. Fish                            186,240
  Vehicle wheel, H. Mounts                             186,360
  Vehicle wheel, G.F. Almy                             186,289
  Velocipede, Stineman & Halloway                      186,379
  Vent clearer for wash bowls etc., J.S. Hawley        186,206
  Ventilator, J.B. Hill                                186,251
  Vessels, lessening draught of, E. Ellison            186,331
  Wagon end gate, T.L. Black                           186,226
  Water closet trunk, E.A. Leland                      186,352
  Weaning bit for animals, J.P. Israel                 186,347
  Weather strip, E.C. Underwood                        186,386
  Whirling toy, J.H.Jenkins                            186,255
  Wrench, P. Chapin, Sr                                186,197

       *       *       *       *       *


  9,700, 9,701.--CHAINS.--D.A. Beam, Newark, N.J.
  9,702.--BRACKETS.--O.F. Fogelstrand, Kensington, Conn.
  9,703.--BOTTLE.--A.T. Francis, Paterson, N.J., et al.
  9,704, 9,705.--CARPETS.--A. Heald, Philadelphia, Pa.
  9,706.--CARPETS.--D. McNair, Boston, Mass.
  9,707, 9,708.--CARPETS.--T.J. Stearns, Boston, Mass.
  9,709.--BRONZE.--J.W. Tiemann et al., Darlington, N.J.
  9,710.--SHIRT FRONT.--S. Weill, New York city.
  9,711.--DESK.--J.H. Frink, Detroit, Mich.

[A copy of any of the above patents may be had by remitting one dollar
to MUNN & Co., 37 Park Row, New York city.]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

Inside Page, each insertion 75 cents a line. Back Page, each insertion
$1.00 a line.

_Engravings may head advertisements at the same rate per line, by
measurement, as the letter press. Advertisements must be received at
publication office as early as Friday morning to appear in next

       *       *       *       *       *


More than four times as many of Jas. Lefell's improved Double Turbine
Water Wheels in operation than any other kind. 24 sizes made, ranging
from 5 3-4 to 96 in. diam. under heads from 1 to 240 ft. Successful
for every purpose. Large new pamphlet, the finest ever published,
containing over 30 fine illustrations, sent free to parties interested
in water power.


  Springfield, O., and 109 Liberty
  St., New York City.

       *       *       *       *       *


From 1-4 to 10,000 lbs. weight. An invaluable substitute for expensive
forgings or for malleable iron castings requiring great strength. Send
for circular and price list to CHESTER STEEL CASTING COMPANY, EVELINA

       *       *       *       *       *

BRICKS, &c. Terra Cotta Pipes of all sizes.

       *       *       *       *       *


Guaranteed to be the simplest, cheapest, most durable, effective and
the best. Buy it. Try it and be convinced. Samples $1.00. Large
profits to agents. Address Harrisburgh Pa., Family Cornsheller Co.
Lock Box 9.

       *       *       *       *       *

Y.A. FAY & CO.



Woodsworth Planers and matchers, Daniels & Dimension Planers,
Universal Wood Workers, Band & Circular Re-Saws, Ripping, Edging &
Cross-Cutting Saws, Molding, Mortising and Tenoning Machines, Band &
Scroll Saws, Carving, Boring, Shaping, Friezing & Sand Papering
Machines, Wood Lathes & Machinery for Furniture, Car, Wheel &
Agricultural Shops. Superior to any in use. Prices reduced to suit the

       *       *       *       *       *



Are Pumping water at 268° F. No Dead Centers. The Steam Valve is a
plain Slide Valve identical to the slide valve of a Steam Engine, but
derives its motion from a cam. Speed can be regulated to suit
evaporation. Pumping Returns from Steam Heating Apparatus a specialty.

Send for Circular.

Smith, Vaile & Co., DAYTON, OHIO.


       *       *       *       *       *

WANTED THE SOLE MANUFACTURE for England, of one or two Patent Articles
in demand by steam users. Advertisers have good manufacturing
premises, and a first-class connection among steam users in England
and the Continent. Apply in first instance by letter to P.S.B., care
of Mr. G. STREET, Advertising Offices, 30 Cornhill, London, E.C.,

       *       *       *       *       *




To Every Reader of This Paper!

Consisting of the beautiful and valuable Steel Engraving, entitled


In an American edition, issued by W.W. Bostwick & Co., Publishers, 177
and 179 West Fourth Street, Cincinnati, O., and furnished to every

The retail price of the English edition of this Engraving is $12.00
PER COPY. It illustrates one of the most remarkable incidents in the
life time of our Savior. The subject is taken from Luke, Second
Chapter, 46, 47, 48, 49, and 50th Verses. Its size is three feet long
and two feet wide, and has over 30 FIGURES REPRESENTED.

It is the best Premium ever given away. W.W. Bostwick & Co. will
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Readers will therefore please cut out the following Certificate and
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for postage, wrapping, roller, and mounting the Engraving. Cut Out
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On receipt of this Certificate, together with 25 cents to pay for
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To every Reader of this paper, by mail, postpaid. Send for Engraving
at once, stating name in full, P.O. address, county, and State,
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Readers of this paper will be allowed this New Year's Premium Gift,
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       *       *       *       *       *


Having discovered, in a manner which might be considered almost
providential, a positive cure for consumption and all Lung Complaints,
I feel it my duty to make it known in a practical manner by furnishing
a sample bottle, free of charge, to all sufferers, my only hope of
remuneration being that the medicine will perform all I claim for it.
The ingredients are of the choicest herbal products and perfectly
safe; will be sent FREE TO ALL. Address at once. DR. O. PHELPS BROWN,
21 Grand St., Jersey City, N.J.

       *       *       *       *       *


Jacinto County, Texas. Rolling and heavily timbered, with two spring
branches running through the land. The entire tract suitable for
farming purposes. Title perfect. At the present valuation of land in
the neighborhood, its worth five dollars per acre. The Bast and West
Narrow Gauge R.R. when completed will run within easy distance of the
land, which will increase its value materially. I will give a warranty
deed to the above tract of land in exchange for one 15-horse power
portable engine, and 20-horse boiler return flues, new and
complete-geared to run sugar mill without Band and Gin with Band. The
machinery to be delivered at depot in Liberty. Any reference given
desired. Address Y.L. RIDLEY, Liberty, Liberty County, Texas.

       *       *       *       *       *


--in use all over the U.S. in over 900 towns by persons you will find
in our Illustrated Circular, probably residents of your own place, or
very near, where you can try our pianos. Genuine Rosewood--overstrung
--full iron plate--7 1-3 octaves--Agraffe--and possessing every
improvement known, and warranted 5 years by a responsible incorporated
Manufacturing Co., referring by permission to the Chemical National
Bank, New York City, by far the strongest bank in America. Pianos sent
everywhere on trial. We have no agents. Send for Illustrated Circular
giving full particulars. Address

  810 Broadway, New York.
  (Please name this paper.)

       *       *       *       *       *


By Charles E. Bender, C.E. Illustrated. Being No. 26, Van Nostrand's
Science Series. 18mo. boards, 50 cents. _Recently Published._ THE
results of experiments, from the German of Prof. Ludwig Spangenberg,
with a preface by S.H. Shreve, A.M. 18 mo. bound, 50 cents. D. VAN
NOSTRAND, Publisher, 23 Murran Street, and 27 Warren Street.

[3 stars] Copies sent free by mail on receipt of price.

       *       *       *       *       *

WANTED--A Second-Hand Shaping Machine; 12 inch stroke; in good
condition. Pratt & Whitney's make preferred. Address, with full
particulars as to size, make, and price, R.G.E., 589 Lorimer Street,
Greenpoint, L.I.

       *       *       *       *       *


Such as Woodworth Planing, Tongueing, and Grooving Machines, Daniel's
Planers, Richardson's Patent Improved Tenon Machines, Mortising,
Moulding, and Re-Saw Machines, and Wood-Working Machinery generally.
Manufactured by WITHERBY, RUGG & RICHARDSON, 26 Salisbury Street,
Worcester, Mass. (Shop formerly occupied by R. BALL & CO.)

       *       *       *       *       *

BRAINARD MILLING MACHINES all styles and sizes. Universal Milling
Machines from $200 upwards; Brown's Patent Screw Machines. &c., &c.
Address BRAINARD M.M. CO., 131 Milk St., Boston, Mass.

       *       *       *       *       *


West and South (New England States, Connecticut excepted, taken), for
the sale of the "Eureka Button Fasteners," Patented 1876. No tool
required to put them on. Samples, &c., free. W.L. URANN, M'f'r, 21
Fulton St., New York.

       *       *       *       *       *


New and complete. One 2-horse power, $140: 3 H.P., $175; 5H. P., $250;
10 H.P., $500; 25 H.P., $1,000; all sizes in proportion. Patterns,
drawings and models best and cheapest of any. Address POND 187 Grand
St. N.Y.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Founded by Mathew Carey, 1785._


Of our valuable SCIENTIFIC BOOK CATALOGUES, which will be sent by mail
gratis, and free of postage, on application.

We are now receiving and keeping in stock the most important ENGLISH
AND AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC BOOKS as they are published, and are prepared
to furnish them or to give information in regard to all American and
Foreign publications in this department of literature.


Industrial Publishers, Booksellers & Importers, _810 Walnut Street,

       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *


OTIS BROS. & CO., No. 348 Broadway, New York.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Beams and Girders_

THE UNION IRON MILLS, Pittsburgh, Pa., Manufacturers of improved
wrought iron Beams and Girders (patented).

The great fall which has taken place in the prices of Iron and
especially in Beams used in the construction of FIRE PROOF BUILDINGS,
induces us to call the special attention of Engineers, Architects, and
Builders to the undoubted advantages of now erecting Fire Proof
structures; and by reference to pages 52 & 54 of our Book of
Sections--which will be sent on application to those contemplating the
erection of fire proof buildings--THE COST CAN BE ACCURATELY
CALCULATED, the cost of Insurance avoided, and the serious losses and
interruption to business caused by fire; these and like considerations
fully justify any additional first cost. It is believed, that were
owners fully aware of the small difference which now exists between
the use of Wood and Iron, that in many cases the latter would be
adopted. We shall be pleased to furnish estimates for all the Beams
complete, for any specific structure, so that the difference in cost
may at once be ascertained. Address

CARNEGIE, BROS. & CO., Pittsburgh, Pa.

       *       *       *       *       *

ARSENIC IN THE ARTS.--A Lecture before the Medical Association of
Central New York. By S.A. Lattimore, LL.D., Professor of Chemistry in
the Rochester University. A popular and important paper. SCIENTIFIC
AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT No. 29. Price, 10 cents. To be had at this office
and of all newsdealers.

       *       *       *       *       *


Traveling and local salesmen wanted. STAPLE GOODS. NO PEDDLING. Salary
$75 a month. Hotel and traveling expenses paid, S.A. GRANT & CO.,
manufacturers of ENVELOPES and PAPER. 2,4, 6, and 8 Home St.,

       *       *       *       *       *

$66 a Week in your own town. Terms and $5 outfit free. H. HALLETT &
CO., Portland, Maine.

       *       *       *       *       *

MESSRS. B. DAMBACHER & CO., Hamburg, Germany dealers in American
Wood-Working Machinery and Tools of all kinds. Messrt. D. & Co.,
solicit consignments from American manufacturers. Catalogues and
descriptive circulars desired, by mail.

       *       *       *       *       *




121 Chambers & 103 Reade Sts., New York City.

       *       *       *       *       *

$10 to $500 INVESTED IN WALL ST.

Often leads to wealth. A 72 page book explaining everything, and a
copy of the Wall Street Review, sent free.

Bankers and Brokers 72 Broadway, New York

       *       *       *       *       *

WE ENAMEL in FINE JET BLACK every variety of turned woodwork parts of
machinery, casting's, tinware and other metalwork, ENAMELED JET GOODS,
in wood or metal, made to order. AMERICAN ENAMEL CO. 17 WARREN ST.,

       *       *       *       *       *

A GIFT By an arrangement with the Publisher we will send every reader
of this Paper a sample package of Transfer Pictures free. Send 3¢.
stamp for postage. They are highly colored, beautiful, and easily
transferred to any object. Agents wanted. J.L. PATTEN & CO., 162
William St., New York.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Strong Plants_ delivered, _free of cost_ safely per mail at your
door. Satisfaction guaranteed. Splendid assortment of ROSES 6 for $1;
13 for $2. Send for _New Catalogue of Plants._ HOOPES, BRO. & THOMAS,
Cherry Hill Nurseries. West Chester. Pa.

       *       *       *       *       *


In Stock, and for Sale by WILLIAM SELLERS & CO., Philadelphia, and 79
Liberty St., New York.

Price lists and pamphlets on application.

       *       *       *       *       *

WANTED Salesmen to sell light hardware to _Dealers,_ NO PEDDLING.
Salary, $1,200 a year. Hotel and traveling expenses paid. Address
DEFIANCE M'F'G CO., Chicago, Ill.

       *       *       *       *       *



10 INVALUABLE MACHINES for Mechanics and Amateurs. Also Fancy Woods
and Designs. Send for 48 page Illustrated Catalogue, Free. W.F. & JOHN
BARNES, ROCKFORD, Winnebago Co., Ills.

       *       *       *       *       *



Foot Power, Back-geared Screw Lathes, Small Hand and Power Planers for
Metal, Small Gear Cutters, Slide-rests, Ball Machine for Lathes, Foot
Scroll Saws, light and heavy, Foot Circular Saws. Just the articles
for Amateurs or Artisans. Highly recommended. Send for illustrated
Catalogues. N.H. BALDWIN, Laconia, N.H.

       *       *       *       *       *


Engine Lathes, Planers, Drills, &c. Send for Catalogue. DAVID W. POND,
Successor to Lucius W. Pond, Worcester, Mass.

       *       *       *       *       *








These plates are an excellent substitute for woodcuts, being used in
precisely the same way, giving equally good results for much less

ELECTROTYPES AND STEREOTYPES are made from them in the usual manner.
We offer special advantages to MANUFACTURERS AND INVENTORS, as our
mechanical work is of the best quality and rapidly executed. Our
plates are used satisfactorily in the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN and the
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT, and by Manufacturers and Publishers in
all parts of the country.


We work direct only from Prints or properly prepared Pen and Ink
Drawings. Any other copy may be furnished, such as Photographs, Pencil
Sketches, or the articles themselves, in which cases we have drawings
made in the best manner by our own trained draughtsmen. Photographs,
taken in the ordinary way, are suitable, and they may be of any size.
We make the plates larger or smaller, as desired. We are glad to have
customers prepare their own Pen Drawings, and append one or two,


The most important requisite in Drawings for our use is that every
line shall be _perfectly black._ The paper or drawing board must be
_white_ and _smooth_. For fine work drawings should be made double the
scale of the plate desired. Carefully observing these main points, the
artist has the utmost freedom in his choice of styles of drawing. For
further information and fine samples of our work, send stamp for
current number of our illustrated _Quarterly Circular_.

       *       *       *       *       *

  WE ALSO PUBLISH,                  |      LIST OF ENGRAVINGS.
  PRICE ONE DOLLAR                  | 1.  THE LETTER WRITER.
  ART ALBUM                         | 2.  THE CROSSING SWEEPER.
  CONTAINING                        | 3.  THE ROYAL PRINCESSES.
  Twelve Beautiful Photo Engravings | 4.  THE SKEIN WINDER.
  Suitable for Framing              | 5.  THE SPANISH SISTERS.
  Reproduced by Moss Process from   | 6.  A REST ON THE HILL.
  Art Journal Steel Engravings      | 7.  THE FAIR CORRESPONDENT.
  Published By                      | 8.  BARTHRAM'S DIRGE.
  PHOTO ENGRAVING CO.               | 9.  GOING TO SCHOOL.
  67 PARK PLACE                     | 10.  PEEP O'DAY BOY'S CABIN.
                                    | 11.  THE SCANTY MEAL.
                                    | 12.  THE AMAZON.

Printed on heavy toned plate paper, 12×15 inches. Liberal discount to
the trade. Sent postpaid on receipt of price. _Please say where you

       *       *       *       *       *



Noiseless in operation--Perfect in workmanship--all light parts of
Cast Steel.

Every Engine indicated, and valve corrected to give the highest
attainable results.

Warranted superior to any semi-portable Engine in the market!

Send for Price List and Circular.


Dayton, Ohio.

       *       *       *       *       *

Wood-Working Machinery.

Patent Scroll Saws and Band Saws a Specialty. OVER 100 MACHINES IN
USE. Medal at Cincinnati Industrial Exposition. Agents in all large

CORDESMAN, EGAN & CO., M'f'rs, Cincinnati, O

       *       *       *       *       *

[Hand->]Send for _Descriptive Catalogue_


RELIABLE Vegetable and Flower SEEDS containing 192 pages on SEEDS and
Plants mailed free.


       *       *       *       *       *


$100. REWARD. $100.

This MOUSTACHE produced on a smooth face by the use of DYKE'S BEARD
ELIXIR without injury, or will forfeit $100. Price by mail in sealed
package 25 cents, for three 50 cents.

A.L. SMITH & CO., Ag'ts, Palatine, Ill.

       *       *       *       *       *


J.H. Blaisdell's MOULDER,

North 4th St., PHILADELPHIA, PA.

       *       *       *       *       *


Shaping Machines

Have novel device for changing length of stroke while in motion, also,
automatic down feed, and quick return. Four sizes.

Patented 1868, 1871, 1874,

Wood & Light Machine Co. Worcester, Mass.

Manufacturers of all kinds of Iron Working Machinery Shafting,
Pulleys, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

$12 a day at home. Agents wanted. Outfit and terms free. TRUE & CO.,
Augusta, Maine.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lathes, Planers, Shapers, Drills, Gear & Bolt Cutters, &c. E. GOULD,
Newark, N.J.

       *       *       *       *       *




84 Fulton Str.

New York


One-Horse Power, with tubular boiler complete, only $150

Two-Horse Power 200

Three-Horse Power 250


       *       *       *       *       *


complete, with directions, $10. No toy; takes pictures 4x5½ inches.
Send for illustrated circular.

B. MORGAN, 14 Ann St. New York, P.O. Box 4349.

       *       *       *       *       *

WANTED! SALESMEN at a salary of $1200 a year to travel and sell goods
to Dealers. NO PEDDLING. Hotel and traveling expenses paid. Address.

       *       *       *       *       *

$39 Each week to Agents. Goods Staple. 10,000 testimonials received.
Terms liberal. Particulars free. J. Worth & Co. St. Louis, Mo.

       *       *       *       *       *

$55 to $77 a Week to Agents. $10 _Outfit Free_. P.O. VICKERY, Augusta,

       *       *       *       *       *


steam expansively, hence economically. Simpler than any other. Only
two moving parts in cylinder. No levers, springs, tappets, or
reversing valves. Critical examination invited. Address E. & A. Betts,
Wilmington, Del.

       *       *       *       *       *

25 Beautiful Cards, with name, 10 cents, post paid. MILLPORT PRINTING
CO., Millport, N.Y.

       *       *       *       *       *


Driven or Tube Wells furnished to large consumers of Croton and
Ridgewood Water. WM. D, ANDREWS & BRO., 414 Water St., N.Y. who
control the patent for Green's American Driven Well.

       *       *       *       *       *


How made in 10 hours from Cider, Wine or Sorghum without using drugs.
Name paper and address F.I. SAGE, Springfield Mass.

       *       *       *       *       *

AGENTS. 64 page Illustrated Catalogue, Free. Boston Novelty Co.,
Boston, Mass.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Toll-Gate! PRIZE PICTURE sent free! An ingenious gem! 50 objects
to find! Address, with stamp, E.C. ABBEY, Buffalo, N.Y.

       *       *       *       *       *

$984 Made by one Agent in 57 days. 13 new articles. Samples free.

       *       *       *       *       *



Will make a perfect thread at one cut, and can be adjusted for wear.
Send for catalogue to the agents,


Dealers in Fine Tools, Files, Steel Wire & Supplies,


       *       *       *       *       *



_Engravings may head advertisements at the same rate per line, by
measurement, as the letter press. Advertisements must be received at
publication office as early as Friday morning to appear in next

       *       *       *       *       *




Street, MESSRS. MUNOZ & ESPRIELLA, 52 Pine Street, new York, are Mr.
Guardiola's Agents, and they will give prompt attention to all orders
for any of the above machines.

       *       *       *       *       *




AND KITCHEN GARDEN.--200 pages, including several hundred finely
executed engravings, and A BEAUTIFULLY COLORED LITHOGRAPH, 35 CENTS.

pages. Embraces a monthly calendar of operations, and a price list of
all the leading GARDEN, FIELD AND FLOWER SEEDS, profusely illustrated,
with brief directions for their culture. 10 CENTS.

BLISS'S ILLUSTRATED POTATO CATALOGUE contains a descriptive list of
all the varieties recently introduced, with many other desirable
sorts; also much useful information upon their cultivation. 10 CENTS.


34 BARCLAY ST., (P.O. BOX 5712.) NEW YORK.

Please state that you saw this advertisement in the SCIENTIFIC

       *       *       *       *       *

WANTED.--A FIRST-CLASS MOLD MAKER ON Undertakers' Hardware. Address
CRANE, BREED & CO., Cincinnati, O.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PATENTS]





MORE PATENTS have been secured through this agency, at home and
abroad, than through any other in the world.

They employ as their assistants a corps of the most experienced men as
examiners, specification writers, and draughtsmen, that can be found,
many of whom have been selected from the ranks of the Patent Office.

SIXTY THOUSAND inventors have availed themselves of Munn & Co.'s
services in examining their inventions and procuring their patents.

MUNN & CO., in connection with the publication of the SCIENTIFIC
AMERICAN, continue to examine inventions, confer with inventors,
prepare drawings, specifications, and assignments, attend to filing
applications in the Patent Office, paying the Government fees, and
watch each case, step by step, while pending before the examiner. This
is done through their branch office, corner F and 7th Sts.,
Washington. They also prepare and file caveats, procure design
patents, trade marks, and re-issues, attend to rejected cases
(prepared by the inventor or other attorneys), procure copyrights,
attend to interferences, give written opinions on matters of
infringement, furnish copies of patent business, both in this and in
foreign countries.

A special notice IS made in the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN of all inventions
patented through this agency, with the name and residence of the
patentee. Patents are often sold, in part or whole, to persons
attracted to the invention by such notice.

Patents obtained in Canada, England, France, Belgium, Germany, Russia,
Prussia, Spain, Portugal, the British Colonies, and all other
countries where patents are granted, at prices greatly reduced from
former rates. Send for pamphlet pertaining specially to foreign
patents, which states the cost, time granted, and the requirements for
each country.


Persons desiring any patent issued from 1836 to November 26, 1867, can
be supplied with official copies at reasonable cost, the price
depending upon the extent of drawings and length of specifications.

Any patent issued since November 27, 1867, at which time the Patent
Office commenced printing the drawings and specifications, may be had
by remitting to this office $1.

A copy of the claims of any patent issued since 1638 will be furnished
for $1.

When ordering copies, please remit for the same as as above, and state
name of patentee, title of invention, and date of patent.

A pamphlet, containing full directions for obtaining United States
patents, sent free. A handsomely bound Reference Book, gilt edges,
contains 140 pages and many engravings and tables important to every
patentee and mechanic, and is a useful handbook of reference for
everybody. Price 25 cents, mailed free.

  MUNN & CO.,
  37 PARK ROW, N.Y.

BRANCH OFFICE--Corner of F and 7th Streets, Washington, D.C.

       *       *       *       *       *


Patent Planer, Clipper, Lumberman's Clipper, from clipper cross-cut,
Universal Adjustable Saw Swage, Band Saws for Saw Mills and re-sawing,
and solid saws of all kinds. Are superior to all others, Extra Thin
Saws a specialty. Send your full address, plainly written, for Price
List and Circular to Emerson, Smith & Co., Beaver Falls, Pa.,
Successors to Emerson, Ford & Co.

       *       *       *       *       *






Ag't, 31 Liberty St., NEW YORK

       *       *       *       *       *

First Premium ahead of All at Centennial, Hand and Self-Inking.



  The Excelsior Presses


Save money! Do more advertising.

$3 Press for cards, labels, envelopes, etc. Large sizes for large
work. _Anybody_ can work them, have good pastime for spare hours, and
can make money by taking in small Jobs.

BOYS have much fun and make money very fast at printing cards, etc.,
Send two stamps for catalogue, to Mfrs, KELSEY & CO. MERIDEN, CONN.

       *       *       *       *       *


NEW AND IMPROVED PATTERNS. Send for new illustrated catalogue.

Lathes, Planers, Drills, &c.


New Haven, Conn.

       *       *       *       *       *

To appear end of February,

The United States


FOR 1877.

This Directory contains over 400,000 names of persons in all kinds of
business. Arranged alphabetically according to States, and classified
according to business. It is a valuable aid to the Merchant,
Manufacturer, and Mechanic, for correspondence or the distribution of
circulars. The edition of 1877 is the third year of issue, and has
already received a largely increased patronage from the business

Price to parties who send their order before the book is issued,

GEO. DE COLANGE & CO., Publishers,

8 Bond St., New York.

       *       *       *       *       *


Inspection & Insurance


  W.B. Franklin, V. Pres't      J.M. Allen, Pres't
                  J.B. Pierce Sec'y.

       *       *       *       *       *

ELOCUTIONIST'S JOURNAL gives choicest standard and new pieces for
professional and amateur Readers and Speakers, and interesting
articles on appropriate subjects. Just the thing wanted. 10 cts. of
any newsdealer or by mail. JESSE HANEY & CO., 119 Nassau Street, New

       *       *       *       *       *


are the largest in the United States. They make Burr Millstones,
Portable Mills, Smut Machines, Packers, Mill Picks, Water Wheels,
Pulleys and Gearing, specially adapted to flour mills. Send for

J.T. NOYE & SON, Buffalo, N.Y.

       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *





No. 23 Adams Street,


       *       *       *       *       *



CO., Foot E. 9th St. N.Y.; 1202 N. 2d St., St. Louis, Mo.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

WATCHMAN'S TIME DETECTOR, capable of accurately controlling the motion
of a watchman or patrolman at the different stations of his beat. Send
for circular. J.E. BUERK, P.O. BOX 979. BOSTON, MASS.

N.B.--The suit against Imhaeuser& Co., of New York, was decided in my
favor, June 10, 1874. Proceedings have been commenced against
Imhaeuser & Co. for selling, contrary to the order of the Court.
Persons using clocks infringing on my patent, will be dealt with
according to law.

       *       *       *       *       *


(Formerly of Todd & Rafferty), ENGINEER and MACHINIST. Flax, Hemp,
Jute, Rope, Oakum, and Bagging Machinery, Steam Engines, Boilers, etc.
Also Agent for the celebrated and improved Rawson & Rittinger Hoisting
Engine, I will furnish specifications and estimates for all kinds of
machinery. Send for descriptive circular and price. Address

  J.C. TODD,
  10 Barclay St., New York, or Paterson, N.J.

       *       *       *       *       *




The fact that this shafting has 75 per cent. greater strength, a finer
finish, and is truer to gauge, than any other in use, renders it
undoubtedly the most economical We are also the sole manufacturers of
the CELEBRATED COLLINS' PAT. COUPLING, and furnish Pulleys, Hangers,
etc., of the most approved styles. Price list mailed on application to

  Try Street, 2d and 3rd Avenues, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  190 S. Canal Street, Chicago, Ill., and Milwaukie, Wis.

Stocks of this shafting in store and for sale by FULLER. DANA, & FITZ,
Boston, Mass. GEO. PLACE & CO. 121 Chambers St., N.Y.

       *       *       *       *       *

A Cyclopedia of Mechanics and Engineering,

FOR SALE. The few copies of the Author's Extra Edition of Prof. R.H.
Thurston's Report on Machinery and Manufactures at the Great
International Exhibition, 1873, with an account of European
manufacturing districts.

The volume contains over 450 pages, and contains 223 wood-cuts and

Please send orders for copies at once. Price, $4.00.

  Civil and Mechanical Engineer.

       *       *       *       *       *


for cleaning Boiler Tubes. THE NATIONAL STEEL TUBE CLEANER Co. 814 E.
9th St., N.Y.

       *       *       *       *       *


92 & 94 Liberty St., New York.

Great reduction in prices. Send for catalogue. The "Knowles" has
always been the best steam pump made.

       *       *       *       *       *


FOLLOWS & BATE, Manchester, England, Hardware and Machinery Merchants,
are prepared to buy American Goods for Cash, and to act as Sole
Wholesale Agents.

       *       *       *       *       *


Drop Hammers and Dies, for working Metals, &c. THE STILES & PARKER
PRESS CO., Middletown, Conn.

       *       *       *       *       *

ALCOTT LATHES, for Broom, Rake and Hoe Handles.

S.C. HILLS, 78 Chambers St., N.Y.

       *       *       *       *       *

also GUAGE LATHES for TURNING HANDLES. Sole makers of Law's Pat.
Shingle and Heading Sawing Machine. Address TREVOR & CO., Lockport,

       *       *       *       *       *



RANSOME, 10 Bush Street, San Francisco, Cal.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Koch Patent File, for preserving newspapers, magazines, and
pamphlets, has been recently improved and price reduced. Subscribers
supplied for the low price of $1.50 by mail, or $1.25 at the office of
this paper. Heavy board sides; inscription "SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN," in
gilt. Necessary for every one who wishes to preserve the paper.


  MUNN & CO.,

       *       *       *       *       *



  Set Iron Dogs, 3-8 to 2 in., $5.60
   "    "    "   3-8 to 4 in., 12.00
   "  Steel  "   3-8 to 2 in.,  6.30
   "    "    "   3-8 to 4 in., 13.00

Iron & Steel Clamps, Die Dogs, Clamp Dogs, Vice Clamps Expanding
Mandrels, &c. Send for latest Price list to C.W. LE COUNT, South
Norwalk, Conn.

       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *


It has no boiler, is safe, economical, started by any one in one
minute, occupies small space, and gives an unsurpassed steady,
reliable power. Address

  Penna Ready Motor Co.,

       *       *       *       *       *





       *       *       *       *       *



Send for Catalogue, giving prices and full description.



       *       *       *       *       *

STATE, COUNTY AND SHOP RIGHTS for sale of C. Koons' Patent Rat Trap;
best out; caught 16 one night. Enclose stamp to owners and
manufacturers, J.T. WILHIDE & BRO., York Road, Carroll Co., Md.

       *       *       *       *       *

$5 TO $20

day at home. Samples worth $5 free. STINSON & Co., Portland, Me.

       *       *       *       *       *


These buckets are made of the best charcoal stamping iron, and are
warranted to outwear six of the "OLDSTYLE BUCKETS." The cost is about
the same. Address T.F. ROWLAND, Brooklyn, E.D., N.Y.

       *       *       *       *       *

$3 WATCHES. Cheapest in the known world. _Sample watch and outfit free
to Agents._ For terms address COULTER & CO. Chicago.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sand, Old Crucibles, Fire Clay, Guanos, Oil Cake, Feed, Corn, Corn and
Cob, Tobacco, Snuff, Sugar, Salts, Roots, Spices, Coffee, Cocoanut,
Flaxseed, Asbestos, Mica, etc., and whatever cannot be ground by other
mills. Also for Paints, Printers' Inks, Paste Blacking, etc. JOHN W.
THOMSON, successor to JAMES BOGARDUS, corner of White and Elm Sts. New

       *       *       *       *       *


And Experimental Machinery, Metal or Wood, made to
order by J.F. WERNER, 62 Center St., N.Y.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: Eagle Foot Lathe]

With Scroll and Circular Saw Attachments, Slide Rest, Tools, &c.; also
Small Engine Lathes, Metal Hand Planers, &c. Neatest designs, superior
finish. LOW PRICES. Our new Catalogue describes these and every tool
necessary for the Amateur or Artisan. Send for it.

WM. L. CHASE & CO., 95 & 97 Liberty St. New York.

       *       *       *       *       *


For showing heat of Ovens, Hot Blast Pipes, Boiler Flues, Super-Heated
Steam, Oil Stills, &c. HENRY W. BULKLEY. Sole Manufacturer, 149
Broadway, New York.

       *       *       *       *       *

For 1877,

The publishers of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN beg to announce that on the
sixth day of January, 1877, a new volume was commenced. It will
continue to be the aim of the publishers to render the contents of the
new volume more attractive and useful than any of its predecessors.

_To the Mechanic and Manufacturer._ No person engaged in any of the
mechanical pursuits should think of doing without the SCIENTIFIC
AMERICAN. Every number contains from six to ten engravings of new
machines and inventions which cannot be found in any other

sent for _one year_, 52 numbers, POSTAGE PREPAID, to any subscriber in
the United States or Canada, on receipt of _three dollars and twenty
cents_ by the publishers.

_One extra copy_ of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN will be supplied gratis
_for every club of five subscribers_ at $3.20 each; or six copies for
$16.50 without extra copy. Postage free.


A weekly paper, uniform in size with the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, but a
distinct publication. It contains working drawings of engineering
works, and elaborate treatises on every branch of Science and
Mechanics, by eminent writers, at home and abroad. An illustrated
cover protects the handsomely printed sheets. Price, $5.00 per annum.
Single copies 10 cents.

_One copy of the_ SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN _and one copy of the_ SCIENTIFIC
AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT will be sent for one year, postage prepaid, to any
subscriber in the United States or Canada, on receipt of _seven
Dollars_ by the publishers.

The safest way to remit is by Postal-Order, Draft, or Express. Money
carefully placed inside of envelopes, securely sealed, and carefully
addressed, seldom goes astray; but it is at the sender's risk. Address
all letters and make all orders, drafts, etc., payable to


       *       *       *       *       *

THE "Scientific American" is printed with CHAS. ENEU JOHNSON & CO.'S
INK. Tenth and Lombard Sts., Philadelphia, and 59 Gold St., New York.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Scientific  American, Volume XXXVI., No. 8, February 24, 1877 - A Weekly Journal of Practical Information, Art, Science, - Mechanics, Chemistry, and Manufactures." ***

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