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Title: Scientific American Supplement, No. 520, December 19, 1885
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 Supplement, No. 520, December 19, 1885" ***

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Scientific American Supplement. Vol. Vol. XX, No. 520.

Scientific American established 1845

Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.

Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.

       *       *       *       *       *


I.    ENGINEERING, ETC.--Steel Structures.--Best use of different
      grades of steel.--From a paper by Mr. JAS. CHRISTIE.

      Natural Gas Fuel and its Application to Manufacturing:
      Purposes.--Paper read before the Iron and Steel Institute by
      Mr. ANDREW CARNEGIE.--First use of the gas.--Wells near
      Pittsburg.--Extent of territory underlain with gas.--Cost of
      piping.--Analyses ofnatural gas.

      A Gas Engine Water Supply Alarm.--1 figure.

      The Water Supply of Ancient Roman Cities.--An address by
      Prof. W.H. CORFIELD.--Aqueducts for the supply of
      Borne.--The aqueduct bridge Pont du Gard.--The supply of
      Lyons.--Construction of underground aqueducts.

      Steam Engine Economy.--By Chief Engineer J. LOWE,
      U.S.N.--With diagram.

      The "Elastic Limit" in Metals.--Selection of wire for
      suspension bridges, etc.

      Prices of Metals in 1874 and 1884.--With table.

II.   TECHNOLOGY.--A Method of Measuring the Absolute Sensitiveness
      of Photographic Dry Plates.--By Wm. H. PICKERING.--From the
      proceedings of the Academy of Arts and Sciences.

      Soldering and Repairing Platinum Vessels in the
      Laboratory.--By J.W. PRATT.

      The Helicoidal or Wire Stone Saw invented by M.P. GAY.--With
      engraving of quarry showing application of saw, and 5 figures.

      Portable Prospecting Drill and Automatic Safety Gear shown at
      the Inventions Exhibition.--With 2 engravings.

III.  ELECTRICITY, ETC.--Electricity in Warfare.--By Lieutenant
      B.A. FISKE, U.S.N.--Electrical torpedoes.--Torpedo
      detecter.--Military telegraphy and telephony.--Electricity
      for firing great guns.--Arrangement of wires for lights.--The
      search light.--Incandescent lamps for sight
      signaling.--Electrical launches.--An "electric sight".

      Meucci's Claims to the Telephone.--With description of his
      instrument and 10 figures.

      An Electric Centrifugal Machine for Laboratories.--By ALEX.
      WATT.--From paper read before the British Association.--1

      Transmission of Power by Electricity.--Experiments of M.

IV.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE.--Quadriga for the New House of
      Parliament at Vienna.--An engraving.

      Glazed Ware Finial.--With engraving.

      Hotel de Ville, St. Quentin.--With engraving.

      Fire Doors in Mills.--From a lecture before the Franklin
      Institute by C.J. HEXAMER.

V.    NATURAL HISTORY, ETC.--Preservation of Insects.

      An Accomplished Parrot.

      The Roscoff Zoological Laboratory.--The buildings and
      rooms.--The aquarium.--Course of study.

      The Murænæ at the Berlin Aquarium.--With engraving.

      Metamorphosis of Arctic Insects.

VI.   MEDICINE. ETC.--A Year's Scientific Progress in Nervous and
      Mental Diseases.--By Prof. L.A. MERRIAM.--Report to the
      Nebraska State Medical Society.

      Scaring the Baby Out.

VII.  MISCELLANEOUS.--Wage Earners and their Houses.--Manufacturers
      as landlords.--Experiments of Pullman, Owen, Peabody, and

      The Locked and Corded Box Trick, with Directions for making
      the Box.--By D B. ADAMSON.--9 figures.

      A Perpetual Calendar.--With engraving.

       *       *       *       *       *


To remove the verdigris which forms upon the pins, the pinned insects
should be immersed in benzine and left there for a time; several hours is
generally long enough. The administration of this bath cannot be too
highly recommended for beetles which have been rendered unrecognizable by
grease, especially when dust has been mixed with the grease. This
immersion, of variable duration according to circumstances, will restore
to these insects, however bad they have become, all their brilliancy and
all their first freshness, and the efflorescences of cupric oxide will
not reappear. This preventive and curative method is also readily
applicable to beetles glued upon paper which have become greasy; plunge
them into benzine in the same way, and as the gum is insoluble in the
liquid, they remain fastened to their supports. Pruinose beetles, which
are few in number, are the only ones that benzine can alter; the others,
which are glabrous, pubescent, or scaly, can only gain by the process,
and they will always make a good show in the collection.--_A. Dubois in
Feuille des jeunes naturatistes_, March, 1885, p. 71.--_Psyche_.

       *       *       *       *       *



The new House of Parliament at Vienna is known as one of the finest
specimens of pure Greek architecture erected in this century; and
throughout the entire building great pains have been taken to ornament
the same as elaborately as is consistent with good taste. The main
buildings are provided with corner pavilions, the atticas of which
project over the roofs, and these atticas and other parts of the
buildings are to be surmounted by quadrigas, one of which is shown in
the annexed cut, taken from the _Illustrirte Zeitung_. This group was
modeled by V. Pilz, of Vienna, and represents a winged goddess in a
chariot drawn by four spirited steeds harnessed abreast. She holds a
wreath in her raised right hand, and her left hand is represented as
holding the lines for guiding the horses. The group is full of expression
and life, and will add greatly to the beauty of the building to be
surmounted by it.

       *       *       *       *       *

The strongest wood in the United States, according to Professor Sargent,
is that of the nutmeg hickory of the Arkansas region, and the weakest the
West Indian birch _(Rur seva_). The most elastic is the tamarack, the
white or shellbark hickory standing far below it. The least elastic and
the lowest in specific gravity is the wood of the _Ficus aurea_. The
highest specific gravity, upon which in general depends value as fuel, is
attained by the bluewood of Texas _(Condalia obovata_).

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: GLAZED WARE FINIAL.]

This grand 16th century finial is a fine example of French ceramic ware,
or glazed terracotta, and it is illustrated both by geometrical elevation
and a cross sectional drawing. This latter shows the clever building up
of the structure by means of a series of five pieces, overlapping each
other, and kept rigid by means of a stout wrought-iron upright in the
center, bolted on to the ridge, and strapped down on the hip pieces. Its
outline is well designed for effect when seen at a distance or from
below, and its glazed surface heightens the artistic colorings, giving it
a brilliant character in the sunlight, as well as protecting the ware
from the action of smoke and weather.--_Build. News_.

       *       *       *       *       *



Among the more prominent movements of the day for the improvement of the
condition of the working men are those which are growing into fashion
with large manufacturing incorporations. Their promise lies immediately
in the fact that they call for no new convictions of political economy,
and hence have nothing disturbing or revolutionary about them. Accepting
the usages and economical principles of industrial life, as the progress
of business has developed them, an increasing number of large
manufacturers have deemed it to their interest not only to furnish shops
and machinery for their operatives, but dwellings as well, and in some
instances the equipments of village life, such as schools, chapels,
libraries, lecture and concert halls, and a regime of morals and
sanitation. Probably the most expensive investment of this sort in the
United States, if not in the world, by any single company, is that of
Pullman, on Lake Calumet, a few miles south of Chicago, an enterprise as
yet scarcely five years old. It is by no means a novel undertaking,
except in the magnitude, thoroughness, and unity of the scheme. Twenty
years ago the managers of the Lonsdale Mills, in Rhode Island, were
erecting cottages on a uniform plan and maintaining schools and religious
services for their operatives. More recent but more extensive is the
village of the Ponemah Cotton Mill, near Taftville, Conn. These are
illustrations merely of similar investments upon a smaller scale
elsewhere. But the European examples are older, such as Robert Owen's
experiment at New Lanark in Scotland, Saltaire in Yorkshire, Dollfuss'
Mulhausen Quarter in Alsace, and M. Godin's community in the French
village of Guise, which are among the more familiar instances of
investments originally made on business principles, with a view to the
improved conditions of workmen. New Lanark failed as a commercial
community through the visionary character of its founder; the Godin works
at Guise have passed into the co-operative phase within the past five
years, but Saltaire and Mulhausen still retain their proprietary business

The class of ventures of which these instances are but the more
conspicuous examples has peculiar characteristics. They differ from the
Peabody and Waterlow buildings of London, described in _Bradstreet's_
last August, from Starr's Philadelphia dwellings, and from the operations
of the "Improved Dwellings Association" of New York in these particulars:
the latter are financially a pure question of direct investment; are
mainly concerned with life among the poor of cities, and, whatever
philanthropy may be in their motive, are capable of adaptation to any
class of citizens. The former, while investments also, are composite, the
business of manufacturing being associated with that of rent collecting
and sharing its profits and losses; their field of operations is almost
invariably rural, and tenancy is restricted to the employes of the
proprietor. On the other hand, they differ from all co-operative and
socialistic communities in that they are an adaptation to existing
circumstances, propose to demonstrate no new theories of economics, are
free from all religious bonds, do not depend on any unity of opinion, and
do not touch the question of the proper distribution of wealth.

It is, of course, no new thing for owners of large factories,
particularly in country districts, to furnish tenements for their
operatives, and oftentimes it is quite indispensable that they should,
because there would otherwise be no accommodation for their workmen. What
is recent and exceptional is the spread of the belief that it pays to
make the accommodations furnished healthful, convenient, and attractive.
The sources of profit from this careful provision are these: the
proprietors have control of the territory, and are able to prescribe
regulations which keep out the saloon and disreputable characters, and at
once there is a saving in police and court and poor taxes; for the same
reason the workmen are more regular and steady in their labor, for there
is no St. Monday holiday, nor confused head and uncertain hand; the
tenants are better able to pay their rents, and when their landlord and
employer are the same person, he collects his rent out of the wages; the
superior accommodations and more settled employment act strongly against
labor strikes. It will be seen that the larger and better product of
labor is a great factor in the profitableness of such enterprises, and
that it arises from the improved character of the laborer, on the same
principle that a farmer's stock pays him best when it is of good breed,
is warmly housed, and well fed. Against the operations of the London
Peabody and Waterlow funds it has been alleged that they dispossess the
poor shiftless tenant and bring in a new class, so that they do not
improve the condition of their tenants, but afford opportunity for better
ones to cheapen the price of their accommodations. The manufacturing
landlord cannot wholly do this, because the first thing he has to
consider is whether the applicant for a dwelling is a good workman, not
whether he can be trusted for his rent. His labor he must have. His
outlook is to make that labor worth more to him, by placing it in the
best attainable surroundings. Can this be done? If so, the ends of
humanity are answered as well as the purse filled, for both interests

Mr. Pullman, who founded the enterprise on Calumet Lake, has uttered
sentiments like these, and has proved that in this instance it does pay
to make his workmen's families comfortable, and secure from sickness and
temptation. As a financial operation Pullman is profitable. There are now
1,700 dwellings, either separate or in apartment houses, in this town,
where five years ago the prairie stretched on every side unbroken. Every
tenement is connected with common sewerage, water, and gas systems, in
which the most scientific principles and expert skill have been applied.
The price of tenements ranges from $5 per month for two rooms in an
apartment house to $16 for a separate dwelling of five rooms; but there
is a different class of houses for clerks, superintendents, and
overseers. The average price per room is $3.30 a month, or nearly twelve
per cent. higher than in Massachusetts manufacturing towns, where it is
$2.86. Taking each tenement at an average of three rooms, this rate will
pay six per cent. on an investment of $3,140,000, without taking into
account taxes and repairs, or say six per cent. on $3,000,000. But one
source of profit of great moment must not be overlooked, and it is the
appreciation of real estate by the increase of population. This is a
small factor in a great city, at least so far as concerns the humbler
grade of dwellings, but in the country it is enormous. A tract of land
which has been a farm becomes a village of from 1,000 to 10,000
inhabitants. Its value advances by leaps and bounds.

At Pullman, in addition to the shops and dwellings, there are trees and
turf-bordered malls and squares, a church, a theater, a free library with
reading rooms, a public hall, a market house, provided at the expense of
the company. Liquor can only be sold at the hotel to its guests, and then
under restrictions. There is a system of public schools under a board of
education, which is about the only civic organization, strictly speaking,
in the community. One man suffices for police duty, and he made but
fifteen arrests in the last two years. It is reported that the death rate
so far, including the mortality from accidents, has been under seven in
1,000 per annum. In Great Britain the rate is a small fraction over 22 in
1,000. The vital statistics of the United States show a smaller mortality
than this, but they are rendered abnormal by the heavy immigration which
pours into the country. Emigrants are, in the language of insurance men,
a selected class. They are usually at the most vigorous time of life and
of hardiest and most enterprising spirit.

They leave behind them the very young and the old and those enfeebled by
disease or habits. To this cause must be attributed in part the
exceptional record of Pullman in death rate, as it is a new town. Yet
there can be no question that the sanitary conditions of the place are
excellent. It is difficult in mixed enterprises of this nature to tell
what the rate of profit upon the tenement part of the business is, since
the rental and the factory react upon each other; but in the American
instances quoted in this article the investment as a whole is
remunerative. In the Godin operations at Guise, which have been
co-operative for the last five years, the capital is put at $1,320,000,
and the net earnings have averaged during that time $204,640 per annum,
or 15½ per cent.

At Pullman a demand has arisen on the part of the tenants for a chance to
acquire proprietorship in their homes; and while the company has withheld
the privilege from its original purchase of 3,500 acres, it has bought
adjoining land, where it offers to advance money for building, and to
take pay in monthly installments. This assimilates so much of the
enterprise to that at Mulhausen, and shows the drift toward a
co-operative phase of capital and labor. Indeed, this tendency will
probably prove to be strongly characteristic of all similar schemes as
fast as they attain to any magnitude. Tendencies which can be resisted in
communities of few hundreds become overpowering when the population rises
into thousands. But from the purely commercial point of view, this drift
is hardly to be deprecated, so long as the operation of selling houses
returns the capital and interest safely.

Projects of this nature go far toward modifying the stress of antagonisms
between labor and capital, because if they are successful these are
harmonized to an appreciable extent, and this gives public interest to
them. The eventual adjustment must come, not from convictions of duty,
doctrinaire opinions, or sentiments of sympathy, but on business
principles, and it is a sure step in advance to show that self-interest
and philanthropy are in accord. How great the field for experiments of
this nature is in the United Spates may be gathered from the census of
1880, which shows 2,718,805 persons employed in the industrial
establishments of the country, with an annual production of
$5,842,000,000, and a capital of nearly half that amount. Of these hands
and values nearly two-thirds belong to the north Atlantic

       *       *       *       *       *


This charming building has an uncommonly well-designed facade,
picturesque in the extreme, rich in detail, and thoroughly dignified. We
are indebted to M. Levy, of Paris, for the loan of M. Garen's spirited
etching, from which our illustration is taken. The arcaded piazza on the
ground story, the niche-spaced tier of traceried windows on the first
floor, the flamboyant paneled cornice stage, and the three crowning
gables over it unite in one harmonious conception, the whole elevation
being finished by a central tower, while at either end of the facade two
massively treated buttresses furnish a satisfactory inclosing line, and
give more than a suggestion of massiveness, so necessary to render an
arcaded front like this quite complete within itself; otherwise it must
more or less appear to be only part of a larger building. The style is
Late Gothic, designed when the first influence of the Early Renaissance
was beginning to be felt through France as well as Belgium, and in
several respects the design has a Flemish character about it.

[Illustration: HOTEL DE VILLE, ST. QUENTIN.]

St. Quentin is situated on the Goy, in the department of Cotes du Nord,
and the town is seated in a picturesque valley some ten miles S.S.W. of
the capital, St Brieuc, which is a bishop's see, and has a small harbor
near the English Channel, and about thirty miles from St.
Malo.--_Building News_.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote: From a lecture before the Franklin Institute by C. John

There are few parts in fire construction which are of so much importance,
and generally so little understood, as fire doors. Instances of the
faulty construction of these, even by good builders and architects, may
daily be seen. Iron doors over wooden sills, with the flooring boards
extending through from one building to the other, are common occurrences.
We frequently find otherwise good doors hung on wooden jambs by ordinary
screws. Sliding doors are frequently hung on to woodwork, and all
attachments are frequently so arranged that they would be in a very short
time destroyed by fire, and cause the door to fall. In case of fire, a
solid iron door offers no resistance to warping. In an iron lined door,
on the contrary, the tendency of the sheet iron to warp is resisted by
the interior wood, and when this burns into charcoal, it still resists
all warping tendencies. I have seen heavily braced solid iron doors
warped and turned after a fire, having proved themselves utterly
worthless. It is needless to say that when wooden doors are lined, they
should be lined on both sides; but frequently we find so-called fireproof
doors lined on one side only.

Good doors are frequently blocked up with stock and other material, so
that in case of fire they could not be closed without great exertion; or
they have been allowed to get out of order, so that in case of fire they
are useless. This has been so common that it has given rise to the
jocular expression of insurance men, when they are told that a fire door
exists between the two buildings, "Warranted to be open in case of fire."
The strictest regulations should exist in regard to closing the fire
doors nightly. Frequently we find that although the fire door, and its
different parts, are correctly made, there are openings in the wall which
would allow the fire to travel from one building to the other, such as
unprotected belt and shaft holes. That a fire door may be effective, it
must be hung to the only opening in the wall.

The greatest care must be exercised to keep joists from extending too far
into the wall, so as not to touch the joists of the adjacent building,
which would transmit the flames from one building to the other in case of
fire. A good stone sill should be placed under the door, and the floor
thereby entirely cut. Sills should be raised about one and a half inches
above the level of the floor, in order to accomplish the necessary
flooding of the same. If stock must be wheeled from one building to the
other, the sill can be readily beveled on both sides of the wall,
allowing the wheels to pass readily over it. Lintels should consist of
good brick arches. When swing doors are used, they should be hung on good
iron staples, well walled into the masonry, and the staples so arranged
that the door will have a tendency to close by its own weight. The door
should consist of two layers of good one and a quarter inch boards,
nailed crosswise, well nailed together and braced, and then covered with
sheet iron nailed on, or if of sheet tin, flanged, soldered, and nailed.
Particular care should be taken to insert plenty of nails, not only along
the edge of the door, but crosswise in all directions. I have seen cases,
where the entire covering had been ripped off through the warping
tendencies of the sheet iron.

The hinges on these doors should be good strap hinges, tightly fastened
to the door by bolts extending through it, and secured by nuts on the
other side. Good latches which keep the door in position when closed
should always be provided. In no case should the door be provided with a
spring lock which cannot be freely opened, as employes might thereby be
confined in a burning room.

Sliding doors should be hung on wrought iron runways, fastened tightly to
the wall. Wooden runways iron lined, which we frequently see, are not
good, as the charring of the wood in the interior causes them to weaken
and the doors to drop. Runways should be on an incline, so that the door
when not held open will close itself. Care must be taken to have a stop
provided in the runway, so that the doors may not, as I have frequently
seen them, overrun the opening which it is to protect. Doors should
overlap the edges of the openings on all sides. Large projecting jambs
should never be used.

All doors contained in "fire walls" should have springs or weights
attached to them, so as to be at all times closed. Fire doors can be shut
automatically by a weight, which is released by the melting of a piece of
very fusible solder employed for this purpose. So sensitive is this
solder that a fire door has been made to shut by holding a lamp some
distance beneath the soldered link and holding an open handkerchief
between the lamp and link. Though the handkerchief was not charred, hot
air enough had reached the metal to fuse the solder and allow the
apparatus to start into operation.

These solders are alloys more fusible than the most fusible of their
component metals. A few of them are: Wood's alloy, consisting of:
cadmium, 1 to 2 parts; tin, 2 parts; lead, 4 parts; bismuth, 7 to 8

This alloy is fusible between 150° and 159° Fahr. The fusible metal of
D'Arcet is composed of: bismuth, 8 parts; lead, 5 parts; tin, 3 parts. It
melts at 173.3°. We can, therefore, by proper mixture, form a solder
which will melt at any desirable temperature. Numerous devices for
closing doors automatically have been constructed, all depending upon the
use of the fusible solder catch.

       *       *       *       *       *


At a recent meeting of the Engineers' Club of Philadelphia, Mr. James
Christie presented a paper upon "The Adaptation of Steel to Structural
Work." The price of steel has now fallen so low, as compared with iron,
that its increased use will be actively stimulated as the building
industries revive. The grades and properties of the steels are so
distinct and various that opinions differ much as to the adaptability of
each grade for a special purpose. Hitherto, engineers have favored open
hearth steel on account of uniformity, but recent results obtained from
Bessemer steel tend to place either make on equality. The seeming
tendency is to specify what the physical properties shall be, and not how
the steel shall be made.

For boiler and ship plates, the mildest and most ductile steel is
favored. For ships' frames and beams, a harder steel, up to 75,000 pounds
tenacity, is frequently used. For tension members of bridges, steel of
65,000 to 75,000 pounds tenacity is usually specified; and for
compression members, 80,000 to 90,000 pounds. In the Forth Bridge,
compression steel is limited to 75,000 to 82,000 pounds. Such a marked
advantage occurs from the use of high tension steel in compression
members, and the danger of sudden failure of a properly made strut is so
little, that future practice will favor the use of hard steel in
compression, unless the material should prove untrustworthy. In columns,
even as long as forty diameters, steel of 90,000 pounds tenacity will
exceed the mildest steel 35 per cent., or iron 50 per cent., in
compressive resistance.

The present uncertainty consists largely as to how high-tension steel
will endure the manipulation usual with iron without injury. A few
experiments were recently made by the writer on riveted struts of both
mild and hard steel, which had been punched, straightened, and riveted,
as usual with iron, but no indication of deterioration was found.

Steel castings are now made entirely trustworthy for tensile working
stresses of 10,000 to 15,000 pounds per square inch. In some portable
machinery, an intermittent tensile stress is applied of 15,000 pounds,
sometimes rising to 20,000 pounds per square inch of section, without any
evidence of weakness.

       *       *       *       *       *

Equal volumes of amyl alcohol (rectified fusel oil) and pure concentrated
hydrochloric acid, shaken together in a test tube, unite to form a single
colorless liquid; if one volume of benzine (from petroleum) be added to
this, and the tube well shaken, the contents will soon separate into
_three_ distinct colorless fluids, the planes of demarkation being
clearly discernible by transmitted light. Drop into the tube a particle
of "acid magenta;" after again shaking the liquids together, the lower
two zones will present different shades of red, while the supernatant
hydrocarbon will remain without color.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote: From the Proceedings of the Academy of Arts and
Sciences.--_Amer. Jour._]


Within the last few years the subject of dry plate photography has
Increased very rapidly, not only in general popularity, but also in
importance in regard to its applications to other departments of science.
Numerous plate manufacturers have sprung up in this country as well as
abroad, and each naturally claims all the good qualities for his own
plates. It therefore seemed desirable that some tests should be made
which would determine definitely the validity of these claims, and that
they should be made in such a manner that other persons using instruments
similarly constructed would be able to obtain the same results.

Perhaps the most important tests needed are in regard to the
sensitiveness of the plates. Most plate makers use the wet plates as
their standard, giving the sensitiveness of the dry plates at from two to
sixty times greater; but as wet plates vary quite as much as dry ones,
depending on the collodion, condition of the bath, etc., this system is
very unsatisfactory. Another method, employed largely in England, depends
on the use of the Warnerke sensitometer. In this instrument the light
from a tablet coated with luminous paint just after being exposed to a
magnesium light is permitted to shine through a colored transparent film
of graduated density upon the plate to be tested. Each degree on the film
has a number, and, after a given exposure, the last number photographed
on the plate represents the sensitiveness on an empirical scale. There
are two or three objections to this instrument. In the first place, the
light-giving power of the luminous tablet is liable to variations, and,
if left in a warm, moist place, it rapidly deteriorates. Again, it has
been shown by Captain Abney that plates sensitized by iodides, bromides,
and chlorides, which may be equally sensitive to white light, are not
equally affected by the light emitted by the paint; the bromides being
the most rapidly darkened, the chlorides next, and the iodides least of
all. The instrument is therefore applicable only to testing plates
sensitized with the same salts.

In this investigation it was first shown that the plates most sensitive
for one colored light were not necessarily the most so for light of
another color. Therefore it was evident that the sun must be used as the
ultimate source of light, and it was concluded to employ the light
reflected from the sky near the zenith as the direct source. But as this
would vary in brilliancy from day to day, it was necessary to use some
method which would avoid the employment of an absolute standard of light.
It is evident that we may escape the use of this troublesome standard, if
we can obtain some material which has a perfectly uniform sensitiveness;
for we may then state the sensitiveness of our plates in terms of this
substance, regardless of the brilliancy of our source. The first material
tried was white filter paper, salted and sensitized in a standard
solution of silver nitrate. This was afterward replaced by powdered
silver chloride, chemically pure, which was found to be much more
sensitive than that made from the commercial chemicals. This powder is
spread out in a thin layer, in a long paper cell, on a strip of glass.
The cell measures one centimeter broad by ten in length. Over this is
laid a sheet of tissue paper, and above that a narrow strip of black
paper, so arranged so as to cover the chloride for its full length and
half its breadth. These two pieces of paper are pasted on to the under
side of a narrow strip of glass which is placed on top of the paper cell.
The apparatus in which the exposures are made consists of a box a little
over a meter in length, closed at the top by a board, in which is a
circular aperture 15'8 cm. in diameter. Over this board may be placed a
cover, in the center of which is a hole 0.05 cm. in diameter, which
therefore lets through 0.00001 as much light as the full aperture. The
silver chloride is placed a distance of just one meter from the larger
aperture, and over it is placed the photographic scale, which might be
made of tinted gelatines, or, as in the present case, constructed of long
strips of tissue paper, of varying widths, and arranged like a flight of
steps; so that the light passing through one side of the scale traverses
nine strips of paper, while that through the other side traverses only
one strip. Each strip cuts off about one-sixth of the light passing
through it, so that, taking the middle strip as unity, the strips on
either side taken in order will transmit approximately--

 1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9
2.0  1.65 1.4  1.2  1.0  0.85 0.7  0.6  0.5

The instrument is now pointed toward the zenith for about eight minutes,
on a day when there is a bright blue sky. On taking the apparatus into
the dark room and viewing the impression by gaslight, it will be found
that the markings, which are quite clear at one end, have entirely faded
out by the time the middle division is reached. The last division clearly
marked is noted. Five strips cut from sensitized glass plates, ten
centimeters long and two and a half in width, are now placed side by side
under the scale, in the place of the chloride. By this means we can test,
if we wish, five different kinds of plates at once. The cover of the
sensitometer containing the 0.05cm. hole is put on, and the plates
exposed to sky light for a time varying anywhere between twenty seconds
and three minutes, depending on the sensitiveness of the plates. The
instrument is then removed to the dark room, and the plates developed by
immersing them all at once in a solution consisting of four parts
potassium oxalate and one part ferrous sulphate. After ten minutes they
are removed, fixed, and dried. Their readings are then noted, and
compared with those obtained with the silver chloride. The chloride
experiment is again performed as soon as the plates have been removed,
and the first result confirmed. With some plates it is necessary to make
two or three trials before the right exposure can be found; but if the
image disappears anywhere between the second and eighth divisions, a
satisfactory result may be obtained.

The plates were also tested using gaslight instead of daylight. In this
case an Argand burner was employed burning five cubic feet of gas per
hour. A diaphragm 1 cm. in diameter was placed close to the glass
chimney, and the chloride was placed at 10 cm. distance, and exposed to
the light coming from the brightest part of the flame, for ten hours.
This produced an impression as far as the third division of the scale.
The plates were exposed in the sensitometer as usual, except that it was
found convenient in several cases to use a larger stop, measuring 0.316
cm. in diameter.

The following table gives the absolute sensitiveness of several of the
best known kinds of American and foreign plates, when developed with
oxalate, in terms of pure silver chloride taken as a standard. As the
numbers would be very large, however, if the chloride were taken as a
unit, it was thought better to give them in even hundred thousands.


Plates.                    Daylight.    Gaslight.
Carbutt transparency         0.7          ..
Allen and Rowell             1.3         150
Richardson standard          1.3          10
Marshall and Blair           2.7         140
Blair instantaneous          3.0         140
Carbutt special              4.0          20
Monroe                       4.0          25
Wratten and Wainwright       4.0          10
Eastman special              5.3          30
Richardson instantaneous     5.3          20
Walker Reid and Inglis      11.0         600
Edwards                     11.0          20
Monckhoven                  16.0         120
Beebe                       16.0          20
Cramer                      16.0         120

It will be noted that the plates most sensitive to gaslight are by no
means necessarily the most sensitive to daylight; in several instances,
in fact, the reverse seems to be true.

It should be said that the above figures cannot be considered final until
each plate has been tested separately with its own developer, as this
would undoubtedly have some influence on the final result.

Meanwhile, two or three interesting investigations naturally suggest
themselves; to determine, for instance, the relative actinism of blue
sky, haze, and clouds; also, the relative exposures proper to give at
different hours of the day, at different seasons of the year, and in
different countries. A somewhat prolonged research would indicate what
effect the presence of sunspots had on solar radiation--whether it was
increased or diminished.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote: Read before the Iron and Steel Institute of London, May 8,


In these days of depression in manufacturing, the world over, it is
specially cheering to be able to dwell upon something of a pleasant
character. Listen, therefore, while I tell you about the natural gas fuel
which we have recently discovered in the Pittsburg district. That
Pittsburg should have been still further favored in the matter of fuel
seems rather unfair, for she has long been noted for the cheapest fuel in
the world. The actual cost of coal, to such as mine their own, has been
between 4s. and 5s. per ton; while slack, which has always been very
largely used for making gas in Siemens furnaces and under boilers, has
ranged from 2s. to 2s. 6d. per ton. Some mills situated near the mines or
upon the rivers for many years received slack coal at a cost not
exceeding 1s. 6d. per ton. It is this cheap fuel which natural gas has
come to supplant. It is now many years since the pumping engines at oil
wells were first run by gas, obtained in small quantities from many of
the holes which failed to yield oil. In several cases immense gas wells
were found near the oil district; but some years elapsed before there
occurred to any one the idea of piping it to the nearest manufacturing
establishments, which were those about Pittsburg. Several years ago the
product of several gas wells in the Butler region was piped to two mills
at Sharpsburg, five miles from the city of Pittsburg, and there used as
fuel, but not with such triumphant success as to attract much attention
to the experiment. Failures of supply, faults in the tubing, and
imperfect appliances for use at the mills combined to make the new fuel
troublesome. Seven years ago a company drilled for oil at Murraysville,
about eighteen miles from Pittsburg. A depth of 1,320 feet had been
reached when the drills were thrown high in the air, and the derrick
broken to pieces and scattered around by a tremendous explosion of gas.
The roar of escaping gas was heard in Munroville, five miles distant.
After four pipes, each two inches in diameter, had been laid from the
mouth of the well and the flow directed through them, the gas was
ignited, and the whole district for miles round was lighted up. This
valuable fuel, although within nine miles of our steel-rail mills at
Pittsburg, was permitted to waste for five years. It may well be asked
why we did not at once secure the property and utilize this fuel; but the
business of conducting it to the mills and there using it was not well
understood until recently. Besides this, the cost of a line was then more
than double what it is now; we then estimated that £140,000 would be
required to introduce the new fuel. The cost to-day does not exceed
£1,500 per mile. As our coal was not costing us more than 3s. per ton of
finished rails, the inducement was not in our opinion great enough to
justify the expenditure of so much capital and taking the risk of failure
of the supply. Two years ago men who had more knowledge of the oil-wells
than ourselves had sufficient faith in the continuity of the gas supply
to offer to furnish us with gas for a sum per year equal to that hitherto
annually paid for coal until the amount expended by them on piping had
been repaid, and afterward at half that sum. It took us about eighteen
months to recoup the gas company, and we are now working under the
permanent arrangement of one-half the previous cost of fuel on cars at
work. Since our success in the use of this new natural fuel at the rail
mills, parties still bolder have invested in lines of piping to the city
of Pittsburg, fifteen to eighteen miles from the wells. The territory
underlain with this natural gas has not yet been clearly defined. At the
principal field, that of Murraysville (from which most of the gas is
obtained to-day), I found, upon my visit to that interesting region last
autumn, that nine wells had been sunk, and were yielding gas in large
quantities. One of these was estimated as yielding 30,000,000 cubic feet
in 24 hours. This district lies to the northeast of Pittsburg, running
southward from it toward the Pennsylvania Railroad. Gas has been found
upon a belt averaging about half a mile in width for a distance of
between four and five miles. Beyond that again we reach a point where
salt water flows into the wells and drowns the gas. Several wells have
been bored upon this belt near the Pennsylvania Railroad, and have been
found useless from this cause. Geologists tell us that in this region a
depression of 600 feet occurs in the strata, but how far the fault
extends has not yet been ascertained. Wells will no doubt soon be sunk
southward of the Pennsylvania Railroad upon this half-mile belt. Swinging
round toward the southwest, and about twenty miles from the city, we
reach the gas fields of Washington county. The wells so far struck do not
appear to be as strong as those of the Murraysville district, but it is
possible that wells equally productive may be found there hereafter.
There are now four wells yielding gas in the district, and others are
being drilled. Passing still further to the west, we reach another gas
territory, from which manufacturing works in Beaver Falls and Rochester,
some twenty-eight miles west of Pittsburg, receive their supply.
Proceeding with the circle we are drawing in imagination around
Pittsburg, we pass from the west to the southwest without finding gas in
any considerable quantity, until we reach the Butler gas field,
equidistant from Pittsburg on the northwest, with Washington county wells
on the southwest. Proceeding now from the Butler field to the Allegheny
River, we reach the Tarentum district, still about twenty miles from
Pittsburg, which is supplying a considerable portion of the gas used.
Drawing thus a circle around Pittsburg, with a radius of fifteen to
twenty miles, we find four distinct gas-producing districts. In the city
of Pittsburg itself several wells have been bored; but the fault before
mentioned seems to extend toward the center of the circle, as salt water
has rushed in and rendered these wells wholly unproductive, though gas
was found in all of them.

I spent a few days very pleasantly last autumn driving with some friends
to the two principal fields, the Murraysville and the Washington county.
In the former district the gas rushes with such velocity through a 6-inch
pipe, extending perhaps 20 feet above the surface, that it does not
ignite within 6 feet of the mouth of the pipe. Looking up into the clear
blue sky, you see before you a dancing golden fiend, without visible
connection with the earth, swayed by the wind into fantastic shapes, and
whirling in every direction. As the gas from the well strikes the center
of the flame and passes partly through it, the lower part of the mass
curls inward, giving rise to the most beautiful effects gathered into
graceful folds at the bottom--a veritable pillar of fire. There is not a
particle of smoke from it. The gas from the wells at Washington was
allowed to escape through pipes which lay upon the ground. Looking down
from the roadside upon the first well we saw in the valley, there
appeared to be an immense circus-ring, the verdure having been burnt and
the earth baked by the flame. The ring was quite round, as the wind had
driven the flame in one direction after another, and the effect of the
great golden flame lying prone upon the earth, swaying and swirling with
the wind in every direction, was most startling. The great beast
Apollyon, minus the smoke, seemed to have come forth from his lair again.
The cost of piping is now estimated, at the present extremely low prices,
with right of way, at £1,600 sterling per mile, so that the cost of a
line to Pittsburg may be said to be about £27,000 sterling. The cost of
drilling is about £1,000, and the mode of procedure is as follows: A
derrick being first erected, a 6 inch wrought-iron pipe is driven down
through the soft earth till rock is reached from 75 to 100 feet. Large
drills, weighing from 3,000 to 4,000 lb., are now brought into use; these
rise and fall with a stroke of 4 to 5 feet. The fuel to run these drills
is conveyed by small pipes from adjoining wells. An 8-inch hole having
been bored to a depth of about 500 feet, a 5-5/8 inch wrought-iron pipe
is put down to shut off the water. The hole is then continued 6 inches in
diameter until gas is struck, when a 4-inch pipe is put down. From forty
to sixty days are consumed in sinking the well and striking gas. The
largest well known is estimated to yield about 30,000,000 cubic feet of
gas in twenty-four hours, but half of this may be considered as the
product of a good well. The pressure of gas as it issues from the mouth
of the well is nearly or quite 200 lb. per square inch. One of the gauges
which I examined showed a pressure of 187 lb. Even at works where we use
the gas nine miles from the well, the pressure is 75 lb. per square inch.
At one of the wells, where it was desirable to have a supply of pure
water, I found a small engine worked by the direct pressure of the gas as
it came from the well; and an excellent supply of water was thus obtained
from a spring in the valley. Eleven lines of pipe now convey gas from the
various wells to the manufacturing establishments in and around
Pittsburg. The largest of these for the latter part of the distance is 12
inches in diameter. Several are of 8 inches throughout. The lines
originally laid are 6 inches in diameter. Many of the mills have as yet
no appliances for using the gas, and much of it is still wasted. It is
estimated that the iron and steel mills of the city proper require fuel
equal to 166,000 bushels of coal per day; and though it is only two years
since gas was first used in Pittsburg, it has already displaced about
40,000 bushels of coal per day in these mills. Sixty odd glass works,
which required about 20,000 bushels of coal per day, mostly now use the
natural gas. In the work around Pittsburg beyond the city limits, the
amount of coal superseded by gas is about equal to that displaced in the
city. The estimated number of men whose labor will be dispensed with in
Pittsburg when gas is generally used is 5,000. It is only a question of a
few months when all the manufacturing carried on in the district will be
operated with the new fuel. As will be seen from the analyses appended to
this paper, it is a much purer fuel than coal; and this is a quality
which has proved of great advantage in the manufacture of steel, glass,
and several other products. With the exception of one, and perhaps two
concerns, no effort has been made to economize in the use of the new
fuel. In our Union Iron Mills we have attached to each puddling furnace a
small regenerative appliance, by the aid of which we save a large
percentage of fuel. The gas companies will no doubt soon require
manufacturers to adopt some such appliance. At present, owing to the
fact that there is a large surplus constantly going to waste, they allow
the gas to be used to any extent desired. Contracts are now made to
supply houses with gas for all purposes at a cost equal to that of the
coal bill for the preceding year. In the residences of several of our
partners no fuel other than this gas is now used, and everybody who has
applied it to domestic purposes is delighted with the change from the
smoky and dirty bituminous coal. Some, indeed, go so far as to say that
if the gas were three times as costly as the old fuel, they could not be
induced to go back to the latter. It is therefore quite within the region
of probability that the city, now so black that even Sheffield must be
considered clean in comparison, may be so revolutionized as to be the
cleanest manufacturing center in the world. A walk through our rolling
mills would surprise the members of the Institute. In the steel rail
mills for instance, where before would have been seen thirty stokers
stripped to the waist, firing boilers which require a supply of about 400
tons of coal in twenty-four hours--ninety firemen in all being employed,
each working eight hours--they would now find one man walking around the
boiler house, simply watching the water gauges, etc. Not a particle of
smoke would be seen. In the iron mills the puddlers have whitewashed the
coal bunkers belonging to their furnaces. I need not here say how much
pleasure it will afford me to arrange that any fellow members of the
Institute who may visit the republic are afforded an opportunity to see
for themselves this latest and most interesting development of the fuel
question. Good Mother Earth supplies us with all the fuel we can use and
more, and only asks us to lead it under our boilers and into our heating
and puddling furnaces, and apply the match. During the winter several
explosions have occurred in Pittsburg, owing to the escape of gas from
pipes improperly laid. The frost having penetrated the earth for several
feet and prevented escape upward, the freed gas found its way into the
cellars of houses, and, as it is odorless, its presence was not detected.
This resulted in several alarming explosions; but the danger is to be
remedied before next year. Lower pressure will be carried in the pipes
through the city, and escape pipes leading to the surface will be placed
along the surface at frequent intervals. In the case of manufacturing
establishments, the gas is led into the mills overhead, and, all the
pipes being in the open air, no danger of explosion is incurred.

The following extract from the report of a committee, made to the
American Society of Mechanical Engineers at a recent meeting, gives an
idea of the value of the new fuel: "Natural gas, next to hydrogen, is the
most powerful of the gaseous fuels, and, if properly applied, one of the
most economical, as very nearly its theoretical heating power can be
utilized in evaporating water. Being so free from all deleterious
elements, notably sulphur, it makes better iron, steel, and glass than
coal fuel. It makes steam more regularly, as there is no opening of
doors, and no blank spaces are left on the grate bars to let cold air in,
and, when properly arranged, regulates the steam pressure, leaving the
man in charge nothing to do but to look after the water, and even that
could be accomplished if one cared to trust to such a volatile
water-tender. Boilers will last longer, and there will be fewer
explosions from unequal expansion and contraction, due from cold draughts
of air being let in on hot plates.

"An experiment was made to ascertain the value of gas as a fuel in
comparison with coal in generating steam, using a retort or boiler of 42
inches diameter, 10 feet long, with 4 inch tubes. It was first fired with
selected Youghiogheny coal, broken to about 4 inch cubes, and the furnace
was charged in a manner to obtain the best results possible with the
stack that was attached to the boiler. Nine pounds of water evaporated to
the pound of coal consumed was the best result obtained. The water was
measured by two meters, one in the suction and the other in the
discharge. The water was fed into a heater at a temperature of from 60°
to 62°; the heater was placed in the flue leading from the boiler to the
stack in both gas and coal experiments. In making the calculations, the
standard 76 lb. bushel of the Pittsburg district was used. Six hundred
and eighty-four pounds of water were evaporated per bushel, which was
60.9 per cent. of the theoretical value of the coal. Where gas was burned
under the same boiler, but with a different furnace, and taking 1 lb. of
gas to be 2.35 cubic feet, the water evaporated was found to be 20.31
lb., or 83.4 per cent. of the theoretical heat units were utilized. The
steam was under the atmospheric pressure, there being a large enough
opening to prevent any back pressure, the combustion of both gas and coal
was not hurried. It was found that the lower row of tubes could be
plugged and the same amount of water could be evaporated with the coal;
but with gas, by closing all the tubes--on the end next the stack--except
enough to get rid of the products of combustion, when the pressure on the
walls of the furnace was three ounces, and the fire forced to its best,
it was found that very nearly the same results could be obtained. Hence
it was concluded that the most of the work was done on the shell of the

In no other way can I give the members of the Iron and Steel Institute so
much information in regard to this new fuel as by including in this paper
a very able communication from the chief chemist at our Edgar Thomson
Steel Works, Mr. S.A. Ford, who is to-day the highest authority upon the

"So much has been claimed for natural gas as regards the superiority of
its heating properties as compared with coal, that some analyses of this
gas, together with calculations showing the comparison between its
heating power and that of coal, may be of interest. These calculations
are, of course, theoretical in both cases, and it must not be imagined
that the total amount of heat, either in a ton of coal or 1,000 cubic
feet of natural gas, can ever be fully utilized. In making these
calculations I employed as a basis what in my estimation was a gas of an
average chemical composition, as I have found that gas from the same well
varies continually in its composition. Thus, samples of gas from the same
well, but taken on different days, vary in nitrogen from 23 per cent. to
_nil_, carbonic acid from 2 per cent. to _nil_, oxygen from 4 per cent,
to 0.4 per cent., and so with all the component gases. Before giving the
theoretical heating power of 1,000 cubic feet of this gas I will note a
few analyses. The first four are of gas from the same well; samples
taken on the same day that they were analyzed. The two last are from two
different wells in the East Liberty district:

                          ANALYSES OF NATURAL GAS.

                    |   1    |    2   |    3   |   4    |   5    |   6    |
When tested.........|10-28-84|10-29-84|11-24-84|12-4-84 |10-18-84|10-25-84|
                    | per ct.| per ct.| per ct.| per ct.| per ct.| per ct.|
Carbonic acid ......|    0.8 |    0.6 |   Nil. |   0.4  |  Nil.  |    0.30|
Carbonic oxide......|    1.0 |    0.8 |    .58 |   0.4  |    1.0 |    0.30|
Oxygen... ... ......|    1.1 |    0.8 |    .78 |   0.8  |    2.10|    1.20|
Olefiant gas .......|    0.7 |    0.8 |    0.98|   0.6  |    0.80|    0.6 |
Ethylic hydride ....|    3.6 |    5.5 |    7.92|  12.30 |    5.20|    4.8 |
Marsh gas ..........|   72.18|   65.25|   60.70|  49.58 |   57.85|   75.16|
Hydrogen ...........|   20.02|   26.16|   29.03|  35.92 |    9.64|   14.45|
Nitrogen ...........|  Nil.  |  Nil.  |  Nil.  | Nil.   |   23.41|    2.89|
Heat units .........|728,746 |698,852 |627,170 |745,813 |592,380 |745,591 |

"We will now show how the natural gas compares with coal, weight for
weight, or, in other words, how many cubic feet of natural gas contain as
many heat units as a given weight of coal, say a ton. In order to
accomplish this end we will be obliged, as I have said before, to assume
as a basis for our calculations what I consider a gas of an average
chemical composition, viz.:

                                        Per cent.
Carbonic acid............................ 0.60
Carbonic oxide........................... 0.60
Oxygen................................... 0.80
Olefiant gas............................. 1.00
Ethylic hydride.......................... 5.00
Marsh gas............................... 67.00
Hydrogen................................ 22.00
Nitrogen................................. 3.00

"Now, by the specific gravity of these gases we find that 100 liters of
this gas will weigh 64.8585 grammes, thus:

                             Liters.          grammes.

   Marsh gas................. 67.0            48.0256
   Olefiant gas..............  1.0             1.2534
   Ethylic hydride...........  5.0             6.7200
   Hydrogen.................. 22.0             1.9712
   Nitrogen..................  3.0             3.7632
   Carbonic acid.............  0.6             1.2257
   Carbonic oxide............  0.6             0.7526
   Oxygen....................  0.8             1.1468
     Total................................... 64.8585

"Then, if we take the heat units of these gases, we will find:

                                        Heat units
                           Grammes.      contained.

  Marsh gas................ 48.0256       627,358
  Olefiant gas.............  1.2534        14,910
  Ethylic hydride..........  6.7200        77,679
  Hydrogen.................  1.9712        67,929
  Carbonic oxide...........  0.7526         1,808
  Nitrogen.................  3.7630         -----
  Carbonic acid............  1.2257         -----
  Oxygen...................  1.1468         -----
                            -------       -------
    Totals                  64.8585       789,694

"64.8585 grammes are almost exactly 1,000 grains, and 1 cubic foot of
this gas will weigh 267.9 grains; then the 100 liters, or 64.8585
grammes, or 1,000 grains, are 3,761 cubic feet; 3,761 cubic feet of this
gas contains 789,694 heat units, and 1,000 cubic feet will contain
210,069,604 heat units. Now, 1,000 cubic feet of this gas will weigh
265,887 grains, or in round numbers 38 lb. avoirdupois. We find that
64.8585 grammes, or 1,000 grains, of carbon contain 523,046 heat units,
and 265,887 grains, or 38 lb., of carbon contain 139,398,896 heat units.
Then 57.25 lb. of carbon contain the same number of heat units as 1,000
cubic feet of the natural gas, viz., 210,069,604. Now, if we say that
coke contains in round numbers 90 per cent. carbon, then we will have
62.97 lb. of coke, equal in heat units to 1,000 cubic feet of natural
gas. Then, if a ton of coke, or 2,000 lb., cost 10s., 62.97 lb. will cost
4d., or 1,000 cubic feet of gas is worth 4d. for its heating power. We
will now compare the heating power of this gas with bituminous coal,
taking as a basis a coal slightly above the general average of the
Pittsburg coal, viz.:

                                           Per cent.
  Carbon................................... 82.75
  Hydrogen.................................  5.31
  Nitrogen.................................  1.04
  Oxygen...................................  4.64
  Ash......................................  5.31
  Sulphur..................................  0.95

"We find that 38 lb. of this coal contains 146,903,820 heat units. The
64.4 lb. of this coal contains 210,069,640 heat units, or 54.4 lb. of
coal is equal in its heating power to 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas. If
our coal cost us 5s. per ton of 2,000 lb., then 54.4 lb. costs 1.632d.,
and 1,000 cubic feet of gas is worth for its heat units 1.632d. As the
price of coal increases or decreases, the value of the gas will naturally
vary in like proportions. Thus, with the price of coal at 10s. per ton
the gas will be worth 3.264d. per 1,000 cubic feet. If 54.4 lb. of coal
is equal to 1,000 cubic feet of gas, then one ton, or 2,000 lb., is equal
to 36,764 cubic feet, or 2,240 lb. of coal is equal to 40,768 cubic feet
of natural gas. If we compare this gas with anthracite coal, we find that
1,000 cubic feet of gas is equal to 58.4 lb. of this coal, and 2,000 lb.
of coal is equal to 34,246 cubic feet of natural gas. Then, if this coal
cost 26s. per ton, 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas is worth 9½d. for its
heating power. In collecting samples of this gas I have noticed some very
interesting deposits from the wells. Thus, in one well the pipe was
nearly filled up with a soft grayish-white material, which proved on
testing to be chloride of calcium. In another well, soon after the gas
vein had been struck, crystals of carbonate of ammonia were thrown out,
and upon testing the gas I found a considerable amount of that alkali,
and with this well no chloride of calcium was observed until about two
months after the gas had been struck. In these calculations of the
heating power of gas and coal no account is of course taken of the loss
of heat by radiation, etc. My object has been to compare these two fuels
merely as regards their actual value in heat units."

Bearing in mind that it is never wise to prophesy unless you know, I
hesitate to speak of the future; but considering the experience we have
had in regard to the productiveness of the oil territory, which is now
yielding 70,000 barrels of petroleum per day, and which has continued to
increase year after year for twenty years, I see no reason to doubt the
opinion of experts that the territory which has already been proved to
yield gas will suffice for at least the present generation in and about

       *       *       *       *       *



A very useful contrivance for the purpose of reporting automatically the
failure of the water supply to a gas-engine has been arranged by
Professor Ph. Carl, of Munich. What led to the adoption of the device was
that, during last winter, the water supply in the neighborhood of the
Professor's laboratory was several times cut off without previous notice;
the result being the failure of the water needed for cooling the cylinder
of his Otto gas-engine. On inquiring into the matter, he discovered that
the same thing frequently occurred in other places where gas-engines were
in use; and this caused him to design a contrivance to put an alarm-bell
into action at the instant when the water ceased to flow, and so enable
any overheating of the engine, and injuries thereby resulting, to be
prevented in time. The arrangement (represented half size in the
accompanying engraving) is screwed down directly to the water outflow
pipe, R. Before the aperture of the pipe is a lever, with a disk on one
arm, on to which the issuing water impinges, thereby keeping the lever in
the position indicated by the dotted lines. The effect of this is to
break the platinum contact at C, and so interrupt the circuit of an
alarm-bell placed in any suitable position. Suppose the water ceases to
flow; the spring, F, comes into play, contact is made at C, and the bell
continues to ring till some one comes to stop it. It is almost needless
to remark that the disk, D, and the pin, E, are composed of insulating
material, such as vulcanite.--_Jour. Gas Lighting._

       *       *       *       *       *



It frequently happens in the laboratory that platinum vessels, after
long-continued use, begin to show signs of wear, and become perforated
with minute pinholes. When they have reached this stage, they are usually
accounted of no further utility, and are disposed of as scrap; not that
it is impossible to repair them--for with fine gold wire and an
oxyhydrogen jet this is easily feasible--but that the proper appliances
and skill are not in possession of all. Irrespective of the manipulation
of the hydrogen jet, it is rather difficult without long practice to hold
the end of the fine wire precisely over the aperture and to keep it in
position. It occurred to me that, if the gold in a finely divided
condition could be placed in very intimate contact with the platinum,
judging from the fusibility of gold-platinum alloys, union could be
effected at a lower temperature over the ordinary gas blowpipe. I tried
the experiment, and found the supposition correct. The substance I used
was auric chloride, AuCl_{3}, which, as is well known, splits up on
heating, first into aurous chloride, and at a higher temperature gives
off all its chlorine and leaves metallic gold. Operating on a perforated
platinum basin, in the first instance, I placed a few milligrammes of the
aurous chloride from a 15 grain tube precisely over the perforation, and
then gently heated to about 200° C. till the salt melted and ran through
the holes. A little further heating caused the reduced gold to solidify
on each side of the basin. The blowpipe was now brought to bear on the
bottom of the dish, right over the particular spots it was wished to
solder, and in a few moments, at a yellow-red heat (in daylight), the
gold was seen to "run." On the vessel being immediately withdrawn, a very
neat soldering was evident. The operation was repeated several times,
till in a few minutes the dish had been rendered quite tight and

Using the gold salt in this way, the principal difficulty experienced in
holding gold wire unflinchingly in the exact position vanishes, while
only a comparatively low temperature and small amount of gold is
necessary. Care must be taken to withdraw the platinum from the flame
just at the moment the gold is seen to run, for if the heat be continued
longer, the gold alloys with a larger surface of platinum, spreads, and
leaves the aperture empty. As in the case of all gold-soldered vessels,
the article cannot afterward be safely exposed to a temperature higher
than that at which the soldering was effected, and on this account it is
advisable to use as small an amount of auric chloride as possible. When
the perforations are of comparatively large size, the repairing is not so
easy, owing to the auric chloride, on fusing, refusing to fill them. I
find, however, that if some spongy platinum be mixed with a few
milligrammes of the gold salt, pressed into the perforation, and heat
applied as directed, a very good soldering can be effected. It is well to
hammer the surface of the platinum while hot, so as to secure perfect
union and welding of the two surfaces. This may be done in a few minutes
in such a manner as to render the repair indistinguishable. Strips of
platinum may be joined together in much the same way as already
described--a few crystals of auric chloride placed on each clean surface
and gently heated till nearly black, then bound together and further
heated for a few moments in the blowpipe flame. Rings and tubes can also
be formed on a mandrel, and soldered in the same fashion, and the chemist
thus enabled to build up small pieces of apparatus from sheet platinum in
the laboratory.--_Chem. News._

       *       *       *       *       *


The sides of solid bodies, whatever be the degree of hardness, and
however fine the texture, possess surfaces formed of a succession of
projections and depressions. When two bodies are in contact, these
projections and indentations fit into one another, and the adherence that
results is proportional to the degree of roughness of the surfaces. If,
by a more or less energetic mechanical action, we move one of the bodies
with respect to the other, we shall produce, according as the action
overcomes cohesion, more or less disintegration of the bodies. The
resulting wear in each of them will evidently be inversely proportional
to its hardness and the nature of its surface; and it will vary, besides,
with the pressure exerted between the surfaces and the velocity of the
mechanical action. We may say, then, that the wear resulting from rubbing
two bodies against each other is a function of their degree of hardness,
of the extent and state of their surface, of the pressure, of the
velocity, and of the time.

[Illustration: FIGS. 1, 2 and 3.--APPARATUS FOR SAWING STONE.]

According as these factors are varied in a sense favorable or unfavorable
to their proper action, we obtain variations in the final erosion. Thus,
in rubbing together two bodies of different hardness and nature of
surface, we obtain a wear inversely proportional to the hardness and
state of polish of their surfaces. Through the interposition of a
pulverized hard body we can still further accelerate such wear, as a
consequence of the rapid renewal of the disintegrating element.

The gradual wear effected over the entire surface of a body brings about
a polish, while that effected along a line or at some one point
determines a cleavage or an aperture.

The process usually employed in quarries or stone-yards for sawing
consists in slowly moving a stone-saw backward and forward, either by
hand or machinery, and with scarcely any pressure. Mr. P. Gray has,
however, devised a new process, which is based upon the theoretical
considerations given above. His _helicoidal saw_ is, in reality, an
endless cable formed by twisting together three steel wires in such a way
as to give the spirals quite an elongated pitch.

The apparatus in its form for cutting blocks of stone into large slabs
(Figs. 1, 2, and 3) consists of two frames, A A, five feet apart, each
formed of two iron columns, 7½ feet in height and one foot apart, fixed
to cast iron bases resting upon masonry. At the upper part, a frame, B B,
formed of double T-irons cross-braced here and there, supports a
transmission composed of gearwheels, R R, and a pitch-chain, G G. Along
the columns of the frame, which serve as guides, move two kinds of
pulley-carriers, C C. The pulleys, D D, are channeled, and receive the
cable, a a, which serves as a helicoidal saw. The direction of the saw's
motion is indicated by the arrow. The carriages, C C, are traversed by
screws, V V, which are fixed between the columns. The extremity, v, of
the axle of the pulley to the right is threaded, and actuates a
helicoidal wheel, E, which transmits motion to the wheel, R, through the
intermedium of the vertical shaft, F. This transmission, completed by the
wheels, R R, and the pitch-chains, G G, is designed to move the saw
vertically, through the simultaneous shifting of the carriages, C C. A
tension weight, P, through the intermedium of pulleys, D_{1} D_{1},
permits of keeping the saw taut. A reservoir, H, at the upper part of the
frame, B B, contains the water and sand necessary for sawing. The feeding
is effected by means of a rubber tube, I, terminating in a flattened
rose, J, which is situated over the aperture made by the saw. A small
pump, L. over the reservoir takes water from K, and raises it to H. The
sand is put in by hand.

Above the basin, K, a system of rails and ties supports the carriage, Q,
upon which is placed the block of stone to be sawn. When one operation
has been finished, and it is desired to begin another, it is necessary to
raise the pulley-carriers and the saw. In order to do this quickly, there
is provided a special transmission, M, which is actuated by hand, through
a winch.

The work done by this saw is effected more rapidly than by the ordinary
processes, and certain very hard rocks, usually regarded as almost
intractable, can be sawed at the rate of from one to one and a half
inches per hour.


For sawing marble into slabs of all thicknesses, the arrangement
described above may be replaced by a system consisting of two drums
having several channels to receive as many saws, or two corresponding
series of channeled pulleys, b b (Fig. 4), independent of each other, but
keyed to the same axles, i i. When the pulleys have been properly spaced
by means of keys, the whole affair is rendered solid by a bolt, g. The
extremity of the axles forms a nut into which pass vertical screws, c c.
These latter are connected above with cone-wheels, l l, which, gearing
with bevel wheels keyed to the shafts, e, secure a complete
interdependence of the whole. The ascending motion, which is controlled
by the endless screws, f, and the helicoidal wheels, m, is in this way
effected with great regularity. Uprights, a a, of double T-iron, fixed to
joists, k k, and connected and braced by pieces, d d, form a strong


The power necessary to run this kind of saw is less than _n_ × ¼ H.P.,
on account of the number of passive parts. The most interesting
application of the helicoidal saw is in the exploitation of quarries.
Fig. 5 represents a Belgian marble quarry which is being worked by Mr.
Gay's method.

_Tubular Perforators_.--Mr. Gay has rendered his saw completer by the
invention of a tubular perforator for drilling the preliminary well. It
is based upon the same principle as the Leschot rotary drill, but differs
from that in its extremity being simply of tempered steel instead of
being set with black diamonds. A special product, called metallic
agglomerate, is used instead of sand for hastening the work.

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--TUBULAR PERFORATOR.]

The apparatus, Fig. 6, consists of an iron plate cylinder, A, 27½
inches in diameter, and of variable length, according to the depth to be
obtained, and terminating beneath in a steel head, B, of greater
thickness. This cylinder is traversed by a shaft, C, to which it is
keyed, and which passes through the center of the aperture drilled. This
shaft is connected with the cylinder, A, through the intermedium of cross
bars, D, and transmits thereto a rapid rotary motion, which is received
at the upper part from a telodynamic wire that passes through the channel
of the horizontal pulley, P. This latter is supported by a frame
consisting of three uprights, Q Q, strengthened by stays, R R, fixed to
the ground.

In order that the cylinder, A, may be given a vertical motion, cords, M
M, fixed to a piece, S, loose on the hub, D, wind round the drum of a
windlass, T, after passing over the pulleys, p p.

The rapid gyratory motion of the cylinder, along with the erosive action
of the metallic agglomerate, rapidly wears away the rock, and causes the
descent of the perforator. During this operation a core of marble forms
in the cylinder. This is detached by lateral pressure, and is capable of
being utilized. The tool descends at the rate of from 20 to 24 inches per
hour, or from 8 to 10 yards per day in ordinary lime rock.--_Le Genie

       *       *       *       *       *



The Aqueous Works and Diamond Rock-boring Company, Limited, of London,
show at the Inventions Exhibition, London, a light portable rock-boring
machine for prospecting for minerals, water, etc. It is capable of
sinking holes from 2 in. to 5 in. in diameter, and to a depth of 400 ft.
The screwed boring spindle, which is in front of the machine, is actuated
by miter gearing driven by a six horse power engine; the speed of driving
is 400 revolutions a minute. The pump shown on the left-hand side of the
engraving is used to deliver a constant stream of water through the
boring bar, the connection being made by a flexible hose. Suitable
winding gear for raising or lowering the lining tubes, boring rods, etc.,
is also mounted on the same frame. The drill is automatic in its action,
and the speed can be regulated by friction gearing. The front part of the
carriage is arranged so that it can be swung clear of the drill to raise
and lower the bore rods, etc.

       *       *       *       *       *


Among the safety appliances which are to be found in the Mining Section
of the Inventions Exhibition is a model of an ingenious contrivance for
the prevention of overwinding, the joint patent of Mr. W.T. Lewis,
Aberdare, lead mineral agent to the Marquis of Bute, and W.H. Massey,
electric light engineer to the Queen. Both these gentlemen, having been
members of jury, were not allowed to compete for an award. The invention,
says _Engineering_, seems to possess considerable merit, and it should
prove of practical utility in collieries where enginemen are usually kept
winding for many hours at a stretch, and where the slightest mistake on
the part of the driver may lead to an accident.

Safety hooks are often fitted to winding ropes, and although the damage
to life and property is greatly reduced by the use of them, they do not
protect a descending cage from injury in a case of overwinding; besides
which, they are almost useless when a wild run takes place, an accident
which, strange to say, has already occurred many times after engines and
boilers have been laid off for repairs. Stop valves are left open, the
reversing lever is not fixed in mid-gear, steam is got up in the boilers
at a time when no one is in the engine house, and the engines run away.


Various devices have been suggested and tried as a preventive, but their
application has either caused as much mischief as a bad accident, or it
has depended upon the driver doing something intentionally; whereas in
the automatic gear of Messrs. Massey and Lewis, of which an illustration
is annexed, there is nothing to cause damage or to interfere in any way
with the proper handling of the engines, and it is practically out of the
power of the driver to render the gear inoperative. It is here shown in
its simplest form as applied to the ordinary reversing and steam handles
of a winding engine, the only additions being an arm jointed to the top
of the valve spindle, with its connections to the shaft of the reversing
lever, and a disk receiving a suitable motion from the main shaft of the
engine. On the disk is a projecting piece or stop which is brought into
such positions, at or near the end of each journey, that the stop valve
cannot be opened, except slightly, when the reversing lever is not set
for winding in the proper direction, or when the cages have reached a
point beyond which it is undesirable that the engine driver should have
the power of turning on full steam. Thus, if one cage is at bank, the
driver cannot draw it up into the head gear suddenly; but after it has
been lifted slowly off the keeps or fangs, and the reversing lever thrown
over, the stop valve can be lifted wide open; and supposing that while
the engine is running the driver neglects to shut off steam in proper
time, then the projecting piece on the disk in traveling round, slowly
or quickly, and by steps according to requirements, will come in contact
with the driver, and so prevent an accident by bringing the reversing
lever into or beyond mid-gear.

Messrs. Lewis and Massey contemplate the use of governors in combination
with various forms of their automatic gear, so as to provide for every
imaginable case of winding, and also to avoid accidents when heavy loads
are sent down a pit; the special feature in their mechanism being that
when two or more things happen with regard to the positions of steam or
reversing handles, speed or position of cages in the pit, whatever it may
be necessary to do to meet the particular case shall be done

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote: An address by Prof. W.H. Corfield, M.D., M.A., delivered
before the Sanitary Institute of Great Britain, July 9, 1885.--_Building

As the supply of water to large populations is one of the most important
subjects in connection with sanitary matters, and one upon which the
health of the populations to a very large extent depends, I propose to
give a short account of some of the more important works carried out for
this purpose by the ancient Romans--the great sanitary engineers of
antiquity--more especially as I have had exceptional opportunities of
examining many of those great works in Italy, in France, and along the
north coast of Africa. Of the aqueducts constructed for the supply of
Rome itself we have an excellent detailed account in the work of
Frontinus, who was the controller of the aqueducts under the emperor
Nerva, and who wrote his admirable work on them about A.D. 97.

It may be interesting in passing to mention that Frontinus was a
patrician, who had commanded with distinction in Britain under the
emperor Vespasian, before he was appointed by the emperor Nerva as
controller (or, we should say, surveyor) of the aqueducts. He was also an
antiquarian, and in his work he not only describes the aqueducts as they
were in this time, but also gives a very interesting history of them. He
begins by telling us that for 441 years after the building of the
city--that is to say, B.C. 312--there was no systematic supply of water
to the city; that the water was got direct from the Tiber, from shallow
wells, and from natural springs; but that these sources were found no
longer to be sufficient, and the construction of the first aqueduct was
undertaken during the consulship of Appius Claudius Crassus, from whom it
took the name of the Appian aqueduct. This was, as may be expected from
its being the first aqueduct, not a very long one; the source was about
eight miles to the east of Rome, and the length of the aqueduct itself
rather more than eleven miles, according to Mr. James Parker, to whose
paper on the "Water Supply of Ancient Rome" I am indebted for many of the
facts concerning the aqueducts of Rome itself. This aqueduct was carried
underground throughout its whole length, winding round the heads of the
valleys in its course, and not crossing them, supported on arches, after
the manner of more recent constructions; it was thus invisible until it
got inside the city itself, a very important matter when we consider how
liable Rome was, in these early times, to hostile attacks.

It was soon found that more water was required than was brought by this
aqueduct, and it was no doubt considered desirable to have tanks at a
higher level in the city than those supplied by the Appian aqueduct. It
was determined, therefore, to bring water from a greater height, and from
a greater distance, and the river Anio, above the falls at Tivoli, was
selected for this purpose. The second aqueduct, the Anio Vetus, was no
less than 42 miles in length, and was, like the Appian, entirely under
the surface of the ground, except at its entrance into Rome at a point
about 60 ft. higher than the level of the Appian aqueduct.

Little search has been made for the remains of this aqueduct, and its
exact course is not known; but during my examination of the remains of
the subsequent aqueducts at a place called the Porta Furba, near Rome,
where the ruins of five aqueducts are seen together, and at, or close to,
which point the Anio Vetus must also have passed underground, I was
rewarded for my search by discovering a hole, something like a fox's
hole, leading into the ground; and on clearing away a few loose stones
which had apparently been thrown into it, and putting my arm in, I found
that it led into the specus or channel of an underground aqueduct; and on
relating this incident to the late Mr. John Henry Parker, the
antiquarian, who was then in Rome, and showing him a sketch of the place,
he said that he had no doubt that I had been fortunate enough to discover
the exact position of the veritable Anio Vetus at that spot. These two
aqueducts sufficed for the supply of Rome with water for about 120 years,
for Frontinus tells us that 127 years after the date at which the
construction of the Anio Vetus was undertaken--that is to say, the 608th
year after the foundation of the city--the increase of the city
necessitated a more ample supply of water, and it was determined to bring
it from a still greater distance. It was no longer considered necessary
to conceal the aqueduct underground during the whole of its course, and
so it was in part carried above ground on embankments or supported upon
arches of masonry. The water was brought from some pools in one of the
valleys on the eastern side of the Anio, some miles farther up than the
point from which the Anio Vetus was supplied; and the new aqueduct, which
was 54 miles in length, was called the Marcian, after the Prætor Marcius,
to whom the work was intrusted. Frontinus also tells us the history of
the other six aqueducts which were in existence in his time, viz., the
Tepulan, the Julian, the Virgo, the Alsietine or Augustan, the Claudian,
and the Anio Novus; the last two being commenced by the Emperor Caligula,
and finished by Claudius, because "seven aqueducts seemed scarcely
sufficient for public purposes and private amusements;" but it is not
necessary for our purpose to give any detailed account of the course of
these aqueducts; it is only necessary to mention one or two very
interesting points in connection with them. In order to allow of the
deposit of suspended matters, piscinæ, or settling reservoirs, were
constructed in a very ingenious manner. Each had four compartments, two
upper and two lower; the water was conducted into one of the upper
compartments, and from this passed, probably by what we should call a
standing waste or overflow pipe, into the one below; from this it passed
(probably through a grating) into the third compartment at the same
level, and thence rose through a hole in the roof of this compartment
into the fourth, which was above it, and in which the water, of course,
attained the same level as in the first compartment, thence passing on
along the aqueduct, having deposited a good deal of its suspended matter
in the two lower compartments of the piscinæ. Arrangements were made by
which these two lower compartments should be cleaned out from time to
time. The specus or channel itself was, of course, constructed of
masonry, generally of blocks of stone cemented together, and it was
frequently, though not, it would appear always, lined with cement inside.
It was roofed over, and ventilating shafts were constructed at intervals;
in order to encourage the aeration of the water, irregularities were
occasionally introduced in the bed of the channel. The water supplied by
the different aqueducts was of various qualities; thus, for instance,
that of the Alsietine, which was taken from a lake about 18 miles from
Rome, was of an inferior quality, and was chiefly used to supply a large
naumachia, or reservoir, in which imitation sea fights were performed;
while, on the other hand, the water of the Marcian was very clear and
good, and was therefore used for domestic purposes. Frontinus gives the
most accurate details as to the measurements of the amount of water
supplied by the various aqueducts, and the quantities used for different
purposes. From these details Mr. Parker computes the sectional area of
the water at about 120 square feet, and says: "We can form some opinion
of the vast quantity if we picture to ourselves a stream 20 ft. wide by 6
ft. deep constantly pouring into Rome at a fall six times as rapid as
that of the river Thames." He considers that the amount was equivalent to
about 332 million gallons a day, or 332 gallons per head per day,
assuming the population of the city to be a million. When we consider
that we in London have only 30 gallons a head daily, and that many other
towns have less, we get some idea of the profusion with which water was
supplied to ancient Rome. But the remains of Roman aqueducts are not only
to be found near Rome. Almost every Roman city, whether in Italy or in
the south of France, or along the north coast of Africa, can show the
remains of its aqueduct, and almost the only things that are to be seen
on the site of Carthage are the remains of the Roman water tanks and the
ruins of the aqueduct which supplied them. The most beautiful aqueduct
bridge in the world, on the course of the aqueduct which supplied the
ancient Nemaucus, now Nismes, still stands, and is called, from the name
of the department in which it is, the Pont du Gard. It consists of a row
of large arches crossing the valley over which the water had to be
carried, surmounted by a series of smaller arches, and these again by a
series of still smaller ones, carrying the specus of the aqueduct. This
splendid bridge still stands perfect, so that one can walk through the
channel along which the water flowed, and it might be again used for its
original purpose. There was, however, one city which, from the fact that
a great part of it was situated upon a hill, was more difficult to supply
with water than any of the rest, and which, at the same time, from its
size, its great importance, and the fact that it was the favorite summer
residence of several of the Roman emperors, and notably of Claudius, who
was born there, and who had a palace on the top of the hill, must of
necessity be supplied with plenty of water, and that too from a
considerable height. I refer to Ludgunum (now Lyons), then the capital of
Southern Gaul. This city was built by Lucius Munatius Plaucus, by order
of the Senate in A.U.C. 711. Augustus went there in A.U.C. 738, and
afterward lived there from 741 to 744. It was he who raised it to a very
high rank among Roman cities. It had its forum near the top of the hill
now called Fourvieres (probably a corruption of Forum Vetus), an imperial
place on the summit of the same hill, public baths, an amphitheater, a
circus, and temples.

In order to supply this city with water, standing as it did on the side
of a hill at the junction of two great rivers (now Rhone and Saone), it
was necessary to search for a source at a sufficient height, and this
Plaucus found in the hills of Mont d'Or, near Lyons, where a plentiful
supply of water was found at a sufficient height, viz., that of nearly
2,000 ft. above the sea. From this point an aqueduct, sometimes called
from its source the aqueduct of Mont d'Or, and sometimes the aqueduct of
Ecully, from the name of a large plain which it crossed, was constructed,
or rather two subterranean aqueducts were made and joined together into
one, which crossed the plain of Ecully, in a straight line still
underground; but the ground around Lyons was not like the Campagna, near
Rome, and it was necessary to cross the broad and deep valley now called
La Grange, Blanche. This, however, did not daunt the Roman engineers;
making the aqueduct end in a reservoir on one side of the valley, they
carried the water down into the valley, probably by means of lead pipes,
in the manner which will be described more at length further on, across
the stream at the bottom of the valley by means of an aqueduct bridge 650
ft. long, 75 ft. high, and 28½ ft. broad, and up the other side into
another reservoir, from which the aqueduct was continued along the top of
a long series of arches to the reservoir in the city, after a course of
about ten miles.

In the time of Augustus, however, it was found that the water brought by
this aqueduct was not sufficient, especially in summer; and as there was
a large Roman camp which also required to be supplied with water,
situated at a short distance from the city, it was determined to
construct a second aqueduct. For this purpose the springs at the head of
a small river, called now the Brevenne, were tapped, and conveyed by
means of an underground aqueduct (known as the aqueduct of the Brevenne)
which wound round the heads of the valleys, and after a course of about
thirty miles is believed by some to have arrived at the city, but by
others to have stopped at the Roman camp, and to have been constructed
exclusively for its supply.

I have here a diagram, after Flacheron, showing a section of this
aqueduct, and this will give a very good general idea of the section of a
Roman aqueduct where constructed underground. It will be seen that the
specus or channel is 60 centimeters (or nearly 2 ft.) wide, and 1m. 57c.
(or a little over 5 ft.) high, and that it is lined with a layer of 3 c.
(or nearly 1¼ in.) of cement. It is constructed of quadrangular blocks of
stone cemented together, and has an arched stone roof. It will be noticed
also that the angles at the lower part of the channel are filled up with
cement; it appears also that this aqueduct crossed a small valley by
means of inverted siphons. But neither of these aqueducts came from a
source sufficiently high to supply the imperial palace on the top of

Their sources are, in fact, according to Flacheron, at a height of nearly
50 ft. below the summit of Fourvieres, and it was, therefore, considered
necessary by the emperor Claudius to construct a third aqueduct. The
sources of the stream now called the Gier, at the foot of Mont Pila,
about a mile and a half above St. Chamond, were chosen for this purpose,
and from this point to the summit of Fourvieres was constructed by far
the most remarkable aqueduct of ancient times, an engineering work which,
as will be seen from the following description, partly taken from
Montfalcon's history of Lyons, partly from Flacheron's account of this
aqueduct, and partly from my own observations on the spot, reflects the
greatest possible credit on the Roman engineers, and shows that they were
not, as has been frequently supposed by those who have only examined
aqueducts at Rome, by any means ignorant of the elementary principles of

To tap the sources of a river at a point over 50 miles from the city, and
to bring the water across a most irregular country, crossing ten or
twelve valleys, one being over 300 ft. deep, and about two-thirds of a
mile in width, was no easy task; but that it was performed the remains of
the aqueduct at various parts of its course show clearly enough. It
commences, as I have said, about a mile and a half from the present St.
Chamond, a town on the river Gier, about 16 miles from St. Etienne. Here
a dam appears to have been constructed across the bed of the river,
forming a lake from which the water entered the channel of the aqueduct,
which passed along underground until it came to a small stream which it
crossed by a bridge, long since destroyed.

After this it again became subterraneous for a time, and then crossed
another stream on a bridge of nine arches, the ruins of some of the
columns of which are still to be seen; and from these ruins it would
appear that the bridge had, at some time or another, been destroyed,
probably by the stream running under it having become torrential, and
subsequently rebuilt; again it became concealed underground, to reappear
in crossing a small valley and another small stream, when it was again
concealed by the ground, and in one or two places channels were even cut
for it through the solid rock, after which it reappeared on the surface
at a point where now stands the village of Terre-Noire, and where it was
necessary that it should somehow or another cross a broad and deep
valley. It ended in a stone reservoir, from which eight lead pipes
descending into the valley were carried across the stream at the bottom
on an aqueduct bridge, about 25 ft. wide, and supported by twelve or
thirteen arches, and then mounted the other side of the valley into
another reservoir, of which scarcely any remains are now seen, from which
the aqueduct started again, disappearing almost immediately under the
surface of the ground, to appear again from time to time crossing similar
valleys and streams upon bridges, the remains of some of which may still
be seen, until it reached Soucieu, on the edge of the valley of the
Garonne, where are still seen the remains of a splendid bridge, the
thirteenth on its course, nearly 1,600 ft. long, and attaining a height
of 56 ft. at its highest point above the ground. The object of this
bridge was to convey the channel of the aqueduct at a sufficient height
into a reservoir on the edge of the valley.

The remains of this bridge leave no doubt that it was purposely destroyed
by barbarians; some of the arches near the end of it remain, while the
rest have been thrown down, some on one side and some on the other; but
happily the arches next to the reservoir, at the end of the bridge and on
the edge of the valley, remain, and the reservoir itself is still in part
intact, supported on a huge mass of masonry. Four holes are to be seen in
that part of the front of the reservoir which is left, being the holes
from which the lead pipes descended into the valley. There must have been
nine of these pipes in all. These holes are elliptical in shape, being 12
in. high by 9½ in. wide, and the interior of the reservoir is still seen
to be covered with cement. The walls of the reservoir were about 2 ft. 7
in. thick, and were strengthened by ties of iron; it had an arched stone
roof in which there was an opening for access. From this the nine lead
pipes descended the side of the valley supported on a construction of
masonry, crossed the river by an aqueduct bridge, and ascended into
another reservoir on the other side, entering the reservoir at its upper
part just below the spring of the arches of the roof. From this reservoir
the aqueduct passed to the next on the edge of the large and deep valley
of Bonnan, being underground twice and having three bridges on its
course, the last of which, the sixteenth on the course of the aqueduct,
ends in a reservoir on the edge of the valley. Only one of the openings
by which the siphons, of which there were probably ten, started from the
reservoir is now left. The bridge across the valley below had thirty
arches, and was about 880 ft. long by 24 ft. wide.

A number of the arches still remain standing, and, the pillars of the
arches were constructed of transverse arches themselves. The work
consisted of concrete, formed with Roman cement so hard that it turns the
points of pickaxes when employed against it, with layers of tiles at
regular intervals. The surface of the concrete is covered with small
cubical blocks of stone placed so that their diagonals are horizontal and
vertical, and forming what is known as _opus reticulatum_. After crossing
the bridge the pipes were carried up the other side of the valley into a
reservoir, of which little remains, and then the aqueduct was continued
to the next valley, passing over three bridges in its course. This
valley, that of St. Irenée, is much smaller than either of the others,
but nevertheless it was deep enough to necessitate the construction of
inverted siphons, of which there were eight. Leaving the reservoir on the
other side of this valley, the aqueduct was carried on a long bridge (the
twentieth on its course) which crossed the plateau on the top of
Fourvieres and opened into a large reservoir, the remains of which are
still to be seen on the top of that hill.

From this reservoir, which was 77 ft. long and 51 ft. wide, pipes of lead
conveyed the water to the imperial palace and to the other buildings near
the top of the hill. Some of these lead pipes were found in a vineyard
near the top of Fourvieres at the beginning of the eighteenth century,
and were described by Colonia in his history of Lyons. They are made of
thick sheet lead rolled round so as to form a tube, with the edges of the
sheet turned upward, and applied to one another in such a way as to leave
a small space, which was probably filled with some kind of cement. These
pipes, of which it is said that twenty or thirty, each from 15 ft. to 20
ft. long, were found, were marked with the initial letters TI. CL. CAES.
(Tiberius Claudius Cæsar), and afford positive evidence that the work was
carried out under the emperor Claudius. Lead pipes, constructed in a
similar manner, have also been found at Bath, in this country, in
connection with the Roman baths. The great difference between this
aqueduct and those near Rome arises from the fact that, instead of being
carried across a nearly flat country, it was carried across one
intersected with deep ravines, and that it was therefore necessary to
have recourse to the system of inverted siphons. There can be no doubt
that the inverted siphons were made of lead, although no remains of them
have been found; for we know that the Romans used lead largely, and, as
we have seen, pieces of the lead distribution pipes have been found. It
is possible, and even likely, that strong cords of hemp were wound round
the pipes forming the siphons, as is related by Delorme in describing a
similar Roman aqueduct siphon near Constantinople; Delorme also
describes, in the aqueduct last mentioned, a pipe for the escape of air
from the lowest part of the siphon carried up against a tower, which was
higher than the aqueduct, and it is certain that there must have been
some such contrivance on the siphons of the aqueduct constructed at

Flacheron supposes that they consisted of small pipes carried from the
lowest part of the siphons up along the side of the valley and above the
reservoirs, or, in some instances, of taps fixed at the lowest part of
the siphons. The Romans have been blamed for not using inverted siphons
in the aqueducts at Rome, and it has been said that this is a sufficient
proof that they did not understand the simplest principles of hydraulics,
but the remains of the aqueducts at Lyons negative this assumption
altogether. The Romans were not so foolish as to construct underground
siphons, many miles long, for the supply of Rome; but where it was
necessary to construct them for the purpose of crossing deep valleys,
they did so. The same emperor Claudius who built the aqueduct at Rome
known by his name built the aqueduct of Mont Pila, at Lyons, and it is
quite clear, therefore, that his engineers were practically well
acquainted with the principles of hydraulics. It is thus seen that the
ancient Romans spared no pains to obtain a supply of pure water for their
cities, and I think it is high time that we followed their example, and
went to the trouble and expense of obtaining drinking water from
unimpeachable sources, instead of, as is too often the case, taking
water which we know perfectly well has been polluted, and then attempting
to purify it for domestic purposes.

       *       *       *       *       *


By Chief Engineer JOHN LOWE, U.S. Navy.

The purpose of this article is to point out an easy method whereby any
intelligent engineer can determine the point at which it is most
economical to cut off the admission of steam into his cylinder.

In the attack upon such a problem, it is useful to employ all the senses
which can be brought to bear upon it; for this purpose, diagrams will be
used, in order that the sense of sight may assist the brain in forming
its conclusions.


Fig. XABCX is an ideal indicator card, taken from a cylinder, imagined to
be 600 feet long, in which the piston, making one stroke per minute, has
therefore a piston speed of 600 feet per minute. Divide this card into
any convenient number of ordinates, distant _dx_ feet from each other,
writing upon each the absolute pressure measured upon it from the zero
line XX.

By way of example, let the diameter of the cylinder be 29.59 inches, and
let the back pressure from all causes be 7 pounds uniformly throughout.
It will be represented by the line b_{1}, b_{2}, etc. This quantity
subtracted from the pressures p_{1}, p_{2}, etc., leaves the remainder
(p-b) upon each ordinate, which remainder represents the net pressures
which at that point may be applied to produce external power.

If, now, A is the area of the piston, then the external power (d W)
produced between each ordinate is:

To any convenient scale, upon each ordinate, set off the appropriate
power as calculated by this equation (1).

dW = --------------. (1.)

There will result the curve _w, w, w_, determining the power which at any
point in the diagram is to be regarded as a gain, to be carried to the
credit side of the account.

It is evident that, so long as the gains from expansion exceed the losses
from expansion, it is profitable to proceed with expansion, but that
expansion should cease at that point at which gains and losses just
balance each other.


The requisite data are furnished by the experiments conducted some years
since by President D.M. Greene, of Troy College, for the Bureau of Steam
Engineering, U.S. Navy.

According to these experiments, the heat which is lost per hour by
radiation through a metallic plate of ordinary thickness, exposed to dry
air upon one side and to the source of heat upon the other, for one
degree difference in temperature, is as follows:

             Condition.                    Heat units.

Naked...................................... 2.9330672
Covered with hair felt, 0.25 inch thick.... 1.0540710
     "           "      0.50     "     .... 0.5728647
     "           "      0.75     "     .... 0.4124625
     "           "      1.00     "     .... 0.3070554
     "           "      1.25     "     .... 0.2746387
     "           "      1.50     "     .... 0.2507097

If now t' = temperature of steam at the ordinate,
       t  = temperature of the surrounding atmosphere,
       dS = surface of the cylinder included between each ordinate,
       k  = that figure from the table satisfying the conditions,
then the power loss (dR) per minute will be:

        k    (t'-t)dS
dR = ( -- ) ----------.  (2)
       60     33,000

To the same scale as the power gains, upon each ordinate, set off the
appropriate power loss, as calculated by this equation (2).

There will result the curve r, r, r, which determines the power which at
any point in the diagram is to be regarded as a loss, to be carried to
the debit side of the account. This curve of losses intersects the curve
of gains at a point (it is evident) where each equals the other.

Therefore this is the point at which expansion should cease, and this
absolute pressure is the economic terminal pressure, which determines the
number of expansions profitable under the given conditions.

In the foregoing example are taken k = 0.3070554, t' = 331.169, t = 60,
while the back pressure was taken at 7 pounds.

By way of further illustration, first let the back pressure be changed
from 7 to 5.

By equation 1 there will result a new curve of gains, W, W, W, a portion
only being plotted.

Second, let t' = 331.169 as before.
            t  = 150 instead of 60.
            k  = 0.2507097 instead of 0.3070554.

There will result the second curve of losses, R, R, R, intersecting the
second curve of gains at the point F, the new economic point for our new

These two examples fully illustrate the whole subject, furnishing an easy
and, when carefully made, a very exact calculation and result.

The following are a few of the general conclusions to be drawn:

1. That radiation is a tangible and measurable cause, sufficient to
account for all losses heretofore ascribed to an intangible,
immeasurable, and wholly imaginary cause, viz., "internal evaporation and

2. In order to prevent the high initial temperatures now used becoming a
source of loss, it is necessary to prevent the quantity dS (t'-t)
becoming great, by making dS as small as possible. In other words, we
must compound our engines. Thus for the first time is pointed out the
true reason why compound engines are economical heat engines.

3. The foregoing reasoning being correct, it follows that steam jackets
are a delusion.

4. In order to attain economy, we must have high initial temperatures,
small high pressure cylinders, low back pressures from whatsoever cause,
high piston speeds, short rather than long strokes, to avoid the cooling
effects of a long piston rod; but especially must we have scrupulous and
perfect protection from radiation, especially about the cylinder heads,
now oftentimes left bare.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote: From a recent lecture before the Franklin Institute,

By Lieut. B.A. FISKE, U.S.N.

Lieutenant Fiske began by paying a tribute to the remarkable pioneer
efforts of Colonel Samuel Colt, who more than forty years ago blew up
several old vessels, including the gunboat Boxer and the Volta, by the
use of electricity. Congress voted Colt $17,000 for continuing his
experiments, which at that day seemed almost magical; and he then blew up
a vessel in motion at a distance of five miles. Lieut. Fiske next
referred briefly to the electrical torpedoes employed in the Crimean war
and our civil war.

At the present day, an electrical torpedo may be described as consisting
of a strong, water-tight vessel of iron or steel, which contains a large
amount of some explosive, usually gun-cotton, and a device for detonating
this explosive by electricity. The old mechanical mine used in our civil
war did not know a friendly ship from a hostile one, and would sink
either with absolute impartiality. But the electrical submarine mine,
being exploded only when a current of electricity is sent through it from
ship or shore, makes no such mistake, and becomes harmless when detached
from the battery. The condition of the mine at any time can also be told
by sending a very minute current through it, though miles away and buried
deep beneath the sea.

When a current of electricity goes through a wire, it heats it; and if
the current be made strong enough, and a white hot wire thus comes in
contact with powder or fulminate of mercury in a torpedo, an explosion
will result. But it is important to know exactly when to explode the
torpedo, especially during the night or in a fog; and hence torpedoes are
often made automatic by what is called a circuit closer. This is a device
which automatically bridges over the distance between two points which
were separated, thus allowing the current to pass between them. In
submarine torpedoes it is usual to employ a small weight, which, when the
torpedo is struck, is thrown by the force of the blow across two contact
points, one of which points is in connection with the fuse and the other
in connection with the battery, so that the current immediately runs over
the bridge thus offered, and through the fuse. In practice, these two
contact points are connected by a wire, even when the torpedo is not in
the state of being struck; but the wire is of such great resistance that
the current is too weak to heat the wire in the fuse. Yet when the weight
above mentioned is thrown across the two contact points, the current runs
across the bridge, instead of through the resistance wire, and is then
strong enough to heat the wire in the fuse and explode the torpedo. The
advantage of having a wire of high resistance between the contact points,
instead of having no wire between them, is that the current which then
passes through the fuse, though too weak to fire it, shows by its very
existence to the men on shore that the circuit through the torpedo is all

But instead of having the increased current caused by striking the
torpedo to fire the torpedo directly, a better way is to have it simply
make a signal on shore. Then, when friendly vessels are to pass, the
firing battery can be disconnected; and when the friendly ship bumps the
torpedo, the working of the signal shows not only that the circuit
through the fuse is all right, but also that the circuit closer is all
right, so that, had the friendly ship been a hostile ship, she would
certainly have been destroyed.

While the management of the torpedo is thus simple, the defense of a
harbor becomes a complex problem, on account of the time and expense
required to perfect it, and the training of a corps of men to operate the

In order to detect the presence of torpedoes in an enemy's harbor, an
instrument has been invented by Capt. McEvoy, called the "torpedo
detecter," in which the action is somewhat similar to that of the
induction balance, the iron of a torpedo case having the effect of
increasing the number of lines of force embraced by one of two opposing
coils, so that the current induced in it overpowers that induced in the
other, and a distinct sound is heard in a telephone receiver in circuit
with them. As yet, this instrument has met with little practical success,
but, its principle being correct, we can say with considerable confidence
that the reason of its non-success probably is that the coils and current
used are both too small.

Lieut. Fiske described the spar torpedo and the various classes of
movable torpedoes, including the Lay. His conclusion is that the most
successful of the movable torpedoes is the Simms, with which very
promising experiments have been conducted under the superintendence of
Gen. Abbot.

Recent experiments in England have shown that the Whitehead torpedo, over
which control ceases after it is fired, is not so formidable a weapon
when fired at a ship _under way_ as many supposed, for the simple reason
that it can be dodged. But an electrical torpedo, over which control is
exercised while it is in motion through the water, cannot be dodged,
provided it receives sufficient speed. For effective work against ships
capable of steaming fifteen knots per hour, the torpedo should have a
speed of twenty knots. There is no theoretical difficulty in the way of
producing this, for a speed of eleven knots has already been recorded,
though an electric torpedo, to get this speed, would have to be larger
than a Whitehead having the same speed. It may be conceived that a
torpedo carrying 50 lb. of gun-cotton, capable of going 20 knots per
hour, so that it would pass over a distance of 500 yards in about 45
sec., and yet be absolutely under control all the time, so that it can be
constantly kept pointed at its target, would be a very unpleasant thing
for an enemy to meet.

Military telegraphy is a second use of electricity in warfare. Lieut.
Fiske traces its origin to our own civil war. Foreign nations took the
hint from us, and during the invasion of France the telegraph played a
most important part. In military telegraph trains, miles of wire are
carried on reels in specially constructed wagons, which hold also
batteries and instruments. Some of the wire is insulated, so that it can
rest on the ground, and thus be laid out with great speed, while other
wire is bare, and is intended to be put on poles, trees, etc. For
mountain service the wires and implements are carried by pack animals.
Regularly trained men are employed, and are drilled in quickly running
lines, setting up temporary stations, etc. In the recent English
operations in Egypt, the advance guard always kept in telegraphic
communication with headquarters and with England, and after the battle of
Tel-el-Kebir news of the victory was telegraphed to the Queen and her
answer received in forty-five minutes.

The telephone is also used with success in warfare, and in fact sometimes
assists the telegraph in cases where, by reason of the haste with which a
line has been run, the current leaks off. A telephone may then be used to
receive the message--and for a transmitter a simple buzzer or automatic
circuit breaker, controlled by an ordinary key. In the case of vessels
there is much difficulty in using the telegraph and the telephone, as the
wire may be fouled and broken when the ship swings by a long chain. In
England in the case of a lightship this difficulty has been surmounted,
or rather avoided, by making hollow the cable by which the ship rides,
and running an insulated wire along the long tube thus formed inside. But
the problem is much simplified when temporary communication only is
desired between ships at anchor, between a ship and the shore, or even
between a ship and a boat which has been sent off on some special
service, such as reconnoitering, sounding, etc. In this case portable
telephones are used, in which the wire is so placed on a reel in circuit
with the telephone that communication is preserved, even while the wire
is running off the reel.

The telegraph and telephone are both coming largely into use in artillery
experiments, for example, in tracking a vessel as she comes up a channel
so that her exact position at each instant may be known, and in
determining the spot of fall of a projectile. In getting the time of
flight of projectiles electricity is of value; by breaking a wire in
circuit with a chronograph, the precise instant of start to within a
thousandth of a second being automatically registered. Velocimeters are a
familiar application of electricity somewhat analogous. In these, wires
are cut by the projectile at different points in its flight, and the
breaking of the electric current causes the appearance of marks on a
surface moving along at a known speed. The velocity of the projectile in
going from one wire to another can then be found.

Electricity is also used for firing great guns, both in ships and forts.
In the former, it eliminates the factor of change produced by the rolling
of the ship during the movement of the arm to fire the gun. The touch of
a button accomplishes the same thing almost instantaneously. Moreover, an
absolutely simultaneous broadside can be delivered by electricity. The
officer discharges the guns from a fighting tower, whither the wires
lead, and the men can at once lie down out of the enemy's machine guns,
as soon as their own guns are ready for discharge. The electric motor
will certainly be used very generally for handling ordnance on board
ships not very heavily plated with armor, since a small wire is a much
more convenient mode of conveying energy to a motor of any kind, and is
much less liable to injury, than a comparatively large pipe for conveying
steam, compressed air, or water under pressure. Besides, the electric
motor is the ideal engine for work on shipboard, by reason of its smooth
and silent motion, its freedom from dirt and grease, the readiness with
which it can be started, stopped, and reversed, and its high efficiency.
Indeed, in future we may look to a protected apparatus for all such uses
in every fort and every powerful ship.

In photographing the bores of great guns, electric lights are used, and
they make known if the gun is accurately rifled and how it is standing
the erosion of the powder gases.

In the case of a fort, electricity can be employed in connection with the
instruments used for determining at each instant the position of an
approaching vessel or army. Whitehead torpedoes are now so arranged that
they can be ejected by pressing an electric button.

Electric lights for vessels are now of recognized importance. At first
they were objected to on the ground that if the wire carrying the current
should be shot away in action, the whole ship would be plunged in
darkness; and so it would be in an accident befalling the dynamo that
generates the current. The criticism is sensible, but the answer is that
different circuits must be arranged for different parts of the ship, and
the wires carrying the current must be arranged in duplicate. It is also
easy to repair a break in a copper wire if shot away. As to the dynamo
and engines, they must be placed below the water line, under a protective
deck, and this should be provided for in building the vessel. There
should be several dynamos and engines. All the dynamos should, of course,
be of the same electromotive force, and feed into the same mains, from
which all lamps draw their supply, and which are fed by feeders from the
dynamo at different points, so that accident to the mains in one part of
the ship will affect that part only. But it is the arc light, used as
what is called a search light, that is most valuable in warfare. Lieut.
Fiske thinks its first use was by the French in the siege of Paris, to
discover the operations of the besiegers. It can be carried by an army in
the field, and used for examining unknown ground at night, searching for
wounded on the battle field, and so on. On fighting vessels the search
light is useful in disclosing the attack of torpedo boats or of hostile
ships, in bringing out clearly the target for guns, and in puzzling an
enemy by involving him successively in dazzling light and total darkness.
Lieut. Fiske suggests that this use would be equally effective in
embarrassing troops groping to the attack of a fort at night by sudden
alternations of blinding light and paralyzing darkness. There should be
four search lights on each side of a ship.

As to the power and beauty of the search light, Lieut. Fiske refers to
the magnificent one with which he lighted up Philadelphia last autumn,
during the electric exhibition in that city. One night he went to the
tower of the Pennsylvania railroad station and watched the light
stationed at the Exhibition building on 32d street. The ray of light when
turned at right angles to his direction looked like a silver arrow going
through the sky; and when turned on him, he could read the fine print of
a railroad time table at arm's length. Flashes from his search light were
seen at a distance of thirty miles.

In using incandescent lamps for night signaling, the simplest way is to
arrange a keyboard with keys marked with certain numbers, indicating the
number of lamps arranged in a prominent position, which will burn while
that key is being pressed. For example, suppose the number 5348 means
"Prepare to receive a torpedo attack." Press keys 5, 3, 4, 8, and the
lights of lamps 5, 3, 4, 8, successively blaze out.

Electrical launches have been used to some extent, their storage
batteries being first charged ashore or on board the ship to which the
launch belongs. They have carried hundreds of people, and have made eight
knots an hour. The improvement of storage batteries, steadily going on,
will eventually cause the electrical launch to replace the steam launch.
One of its advantages is in having no noise from an exhaust and no flame
flaring above a smoke pipe to betray its presence. In warfare two sets of
storage batteries should be provided for launches, one being recharged
while the other is in use.

Mr. Gastine Trouse has recently invented "an electric sight," a filament
of fine wire in a glass tube covered with metal on all sides save at the
back. The battery is said to be no larger than a man's finger, and to be
attached to the barrel near the muzzle by simple rubber bands, so
arranged that the act of attaching the battery to the barrel
automatically makes connection with the sight; and so arranged also that
the liquid of the battery is out of action except when the musket is
brought into a horizontal position for firing.

To throw a good light upon the target the same inventor has devised a
small electric lamp and projector, which is placed on the barrel near the
muzzle by rubber bands, the battery being held at the belt of the
marksman, with such connections that the act of pressing the butt of the
musket against the shoulder completes the circuit, and causes the bright
cylinder of light to fall on the target, thus enabling him to get as good
a shot as in the day time.

Search lights and incandescent lights are advantageously used with
balloons. In submarine boats electricity will one day be very useful.
Submarine diving will play a part in future wars, and the diver's lamp
will be electrical.

Progress has been made also in constructing "electrical guns," in which
the cartridge contains a fuse which is ignited by pressing an electric
button on the gun. A better aim can be had with it, when perfected, than
with one fired by a trigger. At present, according to Lieut. Fiske, this
invention has not reached the practical stage, and the necessity for a
battery to fire a cartridge is decidedly an objection. But the battery is
very small, needs little care, and will last a long time. The hard pull
of the ordinary trigger causes a movement of the barrel except in the
hands of the most highly skilled marksmen, and this hard pull is a
necessity, because the hammer or bolt must have considerable mass in
order to strike the primer with sufficient force to explode it. Having
the mass, it must have considerable inertia; hence it needs a deep notch
to hold it firm when jarred at full cock, and this deep notch
necessitates a strong pull on the trigger. But with an electric gun the
circuit-closing parts are very small and light, and can be put into a
recess in the butt of the gun, out of the way of chance blows. Thus a
light pressure of the finger is alone needed to fire it, while from the
small inertia of the parts a sudden shock will not cause accidental
closing of the circuit and firing of the gun.

       *       *       *       *       *


Our readers have already been informed through these columns that,
notwithstanding the refusal of the Attorney-General, Mr. Garland, to
institute suit for the nullification of the Bell patent, application has
again been made by the Globe Telephone Co., of this city, the Washington
Telephone Co., of Baltimore, and the Panelectric Co. These applications
have been referred to the Interior Department and Patent Office for
examination, and upon their report the institution of the suit depends.
The evidence which the companies above mentioned have presented includes
not only the statement of Prof. Gray and the circumstances connected with
his caveat, but brings out fully, for the first time, the claims of
Antonio Meucci.

[Illustration: MEUCCI'S CAVEAT, 1871.]

The latter evidence is intended to show that Meucci invented the
speaking telephone not only before Bell, but that he antedated Reis by
several years. In a recent interview with Meucci we obtained a brief
history of his life and of his invention, which will, no doubt, interest
our readers. Meucci, a native of Italy, was educated in the schools of
Florence, devoting his time as a student to mechanical engineering. In
1844 he gave considerable attention to the subject of electricity, and
had a contract with the government of the island of Cuba to galvanize
materials used in the army. While experimenting with electricity he read
the works of Becquerel, Mesmer, and others who treated largely of the
virtues of electricity in the cure of disease. Meucci made experiments in
this direction, and at one time thought that he heard the sound of a sick
person's voice more distinctly than usual, when he had the spatula
connected with the wire and battery in his mouth.

[Illustration: FIGS. 1 AND 2.--1849.]

The apparatus he used for this purpose is shown in Fig. 1. It consists of
an oval disk or spatula of copper attached to a wire which was coiled and
supported in an insulating handle of cork. To ascertain that he was able
to hear the sound, he covered the device with a funnel of pasteboard,
shown in the adjoining figure, and held it to his ear, and thought that
he heard the sound more distinctly.

These instruments were constructed in 1849 in Havana, where Meucci was
mechanical director of a theater. In May, 1851, he came to this country,
and settled in Staten Island, where he has lived ever since. It was not
until a year later that he again took up his telephonic studies, and then
he tried an arrangement somewhat different from the first. He used a tin
tube, Figs. 3 and 4, and covered it with wire, the ends of which were
soldered to the tongue of copper. With this instrument, he states, he
frequently conversed with his wife from the basement of his house to the
third floor, where she was confined as an invalid.

[Illustration: FIGS. 3 AND 4.--1852.]

Continuing his experiments, he conceived the idea of using a bobbin of
wire with a metallic core, and the first instrument he constructed on
this idea is shown in Fig. 5. It consisted of a wooden tube and
pasteboard mouth piece, and supported within the tube was a bundle of
steel wires, surrounded at their upper end by a bobbin of insulated wire.
The diaphragm in this instrument, was an animal membrane, and it was slit
in a semicircle so as to make a flap or valve which responded to the air
vibrations. This was the first instrument in which he used a bobbin, but
the articulation naturally left much to be desired, on account of the use
of the animal membrane. Meucci fixes the dates from the fact that
Garibaldi lived with him during the years 1851-54, and he remembers
explaining the principles of his invention to the Italian patriot.

After constructing the instrument just described, Meucci devised another
during 1853-54. This consisted of a wooden block with a hole in the
center which was filled with magnetic iron ore, and through the center of
which a steel wire passed. The magnetic iron ore was surrounded by a coil
of insulated copper wire. But an important improvement was introduced
here in the shape of an iron diaphragm. With this apparatus greatly
improved effects were obtained.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--1853.]

In 1856 Meucci first tried, he says, a horseshoe magnet, as shown in Fig.
6, but he went a step backward in using an animal membrane. He states
that this form did not talk so well as some which he had made before, as
might be expected.

During the years 1858-60 Meucci constructed the instrument shown in Fig.
7. He here employed a core of tempered steel magnetized, and surrounded
it with a large coil. He used an iron diaphragm, and obtained such good
results that he determined to bring his invention before the public. His
national pride prompted him to have the invention first brought out in
Italy, and he intrusted the matter to a Mr. Bendalari, an Italian
merchant, who was about to start for that country. Bendalari, however,
neglected the matter, and nothing was heard of it from that quarter. At
the same time Meucci described his invention in _L'Eco d'Italia_, an
Italian paper published in this city, and awaited the return of

Meucci, however, kept at his experiments with the object of improving his
telephone, and several changes of form were the result. Fig. 8 shows one
of these instruments constructed during 1864-65. It consisted of a ring
of iron wound spirally with copper wire, and from two opposite sides iron
wires attached to the core supported an iron button. This was placed
opposite an iron diaphragm, which closed a cavity ending in a mouthpiece.
He also constructed the instrument which is shown in Fig. 9, and which,
he says, was the best instrument he had ever constructed. The bobbin was
a large one, and was placed in a soapbox of boxwood, with magnet core and
iron diaphragm. Still seeking greater perfection, Meucci, in 1865, tried
the bent horseshoe form, shown in Fig. 10, but found it no improvement;
and, although he experimented up to the year 1871, he was not able to
obtain any better results than the best of his previous instruments had

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--1856.]

When Meucci arrived in this country, he had property valued at $20,000,
and he entered into the brewing business and into candle making, but he
gradually lost his money, until in 1868 he found himself reduced to
little or nothing. To add to his misery, he had the misfortune of being
on the Staten Island ferryboat Westfield when the latter's boiler
exploded with such terrible effect in 1871. He was badly scalded, and for
a time his life was despaired of. After he recovered he found that his
wife, in their poverty, had sold all his instruments to John Fleming, a
dealer in second-hand articles, and from whom parts of the instruments
have recently been recovered.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--1858-60.]

With the view of introducing his invention, Meucci now determined to
protect it by a patent; and having lost his instrument, he had a drawing
made according to his sketches by an artist, Mr. Nestori. This drawing he
showed to several friends, and took them to Mr. A. Bertolino, who went
with him to a patent attorney, Mr. T.D. Stetson, in this city. Mr.
Stetson advised Meucci to apply for a patent, but Meucci, without funds,
had to content himself with a caveat. To obtain money for the latter he
formed a partnership with A.Z. Grandi, S.G.P. Buguglio, and Ango
Tremeschin. The articles of agreement between them, made Dec. 12, 1871,
credit Meucci as the inventor of a speaking telegraph, and the parties
agree to furnish him with means to procure patents in this and other
countries, and to organize companies, etc. The name of the company was
"Teletrofono." They gave him $20 with which to procure his caveat, and
that was all the money he ever received from this source.

The caveat which Meucci filed contained the drawing made by Nestori, and
as shown in the cut, which is a facsimile, represents two persons with
telephones connected by wires and batteries in circuit. The caveat,
however, does not describe the invention very clearly; it describes the
two persons as being insulated, but Meucci claims that he never made any
mention of insulating persons, but only of insulating the wires. To
explain this seeming incongruity, it must be stated that Meucci
communicated with his attorney through an interpreter, as he was not
master of the English language; and even at the present time he
understands and speaks the language very poorly, so much so that we found
it necessary to communicate with him in French during the conversation in
which these facts were elicited.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--1864-65.]

In the summer of 1872, after obtaining his caveat, Meucci, accompanied by
Mr. Bertolino, went to see Mr. Grant, at that time the Vice President of
the New York District Telegraph Company, and he told the latter that he
had an invention of sound telegraphs. He explained his inventions and
submitted drawings and plans to Mr. Grant, and requested the privilege of
making a test on the wires of the company, which test if successful would
enable him to raise money. Mr. Grant promised to let him know when he
could make the test, but after nearly two years of waiting and
disappointment, Mr. Grant said that he had lost the drawings; and
although Meucci then made an instrument like the one shown in Fig. 9 for
the purpose of a test, Mr. Grant never tried it. Meucci claims that he
made no secret of his invention, and as instance cites the fact that in
1873 a diver by the name of William Carroll, having heard of it, came to
him and asked him if he could not construct a telephone so that
communication could be maintained between a diver and the ship above.
Meucci set about to construct a marine telephone, and he showed us the
sketch of the instrument in his memorandum book, which dates from that
time and contains a number of other inventions and experiments made by

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--1864-65.]

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--1865.]

When Professor Bell exhibited his inventions at the Centennial, Meucci
heard of it, but his poverty, he claims, prevented him from making his
protestations of priority effective, and it was not until comparatively
recently that they have been brought out with any prominence.--_The
Electrical World._

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote: Paper read before Section B, British Association, Aberdeen


The late Dr. Mohr[1] of Bonn, advocated the use of a centrifugal machine
as a means of rapidly drying crystals and crystalline precipitates; but
although they are admirably adapted for that purpose, centrifugal
machines are seldom seen in our chemical laboratories.

[Footnote 1: "Lehrb. d. Chem. Analyt. Titrirmethode," 3d ed., 1870, p.

The neglect of this valuable addition to our laboratory apparatus is
probably owing to the inconvenience involved in driving the machine at a
high speed by means of the ordinary hand driving gear, especially when
the rotation has to be maintained for a considerable length of time. It
occurred to me, therefore, that by attaching the drum or basket of the
machine (or the rotating table of Mohr's apparatus) directly to the
spindle of an electro-motor, the difficulty of driving might be got over,
and at the same time a combination of great efficiency would result, as
the electro-motor, like the centrifugal machine, is most efficient when
run at a high speed. The apparatus shown in the sketch consists
essentially of a perforated basket, A, which is slipped on to a cone
attached to the spindle, S, of an electro-motor, and held in position by
the nut, D. The casing, B, with its removable cover, C, serves to receive
the liquid driven out of the substance being dried. A flat form of the
ordinary Siemens H armature, E, revolves between the poles, P, of the
electro-magnets, M, which are connected by means of the base plate, I.
The brass cross-bar, G, carries the top bearing of the spindle, S, and
prevents the magnet poles from being drawn together.


From four to six cells of a bichromate battery or Faure secondary battery
furnish sufficient power to run the machine at a high speed. An apparatus
with a copper basket four inches in diameter has been found extremely
useful in the laboratory for drying such substances as granulated
sulphate of copper and sulphate of iron and ammonia, but more especially
for drying sugar, which when crystallized in very small crystals cannot
be readily separated from the sirupy mother-liquor by any of the usual
laboratory appliances. For drying substances which act on copper the
basket may be made of platinum or ebonite; in the latter case, owing to
the increased size of the perforations, it may be necessary to line the
basket with platinum wire gauze or perforated parchment paper.

       *       *       *       *       *


The experiments of M. Marcel Deprez have entered on a decisive phase. The
dynamos are completed, and were put in place on the 20th October, when M.
Deprez carried out some preliminary tests in the presence of a commission
consisting of MM. Collignon, Inspector-General des Ponts et Chaussées;
Delebecque, Ingenieur en Chef du Materiel et de la Traction of the
Northern Railway of France; Contanini, engineer in the same company; and
Sartaux. The generating dynamos made by MM. Breguet, and the receiving
dynamos constructed by MM. Mignon and Rouart, were during a preliminary
trial placed side by side, one portion of the circuit being very short,
and the other twice the distance between La Chapelle and Creil, or
seventy miles. In future experiments the two dynamos will be placed in
their normal positions at each end of the line. The generating machine is
driven by a locomotive engine; the resistance of its field magnets is
5.68 ohms, and of the two armatures 33 ohms. The resistance of the two
armatures of the receiving machine is 36.8 ohms, and the resistance of
the line is 97 ohms; the generator and receiver field magnets are excited
each by a separate machine. Five different trials were made at varying
speeds of the driving shaft; the initial work on this shaft was measured
by a dynamometer, and the available energy of the shaft of the receiving
machine was ascertained by a Prony brake; the other results of the
experiments were deduced from the constants of the machines and from
galvanometric measurements. For the first trials the different elements
were as follows:

1. _Generating dynamos:_
  Velocity of shaft                 123 revolutions.
  Electromotive force at terminals, 3370.25 volts.
        "        "            total 3624.7    "
  Available work at driving shaft.    43   h. p.
  Electrical work of generator        37.38 "
  Difference absorbed                  5.62 "

2. _Line:_
  Work absorbed by the line.           7.59 h. p.

3. _Receiving dynamos:_
  Velocity of shaft                  154 revolutions.
  Electromotive force at terminals,  2616.25 volts.
        "       "        total       2336.94  "
  Electrical work of receiver          24.10 h. p.
  Available work on shaft              22.10  "
  Difference absorbed                   2     "

The duty obtained would thus be 22.10/43 = 51.3 per cent., if the work
absorbed by the exciting machines be not considered. Taking this into
account, it would be reduced to 40 per cent.

In subsequent experiments the speed of the generator was increased
gradually. In the last trial the following were the elements:

1. _Generating dynamos:_
  Speed of shaft                      190 revolutions.
  Electromotive force at terminals    5231.25 volts.
        "       "        total        5469.75  "
  Available work on driving shaft,      62    h. p.
  Electrical work on generator          53.59  "
  Difference absorbed                    8.51  "
  Work absorbed by armature              2.33  "

2. _Line:_
  Work absorbed by conductors        7.21 h. p.

3. _Receiving dynamos_:
  Speed of shaft                      248 revolutions.
  Electromotive force at terminals    4508    volts.
  Electromotive force total           4242.67  "
  Electrical work of receiver           41.44 h. p.
  Work measured on receiver shaft       35.8   "
  Difference absorbed                    5.64  "
  Duty obtained, not including exciting machine 57 per cent.
  Duty obtained, including exciting machine     48    "

During the various experiments the current traversing the line varied
from 7.59 amperes to 7.21 amperes. No heating of any kind was observed.

M.J. Bertrand, who communicated a paper to the Academy of Sciences on the
subject, commented on the relatively low speeds. It corresponds to a
linear displacement of the surface armatures, in no case exceeding the
speed of a locomotive wheel. The tension reached 5,500 volts., under very
satisfactory mechanical conditions, and with a current that in no way
endangered the line. This first experiment is certainly encouraging, and
it will be followed by others of a more complete and exhaustive
character. MM. De Rothschild are now embodying a powerful commission of
French and foreign scientists who will follow the subject carefully, and
report upon it. It may be safely predicted that one result of this action
will be the development of a new series of observations of the highest
technical interest and value.--_Engineering._

       *       *       *       *       *


The trick with the locked and corded box, I believe, is an old one,
though perhaps not in its present form. In late years it has been revived
with improvements, and popularized by those clever illusionists, Messrs.
Maskelyne & Cook and Dr. Lynn, at the Egyptian Hall. There are several
ways of working the trick or, rather, of arranging the special bit of
mechanism wherein the peculiar features of the box consist. The one I am
about to describe is, I think, the best of those I am acquainted with, or
at liberty to divulge. Indeed, I don't know that any method is better,
and this one has the advantage over most others of allowing the performer
to get into as well as out of the box, without leaving a trace of his
means of ingress. It will be seen the box is paneled, and all the panels
look equally firm and fixed. As a matter of fact, one of the panels is
movable, though the closest scrutiny would fail to discover this if the
box and fittings are carefully made and adjusted. Fig. 1 shows the
general appearance of the box, of which the back is the same as the
front. In the box I describe, the end marked + has a movable panel. The
size of the box should be regulated by the size of the performer; but one
measuring 3 feet 6 inches long by 2 feet back to front, and 21 inches
high, exclusive of the lid, which may be 3 inches, will be of general
use. In making the box it is most important that all sides and panels
look alike, and that nothing special in the appearance of the end with
the loose panel should attract notice. Fig. 2 shows this end with
fittings drawn half of full size, and it will he seen from this that the
framing, A, is 3 inches wide by 1¼ inches thick, and the panel, B, ½ inch

[Illustration: FIG. 1.]

It will be noticed that the top and bottom rails of the frame are
rabbeted to receive the panel, but the sides are grooved, the groove in
front rail being double the depth of the one in the back rail.


The dotted line, B, shows the size of the panel; the dotted line, C,
shows the depth of groove in the front rail. From this it will be clear
that the panel is only held in place at the back and front, and that on
sliding it toward the front it will be free out of the groove in the back
rail. Three sides of it are thus free, and a little manipulation will
allow of its being taken out altogether, leaving plenty of space for the
performer to get out, presuming him to have been locked inside the box.

If the panel were to be finished in this way, without further fittings,
the secret would soon be discovered; and I now proceed to show how the
panel is held in place and firm while under examination.

Determine the size of screws that are to be used in fixing the brass
corner clamps. Let us say No. 7 is decided on; and if brass screws are
used, then get a piece of brass, Fig. 4, the exact diameter of the
screw-head, and a little longer than the thickness of the framing. If
iron screws are to be used, then this piece must be iron. Now bore a hole
into which this bolt will fit closely, right through the framing at D,
Fig. 2. It is most important that the hole should be made close up to the
edge of the panel, B, so that when the bolt is in it firmly holds the
panel, and prevents it moving from back to front in the grooving. Now get
a piece of sheet brass, 1/8 inch thick, and cut it to the shape shown by
E, Fig. 2. The width of this piece should not be less than 3/8 inch, and
it must be of such length that the end reaches to the middle of the top
framing, as shown at L, Fig. 2. This piece of brass is sunk in the top
and front framing, as shown by the dotted lines, G, in Figs. 2 and 3, and
also in section in the latter.

When the box is open, the lower or short arm of this lever, which is
shaped as shown full size, at E, Fig. 8, is kept pressed down on the
bolt, D, as shown by the dotted lines, E, E, E, Fig. 2, and E, Fig. 7, by
of the spring, J, Fig. 2.

On the box being closed, a pin on the under edge of lid goes into the
hole, L, Fig. 3, and presses the end of the lever down in such a way as
to raise the claw end of it from D. The thick dotted lines, F, F, F, Fig.
2, show position of lever when box is closed.

It will be noted that the bolt, D, Fig. 4, has a groove cut in it all
around, into which the claw fits. This prevents the bolt being pushed
backward or forward when the box is open.

The lever must be hung as shown, K, Fig. 2. The exact position of this
is immaterial, but it is as well to have the fulcrum as near the end as
may be, in order that the claw may be raised sufficiently with only a
small movement of the short arm of the lever. Of course, the shorter the
arm is, the more accurately the lid and pin must be made to close.

If the pin, pressing short arm down, be too short, the pressure will not
be enough to release the claw, and consequently the performer might find
himself really unable to get out of the box after it is locked.

The end of the lever should be finished with a wood block, as Fig. 6,
larger than the pin on the lid, as represented by L and M, Fig. 3.

The block may be of other material, but should be colored the same as the
wood the box is made of, so that, if any one were to look down on it, no
suspicion would be aroused, as might be were plain brass used.

[Illustration: FIG 4.]

[Illustration: FIG 5.]

In Fig. 5, I show an easy way of hanging the lever. It is simply a piece
of wire sharpened and notched, so as to form several small barbs,
preventing withdrawal. The mode of fixing will be easily understood by
reference to B and C, Fig. 5. Some considerable amount of care will have
to be bestowed on fitting and adjusting this part of the work, on which
the successful performance of the trick consists, and before finally
fixing up, it should be ascertained that all the movements work
harmoniously. It will be best to cut the groove in which the lever works
from below, and, after the lever is fixed, to fill up the space not
required by the lever with strips of wood, H, H. If preferred, the space
can be shaped out from the back, i.e., the inside of the framing, and
then filled where not required, but as this, however neatly done, would
show a joint which might be detected by sharp eyes, it is better to cut
from below, though more troublesome.

The end containing the movable panel being arranged, make up the rest of
the box to it, taking care to make the rebates of the top and bottom
frames to correspond with those of the end.

The other panels should not, however, depend on the grooves on two sides
only, but at tops and bottoms as well.

[Illustration: FIG. 6.]

[Illustration: FIG. 7. & FIG. 8.]

[Illustration: FIG. 9.]

The rebates are to be cut only to have all the framing inside look alike;
and as the panel, B, is made to fit quite close into the rebate, it will
not be surmised that it is not fitted in the usual way.

After the box is made and fitted together, the clamping must be done. The
only necessity for this is in order that the bolt, D, which we have seen
is made on the outside end exactly to match the screws used to fasten the
clamps, should not be conspicuous, as it would be were it alone. As it
is, it will not be specially observable, being apparently only one of the
screws to fasten the clamps.

The clamps may be of thin brass or iron, shaped as shown at Fig. 9. One
of the corner holes must be arranged to cover D exactly, and the others
regulated to it. Let us suppose that A, Fig. 9, is the one through which
the bolt goes; the other corner screw holes must be equally distant from
the edges of the clamps. Twelve of these clamps will be needed. After
they have been screwed on, put the bolt through, and let the claw of the
lever hold it in place. Then mark and cut the bolt flush with the clamp,
making a hollow on the end of it to imitate the screws, as D, Fig. 4. The
other end of the bolt should either be made flush with the inside of
frame and colored to match it, or, better, cut short and faced flush with
a piece of wood to match the framing.

If a piece of wood with a knot be chosen for this side of the frame, so
much the better. Immediately over the hole, L, a wooden pin should be
fixed in the lid, and of such length that it will press the short arm of
lever down sufficiently. It should fit the hole pretty closely.

At the other end, a corresponding pin and hole should be made, and, say,
two along the front. These will then look as if they were intended merely
as fittings to hold the lid in position. The lid at the other end of the
box from the movable panel should have a stop of some sort; the ordinary
brass joint stop will do as well as any, and should be strong. The reason
for placing it at what I may call "the other end" is that, when the box
is being examined, it will attract notice, and draw attention from the
movable panel end.

We may now finally adjust the loose panel, which must fit tight at top
and bottom, and be slightly beveled, as shown on section. Two holes must
also be cut through it, at such a distance from each other that a finger
and thumb can be put through them, so as to allow of the panel being
moved. In the deep grooving in front also put a couple of springs, say
pieces of clock springs, as shown, I, I, Fig, 2. These serve to assist
the bolt, D, by pushing the panel into position.

Holes to match those in end panel must also be cut in the other panels,
and when a lock, preferably a padlock, has been fitted, the box is

I don't know whether it is necessary to say that the lid should be hinged
at the back, and of course it will add to the appearance of the box if it
be polished or oiled.

Now, for those who may not have seen the locked and corded box trick
performed, a few words of caution may not be out of place. Don't forget
to have something in a pocket easily got at that will serve to push the
bolt out, before going into the box. A piece of stout wire, a small
pencil case, or anything of that sort will do. Be careful when getting
into the box to lie with your head toward the loose panel end, and face
toward the front--as there will be no space to turn round; the right hand
will then be uppermost and free to push the bolt out. Having done this,
grasp the panel with the finger and thumb by means of the two holes, push
it to the front of the box, when the back edge will be clear of the
groove. It can now easily be pulled into the box, and the performer can
creep out. When out, refix panel and bolt so that everything looks as it
was. Any cording that may be over the end of the box will give
sufficiently to allow of exit.

I have, I think, made it quite clear that padlock and ropes have nothing
to do with the real performance of the trick, but they serve to mystify
spectators, who may be allowed to knot the rope and seal the knots in any
way they choose.

There must always be a screen or curtain to hide the box from the
spectators while the performer is getting in or out.--_D.B. Adamson, in
Amateur Work._

       *       *       *       *       *


The _Metallarbeiter_ remarks that metals have in most cases experienced a
reduction in value of late years, this depreciation being attributed in
some measure to the cheaper methods of obtaining metals as well as to the
discovery of new sources of mineral wealth.

The following comparative table shows the approximate prices of various
metals in December, 1874, and December, 1884:

             Dec., 1874.                 Dec., 1884.
               Per lb.                     Per lb.
               £  s  d.                    £  s. d.
  Osmium      71 10  0                    62  0  0
  Iridium     70  0  0                    45  0  0
  Gold        62 15  0                    63  0  0
  Platinum    25  7  6                    21  7  6
  Thallium    23 17  6                     4 15  0
  Magnesium   10  5  0                     1 15  0
  Potassium    5  0  0                     4  0  0
  Silver       3 17  6        (in Hamburg) 3  7  6
  Aluminum     1 16  0                     1 16  0
  Cobalt       1 14  0                     1  2  0
  Sodium       0 14  2                     0  8  8
  Nickel       0 11  0                     0  3  1
  Bismuth      0  8  1                     0  8  1
  Cadmium      0  7  1                     0  4  0
  Quicksilver  0  2  0         (in London) 0  1  9
  Tin          0  1  1         (in Berlin) 0  0  9
  Copper       0  0 10         ("    "   ) 0  0  7
  Arsenic      0  0  8                     0  0  4-1/2
  Antimony     0  0  6-1/4     ("    "   ) 0  0  5
  Lead         0  0  2-3/4     ("    "   ) 0  0  1-3/8
  Zinc         0  0  2-1/2     ("    "   ) 0  0  1-3/4
  Steel        0  0  1-3/8     ( in        0  0  0-3/4
  Bar iron     0  0  1-1/8       Upper     0  0  0-5/8
  Pig iron     0  0  0-7/16      Silesia ) 0  0  0-1/4

Gold now ranks highest in value of all metals, the competition of osmium
and iridium having been over come. It is only by reason of improved
methods of preparation that the latter have become cheaper, while their
use has at the same time increased. Iridium is mixed with platinum in
order to increase its strength and durability. The normal standards of
the metrical system are made of platinum-iridium on account of its known
immutabilty. In 1882, platinum stood 15 per cent. below its present
value; but its increased employment for industrial purposes led to the
subsequent improvement in price. Thallium has experienced a severe
depreciation on account of the economical process by which it is
extracted from the residue of the lead chambers used in the manufacture
of sulphuric acid. The use of this metal is mainly confined to
experimental purposes. The fall in silver has arisen from increased
production and diminished use for coinage.

Magnesium was scarcely of any industrial value prior to the fall in price
now recorded. Improved processes for its treatment have successfully
engaged the attention of scientific men, and it is now capable of being
used as an alloy with other metals. The Salindres factory regulates the
price to a certain extent, and its system of working is regarded as a
guide in the various processes connected with this branch of industry.
The manufacture of potassium and sodium will, it is expected, be more
fully elucidated than hitherto, by means of researches made at Schering's
Charlottenburg factory. The course of nickel prices illustrates the
stimulus to economical production afforded by an increased consumption.
This latter fact is principally due to the employment of nickel for
coinage, as alloy for alfenide, etc. The use of cadmium is materially
restricted by its relatively limited supply. Hitherto, its only source
was in the incidental products of zinc distillation, but of late it has
been attempted to bring it into solution from its oxide combinations. An
increased employment of cadmium for industrial purposes is expected to

Production in excess of the demand has caused the depreciation recorded
in tin, and various other metals not commented upon, this remark applying
even to the scarce metals, arsenic and antimony. Even the better marks of
Cornwall tin and Mansfield refined copper have had to follow the downward
course of the market.

       *       *       *       *       *


The annexed figure represents a perpetual calendar, which any one can
construct for himself, and which permits of finding the day that
corresponds to a given date, and conversely.

The apparatus consists of a certain number of circles and arcs of circles
divided by radii. The ring formed by the two last internal circles is
divided into 28 equal parts, which bear the names of the week, the first
seven letters of the alphabet in reversed order, and two signs X. The
circle formed by the external circumference of the ring constitutes the
movable part of the apparatus, and revolves around its center. Two
circular sectors, which are diametrically opposite, are each divided into
seven parts and constitute the fixed portions. In the divisions of the
upper sector are distributed the months, according to the order of the
monthly numbers. In the other sector the days of the month are regularly
distributed. In order to render the affair complete, a table is arranged
upon the movable disk for giving the annual numbers, or rather, in this
case, the annual letters. The calendar is used as follows: Say, for
example, we wish to find what days correspond to the different dates of
August, 1885; we look in the table for the letter (D) that corresponds to
this year; then we bring this letter under the given month (August) and
the days marked upon the movable disk corresponding to the dates sought,
and it only remains to make a simple reading.


It will be seen that the leap-years correspond to two letters. We here
employ the first to Feb. 29 inclusive, and the second for the balance of
the year. The calendar may be made of cardboard, and be fixed to
wood.--_La Nature._

       *       *       *       *       *


Around the door of a Sixth Ave. bird store near Twenty-third St. was
gathered the other day a crowd so large that it was a work of several
minutes to gain entrance to the interior. From within there proceeded a
hoarse voice dashed with a suspicion of whisky, which bellowed in
Irish-American brogue the enlivening strains of "Peek-a-boo." With each
reiteration of "Peek-a-boo" the crowd hallooed with delight, and one
small boy, in the exuberance of his joy, tied himself into a sort of knot
and rolled on the pavement. Suddenly the inebriated Irishman came to a
dead stop, and another voice, pleasanter in quality, sang the inspiring
national ode of "Yankee Doodle," followed by the stentorian query and
answer all in one, "How are the Psi-Upsilon boys? Oh, they're all right!"

A passer-by, puzzled at the scene, made his way into the store and soon
solved the mystery. In a large cage in the center was an enormous green
and yellow parrot, which was hanging by one foot to a swinging perch, and
trolling forth in different voices with the ease of an accomplished
ventriloquist. He resumed a normal position as he was approached, and
flapping his wings bellowed out, "Hurrah for Elaine and Logan!" Then,
cocking his head on one side, he dropped into a more conversational tone,
and with a regular "Alice in Wonderland" air remarked: "It's never too
late to mend a bird in the hand;" and again, after a pause, "It's a long
lane that never won fair lady." His visitor affably remarked:

"You're quite an accomplished bird, Polly," and quick as a flash the
creature replied:

"I can spell, I can. C-a-t, cat. D-o-g, fox," with an affectation of
juvenility which was grewsome. He resented an ill-advised attempt at
familiarity by snapping at the finger which tried to scratch his poll,
and barked out:

"Take care! I'm a bad bird, I am. You betcher life!"

"He's one of the cleverest parrots I have had for some time," said his
owner, Mr. Holden. "In fact, he is almost as good as Ben Butler, whom I
sold to Patti. His stock of proverbs seems inexhaustible, and he makes
them quite funny by the ingenious way in which he mixes them up. I could
not begin to tell you all the things he says, but his greatest
accomplishment is his singing. He is a double yellowhead--the only
species of parrot which does sing. The African grays are better talkers,
but they do not sing. They only whistle. What do I ask for him? Oh, I
think $200 is cheap for such a paragon, don't you?"--_N.Y. Tribune._

       *       *       *       *       *


The celebrated Roscoff zoological station was founded in 1872, and has
therefore been in existence for thirteen years; but it may be said that
it has changed appearance thirteen times. Those who, for the last six or
seven years, have gone thither to work with diligence find at every
recurring season some improvement or new progress.

A rented house, a small shed in a yard, little or no apparatus, and four
work rooms--such was the debut of the station; and modest it was, as may
be seen. Later on, the introduction of a temporary aquarium, which,
without being ornamental, was not lacking in convenience, sufficed for
making some fine discoveries regarding numerous animals.

A small boat served for supplying necessaries to the few workers who were
then visiting Roscoff; but as the number of these kept gradually
increasing, it became necessary to think of enlarging the station, and
the purchase of a piece of property was decided upon. Since then, Mr.
Lacaze Duthiers has done nothing but develop and transform this first
acquisition. A large house, which was fitted up in 1879, formed the new
laboratory. This was built in a large garden situated nearly at the edge
of the sea. We say _nearly_, as the garden in fact was separated from the
sea by a small road. The plan in Fig. 1 shows that this road makes an
angle; but formerly it was straight, and passed over the terrace which
now borders upon the fish pond. How many measures, voyages, and endless
discussions, and how much paper and ink, it has taken to get this road
ceded to the laboratory! Finally, after months of contest, victory
rewarded Mr. Duthiers's tenacity, and he was then able to begin the
construction of a pond and aquarium. All this was not done at once.


Another capital improvement was made in 1882. The public school adjoining
the establishment was ceded to it, the separating walls fell, the school
became a laboratory, the class rooms were replaced by halls for research,
and now no trace of the former separation can be seen--so uniform a whole
does the laboratory form. No one knows what patience it required to form,
piecemeal as it were, so vast an establishment, and one whose every part
so completely harmonizes.

During the same year a park, one acre in area, was laid out on the beach
opposite the laboratory. This is daily covered by the sea, and forms a
preserve in which animals multiply, and which, during the inclement
season, when distant excursions are impossible, permits of satisfying the
demands that come from every quarter. All, however, is not finished. Last
year a small piece of land was purchased for the installation of
hydraulic apparatus for filling the aquarium. This acquisition was
likewise indispensable, in order to prevent buildings from being erected
upon the land and shutting off the light from the work rooms opposite.
Alas, here we find our enemy again--the little road! Negotiations have
been going on for eighteen months with the common council, and, what is
worse, with the army engineers, concerning the cession of this wretched

The reader now knows the principal phases of the increases and
improvements through which the Roscoff station has passed. If, with the
plan before his eyes, he will follow us, we will together visit the
various parts of the laboratory. The principal entrance is situated upon
the city square, one of the sides of which is formed by the buildings of
the station. We first enter a large and beautiful garden ornamented with
large trees and magnificent flowers which the mild and damp climate of
Roscoff makes bloom in profusion. We next enter a work room which is
designed for those pupils who, doing no special work, come to Roscoff in
order to study from nature what has been taught them theoretically in the
lecture courses of schools, etc. There is room here for nine pupils, to
each of whom the laboratory offers two tables, with tanks, bowls,
reagents, microscopes, and instruments of all kinds for cabinet study, as
well as for researches upon animals on the beach. Here the pupils are in
presence of each other, and so the explanations given by the laboratory
assistants are taken advantage of by all. At the end of this room, on
turning to the left, we find two large apartments--the library and
museum. Here have been gradually collected together the principal works
concerning the fauna of Roscoff and the English Channel, maps and plans
useful for consultation, numerous memoirs, and a small literary library.
The scientific collection contains the greater portion of the animals
that inhabit the vicinity of Roscoff. To every specimen is affixed a
label giving a host of data concerning the habits, method of capture, and
the various biological conditions special to it. In a few years, when the
data thus accumulated every season by naturalists have been brought
together, we shall have a most valuable collection of facts concerning
the fauna of the coast of France. Two store rooms at the end of these
apartments occupy the center of the laboratory, and are thus more easy of
access from the work rooms, and the objects that each one desires can be
quickly got for him.


After the store rooms comes what was formerly the class room for boys,
and which has space for three workers, and then the former girls' class
room, which has space for eight more. Let us stop for a moment in this
large room, which is divided up into eight stalls, each of which is put
at the disposal of some naturalist who is making original researches.
Fig. 2 represents one of these, and all the rest are like it. Three
tables are provided, the space between which is occupied by the worker.
Of these, one is reserved for the tanks that contain the animals,
another, placed opposite a window giving a good light, supports the
optical apparatus, and the last is occupied by delicate objects,
drawings, notes, etc., and is, after a manner, the worker's desk. Some
shelving, some pegs, and a small cupboard complete the stall. It is
unnecessary to say that the laboratory furnishes gratuitously to those
who are making researches everything that can be of service to them.

Four of these stalls are situated to the north, with a view of the sea,
and the other four overlook the garden. They are separated from each
other by a simple partition, and all open on a wide central corridor that
leads to the aquarium. Before reaching the latter we find two offices
that face each other, one of them for the lecturer and the other for the
preparator. These rooms, as far as their arrangement is concerned, are
identical with the stalls of the workers. The laboratory, then, is
capable of receiving twenty-three workers at a time, and of offering them
every facility for researches.


The aquarium is an immense room, 98 ft. in length by 33 in width, glazed
at the two sides. It is at present occupied only by temporary tanks that
are to be replaced before long by twenty large ones of 130 gallons
capacity, and two oval basins of from 650 to 875 gallons capacity,
constructed after the model of the one that is giving so good results at
Banyuls. At the extremity of the aquarium there is a store room
containing trawls, nets of all kinds, and mops, for the capture of
animals. Here too is kept the rigging of the two laboratory boats, the
Dentale and Laura. Above the store room is located the director's work

A wide terrace separates the aquarium from the pond. This latter is 38
yards long by 35 wide. Thanks to a system of sluice valves, it is filled
during high tide, and the water is shut in at low tide, thus permitting
of having a supply of living animals in boxes and baskets until the
resources of the laboratory permit of a more improved arrangement. This
basin is shown in Fig. 3. It is at the north side of the laboratory as
seen from the beach. Here too we see the aquarium, the garden, and a
portion of the shore that serves as a post for the station boats.

We must not, in passing, fail to mention the extreme convenience that the
proximity of the aquarium work room to the pond and sea offers to the

This entire collection of halls, constituting the scientific portion of
the laboratory, occupies the ground floor. The first and second stories
are occupied by sleeping apartments, fourteen in number. These, without
being luxurious, are sufficiently comfortable, and offer the great
advantage that they are very near the work rooms, thus permitting of
observing, at leisure, and at any hour of the day or night, the animals
under study.

Everything is absolutely free at the laboratory. The work rooms,
instruments, reagents, boats, dwelling apartments, etc., are put at the
disposal of all with an equal liberality; and this absence of distinction
between rich or poor, Frenchmen or foreigners, is the source of a
charming cordiality and good will among the workers.

Shall we speak, too, of the richness of the Roscoff fauna? This has
become proverbial among zoologists, as can be attested by the 265 of them
who have worked at the laboratory. The very numerous and remarkable
memoirs that have been prepared here are to be found recorded in the
fourteen volumes of the _Archives de Zoologie Experimentale_ founded by
Mr. Lacaze Duthiers.

It only remains to express our hope that the aquarium may be soon
finished; but before this is done it will be necessary to get possession
of that unfortunate little road. After this final victory, Mr. Duthiers
in his turn will be able, amid his pupils, to enjoy all those advantages
of his work which he has until now offered to others, but from which he
himself has gained no benefit.--_La Nature._

       *       *       *       *       *


Of all fish, eels are probably the most interesting, as the least is
known of them. Electricians are now examining the animal source of
electricity in the electric eel (Gymnotus electricus); zoologists are
still searching for the solution of the problem of the generation of
eels, of which no more is known than that the young eels are not born
alive; and numerous fishing societies are now studying the important
question of raising eels in ponds, lakes, etc., that are not connected
with the sea.


The annexed cut, taken from the _Illustrirte Zeitung_, is a copy of a
drawing by Muetzel, and represents a group of Mediterranean Murænæ
(Muræna Helena). This fish attains a length of from 5 ft. to 6 ft., and
has a smooth, scaleless body of a dark color, on which large light-yellow
spots appear, which give the fish a very peculiar appearance. The
pectoral fin is missing, but it has the dorsal and anal fins, which it
uses with great ability. Its head is pointed, and its jaws are provided
with extraordinarily sharp teeth, which are inclined toward the rear; and
at each side of the head it is provided with a gill. The nostrils are on
the upper side of the snout, and a second, tubular, pair of nostrils is
located near the eyes. The bright eyes have a fierce expression, which
makes the fish appear very much like a snake. These fish are ravenous,
and devour crabs, snails, worms, and fishes, and if they have no other
food, bite off the tails of their brethren. They are caught in eel
baskets or cages, and by means of hooks; but they are rather dangerous to
handle, as they attack the fishermen and injure them severely.

Since the times of the ancients, Murænæ have been prized very highly on
account of their savory flesh. The Romans were great experts at feeding
these fish, Vidius Pollio being the master of them all, as he made a
practice of feeding his Murænæ with the flesh of slaves sentenced to
death. Pliny states that at Cæsar's triumphal entry Hirius furnished six
thousand Murænæ. Slaves were frequently driven into the ponds, and were
immediately attacked by the voracious fishes, and killed in a very short

       *       *       *       *       *


In the chapter entitled "Das insektenleben in arktischen ländern," which
Dr. Christopher Aurivillius contributes to the account of A.E.
Nordenskiöld's Arctic investigations, published this year in Leipzig,[2]
the author says: "The question of the mode of life of insects and of its
relation to their environment in the extreme north is one of especial
interest. Knowing, as we do, that any insect in the extreme north has at
the most not more than from four to six weeks in each year for its
development, we wonder how certain species can pass through their
metamorphosis in so short a period. R. McLachlan adverts, in his work
upon the insects of Grinnell Land, to the difficulties which the
shortness of the summer appears to put in the way of the development of
the insects, and expresses the belief that the metamorphosis which we are
accustomed here to see passed through in one summer there requires
several summers. The correctness of this supposition has been completely
shown by the interesting observations which G. Sandberg has made upon
species of lepidoptera in South Varanger, at 69° 40' north latitude.
Sandberg succeeded in following the development from the egg onward of
some species of the extreme north. _Oeneis bore_, Schn., a purely Arctic
butterfly, may be taken as an example. This species has never been found
outside of Arctic regions, and even there occurs only in places of purely
Arctic stamp. It flies from the middle of June onward, and lays its eggs
on different species of grass. The eggs hatch the same summer; the larva
hibernates under ground, continues eating and growing the next summer,
and does not even then reach its full development, but winters a second
time and pupates the following spring. The pupa, which in closely related
forms, in regions further to the south, is suspended free in the air upon
a blade of grass or like object, is in this case made in the ground,
which must be a very advantageous habit is so raw a climate. The imago
leaves the pupa after from five or six weeks, an uncommonly long period
for a butterfly. In more southern regions the butterfly pupa rests not
more than fourteen days in summer. The entire development, then, takes
place much more slowly than it does in regions further south. Sandberg
has shown, then, by this and other observations, that the Arctic summer,
even at 70° N., is not sufficient for the development of many
butterflies, but that they make use of two or more summers for it. If
then more than one summer is requisite for the metamorphosis of the
butterflies, it appears to me still more likely that the humble-bees need
more than one summer for their metamorphosis. With us only the developed
female lives over from one year to the next; in spring she builds the new
nest, lays eggs, and rears the larvæ which develop into the workers, who
immediately begin to help in the support of the family; finally, toward
autumn, males and females are developed. It seems scarcely credible that
all this can take place each summer in the same way in Grinnell Land, at
82° N., especially as the access to food must be more limited than it is
with us. The development of the humble-bee colony must surely be quite
different there. If it is not surely proved that the humble-bees occur at
so high latitudes, one would not, with a knowledge of their mode of life,
be inclined to believe that they could live under such conditions. They
seem, however, to have one advantage over their relatives in the south.
In the Arctic regions none of those parasites are found which in other
regions lessen their numbers, such as the _conopidæ_ among the flies, the
mutillas among the hymenoptera, and others."--_Psyche._

[Footnote 2: Nordenskiöld, A.E., Studien und forschungen veranlasst durch
meine reisen im hohen norden. Autorisirte ausgabe. Leipzig, Brockhaus,
1885, 9 + 581 pp., 8 pl., maps, O. il.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote: Volunteer report presented to Nebraska State Medical
Society, May, 1885, at Grand Island, Neb.]

By L.A. MERRIAM, M.D., Omaha, Neb.,

Professor of the Principles and Practice of Medicine in the
University of Nebraska College of Medicine, Lincoln, Neb.

The records of the Nebraska State Medical Society show that the only
report of progress on nervous and mental diseases ever made in the
history of the society (sixteen years) was made by the writer last year;
and expecting that those appointed to make a report this year would,
judging by the history of the past, fail to prepare such a report, I have
seen fit to prepare a brief volunteer report of such items of progress as
have come to my notice during the last twelve months. I have not been
able to learn that any original work has been done in our State during
the past year, nor that those having charge of the insane hospital have
utilized the material at their command to add to the sum of our knowledge
of mental diseases.

Last year I said: "There is a growing sentiment that many diseases not
heretofore regarded as nervous (and perhaps all diseases) are of nervous
origin." This truth, that all pathologico-histological changes in the
tissues of the body are degenerative in character, and, whether caused by
a parasite, a poison, or some unknown influence, are first brought about
by or through a changed innervation, is one that is being accepted very
largely by the best men in the profession, and the accumulation of facts
is increasing rapidly, and the acceptance of this great truth will prove
to be little short of revolutionary in its influence on the treatment of
the disease. This is the outgrowth of the study of disease from the
standpoint of the evolution hypothesis. Derangements of function precede
abnormalities of structure; hence the innervation must be at fault before
the organ fails. Hence the art of healing should aim at grappling with
the neuroses first, for the local trophic changes, perverted secretions,
and structural abnormalities are the effects or symptoms, not the causes
of the disease. Dr. J.L. Thudicum has studied the chemical constitution
of the brain, and he holds that, "When the normal composition of the
brain shall be known to the uttermost item, then pathology can begin its
search for abnormal compounds or derangements of quantities." The great
diseases of the brain and spine, such as general paralysis, acute and
chronic mania, and others, the author believes will all be shown to be
connected with special chemical changes in neuroplasm, and that a
knowledge of the composition and properties of this tissue and of its
constituents will materially aid in devising modes of radical treatment
in cases in which, at present, only tentative symptomatic measures are

The whole drift of recent brain inquiry sets toward the notion that the
brain always acts as a whole, and that no part of it can be discharging
without altering the tensions of all the other parts; for an identical
feeling cannot recur, for it would have to recur in an unmodified brain,
which is an impossibility, since the structure of the brain itself is
continually growing different under the pressure of experience.

Insanity is a disease of the most highly differentiated parts of the
nervous system, in which the psychical functions, as thought, feeling,
and volition, are seriously impaired, revealing itself in a series of
mental phenomena. Institutions for the insane were at first founded for
public relief, and not to benefit the insane; but this idea has changed
in the past, and there is a growing feeling that a natural and domestic
abode, adapted to the varying severity of the different degrees of
insanity, should be the place for the insane, with some reference to
their wants and necessities, and that many patients (not all) could be
better treated in a domestic or segregate asylum than in the prison-like
structures that so often exist, and that the asylum should be as much
house-like and home-like in character as the nature of the insanity would
permit; while exercise and feeding are accounted as among the best
remedies in some cases of insanity, particularly in acute mania.

The new disease called morbus Thomsenii, of which I wrote in my report
last year, has been carefully studied by several men of eminence, and the
following conclusions have been reached as to its pathology: The weight
of the evidence seems to prove that it is of a neuropathic rather than a
myopathic nature, and that it depends on an exaggerated activity of the
nervous apparatus which produces muscular tone, and that it has much
analogy to the muscular phenomena of hysterical hypnosis, the genesis of
which is precisely explained by a functional hyperactivity of the nervous
centers of muscular activity. Until quite recently it was supposed that
the rhythmical action of the heart was entirely due to the periodical and
orderly discharge of motor nerve force in the nerve ganglia which are
scattered through the organ; but recent physiological observations, more
especially the brilliant researches of Graskell, seem to show that the
influence of the cardiac ganglia is not indispensable, and that the
muscular fiber itself, in some of the lower animals, at all events
possesses the power of rhythmical contraction.

Several valuable additions to our knowledge of the anatomy of the nervous
system have been made by Huschke, Exner, Fuchs, and Tuczek.

Tuczek and Fuchs have confirmed the discoveries of Exner, that there are
no medullated nerve fibers in the convolutions of the infant, and
Flechzig has developed this law, that "medullated nerve fibers appear
first in the region of the pyramidal tracts and corona radiata, and
extend from them to the convolutions and periphery of the brain," being
practically completed about the eighth year. This fact is of practical
importance in nervous and mental diseases, since it is becoming an
admitted truth that the histological changes in disease follow in an
inverse order the developmental processes taking place in the embryo.
Hence the recent physiological division of the nervous system by Dr.
Hughlings Jackson into highest, middle, and lowest centers, and the
evolution of the cerebro-spinal functions from the most automatic to the
least automatic, from the most simple to the most complex, from the most
organized to the least organized. In the recognition of this division we
have the promise of a steadier and more scientific advance, both in the
physiology and in the pathology of the nervous system.

Mr. Victor Horsley has recently demonstrated the existence of true
sensory nerves supplying the nerve trunks of nervi-nervorum.

Prof. Hamilton, of Aberdeen, claims that the corpus callosum is not a
commissure, but the decussation of cortical fibers on their way down to
enter the internal and external capsules of the opposite side.

Profs. Burt G. Wilder, of Ithaca, and T. Jefrie Parker, of New Zealand
Institute, have proposed a new nomenclature for macroscopic encephalic
anatomy, which, while seemingly imperfect in many respects, has, at
least, the merit of stimulating thought, and has given an impulse to a
reform which will not cease until something has been actually
accomplished in this direction. The object being to substitute for many
of the polynomial terms, technical and vernacular, now in use, technical
names which are brief and consist of a single word. This has already been
adopted by several neurologists, of whom we may mention Spitzka, Ramsey,
Wright, and H.T. Osborn.

Luys holds that the brain, as a whole, changes its position in the
cranial cavity according to different attitudes of the body, the free
spaces on the upper side being occupied by cerebro-spinal fluid, which,
obeying the laws of gravity, is displaced by the heavier brain substance
in different positions of the body.

Luys claims that momentary vertigo, often produced by changing from a
horizontal to a vertical position, seasickness, pain in movement in cases
of meningitis, epileptic attacks at night, etc., may be by this
explained. These views of Luys are accepted as true, but to a less extent
than taught by Luys. The prevalent idea that a lesion of one hemisphere
produces a paralysis upon the opposite side of the body alone is no
longer tenable, for each hemisphere is connected with both sides of the
body by motor tracts, the larger of the motor tracts decussating and the
smaller not decussating in the medulla. Hence a lesion of one hemisphere
produces paralysis upon the opposite side of the body. It has recently
been established that a lesion of one hemisphere in the visual area
produces, not blindness in the opposite eye, as was formerly supposed,
but a certain degree of blindness in both eyes, that in the opposite eye
being greater in extent than that in the eye of the same side. Analogy
would indicate that other sensations follow the same law, hence the
probability is that all the sensations from one side of the body do not
pass to the parietal cortex of the opposite side, but that, while the
majority so pass, a portion go up to the cortex of the same side from
which they come.

Dr. Hammond says that the chief feature of the new Siberian disease
called miryachit is, that the victims are obliged to mimic and execute
movements that they see in others, and which motions they are ordered to

Dr. Beard, in June, 1880, observed the same condition when traveling
among the Maine hunters, near Moosehead Lake. These men are called
jumpers, or jumping Frenchmen. Those subject to it start when any sudden
noise reaches the ears. It appears to be due to the fact that motor
impulse is excited by perceptions without the necessary concurrence of
the volition of the individual to cause the discharge, and are analogous
to epileptiform paroxysms due to reflex action.

The term spiritualism has come to signify more than has usually been
ascribed to it, for some recent authors are now using the term to denote
a neurosis or nervous affection peculiar to that class of people who
claim to be able to commune with the spirits of the dead.

Evidence obtained from clinical observations has tended of late to locate
the pathological lesions of chorea in the cerebral cortex.

Dr. Godlee's operation of removing a tumor from the brain marks an
important step in cerebral localization, and cerebral surgery bids fair
to take a prominent place in the treatment of mental diseases.

Wernicke has observed that the size of the occipital lobes is in
proportion to the size of the optic tracts, and that the occipital lobes
are the centers of vision.

Hughlings Jackson has observed that limited and general convulsions were
often produced by disease in the cortex of the so-called motor
convolutions. The sense of smell has been localized by Munk in the gyri
hippocampi, while the center of hearing has been demonstrated to be in
the temporal lobes. The center for the muscles of the face and tongue is
in the inferior part of the central convolution; that for the arm, in the
central part; that for the leg, in the superior part of the same
convolution; the center for the muscles and for general sensibility, in
the angular gyrus; and the center for the muscles of the trunk, in the
frontal lobes. In pure motor aphasia the lesion is in the posterior part
of the left third frontal convolution; in cases of pure sensory aphasia,
the lesion is in the left first temporal convolution.

The relation of the cerebrum to cutaneous diseases has been studied much
of late, and it is now held that the cutaneous eruptions are mainly due
to the degree of inhibiting effect exerted upon the vaso-motor center.

The relation of the spinal cord to skin eruptions has been more
thoroughly investigated and more abundant evidence supplied to
demonstrate the influence degeneration of the spinal cord has in causing
skin diseases, notably zoster, urticaria, and eczema.

This rheumatism, pneumonia, diabetes, and some kidney diseases and liver
affections are often the result of persistent nervous disturbance is now
held. That a high temperature (the highest recorded) has resulted from
injuries of the spinal cord, and where the influence of microzymes is
excluded, is not a matter of question. In one instance, the temperature
reached 122° F., and remained for seven weeks between 108° and 118° F.
The patient was a lady; the result was recovery. Hence it cannot be fever
which kills or produces rapid softening of the heart and other organs in
fatal cases of typhoid. Fever, so far as it consists in elevation of
temperature, can be a simple neurosis.

Many other items of progress might be presented did time permit,
particularly in the treatment of nervous affections, but this I leave for
another occasion.

       *       *       *       *       *


Dr. Grangier, surgeon in the French army, writes from Algeria: "A few
days after the occupation of Brizerte, when the military authorities had
forbidden, under the severest penalties, the discharge of firearms within
the town, the whole garrison was awakened at three o'clock one morning by
the tremendous explosion of a heavily loaded gun in the neighborhood of
the ramparts; a guard of soldiers rushed into the house from whence the
sound had come, and found a woman lying on the floor with a newly born
babe between her thighs. The father of the child stood over his wife with
the smoking musket still in his hand, but his intentions in firing the
gun had been wholly medical, and not hostile to the French troops. The
husband discovered that his wife had been in labor for thirty-six hours.
Labor was slow and the contractions weak and far apart. He had thought it
advisable to provoke speedy contraction, and, following the Algerian
custom to _scare the baby_ out, he had fired the musket near his wife's
ear; instantanously the accouchement was terminated. After being
imprisoned twenty-four hours, the Arab was released."--_Cincinnati

       *       *       *       *       *


The _Engineering and Mining Journal_ raises the question whether steel,
which is becoming so popular a substitute for wrought iron, will, when it
is subjected to continuous strain in suspension bridges and other similar
structures, do as well as iron has proved that it can. Recent tests of
sections from the cables at Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, and at Niagara
Falls show that long use has not materially changed the structure. The
_Journal_ says: "It is a serious question, and one which time only can
completely answer, whether steel structures will prove as uniformly and
permanently reliable as wrought iron has proved itself to be. In other
words, whether the fibrous texture of wrought iron can be equaled in this
respect by the granulated texture of steel or ingot iron. In this
connection it is interesting to note that the fibrous texture referred to
is imparted to wrought iron by the presence in it of a small proportion
of slag from the puddling furnace, and that this can be secured in the
Bessemer converter also if desired. The so-called _Klein-Bessemerei,_
carried on at Avesta in Sweden for several years past, produces an
exclusively soft, fibrous iron by the simple device of pouring slag and
iron together into the ingot mould. This requires however a very small
charge (usually not more than half a ton), and a direct pouring from the
converter, without the intervention of a ladle, which would chill the

The effect of the introduction of slag would seem to be to retrace the
steps usually taken in producing steel, viz., to separate the iron from
its impurities, and then to add definite quantities of carbon and such
other ingredients as are found to neutralize the effects of certain
impurities not fully removed.

The most intelligent engineers, after ascertaining by exhaustive physical
tests what they need, present their "requirements" to the iron and steel
makers, whose practical experience and science guide them in the
protracted metallurgical experiments necessary to find the exact process
required. The engineer verifies the product by further tests, and by
practical use may find that his "requirement" needs further
modifications. As a result of all this care, some degree of certainty is
secured as to what the material may be expected to do.

No doubt the chemical composition of the slag used at Avesta was known
and met some equally well known want in the iron, and thus the result
arrived at was one which had been definitely and intelligently sought.

An important factor in selecting material for the cables of suspension
bridges is its _true elastic limit_. By this term we mean the percentage
of the total strength of the material which it can exert continuously
without losing its resilience, i.e., its power to resume its former shape
and position when stress is removed. Now, in the case particularly of
steel wire as commonly furnished in spiral coils, the curve put into the
wire in the process of manufacture seriously diminishes this available
sustaining power.

For it is evident that it would be unsafe to subject these cables at any
time to a stress beyond their elastic limit. If, e.g., a snowstorm or a
great crowd of people should load a bridge beyond this limit, when the
extra weight was removed the cables could not bring the bridge back to
its normal place, and the result would be a permanent flattening and
weakening of the arch.

By a process invented and patented by Col. Paine, the wire in the New
York and Brooklyn bridge was furnished _straight_ instead of curved. Now,
if a short piece of common steel wire is taken from the coil, and pulled
toward a straight position, and then released, it springs back into its
former curve; but if a short piece of the straight-furnished wire that
was put into this bridge is bent, and then released, it springs back
toward its straight position.

It is easy to see that if a curved wire is pulled straight, there must
occur a distention of the particles on the inside of the curve and a
compression of those on the outside. The inside is in fact strained past
its elastic limit before _any_ stress comes upon the outside. Hence,
after the wire has been pulled straight, the elastic limit of only a
portion of it can be taken into the account in calculating the load that
can safely be put upon it. In the case of curved steel wire pulled
straight, its ultimate strength was found to be only about 90 per cent.
that of similar wire furnished straight by this process. The superior
ductility of iron wire in some measure compensates for the distention of
the particles on the inside of the curve, and that is a reason why it has
heretofore been used for suspension bridges. But with straight steel wire
there is no such distention, and its _entire elastic limit_ is available.
This elastic limit is 66 per cent. of the ultimate strength, and,
besides, that ultimate strength is 10 per cent. greater than that of
similar curved wire. Thus if we have a curved steel wire large enough to
sustain 1,000 lb. without breaking, a similar straight wire, such as
those in this bridge, will hold up 1,100 lb., and 66 per cent. of this
1,100 lb = 720 lb.

The elastic limit of curved wire has never been determined, since any
stress that will cause it to reach a straight line is beyond the elastic
limit of the inside of its sectional area. That of curved iron wire has
been estimated at 40 per cent. of its ultimate strength, which is about
half the ultimate strength of curved steel wire; that is, it would be
unsafe to put more than 40 per cent. of 500 lb.--or 200 lb.--upon a
curved iron wire when a _straight_ steel one can sustain 720 lb. without
injury. In the New York and Brooklyn bridge the cost of a sufficient
amount of such iron wire as is used in all other suspension bridges would
have been some $200,000 greater than that of the straight steel wire
which was used. At five per cent., this effects an annual saving in
interest of $10,000.

There must, too, be a considerable saving in the current expense for
painting and care, to say nothing of the more neat and elegant appearance
of the less bulky steel. And as the whole area of the section of these
wires is subjected to an even strain that is always far within the
elastic limit, there is no danger of a change of structure under that

It is highly probable--although Col. Paine has been too busy to work up
the matter--that piano wire made in this straight method could be drawn
up to and kept at pitch, without approaching very near the elastic limit.
In that case not only would they seldom if ever require tuning, but
probably all along the tone would be more satisfactory. And there would
not be those exasperating periods when the pitch is not quite perfect,
but yet is not far enough out to make it seem worth while to send for a

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