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Title: Scientific American Supplement, No. 586, March 26, 1887
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. 586, March 26, 1887" ***

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NEW YORK, MARCH 26, 1887

Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XXIII, No. 586.

Scientific American established 1845

Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.

Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.

       *       *       *       *       *


I.    BIOGRAPHY.--George W. Whistler, C.E.--By Professor G.L.
      VOSE.--Full biography of the eminent railroad engineer.

II.   CHEMISTRY.--A Newly Discovered Substance in Urine.--A substance
      possessing greater reducing power than grape sugar found
      in diabetic urine.

      On Electro Dissolution and its Use as Regards Analysis.--By H.
      N. WARREN, research analyst.--Interesting decomposition of cast
      iron with production of boron and silicon; experiments with other

III.  ELECTRICITY.--No Electricity from the Condensation of Vapor.--Note
      on Herr S. Kalischer's conclusions.

      On Nickel Plating.--By THOMAS T.P. BRUCE WARREN.--Notes
      on this industry, and suggested improvement for procuring a
      bright coat.

      The Electro-Magnetic Telephone Transmitter.--New theory of
      the telephone's action.

IV.   ENGINEERING.--Fuel and Smoke.--By Prof. OLIVER LODGE.--The
      second and concluding one of these important lectures.

      Gas Engine for Use on Railroads.--The application of six horse
      power Koerting gas engine to a dummy locomotive.--1 illustration.

      New Gas Holder at Erdberg.--The largest gas holder out of
      England.--3 illustrations.

      Tar for Firing Retorts.--Simple arrangement adapted for use in

      The Anti-Friction Conveyer.--An improvement on the screw of
      Archimedes; an apparatus of wonderful simplicity and efficacy in
      the moving of grain.--2 illustrations.

      The Retiro Viaduct.--Combined iron and stone viaduct over the
      river Retiro, Brazil.--5 illustrations.

      Western North Carolina Location over the Blue Ridge.--Interesting
      instance of railroad topography.--1 illustration.

V.    METALLURGY.--Chilled Cast Iron.--The various uses of this
      product; adaptability of American iron for its application.

VI.   MISCELLANEOUS.--Coal in the Argentine Republic.--Note.

      History of the World's Postal Service.--Conclusion of this
      interesting article.--The service in Germany, China. Russia, and
      elsewhere.--10 illustrations.

      Snow Hall--The new science and natural history building of the
      University of Kansas.

VII.  NAVAL ENGINEERING.--Improvement in Laying Out Frames
      of Vessels.--The Frame Placer.--By GUSTAVE SONNENBURG.--Ingenious
      apparatus for use in ship yards.--1 illustration.

      Sea-going Torpedo Boats.--The inutility of small torpedo boats
      at sea.--The construction of larger ones discussed.

VIII. ORDNANCE.--Firing Trial of the 110½ Ton B.L. Elswick Gun.
      Full dimensions of this piece and it projectiles.--Results of proof
      firing.--9 illustrations.

IX.   PHOTOGRAPHY.--Experiments in Toning Gelatino-Chloride
      Paper.--Trials of ten different gold toning baths, formulas,
      and results.

      Printing Lantern Pictures by Artificial Light on Bromide Plates
      from Various Sizes.--By A. PUMPHREY.--The processor producing
      smaller or larger transparencies from negatives.--1 illustration.

X.    PHYSICS.--A New Mercury Pump.--Simple air pump for high
      vacua.--1 illustration.

      The Laws of the Absorption of Light in Crystals.--By H.

      Varying Cylindrical Lens.--By TEMPEST ANDERSON, M.D.,
      B. Sc.--Combination of two conoidal lenses.--Range of power obtained.

XI.   PHYSIOLOGY.--Elimination of Poisons.--Treatment of poison
      cases by establishment of a strong diuresis.
      The Filtration and the Secretion Theories.--Experiments on the
      action of and secretions of the kidneys.

XII.  TECHNOLOGY.--Furnace for Decomposing Chloride of Magnesium.--Furnace
      with rotating chamber for use by alkali manufacturers.--1

      Notes on Garment Dyeing.--The production of blacks on silk and
      wool.--Formulas for mordants.

      Studies in Pyrotechny.--II. Methods of Illumination.--Continuation
      of this valuable treatise.--9 illustrations.

      The "Sensim" Preparing Box.--New machine for treatment of
      fiber.--An improvement on the ordinary gill box.--3 illustrations.

       *       *       *       *       *


We give engravings of the viaduct over the river Retiro, Brazil, our
illustrations being reproduced by permission from the Proceedings of the
Institution of Civil Engineers. In a "selected paper" contributed to the
volume of these proceedings just published, Mr. Jorge Rademaker Grunewald,
Memb. Inst. C.E., describes the work as follows:


This viaduct was constructed in the year 1875, according to designs
furnished by the author, for the purpose of passing the Dom Pedro Segundo
State Railway over the valley which forms the bed of the river Retiro, a
small confluent on the left bank of the river Parahybuna. It is 265
kilometers (165 miles) from Rio de Janeiro, and about 10 kilometers (6.4
miles) from the city of Juiz de Fora, in the province of Minas Geraes,
Brazil. It has a curve of 382 meters (1,253 ft.) radius, and a gradient of
1 in 83.3. Its total length is 109 meters (357 ft. 7 in.); width between
handrails, 4 meters (13 ft.); and greatest height above the bed of the
river, 20 meters (65 ft. 7 in.).

The viaduct is composed of seven semicircular arches, each end arch being
built of ashlar masonry, and of 6 meters (19 ft. 8 in.) diameter; five
intermediate arches, 15 meters (49 ft. 2 in.) in diameter, are of iron. The
four central piers are of iron erected on pillars of ashlar masonry. The
metallic part of this viaduct is 80 meters (262 ft. 6 in.) long, and is
constructed in the following manner: The arches, and the longitudinal
girders which they support, are made of two Barlow rails riveted together,
with an iron plate ½ inch thick placed between them. The spandrels are
formed of uprights and diagonals, the former being made of four
angle-irons, and the latter of one angle-iron. Each pair of arches,
longitudinal girders and uprights, is transversely 3 meters (9 ft. 10 in.)
from center to center, and is connected by cross and diagonal bracing. On
the top of the longitudinal girders are fixed cross pieces of single Barlow
rails, upon which again are fastened two longitudinals of wood 12 in.
square in section, and which in their turn carry the rails of the permanent

The gauge of the Dom Pedro Segundo Railway is 1.60 meters, or 5 ft. 3 in.
nearly, between the rails. At each end of the transverse Barlow rails is
fixed the customary simple iron handrail, carried by light cast-iron
standards. The iron piers are each formed of four columns, and the columns
consist of two Barlow rails, with a slotted iron plate ½ inch thick let in
between the rails, and the whole being riveted together connects each pair
of side columns.

The details show the system of cross and diagonal bracing. The columns are
each supported by four buttresses formed of plates and angle-irons. These
buttresses, fastened with bolts 8 ft. 3 in. long, let into the masonry
pillars, secure the stability of the viaduct against lateral strains, due
mostly to the centrifugal force caused by the passage of the trains.

The Barlow rails, which constitute the peculiarity of the structure, are
from those taken up from the permanent way when the Vignoles pattern of
rail was adopted on this railway. The whole of the foundations were built
without difficulty. The principal parts of the iron work were calculated to
resist the strains resulting from a weight of 4 tons 8 cwt. per lineal
meter traveling over the viaduct at a velocity of 60 kilometers, or about
37 miles, per hour.

In spite of its fragile appearance this viaduct has, up to the present
time, served in a most satisfactory manner the purpose for which it was

       *       *       *       *       *


All investigations of the sea-going qualities of torpedo boats show that
while the basin experiments are highly satisfactory, those made at sea
prove with equal force the unreliability of these craft when they leave the
coast. At the beginning of the Milford Haven operations, the boisterous
weather necessitated the postponing of operations, on account of the
unfitness of the torpedo boat crews to continue work after the twelve hours
of serious fatigue they had already undergone. In the French evolutions,
the difficulties of the passage from Bastia to Ajaccio, although not
remarkably severe, so unfitted fifteen of the twenty boats that they could
take no part in the final attack. In two nights we find recorded collisions
which disable boats Nos. 52, 61, 63, and 72, and required their return to
port for repairs.

Of the twenty-two torpedo boats leaving Toulon a few days before, but six
arrived near the enemy, although their commanders displayed admirable
energy. One had run aground, and was full of water; another had been sunk
by collision; another's engine was seriously injured; and as for the rest,
they could not follow.

Of the boats under the command of Admiral Brown de Colstoun, but five
remained for service, for the sixth received an accident to her machinery
which prevented her taking part in the attack.

During the operations off the Balearic Isles, only one of six boats
attacked, and none was able to follow the armorclads, all meeting with
circumstances quite unexpected and embarrassing.

With the weather as it existed May 13, the armorclads had the torpedo fleet
completely at their mercy, for even if they had not been destroyed by the
excellent practice of the Hotchkiss gunners, they would have been of no
use, as they could not with safety discharge their torpedoes. In fact, the
search lights discovered distinctly that one of the boats, which burned her
Coston's signal to announce victory, did not have her torpedo tube open, on
account of the heavy sea.

Furthermore, their positions were frequently easily discovered by the
immense volume of smoke and flame ejected while going at great speed. This
applies as well by night as by day. It was also reported that after the
four days' running the speed of the boats was reduced to twelve knots.

With such evidence before us, the seaworthiness of boats of the Nos. 63 and
64 type may be seriously questioned. Weyl emphasizes the facts that
"practice has shown that boats of No. 61 type cannot make headway in a
heavy sea, and that it is then often impossible to open their torpedo
tubes. On this account they are greatly inferior to ships of moderate
tonnage, which can certainly make some progress, fire their torpedoes, and
use their artillery in weather when a torpedo boat will be utterly
helpless. The torpedo boat abandoned to itself has a very limited field of

Du Pin de Saint Andre admits the success of the torpedo boat for harbor and
coast work, but wisely concludes that this can prove nothing as to what
they may or may not be able to do at sea.

In an article which appeared in the _Revue des Deux Mondes_ in June last,
he presented able reasons why the torpedo boats of to-day's type, being
destitute of most, if not all, of the requisites of sea-going craft, cannot
go to sea, take care of themselves, and remain there prepared to attack an
enemy wherever he may be found. Invisibility to an enemy may facilitate
attack, but it has to be dearly paid for in diminished safety. Further, the
life that must be led in such vessels in time of war would very quickly
unfit men for their hazardous duties.

He points out that the effect of such a life upon the bodies and minds of
the officers and crew would be most disastrous. The want of exercise alone
would be sufficient to unfit them for the demands that service would make
upon them. He has intelligently depicted the consequences of such a life,
and his reasoning has been indorsed by the reports of French officers who
have had experience in the boats in question.

No weapon, no matter how ingenious, is of utility in warfare unless it can
be relied upon, and no vessel that is not tenantable can be expected to
render any service at sea.

From the evidence before us, we must conclude that the type of torpedo boat
under discussion is capable of making sea passages, provided it can
communicate frequently with its supply stations and secure the bodily rest
so necessary to its crew. But even in a moderate sea it is useless for
attack, and in the majority of cases will not be able even to open its
impulse tubes. Should it succeed in doing this, the rolling and yawing will
render its aim very uncertain.

An experiment conducted against the Richelieu in October last, at Toulon,
before Admiral O'Neil, the director-general of the torpedo service, has
added its testimony to the uncertainty of the Whitehead torpedo. The
Richelieu had been fitted with Bullivant nets, and the trial was made to
learn what protection they would afford.

The weather was fair, the sea moderate, and the conditions generally
favorable to the torpedo; but the Whitehead missed its mark, although the
Richelieu's speed was only three knots. Running at full speed, the torpedo
boat, even in this moderate sea, deemed it prudent to keep the launching
tube closed, and selected a range of 250 yards for opening it and firing.
Just at the moment of discharge a little sea came on board, the boat yawed,
the torpedo aim was changed more than 30 deg., and it passed astern without
touching its object.

While the Milford Haven operations have taught some valuable lessons, they
were conducted under but few of the conditions that are most likely to
occur in actual warfare; and had the defense been carried on with an
organization and command equal to that of the attack, the Navy's triumph
would, perhaps, not have been so easily secured, and the results might have
been very different.

May not the apparent deficiencies of the defense have been due to the fact
that soldiers instead of sailors are given the control of the harbor and
coast defense? Is this right? Ought they not to be organized on a naval
basis? This is no new suggestion, but its importance needs emphasis.

These operations, however, convinced at least one deeply interested
spectator, Lord Brassey, to the extent of calling attention "to the urgent
necessity for the construction of a class of torpedo vessels capable of
keeping the sea in company with an armored fleet."

There is no one in Great Britain who takes a greater interest in the
progress of the British Navy than Lord Brassey, and we take pleasure in
quoting from his letter of August 23 last to the _Times_, in which he
expressed the following opinion: "The torpedo boats ordered last year from
Messrs. Thornycroft and Yarrow are excellent in their class. But their
dimensions are not sufficient for sea-going vessels. We must accept a
tonnage of not less than 300 tons in order to secure thorough seaworthiness
and sufficient coal endurance.

"A beginning has been made in the construction of vessels of the type
required. To multiply them with no stinting hand is the paramount question
of the day in the department of construction. The boats attached to the
Channel fleet at Milford Haven will be most valuable for harbor defense,
and for that purpose they are greatly needed. Torpedo boat catchers are not
less essential to the efficiency of a fleet. The gunboats attached to the
Channel fleet were built for service in the rivers of China. They should be
reserved for the work for which they were designed.

"We require for the fleet more fast gunboats of the Curlew and Landrail
type. I trust that the next estimates for the Navy will contain an ample
provision for building gun vessels of high speed."

As torpedoes must be carried, the next point to which we would call the
attention of our readers is the very rapid progress that has been made in
the boats designed to carry automatic torpedoes.

A very few years ago the names of Thornycroft and Yarrow were almost alone
as builders of a special type of vessel to carry them. To-day, in addition,
we have Schichau, White, Herreshoff, Creusot, Thomson, and others, forming
a competitive body of high speed torpedo-boat builders who are daily making
new and rapid development--almost too rapid, in fact, for the military
student to follow.

As new types are designed, additional speed gained, or increased
seaworthiness attained, public descriptions quickly follow, and we have
ourselves recorded the various advances made so fully that it will be
unnecessary to enter into details here.

As late as October, 1885, an able writer said: "The two most celebrated
builders of torpedo boats in the world are Thornycroft and Yarrow, in
England. Each is capable of producing a first class torpedo boat, from 100
ft. to 130 ft. long, and with 10 ft. to 14 ft. beam, that will steam at the
rate of from 18 knots to 22 knots per hour for 370 knots, or at the rate of
10 knots per hour for 3000 miles. A second class torpedo boat is from 40
ft. to 60 ft. long, and with 6 ft. or 8 ft. beam.

The use of these boats is gradually being abandoned in Europe except for
use from sea-going ships; but in Europe the harbors are very small, and it
has been found that practically every torpedo boat for coast defense must
be able to go to sea. The tendency is, therefore, to confinement to the
first class boats."

In a paper on "Naval Torpedo Warfare," prepared in January, 1886, for a
special committee of the American Senate, by Lieutenant Jaques of the
American Navy, we find the following reference to the progress in torpedo
boat construction: "The development in torpedo boats has been phenomenal,
the last year alone showing an advance from a length of 120 ft. and a speed
of 19 knots, which were considered remarkable qualities in a first class
boat, to a length of 140 ft. and a speed of 23 knots loaded (carrying 15
tons), and 25 knots light, together with the introduction of novel features
of importance.

"Although Messrs. Yarrow and Thornycroft have brought the second class
boats to a very high standard in Europe, I believe they will soon be
abandoned there even for sea-going ships (very few are now laid down), and
that the great development will be in overcoming the disadvantages of
delicacy and weakness by increasing their size, giving them greater
maneuvering power and safety by the introduction of two engines and twin
screws, and steel plate and coal protection against rapid firing
ammunition. Yarrow and Co. have already laid down some boats of this
character that give promise of developing a speed of from 23 to 25 knots."

In the Russian boat recently built at Glasgow, progress in this direction
is also seen in the 148 ft. length, 17 ft. beam, the maneuvering powers and
safety element of the twin screws. But while the boat is fitted for the 19
ft. torpedo, a weapon of increased range and heavier explosive charge, it
suffers from the impossibility of broadside fire and the disadvantages that
Gallwey has named: "The great length of this torpedo, however, makes it a
very unhandy weapon for a boat, besides which its extra weight limits the
number which can be carried."

While perhaps Messrs. Thomson have been the first to show the performance
of a twin screw torpedo boat in England, the one completed in June last by
Yarrow for the Japanese government recalls the intelligence that Japan has
exercised in the selection of types.

Commencing as far back as nine years ago, the Japanese were probably the
first to introduce sea-going boats, and they have been the first power to
initiate the armor type, one of which was shipped last summer to be put
together in Japan. As before stated, it was built by Messrs. Yarrow and
Co., was 166 ft. long, 19 ft. beam, with twin screws, 1 in. steel armor,
double engines, with bow and broadside torpedo guns, the latter so arranged
as to greatly increase their efficiency.

While the advances are not restricted to the English builders, a glance at
the points to which Thornycroft and Yarrow have brought their improvements
up to the present time will indicate that their achievements are not only
equal to but greater than those of any other builders.

The former has boats under construction 148 ft. long, 15 ft. beam, to make
420 revolutions with 130 lb. of steam, the guaranteed speed being 23 knots
on a continuous run of two hours' duration, with a load of 15 tons. They
will have triple-expansion or compound direct-acting surface-condensing
engines and twin screws, Thornycroft's patent tubular boilers, double
rudders, electric search lights, three masts and sails.

While the armaments of the various boats differ, Thornycroft is prepared to
fit the launching tubes with either air or powder impulse, to mount the
tubes forward or on deck, and also the fittings for machine and rapid
firing guns.

Yarrow and Co. have contracted for boats varying in length from 117 ft. to
166 ft., with fittings and armament as may be required. They have obtained
excellent results in their last English boat of the Admiralty type. They
are, in fact, prepared to guarantee a speed of 23 knots in a length of 125
ft. and 25 knots in a length of 140 ft., carrying in both causes a mean
load corresponding to fuel and armament of 10 tons.

And so the progress goes on, but it will not stop here; it has already
incited a marked development in ship construction, and the endeavors to
withstand torpedo attack have improved the defense against gun fire also.

In quoting a German opinion on the development of the Russian torpedo
fleet, Charmes refers to the type which will, no doubt, be most successful
upon the sea, namely, the torpedo cruisers, and it is to this type, more
than for any other, that we may expect torpedo boats to be adapted.
Already, writers have dropped the phrase "torpedo boats" for "torpedo

       *       *       *       *       *


The firing trial of the first new 110½ ton breech loading gun approved for
H.M.'s ships Benbow, Renown, and Sanspareil was commenced recently at the
Woolwich proof butts, under the direction of Colonel Maitland, the
superintendent of the Royal Gun Factories. We give herewith a section
showing the construction of this gun (_vide_ Fig. 8). It very nearly
corresponds to the section given of it when designed in 1884, in a paper
read by Colonel Maitland at the United Service Institution, of which we
gave a long account in the _Engineer_ of June 27, 1884.

The following figures are authoritative: Length over all, 524 in.; length
of bore, 487.5 in. (30 calibers). The breech engages in the breech piece,
leaving the A tube with its full strength for tangential strain (_vide_
Fig.). The A tube is in a single piece instead of two lengths, as in the
case of the Italia guns. It is supplied to Elswick from Whitworth's works,
one of the few in England where such a tube could be made. There are four
layers of metal hoops over the breech. Copper and bronze are used to give
longitudinal strength. The obturation is a modification of the De Bange
system, proposed by Vavasseur.


The maximum firing charge is 900 lb. of cocoa powder. The projectile weighs
1,800 lb. The estimated muzzle velocity is 2,216 ft. per second. The
capacity of the chamber is 28,610 cubic inches, and that of the bore
112,595 cubic inches. The estimated total energy is 61,200 ft. tons. It
will be a few days probably before the full powers of the gun are tested,
but the above are confidently expected to be attained, judging from the
results with the 100 ton guns supplied to Italy. On January 7 last we gave
those of the new Krupp 119 ton gun. It had fired a projectile with a
velocity of almost 1,900 ft. with a charge of less than 864.67 lb., with
moderate pressure. The estimated maximum for this gun was a velocity of
2,017 ft. with a projectile weighing 1,632 lb., giving a total energy of
46,061 ft. tons, or 13,000 ft. tons less than the Elswick gun, comparing
the estimated results.

The proof of the Elswick gun is mounted on a carriage turned out by the
Royal Carriage Department, under Colonel Close. This carriage is made on
bogies so as to run on rails passing easily round curves of 50 ft. radius.
The gun is fired on an inclined length of rails, the recoil presses of the
carriage first receiving the shock and reducing the recoil. The carriage is
made to lift into the government barge, so as to go easily to Shoeburyness
or elsewhere. It can be altered so as to provide for turning, and it allows
the piece to be fired at angles of elevation up to 24 deg. The cheeks of
the carriage are made to open and close, so as to take the 12 in. gun and
larger pieces. The steel castings for it are supplied from the Stanners
Close Steel Works.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.]

The first round was fired at about noon. The charge was only 598 lb.,
consisting of four charges of 112 lb. and one of 130 lb. of Waltham Abbey
brown prism No. 1 powder. The proof shot weighs, like the service
projectile, 1,800 lb. Thus fired, the gun recoiled nearly 4 ft. on the
press, and the carriage ran back on the rails about 50 ft. The projectile
had a velocity of 1,685 ft. per second, and entered about 52 ft. into the
butt. We cannot yet give the pressure, but unquestionably it was a low one.
The charges as the firing continues will be increased in successive rounds
up to the full 900 lb. charge.

Figs. 1 and 2 show the mounting of the 110½ ton gun in the barbette towers
of the Benbow. The gun is held down on the bed by steel bands and recoils
in its bed on the slide (vide Fig. 2). The latter is hinged or pivoted in
front and is elevated by elevating ram, shown in Fig. 2. When the slide is
fully down, the gun is in the loading position. The ammunition lift brings
up the projectile and charge, which latter is subdivided, like those
employed in the German guns, in succession to the breech, the hydraulic
rammer forcing them home.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.]

The simplicity of the arrangement is apparent. The recoil always acts
parallel to the slide. This is much better than allowing its direction to
be affected by elevation, and the distributed hold of the steel bands is
preferable to the single attachment at trunnions. Theoretically, the recoil
is not so perfectly met as in some of the earlier Elswick designs, in which
the presses were brought opposite to the trunnions, so that they acted
symmetrically on each side of the center of resistance. The barbette tower
is covered by a steel plate, shown in Fig. 1, fitting close to the gun
slide, so that the only opening is that behind the breech when the gun is
in the forward position, and this is closed as it recoils.

The only man of the detachment even partly exposed is the number one, while
laying the gun, and in that position he is nearly covered by the gun and
fittings. Common shell, shrapnel shell, and steel armor-piercing
projectiles, have been approved for the 110½ ton gun. The common shell is
shown in Fig. 3. Like the common shell for all the larger natures of new
type guns, it is made of steel. It has been found necessary to support the
core used in casting these projectiles at both ends. Consequently, there is
a screw plug at the base as well as at the apex. The hole at the base is
used as a filling hole for the insertion of the bursting charge, which
consists of 179 lb. of powder, the total weight of the filled shell being
1,800 lb.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.]

[Illustration: FIG. 7.]

The apex has a screw plug of larger diameter than that of the fuse. This is
shown in Fig. 4. The fuse is a direct action one. The needle, B, is held in
the center of a copper disk, C C, and is safe against explosion until it is
actually brought into contact with an object, when it is forced down,
igniting a patch of cap composition and the magazine at A, and so firing
the bursting charge of the shell below. E E E are each priming charges of
seven grains of pistol powder, made up in shalloon bags to insure the
ignition of the bursting charge, which is in a bag of serge and shalloon

The use of this fuse involves the curious question of the physical
conditions now existing in the discharge of our projectiles by slow burning
powder. The forward movement of the shell is now so gradual that the
inertia of a pellet is only sufficient to shear a wire of one-tenth the
strength of that which might formerly have been sheared by a similar pellet
in an old type gun with quick burning powder. Consequently, in many cases,
it is found better not to depend on a suspending wire thus sheared, but to
adopt direct action. The fuse in question would, we believe, act even on
graze, at any angle over 10°. Probably at less angles than 10° it would not
explode against water, which would be an advantage in firing at ships.

Shells so gently put in motion, and having no windage, might be made, it
might naturally be supposed, singularly thin, and the adoption of steel in
place of iron calls for some explanation. The reason is that it has been
found that common shells break up against masonry, instead of penetrating
it, when fired from these large high velocity guns.

The shrapnel shell is shown at Fig. 5. Like the common shell, it is made of
steel, and is of the general form of the pattern of General Boxer, with
wooden head, central tube, and bursting charge in the base. It contains
2,300 four ounce sand shots and an 8 lb. bursting charge. It weighs 1,800
lb. The fuse is time and percussion. It is shown in Figs. 6 and 6A. It
closely resembles the original Armstrong time and percussion pattern.

[Illustration: FIG. 6A.]

The action is as follows: The ignition pellet, A, which is ordinarily held
by a safety pin, is, after the withdrawal of the latter, only held by a
fine, suspending wire, which is sheared by the inertia of the pellet on
discharge, a needle lighting a percussion patch of composition and the
composition ring, B B, which burns round at a given rate until it reaches
the communication passage, C, when it flashes through the percussion
pellet, E, and ignites the magazine, D, and so ignites the primer shown in
Fig. 6, flashes down the central tube of the shell, and explodes the
bursting charge in the base, Fig. 5. The length of time during which the
fuse burns depends on how far the composition ring is turned round, and
what length it consequently has to burn before it reaches the communication
passage, C. If the fuse should be set too long, or from any other cause
the shell strikes before the fuse fires the charge, the percussion action
fires the shell on graze by the following arrangement: The heavy metal
piece containing the magazine, D, constitutes a striker, which is held in
place by a plain ball, G, near the axis of the fuse and by a safety pellet,
H. On first movement in the gun, this latter by inertia shears a suspending
wire and leaves the ball free to escape above it, which it does by
centrifugal force, leaving the magazine striker, D, free to fire itself by
momentum on the needle shown above it, on impact. There is a second safety
arrangement, not shown in the figure, consisting of a cross pin, held by a
weak spiral spring, which is compressed by centrifugal force during flight,
leaving the magazine pellet free to act, as above described, on impact.

The armor-piercing projectile is shown in Fig. 7. It is to be made of
forged steel, and supplied by Elswick. In appearance it very closely
resembles those fired from the 100 ton gun at Spezia, but if it is made on
the Firmini system, it will differ from it in the composition of its metal,
inasmuch as it will contain a large proportion of chromium, probably from 1
to 2 per cent., whereas an analysis of Krupp's shell gives none. In fact,
as Krupp's agent at Spezia predicted, the analysis is less instructive than
we could wish.--_The Engineer_.

       *       *       *       *       *


The industrial world has reason to feel considerable interest in any
economical method of traction on railways, owing to the influence which
cost of transportation has upon the price of produce. We give a description
of the gas engine invented by Mr. Emmanuel Stevens. Many experiments have
been made both at Berlin and Liege during the past few years. They all
failed, owing to the impossibility the builders encountered in securing
sufficient speed.

The Stevens engine does not present this defect, as will be seen. It has
the appearance of an ordinary street car entirely inclosed, showing none of
the machinery from without. On the interior is a Koerting gas motor of six
horse power, which is a sufficiently well known type not to require a
description. In the experiment which we saw, the motor was supplied with a
mixture of gas and air, obtained by the evaporation of naphtha. On the
shaft of the motor are fixed two pulleys of different sizes, which give the
engine two rates of speed, one of three miles and the other of 8½ miles an
hour. Between these two pulleys is a friction socket, by which either rate
of speed may be secured.

The power is transmitted from one of the pulleys by a rubber belt to an
intermediate shaft, which carries a toothed wheel that transmits the power
to the axle by means of an endless chain. On this axle are three conical
gear wheels, two of which are furnished with hooked teeth, and the third
with wooden projections and fixed permanently in place. This arrangement
enables the engine to be moved forward or backward according as it is
thrown in right or left gear. When the conical pinions are thrown out of
gear, the motive force is no longer applied to the axle, and by the aid of
the brakes the engine may be instantly stopped. The movement of the pinions
is effected by two sets of wheels on each of the platforms of the engine,
and near the door for the conductor. By turning one of the wheels to the
right or left on either platform, the conductor imparts either the less or
the greater speed to the engine. In case he has caused the engine to move
forward by turning the second wheel, he will not have to touch it again
until the end of the trip. The brake, which is also operated from the two
platforms, is applied to all four wheels at the same time. From this
arrangement it is seen that the movement is continuous. Nevertheless, the
conductor has access to the regulator by a small chain connected with the
outside by a wheel near at hand, but the action is sufficiently regular not
to require much attention to this feature.


The gas is produced by the Wilford apparatus, which regularly furnishes the
requisite quantity necessary for an explosion, which is produced by a
particular kind of light placed near the piston. The vapor is produced by
passing hot water from the envelope of the cylinder of the motor through
the Wilford apparatus. The water is cooled again in a reservoir (system
Koerting) placed in direct communication with the cylinder. Any permanent
heating is therefore impossible.

The noise of the explosions is prevented by a device invented by Mr.
Stevens himself. It consists of a drum covered with asbestos or any other
material which absorbs noise.

According to the inventor, the saving over the use of horses for traction
is considerable. This system is soon to be tried practically at Antwerp in
Belgium, and then it will be possible to arrive at the actual cost of
traction.--_Industrie Moderne, Brussels_.

       *       *       *       *       *



The interesting piece of railroad location illustrated in this issue is on
the mountain section of the Western North Carolina Railroad. This section
crosses the Blue Ridge Mountains 18 miles east of Asheville, at a point
known as Swannanoa Gap, 2,660 feet above tide water. The part of the road
shown on the accompanying cut is 10 miles in length and has an elevation of
1,190 feet; to overcome the actual distance by the old State pike was
somewhat over 3 miles. The maximum curvature as first located was 10°, but
for economy of time as well as money this was exceeded in a few instances
as the work progressed, but is now being by degrees reduced. The maximum
grades on tangents are 116 feet per mile; on curves the grade is equated
one-tenth to a degree. The masonry is of the most substantial kind, granite
viaducts and arch culverts. The numbers and lengths of tunnels as indicated
by letters on cut are as follows:

              Ft. in all of these.

A. Point Tunnel.    216 ft. long.[1]
B. Jarrett's  "     125  "    "
C. Lick Log   "     562  "    "
D. McElroy    "      89  "    "
E. High Ridge "     415  "    "
F. Burgin     "     202  "    "
G. Swannanoa  "   1,800  "    "

[Footnote 1: For the sake of economy of space, our cut omits the Point and
Swannanoa tunnels (the latter is the summit tunnel), but covers all of the
location which is of interest to engineers, the remainder at the Swannanoa
end being almost "on tangent" to and through the summit.]

The work was done by the State of North Carolina with convict labor, under
the direction of Mr. Jas. A. Wilson, as president and chief engineer, but
was sold by the State to the Richmond & Danville system.--_Railroad

       *       *       *       *       *


The new gasholder which has been erected by Messrs. C. and W. Walker for
the Imperial Continental Gas Company at Erdberg, near Vienna, has been
graphically described by Herr E.R. Leonhardt in a paper which he read
before the Austrian Society of Engineers. The enormous dimensions and
elegant construction of the holder--being the largest out of England--as
well as the work of putting up the new gasholder, are of special interest
to English engineers, as Erdberg contains the largest and best appointed
works in Austria. The dimensions of the holder are--inner lift, 195 feet
diameter, 40 feet deep; middle lift, 197½ feet diameter, 40 feet deep;
outer lift, 200 feet diameter, 40 feet deep. The diameter over all is about
230 feet. The impression produced upon the members of the Austrian Society
by their visit to Erdberg was altogether most favorable; and not only did
the inspection of the large gasholder justify every expectation, but the
visitors were convinced that all the buildings were in excellent condition
and well adapted for their purpose, that the machinery was of the latest
and most approved type, and that the management was in experienced hands.


is contained in a building consisting of a circular wall covered with a
wrought iron roof. The holder itself is telescopic, and is capable of
holding 3½ million cubic feet of gas. The accompanying illustrations (Figs.
1 and 3) are a sectional elevation of the holder and its house and a
sectional plan of the roof and holder crown. Having a capacity of close
upon 3,200,000 Austrian cubic feet, this gasholder is the largest of its
kind on the Continent, and is surpassed in size by only a few in England
and America. By way of comparison, Hamburg possesses a holder of 50,000
cubic meters (1,765,000 cubic feet) capacity; and there is one in Berlin
which is expected to hold 75,000 cubic meters (2,647,500 cubic feet) of


The gasholder house at Erdberg is perfectly circular, and has an internal
diameter of 63.410 meters. It is constructed, in three stories, with forty
piers projecting on the outside, and with four rows of windows between the
piers--one in each of the top and bottom stories, and two rows in the
middle. These windows have a height of 1.40 meters in the lowest circle,
where the wall is 1.40 meters thick, and of 2.90 meters in the two top
stories, where it is respectively 1.11 meters and 0.90 meter thick. The top
edge of the wall is 35.35 meters above the base of the building, and 44.39
meters from the bottom of the tank; the piers rising 1.60 meters beyond the
top of the wall. The highest point of the lantern on the roof will thus be
48.95 meters above the ground.


The tank in which the gasholder floats has an internal diameter of 61.57
meters, and therefore a superficial area of 3,000 square meters; and since
the coping is 12.31 meters above the floor, it follows that the tank is
capable of holding 35,500 cubic meters (7,800,000 gallons) of water. The
bottom consists of brickwork 1.10 meters thick, rendered with Portland
cement, and resting on a layer of concrete 1 meter thick. The walls are
likewise of brick and cement, of a thickness of 3.30 meters up to the
ground level, and 2.40 meters thick to the height of 3.44 meters above the
surface. Altogether, 2,988,680 kilos. of cement and 5,570,000 bricks were
used in its construction. In fact, from the bottom of tank to top of roof,
it reaches as high as the monument at London Bridge.


The construction of the tank offered many and serious difficulties. The
bottom of the tank is fully 3 meters below the level of the Danube Canal,
which passes close by, and it was not until twelve large pulsometer pumps
were set up, and worked continually night and day, that it was possible to
reach the necessary depth to allow of the commencement of the foundations
of the boundary wall.


The wrought iron cupola-shaped roof of the gasholder house was designed by
Herr W. Brenner, and consists of 40 radiating rafters, each weighing about
25 cwt., and joined together by 8 polygonal circles of angle iron (90×90×10
mm.). The highest middle circle is uncovered, and carries a round lantern
(Fig. 1). These radiating rafters consist of flat iron bars 7 mm. thick,
and of a height which diminishes gradually, from one interval to another on
the inside, from 252 to 188 mm. At the outside ends (varying from 80×80×9
mm. in the lowest to 60×60×7 mm. in the last polygon but one) these rafters
are strengthened, at least as far as the five lowest ones are concerned, by
flat irons tightly riveted on. At their respective places of support, the
ends of all the spars are screwed on by means of a washer 250 mm. high and
31 mm. thick, and surmounted by a gutter supported by angle irons. From
every junction between the radial rafters and the polygonal circle,
diagonal bars are made to run to the center of the corresponding interval,
where they meet, and are there firmly held together by means of a tongue
ring. The roof is 64.520 meters wide and 14.628 meters high; and its total
weight is 103.300 kilos. for the ironwork--representing a weight of 31.6
kilos. per square meter of surface. It is proposed to employ for its
covering wooden purlins and tin plates. The whole construction has a light,
pleasing, and yet thoroughly solid appearance.


Herr Brenner, the engineer of the Erdberg Works, gives a description of how
the roof of a house, 54.6 meters wide, for a gasholder in Berlin, was
raised to a height of 22 meters. In that instance the iron structure was
put together at the bottom of the tank, leaving the rafter ends and the
mural ring. The hoisting itself was effected by means of levers--one to
each rafter--connected with the ironwork below by means of iron chains. At
the top there were apertures at distances of about 26 mm. from each other,
and through these the hoisting was proceeded with. With every lift, the
iron structure was raised a distance of 26 mm.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.]

Herr Brenner had considerable hesitation in raising in the same way the
structure at Erdberg, which was much larger and heavier than that in
Berlin. The simultaneous elevation to 48 meters above the level, proposed
to be effected at forty different points, did not appear to him to offer
sufficient security. He therefore proposed to put the roof together on the
ground, and to raise it simultaneously with the building of the wall;
stating that this mode would be perfectly safe, and would not involve any
additional cost. The suggestion was adopted, and it was found to possess,
in addition, the important advantage that the structure could be made to
rest on the masonry at any moment; whereas this had been impossible in the
case at the Berlin Gasworks.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.]


At a given signal from the foreman, two operatives, stationed at each of
the forty lifting points, with crowbars inserted in the holes provided for
the purpose, give the screws a simultaneous turn in the same direction. The
bars are then inserted in another hole higher up. The hoisting screws are
connected with the structure of the roof, and rise therewith. All that is
requisite for the hoisting from the next cross beam is to give a forward
turn to the screws. When the workmen had become accustomed to their task,
the hoisting to a distance of 1 meter occupied only about half to
three-quarters of an hour. At the outset, and merely by way of a trial, the
roof was lifted to a height of fully 2 meters, and left for some time
suspended in the air. The eighty men engaged in the operation carry on the
work with great regularity and steadiness, obeying the signal of the
foreman as soon as it was given.


The holder, which was supplied by the well-known firm of Messrs. C. and W.
Walker, of Finsbury Circus, London, and Donnington, Salop, was in an outer
courtyard. It is a three-lift telescopic one; the lowest lift being 200
feet, the middle lift 197 ft. 6 in., and the top lift 195 ft. in diameter.
The height of each lift is 40 feet. The several lifts are raised in the
usual way; and they all work in a circle of 24 vertical U-shaped channel
irons, fixed in the wall of the house by means of 13 supports placed at
equal distances from the base to the summit (as shown in Fig. 2). When the
gasholder is perfectly empty, the three lifts are inclosed, one in the
other, and rest with their lower edges upon the bottom of the tank. In this
case the roof of the top lift rests upon a wooden framework. Fixed in the
floor of the tank are 144 posts, 9 inches thick at the bottom and 6 inches
thick at the top, to support the crown of the holder in such a way that the
tops are fixed in a kind of socket, each of them being provided with four
horizontal bars, which decrease in thickness from 305 by 100 mm. to 150 by
50 mm., and represent 16 parallel polygons, which in their turn are
fastened diagonally by means of iron rails 63 by 100 mm. thick, arranged
crosswise. The top of this framework is perfectly contiguous with the
inside of the crown of the gasholder. The crown itself is made up of iron
plates, the outer rows having a thickness of 11 mm., decreasing to 5 mm.
toward the middle, and to 3 mm. at the top. The plates used for the side
sheets of the holder are: For the top and bottom rows, 6.4 mm.; and for the
other plates, 2.6 mm.

       *       *       *       *       *

A new bleaching compound has been discovered, consisting of three parts by
measure of mustard-seed oil, four of melted paraffin, three of caustic soda
20° Baume, well mixed to form a soapy compound. Of this one part of weight
and two of pure tallow soap are mixed, and of this mixture one ounce for
each gallon of water is used for the bleaching bath, and one ounce caustic
soda 20° Baume for each gallon is added, when the bath is heated in a close
vessel, the goods entered, and boiled till sufficiently bleached.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote: A paper by Prof. G.L. Vose, Member of the Boston Society of
Civil Engineers. Read September 15, 1886.]

By Prof. G.L. VOSE.

Few persons, even among those best acquainted with our modern railroad
system, are aware of the early struggles of the men to whose foresight,
energy, and skill the new mode of transportation owes its introduction into
this country. The railroad problem in the United States was quite a
different one from that in Europe. Had we simply copied the railways of
England, we should have ruined the system at the outset, for this country.
In England, where the railroad had its origin, money was plenty, the land
was densely populated, and the demand for rapid and cheap transportation
already existed. A great many short lines connecting the great centers of
industry were required, and for the construction of such in the most
substantial manner the money was easily obtained. In America, on the
contrary, a land of enormous extent, almost entirely undeveloped, but of
great possibilities, lines of hundreds and even thousands of miles in
extent were to be made, to connect cities as yet unborn, and accommodate a
future traffic of which no one could possibly foresee the amount. Money was
scarce, and in many districts the natural obstacles to be overcome were
infinitely greater than any which had presented themselves to European

By the sound practical sense and the unconquerable will of George
Stephenson, the numerous inventions which together make up the locomotive
engine had been collected into a machine which, in combination with the
improved roadway, was to revolutionize the transportation of the world. The
railroad, as a machine, was invented. It remained to apply the new
invention in such a manner as to make it a success, and not a failure. To
do this in a new country like America required infinite skill, unbounded
energy, the most careful study of local conditions, and the exercise of
well matured, sound business judgment. To see how well the great invention
has been applied in the United States, we have only to look at the network
of iron roads which now reaches from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico,
and from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

With all the experience we have had, it is not an easy problem, even at the
present time, to determine how much money we are authorized to spend upon
the construction of a given railroad. To secure the utmost benefit at the
least outlay, regarding both the first cost of building the road and the
perpetual cost of operating it, is the railroad problem which is perhaps
less understood at the present day than any other. It was an equally
important problem fifty years ago, and certainly not less difficult at that
time. It was the fathers of the railroad system in the United States who
first perceived the importance of this problem, and who, adapting
themselves to the new conditions presented in this country, undertook to
solve it. Among the pioneers in this branch of engineering no one has done
more to establish correct methods, nor has left behind a more enviable or
more enduring fame, than Major George W. Whistler.

The Whistler family is of English origin, and is found toward the end of
the 15th century in Oxfordshire, at Goring and Whitchurch, on the Thames.
One branch of the family settled in Sussex, at Hastings and Battle, being
connected by marriage with the Websters of Battle Abbey, in which
neighborhood some of the family still live. Another branch lived in Essex,
from which came Dr. Daniel Whistler, President of the College of Physicians
in London in the time of Charles the Second. From the Oxfordshire branch
came Ralph, son of Hugh Whistler, of Goring, who went to Ireland, and there
founded the Irish branch of the family, being the original tenant of a
large tract of country in Ulster, under one of the guilds or public
companies of the city of London. From this branch of the family came Major
John Whistler, father of the distinguished engineer, and the first
representative of the family in America. It is stated that in some youthful
freak he ran away and enlisted in the British Army. It is certain that he
came to this country during the Revolutionary War, under General Burgoyne,
and remained with his command until its surrender at Saratoga, when he was
taken prisoner of war. Upon his return to England he was honorably
discharged, and, soon after, forming an attachment for a daughter of Sir
Edward Bishop, a friend of his father, he eloped with her, and came to this
country, settling at Hagerstown, in Maryland. He soon after entered the
army of the United States, and served in the ranks, being severely wounded
in the disastrous campaign against the Indians under Major-General St.
Clair in the year 1791. He was afterward commissioned as lieutenant, rose
to the rank of captain, and later had the brevet of major. At the reduction
of the army in 1815, having already two sons in the service, he was not
retained; but in recognition of his honorable record, he was appointed
Military Storekeeper at Newport, Kentucky, from which post he was afterward
transferred to Jefferson Barracks, where he lived to a good old age.

Major John Whistler had a large family of sons and daughters, among whom we
may note particularly William, who became a colonel in the United States
Army, and who died at Newport, Ky., in 1863; John, a lieutenant in the
army, who died of wounds received in the battle of Maguago, near Detroit,
in 1812; and George Washington, the subject of our sketch. Major John
Whistler was not only a good soldier, and highly esteemed for his military
services, but was also a man of refined tastes and well educated, being an
uncommonly good linguist and especially noted as a fine musician. In his
family he is stated to have united firmness with tenderness, and to have
impressed upon his children the importance of a faithful and thorough
performance of duty in whatever position they should be placed.

George Washington Whistler, the youngest son of Major John Whistler, was
born on the 19th of May, in the year 1800, at Fort Wayne, in the present
State of Indiana, but then part of the Northwest Territory, his father
being at the time in command of that post. Of the boyhood of Whistler we
have no record, except that he followed his parents from one military
station to another, receiving his early education for the most part at
Newport, Ky., from which place, on July 31, 1814, he was appointed a cadet
to the United States Military Academy, being then fourteen years of age.
The course of the student at West Point was a very satisfactory one. Owing
to a change in the arrangement of classes after his entrance, he had the
advantage of a longer term than had been given to those who preceded him,
remaining five years under instruction. His record during his student life
was good throughout. In a class of thirty members he stood No. 1 in
drawing, No. 4 in descriptive geometry, No. 5 in drill, No. 11 in
philosophy and in engineering, No. 12 in mathematics, and No. 10 in general
merit. He was remarkable, says one who knew him at this time, for his frank
and open manner and for his pleasant and cheerful disposition. A good story
is told of the young cadet which shows his ability, even at this time, to
make the best of circumstances apparently untoward, and to turn to his
advantage his surroundings, whatever they might be. Having been for some
slight breach of discipline required to bestride a gun in the campus for a
short time, he saw, to his dismay, coming down the walk the beautiful
daughter of Dr. Foster Swift, a young lady who, visiting West Point, had
taken the hearts of the cadets by storm, and who, little as he may at the
time have dreamed it, was destined to become his future wife. Pulling out
his handkerchief, he bent over his gun, and appeared absorbed in cleaning
the most inaccessible parts of it with such vigor as to be entirely unaware
that any one was passing; nor did the young lady dream that a case of
discipline had been before her until in after years, when, on a visit to
West Point, an explanation was made to her by her husband.

It was at this time of his life that the refinement and taste for which
Major Whistler was ever after noted began to show itself. An accomplished
scientific musician and performer, he gained a reputation in this direction
beyond that of a mere amateur, and scarcely below that of the professionals
of the day. His _sobriquet_ of "Pipes," which his skill upon the flute at
this time gave him, adhered to him through life among his intimates in the
army. His skill with the pencil, too, was something phenomenal, and would,
had not more serious duties prevented, have made him as noted an artist as
he was an engineer. Fortunately for the world this talent descended to one
of his sons, and in his hands has had full development. These tastes in
Major Whistler appeared to be less the results of study than the
spontaneous outgrowth of a refined and delicate organization, and so far
constitutional with him that they seemed to tinge his entire character.
They continued to be developed till past the meridian of life, and amid all
the pressure of graver duties furnished a most delightful relaxation.

Upon completing his course at the Military Academy he was graduated, July
1, 1819, and appointed second lieutenant in the corps of artillery. From
this date until 1821 he served part of the time on topographical duty, and
part of the time he was in garrison at Fort Columbus. From November 2,
1821, to April 30, 1822, he was assistant professor at the Military
Academy, a position for which his attainments in descriptive geometry and
his skill in drawing especially fitted him. This employment, however, was
not altogether to his taste. He was too much of an artist to wish to
confine himself to the mechanical methods needed in the training of
engineering students. In 1822, although belonging to the artillery, he was
detailed on topographical duty under Major (afterward Colonel) Abert, and
was connected with the commission employed in tracing the international
boundary between Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods. This work
continued four years, from 1822 to 1826, and subsequent duties in the
cabinet of the commission employed nearly two years more.

The field service of this engagement was anything but light work, much of
it being performed in the depth of winter with a temperature fifty degrees
below zero. The principal food of the party was tallow and some other
substance, which was warmed over a fire on stopping at night. The snow was
then removed to a sufficient depth for a bed, and the party wrapped one
another up in their buffalo robes, until the last man's turn came, when he
had to wrap himself up the best he could. In the morning, after warming
their food and eating, the remainder was allowed to harden in the pan,
after which it was carried on the backs of men to the next stopping place.
The work was all done upon snow-shoes, and occasionally a man became so
blinded by the glare of the sun upon the snow that he had to be led by a

Upon the 1st of June, 1821, Whistler was made second lieutenant in the
First Artillery, in the reorganized army; on the 16th of August, 1821, he
was transferred to the Second Artillery, and on the 16th of August, 1829,
he was made first lieutenant. Although belonging to the artillery, he was
assigned to topographical duty almost continually until December 31, 1833,
when he resigned his position in the army. A large part of his time during
this period was spent in making surveys, plans, and estimates for public
works, not merely those needed by the national government, but others which
were undertaken by chartered companies in different parts of the United
States. There were at that time very few educated engineers in the country,
besides the graduates of the Military Academy; and the army engineers were
thus frequently applied for, and for several years government granted their

Prominent among the early works of internal improvement was the Baltimore &
Ohio Railroad, and the managers of this undertaking had been successful in
obtaining the services of several officers who were then eminent, or who
afterward became so. The names of Dr. Howard, who, though not a military
man, was attached to the Corps of Engineers, of Lieut.-Col. Long, and of
Capt. William Gibbs McNeill appear in the proceedings of the company as
"Chiefs of Brigade," and those of Fessenden, Gwynne, and Trimble among the

In October, 1828, this company made a special request for the services of
Lieutenant Whistler. The directors had resolved on sending a deputation to
England to examine the railroads of that country, and Jonathan Knight,
William Gibbs McNeill, and George W. Whistler were selected for this duty.
They were also accompanied by Ross Winans, whose fame and fortune, together
with those of his sons, became so widely known afterward in connection with
the great Russian railway. Lieutenant Whistler, says one who knew him well,
was chosen for this service on account of his remarkable thoroughness in
all the details of his profession, as well as for his superior
qualifications in other respects. The party left this country in November,
1828, and returned in May, 1829.

In the course of the following year the organization of the Baltimore and
Ohio Railroad, a part of which had already been constructed under the
immediate personal supervision of Lieutenant Whistler, assumed a more
permanent form, and allowed the military engineers to be transferred to
other undertakings of a similar character. Accordingly, in June, 1830,
Captain McNeill and Lieutenant Whistler were sent to the Baltimore and
Susquehanna Railroad, for which they made the preliminary surveys and a
definite location, and upon which they remained until about twenty miles
were completed, when a lack of funds caused a temporary suspension of the
work. In the latter part of 1831 Whistler went to New Jersey to aid in the
construction of the Paterson and Hudson River Railroad (now a part of the
Erie Railway). Upon this work he remained until 1833, at which time he
moved to Connecticut to take charge of the location of the railroad from
Providence to Stonington, a line which had been proposed as an extension of
that already in process of construction from Boston to Providence.

In this year, December 31, 1833, Lieut. Whistler resigned his commission in
the army, and this not so much from choice as from a sense of duty.
Hitherto his work as an engineer appears to have been more an employment
than a vocation. He carried on his undertakings diligently, as it was his
nature to do, but without much anxiety or enthusiasm; and he was satisfied
in meeting difficulties as they came up, with a sufficient solution.
Henceforward he handled his profession from a love of it. He labored that
his resources against the difficulties of matter and space should be
overabundant, and if he had before been content with the sure-footed facts
of observation, he now added the luminous aid of study. How luminous and
how sure these combined became, his later works show best.

In 1834 Mr. Whistler accepted the position of engineer to the proprietors
of locks and canals at Lowell. This position gave him among other things
the direction of the machine shops, which had been made principally for the
construction of locomotive engines. The Boston and Lowell Railroad, which
at this time was in process of construction, had imported a locomotive from
the works of George and Robert Stephenson, at Newcastle, and this engine
was to be reproduced, not only for the use of the Lowell road, but for
other railways as well, and to this work Major Whistler gave a large part
of his time from 1834 to 1837. The making of these engines illustrated
those features in his character which then and ever after were of the
utmost value to those he served. It showed the self-denial with which he
excluded any novelties of his own, the caution with which he admitted those
of others, and the judgment which he exercised in selecting and combining
the most meritorious of existing arrangements. The preference which he
showed for what was simple and had been tried did not arise from a want of
originality, as he had abundant occasion to show during the whole of his
engineering life. He was, indeed, uncommonly fertile in expedients, as all
who knew him testify, and the greater the demand upon his originality, the
higher did he rise to meet the occasion. The time spent in Lowell was not
only to the great advantage of the company, but it increased also his own
stores of mechanical knowledge, and in a direction, too, which in later
years was of especial value to him.

In 1837 the condition of the Stonington Railroad became such as to demand
the continual presence and attention of the engineer. Mr. Whistler
therefore moved to Stonington, a place to which he became much attached,
and to which he seems during all of his wanderings to have looked with a
view of making it finally his home. While engaged upon the above road he
was consulted in regard to many other undertakings in different parts of
the country, and prominent among these was the Western Railroad of

This great work, remarkable for the boldness of its engineering, was to run
from Worcester through Springfield and Pittsfield to Albany. To surmount
the high lands dividing the waters of the Connecticut from those of the
Hudson called for engineering cautious and skillful as well as heroic. The
line from Worcester to Springfield, though apparently much less formidable,
and to one who now rides over the road showing no very marked features,
demanded hardly less study, as many as twelve several routes having been
examined between Worcester and Brookfield. To undertake the solution of a
problem of so much importance required the best of engineering talent, and
we find associated on this work the names of three men who in the early
railroad enterprises of this country stood deservedly in the front rank:
George W. Whistler, William Gibbs McNeill, and William H. Swift. McNeill
had graduated from the Military Academy in 1817, and rose to the rank of
major in the Topographical Engineers. Like Whistler, he had been detailed
to take charge of the design and construction of many works of internal
improvement not under the direction of the general government. These two
engineers exercised an influence throughout the country for many years much
greater than that of any others. Indeed, there were very few works of
importance undertaken at that time in connection with which their names do
not appear. This alliance was further cemented by the marriage between
Whistler and McNeill's sister. Capt. William H. Swift had also graduated
from the Military Academy, and had already shown marked ability as an
engineer. Such were the men who undertook the location and construction of
the railroad which was to surmount the high lands between the Connecticut
and the Hudson, and to connect Boston with the Great West.

The early reports of these engineers to the directors of the Western
Railroad show an exceedingly thorough appreciation of the complex problem
presented to them, and a much better understanding of the principles
involved in establishing the route than seems to have been shown in many
far more recent works. In these early reports made in 1836 and 1837, we
find elaborate discussions as to the power of the locomotive engine, and a
recognition of the fact that in comparing different lines we must regard
the _plan_ as well as the _profile_, "as the resistance from curves on a
level road may even exceed that produced by gravity on an incline;" and in
one place we find the ascents "_equated_ at 18 feet, the slope which
requires double the power needed on a level road," resulting in a "_virtual
increase_." We find also a very clear expression of the fact that an
increased expenditure in the power needed to operate the completed road may
overbalance a considerable saving in first cost. To bear this principle in
mind, and at the same time to work in accordance with the directors' ideas
of economy, in a country where the railroad was regarded very largely as an
experiment, was by no means an easy task. The temptation to make the first
cost low at the expense of the quality of the road in running up the valley
of Westfield River was very great, and the directors were at one time very
strongly urged to make an exceedingly narrow and crooked road west of
Springfield; but Major Whistler so convinced the President, Thomas B.
Wales, of the folly of such a course, that the latter declared, with a most
emphatic prefix, that he would have nothing to do with such a two-penny
cow-path, and thus prevented its adoption.

Mr. Whistler had many investigations to make concerning the plans and
policy of railroad companies at a time when almost everything connected
with them was comparatively new and untried. When he commenced, there was
no passenger railroad in the country, and but very few miles of quarry and
mining track. If at that time an ascent of more than 1 in 200 was required,
it was thought necessary to have inclined planes and stationary power. It
was supposed that by frequent relays it would be possible to obtain for
passenger cars a speed of eight or nine miles an hour. Almost nothing was
known of the best form for rails, of the construction of the track, or of
the details for cars or engines. In all of these things Major Whistler's
highly gifted and well balanced mind enabled him to judge wisely for his
employers, and to practice for them the truest economy.

Major Whistler's employment upon the Western Railroad began while he was
still engaged upon the Stonington line. In connection with his friend
McNeill he acted as consulting engineer for the Western road from 1836 to
1840. From 1840 to 1842 he was its chief engineer, with his headquarters at
Springfield. The steep grades west of the Connecticut presented not only a
difficult problem in location and construction, but in locomotive
engineering as well. At the present day we can order any equipment which
may best meet the requirement upon any railroad, and the order will be
promptly met by any one of our great manufactories. But in the early days
of the Western Railroad it was far otherwise, and the locomotive which
should successfully and economically operate the hitherto unheard of grade
of over 80 feet to the mile was yet to be seen. The Messrs. Winans, of
Baltimore, had built some nondescript machines, which had received the name
of "crabs," and had tried to make them work upon the Western road. But
after many attempts they were given up as unfit for such service.

These "crabs" were eight wheeled engines, weighing about 20 tons, with a
vertical boiler. The wheels were 3½ feet in diameter, but the engine worked
on to an intermediate shaft, which was connected with the driving axle in
such a way as to get the effect of a five foot wheel. These engines did not
impress Major Whistler at all favorably. And it is related that one Sunday
the watchman in charge of the building in which some of them were kept,
hearing some one among the engines, went in quietly and overheard Major
Whistler, apparently conversing with the "crab," and saying: "No; you
miserable, top-heavy, lop-sided abortion of a grasshopper, you'll never do
to haul the trains over this road." His experience in Lowell was here of
great value to him, and he had become convinced that the engine of George
Stephenson was in the main the coming machine, and needed but to be
properly proportioned and of sufficient size to meet every demand.

With Major Whistler's work upon the Western Railroad his engineering
service in this country concluded, and that by an occurrence which marked
him as the foremost railroad engineer of his time. Patient, indefatigable,
cautious, remarkable for exhaustless resource, admirable judgment, and the
highest engineering skill, he had begun with the beginning of the railroad
system, and had risen to the chief control of one of the greatest works in
the world, the Western Railroad of Massachusetts. Not only had he shown the
most far-sighted wisdom in fixing the general features of this undertaking,
but no man surpassed him, if, indeed, any one equaled him, in an exact and
thorough knowledge of technical details. To combine the various elements in
such a manner as to produce the greatest commercial success, and to make
the railroad in the widest sense of the word a public improvement, never
forgetting the amount of money at his disposal, was the problem he had
undertaken to solve. He had proved himself a great master in his
profession, and had shown how well fitted he was to grapple with every
difficulty. He was equally a man of science and a man of business. And to
all this he added the most delicate sense of honor and the most spotless
integrity. He was in the prime of manhood, and was prepared to enter upon
the great work of his life.

It was not long after the introduction of the railroad that intelligent
persons saw very plainly that the new mode of transportation was not to be
confined to the working of an already established traffic, in densely
populated regions, but that it would be of equal service in awakening the
energies of undeveloped countries, in bringing the vast interior regions of
the continents into communication with the seaboard, in opening markets to
lands which before were beyond the reach of commerce. And it was seen, too,
that in event of war, a new and invaluable element had been introduced,
viz., the power of transportation to an extent never before imagined.

Especially were these advantages foreseen in the vast empire of Russia, and
an attempt was very early made to induce private capitalists to undertake
the construction of the lines contemplated in that country. The Emperor,
besides guaranteeing to the shareholders a minimum profit of four per
cent., proposed to give them, gratuitously, all the lands of the state
through which the lines should pass, and to place at their disposal, also
gratuitously, the timber and raw materials necessary for the way and works
which might be found upon the ground. It was further proposed, to permit
the importation of rails and of the rolling stock free of duty. Russian
proprietors also came forward, and not only agreed to grant such portions
of their land as the railroads might pass through, gratuitously, but
further to dispossess themselves temporarily of their serfs, and surrender
them to the use of the companies, on the sole condition that they should
be properly supported while thus employed.

With regard to the great line, however, which was to unite the two
capitals, St. Petersburg and Moscow, it was decreed that this should be
made exclusively at the expense of the state, in order to retain in the
hands of the government and in the general interest of the people a line of
communication so important to the industry and the internal commerce of the
country. The local proprietors agreed to surrender to the government,
gratuitously, the lands necessary for this line.

It was very early understood that the railroad problem in Russia was much
more analogous to that in the United States than to that in England. The
Emperor, therefore, in 1839, sent the Chevalier De Gerstner to the United
States to obtain information concerning the railroads of this country. It
was this person who obtained from the Emperor the concession for the short
railway from St. Petersburg to Zarskoe Selo, which had been opened in 1837,
and who had also made a careful reconnoissance in 1835 for a line from St.
Petersburg to Moscow, and had very strongly urged its construction on the
American plan. The more De Gerstner examined our roads, the more impressed
he was with the fitness of what he termed the American system of building
and operating railroads to the needs of the empire of Russia. In one of his
letters in explaining the causes of the cheap construction of American
railroads, after noting the fact that labor as well as material is much
dearer in America than in Europe, he refers to the use of steep grades (93
feet to the mile) and sharp curves (600 feet radius), upon which the
American equipment works easily, to the use of labor saving machinery,
particularly to a steam excavating machine upon the railroad between
Worcester and Springfield, and to the American system of wooden bridge
building, and says: "The superstructure of the railroads in America is made
conformable to the expected traffic, and costs therefore more or less
accordingly;" and he concludes, "considering the whole, it appears that the
cheapness of the American railroads has its foundation in the practical
sense which predominates in their construction." Again, under the causes of
the cheap management of the American roads, he notes the less expensive
administration service, the low rate of speed, the use of the eight wheeled
cars and the four-wheeled truck under the engines, and concludes: "In my
opinion it would be of great advantage for every railroad company in Europe
to procure at least one such train" (as those used in America). "Those
companies, however, whose works are yet under construction I can advise
with the fullest conviction to procure all their locomotive engines and
tenders from America, and to construct their cars after the American

Notwithstanding this report, the suggestions of De Gerstner were not at
once accepted. The magnitude of the enterprise would not admit of taking a
false step. Further evidence was needed, and accordingly it was decided to
send a committee of engineer officers to various countries in Europe, and
to the United States, to select such a system for the road and its
equipment as would be best adapted to Russia. These officers, Colonels
Melnikoff and Krofft, not only reported in the most decided manner in favor
of the American methods, but also stated that of all persons with whom they
had communicated, no one had given them such full and satisfactory
information upon all points, or had so impressed them as possessing
extraordinary ability, as Major George W. Whistler. This led to his
receiving an invitation from the Emperor to go to Russia and become
consulting engineer for the great road which was to connect the imperial
city upon the Baltic with the ancient capital of the Czars.

When we consider the magnitude of the engineering works with which the
older countries abound, we can but regard with a feeling of pride the fact
that an American should have been selected for so high a trust by a
European government possessing every opportunity and means for securing the
highest professional talent which the world could offer. Nor should it be
forgotten that the selection of our countryman did not arise from any
necessity which the Russian Government felt for obtaining professional aid
from abroad, growing out of a lack of the requisite material at home. On
the contrary, the engineers of the Russian service are perhaps the most
accomplished body of men to be found in any country. Selected in their
youth, irrespective of any artificial advantages of birth or position, but
for having a genius for such work, and trained to a degree of excellence in
all of the sciences unsurpassed in any country, they stand deservedly in
the front rank. Such was the body of men with whom Major Whistler was
called to co-operate, and whose professional duties, if not directed
specially by him, were to be controlled by his judgment.

Accepting the position offered to him in so flattering a manner, he sailed
for St. Petersburg about mid-summer in 1842, being accompanied on his
voyage by Major Bouttattz, of the Russian Engineer Corps, who had been sent
to this country by the Emperor as an escort. Arriving in St. Petersburg,
and having learned the general character of the proposed work, he traveled
partly by horse and partly on foot over the entire route, and made his
preliminary report, which was at once accepted.

The plan contemplated the construction of a double track railroad 420 miles
long, perfect in all its parts, and equipped to its utmost necessity. The
estimates amounted to nearly forty millions of dollars, and the time for
its construction was reckoned at seven years. The line selected for the
road had no reference to intermediate points, and was the shortest
attainable, due regard being paid to the cost of construction. It is nearly
straight, and passes over so level a country as to encounter no obstacle
requiring a grade exceeding 20 feet to the mile, and for most of the
distance it is level. The right of way taken was 400 feet in width
throughout the entire length. The roadbed was raised from six to ten feet
above the ordinary level of the country, and was 30 feet wide on top.

One of the most important questions to settle at the outset in regard to
this great work was the width of the gauge. At that time the opinion in
England as well as in the United States among engineers was setting very
strongly in favor of a gauge wider than 4 feet 8½ inches, and the Russian
engineers were decidedly in favor of such increased width. Major Whistler,
however, in an elaborate report to the Count Kleinmichel argued very
strongly in favor of the ordinary gauge. To this a commission of the most
distinguished engineers in Russia replied, urging in the most forcible
manner the adoption of a gauge of six feet. Major Whistler rejoined in a
report which is one of the finest models of an engineering argument ever
written, and in which we have perhaps the best view of the quality of his
mind. In this document no point is omitted, each part of the question is
handled with the most consummate skill, the bearing of the several parts
upon the whole is shown in the clearest possible manner, and in a style
which could only come from one who from his own knowledge was thoroughly
familiar with all the details, not only of the railroad, but of the
locomotive as well.

In this report the history of the ordinary gauge is given, with the origin
of the standard of 4 feet 8½ inches; the questions of strength, stability,
and capacity of cars, of the dimensions, proportions, and power of engines,
the speed of trains, resistances to motion, weight and strength of rails,
the cost of the roadway, and the removal of snow are carefully considered.
The various claims of the advocates for a wider gauge are fairly and
critically examined, and while the errors of his opponents are laid bare in
the most unsparing manner, the whole is done in a spirit so entirely
unprejudiced, and with so evident a desire for the simple truth, as to
carry conviction to any fair minded person. The dry way, too, in which he
suggests that conclusions based upon actual results from existing railways
are of more value than deductions from supposed conditions upon imaginary
roads, is exceedingly entertaining. The result was the adoption of the
gauge recommended by him, namely, five feet. Those who remember the "Battle
of the Gauges," and who know how much expense and trouble the wide gauge
has since caused, will appreciate the stand taken thus early by Major
Whistler; and this was but one among many cases which might be mentioned to
show how comprehensive and far-reaching was his mind.

The roadbed of the St. Petersburg and Moscow Railway was made 30 feet wide
on top, for a double track of 5 foot gauge, with a gravel ballasting two
feet deep. The bridges were of wood, of the Howe pattern, no spans being
over 200 feet in length. The stations at each end, and the station and
engine houses along the line, were on a plan uniform throughout, and of the
most ample accommodation. Fuel and water stations were placed at suitable
points, and engine houses were provided 50 miles apart, built of the most
substantial masonry, circular in form, 180 feet in diameter, surmounted by
a dome, and having stalls for 22 engines each. Repair shops were attached
to every engine house, furnished with every tool or implement that the
wants of the road could suggest.

The equipment of rolling stock and fixed machinery for the shops was
furnished by the American firm of Winans, Harrison & Eastwick, who from
previous acquaintance were known by Major Whistler to be skillful,
energetic, and reliable. Much diplomacy was needed to procure the large
money advances for this part of the work, the whole Winans contract
amounting to nearly five millions of dollars; but the assurance of Major
Whistler was a sufficient guarantee against disappointment or failure.

In 1843 the plans for the work were all complete, and in 1844 the various
operations along the line were well under way, and proceeding according to
the well arranged programme. In 1845 the work had progressed so far that
the construction of the rolling stock was commenced. The locomotives were
of two classes, freight and passenger. The engines of each class were made
throughout from the same patterns, so that any part of one engine would fit
the same position on any other. The passenger engines had two pairs of
driving wheels, coupled, 6 feet in diameter, and a four wheeled truck
similar to the modern American locomotive. The general dimensions were:
Waist of boiler, 47 inches, 186 two inch tubes 10½ feet long; cylinders, 16
× 22 inches. The freight engines had the same capacity of boiler and the
same number and length of tubes, three pairs of driving wheels, coupled, 4½
feet in diameter, a truck and cylinders 18 × 22 inches, and all uniform
throughout in workmanship and finish. The passenger cars were 56 feet long
and 9½ feet wide, the first class carrying 33 passengers, the second class
54, and the third class 80. They all had eight truck wheels under each, and
elliptic steel springs. The freight cars were all 30 feet long and 9½ feet
wide, made in a uniform manner, with eight truck wheels under each. The
imperial saloon carriages were 80 feet long and 9½ feet wide, having double
trucks, or sixteen wheels under each. They were divided into five
compartments and fitted with every convenience.

Early in 1847 the Emperor Nicholas visited the mechanical works at
Alexandroffsky, where the rolling stock was being made by the Messrs.
Winans, in the shops prepared by them and supplied by Russian labor.
Everything here was on the grandest scale, and the work was conducted under
the most perfect system. Upon this occasion the Emperor was so much
gratified at what had already been accomplished that he conferred upon
Major Whistler the decoration of the Order of St. Anne. He had previously
been pressed to wear the Russian uniform, which he promptly declined to do;
but there was no escape from the decoration without giving offense. He is
said, however, to have generally contrived to hide it beneath his coat in
such a manner that few ever saw it.

Technically, Major Whistler was consulting engineer, Colonel Melnikoff
being constructing engineer for the northern half of the road, and Colonel
Krofft for the southern half; but as a matter of fact, by far the larger
part of planning the construction in detail of both railway and equipment
fell upon Major Whistler. There was also a permanent commission having
general charge of the construction of the road, of which the president was
General Destrem, one of the four French engineers whom Napoleon, at the
request of the Emperor Alexander, sent to Russia for the service of that

The year 1848 was a very trying one to Major Whistler. He had already on
several occasions overtasked his strength, and had been obliged to rest.
This year the Asiatic cholera made its appearance. He sent his family
abroad, but remained himself alone in his house. He would on no account at
this time leave his post, nor omit his periodical inspections along the
line of the road, where the epidemic was raging. In November he had an
attack of cholera, and while he recovered from it, he was left very weak.
Still, he remained upon the work through the winter, though suffering much
from a complication of diseases. As spring advanced he became much worse,
and upon the 7th of April, 1849, he passed quietly away, the immediate
cause of his death being a trouble with the heart.

Funeral services were held in the Anglican (Episcopal) Church in St.
Petersburg. His body was soon afterward carried to Boston and deposited
beneath St. Paul's Church; but the final interment took place at
Stonington. The kindness and attention of the Emperor and of all with whom
Major Whistler had been associated knew no bounds. Everything was done to
comfort and aid his wife, and when she left St. Petersburg the Emperor sent
her in his private barge to the mouth of the Baltic. "It was not only,"
says one who knew him weil, "through his skill, ability, and experience as
an engineer that Major Whistler was particularly qualified for and
eminently successful in the important task he performed so well in Russia.
His military training and bearing, his polished manner, good humor, sense
of honor, knowledge of a language (French) in which he could converse with
officers of the government, his resolution in adhering to what he thought
was right, and in meeting difficulties only to surmount them, with other
admirable personal qualities, made him soon, and during his whole residence
in Russia, much liked and trusted by all persons by whom he was known, from
the Emperor down to the peasant. Such is the reputation he left behind him,
and which is given to him in Russia to this day."

In 1849 the firm of Winans, Harrison and Eastwick had already furnished the
road with 162 locomotives, 72 passenger and 2,580 freight cars. They had
also arranged to instruct a suitable number of Russian mechanics to take
charge of the machinery when completed. The road was finished its entire
length in 1850, being opened for passenger and freight traffic on the 25th
of September of that year, in two divisions, experimentally, and finally
opened for through business on November 1, 1851. In all of its construction
and equipment it was essentially American of the best kind, everything
being made under a carefully devised system, by which the greatest economy
in maintenance and in management should be possible. The use of standard
patterns, uniformity in design and duplication of parts was applied, not
only to the rolling stock, but to the railroad as well, wherever it was
possible. Indeed, the whole undertaking in all its parts bore the impress
of one master mind.

On the death of Major Whistler the government with jealous care prevented
any changes whatever being made in his plans, including those which had not
been carried out as well as those already in process of execution. An
American engineer, Major T.S. Brown, was invited to Russia to succeed Major
Whistler as consulting engineer. The services of the Messrs. Winans also
were so satisfactory to the government that a new contract was afterward
made, upon the completion of the road, for the maintenance and the future
construction of rolling stock.

While the great railroad was the principal work of Major Whistler in
Russia, he was also consulted in regard to all the important engineering
works of the period. The fortifications at Cronstadt, the Naval Arsenal and
docks at the same place, the plans for improving the Dwina at Archangel,
the great iron roof of the Riding House at St. Petersburg, and the iron
bridge over the Neva all received his attention. The government was
accustomed to rely upon his judgment in all cases requiring the exercise of
the highest combination of science and practical skill; and here, with a
happy tact peculiarly his own, he secured the warm friendship of men whose
professional acts he found himself called upon in the exercise of his high
trust in many cases to condemn. The Russians are proverbially jealous of
strangers, and no higher evidence of their appreciation of the sterling
honesty of Major Whistler, and of his sound, discriminating judgment, could
be afforded than the fact that all his recommendations on the great
questions of internal improvement, opposed as many of them were to the
principles which had previously obtained, and which were sanctioned by
usage, were yet carried out by the government to the smallest details.

While in Russia Major Whistler was sometimes placed in positions most
trying to him. It is said that some of the corps of native engineers, many
of whom were nobles, while compelled to look up to him officially, were
inclined to look down upon him socially, and exercised their supposed
privileges in this respect so as to annoy him exceedingly, for he had not
known in his own country what it was to be the social inferior of any one.
The Emperor, hearing of this annoyance, determined to stop it; so, taking
advantage of a day when he knew the engineer corps would visit a celebrated
gallery of art, he entered it while they were there, and without at first
noticing any one else, looked around for Major Whistler, and seeing him,
went directly toward him, took his arm, and walked slowly with him entirely
around the gallery. After this the conduct of the nobles was all that could
be desired.

Major Whistler's salary while in Russia was $12,000 a year; a sum no more
than necessary for living in a style befitting his position. He had
abundant opportunity for making money, but this his nice sense of honor
forbade. It is even stated that he would never allow any invention to be
used on the road that could by any possibility be of any profit to himself
or to any of his friends. He was continually besieged by American
inventors, but in vain. The honor of the profession he regarded as a sacred
trust. He served the Emperor with the fidelity that characterized all his
actions. His unswerving devotion to his duty was fully appreciated, and it
is said that no American in Russia, except John Quincy Adams, was ever held
in so high estimation.

Major Whistler married for his first wife Mary, daughter of Dr. Foster
Swift of the U.S. Army, and Deborah, daughter of Capt. Thomas Delano of
Nantucket. By her he had three children: Deborah, his only daughter, who
married Seymour Haden of London, a surgeon, but later and better known for
his skill in etching; George William, who became an engineer and railway
manager, and who went to Russia, and finally died at Brighton, in England,
Dec. 24, 1869; Joseph Swift, born at New London, Aug. 12, 1825, and who
died at Stonington, Jan. 1, 1840. His first wife died Dec. 9, 1827, at the
early age of 23 years, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, in the shade of
the monument erected to the memory of her husband by the loving hands of
his professional brethren. For his second wife he married Anna Matilda,
daughter of Dr. Charles Donald McNeill of Wilmington, N.C., and sister of
his friend and associate, William Gibbs McNeill. By her he had five sons:
James Abbot McNeill, the noted artist, and William Gibbs McNeill, a well
known physician, both now living in London; Kirk Boott, born in Stonington,
July 16, 1838, and who died at Springfield, July 10, 1842; Charles Donald,
born in Springfield, Aug. 27, 1841, and who died in Russia, Sept. 24, 1843;
and John Bouttattz, who was born and who died at St. Petersburg, having
lived but little more than a year. His second wife, who outlived him,
returned to America, and remained here during the education of her
children, after which she moved to England. She died Jan. 31, 1881, at the
age of 76 years, and was buried at Hastings.

At a meeting held in the office of the Panama Railroad Company in New York,
August 27, 1849, for the purpose of suggesting measures expressive of their
respect for the memory of Major Whistler, Wm. H. Sidell being chairman and
A.W. Craven secretary, it was resolved that a monument in Greenwood
Cemetery would be a suitable mode of expressing the feelings of the
profession in this respect, and that an association be formed to collect
funds and take all necessary steps to carry out the work. At this meeting
Capt. William H. Swift was appointed president, Major T.S. Brown
treasurer, and A.W. Craven secretary, and Messrs. Horatio Allen, W.C.
Young, J.W. Adams, and A.W. Craven were appointed a committee to procure
designs and estimates, and to select a suitable piece of ground. The design
was made by Mr. Adams, and the ground was given by Mr. Kirkwood. The
monument is a beautiful structure of red standstone, about 15 feet high,
and stands in "Twilight Dell." Upon the several faces are the following

_Upon the Front_.


_Upon the Right Side_.


_Upon the Back_.


_Upon the Left Side_.


While the monument thus raised to the memory of the great engineer stands
in that most delightful of the cities of the dead, his worn-out body rests
in the quaint old town of Stonington. It was here that his several children
had been buried, and he had frequently expressed a desire that when he
should die he might be placed by their side. A deputation of engineers who
had been in their early years associated with him attended the simple
service which was held over his grave, and all felt as they turned away
that they had bid farewell to such a man as the world has not often seen.

In person Major Whistler was of medium size and well made. His face showed
the finest type of manly beauty, combined with a delicacy almost feminine.
In private life he was greatly prized for his natural qualities of heart
and mind, his regard for the feelings of others, and his unvarying
kindness, especially toward his inferiors and his young assistants. His
duties and his travels in this and in other countries brought him in
contact with men of every rank; and it is safe to say that the more
competent those who knew him were to judge, the more highly was he valued
by them. A close observer, with a keen sense of humor and unfailing tact,
fond of personal anecdote, and with a mind stored with recollections from
association with every grade of society, he was a most engaging companion.
The charm of his manner was not conventional, nor due to intercourse with
refined society, but came from a sense of delicacy and a refinement of
feeling which was innate, and which showed itself in him under all
circumstances. He was in the widest and best sense of the word a gentleman;
and he was a gentleman outwardly because he was a gentleman at heart.

As an engineer, Whistler's works speak for him. He was eminently a
practical man, remarkable for steadiness of judgment and for sound business
sense. Whatever he did was so well done that he was naturally followed as a
model by those who were seeking a high standard. Others may have excelled
in extraordinary boldness or in some remarkable specialty, but in all that
rounds out the perfect engineer, whether natural characteristics,
professional training, or the well digested results of long and valuable
experience, we look in vain for his superior, and those who knew him best
will hesitate to acknowledge his equal.--_Journal of the Association of
Engineering Societies_.

       *       *       *       *       *



[Footnote: Read before the Birmingham Photographic Society. Reported in the
_Photo. News_.]

There can be no question that there is no plan that is so simple for
producing transparencies as contact printing, but in this, as in other
photographic matters, one method of work will not answer all needs.
Reproduction in the camera, using daylight to illuminate the negative,
enables the operator to reduce or enlarge in every direction, but the
lantern is a winter instrument, and comes in for demand and use during the
short days. When even the professional photographer has not enough light to
get through his orders, how can the amateur get the needed daylight if
photography be only the pursuit in spare time? Besides, there are days in
our large towns when what daylight there is is so yellow from smoke or fog
as to have little actinic power. These considerations and needs have led me
to experiment and test what can be done with artificial light, and I think
I have made the way clear for actual work without further experiment. I
have not been able by any arrangement of reflected light to get power
enough to print negatives of the ordinary density, and have only succeeded
by causing the light to be equally dispersed over the negative by a lens as
used in the optical lantern, but the arrangements required are somewhat
different to that of the enlarging lantern.

The following is the plan by which I have succeeded best in the production
of transparencies:


B is a lamp with a circular wick, which burns petroleum and gives a good
body of light.

C is a frame for holding the negative, on the opposite side of which is a
double convex lens facing the light.

D is the camera and lens.

All these must be placed in a line, so that the best part of the light, the
center of the condenser, and the lens are of equal height.

The method of working is as follows: The lamp, B, is placed at such a
distance from the condenser that the rays come to a focus and enter the
lens; the negative is then placed in the frame, the focus obtained, and the
size of reduction adjusted by moving the camera nearer to or further from
the condenser and negative. In doing this no attention need be paid to the
light properly covering the field, as that cannot be adjusted while the
negative is in its place. When the size and focus are obtained, remove the
negative, and carefully move the lamp till it illuminates the ground glass
equally all over, by a disk of light free from color.

The negative can then be replaced, and no further adjustment will be needed
for any further reproduction of the same size.

There is one point that requires attention: The lens used in the camera
should be a doublet of about 6 inch focus (in reproducing 8½ × 6½ or
smaller sizes), and the stop used must not be a very small one, not less
than ½ inch diameter. If a smaller stop is used, an even disk of light is
not obtained, but ample definition is obtainable with the size stop

In the arrangement described, a single lens is used for the condenser, not
because it is better than a double one, as is general for such purposes,
but because it is quite sufficient for the purpose. Of course, a large
condenser is both expensive and cumbersome. There is, therefore, no
advantage in using a combination if a single lens will answer.

In reproducing lantern pictures from half-plate negatives, the time
required on my lantern plates is from two to four minutes, using 6 inch
condenser. For whole plate negatives, from two to six minutes with a 9 inch
condenser. In working in this way it is easy to be developing one picture
while exposing another.

The condenser must be of such a size that it will cover the plate from
corner to corner. The best part of an 8½ × 6½ negative will be covered by a
9 inch condenser, and a 6½ × 4¾ by a 6 inch condenser.

With this arrangement it will be easy to reproduce from half or whole plate
negatives or any intermediate sizes quite independently of daylight.

       *       *       *       *       *


From the _Photographic News_ we take the following: The use of paper coated
with a gelatino-citro-chloride emulsion in place of albumenized paper
appears to be becoming daily more common. Successful toning has generally
been the difficulty with such paper, the alkaline baths commonly in use
with albumenized having proved unsuitable for toning this paper. On the
whole, the bath that has given the best results is one containing, in
addition to gold, a small quantity of hypo and a considerable quantity of
sulphocyanide of ammonium. Such a bath tones very rapidly, and gives most
pleasing colors. It appears, moreover, to be impossible to overtone the
citro-chloro emulsion paper with it in the sense that it is possible to
overtone prints on albumenized paper with the ordinary alkaline bath. That
is to say, it is impossible to produce a slaty gray image. The result of
prolonged toning is merely an image of an engraving black color. Of this,
however, we shall say more hereafter. We wish first of all to refer to an
elaborate series of experiments by Lionel Clark on the effects of various
toning baths used with the gelatino-citro-chloride paper.

The results of these experiments we have before us at the time of writing,
and we may at once say that, from the manner in which the experiments have
been carried out and in which the results have been tabulated, Lionel
Clark's work forms a very useful contribution to our photographic
knowledge, and a contribution that will become more and more useful, the
longer the results of the experiments are kept. A number of small prints
have been prepared. Of these several--in most cases, three--have been toned
by a certain bath, and each print has been torn in two. One-half has been
treated with bichloride of mercury, so as to bleach such portion of the
image as is of silver, and finally the prints--the two halves of each being
brought close together--have been mounted in groups, each group containing
all the prints toned by a certain formula, with full information tabulated.

The only improvement we could suggest in the arrangement is that all the
prints should have been from the same negative, or from only three
negatives, so that we should have prints from the same negatives in every
group, and should the better be able to compare the results of the toning
baths. Probably, however, the indifferent light of the present season of
the year made it difficult to get a sufficiency of prints from one

The following is a description of the toning baths used and of the
appearance of the prints. We refer, in the mean time, only to those halves
that have not been treated with bichloride of mercury.

1.--Gold chloride (AuCl_{3})...........  1 gr.
    Sulphocyanide of potassium......... 10 gr.
    Hyposulphite of soda...............  ½ gr.
    Water..............................  2 oz.

The prints are of a brilliant purple or violet color.

2.--Gold chloride......................  1 gr.
    Sulphocyanide of potassium......... 10 gr.
    Hyposulphite of soda...............  ½ gr.
    Water..............................  4 oz.

There is only one print, which is of a brown color, and in every way
inferior to those toned with the first bath.

3.--Gold chloride......................  1 gr.
    Sulphocyanide of potassium......... 12 gr.
    Hyposulphite of soda...............  ½ gr.
    Water..............................  2 oz.

The prints toned by this bath are, in our opinion, the finest of the whole.
The tone is a purple of the most brilliant and pleasing shade.

4.--Gold chloride......................  1 gr.
    Sulphocyanide of potassium......... 20 gr.
    Hyposulphite of soda...............  5 gr.
    Water..............................  2 oz.

There is only one print, but it is from the same negative as one of the No.
3 group. It is very inferior to that in No. 3, the color less pleasant, and
the appearance generally as if the details of the lights had been bleached
by the large quantity either of hypo or of sulphocyanide of potassium.

5.--Gold chloride......................  1 gr.
    Sulphocyanide of potassium......... 50 gr.
    Hyposulphite of soda...............  ½ gr.
    Water..............................  2 oz.

Opposite to this description of formula there are no prints, but the
following is written: "These prints were completely destroyed, the
sulphocyanide of potassium (probably) dissolving off the gelatine."

6.--Gold chloride......................  1 gr.
    Sulphocyanide of potassium......... 20 gr.
    Hypo...............................  5 gr.
    Carbonate of soda.................. 10 gr.
    Water..............................  2 oz.

This it will be seen is the same as 4, but that the solution is rendered
alkaline with carbonate of soda. The result of the alkalinity certainly
appears to be good, the color is more pleasing than that produced by No. 4,
and there is less appearance of bleaching. It must be borne in mind in this
connection that the paper itself is strongly acid, and that, unless special
means be taken to prevent it, the toning bath is sure to be more or less

7.--Gold chloride......................  1 gr.
    Acetate of soda.................... 30 gr.
    Water..............................  2 oz.

The color of the prints toned by this bath is not exceedingly pleasing. It
is a brown tending to purple, but is not very pure or bright. The results
show, however, the possibility of toning the gelatino-chloro-citrate paper
with the ordinary acetate bath if it be only made concentrated enough.

8.--Gold chloride......................  1 gr.
    Carbonate of soda..................  3 gr.
    Water..............................  2 oz.

Very much the same may be said of the prints toned by this bath as of those
toned by No. 7. The color is not very good, nor is the toning quite even.
This last remark applies to No. 7 batch as well as No. 8.

9.--Gold chloride......................  1 gr.
    Phosphate of soda.................. 20 gr.
    Water..............................  2 oz.

The results of this bath can best be described as purplish in color. They
are decidedly more pleasing than those of 7 or 8, but are not as good as
the best by the sulphocyanide bath.

10.--Gold chloride.....................  1 gr.
     Hyposulphite of soda..............  ½ oz.
     Water.............................  2 oz.

The result of this bath is a brilliant brown color, what might indeed,
perhaps, be best described as a red. Two out of the three prints are much
too dark, indicating, perhaps, that this toning bath did not have any
tendency to reduce the intensity of the image.

The general lesson taught by Clark's experiments is that the sulphocyanide
bath gives better results than any other. A certain proportion of the
ingredients--namely, that of bath No. 3--gives better results than any
other proportions tried, and about as good as any that could be hoped for.
Any of the ordinary alkaline toning baths may be used, but they all give
results inferior to those got by the sulphocyanide bath. The best of the
ordinary baths is, however, the phosphate of soda.

And now a word as to those parts of the prints which have been treated with
bichloride of mercury. The thing that strikes us as remarkable in
connection with them is that in them the image has scarcely suffered any
reduction of intensity at all. In most cases there has been a disagreeable
change of color, but it is almost entirely confined to the whites and
lighter tints, which are turned to a more or less dirty yellow. Even in the
case of the prints toned by bath No. 10, where the image is quite red, it
has suffered no appreciable reduction of intensity.

This would indicate that an unusually large proportion of the toned image
consists of gold, and this idea is confirmed by the fact that to tone a
sheet of gelatino-chloro-citrate paper requires several times as much gold
as to tone a sheet of albumenized paper. Indeed, we believe that, with the
emulsion paper, it is possible to replace the whole of the silver of the
image with gold, thereby producing a permanent print. We have already said
that the print may be left for any reasonable length of time in the toning
bath without the destruction of its appearance, and we cannot but suppose
that a very long immersion results in a complete substitution of gold for

       *       *       *       *       *


Fig. 1 shows a perspective view of the machine, Fig. 2 a sectional
elevation, and Fig. 3 a plan. In the ordinary screw gill box, the screws
which traverse the gills are uniform in their pitch, so that a draught is
only obtained between the feed rollers and the first gill, between the last
gill of the first set and the first of the second, and between the last
gill of the second set and the delivery roller. As thus arranged, the gills
are really not active workers after their first draw during the remainder
of their traverse, but simply carriers of the wool to the next set. It is
somewhat remarkable, as may indeed be said of every invention, that this
fact has only been just observed, and suggested an improvement. There is no
reason why each gill should not be continuously working to the end of the
traverse, and only cease during its return to its first position. The
perception of this has led to several attempts to realize this
improvement. The inventor in the present case seems to have solved the
problem in a very perfect manner by the introduction of gill screws of a
gradually increasing pitch, by which the progress of the gills, B, through
the box is constantly undergoing acceleration to the end, as will be
obvious from the construction of the screws, A and A¹, until they are
passed down in the usual manner, and returned by the screws, C and C¹,
which are, as usual, of uniform pitch. The two sets of screws are so
adjusted as to almost meet in the middle, so that the gills of the first
set finish their forward movement close to the point where the second
commence. The bottom screws, C, of the first set of gills, B, are actuated
by bevel wheels on a cross shaft engaging with bevel wheels on their outer
extremity, the cross shaft being geared to the main shaft. The screws, C¹,
of the second set of gills from two longitudinal shafts are connected by
bevel gearing to the main shaft. Intermediate wheels communicate motion
from change wheels on the longitudinal shafts to the wheels on the screw,
C¹, traversing the second set of gills.


The feed and delivery rollers, D and E, are operated by gearing connected
to worms on longitudinal shafts. These worms engage with worm wheels on
cross shafts, which are provided at their outer ends with change wheels
engaging with other change wheels on the arbors of the bottom feed and
delivery rollers, D and E.


The speeds are so adjusted that the fibers are delivered to the first set
of gills at a speed approximately equal to the speed at which these start
their traverse. The gills in the second set begin their journey at a pace
which slightly exceeds that at which those of the first finish their
traverse. These paces are of course regulated by the class and nature of
the fibers under operation. The delivery rollers, E, take off the fibers at
a rate slightly exceeding that of the gills delivering it to them.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--"SENSIM" SCREW GILL--PLAN.]

In the ordinary gill box, the feed and delivery rollers are fluted, in
order the better to retain in the first instance their grip upon the wool
passing through, and in the second to enable them to overcome any
resistance that might be offered to drawing the material. It thus often
happens in this class of machines that a large percentage of the fibers are
broken, and thus much waste is made. The substitution of plain rollers in
both these positions obviates most of this mischief, while in combination
with the other parts of the arrangement it is almost precluded altogether.

It will be obvious from what we have said that the special features of this
machine, which may be summarized as, first, the use of a screw thread of
graduated pitch; second, an increased length of screw action and an
additional number of fallers; and third, the use of light plain rollers in
place of heavy fluted back and front rollers, enable the inventor to justly
claim the acquisition of a number of advantages, which may be enumerated as

The transformation of the gills from mere carriers into constant workers
during the whole of their outward traverse, by which the work is done much
more efficiently, more gently, and in greater quantity than by the old
system with uniformly pitched screws. A great improvement in the quality of
the work, resulting from the breakage of fiber being, if not entirely
obviated, nearly. An increased yield and better quality of top, owing to
the absence of broken fiber, and consequent diminution of noil and waste.
The better working of cotted wools, which can be brought to a proper
condition with far more facility and with diminished risk of breaking pins
than before. A saving in labor, space, and plant also results from the fact
that the wool is as well opened and straightened for carding with a passage
through a pair of improved boxes as it is in going through four of the
ordinary ones, while the quantity will be as great. Owing to the first
feature referred to, which distributes the strain over all the gills, a
greater weight of wool can be put into them and a higher speed be worked.
The space occupied and the attendance required is only about half that of
boxes required to do the same amount of work on the old system. Taking the
flutes out of the feed and delivery rollers, and greatly diminishing their
weight, it is estimated will reduce by 90 per cent. the wear and tear of
the leather aprons, and thus to that extent diminish a very heavy annual
outlay incident to the system generally in vogue. A considerable saving of
power for driving and of time and cost of repairs from the bending and
breakage of pins also results. Shaw, Harrison & Co., makers,
Bradford.--_Textile Manufacturer_.

       *       *       *       *       *


Black wool dresses for renewing and checked goods, with the check not
covered by the first operation, are operated upon as follows:

_Preparation or mordant for eight black dresses for renewing the color._

2 oz. Chrome.
2  "  Argol or Tartar.

Or without argol or tartar, but I think their use is beneficial. Boil
twenty minutes, lift, rinse through two waters.

To prepare dye boiler, put in 2 lb. logwood, boil twenty minutes. Clear the
face same way as before described. Those with cotton and made-up dresses
sewn with cotton same operation as before mentioned, using half the
quantity of stuffs, and working cold throughout. Since the introduction of
aniline black, some dyers use it in place of logwood both for wool and
cotton. It answers very well for dippers, substituting 2 oz. aniline black
for every pound logwood required. In dyeing light bottoms it is more
expensive than logwood, even though the liquor be kept up, and, in my
opinion, not so clear and black.

_Silk and wool dresses, poplins, and woolen dresses trimmed with silk,
etc., for black_.--Before the dyeing operations, steep the goods in
hand-heat soda water, rinse through two warm waters. Discharge blues,
mauves, etc., with diluted aquafortis (nitric acid). A skilled dyer can
perform this operation without the least injury to the goods. This liquor
is kept in stoneware, or a vessel made of caoutchouc composition, or a
large stone hollowed out of five slabs of stone, forming the bottom and
four sides, braced together, and luted with caoutchouc, forming a
water-tight vessel. The latter is the most convenient vessel, as it can be
repaired. The others when once rent are past repair. The steam is
introduced by means of a caoutchouc pipe, and when brought to the boil the
pipe is removed. After the colors are discharged, rinse through three warm
waters. They are then ready to receive the mordant and the dye.

_Note_.--The aquafortis vessel to be outside the dye-house, or, if inside,
to be provided with a funnel to carry away the nitrous fumes, as it is
dangerous to other colors.

_Preparation or mordant for eight dresses, silk and wool mixed, for black._

4 lb. Copperas.
½  "  Bluestone.
½  "  Tartar.

Bring to the boil, dissolve the copperas, etc., shut off steam, enter the
goods, handle gently (or else they will be faced, i.e., look gray on face
when dyed) for one hour, lift, air, rinse through three warm waters.

To prepare dye boiler, bring to boil, put in 8 lb. logwood (previously
boiled), 1 lb. black or brown oil soap, shut off steam, enter goods, gently
handle for half an hour, add another pound of soap (have the soap dissolved
ready), and keep moving for another half hour, lift, finish in hand-heat
soap. If very heavy, run through lukewarm water slightly acidulated with
vitriol, rinse, hydro-extract, and hang in stove. Another method to clear
them: Make up three lukewarm waters, in first put some bleaching liquor, in
second a little vitriol, handle these two, and rinse through the third,
hydro-extract, and hang in stove.

_Note_.--This is the method employed generally in small dye-works for all
dresses for black; their lots are so small. This preparation can be kept
up, if care is taken that none of the sediment of the copperas (oxide of
iron) is introduced when charging, as the oxide of iron creates stains.
This also happens when the water used contains iron in quantity or impure
copperas. The remedy is to substitute half a gill of vitriol in place of

_Silk, wool, and cotton mixed dresses, for black_.--Dye the silk and wool
as before described, and also the cotton in the manner previously

_Another method to dye the mixed silk and wool and cotton dresses black,
four dresses_.--Bring boiler to the boil, put in 3 or 4 oz. aniline black,
either the deep black or the blue black or a mixture of the two, add ¼ gill
hydrochloric acid or sulphuric acid, or 3 oz. oxalic acid, shut off steam,
enter, and handle for half an hour, lift, rinse through water, dye the
cotton in the manner previously described.--_Dyer_.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote: Second of two lectures delivered at the Royal Institution,
London, on 17th April, 1886. Continued from SUPPLEMENT, No. 585, p. 9340.]



The points to which I specially called your attention in the first lecture,
and which it is necessary to recapitulate to-day, are these: (1) That coal
is distilled, or burned partly into gas, before it can be burned. (2) That
the gas, so given off, if mixed with carbonic acid, cannot be expected to
burn properly or completely. (3) That to burn the gas, a sufficient supply
of air must be introduced at a temperature not low enough to cool the gases
below their igniting point. (4) That in stoking a fire, a small amount
should be added at a time because of the heat required to warm and distill
the fresh coal. (5) That fresh coal should be put in front of or at the
bottom of a fire, so that the gas may be thoroughly heated by the
incandescent mass above and thus, if there be sufficient air, have a chance
of burning. A fire may be inverted, so that the draught proceeds through it
downward. This is the arrangement in several stoves, and in them, of
course, fresh coal is put at the top.

Two simple principles are at the root of all fire management: (1) Coal gas
must be at a certain temperature before it can burn; and (2) it must have a
sufficient supply of air. Very simple, very obvious, but also extremely
important, and frequently altogether ignored. In a common open fire they
are both ignored. Coal is put on the top of a glowing mass of charcoal, and
the gas distilled off is for a longtime much too cold for ignition, and
when it does catch fire it is too mixed with carbonic acid to burn
completely or steadily. In order to satisfy the first condition better, and
keep the gases at a higher temperature, Dr. Pridgin Teale arranges a
sloping fire-clay slab above his fire. On this the gases play, and its
temperature helps them to ignite. It also acts as a radiator, and is said
to be very efficient.

In a close stove and in many furnaces the second condition is violated;
there is an insufficient supply of air; fresh coal is put on, and the
feeding doors are shut. Gas is distilled off, but where is it to get any
air from? How on earth can it be expected to burn? Whether it be expected
or not, it certainly does not burn, and such a stove is nothing else than a
gas works, making crude gas, and wasting it--it is a soot and smoke

Most slow combustion stoves are apt to err in this way; you make the
combustion slow by cutting off air, and you run the risk of stopping the
combustion altogether. When you wish a stove to burn better, it is
customary to open a trap door below the fuel; this makes the red hot mass
glow more vigorously, but the oxygen will soon become CO_{2}, and be unable
to burn the gas.

The right way to check the ardor of a stove is not to shut off the air
supply and make it distill its gases unconsumed, but to admit so much air
above the fire that the draught is checked by the chimney ceasing to draw
so fiercely. You at the same time secure better ventilation; and if the
fire becomes visible to the room so much the better and more cheerful. But
if you open up the top of a stove like this, it becomes, to all intents and
purposes, an open fire. Quite so, and in many respects, therefore, an open
fire is an improvement on a close stove. An open fire has faults, and it
certainly wastes heat up the chimney. A close stove may have more
faults--it wastes less _heat_, but it is liable to waste _gas_ up the
chimney--not necessarily visible or smoky gas; it may waste it from coke or
anthracite, as CO.

You now easily perceive the principles on which so-called smoke consumers
are based. They are all special arrangements or appendages to a furnace for
permitting complete combustion by satisfying the two conditions which had
been violated in its original construction. But there is this difficulty
about the air supply to a furnace: the needful amount is variable if the
stoking be intermittent, and if you let in more than the needful amount,
you are unnecessarily wasting heat and cooling the boiler, or whatever it
is, by a draught of cold air.

Every time a fresh shovelful is thrown on, a great production of gas
occurs, and if it is to flame it must have a correspondingly great supply
of air. After a time, when the mass has become red hot, it can get nearly
enough air through the bars. But at first the evolution of gas actually
checks the draught. But remember that although no smoke is visible from a
glowing mass, it by no means follows that its combustion is perfect. On an
open fire it probably is perfect, but not necessarily in a close stove or
furnace. If you diminish the supply of air much (as by clogging your
furnace bars and keeping the doors shut), you will be merely distilling
carbonic oxide up the chimney--a poisonous gas, of which probably a
considerable quantity is frequently given off from close stoves.

Now let us look at some smoke consumers. The diagrams show those of Chubb,
Growthorpe, Ireland and Lowndes, and of Gregory. You see that they all
admit air at the "bridge" or back of the fire, and that this air is warmed
either by passing under or round the furnace, or in one case through hollow
fire bars. The regulation of the air supply is effected by hand, and it is
clear that some of these arrangements are liable to admit an unnecessary
supply of air, while others scarcely admit enough, especially when fresh
coal is put on. This is the difficulty with all these arrangements when
used with ordinary hand--i.e., intermittent--stoking. Two plans are open to
us to overcome the difficulty. Either the stoking and the air supply must
both be regular and continuous, or the air supply be made intermittent to
suit the stoking. The first method is carried out in any of the many forms
of mechanical stoker, of which this of Sinclair's is an admirable specimen.
Fresh fuel is perpetually being pushed on in front, and by alternate
movement of the fire bars the fire is kept in perpetual motion till the
ashes drop out at the back. To such an arrangement as this a steady air
supply can be adjusted, and if the boiler demand is constant there is no
need for smoke, and an inferior fuel may be used. The other plan is to vary
the air supply to suit the stoking. This is effected by Prideaux automatic
furnace doors, which have louvers to remain open for a certain time after
the doors are shut, and so to admit extra air immediately after coal has
been put on, the supply gradually decreasing as distillation ceases. The
worst of air admitted through chinks in the doors, or through partly open
doors, is that it is admitted cold, and scarcely gets thoroughly warm
before it is among the stuff it has to burn. Still this is not a fatal
objection, though a hot blast would be better. Nothing can be worse than
shoveling on a quantity of coal and shutting it up completely. Every
condition of combustion is thus violated, and the intended furnace is a
mere gas retort.

_Gas Producers_.--Suppose the conditions of combustion are purposely
violated; we at once have a gas producer. That is all gas producers are,
extra bad stoves or furnaces, not always much worse than things which
pretend to serve for combustion. Consider how ordinary gas is made. There
is a red-hot retort or cylinder plunged in a furnace. Into this tube you
shovel a quantity of coal, which flames vigorously as long as the door is
open, but when it is full you shut the door, thus cutting off the supply of
air and extinguishing the flame. Gas is now simply distilled, and passes
along pipes to be purified and stored. You perceive at once that the
difference between a gas retort and an ordinary furnace with closed doors
and half choked fire bars is not very great. Consumption of smoke! It is
not smoke consumers you really want, it is fuel consumers. You distill your
fuel instead of burning it, in fully one-half, might I not say nine-tenths,
of existing furnaces and close stoves. But in an ordinary gas retort the
heat required to distill the gas is furnished by an outside fire; this is
only necessary when you require lighting gas, with no admixture of carbonic
acid and as little carbonic oxide as possible. If you wish for heating gas,
you need no outside fire; a small fire at the bottom of a mass of coal will
serve to distill it, and you will have most of the carbon also converted
into gas. Here, for instance, is Siemens' gas producer. The mass of coal is
burning at the bottom, with a very limited supply of air. The carbonic acid
formed rises over the glowing coke, and takes up another atom of carbon to
form the combustible gas carbonic oxide. This and the hot nitrogen passing
over and through the coal above distill away its volatile constituents, and
the whole mass of gas leaves by the exit pipe. Some art is needed in
adjusting the path of the gases distilled from the fresh coal with
reference to the hot mass below. If they pass too readily, and at too low a
temperature, to the exit pipe, this is apt to get choked with tar and dense
hydrocarbons. If it is carried down near or through the hot fuel below, the
hydrocarbons are decomposed over much, and the quality of the gas becomes
poor. Moreover, it is not possible to make the gases pass freely through a
mass of hot coke; it is apt to get clogged. The best plan is to make the
hydrocarbon gas pass over and near a red-hot surface, so as to have its
heaviest hydrocarbons decomposed, but so as to leave all those which are
able to pass away as gas uninjured, for it is to the presence of these that
the gas will owe its richness as a combustible material, especially when
radiant heat is made use of.

The only inert and useless gas in an arrangement like this is the nitrogen
of the air, which being in large quantities does act as a serious diluent.
To diminish the proportion of nitrogen, steam is often injected as well as
air. The glowing coke can decompose the steam, forming carbonic oxide and
hydrogen, both combustible. But of course no extra energy can be gained by
the use of steam in this way; all the energy must come from the coke, the
steam being already a perfectly burned product; the use of steam is merely
to serve as a vehicle for converting the carbon into a convenient gaseous
equivalent. Moreover, steam injected into coke cannot keep up the
combustion; it would soon put the fire out unless air is introduced too.
Some air is necessary to keep up the combustion, and therefore some
nitrogen is unavoidable. But some steam is advisable in every gas producer,
unless pure oxygen could be used instead of air; or unless some substance
like quicklime, which holds its oxygen with less vigor than carbon does,
were mixed with the coke and used to maintain the heat necessary for
distillation. A well known gas producer for small scale use is Dowson's.
Steam is superheated in a coil of pipe, and blown through glowing
anthracite along with air. The gas which comes off consists of 20 per cent.
hydrogen, 30 per cent. carbonic oxide, 3 per cent. carbonic acid, and 47
per cent. nitrogen. It is a weak gas, but it serves for gas engines, and is
used, I believe, by Thompson, of Leeds, for firing glass and pottery in a
gas kiln. It is said to cost 4d. per 1,000 ft., and to be half as good as
coal gas.

For furnace work, where gas is needed in large quantities, it must be made
on the spot. And what I want to insist upon is this, that all
well-regulated furnaces are gas retorts and combustion chambers combined.
You may talk of burning coal, but you can't do it; you must distill it
first, and you may either waste the gas so formed or you may burn it
properly. The thing is to let in not too much air, but just air enough.
Look, for instance, at Minton's oven for firing pottery. Round the central
chamber are the coal hoppers, and from each of these gas is distilled,
passes into the central chamber, where the ware is stacked, and meeting
with an adjusted supply of air as it rises, it burns in a large flame,
which extends through the whole space and swathes the material to be
heated. It makes its exit by a central hole in the floor, and thence rises
by flues to a common opening above. When these ovens are in thorough
action, nothing visible escapes. The smoke from ordinary potters' ovens is
in Staffordshire a familiar nuisance. In the Siemens gas producer and
furnace, of which Mr. Frederick Siemens has been good enough to lend me
this diagram, the gas is not made so closely on the spot, the gas retort
and furnace being separated by a hundred yards or so in order to give the
required propelling force. But the principle is the same; the coal is first
distilled, then burnt. But to get high temperature, the air supply to the
furnace must be heated, and there must be no excess. If this is carried on
by means of otherwise waste heat we have the regenerative principle, so
admirably applied by the Brothers Siemens, where the waste heat of the
products of combustion is used to heat the incoming air and gas supply. The
reversing arrangement by which the temperature of such a furnace can be
gradually worked up from ordinary flame temperature to something near the
dissociation point of gases, far above the melting point of steel, is well
known, and has already been described in this place. Mr. Siemens has lent
me this beautiful model of the most recent form of his furnace, showing its
application to steel making and to glass working.

The most remarkable and, at first sight, astounding thing about this
furnace is, however, that it works solely by radiation. The flames do not
touch the material to be heated; they burn above it, and radiate their heat
down to it. This I regard as one of the most important discoveries in the
whole subject, viz., that to get the highest temperature and greatest
economy out of the combustion of coal, one must work directly by radiant
heat only, all other heat being utilized indirectly to warm the air and gas
supply, and thus to raise the flame to an intensely high temperature.

It is easy to show the effect of supplying a common gas flame with warm air
by holding it over a cylinder packed with wire gauze which has been made
red hot. A common burner held over such a hot air shaft burns far more
brightly and whitely. There is no question but that this is the plan to get
good illumination out of gas combustion; and many regenerative burners are
now in the market, all depending on this principle, and utilizing the waste
heat to make a high temperature flame. But although it is evidently the
right way to get light, it was by no means evidently the right way to get
heat. Yet so it turns out, not by warming solid objects or by dull warm
surfaces, but by the brilliant radiation of the hottest flame that can be
procured, will rooms be warmed in the future. And if one wants to boil a
kettle, it will be done, not by putting it into a non-luminous flame, and
so interfering with the combustion, but by holding it near to a freely
burning regenerated flame, and using the radiation only. Making toast is
the symbol of all the heating of the future, provided we regard Mr.
Siemens' view as well established.

The ideas are founded on something like the following considerations: Flame
cannot touch a cold surface, i.e., one below the temperature of combustion,
because by the contact it would be put out. Hence, between a flame and the
surface to be heated by it there always intervenes a comparatively cool
space, across which heat must pass by radiation. It is by radiation
ultimately, therefore, that all bodies get heated. This being so, it is
well to increase the radiating power of flame as much as possible. Now,
radiating power depends on two things: the presence of solid matter in the
flame in a fine state of subdivision, and the temperature to which it is
heated. Solid matter is most easily provided by burning a gas rich in dense
hydrocarbons, not a poor and non-luminous gas. To mix the gas with air so
as to destroy and burn up these hydrocarbons seems therefore to be a
retrograde step, useful undoubtedly in certain cases, as in the Bunsen
flame of the laboratory, but not the ideal method of combustion. The ideal
method looks to the use of a very rich gas, and the burning of it with a
maximum of luminosity. The hot products of combustion must give up their
heat by contact. It is for them that cross tubes in boilers are useful.
They have no combustion to be interfered with by cold contacts. The _flame_
only should be free.

The second condition of radiation was high temperature. What limits the
temperature of a flame? Dissociation or splitting up of a compound by heat.
So soon as the temperature reaches the dissociation point at which the
compound can no longer exist, combustion ceases. Anything short of this may
theoretically be obtained.

But Mr. Siemens believes, and adduces some evidence to prove, that the
dissociation point is not a constant and definite temperature for a given
compound; it depends entirely upon whether solid or foreign surfaces are
present or not. These it is which appear to be an efficient cause of
dissociation, and which, therefore, limit the temperature of flame. In the
absence of all solid contact, Mr. Siemens believes that dissociation, if it
occur at all, occurs at an enormously higher temperature, and that the
temperature of free flame can be raised to almost any extent. Whether this
be so or not, his radiating flames are most successful, and the fact that
large quantities of steel are now melted by mere flame radiation speaks
well for the correctness of the theory upon which his practice has been

_Use of Small Coal_.--Meanwhile, we may just consider how we ought to deal
with solid fuel, whether for the purpose of making gas from it or for
burning it _in situ_. The question arises, In what form ought solid fuel to
be--ought it to be in lumps or in powder? Universal practice says lumps,
but some theoretical considerations would have suggested powder. Remember,
combustion is a chemical action, and when a chemist wishes to act on a
solid easily, he always pulverizes it as a first step.

Is it not possible that compacting small coal into lumps is a wrong
operation, and that we ought rather to think of breaking big coal down into
slack? The idea was suggested to me by Sir W. Thomson in a chance
conversation, and it struck me at once as a brilliant one. The amount of
coal wasted by being in the form of slack is very great. Thousands of tons
are never raised from the pits because the price is too low to pay for the
raising--in some places it is only 1s. 6d. a ton. Mr. McMillan calculates
that 130,000 tons of breeze, or powdered coke, is produced every year by
the Gas Light and Coke Company alone, and its price is 3s. a ton at the
works, or 5s. delivered.

The low price and refuse character of small coal is, of course, owing to
the fact that no ordinary furnace can burn it. But picture to yourself a
blast of hot air into which powdered coal is sifted from above like ground
coffee, or like chaff in a thrashing mill, and see how rapidly and
completely it might burn. Fine dust in a flour mill is so combustible as to
be explosive and dangerous, and Mr. Galloway has shown that many colliery
explosions are due not to the presence of gas so much as the presence of
fine coal-dust suspended in the air. If only fine enough, then such dust is
eminently combustible, and a blast containing it might become a veritable
sheet of flame. (Blow lycopodium through a flame.) Feed the coal into a
sort of coffee-mill, there let it be ground and carried forward by a blast
to the furnace where it is to be burned. If the thing would work at all,
almost any kind of refuse fuel could be burned--sawdust, tan, cinder heaps,
organic rubbish of all kinds. The only condition is that it be fine enough.

Attempts in this direction have been made by Mr. T.R. Crampton, by Messrs.
Whelpley and Storer, and by Mr. G.K. Stephenson; but a difficulty has
presented itself which seems at present to be insuperable, that the slag
fluxes the walls of the furnace, and at that high temperature destroys
them. If it be feasible to keep the flame out of contact with solid
surfaces, however, perhaps even this difficulty can be overcome.

Some success in blast burning of dust fuel has been attained in the more
commonplace method of the blacksmith's forge, and a boiler furnace is
arranged at Messrs. Donkin's works at Bermondsey on this principle. A
pressure of about half an inch of water is produced by a fan and used to
drive air through the bars into a chimney draw of another half-inch. The
fire bars are protected from the high temperatures by having blades which
dip into water, and so keep fairly cool. A totally different method of
burning dust fuel by smouldering is attained in M. Ferret's low temperature
furnace by exposing the fuel in a series of broad, shallow trays to a
gentle draught of air. The fuel is fed into the top of such a furnace, and
either by raking or by shaking it descends occasionally, stage by stage,
till it arrives at the bottom, where it is utterly inorganic and mere
refuse. A beautiful earthworm economy of the last dregs of combustible
matter in any kind of refuse can thus be attained. Such methods of
combustion as this, though valuable, are plainly of limited application;
but for the great bulk of fuel consumption some gas-making process must be
looked to. No crude combustion of solid fuel can give ultimate perfection.

Coal tar products, though not so expensive as they were some time back, are
still too valuable entirely to waste, and the importance of exceedingly
cheap and fertilizing manure in the reclamation of waste lands and the
improvement of soil is a question likely to become of most supreme
importance in this overcrowded island. Indeed, if we are to believe the
social philosophers, the naturally fertile lands of the earth may before
long become insufficient for the needs of the human race; and posterity may
then be largely dependent for their daily bread upon the fertilizing
essences of the stored-up plants of the carboniferous epoch, just as we are
largely dependent on the stored-up sunlight of that period for our light,
our warmth, and our power. They will not then burn crude coal, therefore.
They will carefully distill it--extract its valuable juices--and will
supply for combustion only its carbureted hydrogen and its carbon in some
gaseous or finely divided form.

Gaseous fuel is more manageable in every way than solid fuel, and is far
more easily and reliably conveyed from place to place. Dr. Siemens, you
remember, expected that coal would not even be raised, but turned into gas
in the pits, to rise by its own buoyancy to be burnt on the surface
wherever wanted. And not only will the useful products be first removed and
saved, its sulphur will be removed too; not because it is valuable, but
because its product of combustion is a poisonous nuisance. Depend upon it,
the cities of the future will not allow people to turn sulphurous acid
wholesale into the air, there to oxidize and become oil of vitriol. Even if
it entails a slight strain upon the purse they will, I hope, be wise enough
to prefer it to the more serious strain upon their lungs. We forbid sulphur
as much as possible in our lighting gas, because we find it is deleterious
in our rooms. But what is London but one huge room packed with over four
millions of inhabitants? The air of a city is limited, fearfully limited,
and we allow all this horrible stuff to be belched out of hundreds of
thousands of chimneys all day long.

Get up and see London at four or five in the morning, and compare it with
four or five in the afternoon; the contrast is painful. A city might be
delightful, but you make it loathsome; not only by smoke, indeed, but still
greatly by smoke. When no one is about, then the air is almost pure; have
it well fouled before you rise to enjoy it. Where no one lives, the breeze
of heaven still blows; where human life is thickest, there it is not fit to
live. Is it not an anomaly, is it not farcical? What term is strong enough
to stigmatize such suicidal folly? But we will not be in earnest, and our
rulers will talk, and our lives will go on and go out, and next century
will be soon upon us, and here is a reform gigantic, ready to our hands,
easy to accomplish, really easy to accomplish if the right heads and
vigorous means were devoted to it. Surely something will be done.

The following references may be found useful in seeking for more detailed
information: Report of the Smoke Abatement Committee for 1882, by Chandler
Roberts and D.K. Clark. "How to Use Gas," by F.T. Bond; Sanitary
Association, Gloucester. "Recovery of Volatile Constituents of Coal," by
T.B. Lightfoot; Journal Society of Arts, May, 1883. "Manufacture of Gas
from Oil," by H.E. Armstrong; Journal Society of Chemical Industry,
September, 1884. "Coking Coal," by H.E. Armstrong; Iron and Steel
Institute, 1885. "Modified Siemens Producer," by John Head; Iron and Steel
Institute, 1885. "Utilization of Dust Fuel," by W.G. McMillan; Journal
Society of Arts, April. 1886. "Gas Producers," by Rowan; Proc. Inst. C.E.,
January, 1886. "Regenerative Furnaces with Radiation," and "On Producers,"
by F. Siemens; Journal Soc. Chem. Industry, July, 1885, and November, 1885.
"Fireplace Construction," by Pridgin Teale; the _Builder_, February, 1886.
"On Dissociation Temperatures," by Frederick Siemens; Royal Institution,
May 7, 1886.

       *       *       *       *       *

Near Colorados, in the Argentine Republic, a large bed of superior coal has
been opened, and to the west of the Province of Buenos Ayres extensive
borax deposits have been discovered.

       *       *       *       *       *


The accompanying engraving illustrates a remarkable invention. For ages,
screw conveyers for corn and meal have been employed, and in spite of the
power consumed and the rubbing of the material conveyed, they have
remained, with little exception, unimproved and without a rival. Now we
have a new conveyer, which, says _The Engineer_, in its simplicity excels
anything brought out for many years, and, until it is seen at work, makes a
heavier demand upon one's credulity than is often made by new mechanical
inventions. As will be seen from the engravings, the new conveyer consists
simply of a spiral of round steel rod mounted upon a quickly revolving
spindle by means of suitable clamps and arms. The spiral as made for
England is of 5/8 in. steel rod, because English people would not be
inclined to try what is really sufficient in most cases, namely, a mere
wire. The working of this spiral as a conveyer is simply magical. A 6 in.
spiral delivers 800 bushels per hour at 100 revolutions per minute, and
more in proportion at higher speeds. A little 4 in. spiral delivers 200
bushels per hour at 100 revolutions per minute. It seems to act as a mere
persuader. The spiral moves a small quantity, and sets the whole contents
of the trough in motion. In fact, it embodies the great essentials of
success, namely, simplicity, great capacity for work, and cheapness. It is
the invention of Mr. J. Little, and is made by the Anti-friction Conveyer
Company, of 59 Mark Lane, London.


Since the days of Archimedes, who is credited with being the inventor of
the screw, there has not been any improvement in the principle of the worm
conveyer. There have been several patents taken out for improved methods of
manufacturing the old-fashioned continuous and paddle-blade worms, but Mr.
Little's patent is the first for an entirely new kind of conveyer.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote: Continued from SUPPLEMENT, No. 583, page 9303.]


_Torches_ consist of a bundle of loosely twisted threads which has been
immersed in a mixture formed of two parts, by weight, of beeswax, eight of
resin, and one of tallow. In warm, dry weather, these torches when lighted
last for two hours when at rest, and for an hour and a quarter on a march.
A good light is obtained by spacing them 20 or 30 yards apart.

Another style of torch consists of a cardboard cylinder fitted with a
composition consisting of 100 parts of saltpeter, 60 of sulphur, 8 of
priming powder, and 30 of pulverized glass, the whole sifted and well
mixed. This torch, which burns for a quarter of an hour, illuminates a
space within a radius of 180 or 200 yards very well.

The _tourteau goudronné_ (lit. "tarred coke") is merely a ring formed of
old lunt or of cords well beaten with a mallet (Fig. 10). This ring is
first impregnated with a composition formed of 20 parts of black pitch
and 1 of tallow, and then with another one formed of equal parts of
black pitch and resin. One of these torches will burn for an hour in
calm weather, and half an hour in the wind. Rain does not affect the
burning of it. These rings are usually arranged in pairs on brackets
with two branches and an upper circle, the whole of iron, and these
brackets are spaced a hundred yards apart.


[Illustration: FIGS. 17.--ILLUMINATING ROCKET.]

A _tarred fascine_ consists of a small fagot of dry wood, 20 inches in
length by 4 in diameter, covered with the same composition as the preceding
(Fig. 11). Fascines thus prepared burn for about half an hour. They are
placed upright in supports, and these latter are located at intervals of
twenty yards.

The _Lamarre compositions_ are all formed of a combustible substance, such
as boiled oil,[1] of a substance that burns, such as chlorate of potash,
and of various coloring salts.

[Footnote 1: For preparation see page 9304 of SUPPLEMENT.]

The _white composition_ used for charging fire balls and 1½ inch flambeaux
is formed of 500 parts of powdered chlorate of potash, 1,500 of nitrate of
baryta, 120 of light wood charcoal, and 250 of boiled oil. Another white
composition, used for charging ¾ inch flambeaux, consists of 1,000 parts of
chlorate of potash, 1,000 of nitrate of baryta, and 175 of boiled oil.

The _red composition_ used for making red flambeaux and percussion signals
consists of 1,800 parts of chlorate of potash, 300 of oxalate of strontia,
300 of carbonate of strontia, 48 of whitewood charcoal, 240 of boiled oil,
6 of oil, and 14 of gum lac.

A red or white _Lamarre flambeau_ consists of a sheet rubber tube filled
with one of the above-named compositions. The lower extremity of this tube
is closed with a cork. When the charging has been effected, the flambeau is
primed by inserting a quickmatch in the composition. This is simply lighted
with a match or a live coal. The composition of the Lamarre quickmatch will
be given hereafter.

A Lamarre flambeau 1½ inch in diameter and 3 inches in length will burn for
about thirty-five minutes. One of the same length, and ¾ inch in diameter,
lasts but a quarter of an hour.

A _fire ball_ consists of an open work sack internally strengthened with a
sheet iron shell, and fitted with the Lamarre white composition. After the
charging has been done, the sphere is wound with string, which is made to
adhere by means of tar, and canvas is then wrapped around the whole.
Projectiles of this kind, which have diameters of 6, 8, 11, and 13 inches,
are shot from mortars.

The _illuminating grenade_ (Fig. 13) consists of a sphere of vulcanized
rubber, two inches in diameter, charged with the Lamarre white composition.
The sphere contains an aperture to allow of the insertion of a fuse. The
priming is effected by means of a tin tube filled with a composition
consisting of three parts of priming powder, two of sulphur, and one of
saltpeter. These grenades are thrown either by hand or with a sling, and
they may likewise be shot from mortars. Each of these projectiles
illuminates a circle thirty feet in diameter for a space of time that
varies, according to the wind, from sixty to eighty seconds.

The _percussion signal_ (Fig. 14) consists of a cylinder of zinc, one inch
in diameter and one and a quarter inch in length, filled with Lamarre red
composition. It is provided with a wooden handle, and the fuse consists of
a capsule which is exploded by striking it against some rough object. This
signal burns for nearly a minute.

_Belgian illuminating balls and cylinders_ are canvas bags filled with
certain compositions. The cylinders, five inches in diameter and seven in
length, are charged with a mixture of six parts of sulphur, two of priming
powder, one of antimony, and two of beeswax cut up into thin slices. They
are primed with a quickmatch. The balls, one and a half inch in diameter,
are charged with a composition consisting of twelve parts of saltpeter,
eight of sulphur, four of priming powder, two of sawdust, two of beeswax,
and two of tallow. They are thrown by hand. They burn for six minutes.

_Illuminating kegs_ (Fig. 15) consist of powder kegs filled with shavings
covered with pitch. An aperture two or three inches in diameter is made in
each head, and then a large number of holes, half an inch in diameter, and
arranged quincuncially, are bored in the staves and heads. All these
apertures are filled with port-fires.

The _illuminating rocket_ (Fig. 17) consists of a sheet iron cartridge,
_a_, containing a composition designed to give it motion, of a cylinder,
_b_, of sheet iron, capped with a cone of the same material and containing
illuminating stars of Lamarre composition and an explosive for expelling
them, and, finally, of a directing stick, _c_. Priming is effected by means
of a bunch of quickmatches inclosed in a cardboard tube placed in contact
with the propelling composition. This latter is the same as that used in
signal rockets. As in the case of the latter, a space is left in the axis
of the cartridges. These rockets are fired from a trough placed at an
inclination of fifty or sixty degrees. Those of three inches illuminate the
earth for a distance of 900 yards. They may be used to advantage in the
operation of signaling.

A _parachute fire_ is a device designed to be ejected from a pot at the end
of the rocket's travel, and to emit a bright light during its slow descent.
It consists of a small cylindrical cardboard box (Fig. 16) filled with
common star paste or Lamarre stars, and attached to a parachute, _e_, by
means of a small brass chain, _d_.

To make this parachute, we cut a circle ten feet in diameter out of a piece
of calico, and divide its circumference into ten or twelve equal parts. At
each point of division we attach a piece of fine hempen cord about three
feet in length, and connect these cords with each other, as well as with
the suspension chain, by ligatures that are protected against the fire by
means of balls of sized paper.

In rockets designed to receive these parachutes, a small cavity is reserved
at the extremity of the cartridge for the reception of 225 grains of
powder. To fill the pot, the chain, _d_, is rolled spirally around the box,
_c_, and the latter is covered with the parachute, _e_, which has been
folded in plaits, and then folded lengthwise alternately in one direction
and the other.

The _parachute port-fire_ consists of a cardboard tube of from quarter to
half an inch in diameter, and from four to five inches in length, closed at
one extremity and filled with star paste. This is connected by a brass wire
with a cotton parachute eight inches in diameter. A rocket pot is capable
of holding twenty of these port-fires.

Parachute fires and port-fires are used to advantage in the operation of
signaling.--_La Nature_.

       *       *       *       *       *



To avoid the long and time-consuming laying out of a boat by ordinates and
abscissas, I have constructed a handy apparatus, by which it is possible
without much trouble to obtain the sections of a vessel graphically and
sufficiently accurate. The description of its construction is given with
reference to the accompanying cut. A is a wooden rod of rectangular
section, to which are adapted two brackets, a_{1} a_{2}, lined with India
rubber or leather; a_{1} is fixed to the wood, a_{2} is of metal, and, like
the movable block of a slide gauge, moves along A. In the same plane is a
second rod, perpendicular to A, and attached thereto, which is perforated
by a number of holes. A revolving pin, C, is adapted to pass through these
holes, to which a socket, D, is pivoted, C acting as its axis. To prevent
this pin from falling out, it is secured by a nut behind the rod. Through
the socket, D, runs a rod, E, which carries the guide point, s_{1}, and
pencil, s_{2}. Over s_{1} a rubber band is stretched, to prevent injury to
the varnish of the boat. Back of and to A and B a drawing board is
attached, over which a sheet of paper is stretched.

[Illustration: THE FRAME TRACER.]

The method of obtaining a section line is as follows: The rod, A, is placed
across the gunwale and perpendicular to the axis of the boat, and its
anterior vertical face is adjusted to each frame of the boat which it is
desired to reproduce. By means of the brackets, a_{1} and a_{2}, A is fixed
in place. The bolt, C, is now placed in the perforations already alluded
to, which are recognized as most available for producing the constructional
diagram. At the same time the position of the pencil point, s_{2}, must be
chosen for obtaining the best results.

Next the operator moves along the side of the boat the sharpened end,
s_{1}, of the rod, E, and thus for the curve from keel to gunwale, s_{2}
describes a construction line. It is at once evident that a_{2}, for
example, corresponds to the point, a_{1}. The apparatus is now removed and
placed on the working floor. If, reversing things, the point, s_{1}, is
carried around the construction curve, the point, s_{2}, will inscribe the
desired section in its natural dimensions. This operation is best conducted
after one has chosen and described all the construction curves of the
boat. Next, the different section lines are determined, one by one, by the
reversed method above described. The result is a half section of the boat;
the other symmetrical half is easily obtained.

If the whole process is repeated for the other side of the boat, tracing
paper being used instead of drawing paper, the boat may be tested for
symmetry of building, a good control for the value of the ship. For
measuring boats, as for clubs and regattas, for seamen, and often for the
so-called _Spranzen_ (copying) of English models, my apparatus, I doubt
not, will be very useful.--_Neuste Erfindungen und Erfahrungen_.

       *       *       *       *       *


The attention of gas engineers has been forcibly directed to the use of tar
as a fuel for the firing of retorts, now that this once high-priced
material is suffering, like everything else (but, perhaps, to a more marked
extent), by what is called "depression in trade." In fact, it has in many
places reached so low a commercial value that it is profitable to burn it
as a fuel. Happily, this is not the case at Nottingham; and our interest in
tar as a fuel is more experimental, in view of what may happen if a further
fall in tar products sets in. I have abandoned the use of steam injection
for our experimental tar fires in favor of another system. The steam
injectors produce excellent heats, but are rather intermittent in their
action, and the steam they require is a serious item, and not always


Tar being a _pseudo_ liquid fuel, in arranging for its combustion one has
to provide for the 20 to 25 per cent. of solid carbon which it contains,
and which is deposited in the furnace as a kind of coke or breeze on the
distillation of the volatile portions, which are much more easily consumed
than the tar coke.


I have adopted is one that can be readily adapted to an ordinary coke
furnace, and be as readily removed, leaving the furnace as before. The
diagram conveys some idea of the method adopted. An iron frame, d, standing
on legs on the floor just in front of the furnace door, carries three fire
tiles on iron bearers. The top one, a, is not moved, and serves to shield
the upper face of the tile, b, from the fierce heat radiated from the
furnace, and also causes the air that rushes into the furnace between the
tiles, a and b, to travel over the upper face of the tile, b, on which the
tar flows, thereby keeping it cool, and preventing the tar from bursting
into flame until it reaches the edge of the tile, b, over the whole edge of
which it is made to run fairly well by a distributing arrangement. A rapid
combustion takes place here, but some unconsumed tar falls on to the bed
below. About one-third of the grate area is filled up by a fire tile, and
on this the tar coke falls. The tile, c, is moved away from time to time,
and the tar coke that accumulates in front of it is pushed back on to the
fire bars, e, at the back of the furnace, to be there consumed. Air is thus
admitted, by three narrow slot-like openings, to the front of the furnace
between the tiles, a, b, and c, and under c and through the fire bars, e.
The air openings below are about three times the area of the openings in
the front of the furnace; but as the openings between the fire bars and the
tiles are always more or less covered by tar coke, it is impossible to say
what the effective openings are. This disposition answers admirably, and
requires little attention. Three minutes per hour per fire seems to be the
average, and the labor is of a very light kind, consisting of clearing the
passages between the tiles, and occasionally pushing back the coke on to
the fire bars. These latter are not interfered with, and will not require
cleaning unless any bricks in the furnace have been melted, when a bed of
slag will be found on them.


required for these fires is very small, and less than with coke firing. I
find that 0.08 in. vacuum is sufficient with tar fires, and 0.25 in. for
coke fires. The fires would require less attention with more draught and
larger tar supply, as the apertures do not so easily close with a sharp
draught, and the tar is better carried forward into the furnace. A regular
feed of tar is required, and considerable difficulty seems to have been
experienced in obtaining this. So long as we employed ordinary forms of
taps or valves, so long (even with filtration) did we experience
difficulties with the flow of viscous tar. But on the construction of
valves specially designed for the regulation of its flow, the difficulty
immediately disappeared, and there is no longer the slightest trouble on
this account. The labor connected with the feeding of furnaces with coke
and cleaning fires from clinker is of a very arduous and heavy nature.
Eight coke fires are normally considered to be work for one man. A lad
could work sixteen of these tar fires.


Considerable attention has been paid to the composition of the furnace
gases from the tar fires. The slightest deficiency in the air supply, of
course, results in the immediate production of smoke, so that the damper
must be set to provide always a sufficient air supply. Under these
circumstances of damper, the following analyses of combustion gases from
tar fires have been obtained:

                  No Smoke.
                  CO_{2}.    O.           CO.
                  11.7      5.0      Not determined.
                  13.3      3.7           "
                  10.8      5.4           "
                  14.8      2.5           "
                  13.5      3.0           "
                  12.4      5.6           "
                  12.4      4.6           "
                  13.1      5.9           "
                  15.3      1.0           "
                  10.8      4.0           "
                  14.0      2.8           "
                 ______    ______
   Average        12.9      3.9
(11 analyses)    ______    ______
                  11.5    Not determined.
                  14.3          "
                  14.6          "

Damper adjusted so that a slight smoke was observable in the combustion

                CO_{2}.     O.          CO.
                 17.30     None.    Not determined.
                 16.60      "            "
                 16.50     0.1           "
                 15.80     0.1           "
                 16.20     1.8          0.7
                _______   _____        _____
Average          16.48     0.4          0.7

--_Gas Engineer_.

       *       *       *       *       *


The mercury pumps now in use, whether those of Geissler, Alvergniat,
Toepler, or Sprengel, although possessed of considerable advantages, have
also serious defects. For instance, Geissler's pump requires a considerable
number of taps, that of Alvergniat and Toepler is very fragile in
consequence of its complicated system of tubes connected together, and that
of Sprengel is only suitable for certain purposes.

The new mercury pump constructed by Messrs. Greisser and Friedrichs, at
Stutzerbach, is remarkable for simplicity of construction and for the ease
with which it is manipulated, and also because it enables us to arrive at a
perfect vacuum.

The characteristic of this pump is, according to _La Lumiere Electrique_, a
tap of peculiar construction. It has two tubes placed obliquely in respect
to its axis, which, when we turn this tap 90 or 180 degrees, are brought
opposite one of the three openings in the body of the tap.

Thus the striæ that are formed between the hollowed-out parts of the tap do
not affect its tightness; and, besides, the turns of the tap have for their
principal positions 90 and 180 degrees, instead of 45 and 90 degrees, as in
Geissler's pump.

The working of the apparatus, which only requires the manipulation of a
single tap, is very simple. When the mercury is raised, the tap is turned
in such a manner that the surplus of the liquid can pass into the enlarged
appendage, a, placed above the tap, and communication is then cut off by
turning the tap to 90 degrees.

The mercury reservoir having descended, the bulb empties itself, and then
the tap is turned on again, in order to establish communication with the
exhausting tube. The tap is then closed, the mercury ascends again, and
this action keeps on repeating.


       *       *       *       *       *

Palmieri and others that the condensation of vapor results in the
production of an electrical charge. Herr S. Kalischer has renewed his
investigations upon this point, and believes that he has proved that no
electricity results from such condensation. Atmospheric vapor was condensed
upon a vessel coated with tin foil, filled with ice, carefully insulated,
and connected with a very sensitive electrometer. No evidence could be
obtained of electricity.--_Ann. der Physik und Chemie_.

       *       *       *       *       *


An interesting contribution was made by M. Mercadier in a recent number of
the _Comptes Rendus de l'Academie Francaise_. On the ground of some novel
and some already accepted experimental evidence, M. Mercadier holds that
the mechanism by virtue of which the telephonic diaphragms execute their
movements is analogous to, if not identical with, that by which solid
bodies of any form, a wall for instance, transmit to one of their surfaces
all the vibratory movements of any kind which are produced in the air in
contact with the other surface. It is a phenomenon or resonance. Movements
corresponding to particular sounds may be superposed in slender diaphragms,
but this superposition must necessarily be disturbing under all but
exceptional circumstances. In proof of this view, it is cited that
diaphragms much too rigid, or charged with irregularly distributed masses
over the surface, or pierced with holes, or otherwise evidently unfitted
for the purpose, are available for transmission. They will likewise serve
when feathers, wool, wood, metals, mica, and other substances to the
thickness of four inches are placed between the diaphragm and the source of
vibratory movement. The magnetic field does not alter these relations in
any way. The real diaphragm may be removed altogether. It is sufficient to
replace it by a few grains of iron filings thrown on the pole covered with
a piece of pasteboard or paper. Such a telephone works distinctly although
feebly; but any slender flexible disk, metallic or not, spread over across
the opening of the cover of the instrument, with one or two tenths of a
gramme (three grains) of iron filings, will yield results of increased and
even ordinary intensity. This is the iron filing telephone, which is
reversible; for a given magnetic field there is a certain weight of iron
filings for maximum intensity. It appears thus that the advantage of the
iron diaphragm over iron filings reduces itself to presenting in a certain
volume a much more considerable number of magnetic molecules to the action
of the field. The iron diaphragm increases the telephonic intensity, but it
is by no means indispensable.

       *       *       *       *       *


By H.N. WARREN, Research Analyst.

On the same principle that electro-dissolution is used for the estimation
of combined carbon in steel, etc., I have lately varied the experiment by
introducing, instead of steel, iron containing a certain percentage of
boron, and, having connected the respective boride with the positive pole
of a powerful battery, and to the negative a plate of platinum, using as a
solvent dilute sulphuric acid, I observed, after the lapse of about twelve
hours, the iron had entirely passed into solution, and a considerable
amount of brownish precipitate had collected at the bottom of the vessel,
intercepted by flakes of graphite and carbon; the precipitate, having been
collected on a filter paper, washed, and dried, on examination proved to be
amorphous boron, containing graphite and other impurities, which had become
chemically introduced during the preparation of the boron compound. The
boron was next introduced into a small clay crucible, and intensely heated
in a current of hydrogen gas, for the purpose of rendering it more dense
and destroying its pyrophoric properties, and was lastly introduced into a
combustion tubing, heated to bright redness, and a stream of dry carbonic
anhydride passed over it, in order to separate the carbon, finally pure
boron being obtained.

In like manner silicon-eisen, containing 9 per cent. of silicon, was
treated, but not giving so satisfactory a result. A small quantity only of
silicon separates in the uncombined form, the greater quantity separating
in the form of silica, SiO_{2}, the amorphous silicon so obtained
apparently being more prone to oxidation than the boron so obtained.

Ferrous sulphide was next similarly treated, and gave, after the lapse of a
few hours, a copious blackish precipitation of sulphur, and possessing
properties similar to the sulphur obtained by dissolving sulphides such as
cupric sulphide in dilute nitric acid, in all other respects resembling
common sulphur.

Phosphides of iron, zinc, etc., were next introduced, and gave, besides
carbon and other impurities, a residue containing a large percentage of
phosphorus, which differed from ordinary phosphorus with respect to its
insolubility in carbon disulphide, and which resembled the reaction in the
case with silicon-eisen rather than that of the boron compound, insomuch
that a large quantity of the phosphorus had passed into solution.

A rod of impure copper, containing arsenic, iron, zinc, and other
impurities, was next substituted, using hydrochloric acid as a solvent in
place of sulphuric acid. In the course of a day the copper had entirely
dissolved and precipitated itself on the negative electrode, the impurities
remaining in solution. The copper, after having been washed, dried, and
weighed, gave identical results with regard to percentage with a careful
gravimetric estimation. I have lately used this method, and obtained
excellent results with respect to the analysis of commercial copper,
especially in the estimation of small quantities of arsenic, thus enabling
the experimenter to perform his investigation on a much larger quantity
than when precipitation is resorted to, at the same time avoiding the
precipitated copper carrying down with it the arsenic. I have in this
manner detected arsenic in commercial copper when all other methods have
totally failed. I have also found the above method especially applicable
with respect to the analysis of brass.

With respect to ammoniacal dissolution, which I will briefly mention, a rod
composed of an alloy of copper and silver was experimented upon, the copper
becoming entirely dissolved and precipitating itself on the platinum
electrode, the whole of the silver remaining suspended to the positive
electrode in an aborescent form. Arsenide of zinc was similarly treated,
the arsenic becoming precipitated in like manner on the platinum electrode.
Various other alloys, being experimented upon, gave similar results.

I may also, in the last instance, mention that I have found the above
methods of electro-dissolution peculiarly adapted for the preparation of
unstable compounds such as stannic nitrate, potassic ferrate, ferric
acetate, which are decomposed on the application of heat, and in some
instances have succeeded by the following means of crystallizing the
resulting compound obtained.--_Chem. News_.

       *       *       *       *       *


Dr. Leo's researches on sugar in urine are interesting, and tend to correct
the commonly accepted views on the subject. Professor Scheibler, a chemist
well known for his researches on sugar, has observed that the determination
of the quantity of that substance contained in a liquid gives different
results, according as it is done by Trommer's method or with the
polariscope. As sugar nowadays is exclusively dealt with according to the
degree of polarization, this fact is of enormous value in trade. Scheibler
has isolated a substance that is more powerful in that respect than grape
sugar. Dr. Leo's researches yield analogous results, though in a different
field. He has examined a great quantity of diabetic urine after three
different methods, namely, Trommer's (alkaline solution of copper); by
fermentation; and with the polarization apparatus. In many cases the
results agreed, while in others there was a considerable difference.

He succeeded in isolating a substance corresponding in its chemical
composition to grape sugar, and also a carbo-hydrate differing considerably
from grape sugar, and turning the plane of polarization to the left. The
power of reduction of this newly discovered substance is to that of grape
sugar as 1:2.48. Dr. Leo found this substance in three specimens of
diabetic urine, but it was absent in normal urine, although a great amount
was examined for that purpose. From this it may be concluded that the
substance does not originate outside the organism, and that it is a
pathological product. The theory of Dr. Jaques Meyer, of Carlsbad, that it
may be connected with obesity, is negatived by the fact that of the three
persons in whom this substance was found, only one was corpulent.

       *       *       *       *       *



The problem of decomposing chloride of magnesium is one which has attracted
the attention of technical chemists for many years. The solution of this
problem would be of great importance to the alkali trade, and,
consequently, to nearly every industry. The late Mr. Weldon made many
experiments on this subject, but without any particular success. Of late a
furnace has been patented in Germany, by A. Vogt, which is worked on a
principle similar to that applied to salt cake furnaces; but with this
difference, that in place of the pot it has a revolving drum, and instead
of the roaster a furnace with a number of shelves. The heating gases are
furnished by a producer, and pass from below upward over the shelves, S,
then through the channel, C, into the drum, D, which contains the
concentrated chloride of magnesium. When the latter has solidified, but
before being to any extent decomposed, it is removed from the drum and
placed on the top shelf of the furnace. It is then gradually removed one
shelf lower as the decomposition increases, until it arrives at the bottom
shelf, where it is completely decomposed in the state of magnesia, which is
emptied through, E. The drum, D, after being emptied, is again filled with
concentrated solution of chloride of magnesium. The hydrochloric acid
leaves through F and G. If, instead of hydrochloric acid, chlorine is to be
evolved, it is necessary to heat the furnace by means of hot air, as
otherwise the carbonic acid in the gases from the generator would prevent
the formation of bleaching powder. The air is heated in two regenerating
chambers, which are placed below the furnace.--_Industries_.

       *       *       *       *       *


At a recent meeting of the Physiological Society, Dr. J. Munk reported on
experiments instituted by him in the course of the last two years with a
view of arriving at an experimental decision between the two theories of
the secretion of urine--the filtration theory of Ludwig and the secretion
theory of Heidenhain. According to the first theory, the blood pressure
prescribed the measure for the urine secretion; according to the second
theory, the urine got secreted from the secretory epithelial cells of the
kidneys, and the quantity of the matter secreted was dependent on the rate
of movement of the circulation of the blood. The speaker had instituted his
experiments on excided but living kidneys, through which he conducted
defibrinized blood of the same animals, under pressures which he was able
to vary at pleasure between 80 mm. and 190 mm. Fifty experiments on dogs
whose blood and kidneys were, during the experiment, kept at 40° C.,
yielded the result that the blood of starving animals induced no secretion
of urine, which on the other hand showed itself in copious quantities where
normal blood was conducted through the kidney. If to the famished blood was
added one of the substances contained as ultimate products of digestion in
the blood, such, for example, as urea, then did the secretion ensue.

The fluid dropping from the ureter contained more urea than did the blood.
That fluid was therefore no filtrate, but a secretion. An enhancement of
the pressure of the blood flowing through the kidney had no influence on
the quantity of the secretion passing away. An increased rate of movement
on the part of the blood, on the other hand, increased in equal degree the
quantity of urine. On a solution of common salt or of mere serum sanguinis
being poured through the kidney, no secretion followed. All these facts,
involving the exclusion of the possibility of a central influence being
exercised from, the heart or from the nervous system on the kidneys, were
deemed by the speaker arguments proving that the urine was secreted by the
renal epithelial cells. A series of diuretics was next tried, in order to
establish whether they operated in the way of stimulus centrally on the
heart or peripherally on the renal cells. Digitalis was a central diuretic.
Common salt, on the other hand, was a peripheral diuretic. Added in the
portion of 2 per cent. to the blood, it increased the quantity of urine
eight to fifteen fold. Even in much less doses, it was a powerful diuretic.
In a similar manner, if yet not so intensely, operated saltpeter and
coffeine, as also urea and pilocarpine. On the introduction, however, of
the last substance into the blood, the rate of circulation was accelerated
in an equal measure as was the quantity of urine increased, so that in this
case the increase in the quantity of urine was, perhaps, exclusively
conditioned by the greater speed in the movement of the blood. On the other
hand, the quantity of secreted urine was reduced when morphine or strychine
was administered to the blood. In the case of the application of
strychnine, the rate in the current of the blood was retarded in a
proportion equal to the reduction in the secretion of the urine.

The speaker had, finally, demonstrated the synthesis of hippuric acid and
sulphate of phenol in the excided kidney as a function of its cells, by
adding to the blood pouring through the kidney, in the first place, benzoic
acid and glycol; in the second place, phenol and sulphate of soda. In order
that these syntheses might make their appearance in the excided kidney, the
presence of the blood corpuscles was not necessary, though, indeed, the
presence of oxygen in the blood was indispensable.

       *       *       *       *       *



The author has had constructed a cylindrical lens in which the axis remains
constant in direction and amount of refraction, while the refraction in the
meridian at right angles to this varies continuously.

A cone may be regarded as a succession of cylinders of different diameters
graduating into one another by exceedingly small steps, so that if a short
enough portion be considered, its curvature at any point may be regarded as
cylindrical. A lens with one side plane and the other ground on a conical
tool is therefore a concave cylindrical lens varying in concavity at
different parts according to the diameter of the cone at the corresponding
part. Two such lenses mounted with axes parallel and with curvatures
varying in opposite directions produce a compound cylindrical lens, whose
refraction in the direction of the axes is zero, and whose refraction in
the meridian at right angles to this is at any point the sum of the
refractions of the two lenses. This sum is nearly constant for a
considerable distance along the axis so long as the same position of the
lenses is maintained. If the lenses be slid one over the other in the
direction of their axes, this sum changes, and we have a varying
cylindrical lens. The lens is graduated by marking on the frame the
relative position of the lenses when cylindrical lenses of known power are

Lenses were exhibited to the Royal Society, London, varying from to -6 DCy,
and from to +6 DCy.

       *       *       *       *       *



1. The absorption spectrum observed through a crystal varies with the
direction of the rectilinear luminous vibration which propagates itself in
this crystal. 2. The bands or rays observed through the same crystal have,
in the spectrum, fixed positions, their intensity alone varying. 3. For a
given band or ray there exist in the crystal three rectangular directions
of symmetry, according to one of which the band generally disappears, so
that for a suitable direction of the luminous vibrations the crystal no
longer absorbs the radiations corresponding to the region of the spectrum
where the band question appeared. These three directions may be called the
principal directions of absorption, relative to this band. 4. In the
orthorhombic crystals, by a necessary consequence of crystalline symmetry,
the principal directions of absorption of all the bands coincide with the
three axes of symmetry. We may thus observe three principal absorption
spectra. In uniaxial crystals the number of absorption spectra is reduced
to two. 5. In clinorhombic crystals one of the principal directions of
absorption of each crystal coincides with the only axis of symmetry; the
two other principal rectangular directions of each band may be found
variously disposed in the plane normal to this axis. Most commonly these
principal directions are very near to the principal corresponding
directions of optical elasticity. 6. In various crystals the characters of
the absorption phenomena differ strikingly from those which we might expect
to find after an examination of the optical properties of the crystal. We
have just seen that in clinorhombic crystals the principal absorption
directions of certain bands were completely different from the axis of
optical elasticity of the crystal for the corresponding radiations. If we
examine this anomaly, we perceive that the crystals manifesting these
effects are complex bodies, formed of various matters, one, or sometimes
several, of which absorb light and give each different absorption bands.
Now, M. De Senarmont has shown that the geometric isomorphism of certain
substances does not necessarily involve identity of optical properties, and
in particular in the directions of the axes of optical elasticity in
relation to the geometric directions of the crystal. In a crystal
containing a mixture of isomorphous substances, each substance brings its
own influence, which may be made to predominate in turn according to the
proportions of the mixture. We may, therefore, admit that the molecules of
each substance enter into the crystal retaining all the optical properties
which they would have if each crystallized separately. The principal
directions of optical elasticity are given by the resultant of the actions
which each of the component substances exerts on the propagation of light,
while the absorption of a given region of the spectrum is due to a single
one of these substances, and may have for its directions of symmetry the
directions which it would have in the absorbing molecule supposing it
isolated. It may happen that these directions do not coincide with the axes
of optical elasticity of the compound crystal. If such is the cause of the
anomaly of certain principal directions of absorption, the bands which
present these anomalies must belong to substances different from those
which yield bands having other principal directions of absorption. If so,
we are in possession of a novel method of spectral analysis, which permits
us to distinguish in certain crystals bands belonging to different matters,
isomorphous, but not having the same optical properties. Two bands
appearing in a crystal with common characters, but presenting in another
crystal characters essentially different, must also be ascribed to two
different bodies.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Continued from SUPPLEMENT, No. 585, page 9345.]


It is commonly believed in Europe that the mail is chiefly forwarded by the
railroads; but this is only partially the case, as the largest portion of
the mails is intrusted now, as formerly, to foot messengers. How long this
will last is of course uncertain, as the present postal service seems
suitable enough for the needs of the people. The first task of the mail is
naturally the collection of letters. Fig. 17 represents a letter box in a
level country.

[Illustration: FIG. 17.--COUNTRY LETTER BOX.]

By way of example, it is not uninteresting to know that the inhabitants of
Hanover in Germany made great opposition to the introduction of letter
boxes, for the moral reason that they could be used to carry on forbidden
correspondence, and that consequently all letters should be delivered
personally to the post master.

After the letters are collected, the sorting for the place of destination
follows, and Fig. 18 represents the sorting room in the Berlin Post Office.
A feverish sort of life is led here day and night, as deficient addresses
must be completed, and the illegible ones deciphered.

It may here be mentioned that the delivery of letters to each floor of
apartment houses is limited chiefly to Austria and Germany. In France and
England, the letters are delivered to the janitor or else thrown into the
letter box placed in the hall.

After the letters are arranged, then comes the transportation of them by
means of the railroad, the chaise, or gig, and finally the dog mail, as
seen in Fig. 19. It is hard to believe that this primitive vehicle is
useful for sending mail that is especially urgent, and yet it is used in
the northern part of Canada. Drawn by three or four dogs, it glides swiftly
over the snow.

It is indeed a large jump from free America, the home of the most unlimited
progress, into the Flowery Kingdom, where cues are worn, but we hope our
readers are willing to accompany us, in order to have the pleasure of
seeing how rapidly a Chinese mail carrier (Fig. 20) trots along his route
under his sun umbrella.

Only the largest and most robust pedestrians are chosen for service, and
they are obliged to pass through a severe course of training before they
can lay any claim to the dignified name, "Thousand Mile Horse."


But even the Chinese carrier may not strike us so curiously as another
associate, given in our next picture, Fig. 21, and yet he is a European
employe from the Landes department of highly cultivated France. The
inhabitants of this country buckle stilts on to their feet, so as to make
their way faster through brambles and underbrush which surrounds them. The
mail carrier copied them in his equipment, and thus he goes around on
stilts, provided with a large cane to help him keep his balance, and
furnishes a correct example of a post office official suiting the demands
of every district.

While the mail in Europe has but little to do with the transportation of
passengers, it is important in its activity in this respect in the large
Russian empire.

[Illustration: FIG. 19.--DOG POST AT LAKE SUPERIOR.]

The tarantass (Fig. 22), drawn by three nimble horses, flies through the
endless deserts with wind-like rapidity.

The next illustration (Fig. 23) leads us to a much more remote and deserted
country, "Post office on the Booby Island," occupied only by birds, and a
hut containing a box in which are pens, paper, ink, and wafers. The
mariners put their letters in the box, and look in to see if there is
anything there addressed to them, then they continue their journey.

Postage stamps are not demanded in this ideal post office, but provision is
made for the shipwrecked, by a notice informing them where they can find
means of nourishment.

Once again we make a leap. The Bosnian mail carrier's equipment (Fig. 24)
is, or rather was, quite singular, for our picture was taken before the

This mounted mail carrier with his weapons gives one the impression of a

The task of conducting the mail through the Alps of Switzerland (Fig. 25)
must be uncomfortable in winter, when the sledges glide by fearful
precipices and over snow-covered passes.

Since the tariff union mail developed from the Prussian mail, and the
world's mail from the tariff union, it seems suitable to close our series
of pictures by representing the old Prussian postal service (Fig. 26)
carried on by soldier postmen in the eighteenth century during the reign of
Frederick the Great.

[Illustration: FIG. 20.--CHINESE POSTMAN.]


[Illustration: FIG. 22.--RUSSIAN EXTRA POST.]

The complaint is made that poetry is wanting in our era, and it has
certainly disappeared from the postal service. One remembers that the
postilion was for quite a while the favorite hero of our poets, the best of
whom have sung to his praises, and given space to his melancholy thoughts
of modern times in which he is pushed aside. It is too true that the post
horn, formerly blown by a postilion, is now silenced, that the horse has
not been able to keep up in the race with the world in its use of the
steam horse, and yet how much poetry there is in that little post office
all alone by itself on the Booby Island, that we have described--the
sublimest poetry, that of love for mankind!

The poet of the modern postal system has not yet appeared; but he will find
plenty of material. He will be able to depict the dangers a postman passes
through in discharging his duty on the field, he will sing the praises of
those who are injured in a railroad disaster, and yet continue their good

[Illustration: FIG. 23.--POST OFFICE ON BOOBY ISLAND.]

[Illustration: FIG. 24.--BOSNIAN POST.]

[Illustration: FIG. 25.--SWISS ALPINE POST IN WINTER.]


He can also praise the noble thought of uniting the nations, which assumed
its first tangible form in the world's mail. It will not be a sentimental
song, but one full of power and indicative of our own time, in spite of
those who scorn it.--_Translated for the Scientific American Supplement by
Jenny H. Beach, from Neue Illustrirte Zeitung_.

       *       *       *       *       *



The compound used principally for the electro-deposition of nickel is a
double sulphate of nickel and ammonia. The silvery appearance of the
deposit depends mainly on the purity of the salt as well as the anodes. The
condition of the bath, as to age, temperature, and degree of saturation,
position of anodes, strength of current, and other details of manipulation,
which require care, cleanliness, and experience, such as may be met with in
any intelligent workman fairly acquainted with his business, are easily

In the present paper I shall deal principally with the chemical department
of this subject, and shall briefly introduce, where necessary, allusion to
the mechanical and electrical details connected with the process. At a
future time I shall be glad to enlarge upon this part of the subject, with
a view of making the article complete.

A short time ago nickel plating was nearly as expensive as silver plating.
This is explained by the fact that only a few people, at least in this
country, were expert in the mechanical portions of the process, and only a
very few chemists gave attention to the matter. To this must be added that
our text-books were fearfully deficient in information bearing on this

The salt used, and also the anodes, were originally introduced into this
country from America, and latterly from Germany. I am not aware of any
English manufacturer who makes a specialty in the way of anodes. This is a
matter on which we can hardly congratulate ourselves, as a well known
London firm some time ago supplied me with my first experimental anodes,
which were in every way very superior to the German or American
productions. Although the price paid per pound was greater, the plates
themselves were cheaper on account of their lesser thickness.

The texture of the inner portions of these foreign anodes would lead one to
infer that the metallurgy of nickel was very primitive. A good homogeneous
plate can be produced, still the spongy, rotten plates of foreign
manufacture were allowed the free run of our markets. The German plates
are, in my opinion, more compact than the American. A serious fault with
plates of earlier manufacture was their crumpled condition after a little
use. This involved a difficulty in cleaning them when necessary. The
English plates were not open to this objection; in fact, when the outer
surfaces were planed away, they remained perfectly smooth and compact.

Large plates have been known to disintegrate and fall to pieces after being
used for some time. A large anode surface, compared with that of the
article to be plated, is of paramount importance. The tank should be
sufficiently wide to take the largest article for plating, and to admit of
the anodes being moved nearer to or further from the article. In this way
the necessary electrical resistance can very conveniently be inserted
between the anode and cathode surfaces. The elimination of hydrogen from
the cathode must be avoided, or at any rate must not accumulate. Moving the
article being plated, while in the bath, taking care not to break the
electrical contacts, is a good security against a streaky or foggy
appearance in the deposit.

At one time a mechanical arrangement was made, by which the cathodes were
kept in motion. The addition of a little borax to the bath is a great
advantage in mitigating the appearance of gas. Its behavior is electrical
rather than chemical. If the anode surface is too great, a few plates
should be transferred to the cathode bars.

When an article has been nickel plated, it generally presents a dull
appearance, resembling frosted silver. To get over this I tried, some time
ago, the use of bisulphide of carbon in the same way as used for obtaining
a bright silver deposit. Curiously the deposit was very dark, almost black,
which could not be buffed or polished bright. But by using a very small
quantity of the bisulphide mixture, the plated surfaces were so bright that
the use of polishing mops or buffs could be almost dispensed with. When we
consider the amount of labor required in polishing a nickel plated article,
and the impossibility of finishing off bright an undercut surface, this
becomes an important addendum to the nickel plater's list of odds and ends.

This mixture is made precisely in the same way as for bright silvering, but
a great deal less is to be added to the bath, about one pint per 100
gallons. It should be well stirred in, after the day's work is done, when
the bath will be in proper condition for working next day. The mixture is
made by shaking together, in a glass bottle, one ounce bisulphide and one
gallon of the plating liquid, allow to stand until excess of bisulphide has
settled, and decant the clear liquid for use as required. It is better to
add this by degrees than to run the risk of overdoing. If too much is
added, the bath is not of necessity spoiled, but it takes a great deal of
working to bring it in order again.

About eight ounces of the double sulphate to each gallon of distilled or
rain water is a good proportion to use when making up a bath. There is a
slight excess with this. It is a mistake to add the salt afterward, when
the bath is in good condition. The chloride and cyanide are said to give
good results. I can only say that the use of either of these salts has not
led to promising results in my hands.

In preparing the double sulphate, English grain nickel is decidedly the
best form of metal to use. In practice, old anodes are generally used.

The metal is dissolved in a mixture of nitric and dilute sulphuric acid,
with the application of a gentle heat. When sufficient metal has been
dissolved, and the unused nitric acid expelled, the salt may be
precipitated by a strong solution sulphate of ammonia, or, if much free
acid is present, carbonate of ammonia is better to use.

Tin, lead, and portion of the iron, if present, are removed by this method.
The silica, carbon, and portions of copper are left behind with the
undissolved fragments of metals.

The precipitated salt, after slight washing, is dissolved in water and
strong solution ammonia added. A clean iron plate is immersed in the
solution to remove any trace of copper. This plate must be cleaned
occasionally so as to remove any reduced copper, which will impede its
action. As soon as the liquid is free from copper, it is left alkaline and
well stirred so as to facilitate peroxidation and removal of iron, which
forms a film on the bath. When this ceases, the liquid is rendered neutral
by addition of sulphuric acid, and filtered or decanted. The solution, when
properly diluted, has sp. gr. about 1.06 at 60° F. It is best to work the
bath with a weak current for a short time until the liquid yields a fine
white deposit. Too strong a current must be avoided.

If the copper has not been removed, it will deposit on the anodes when the
bath is at rest. It should then be removed by scouring.

Copper produces a reddish tinge, which is by no means unpleasant compared
with the dazzling whiteness of the nickel deposit. If this is desired, it
is far better to use a separate bath, using anodes of suitable composition.

The want of adhesion between the deposited coating and the article need not
be feared if cleanliness be attended to and the article, while in the bath,
be not touched by the hands.

The bath should be neutral, or nearly so, slightly acid rather than
alkaline. It is obvious that, as such a liquid has no detergent action on a
soiled surface, scrupulous care must be taken in scouring and rinsing.
Boiling alkaline solutions and a free use of powdered pumice and the
scrubbing brush must on no account be neglected.

A few words on the construction of the tanks. A stout wood box, which need
not be water-tight, is lined with sheet lead, the joints being blown, _not
soldered_. An inner casing of wood which projects a few inches above the
lead lining is necessary in order to avoid any chance of "short circuiting"
or damage to the lead from the accidental falling of anodes or any article
which might cut the lead. It is by no means a necessity that the lining
should be such as to prevent the liquid getting to the lead.

On a future occasion I hope to supplement this paper with the analysis of
the double sulphates used, and an account of the behavior of
electrolytically prepared crucibles and dishes as compared with those now
in the market.--_Chem. News_.

       *       *       *       *       *


At a recent meeting of the engineering section of the Bristol Naturalists'
Society a paper on "Chilled Iron" was read by Mr. Morgans, of which we give
an abstract. Among the descriptions of chilled castings in common use the
author instanced the following: Sheet, corn milling, and sugar rolls; tilt
hammer anvils and bits, plowshares, "brasses" and bushes, cart-wheel boxes,
serrated cones and cups for grinding mills, railway and tramway wheels and
crossings, artillery shot and bolts, stone-breaker jaws, circular cutters,
etc. Mr. Morgans then spoke of the high reputation of sheet mill rolls and
wheel axle boxes made in Bristol. Of the latter in combination with wrought
iron wheels and steeled axles, the local wagon works company are exporting
large numbers. With respect to the strength and fatigue resistance of
chilled castings, details were given of some impact tests made in July,
1864, at Pontypool, in the presence of Captain Palliser, upon some of his
chilled bolts, 12¾ in. long by 4 in. diameter, made from Pontypool
cold-blast pig iron. Those made from No. 1 pig iron--the most graphitic and
costly--broke more easily than those from No. 2, and so on until those made
from No. 4 were tested, when the maximum strength was reached. No. 4 pig
iron was in fracture a pale gray, bordering on mottled. Several points
regarding foundry operations in the production of chilled castings were
raised for discussion. They embraced the depth of chill to be imparted to
chilled rolls and railway wheels, and in the case of traction wheels, the
width of chill in the tread; preparation of the chills--by coating with
various carbonaceous matters, lime, beer grounds, or, occasionally, some
mysterious compost--and moulds, selection and mixture of pig irons, methods
and plant for melting, suitable heat for pouring, prevention of
honeycombing, ferrostatic pressure of head, etc. Melting for rolls being
mostly conducted in reverberatories, the variations in the condition of the
furnace atmosphere, altering from reducing to oxidizing, and _vice versa_,
in cases of bad stoking and different fuels, were referred to as
occasionally affecting results. Siemens' method of melting by radiant heat
was mentioned for discussion. For promoting the success of a chilled roll
in its work, lathing or turning it to perfect circularity in the necks
first, and then turning the body while the necks bear in steady brasses,
are matters of the utmost importance.

The author next referred to the great excellence for chilling purposes
possessed by some American pig irons, and to the fact that iron of a given
carbon content derived from some ores and fluxes differed much in chilling
properties from iron holding a similar proportion of carbon--free and
combined--derived from other ores and materials. Those irons are best which
develop the hardest possible chill most uniformly to the desired depth
without producing a too abrupt line of division between the hard white skin
and the softer gray body. A medium shading off both ways is wanted here, as
in all things. The impossibility of securing a uniform quality and chemical
composition in any number grade of any brand of pig iron over a lengthened
period was adverted to. Consequent from this a too resolute faith in any
particular make of pig iron is likely to be at times ill-requited.
Occasional physical tests, accompanied with chemical analysis of irons used
for chilling, were advocated; and the author was of opinion it would be
well whenever a chilled casting had enjoyed a good reputation for standing
up to its work, that when it was retired from work some portions of it
should be chemically analyzed so as to obtain clews to compositions of
excellence. Some of the physical characteristics of chilled iron, as well
as the surprising locomotive properties of carbon present in heated iron,
were noticed.

Attention was called to some German data, published by Dr. Percy in 1864,
concerning an iron which before melting weighed--approximately--448¼ lb.
per cubic foot, and contained--approximately--4 per cent. of carbon--3¼
being graphitic and ¾ combined. The chilled portion of a casting from this
had a specific gravity equivalent to 471 lb. per cubic foot, and contained
5 per cent. of carbon, all combined. The soft portion of the same casting
weighed 447¾ lb. per cubic foot, and contained 34.5 per cent. of
carbon--31.5 being graphitic and 3.5 combined. Mr. Morgans doubted whether
so great an increase in density often arises from chilling. Tool steel,
when hardened by being chilled in cold water, does not become condensed,
but slightly expanded from its bulk when annealed and soft. Here an
increase of hardness is accompanied by a decrease of density. The gradual
development of a network of cracks over the face of a chilled anvil orbit
while being used in tilt hammers was mentioned. Such minute cleavages
became more marked as the chill is worn down by work and from grinding.
Traces of the same occurrence are observable over the surface of much worn
chilled rolls used in sheet mills. In such cases the sheets get a faint
diaper pattern impressed upon them. The opening of crack spaces points to
lateral shrinkage of the portions of chilled material they surround, and to
some release from a state of involuntary tension. If this action is
accompanied by some actual densification of the fissured chill, then we
have a result that possibly conflicts with the example of condensation from
chilling cited by Dr. Percy.

       *       *       *       *       *


The recent dedication of Snow Hall, at Lawrence, Kansas, is an event in the
history of the State, both historic and prophetic. Since the incorporation
of the University of Kansas, and before that event, there has been a steady
growth of science in the State, which has culminated in Snow Hall, a
building set apart for the increase and diffusion of the knowledge of
natural science, as long as its massive walls shall stand. It is named in
honor of the man who has been the inspiration and guiding spirit of the
whole enterprise, and some incidents in his life may be of interest to the

Twenty years ago Professor Frank H. Snow, a recent graduate of Williams
College, came to Kansas, to become a member of the faculty of the State
University. His election to the chair of natural science was unexpected, as
he first taught mathematics in the university, and expected in due time to
become professor of Greek. As professor of the mellifluous and most plastic
of all the ancient tongues, he would undoubtedly have been proficient, as
his college classics still remain fresh in his warm and retentive memory,
and his literary taste is so severe and chaste as to make some of his
scientific papers read like a psalm. But nature designed him for another,
and some think a better, field, and endowed him with powers as a naturalist
that have won for him recognition among the highest living authorities of
his profession.

Upon being elected to the chair of natural history, Prof. Snow entered upon
his life work with an enthusiasm that charmed his associates and inspired
his pupils. The true naturalist must possess large and accurate powers of
observation and a love for his chosen profession that carries him over all
obstacles and renders him oblivious to everything else except the specimen
upon which he has set his heart. Years ago the writer was walking in the
hall of the new university building in company with General Fraser and
Professor Snow, when the latter suddenly darted forward up the stairs and
captured an insect in its flight, that had evidently just dug its way out
of the pine of the new building. In a few moments he returned with such a
glow on his countenance and such a satisfied air at having captured a rare
but familiar specimen, whose name was on his lips, that we both felt
"Surely here is a genuine naturalist."

Some years ago an incident occurred in connection with his scientific
excursions in Colorado that is quite characteristic, showing his
obliviousness to self and everything else save the object of his scientific
pursuit, and a fertility in overcoming danger when it meets him face to
face. He was descending alone from one of the highest peaks of the Rockies,
when he thought he could leave the path and reach the foot of the mountain
by passing directly down its side over an immense glacier of snow and ice,
and thus save time and a journey of several miles. After a while his way
down the glacier grew steeper and more difficult, until he reached a point
where he could not advance any further, and found, to his consternation,
that he could not return by the way he had come. There he clung to the side
of the immense glacier, ready, should he miss his hold, to be plunged
hundreds of feet into a deep chasm. The situation flashed over him, and he
knew now it was, indeed, a struggle for dear life. With a precarious
foothold, he clung to the glacier with one hand, while with his pocket
knife he cut a safer foothold with the other. Resting a little, he cut
another foothold lower down in the hard snow, and so worked his way after a
severe struggle of several hours amid constant danger to the foot of the
mountain in safety. "But," continued the professor, speaking of this
incident to some of his friends, "I was richly repaid for all my trouble
and peril, for when I reached the foot of the mountain I captured a new and
very rare species of butterfly." Multitudes of practical men cannot
appreciate such devotion to pure science, but it is this absorbing passion
and pure grit that enable the devotees of science to enlarge its boundaries
year by year.

Once, while on a scientific excursion on the great plains, with the
lamented Prof. Mudge, he nearly lost his life. He had captured a
rattlesnake, and, in trying to introduce it into a jar filled with alcohol,
the snake managed to bite him on the hand. The arm was immediately bound
tightly with a handkerchief, and the wound enlarged with a pocket knife,
and both professors took turns in sucking it as clean as possible, and
ejecting the poison from their mouths. This and a heavy dose of spirits
brought the professor through in safety, although the poison remaining in
the wound caused considerable swelling and pain in the hand and arm. When
this incident was mentioned in the Kansas Academy of Science that year,
some one said, "Now we know the effect of the bite of the prairie
rattlesnake on the human system. Let some one, in the interests of pure
science, try the effect of the timber rattlesnake on the human system." But
like the mice in the fable, no one was found who cared to put the bell on
the cat.

Professors Mudge and Snow, because scientists were so few in the State at
that early day, divided the field of natural science between themselves,
the former taking geology and the latter living forms. Professor Mudge
built up at the agricultural college a royal cabinet, easily worth $10,000,
and Professor Snow has made a collection at the State University whose
value cannot be readily estimated until it is catalogued and placed in
cases in Snow Hall.

As a scientist, Professor Snow is an indefatigable worker, conscientious
and painstaking to the last degree, never neglecting anything that can be
discovered by the microscope, and when he describes and names a new
species, he gives the absolute facts, without regard to theories or
philosophies. For accuracy his descriptions of animal and vegetable life
resemble photographs, and are received by scientists with unquestioned
authority. He possesses another quality, which may be called honesty. Some
scientists, whose reputation has reached other continents, cannot be
trusted alone in the cabinet with the keys, for they are liable to borrow
valuable specimens, and forget afterward to return them.

It is possible only to glance at the immense amount of work performed by
Professor Snow during the last twenty years. Neglecting the small fry that
can only be taken in nets with very fine meshes, he ascertained that there
are twenty-seven species of fish in the Kansas River at Lawrence. Work on
this paper occupied the leisure time of two summers, as much time in such
investigations only produces negative results. For several years he worked
on a catalogue of the birds of Kansas, inspiring several persons in
different parts of the State to assist him. Later this work was turned over
to Colonel N.S. Gross, of Topeka, an enthusiast in ornithology. Colonel
Goss has a very fine collection of mounted birds in the capitol building at
Topeka, and he has recently published a catalogue of the "Birds of Kansas,"
which contains 335 species. Professor Snow has worked faithfully on the
plants of Kansas, but as other botanists came into the State, he turned the
work over to their hands. For several years he has given a large share of
his time and strength to entomology. Nearly every year he has led
scientific excursions to different points in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona,
etc., where he might reap the best results.

Once, during a meeting of the Kansas Academy of Science, at Lawrence,
Professor Snow was advertised to read a paper on some rare species of
butterflies. As the hour approached, the hall in the university building
was thronged, principally by ladies from the city, when Professor Snow
brought out piles of his trays of butterflies, and without a note gave such
an exhibit and description of his specimens as charmed the whole audience.

In meteorology, Professor Snow is an acknowledged authority, wherever this
science is studied, and he has, probably, all things considered, the best
meteorological record in the State.

Personally, Professor Snow possesses qualities that are worth more,
perhaps, to his pupils, in forming character, than the knowledge derived
from him as an instructor. His life is pure and ennobling, his presence
inspiring, and many young men have gone from his lecture room to hold good
positions in the scientific world. When one sees him in his own home,
surrounded by his family, with books and specimens and instruments all
around, he feels that the ideal home has not lost everything in the fall.

Snow Hall is the natural resultant of twenty years of earnest and faithful
labor on the part of this eminent scientist. The regents displayed the rare
good sense of committing everything regarding the plans of the building,
and the form and arrangement of the cases, to Professor Snow, which has
resulted in giving to Kansas the model building of its kind in the West, if
not in this country. Very large collections have accumulated at the State
University, under the labors of Professor Snow and his assistants, which
need to be classified, arranged, and labeled; and when the legislature
appropriates the money to furnish cases to display this collection in
almost every department of natural science, Kansas will possess a hall of
natural science whose influence will be felt throughout the State, and be
an attraction to scientists everywhere.--_Chaplain J.D. Parker, in Kansas
City Journal_.

       *       *       *       *       *


A study of the means by which nature rids the economy of what is harmful
has been made by Sanquirico, of Siena, and his experiments and conclusions
are as follows:

He finds that the vessels of the body, without undergoing extensive
structural alteration, can by exosmosis rid themselves of fluid to an
amount of eight per cent. of the body weight of the subject of the

Through the injection of neutral fluids a great increase in the vascular
tension is effected, which is relieved by elimination through the kidneys.

With reference to this fact, the author, in 1885, made experiments with
alcohol and strychnine, and continued his researches in the use of chloral
and aconitine with results favorable to the method employed, which is as

The minimal fatal dose of a given poison was selected, and found to be in a
certain relation to the body weight.

Immediately upon the injection of the poison a solution of sodium chloride,
0.75 per cent. in strength, was injected into the subcutaneous tissues of
the neck, in quantities being eight per cent. of the body weight of the

In the case of those poisons whose effect is not instantaneous, the
injection of saline solution was made on the first appearance of toxic
symptoms. In other poisons the injection was made at once.

The result of the use of salines was a diuresis varying in the promptness
of its appearance and in its amount.

Those animals in which diuresis was limited at first and then increased
generally recovered, while those in which diuresis was not established
perished. The poison used was found in the urine of those which died and
also those which recovered.

The author succeeded in rescuing animals poisoned by alcohol, strychnine,
chloral, and aconitine. With morphine, curare, and hypnone, the method of
elimination failed, although ten per cent. in quantity of the body weight
of the animal was used in the saline injection. With aconitine, diuresis
was not always established, and when it failed the animal died in
convulsions.--_Centralblatt fur die Medicinischen Wissenschaften, December_
18, 1886.

       *       *       *       *       *

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