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Title: Scientific American Supplement, No. 832,  December 12, 1891
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. 832,  December 12, 1891" ***

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NEW YORK, December 12, 1891.

Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XXXII, No. 832.

Scientific American established 1845

Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.

Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.

       *       *       *       *       *


I.    ARCHÆOLOGY.--Archæological Discoveries at Cadiz.--The discovery
      of Phenician relics in Spain, with the possibility of future
      important research in that region.--2 illustrations

      Prehistoric Horse in America.--Curious discovery of an aboriginal
      drawing in Nicaragua.--1 illustration

II.   ASTRONOMY.--A Plea for the Common Telescope.--By G.E.
      LUMSDEN.--The increasing interest in astronomy and instances of
      work done by telescopes of moderate power, giving examples
      from the work of celebrated observers

III.  BIOGRAPHY.--Alfred Tennyson.--Biographical note of the
      great poet, now past his 80th year, with portrait.--1 illustration

      Fiftieth Year of the Prince of Wales.--The Prince of Wales
      and his family, with notes of his life and habits.--1 illustration

IV.   CHEMISTRY.--American Association--Ninth Annual Report of
      the Committee on Indexing Chemical Literature.--A very important
      report upon the titular subject, with probabilities of future advance
      in this line.--The chemical index of the SCIENTIFIC

      Apparatus for the Estimation of Fat in Milk.--By E. MOLINARI.--
      Details of a method of determining fat in milk, with illustration
      of the apparatus employed

      Further Researches upon the Element Fluorine.--By A.E. TUTTON.--
      Additional researches upon this element, following up
      the work outlined by M. MOISSAN.--3 illustrations

      The Allotropic Conditions of Silver.--A recent letter from M.
      CAREY LEA on this subject, with note of its presentation before
      the French Academy by M. BERTHELOT

      The French Wine Law.--Recent enactment as to the adulterations
      of wine

V.    CIVIL ENGINEERING.--Modern Methods of Quarrying.--A recent
      paper of great value to all interested in exploiting quarries.--The
      most recent methods described, tending now to replace the
      cruder processes.--12 illustrations

      The Trotter Curve Ranger.--A surveying instrument for laying
      off railroad curves, with full details of its theory, construction,
      and use in the field.--4 illustrations

VI.   METALLURGY.--The Great Bell of the Basilica of the Sacred
      Heart of Montmartre.--The founding of the great bell "La Savoyarde"
      at the Paccard foundry in France.--Description of the
      bell, its inscriptions, and decorations.--3 illustrations

VII.  MISCELLANEOUS.--Duck Hunting in Scotland.--A curious method of
      approaching ducks under the guise of a donkey.--3 illustrations

VIII. NAVAL ENGINEERING.--Hints to Shipmasters.--A very
      practical view of the proper personal habits of the commander
      of a merchant ship

      The British Cruiser Æolus.--Details of dimensions and armament
      of this recently launched British ship

      Trials of H.M. Cruiser Blake.--Trial trip of this celebrated
      cruiser.--Her horse power as developed, with the somewhat
      disappointing results obtained as regards speed.--1 illustration

IX.   PHOTOGRAPHY.--Development with Sucrate of Lime.--Development
      formulas, involving the use of sugar solution saturated
      with lime.--Accelerating influences of certain chemicals

X.    RAILROAD ENGINEERING.--The Rail Spike and the Locomotive.--A
      most interesting article on an old time railroad.--Curious
      incidents in the construction of the Camden & Amboy Railroad,
      by the celebrated Robert L. Stevens.--A most graphic account of
      early difficulties

XI.   TECHNOLOGY--American Workshops.--The care of tools and practice
      in American workshops, as viewed from an English standpoint

      New Sugar Items.--Interesting points in the cultivation of sugar
      beets and manufacture of sugar therefrom in France, Germany,
      and other countries

       *       *       *       *       *


The main work on the basilica of the Sacred Heart is now completed and
the bell tower surmounts it. So we have now a few words to say about
"La Savoyarde"--the name of the great bell which is designed for it,
and which has just been cast at Annecy-le-Vieux, in Upper Savoy, in
the presence of Mgr. Leuilleux, Archbishop of Chambery, Mgr. Isoar,
Bishop of Annecy, and of all the clergy united, at the foundry of
Messrs. G. & F. Paccard, especially decorated for the occasion.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE BELL.]

One of the Latin inscriptions that ornament the metal of "La
Savoyarde" at once explains to us its name and tells us why a bell
designed for the capital was cast at Annecy-le-Vieux. The following is
a translation of it:

    "In the year 1888, in the course of the solemnities of the
    sacerdotal jubilee of the Sovereign Pontifex Leo XIII., I,
    Frances Margaret of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on the
    initiative of Francis Albert Leuilleux, Archbishop of
    Chambery, with the co-operation of the bishops of the
    province, at the common expense of the clergy and upper and
    lower classes of Savoy, was offered as a gift, as a
    testimonial of piety toward the divine heart, in order to
    repeat through the ages, from the top of the holy hill, to the
    city, to the nation and to the entire world, 'Hail Jesus!'"

Let us now witness the casting of the bell.

Over there, at the back of the foundry, in the reverberatory furnace,
the alloy of copper and tin, in the proportions of 78 and 22 per
cent., is in fusion. From the huge crucible runs a conduit to the pit,
at the side of which the furnace is constructed, and in which is
placed the mould. A metallic plug intercepts communication. A quick
blow with an iron rod removes this plug and the tapping is effected.
This operation, which seems simple at first sight, is extremely
delicate in practice and requires a very skillful workman. A host of
technical words designates the dangers that it presents. Before the
tapping, it is necessary to calculate at a glance the function of the
gate pit. And what accidents afterward! But we need not dwell upon
these. After the cooling of the metal comes the cleaning, which is
done with scrapers and special instruments.

The casting is preceded by two operations--the designing and the
moulding. The design rests upon a basis generally furnished by
experience, and which the founders have transmitted from generation to
generation. The thickness of the rim of the bell taken as unity
determines the diameters and dimensions. The outline most usually
followed gives 15 rims to the large diameter, 7½ to the upper part of
the bell, and 32 to the large radius that serves to trace the profiles
of the external sides.


The moulding is done as follows: In the pit where the casting is to be
done there is constructed a core of bricks and a clay shell, separated
from each other by a thickness of earth, called false bell. This
occupies provisionally the place of the metal, and will be destroyed
at the moment of the casting.

Now let us give a brief description of "La Savoyarde." Its total
weight is 25,000 kilogrammes, divided as follows: 16,500 kilogrammes
of bronze, 800 kilogrammes for the clapper, and the rest for the
suspension gear.

Its height is 3.06 meters and its width at the base is 3.03. It is
therefore as high as it is wide, and, as may be seen from our
engraving, two men can easily seat themselves in its interior. In
weight, it exceeds the bell of Notre Dame, of Paris, which weighs
17,170 kilogrammes, that of the Cathedral of Sens, which weighs
16,230, and that of the Amiens bell, which weighs 11,000. But it
cannot be compared to the famous bell given by Eudes Rigauit,
Archbishop of Rouen, to the cathedral of that city, and which was so
big and heavy that it was necessary to give a copious supply of
stimulants to those who rang it, in order "to encourage" them.


"La Savoyarde" will appear small also if we compare it with some
celebrated bells, that of the Kremlin of Moscow, for example, which
weighs 201,216 kilogrammes. One detail in conclusion: "La Savoyarde"
sounds in counter C. This had been desired and foreseen. The number of
vibrations, that is to say, the _timbre_ of a bell, is in inverse
ratio of its diameter or of the cubic root of its weight, so that in
calculating the diameters and in designing "La Savoyarde" the _timbre_
was calculated at the same time.--_L'Illustration._

       *       *       *       *       *




Water that has been used to wash frozen beets contains a small
percentage of sugar. As the washing period, in such cases, is longer
than with normal beets, the sugar in beet cells has time to pass
through the outer walls by osmosis. The sugar loss is said to be 0.66
per cent. (?) of the weight of beets washed.

Well conducted experiments show that in small but well ventilated
silos, beets lose considerable weight, but very little sugar. On the
other hand, in large silos with poor ventilation, the sugar loss
frequently represents four to six per cent. When fermentation
commences, the mass of roots is almost ruined.

Sodic nitrate, if used upon soil late in the season, may overcome a
difficulty that has been recently noticed. Beet fields located near
swamps that are dry a portion of the year have suffered from a malady
that turns leaves from green to yellow, even before harvesting period;
such beets have lost a considerable amount of sugar.

A new method for the analysis of saccharose and raffinose, when in the
presence of inverted sugar, is said to give accurate results. The
process consists in adding sulphate of copper and lime to hot
molasses, so that the oxide of copper is changed to a protoxide, and
the invert sugar becomes water and carbonic acid. The whole is
neutralized with phosphoric acid. There follow a great number of
precipitates; the exact volume of liquid in which these are found is
determined after two polariscopic observations.

It has been constantly noticed that samples of carbonatated juice vary
in composition with the part of tank from which they are taken. If
some arrangement could be made assuring a thorough mixing during the
passage of carbonic acid, results would be more satisfactory than they
now are. If gas could be distributed in every part of the tank, the
lime combination could be made perfect.

Notwithstanding the new law regulating quantity of sugar to be used in
wines, ciders, etc., there has been, during 1890, an increase of
nearly 13,000 tons, as compared with 1889. Consumption of sugar for
these special industries was 33,000 tons; alcohol thus added to wine
was about 71,000,000 gallons.

Beets cultivated without extra fertilizers, and that are regular in
shape and in good condition, without bruises, are the ones which give
the best results in silos. It is recommended to construct silos of two
types; one which is to be opened before first frost, the other where
beets remain for several months and are protected against excessive
cold. Great care should be taken that a thorough ventilation be given
in the first mentioned type. In the other, more substantial silos,
ventilation must be watched, and all communication with the exterior
closed as soon as the temperature falls to or near freezing.

During the last campaign many manufacturers experienced great
difficulty in keeping the blades of slicers sufficiently sharp to work
frozen beets. Sharpening of blades is an operation attended to by
special hands at the factory; and under ordinary circumstances there
need be no difficulty. However, it is now proposed to have central
stations that will make a specialty of blade sharpening. Under these
circumstances manufacturers located in certain districts need give the
matter no further thought, let the coming winter be as severe as it

Some success has been obtained by the use of sulphurous acid in vacuum
pans. Great care is required; the operation cannot be done by an
ordinary workman. It is claimed that graining thereby is more rapid
and better than is now possible. Chemists agree that the operation is
more effectual by bringing sulphurous acid in contact with sirups
rather than juices; it is in the sirups that the coloring pigments are
found. Sulphurous acid is run into the pan until the sirups cover the
second coil. In all cases the work must be done at a low temperature.

Height of juice in carbonatating tanks is only three feet in France,
while in Austria it is frequently twelve feet. The question of a
change in existing methods is being discussed; it necessitates an
increase in the blowing capacity of machine; since carbonic acid gas
has a greater resistance to overcome in Austrian than in French
methods. Longer the period juices are in contact with carbonic acid,
greater will be the effect produced.

Ferric sulphate has been very little used for refuse water
purification, owing to cost of its manufacture. If roasted pyrites, a
waste product of certain chemical factories, are sprinkled with
sulphuric acid of 66° B., and thoroughly mixed for several hours, at a
temperature of 100° to 156° F., the pyrites will soon be covered with
a white substance which is ferric sulphate. Precipitates from ferric
sulphate, unlike calcic compounds, do not subsequently enter into

Efforts are being made to convince manufacturers of the mistake in
using decanting vats, in connection with first and second
carbonatation. In Germany filter presses are used, decanting vats are
obsolete. The main objection to them is cooling of saccharine liquors,
which means an ultimate increase in fuel. Cooling is frequently
followed by partial fermentation.

Further changes in the proposed combined baryta-soda method for juice
purification consist in using powdered soda carbonate 90-92°, upon
beet cossettes as they leave the slicer, before entering the diffusor.
The quantity of chemical to be used is 1/1000 of weight of beet slices
being treated. If a diffusor has a capacity of 2,500 lb., there would
be added 2.5 lb. soda carbonate. From the diffusor is subsequently
taken 316 gallons juice at 4-5° density, this is rapidly heated to
185°F., then 2.4 of a pure baryta solution is added; temperature is
kept at 185° F. for a short time; resulting precipitates fall to
bottom of tank; then 13 gallons milk of lime 25° B. are added.

Other operations that follow are as usual. It is contended that the
cost of baryta is 10 cents per ton beets worked. The most important
advantage is gain in time; a factory working 20,000 during a 100-day
campaign, by the foregoing process can accomplish the same work in 80
days, thus decreasing wear and tear of plant and diminishing
percentage of sugar lost in badly constructed silos.

The exact influence of a low temperature upon beet cells has never
been satisfactorily settled. Considerable light has recently been
thrown upon the subject by a well known chemist. It is asserted that
living cells containing a saccharine liquid do not permit infiltration
from interior to exterior; this phenomenon occurs only when cell and
tissue are dead. It is necessary that the degree of cold should be
sufficiently intense, or that a thaw take place, under certain
conditions, to kill tissue of walls of said cells. An interesting fact
is that when cells are broken through the action of freezing, it is
not those containing sugar that are the first affected. The outer
cells containing very little sugar are the first to expand when
frozen, which expansion opens the central cells.

Experiments to determine the action of lime upon soils apparently
prove that it does not matter in what form calcic salts are employed;
their effect, in all cases, is to increase the yield of roots to the
acre. On the other hand, very secondary results were obtained with
phosphoric and sulphuric acids.

A micro-mushroom, a parasite that kills a white worm, enemy of the
beet, has been artificially cultivated. As soon as the worm is
attacked, the ravage continues until the entire body of the insect is
one mass of micro-organisms. Spores during this period are constantly
formed. If it were possible to spread this disease in districts
infected by the white worm, great service could be rendered to beet

In sugar refining it is frequently desirable to determine the
viscosity of sirups, molasses, etc. Methods founded upon the rapidity
of flow through an orifice of a known size are not mathematical in
their results. A very simple plan, more accurate than any hitherto
thought of, is attracting some attention. Sensitive scales and a
thermometer suspended in a glass tube are all the apparatus necessary.
The exact weight of thermometer, with tube, is determined; they are
immersed in water and weighed for the second time; the difference in
weight before and afterward gives the weight of adhering water. If the
operation is repeated in molasses, we in the same way obtain the
weight of adhering liquid, which, if divided by the weight of adhering
water, gives the viscosity as compared with water.

Sugar refineries located at Marseilles claim that it is cheaper for
them to purchase sugar in Java than beet sugar of northern Europe. On
the other hand, the argument of Paris refiners is just the reverse.
The total refined sugar consumed is 375,000 tons, the colonial and
indigenous production of raw sugar is nearly 1,000,000 tons more than
sufficient to meet the demands of the entire refining industry of the
country. There appears to have been considerable manipulation, foreign
sugar being imported with the view of producing a panic, followed by a
decline of market prices, after which Marseilles refiners would buy.
All sound arguments are in favor of protecting the home sugar

It has been suggested that manufacturers weigh the fuel used more
carefully than hitherto; the extra trouble would soon lead to economy
for all interested in sugar production at ruinous cost. Some chemists
advocate that coal be purchased only after having been analyzed.
Efforts to have a unification in methods of analysis of all products
of factory is a move in the right direction; the Association of Sugar
Chemists have adopted a series of methods that are in the future to be
considered as standard.

Copper solutions are destined to render great service in the
destruction of micro-organisms that attack the beet field. The liquid
used should be composed of 3 per cent. copper sulphate and 3 per cent.
lime, dissolved in water; fifty gallons are sufficient for one acre;
cost per acre, every item included, is 56 cents. The normal vitality
of the plant being restored, there follows an increased sugar
percentage. Ordinary liquid ammonia may be advantageously used to kill
white worms and insects that attack beets; two quarts of the diluted
chemical are used per square yard, and the cost is $12 per acre (?)


Calcic salt elimination from beet juices is a problem not yet
satisfactorily solved. Since the early history of beet sugar making,
it has been noticed that calcic salts render graining in the pan most
tedious; hence repeated efforts to reduce to a minimum percentage the
use of lime during defecation. In all cases it is essential to get rid
of inverted sugar. The difficulty from excess of lime is overcome by
adding it now and then during carbonatation; but other means are found
desirable; and phosphoric acid, magnesia, soda, etc., have been used
with success. Recent observations relating to the action of soda upon
calcic sulphates, calcic glucates, etc., are most important. Certain
citrates have a retarding influence upon calcic sulphates.

An alarm contrivance to announce the passage of juices into condensing
pipes has rendered considerable service in beet sugar factories.

A process for refining sugar in the factory, at less cost than it is
possible to make raw sugar by existing processes, deserves notice.
Sugars by this new method test 99.8, and sirups from the same have a
purity coefficient of 70. Weight of dry crystals obtained is said to
represent 66 per cent. of _masse cuite_ used. The additional cost of
the process is $30 to $40 per centrifugal. Concentrated juice or sirup
may be used as _cleare_ in centrifugals; this sirup should have a
density of 1.325 (36° B.) at 113° to 122° F., so as not to redissolve
the sugar. Sirup should not be used until all adhering sirup of _masse
cuite_ has been swung out. The sirup, after passing through
centrifugals, may be sent to second carbonatation tanks and mixed with
juices being treated.

The larva of an insect, known as _sylpha_, has attacked beet fields in
several parts of Saxony. The effect upon the root is a decrease in
foliage, followed by late development of the beet, with corresponding
reduction in sugar percentage. Chickens may render excellent service,
as they eat these worms with considerable relish. A solution of
Schweinfurt green has been used with some success; its cost is $2.50
per acre. None of the chemical remains on the leaves after a rain (?)
White worms have done some damage; they should be collected from the
fields during plowing. When they become beetles in the spring, they
may be destroyed by a solution of sulphide of carbon; $0.20 worth of
this chemical is sufficient to kill 10,000 of them. These beetles
contain 50 per cent of fatty and nitric elements; when pulverized they
may be used as good for pigs and chickens. If the ground mass of
beetles is sprinkled with sulphuric acid and a reasonable amount of
lime and earth be added, the combination forms an excellent fertilizer
for certain crops. A disease that blackens young beet leaves is found
to be due to a microscopic insect. If the beet seed be saturated in a
phenic solution before planting, the difficulty may be overcome.

We are soon to have a new method for selecting mothers for seed
production. Details of the same are not yet public. It is claimed that
it will be possible to grow seed that will yield beets of a given
quality determined in advance, a problem which has hitherto been
thought impossible.

It will surprise many of our readers to learn that if "tops" or even
half beets are planted, they will give seed, the quality of which is
about same; showing that as soon as seed stalks commence to appear,
the _role_ of the root proper is of secondary consideration, as it
serves simply as a medium between the beet and soil(?)

Sprayed water may be used with considerable success in washing sugar
in centrifugals; it is claimed that this new process offers many
advantages over either steam, water, or use of _cleare_. White sugar
to be washed is thoroughly mixed with a sugar sirup supersaturated.
The whole is run into centrifugals. The sirup swung from the same is
used in next and following operations; when it becomes too thick it is
sent to the vacuum pan to be regrained. The operation of washing lasts
less than two minutes; three quarts of water are necessary for 200 lb.
sugar. The water spray at a pressure of 5 to 10 atmospheres is
produced by a very simple appliance.

Total weight of refuse cossettes obtained during last campaign was
4,000,000 tons, about 700,000 tons of which were sold for $1,000,000;
if what remains is dried, it would be worth $5,000,000.

Several sodic-baryta methods have been recently invented. Of these we
will mention one where 1/4000 to 1/2000 part of calcined soda is added
to the beet slices in diffusors. The juice when drawn from the battery
is heated to 154° F., and defecated with hydrate of baryta and milk of
lime. Nearly all foreign substances are thus eliminated. Carbonatation
then follows.

Government taxation upon the sugar industry is destined within a few
years to be withdrawn. The new law recently put into operation no
longer taxes beets worked at factory, but the sugar manufactured. The
rate of taxation is about 2 cents per pound on all sugar made.

Recent data from northeast Germany give the work during campaign
1890-91 of 54 associated beet sugar factories. They used 2,130,000
tons beets, obtained from 142,602 acres of land, average yield 12
tons. The total sugar amounted to 251,000 tons, of which 241,000 were
from beets and 10,000 tons from molasses worked by special processes.
The polarization of beet juices averaged 13.09; _masse cuite_, 14.31;
extraction of sugar of all grades, 11.79. It required 848 lb. beets to
produce 100 lb. sugar.

In every center where beet sugar is made there exists some local
society; each year members from these societies meet to exchange views
upon the sugar situation of the empire.

Of late, there has been a general complaint respecting quality of
sugar sold on the Magdeburg market. At one time the sugars averaged
more organic substances than ash; now there is more ash than organic
substances. Such sugars are most difficult to work, and cause much
loss of time in centrifugals.

The most desirable temperature for diffusion batteries is not yet
definitely settled. Some manufacturers recommend 82° to 86° F. On the
other hand, satisfactory results have been obtained at 145° F.,
followed by cold water in the diffusors.

The use of hydrofluoric acid, even in small quantities to prevent
fermentation, should not be allowed.

It is proposed to use hydrogen dioxide for saccharine juice
purification. The alkalinity of juice is reduced to 0.07 by a
judicious use of lime. Precaution must be taken to keep the
temperature at 87° F. After a preliminary filtration about 4 per cent.
hydrogen dioxide is added. The whole is then heated to the boiling
point, after which ½ to 1 per cent. lime is added. When alkalinity of
filtrate is 0.03 phosphoric acid and magnesia are added, in quantities
representing 0.03 per cent. of sugar in juice for magnesia, and 0.6
per cent. for the phosphoric acid. In working beet juices hydrogen
dioxide may be used in the diffusor or during any phase of the sugar
manufacturing process, even upon sugars in centrifugals. In all cases
the results obtained are said to be most satisfactory.

A method to crystallize the sugar contained in the mother liquor of a
_masse cuite_ consists in mixing during 24 hours the hot product,
direct from the pan, with low grade molasses. Gradual cooling follows.
The crystals of _masse cuite_ effect a crystallization of the
otherwise inactive product contained in the molasses. The separation
of crystals from adhering molasses is done in a special washing
appliance arranged in battery form.

It has been frequently asked if the existing and accepted formula for
determining in advance the amount of refined sugar that may be
extracted from either beets, _masse cuite_ or raw sugar, is to be
considered exact, without special allowance being made for raffinose.
An intelligent discussion upon the subject shows that the sugar in
question, whether present or not, in no way influences the formula
under consideration.


The committee on exhibition at Prague has issued several interesting
pamphlets, from which we learn that in Bohemia, in 1819, there existed
one beet sugar factory. In 1890 the total number of factories was 140;
last year 370,000 acres were planted in beets, and the yield was
3,700,000 tons; yield of sugar averaged 2,700 lb. per acre; 40,000
hands were employed. During the past 24 years 17,900,000 tons of coal
have been consumed, and the working capacity per factory is now far
greater than formerly. There are at present seven sugar refineries in

Commercial arrangements with Germany having terminated favorably,
great pressure is being brought to bear upon Italy, Roumania, Servia
and Switzerland, to induce them to enter into a treaty. Sugars
imported by the country last named were 35,892 tons in 1889 and 43,300
tons during 1890.


If fresh cossettes are fed to cows, in quantities per diem
representing 20 per cent. of the animal's weight, they have a thinning
effect. When the refuse has been siloed for eight months, and 12 per
cent. of the animal's weight is used, there will follow a slight daily
increase in weight. Better results may be obtained from cossettes that
have been kept for two years; with the latter, if cows eat only 7 per
cent. of their weight, considerable fattening follows. Consequently,
while beet refuse, after long keeping, loses 50 per cent. of its
weight, it appears in the end to be more economical for feeding
purposes than fresh cossettes direct from the battery.

During this period of keeping the percentage of water remains nearly
constant; fatty substances which were 0.08 per cent. become 0.74; and
the percentage of carbohydrates diminishes. Chemists are unable to
explain the changes that have taken place; if they are desirable, as
they appear to be, judging from the practical results just cited,
there is this question to be solved: What future have dried cossettes?
Evidently they offer advantages, as no one can doubt, such as a
decrease in weight and bulk, easy keeping for an indefinite time, etc.
At present, there is building a silo to contain 4,000 tons fresh
cossettes; this is to have the best possible system of drainage.
During the coming season it is proposed to analyze the water draining
from this mass of fermenting refuse; and we may then learn more than
we now know about the chemical changes above mentioned.

A correspondent of M. Sachs asks why it is not possible to use live
steam in defecating tanks. A simple calculation shows that the water
to be subsequently evaporated would be increased 10 per cent. This
evaporation would cost more than cleaning of copper coils, etc.,
combined with other difficulties existing appliances offer.

The question as to the most desirable number of beets necessary to
analyze to obtain an average has been in part settled. Factories
working 500 tons per diem should make at least 200 analyses of beets
received, which work offers no difficulty by the rapid methods now
used. Several samples should be taken from every cart load delivered,
then make average selections from the same.


Weak currents of electricity, 0.03 to 0.04 ampere, have been passed
through sirups for fourteen hours without any special increase in
purity coefficient. Experiments made upon diluted molasses or with raw
beet juices were not encouraging.

Mixing of filter press scums with diffusion juices is said to offer
special advantages for the preliminary purification. Not over one to
two per cent. of scums should be used. If in too great quantity, the
raw juices will yield inferior results. During operations that follow,
experiments are not yet sufficiently advanced to determine with
certainty within what limits the refuse scum utilization process is to
be recommended. We have great doubts as to the wisdom of introducing
foreign elements, eliminated from other juices in a previous
operation, into a juice fresh from the battery.


The beet sugar factory in Japan is said to be working with
considerable success.

This year in Europe over 3,000,000 acres are devoted to beet
cultivation. If the yield averages 12 tons, the crop of roots to be
worked during campaign 1891-92 will certainly not be less than
36,000,000 tons, with a total yield of first grade sugar of about
7,300,000,000 lb.

Sugar sells for 9 cents per pound in Persia, where Russia has almost a
monopoly of that business.

Finland imported, during 1889, 9,416 tons sugar, valued at $1,000,000.
Germany supplied two-thirds of this at cheaper rates than Russia,
owing to facilities of transportation. Two refineries are working; one
of these uses exclusively cane sugar, while the other employs both
cane and beet sugar.

A beet sugar factory in England, that has been idle for many years, is
to resume operations under a new company, adopting the plan of growing
a sufficient quantity of beets for an average campaign, independently
of what all the farmers of the locality propose to do.

Siberia is to have a beet sugar factory. Experiments in beet
cultivation have shown excellent beets may be raised there. Special
advantages are offered by the Russian government, and factories are to
be exempt from taxation daring a period of ten years. Sugar in Siberia
is now considered an article of luxury, owing to distance and
difficulties of transportation from manufacturing centers.

A special delegation from Canada has been sent to Europe, to study and
subsequently report upon the true condition of the beet sugar

A correspondent writes from Farnham, Canada, that the Canadian
government grants a bounty of 2 cents per pound on beet sugar during
campaign 1891-92. Duties on raw sugar were abolished last June.

       *       *       *       *       *


An interesting paper on some of the leading American workshops was
lately read before the members of the Manchester Association of
Engineers on Saturday by Mr. Hans Renold. After expressing his opinion
that the English people did not sufficiently look about them or try to
understand what other nations were doing, Mr. Renold stated that he
had visited that portion of America known as New England, and the
works he had inspected were among the best in the United States. Among
the many special features he had noticed he mentioned that in a Boston
establishment where milling machine cutters were made he had found
that £1 spent in wages produced as much as £30 to £40 worth of goods,
the cutters being made at the rate of about sixty-four per hour by
about a dozen men. Another noticeable feature was the exceptional care
taken in storing tools in American workshops. These, in fact, were
treated as if they were worth their weight in gold; they were stored
in safes much in the same manner as we in England stored our money. He
was, however, impressed by the fact that the mere understanding of the
method of American working would not enable them to do likewise in
England, because the American workmen had gone through a special
training, and a similar training would be necessary to enable English
workmen to adapt themselves to American machines. One very noticeable
feature in American engineering shops which he visited was that all
the machine men and turners were seated on blocks or stools at their
machines, and the question naturally arose in his mind what would
English engineers say if such a practice were adopted in their shops.
In other ways he was also struck by the special attention devoted to
the comfort of the workmen, and he was much impressed by the healthy
condition of the emery polishing shops as compared with similar shops
in this country. In England these shops in most cases were simply
deathtraps to the workmen, and he urged that the superior method of
ventilation carried out in the States should be adopted in this
country by introducing a fan to each wheel to take away the particles,
etc., which were so injurious. One very special feature in the United
States was that works were devoted to the manufacture of one
particular article to an almost inconceivable extent, and that heavy
machine tools complete and ready to be dispatched were kept in stock
in large numbers. American enterprise was not hampered as it too
frequently was in England by want of capital; while in England we were
ready to put our savings in South American railways or fictitious gold
mines, but very chary about investing capital which would assist an
engineer in bringing out an honest improvement, in America, on the
other hand, it was a common practice among the best firms to invest
their savings over and over again in their works, which were thus kept
in a high state of perfection.

The above paper came in for some pretty severe criticism. Mr. John
Craven remarked that although Mr. Renold had gone over a wide field of
subjects, he had practically confined his remarks to Messrs. Brown &
Sharpe's establishment, and while he (Mr. Craven) was ready to admit
that so far as high class work and sanitary arrangements were
concerned, Messrs. Brown & Sharpe's were a model, they could not be
put forward as representative of American establishments generally. As
a matter of fact, many of the American workshops were not as good as a
large number of similar workshops in Manchester. Mr. Renold had
referred to the extensive use of gear cutters in the United States,
but he might point out that it was in Manchester that the milling
machine was first made. Mr. Samuel Dixon said he had certainly come to
the conclusion that no better work was done in America than could be
and was being done in this country; while as regards the enormous
production of milling cutters, that was simply an example of what
could be done where large firms devoted themselves to the production
of one specialty. With regard to the statement made by Mr. Renold that
the American thread was preferable to the Whitworth thread, he might
say he entirely disagreed with such a conclusion, and he might add
that after visiting a variety of Continental and American workshops he
should certainly not, if he were called upon to award the palm of
superiority in workmanship, go across the Atlantic for that purpose.
Mr. J. Nasmith remarked that whether English engineers were the
inventors of the milling machine or not, it must be admitted that it
was through this type of cutter being taken up by the Americans that
milling had become the success it was at the present time. English
engineers were very conservative, and it was only through the pressure
of circumstances that milling machines came into general use in this
country. When American inventions were brought to England they were
generally improved to the highest degree, but he thought the chief
fault of both American and Continental engineers was what one might
call "over-refinement;" there was such a thing as over-finishing an
object and overdoing it. If, however, American machinery was so much
superior to what we had in this country, as asserted by the reader of
the paper, how was it that cotton machinery, with all its intricacies,
could be sent to the United States, in the face of American
manufacturers, even though the cost was increased from 40 to 60 per
cent.? At the present time it was possible for English machinists to
secure contracts for the whole of the machinery in an American mill,
and inclusive of freight charges and high tariff, deliver and erect it
in America at a lower cost than American engineers with all the
advantages of their immeasurably superior tools were able to do.
Another speaker, Mr. Barstow, ridiculed the idea that the Americans
could be so pre-eminent in the manufacture of emery wheels as might be
inferred from Mr. Renold, when they had before them the fact that from
the neighborhood of Manchester thousands of emery wheels were every
year exported to the United States.

       *       *       *       *       *


Mr. Wm. L. Saunders, for many years the engineer of the Ingersoll Rock
Drill Co., and hence thoroughly familiar with modern quarrying
practice, read a paper before the last meeting of the American Society
of Civil Engineers on the above subject, containing many interesting
points, given in the _Engineering News_, from which we abstract as

As a preliminary to describing the new Knox system of quarrying, which
even yet is not universally known among quarrymen, Mr. Saunders gives
the following in regard to older methods:

    The Knox system is a recent invention; no mention was made of
    it in the tenth census, and no description has yet been given
    of it in any publications on quarrying. The first work done by
    this method was in 1885, and at the close of that year 2
    quarries had adopted it. In 1886 it was used in 20 quarries;
    in 1887 in 44, in 1888 in upward of 100, and at the present
    time about 300 quarries have adopted it. Its purpose is to
    release dimension stone from its place in the bed, by so
    directing an explosive force that it is made to cleave the
    rock in a prescribed line without injury. The system is also
    used for breaking up detached blocks of stone into smaller

Quarrymen have, ever since the introduction of blasting, tried to
direct the blast so as to save stock. Holes drilled by hand are seldom
round. The shape of the bit and their regular rotation while drilling
usually produce a hole of somewhat triangular section. It was
observed, many years ago, that when a blast was fired in a
hand-drilled hole the rock usually broke in three directions,
radiating from the points of the triangle in the hole. This led
quarrymen to look for a means by which the hole might be shaped in
accordance with a prescribed direction of cleavage.

The oldest sandstone quarries in America are those at Portland, Conn.
It was from these quarries that great quantities of brownstone were
shipped for buildings in New York. The typical "brownstone front" is
all built of Portland stone. As the Portland quarries were carried to
great depths the thickness of bed increased, as it usually does in
quarries. With beds from 10 to 20 ft. deep, all of solid and valuable
brownstone, it became a matter of importance that some device should
be applied which would shear the stone from its bed without loss of
stock and without the necessity of making artificial beds at short
distances. A system was adopted and used successfully for a number of
years which comprised the drilling of deep holes from 10 to 12 in. in
diameter, and charging them with explosives placed in a canister of
peculiar shape. The drilling of this hole is so interesting as to
warrant a passing notice. The system was similar to that followed with
the old fashioned drop drill. The weight of the bit was the force
which struck the blow, and this bit was simply raised or lowered by a
crank turned by two men at the wheel. The bit resembled a broad ax in
shape, in that it was extremely broad, tapering to a sharp point, and
convex along the edge.

[Illustration: Fig. 1]

Fig. 1 illustrates in section one of the Portland drills, and a drill
hole with the canister containing the explosive in place. The canister
was made of two curved pieces of sheet tin with soldered edges, cloth
or paper being used at the ends. It was surrounded with sand or earth,
so that the effect of the blast was practically the same as though the
hole were drilled in the shape of the canister. In other words, the
old Portland system was to drill a large, round hole, put in a
canister, and then fill up a good part of the hole. Were it possible
to drill the hole in the shape of the canister, it would obviously
save a good deal of work which had to be undone. The Portland system
was, therefore, an extravagant one, but the results accomplished were
such as to fully warrant its use. Straight and true breaks were made,
following the line of the longer axis of the canister section, as in
Fig. 2.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

It was found that with the old Portland canister two breaks might be
made at right angles by a single blast, when using a canister shaped
like a square prism. In some of the larger blasts, where blocks
weighing in the neighborhood of 2,000 tons were sheared on the bed,
two holes as deep as 20 ft. were drilled close together. The core
between the holes was then clipped out and large canisters measuring 2
ft. across from edge to edge were used.

In regard to another of the older systems of blasting, known as
Lewising, Mr. Saunders says:

    A Lewis hole is made by drilling two or three holes close
    together and parallel with each other, the partitions between
    the holes being broken down by using what is known as a
    broach. Thus a wide hole or groove is formed in which powder
    is inserted, either by ramming it directly in the hole, or by
    puling it in a canister, shaped somewhat like the Lewis hole
    trench. A complex Lewis hole is the combination of 3 drill
    holes, while a compound Lewis hole contains 4 holes. Lewising
    is confined almost entirely to granite. In some cases a series
    of Lewis holes is put in along the bench at distances of 10
    and 25 ft. apart, or even greater, each Lewis hole being
    situated equidistant from the face of the bench. The holes are
    blasted simultaneously by the electric battery.

After noting another system used to a limited extent, and not to be
commended, viz., the use of inverted plugs and feathers (the plugs and
feathers being inserted as a sort of tamping which the blast drives
upward to split the rock), Mr. Saunders continues in substance as

    It is thus seen that the "state of the art" has been
    progressive, though it was imperfect. Mr. Sperr, in his
    reference to this subject, made in the report of the tenth
    census, says: "The influence of the shape of the drill hole
    upon the effects of the blast does not seem to be generally
    known, and a great waste of material necessarily follows."
    This was written but a few years before the introduction of
    the new system, and it is doubtless true that attention was
    thus widely directed to the conspicuous waste, due to a lack
    of knowledge of the influence of the shape of a drill hole on
    the effect of a blast. The system developed by Mr. Knox
    practically does all and more than was done by the old
    Portland system, and it does it at far less expense. It can
    best be described by illustrations.

[Illustrations: Figs. 3, 4, 5, 6]

Fig. 3 is a round hole drilled either by hand or otherwise, preferably
otherwise, because an important point is to get it round. Fig. 4 is
the improved form of hole, and this is made by inserting a reamer,
Figs. 5 and 6, into the hole in the line of the proposed fracture,
thus cutting two V-shaped grooves into the walls of the hole. The
blacksmith tools for dressing the reamers are shown in Fig. 7. The
usual method of charging and tamping a hole in using the new system is
shown in Fig. 8. The charge of powder is shown at C, the air space at
B and the tamping at A. Fig. 9 is a special hole for use in thin beds
of rock. The charge of powder is shown at C, the rod to sustain
tamping at D, air space at BB, and tamping at A.

[Illustration: Fig. 7]

Let us assume that we have a bluestone quarry, in which we may
illustrate the simplest application of the new system. The sheet of
stone which we wish to shear from place has a bed running horizontally
at a depth of say 10 ft. One face is in front and a natural seam
divides the bed at each end at the walls of the quarry. We now have a
block of stone, say 50 ft. long, with all its faces free except
one--that opposite and corresponding with the bench. One or more of
the specially formed holes are put in at such depth and distance from
each other and from the bench as may be regulated by the thickness,
strength and character of the rock. No man is so good a judge of this
as the quarry foreman who has used and studied the effect of this
system in his quarry. Great care should be taken to drill the holes
round and in a straight line. In sandstone of medium hardness these
holes may be situated 10, 12 or 15 ft. apart. If the bed is a tight
one the hole should be run entirely through the sheet and to the bed;
but with an open free bed holes of less depth will suffice.

[Illustration: Fig. 8, 9]

The reamer should now be used and driven by hand. Several devices have
been applied to rock drills for reaming the hole by machinery while
drilling; that is, efforts have been made to combine the drill and the
reamer. Such efforts have met with only partial success. The perfect
alignment of the reamer is so important that where power is used this
point is apt to be neglected. It is also a well known fact that the
process of reaming by hand is not a difficult or a slow one. The
drilling of the hole requires the greatest amount of work. After this
has been done it is a simple matter to cut the V-shaped grooves. The
reamer should be applied at the center, that is, the grooves should be
cut on the axis or full diameter of the hole. The gauge of the reamer
should be at least 1½ diameters. Great care should be taken that the
reamer does not twist, as the break may be thereby deflected; and the
reaming must be done also to the full depth of the hole.

The hole is now ready for charging. The powder should be a low
explosive, like black or Judson powder or other explosives which act
slowly. No definite rule can be laid down as to the amount of powder
to be used, but it should be as small as possible. Very little powder
is required in most rocks. Hard and fine grained stone requires less
powder than soft stone. Mr. Knox tells of a case which came under his
observation, where a block of granite "more than 400 tons weight,
split clear in two with 13 oz. of FF powder." He compares this with a
block of sandstone of less than 100 tons weight "barely started with
2½ lb. of the same grade of powder, and requiring a second shot to
remove it."

It is obvious that enough powder must be inserted in the hole to
produce a force sufficient to move the entire mass of rock on its bed.
In some kinds of stone, notably sandstone, the material is so soft
that it will break when acted upon by the force necessary to shear the
block. In cases of this kind a number of holes should be drilled and
fired simultaneously by the electric battery. In such work it is usual
to put in the holes only 4 or 5 ft. apart. The powder must, of course,
be provided with a fuse or preferably a fulminating cap. It is well to
insert the cap at or near the bottom of the cartridge, as shown in
Figs. 8 and 9.

After the charge the usual thing to do is to insert tamping. In the
improved form of hole the tamping should not he put directly upon the
powder, but an air space should be left, as shown at B, Fig. 8. The
best way to tamp, leaving an air space, is first to insert a wad,
which may be of oakum, hay, grass, paper or other similar material.
The tamping should be placed from 6 to 12 in. below the mouth of the
hole. In some kinds of stone a less distance will suffice, and as much
air space as practicable should intervene between the explosive and
the tamping. If several holes are used on a line they should be
connected in series and blasted by electricity. The effect of the
blast is to make a vertical seam connecting the holes, and the entire
mass of rock is sheared several inches or more.

The philosophy of this new method of blasting is simple, though a
matter of some dispute. The following explanation has been given. See
Fig. 10.

[Illustration: Fig. 10]

"The two surfaces, _a_ and _b_, being of equal area, must receive an
equal amount of the force generated by the conversion of the explosive
into gas. These surfaces being smooth and presenting no angle between
the points, A and B, they furnish no starting point for a fracture,
but at these points the lines meet at a sharp angle including between
them a wedge-shaped space. The gas acting equally in all directions
from the center is forced into the two opposite wedge-shaped spaces,
and the impact being instantaneous the effect is precisely similar to
that of two solid wedges driven from the center by a force equally
prompt and energetic. All rocks possess the property of elasticity in
a greater or less degree, and this principle being excited to the
point of rupture at the points, A and B, the gas enters the crack and
the rock is split in a straight line simply because under the
circumstances it cannot split in any other way."

Another theory which is much the same in substance is then given, and
after some general discussion of the theory of the action of the
forces under the several systems, the paper continues:

The new form of hole is, therefore, almost identical in principle with
the old Portland canister, except that it has the greater advantage of
the V-shaped groove in the rock, which serves as a starting point for
the break. It is also more economical than the Portland canister, in
that it requires less drilling and the waste of stone is less. It is,
therefore, not only more economical than any other system of blasting,
but it is more certain, and in this respect it is vastly superior to
any other blasting system, because stone is valuable, and anything
which adds to the certainty of the break also adds to the profit of
the quarryman.

It is doubtless true that, notwithstanding the greater area of
pressure in the new form of hole, the break would not invariably
follow the prescribed line but for the V-shaped groove which virtually
starts it. A bolt, when strained, will break in the thread whether
this be the smallest section or not, because the thread is the
starting point for the break. A rod of glass is broken with a slight
jar provided a groove has been filed in its surface. Numerous other
instances might be cited to prove the value of the groove. Elasticity
in rock is a pronounced feature, which varies to a greater or less
extent; but it is always more or less present. A sandstone has
recently been found which possesses the property of elasticity to such
an extent that it may be bent like a thin piece of steel. When a blast
is made in the new form of hole the stone is under high tension, and
being elastic it will naturally pull apart on such lines of weakness
as grooves, especially when they are made, as is usually the case in
this system, in a direction at right angles with the lines of least

Horizontal holes are frequently put in and artificial beds made by
"lofting." In such cases where the rock has a "rift" parallel with the
bed, one hole about half way through is sufficient for a block about
15 ft. square, but in "liver" rock the holes must be drilled nearly
through the block and the size of the block first reduced.

A more difficult application of the system, and one requiring greater
care in its successful use, is where the block of stone is so situated
that both ends are not free, one of them being solidly fixed in the
quarry wall. A simple illustration of a case of this kind is a stone
step on a stairway which leads up and along a wall, Fig. 11. Each step
has one end fixed to the wall and the other free. Each step is also
free on top, on the bottom and on the face, but fixed at the back. We
now put one of the new form of holes in the corner at the junction of
the step and the wall. The shape of the hole is as shown in Fig. 12.

[Illustration: FIG. 11.]

It is here seen that the grooves are at right angles with each other,
and the block of stone is sheared by a break made opposite and
parallel with the bench, as in the previous case, and an additional
break made at right angles with the bench and at the fixed end of the
block. Sometimes a corner break is made by putting in two of the
regular V-shaped holes in the lines of the proposed break and without
the use of the corner hole. A useful application of this system is in
splitting up large masses of loose stone. For this purpose the
V-shaped grooves are sometimes cut in four positions and breaks are
made in four directions radiating from the center of the hole as shown
in Fig. 12. In this way a block is divided into four rectangular

[Illustration: FIG. 12.]

Though the new system is especially adapted to the removal of heavy
masses of rock, yet it has been applied with success in cases where
several light beds overlie each other. In one such instance 10 sheets,
measuring in all only 6 ft., were broken by a blast, but in cases of
this kind the plug and feather process applies very well, and the new
system, when used, must be in the hands of an expert, or the loss will
be serious.

Referring again to our stone step, let us imagine a case where this
stairway runs between two walls. We have here each step fixed at each
end and free only on the top, the bottom, and one face. Let us assume
that there is a back seam, that is, that the step is not fixed at the
back. In a quarry, this seam, unless a natural one, should be made by
a channeling machine. In order to throw this step put of place it must
be cut off at both ends, and for this purpose the V-shaped holes are
put in at right angles to the face. It is well, however, to put the
first two holes next the back seam in a position where the grooves
will converge at the back so as to form a sort of key, which serves a
useful purpose in removing the block after the blast. In quarries
where there are no horizontal beds a channeling machine should be used
to free the block on all sides and to a suitable depth, and then the
ledge may be "lofted" by holes placed horizontally.

Where "pressure" exists in quarries, the new system has certain
limitations. After determining the line of "pressure" it is only
practicable to use the system directly on the line of thrust, or at
right angles to it. It is much better, however, to release the
"pressure" from the ledge by channeling, after which a single end may
be detached by a Knox blast. It is well to bear in mind that the holes
should invariably be of small diameter. In no case should the diameter
of a hole be over 1½ in. in any kind of rock. This being the case, the
blocks of stone are delivered to the market with but little loss in
measurement. It is a noticeable fact that stone quarried by the new
system shows very little evidence of drill marks, for the faces are
frequently as true as though cut with a machine.

A further gain is the safety of the system. The blasting is light and
is confined entirely within the holes. No spalls or fragments are
thrown from the bast.

The popular idea that the system is antagonistic to the channeling
process is a mistaken one. There are, of course, some quarries which
formerly used channeling machines without this system, but which now
do a large part of the work by blasting. Instances, however, are rare
where the system has replaced the channeler. The two go side by side,
and an intelligent use of the new system in most quarries requires a
channeling machine. There are those who may tell of stone that has
been destroyed by a blast on the new system, but investigation usually
shows that either the work was done by an inexperienced operator, or
an effort was made to do too much.

A most interesting illustration of the value of this system, side by
side with the channeler, is shown in the northern Ohio sandstone
quarries. A great many channeling machines are in use there, working
around the new form of holes, and when used together in an intelligent
and careful manner, the stone is quarried more cheaply than by any
other process that has yet been devised.

To a limited extent the system has been used in slate. The difficulty
is that most of the slate quarries are in solid ledges, where no free
faces or beds exist; but it has been used with success in a slate
quarry at Cherryville, Pa., since 1888. Among notable blasts made by
this system are the following: At the mica schist quarries, at
Conshohocken, Pa., a hole 1½ in. in diameter was drilled in a block
which was 27 ft. long, 15 ft. wide and 6 ft. thick. The blast broke
the stone across the "rift," only 8 oz. of black powder being used. At
the Portland, Conn., quarries a single blast was fired by electricity,
15 holes being drilled with 2 lb. of coarse No. C powder in each hole,
and a rock was removed 110 ft. long, 20 ft. wide and 11 ft. thick,
containing 24,200 cu. ft., or about 2,400 tons, the fracture being
perfectly straight. This large mass of stone was moved out about 2 in.
without injury to itself or the adjoining rock.

Another blast at Portland removed 3,300 tons a distance of 4 in.
Seventeen holes were drilled, using 2 lb. of powder in each hole, the
size of the block being 150 × 20 × 11 ft. In a Lisbon, O., quarry a
block of sandstone 200 ft. long, 28 ft. wide and 15 ft. thick was
moved about ½ in. by a blast. This block was also afterward cut up by
this system in blocks 6 ft. square. A sandstone bowlder 70 ft. long,
average width 50 ft., average thickness 13 ft., was embedded in the
ground to a depth of about 7 ft. A single hole 8 ft. deep was charged
with 20 oz. of powder and the rock was split in a straight line from
end to end and entirely to the bottom. A ledge of sandstone open on
its face and two ends, 110 × 13 × 8 ft., was moved by a blast about 3
in. without wasting a particle of rock, 8 holes being used, drilled by
three men in just one day, and 15 oz. of powder being used in each
hole. A sandstone ledge, open on the face and end only, 200 × 28 × 15
ft., containing 84,000 cu. ft. stone, was moved ½ in. by 25 holes,
each containing 1 lb. of powder.

       *       *       *       *       *


This little instrument was exhibited in a somewhat crude state at the
meeting of the British Association at Newcastle in 1889. It has since
been modified in several respects, and improvements suggested by
practical use have been introduced, bringing it into a practical form,
and enabling a much greater accuracy to be attained. The principle is
one which is occasionally employed for setting out circles with a
pocket sextant, viz., the property of a circle that the angle in a
segment is constant. The leading feature of the invention is the
arrangement of scales, which enables the operation of setting put
large curves for railway or other work to be carried out without
requiring any calculations, thereby enabling any intelligent man to
execute work which would otherwise call for a knowledge of the use of
a theodolite and the tables of tangential angles.


The instrument is intended to be thoroughly portable; so much so,
indeed, that it is not necessary or even desirable to use a tripod. It
may be held in the hand like a sextant, or may be carried on a light
staff. The general appearance is shown in Fig. 1. It will be seen that
a metal plate, on which two scales are engraved, carries a mirror at
one end and an eye piece at the other. The mirror is mounted on a
metal plate, which is shaped to a peculiar curve. A clamp and slow
motion provide for rapid and for fine adjustment. The eye piece is set
at an angle, and contains a half silvered mirror, the upper portion
being transparent. This allows direct vision along the axis of the eye
piece, and at the same time vision in another direction, after two
reflections, one in the eye piece and the other at the adjustable
mirror. Fig. 2 is an outline plan of the instrument when closed. In
the first form of the instrument only one mirror was provided, but by
the double reflection in the improved pattern, any accidental twisting
of the rod or handle produces no displacement of the images, since the
inclination of one mirror neutralizes the equal and opposite
inclination of the other. No cross line is required with the new
arrangement, since it is only necessary that the two images should


The dotted line A B represents the direct ray, and the line A C D the
reflected one. Fig. 3 shows the different geometrical and
trigonometrical elements of the curve, which can be read upon the
various scales, or to which the instrument may be set. An observer
standing at C sights the point B directly and the point A by
reflection. A staff being set up at each point, he will see them
simultaneously, and in coincidence if the instrument be properly set
for the curve. If any intermediate position be taken up on the curve,
both A and B will be seen in coincidence. If the two rods do not
appear superimposed, the operator must move to the right or the left
until this is the case. The instrument will then be over a point in
the curve. Any number of points at any regular or irregular distances
along the curve can thus be set out. One of the simplest elements
which can be taken as a datum is the ratio of the length of the chord
to the radius, AB/AO, Fig. 3. This being given, the value of the ratio
is found on the straight scale on the body of the instrument, and the
curved plate is moved until the beveled edge cuts the scale at the
desired point. The figure of this curve is a polar curve, whose
equation is _r_ = _a_ ± _b_ sin. 2 [theta], where _a_ is the distance
from the zero graduation to the axis of the mirror, and _b_ is the
length of the scale from zero to 2, and [theta] is the inclination of
the mirror. In the perspective view, Fig. 1, the curved edge cuts the
scale at 1. The instrument being thus set, the following elements may
be read either directly on the scales or by simple arithmetical

[Illustration: FIG. 3]

    The radius = 1.

    AB, the chord, read direct on the straight scale.

    AFB, the length of the arc, read direct on the back or under
    surface of the plate.

    FH, the versed sine, read direct on the curved scale.

    ACB, the angle in the segment, read direct on the graduated

    EAB, the angle between the chord and the tangent, read direct
    on the graduated edge.

    GAB, the tangential angle = 180 deg. - ACB.

    AOB, the angle at the center = 2GAB.

    AGB, the angle between the tangents = 180 deg. - AOB.

    OAB, the angle between the chord and the radius = EAB - 90

        GF = --------- - FH.

The foregoing elements are contained in a very simple diagram, Fig. 4,
which is engraved on the instrument, together with the following

        B = 180 deg. - A.
        C = 2B.
        D = 180 deg. - C.
        E = A - 90.

Only one adjustment is necessary, and this is provided by means of the
screws which fix the inclination of the eyepiece. This is set at such
an angle that the instrument, when closed and reading 90° on the
divided limb, acts as an optical square.

It is not necessary, as in the ordinary method with a theodolite, that
one end of the curve should be visible from the other. If an obstacle
intervenes, all that part of the curve which commands a view of both
ends can be set out, and a ranging rod can be set up at any point of
the curve so found, and the instrument may be reset to complete the

To set out a tangent to the curve at A, Fig. 3, set up a rod at A and
another at any point C, and take up a position on the curve at some
point between them. Adjust the mirror until the rods are seen
superimposed. Then moving back to A, observe C direct, and set up a
rod at E in the line observed by reflection. Then A E is the tangent
required. Similarly, on completing the setting out of a curve, and
arriving at the end of the chord, the remote end being seen by
reflection, the direction observed along the axis of the eyepiece is
the new tangent.

Any of the angles or other ratios already mentioned may be used for
setting the instrument, but if no data whatever are given, as in the
rough surveys for colonial railways where no previous surveys exist,
it is only necessary to select points through which the curve must
pass, to set up ranging rods either at the extremities of the desired
curve, or at any points thereon, to take up a position on the desired
curve between two rods, and to adjust the instrument until they are
seen in coincidence. The curve can then be set out, and fully marked,
and the elements of the curve can be read on the scales and recorded
for reference.


Various other cases which may occur in practice can be rapidly met by
one or other of the various scales. Suppose the angle A G B between
the tangents be given, together with the middle point F on the curve,
Fig. 3. Subtract this angle from 180 deg., the difference gives the
angle at the center A O B. Take half this, and set the instrument to
the angle thus found. Walk along the tangent until a rod set up at
some point in the tangent, say E, is seen in coincidence with a rod
set up at B. The position of the instrument then marks the point of
departure A. A rod being placed at A, the first half of the curve may
be set out; or, if B is invisible, the instrument may be reset for the
angle E A B, and the whole curve set out up to B. No cutting of hedges
is necessary, as with theodolite work, for a curve can easily be taken
piece by piece. Inclination of the whole instrument introduces no
appreciable error. If the eye piece be pointed up or down hill, the
instrument is thrown a little to one side or other of the tip of the
staff, but in a plane tangent to the circle. Errors made in setting
out a curve with the Trotter curve ranger are not cumulative, as in
the method of tangential angles with a theodolite. No corrections for
inaccurate hitting of the final rod can occur, for the curve must
necessarily end at that point. It should be observed that the
instrument is not intended to supersede a theodolite, but it has the
great advantage over the older instrument that no assistant or chains
or trigonometrical tables or any knowledge of mathematics are
required. The data being given, by a theodolite or otherwise, an
intelligent platelayer can easily set out the curve, while the trained
engineer proceeds in advance with the theodolite. No time is lost; as
in chaining, since the marks may be made wherever and as often as
convenient. In work where high accuracy is required this instrument is
well adapted for filling in, and where a rough idea of the nature of a
given curve is required, the mirror being adjusted for any three
points upon it, the various elements may be read off on the scales. A
telescope is provided, but the errors not being cumulative, it is
rarely required. The curve ranger weighs 1 lb. 10 oz., and is
manufactured by Messrs. Elliott Bros., St. Martin's Lane, London. It
is the invention of Mr. Alex. P. Trotter, Westminster.--_The

       *       *       *       *       *


  [Footnote 1: Abstract from the History of the Camden and Amboy
  Railroad. By J. Elfreth Watkins, of the National Museum,
  Washington, D.C.]

Early in October, 1830, and shortly after the surveys of the Camden
and Amboy Railroad were completed, Robert L. Stevens (born 1787)
sailed for England, with instructions to order a locomotive and rails
for that road.

At that time no rolling mill in America was able to take a contract
for rolling T rails.

Robert Stevens advocated the use of an all-iron rail in preference to
the wooden rail or stone stringer plated with strap iron, then in use
on one or two short American railroads. At his suggestion, at the last
meeting held before he sailed, after due discussion, the Board of
Directors of the Camden and Amboy Railroad passed a special resolution
authorizing him to obtain the rails he advocated.


During the voyage to Liverpool he whiled away the hours on shipboard
by whittling thin wood into shapes of imaginary cross sections until
he finally decided which one was best suited to the needs of the new

He was familiar with the Berkenshaw rail, with which the best English
roads were then being laid, but he saw that, as it required an
expensive chair to hold it in place, it was not adapted to our
country, where metal workers were scarce and iron was dear. He added
the base to the T rail, dispensing with the chair. He also designed
the "hook-headed" spike (which is substantially the railroad spike of
to-day) and the "iron tongue" (which has been developed into the fish
bar), and the rivets (which have been replaced by the bolt and nut) to
complete the joint.

A fac-simile of the letter[2] which he addressed to the English iron
masters a short time after his arrival in London is preserved in the
United States National Museum. It contains a cross section, side
elevation and ground plan of the rail for which he requested bids.

The base of the rail which he first proposed was to be wider where it
was to be attached to the supports than in the intervening spaces.
This was afterward modified, so that the base was made the same width
(three inches) throughout.

  [Footnote 2: This letter reads:

    LIVERPOOL, November 26th, 1830.

    GENTLEMEN,--At what rate will you contract to deliver at
    Liverpool, say from 500 to 600 tons of railway, of the best
    quality of iron rolled to the above pattern in 12 or 16 feet
    lengths, to lap as shown in the drawing, with one hole at each
    end, and the projections on the lower flange at every two
    feet, cash on delivery?

    How soon could you make the first delivery, and at what rate
    per month until the whole is complete? Should the terms suit
    and the work give satisfaction a more extended order is likely
    to follow, as this is but about one-sixth part of the quantity
    required. Please to address your answer (as soon as
    convenient) to the care of Francis B. Ogden, Consul of the
    United States at Liverpool.

               I am
                        Your obedient servant,
                        ROBERT L. STEVENS,
                        _President and Engineer of the Camden and
                        South Amboy Railroad and Transportation Company._ ]


Mr. Stevens received no favorable answer to his proposals, but being
acquainted with Mr. Guest (afterward Sir John Guest), a member of
Parliament, proprietor of large iron works in Dowlais, Wales, he
prevailed upon him to have rails rolled at his works. Mr. Guest became
interested in the matter and accompanied Mr. Stevens to Wales, where
the latter gave his personal supervision to the construction of the
rolls. After the rolls were completed the Messrs. Guest hesitated to
have them used, through fear of damage to the mill machinery, upon
hearing which Mr. Stevens deposited a handsome sum guaranteeing the
expense of repairing the mill in case it was damaged. The receipt for
this deposit was preserved for many years among the archives of the
Camden and Amboy Company. As a matter of fact, the rolling apparatus
did break down several times. "At first," as Mr. Stevens in a letter
to his father, which I have seen, described it, "the rails came from
the rolls twisted and as crooked as snakes," and he was greatly
discouraged. At last, however, the mill men acquired the art of
straightening the rail while it cooled.

The first shipment,[3] consisting of five hundred and fifty bars
eighteen feet long, thirty-six pounds to the yard, arrived in
Philadelphia on the ship Charlemagne, May 16, 1831.

Over thirty miles of this rail was laid before the summer of 1832.

A few years after, on much of the Stevens rail laid on the Camden and
Amboy Railroad, the rivets at the joints were discarded, and the bolt
with the screw thread and nut, similar to that now used, was adopted
as the standard.

The rail was first designed to weigh thirty-six pounds per yard, but
it was almost immediately increased in weight to between forty and
forty-two pounds, and rolled in lengths of sixteen feet. It was then
three and a half inches high, two and one-eighth inches wide on the
head and three and a half inches wide at the base, the price paid in
England being £8 per ton. The import duty was $1.85.

The first shipment of rail, having arrived in America, was transported
to Bordentown, and here, upon the ground on which we stand, and which
this monument is erected to mark forever, was laid the first piece of
track (about five-sixths of a mile long) in August, 1831. The Camden
and Amboy Company, following the example of the Manchester and
Liverpool Railroad, laid their first track upon stone blocks two feet
square and ten to thirteen inches deep. These blocks were purchased
from the prison authorities at Sing Sing, N.Y. Some of these stone
blocks have been used in constructing the foundation for this

  [Footnote 3: A list of the vessels chartered to transport the rails,
   with dates, tonnage, etc., is given below:

                                    No. of        Tonnage.     Rate of
  Date.              Ship.           Bars.     tons. cwt. lb.    Duty.

  May    16, 1831.   Charlemagne     550       504    0   14     $1.85
  May    19, 1831.   Salem           963       744    2   14      1.85
  April   7, 1832.   Caledonia        38        63    3   07      1.85
  April  23, 1832.   Armadilla       525     1,000    3   21      1.85
  May     4, 1832.   George Clinton  624       986    2   14      1.85
  June 2-18, 1833.   Henry Kneeland  204       377    3   21      1.85
  May     8, 1832.   Cumberland    1,464     2,790    1   00      1.85
  June    2, 1832.   Gardiner        601     1,136    0   00      1.85
  June    5, 1832.   Globe           499       943    1   14      1.85
  June    6, 1832.   Jubilee          70       130    0   21      1.85
  July   18, 1832.   Hellen        1,080     2,004    3   21      1.85
  July   19, 1832.   Nimrod          937     1,745    3   00      1.85
  Aug.    2, 1832.   Emery           240       454    2   00      1.85
  Aug.    7, 1833.   Ajax            364       700    0   21      1.85
  Aug.   13, 1832.   Concordia       622     1,174    3   14      1.85
  Aug.   14, 1830.   William Byrny 1,120     2,138    1   07      1.85
  Aug.   20, 1832.   Mary Howland    932     1,755    3   07      1.85
  Aug.   23, 1832.   Pulaski         488       924    1   00      1.85
  Aug.   24, 1832.   Robert Morris 1,985     3,732    0   14      1.85
  Aug.   27, 1832.   Ann             506       961    2   27      1.85
  Sept.   3, 1832.   Montgomery    1,369     2,959    0   14      1.85
  Sept.   4, 1832.   Marengo         534     1,004    2   07      1.85
  Oct.   12, 1832.   Vestal          237       460    2   07      1.85

  This iron proved to be of such superior quality that after it was
  worn out in the track, the company's mechanics preferred it to new
  iron in making repairs. Some of this rail is still in use in side
  tracks. It is pronounced equal in durability to much of the steel
  rail of to-day. ]


Mr. Stevens ordered the first joint fixtures also from an English
mill, at the same time. The ends of the rails were designed to rest
upon wrought iron plates or flat cast plates. The rails were connected
at the stems by an iron "tongue" five inches long, two inches wide,
and five-eighths of an inch thick. A rivet, put on hot, passing
through the stem of each rail near the ends of the bar, fastened it to
the tongue and completed the joint. A hole oblong in shape, to allow
for expunctral contraction, was punched in the stem at each end of the


The first "spikes six inches long, with hooked heads," were also
ordered at the same time. These were undoubtedly the "first railroad
spikes" (as they are known to the trade) ever manufactured.

Mr. Stevens neglected to obtain a patent for these inventions,
although urged to do so by Mr. Ogden, American Consul at Liverpool,
and the credit of being the inventor of the American rail was for a
time claimed for others, but the evidence brought forward in late
years fully established the fact that he was the originator of the
American system of railway construction.

The "Stevens rail and spike" gradually found great favor everywhere in
America--all the roads being relaid with it as the original T or strap
rail became worn out.

In England the T rail still continues to be used. The London and
Birmingham Railway, opened in 1838, was laid with Berkenshaw rails;
part with the straight and part with the fish-bellied rail, and the
remainder with reversible "bull-headed" rail, both types being
supported by chairs.[4]

  [Footnote 4: The experiment of laying the Stevens rail in chairs
  was tried on the Albany and Schenectady road in 1837, on the
  Hudson River Railroad 1848, but the chairs were soon afterward
  discarded, nothing but spikes being used to attach the rail to the

Sixty years have elapsed since this rail was adopted by the Camden and
Amboy Company, and with the exception of slight alterations in the
proportions incident to increased weight, no radical change has been
made in the "Stevens rail," which is now in use on every railroad in
America. Many improvements have been made in the joint fixture, but
the "tongue" or fish plate improved into the angle splice bar is in
general use, and nothing has yet been found to take the place of the
"hook-headed" railroad spike which Robert Stevens then designed.

The track upon which we stand was the first in the world that was laid
with the rail and spike now in general use.


Mr. Stevens divided his time while abroad between arranging for the
manufacture of track material and examining the English locomotives
that were being constructed or had been in service.

A year had elapsed since the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester
Railway, and the English mechanics had not been idle. The "Rocket,"
although successful in the Rainhill contest, when put to work had
shown many defects that Stephenson & Co. were striving to correct in
subsequent locomotives.

The "Planet," built by that firm, was tried in public December 4,
1830, shortly after Mr. Stevens arrived in England, and at that time
was undoubtedly the best locomotive in the world.


Mr. Stevens was present at a trial when the "Planet" showed most
satisfactory properties, and he at once ordered a locomotive of
similar construction, from the same manufacturers, for the Camden and
Amboy Railroad. This engine, afterward called the "John Bull" and "No.
1," was completed in May and shipped by sailing vessel from
Newcastle-on-Tyne in June, 1831, arriving in Philadelphia about the
middle of August of that year. It was then transferred to a sloop at
Chestnut Street wharf, Philadelphia, whence it was taken to


The following circumstances connected with the arrival of the engine
at Bordentown, N.J., are related by Isaac Dripps, Esq., for many years
master mechanic of the Camden and Am boy Railroad, and afterward
superintendent of motive power of the Pennsylvania Railroad, who is
now, after a busy life, enjoying a peaceable retirement at his
pleasant home in West Philadelphia.

Mr. Dripps, who is now in the eighty-second year of his age, was
employed by Robert and Edwin Stevens in repairing and assisting with
their steamboats on the Delaware River and at Hoboken as early as
1829. When the "John Bull" arrived in Philadelphia he was detailed by
Robert Stevens to attend to the transportation of the engine to
Bordentown, where it was landed safely the last week in August, 1831.

The boiler and cylinders were in place, but the loose parts--rods,
pistons, valves, etc.--were packed in boxes. No drawings or directions
for putting the engine together had come to hand, and young Dripps,
who had never seen a locomotive, found great difficulty in discovering
how to put the parts in place, alone and unassisted, as Robert
Stevens, who had returned from Europe, was absent at Hoboken at the
time attending to other matters.


The bronze bass-relief upon the monument, made from the working
drawing furnished by Mr. Dripps, is an exact representation of the
locomotive when it arrived in America.

The engine originally weighed about ten tons. The boiler was thirteen
feet long and three feet six inches in diameter. The cylinders were
nine inches by twenty inches. There were four driving wheels, four
feet six inches in diameter, arranged with outside cranks for
connecting parallel rods, but owing to the sharp curves on the road
these rods were never used. The driving wheels were made with cast
iron hubs and wooden (locust) spokes and felloes. The tires were of
wrought iron, three quarters of an inch thick, the tread being five
inches and the depth of flange one and a half inches. The gauge was
originally five feet from center to center of rails. The boiler was
composed of sixty-two flues seven feet six inches long, two inches in
diameter; the furnace was three feet seven inches long and three feet
two inches high, for burning wood. The steam ports were one and
one-eighth inches by six and a half inches; the exhaust ports one and
one-eighth by six and a half inches; grate surface, ten feet eight
inches; fire box surface, thirty-six feet; flue surface, two hundred
and thirteen feet; weight, without fuel or water, twenty-two thousand
four hundred and twenty-five pounds.

After the valves were in gear and the engine in motion, two levers on
the engineman's side moved back and forth continuously. When it was
necessary to put the locomotive on the turntable, enginemen who were
skilled in the handling of the engines first put the valves out of
gear by turning the handle down, and then worked the levers by hand,
thus moving the valves to the proper position and stopping the engine
at the exact point desired.

The reversing gear was a very complicated affair. The two eccentrics
were secured to a sleeve or barrel, which fitted loosely on the crank
shaft, between the two cranks, so as to turn freely. A treadle was
used to change the position of this loose eccentric sleeve on the
shaft of the driving wheel (moving it to the right or left) when it
was necessary to reverse. Two carriers were secured firmly to the body
of this shaft (one on each side of the eccentrics); one carrier worked
the engine ahead, the other back. The small handle on the right side
of the boiler was used to lift the eccentric rod (which passed forward
to the rock shaft on the forward part of the engine) off the pin, and
thus put the valves out of gear before it was possible to shift the
sleeve and reverse the engine.

Great similarity will be noticed in the American locomotives built for
many years after the arrival of the "John Bull," especially in the
matter of making the keys, brasses, etc., on the connecting rods, and
in the construction of valves, fire box and tubes. Even the old plan
of setting the ends of the exhaust nozzle high up in the smoke box,
which was discontinued when the petticoat pipe came in use, is now
again resorted to in connection with the extended smoke box of modern


Mr. Dripps informs me that, after many attempts, he succeeded in
putting the parts of the engine together, and when it was placed in
position upon the track he notified Robert Stevens of the fact. Mr.
Stevens came at once to Bordentown, as his anxiety to see it in
operation was very great. Upon his arrival the boiler was pumped full
of water, by hand, from the hogshead in which it was brought. Benjamin
Higgins made the fire with pine wood, and when the scale[5] showed
thirty pounds steam pressure, Isaac Dripps opened the throttle, Robert
Stevens standing by his side, and the first locomotive on this great
highway _moved_. It would be difficult to describe the feeling of
these three men as they stood upon the moving engine--the first human
freight drawn by steam on what was afterward destined to be the great
highway connecting the two most populous cities of the American
continent; a most important link in the chain of intercommunication
between the North and South and West. What possibilities must have
dawned upon them if they cared to lift the veil of the future!

  [Footnote 5: The dial gauge was not in use at that time.]

During the next few days after this preliminary trial the engine was
again taken apart, and as a few of the parts needed modification some
time intervened before it was again in running order. It will be
remembered that young Dripps had never seen a locomotive before and
there were no "old engineers" to consult in regard to the construction
or management of the engine.


As no tender came with the locomotive, one was improvised from a
four-wheel flat car that had been used on construction work, which was
soon equipped to carry water and wood. The water tank consisted of a
large whisky cask which was procured from a Bordentown storekeeper,
and this was securely fastened on the center of this four-wheeled car.
A hole was bored up through the car into the barrel and into it a
piece of two-inch tin pipe was fastened, projecting below the platform
of the car. It now became necessary to devise some plan to get the
water from the tank to the pump and into the boiler around the turns
under the cars, and as a series of rigid sections of pipe was not
practicable, young Dripps procured four sections of hose two feet
long, which he had made out of shoe leather by a Bordentown shoemaker.
These were attached to the pipes and securely fastened by bands of
waxed thread. The hogshead was filled with water, a supply of wood for
fuel was obtained, and the engine and tender were ready for work.


At that time the question whether the railroad should be operated by
steam locomotives or horse power had already become a political issue.
The farmers and other horse owners and dealers, who had made money by
selling hay and grain and horses to the stage and freight wagon lines,
were discussing the possibilities of loss of business.


Many of the members of the New Jersey Legislature were farmers. The
management of the Camden and Amboy Railroad was anxious to give these
gentlemen and other prominent citizens an opportunity to examine a
steam locomotive at work and to ride in a railway train.

Sixty years ago to-day, on the 12th of November, 1831, by special
invitation, the members of the Legislature and other State officials
were driven from Trenton to Bordentown in stages to witness the trial.
Among them were John P. Jackson (father of the present general
superintendent of the United Railroads of New Jersey division of the
Pennsylvania Railroad, who afterward took a prominent part in the
affairs of the New Jersey Railroad, whose termini were at New
Brunswick and Jersey City); Benjamin Fish (director for fifty years
for the Camden and Amboy Railroad), afterward president of the
Freehold and Jamesburg Agricultural Railroad; Ashbel Welch, chief
engineer and superintendent of the Belvidere and Delaware Railroad for
many years, and president of the United Railroads of New Jersey during
the years immediately preceding the lease to the Pennsylvania
Railroad; Edwin A. and Robert L. Stevens, afterward managers of the


Two coaches built so that they might be drawn by horses were attached
to the locomotive. These coaches were of the English pattern. They had
four wheels and resembled three carriage bodies joined together, with
seats in each facing each other. There were three doors at each side.
These cars were made by a firm of carriage manufacturers, M.P. and
M.E. Green, of Hoboken, and were thought to be very handsome. The New
Jersey law makers were somewhat dubious, it is said, about risking
their lives in this novel train, but at last they concluded to do so
and the train started and made many trips back and forth without
accident or delay. Madam Murat, wife of Prince Murat, a nephew of
Napoleon Bonaparte, who was then living in Bordentown, insisted on
being the first woman to ride on a train hauled by a steam locomotive
in the State.

In the evening a grand entertainment was given to the Legislature by
the railroad company at Arnell's Hotel, Bordentown, and it has been
whispered that the festivities kept up until a late hour in the night.
Whether that be true or not, it is generally conceded that from that
time to this the Legislature of New Jersey have always been more or
less interested in the affairs of the Camden and Amboy Railroad and
its successors, or _vice versa_.

This first movement of passengers by steam in the State of New Jersey
was regarded as a success from every point of view, and in
commemoration of the important events here enacted the boundaries of
this first piece of railway laid between New York and Philadelphia,
which were identified and staked out by Isaac Dripps a half century
afterward, have been definitely marked for all time by the
Pennsylvania Railroad Company, who have erected these handsome stones.


Among the earliest troubles of the young engineer and his employer,
Robert L. Stevens, was the fact that as there were only four wheels
under the engines, they were derailed frequently in going around
curves; so it was necessary to provide an appliance to prevent this.


The first pilot was planned, 1832, by Robert L. Stevens. A frame made
of oak, eight by four feet, pinned together at the corners, was made.
Under one end of it a pair of wheels twenty-six inches in diameter
were placed in boxes, and the other end was fastened to an extension
of the axle outside of the forward driving wheels, it having been
found by experience that a play of about one inch on each side on the
pedestals of the front wheels of the pilot or engine was necessary in
order to get around the curves then in the tracks. For years afterward
there was very little change in constructing the pilots from that
originally applied to the "John Bull."

The spiral spring, which held the front wheels of the pilot in place,
acted substantially as the center pin of a truck. The turntables in
use on the road were so short that it was necessary to unconnect and
take off these pilots before turning the engine. After the pilot was
adopted the forward large wheel on right of the engine was made loose
on the shaft in order to afford additional play in going around
curves. Other[6] changes and additions were also made in the

  [Footnote 6: Changes in the locomotive "John Bull" since date of
  construction, 1830:

  Steam dome changed from rear of boiler forward to a part over what
  was called the "man-hole," and throttle valve placed therein.

  Steam pipes changed to outside of boiler, connecting new dome with
  smoke box, entering it on each side.

  In the beginning the reverse gear was changed from one single
  eccentric rod on each side to two on each side, connecting on to
  the same eccentric wheel, and the lifting rod, in pulling back,
  lifted the forward gear hook off the rocker arm, and the back
  motion hook then connecting on the rocker arm reversed the engine.

  Side rods were never used.

  Driver spring was changed from a bearing under the pedestal boxes
  to a point over the boxes.

  The pilot was attached in this manner:

  Right forward wheel being loose, forward axle extended eight
  inches beyond box on each side; to this was attached the beam of
  the pilot, having play of about one inch between box and pedestal
  plate to act while going around curves. The weight of forward part
  of engine rested upon a cross brace of the two-wheel pilot, which
  took bearing by a screw pin surrounded by a spring, by turning
  which pin the weight on the drivers could be adjusted.

  A brace used as a hand rail was added on top of the frame, bracing
  frame and acting as a guide to the driving springs.

  Water-cocks changed from right to left side of the boiler.

  Bell, whistle and headlight were added.

  Balance safety valve scale was changed forward to a point over
  barrel of boiler, the secret valve being over the new dome.]


During 1831-35 the company's shops were located at Hoboken, N.J., and
during the winter of 1832-33, three locomotives were commenced at
these shops (two completed before March, 1833, the other in April),
the valves, cylinders, pistons, etc., coming from England, the boilers
being made under the direction of Robert L. Stevens. It was his
opinion that the "John Bull" was too heavy, and the new boilers were
built smaller and lighter, so that the engines, when completed,
weighed eight instead of ten tons. With these three engines, which
were delivered to the railroad company at South Amboy, the stone
blocks and other material for the permanent track was delivered along
the line of the road.


The importation of the locomotive "John Bull" was destined to have a
far-reaching influence in moulding the types of early American

After the demonstration of November 12, 1831, the engine was taken
from the track and stored in a shed constructed to protect it until
such time as the track should be completed.

It was about this time that the proprietor of Peale's Museum, in
Philadelphia, applied to Matthias Baldwin, an ingenious mathematical
instrument maker, for a small locomotive to run upon a circular track
on the floor of the museum. Mr. Baldwin had heard of this locomotive.
He came to Bordentown and applied to Isaac Dripps for permission to
inspect it. Mr. Dripps tells me he remembers very well the day that he
explained to Mr. Baldwin the construction of the various working

Mr. Baldwin built a toy engine for Mr. Peale, which was so successful,
that in 1832 he was called upon by the Philadelphia and Germantown
Railroad Company to construct the old "Ironsides,"[7] which was
similar in many ways to the "John Bull," as an examination of the
model preserved in the National Museum will show. The success of this
engine laid the foundation for the great Baldwin Locomotive Works,
which is in existence to-day, sending locomotives to every part of the

  [Footnote 7: A handsome model of the "Ironsides" was presented to
  the United States National Museum by the Baldwin Locomotive
  Company in 1888.]


The Camden and Amboy Company having obtained control of the steamboat
routes between Philadelphia and Bordentown, and between South Amboy
and New York, directed their energies to completing the railway across
the State.

Although the grading of the road from Bordentown to Camden had been
commenced in the summer of 1831, work on that end of the line was
abandoned for about two years, the entire construction force being put
on the work between Bordentown and South Amboy.

The road from Bordentown to Hightstown was completed by the middle of
September, 1832, and from Hightstown to South Amboy in the December
following. The "deep cut" at South Amboy, and the curves of the track
there, gave the civil engineers great trouble.


The laying of the track through the "deep cut" led to an event of
great importance to future railway construction. The authorities at
Sing Sing having failed to deliver the stone blocks rapidly enough,
Mr. Stevens ordered hewn wooden cross ties to be laid temporarily, and
the rail to be directly spiked thereto. A number of these ties were
laid on the sharpest curves in the cut. They showed such satisfactory
properties when the road began to be operated that they were permitted
to remain, and the stone blocks already in the track were replaced by
wooden ties as rapidly as practicable. Without doubt the piece of
track in "deep cut" was the first in the world to be laid according to
the present American practice of spiking the rail directly to the
cross tie.


Among the memoranda compiled by Benjamin Fish, published in his
memoir, I find the following:

    "First cars were put on the Camden and Amboy Railroad
    September 19, 1832. They were drawn by two horses. They took
    the directors and a few friends from Bordentown to Hightstown
    and back.

    "On December 17, 1832, the first passengers were taken from
    Bordentown through to South Amboy. Fifty or sixty people went.
    It was a rainy day.

    "On January 24, 1833, the first freight cars were put on the
    railroad. There were three cars, drawn by one horse each, with
    six or seven thousand pounds of freight on each car.

    "Freight came from New York by steam boat to South Amboy. I
    drove the first car, John Twine drove the second car and
    Edmund Page the third one. We came to the Sand Hills (near
    Bordentown) by railroad, there loaded the goods on wagons (it
    was winter, and the river was frozen over), arriving in
    Philadelphia by sunrise next morning. The goods left New York
    at 12 o'clock, noon. This was done by the old firm of Hill,
    Fish & Abbe."

Immediately after the road from Bordentown to South Amboy was
completed, and as late as the summer of 1833, passengers were brought
from Philadelphia to the wharf at White Hill by steamboat, and from
there were rapidly driven to Amboy. Two horses were hitched to each
car, and as they were driven continuously on the run, three changes of
horses were required, the finest horses obtainable being purchased for
this purpose. The time consumed in crossing the State (thirty-four
miles) was from two and a half to three hours.

Early in September, 1833, the locomotive "John Bull" was put on the
train leaving Bordentown about 7 o'clock in the morning, and returning
leaving South Amboy at 4 P.M. This was the first passenger train
regularly run by steam on the route between New York and Philadelphia.

       *       *       *       *       *


The new twin screw cruiser Æolus was launched from the Devonport
Dockyard on the 13th November. The first keel plate of the Æolus was
laid in position on the 10th March last year, and up to the present
time fully two thirds of the estimated weight has been worked into her
structure. Says _Industries_: She is built of steel, with large
phosphor bronze castings for stern post, shaft brackets, and stem, the
latter terminating in a formidable ram. The hull is sheathed with
wood, and will be covered with copper to enable her to keep the seas
for a lengthened period on remote stations, where there is a lack of
docking accommodation. All the vital portions, such as machinery,
boilers, magazines, and steering gear, are protected by a steel deck
running fore and aft, terminating forward in the ram, of which it
virtually forms a part. Subdivision has been made a special feature in
this type of vessel, and the hull under the upper deck is divided into
nearly 100 water tight compartments. Between perpendiculars the Æolus
measures 300 ft. in length, the extreme breadth being 43 ft. 8 in.,
and moulded depth 22 ft. 9 in., with a displacement of 3,600 tons on a
mean draught of water of 17 ft. 6 in. She will be supplied by Messrs.
Hawthorn, Leslie & Co., of Newcastle on Tyne, with two sets of
vertical triple-expansion engines, capable of developing collectively
9,000 h.p., which is estimated to realize a speed of 19.75 knots. As
vertical engines have been adopted, the necessary protection of the
cylinders, which project above the steel protective deck, is obtained
by fitting an armored breastwork of steel 5 in. thick, supported by a
7 in. teak backing, around the engine hatchway. Provision is made for
a bunker coal capacity of 400 tons, and this is calculated to give a
radius of action of 8,000 knots at a reduced speed of 10 knots. The
armament of the ship will consist of two 6 in. breech-loading guns on
central pivot stands, one mounted on the poop and another on the
forecastle; six quick-firing 4.7 in. guns, mounted three on each
broadside; eight quick-firing 6-pounder guns, four on each broadside;
besides one 3-pounder Hotchkiss and four 5-barrel Nordenfeldt guns. In
addition four torpedo tubes are fitted, one forward, one aft, and one
on each broadside. All the necessary appliances for manipulating the
engines, guns, steering gear, etc., when in action, are placed in a
conning tower built of steel 3 in. thick, and situated at the after
end of the forecastle. The Æolus will be rigged with two pole mast,
carrying light fore and aft sails only. Her total cost is estimated at
£188,350, of which £100,000 is regarded as the cost of hull. When
complete she will be manned by a complement of 254 officers and men.
In the slipway vacated by the Æolus a second class cruiser, to be
named the Hermione, will be laid down forthwith. The Hermione may be
regarded as an enlarged Æolus, and will measure 320 ft. in length, 49
ft. 6 in. in breadth, with a displacement of 4,360 tons, on a mean
draught of water of 19 ft. The new cruiser will be supplied with
propelling machinery of the same power as the Æolus, to be constructed
in the dockyard from Admiralty designs. The coal capacity of the
Hermione is to be 400 tons, and her estimated speed is 19.5 knots.

       *       *       *       *       *


Special interest, says _Engineering_, attaches to the trials of the
protected cruiser Blake, in view of the assertion frequently made by
Admiralty authorities, from the first lord downward, to the effect
that with her sister ship Blenheim she would surpass anything hitherto
attempted. The condition of steaming continuously for long periods and
over great distances at 20 knots per hour was made a ruling condition
in the design, and with forced draught she was to be able to attain 22
knots when occasion required. But all idea of getting these high
results has been abandoned. Our readers do not need to be reminded of
the frequent failure of boilers in the navy. Although in the newer
ships, profit has been gained by experience, larger boilers being
provided with separate combustion chambers for each furnace; the
Blake's boilers belong to the type of defective design, with the
result that, were they pressed under forced draught, the tubes would
leak. It was, therefore, decided some time ago to be content with
natural draught results, and on Wednesday, Nov. 18, the vessel was
taken out from Portsmouth, and ran for seven hours with satisfactory
results, considerably exceeding the contract power. But the speed was
but 19.12 knots, and 22 knots can never be attained, except, of
course, new boilers be provided, and when an expenditure of 5 or 6 per
cent. of the first cost of the vessel (433,755_l._) would give her new
boilers, it seems a pity to be content with the lesser speed, more
particularly as the vessel is well designed and the engines efficient.


Before dealing with the engines and their trials, it may be stated
that the vessel is of 9000 tons displacement at 25 ft. 9 in. mean
draught. Her length is 375 ft. and her beam 65 ft. She was built at
Chatham, and the armament consists of two 92 in. 22-ton breech-loading
guns, ten 6-in. 5-ton guns and sixteen 3-pounder quick-firing, and
eight machine guns, with torpedo launching carriages and tubes. The
propelling engines were manufactured by Messrs. Maudslay Sons & Field,
Lambeth. They were designed to develop 13,000 horses with natural, and
20,000 with forced draught. They consist of four distinct sets of
triple expansion inverted cylinder engines, and occupy with boilers,
etc., nearly two-thirds of the length of the ship. They are placed in
four separate compartments, two sets being coupled together on the
starboard and port sides respectively for driving each screw. There
are four high pressure cylinders, 36 in. in diameter; four
intermediate cylinders, 52 in.; and four low pressure cylinders, 80
in.; with a stroke of 4 ft. Each set of engines has an air pump 33 in.
in diameter and 2 ft. stroke, and a surface condenser having 12,800
tubes and an aggregate surface of 2250 square feet, the length of the
tubes between the tube plates being 9 ft. There is also in each
compartment one centrifugal circulating pump driven by a small
independent engine, of the diameter of 3 ft. 9 in., and capable of
pumping from the bilge as well as the sea. The screw propellers are 18
ft. 3 in. in diameter with a mean pitch of 24 ft. 6 in.

Steam is furnished by six main double-ended boilers, having four
furnaces at each end, and one auxiliary boiler, with a heating surface
of 900 sq. ft., the dimensions of the former being 15 ft. 2 in. by 18
ft., and of the latter 10 ft. by 9 ft. long. The total area of
firegrate surface is 863 sq. ft, and of heating surface 26.936 sq. ft.
Each engine room is kept cool by four 4 ft. 6 in. fans. Forced draught
is produced by twelve 5 ft. 6 in. fans, three being stationed in each
stokehold. The electric lighting machinery consists of three dynamos
of Siemens manufacture driven by a Willans engine, each of which is
capable of producing a current of 400 amperes. The after main engines
can be easily disconnected and worked separately for slow speeds.

The Blake had her steering gear tested on Tuesday, Nov. 17. With both
engines going full power ahead and turning to starboard, with her helm
hard over 35 deg., she completed the circle in 4 min. 40 sec., the
port circle being completed in 5 min. 5 sec. The diameter was
estimated approximately to be about 575 yards. Forty-five seconds were
required to change from engine steering to steering by hand. By manual
gear the helm was moved from midships to hard a-starboard in 40 sec.,
from starboard to hard a-port in 2 min. 10 sec., and from hard a-port
to midships in 2 min. 20 sec. The heavy balanced rudder and the speed
of the ship throwing great labor upon the crew manning the wheels, the
hand gear was afterward disconnected and the connection with the
steering engine completed in 40 sec.


On Nov. 18, when the vessel went on speed trials, the draught of the
vessel was 24 ft. 8 in. forward and 26 ft. 8 in. aft, which gave her
the mean load immersion provided for in her design. There was a
singular absence of vibration, said to be due to the space over which
the machinery is spread, but perhaps also due, in part at least, to
the number of cranks, as the cylinders deliver six throws throughout
the circle of revolution. The results of each hour's steaming are as

Hours.      Revolutions.   Steam.      Power.
1st hour        86.86      120.6       13,568
2d   "          89.26      128.0       15,298
3d   "          88.55      125.0       14,251
4th  "          89.58      127.6       14,759
5th  "          89.40      125.0       14,394
6th  "          89.55      125.0       14,512
7th  "          89.15      126.0       14,893

The trial was originally intended to continue for eight hours, but at
the end of the seventh, as the light began to fade, and as, moreover,
the engines were working with a smoothness and efficiency that showed
no signs of flagging, it was considered expedient to terminate the

Steam pressure in boilers                                125.5  lb.
Air pressure in stoke holds                                0.42 in.
Revolutions per minute, starboard                         88.41
Revolutions per minute, port                              89.39

                                  |     Starboard.   |      Port.      |
                                  |  Forward|   Aft  | Forward|   Aft  |
Vacuum in condensers.             |    27.85|   27.85|   28.1 |   29.1 |
Mean pressure in cylinders, high  |    43.04|   38.95|   42.36|   42.45|
Mean pressure in cylinders, inter.|    31.49|   30.82|   30.17|   28.38|
Mean pressure in cylinders, low   |    11.68|   12.4 |   12.85|   12.32|
Indicated horse power each engine |  3631.42| 3589.07| 3721.37| 3583.50|
Total                             |       7220.39    |      7304.88    |
Collectively                      |              14525.37              |

As will be seen, the collective power exceeds the contract power under
natural draught by 1,525.37 horses, and was obtained with less than
the Admiralty limit of air pressure. The coal used on the occasion was
Harris' deep navigation, but no account was taken of the amount
consumed. Four runs were made on the measured mile with and against
the tide, the mean of means disclosing a speed of 19.12 knots. The
average speed of the seven hours' steaming, as measured by patent log,
was 19.28 knots. This fell short by over three-quarters of a knot of
what was anticipated in proportion to the power indicated by the
engines. Up to the limit of air pressure used the boilers answered

       *       *       *       *       *


A Master in charge of a tramp steamer in these days _must_, if he
wishes for any comfort in life, take good care of himself, for the
pressure and hurry which is inseparable from his position, combined
with the responsibilities and anxieties of his calling, put a very
great strain upon him, and will, in time, unless he takes special
care, have a serious effect on his health; this is more particularly
the case with men of the nervous temperament. It cannot be expected
that in this age, when so many thousands of people on shore fail from
overwork and "high pressure," steamship masters, who as a class, are
overworked and harrassed to a serious extent, should altogether
escape. Again, unless a shipmaster takes an interest in the health,
comfort, and well-being of his crew, he, in the first place, neglects
one of his duties, and, secondly, sows the seeds of discomfort and
annoyance to himself. Let us consider his duties to himself

First, then, he must prepare himself to undergo, periodically, the
discomfort of want of proper rest and irregularity in times of meals;
he may, for instance, not be able to leave the bridge for over
forty-eight hours or more on a stretch, and, of course, any shipmaster
who may read this will know that this is no uncommon occurrence;
during this time he may be unable to get regular meals, and what he
does get may have to be eaten in a hurry and at an anxious time when
he cannot properly enjoy and digest it.

A time like this may be followed by a period of rest, when the days
will hang heavily on his hands, and he will be tempted to long
afternoon sleeps merely to get through the weary hours.

Now, as a course of this kind of thing is bound, unless care be
exercised, to act unfavorably on the digestion and bring on some form
of dyspepsia, so also the nights and days of great anxiety and moments
of great strain will, besides increasing the dyspeptic tendency, be
apt to bring on nervousness in some form or other. It is a fact that
in these times, and often from want of attention to health, nearly
every shipmaster long in harness is more or less nervous.

There are people in the present day who have actually talked of making
their chief engineer (who exercises his special trade at sea or on
shore as suits himself and is in no sense _a seaman_) the master of
the vessel, and turning the shipmaster into a mere pilot. Those who
talk in this way forget that to do this the _responsibility_ must be
shifted on to the engineer. Of course such a change as this cannot
happen, the country would not stand it; but I merely mention it to
show the vast amount of ignorance there is, even among those who
should be well informed, as to the real strain and responsibility on
the modern shipmaster.

The master then, if anxious to do the best for himself, should, if
possible, be a total abstainer, for two reasons: first, because, as he
will be obliged to be irregular in his feeding, alcohol in any form
will do him harm and tend to augment the dyspepsia. Secondly, because,
often in times of great mental strain, combined with exposure, a glass
of spirits will give _great temporary relief_ (which is of itself a
dangerous fact for a weak-minded man), but this will always be
followed by depression, and will in reality be doing great harm
instead of lasting good. Spirituous liquor may be necessary for a few,
but these should use it under medical advice if at all. It is a hard
thing for many men to give up their grog, but there is not a man of
any experience in the merchant service who has not seen its blasting
effects on many a master and officer. It is almost impossible to find
a substitute for it which shall recommend itself to anyone who has
really a liking for it, about the only things being coffee, lime
juice, or lemonade and ginger ale. So-called temperance drinks are all
of them very nasty stuff, besides containing a large percentage of
alcohol; rather than swallow these one had better not change his
habits. The master then, being an abstainer, should also give some
care to his diet. Very heavy meals of meat and strong food should not
be taken at sea, because there are no means of taking proper exercise,
and it is impossible to work them off properly. Again, long, heavy,
after-dinner sleeps should not be indulged in; a quiet nap of ten
minutes would in many cases be beneficial, but the long sleep up to
five o'clock is positively harmful to any man. One of the _best_
things a master can do is to take up some work. No matter what it is
so long as he takes an interest in it, such as joiner work, fret work,
painting, writing, learning a musical instrument or a foreign
language, or anything of that sort. It will be of incalculable benefit
to both mind and body.

On occasions when it is absolutely necessary to be on deck for long
periods, the steward ought to have orders to attend _himself
personally_ to the master's wants--to see that his meals are properly
cooked and brought up to him at regular intervals, and that there is
always a _well made_ cup of coffee to be had when wanted. The ordinary
cup of coffee as made at sea is generally a beastly mixture and not
worth drinking. The steward has an easy life and should not be spared
at these times, but should always be turned out when wanted, _night or
day_, and made to look after these things himself, and a man who
growls at having this to do or who will not take the proper trouble to
see things well cooked and served up nicely with cheerfulness should
_at once_ be discharged, and a good man, of whom there are plenty,
shipped in his place. The master, of course, should always be on the
bridge when required, and in fog certainly all the time; but many men
are over-cautious in this respect through sheer nervousness, and
oftentimes expose and fatigue themselves to no purpose, harass their
officers, and make them unreliable, so that when the time comes that
their presence on deck is absolutely necessary, they are, through
exhaustion of mind and body, in anything but a fit state to take
charge of the ship, or be cool and collected in a moment of sudden
emergency. Should a man feel that through hard work and exposure he is
becoming shaky, he should at once leave off _entirely_ the false
relief which drink gives and consult a physician. A _good_ man with
_experience_ will in almost any case be able to help him, and, besides
medicine, give him such hints for regulating his diet and mode of
living as will enable him to bear better than before the strain and
wear and tear of his life.[1]

  [Footnote 1: For the _fluttering_, unsteady feeling often felt,
  the following, if not abused, will be found beneficial: Take as
  much bromide of potassium as will lie, not heaped up, on a
  shilling, and half a teaspoonful of sal volatile (aromatic spirits
  of ammonia). Mix in a wine glass full of water; but this should
  only be taken when absolutely necessary, and not habitually.]

As to the crew. A master who has full command of himself ought to be
able to rule judiciously even the most unruly crew, but before he is
in a really _strong_ position to do this, he must treat them fairly
and honestly. In many cases a bad start is made with a new set of men
(of course this will not apply to the high class mail steamers, nor
perhaps to what are termed weekly boats). They come on board and find
their forecastle just as the last crew left it, full of a week's
filth,[2] possibly lumbered up with hauling lines and what-not,
wanting painting badly, and often showing unmistakable signs of
overhead leakage. This is quite enough to make a respectable man
discontented, and naturally so. In common fairness, the often wretched
place that the men have to occupy ought to be put in decent order to
receive the new crew. Again, they should be distinctly made to
understand, when signing articles, what their _food_ will be, and what
their pay and allowances will come to. It is to be feared that bad
feeding is the cause of much trouble in these days. From first coming
on board discipline should be _enforced_; many officers, both young
and old, are greatly remiss in enforcing this, with the consequence
that day by day it is harder to do, till at last it is impossible, and
anarchy reigns triumphant. If a seaman finds that he is _fairly_
treated, and that he _must_ obey orders, he will in nine cases out of
ten conduct himself well, and give no trouble. The more high class
type of man the master is the better he will treat his men, and the
more exacting he will be in compelling discipline, both in his
officers and crew.

  [Footnote 2: This should not be. It is most decidedly one of the
  master's duties to see that the men on _both_ sides of the
  forecastle keep their places clean, and for this purpose it is a
  very good plan to give them an hour or two every week, and it is
  only right that if a crew fled a forecastle clean to receive them,
  they should be made to leave it in the same state.]

Engineers and firemen are often sources of annoyance in these days.
Firemen are a lower class generally than seamen, and more inclined to
insubordination; in many cases the engineers are quite incapable of
keeping them in proper order, and it sometimes happens that in an
engine room row it falls to the lot of the deck officers to restore

The master should remember that his engineers are officers of the
ship, with their own responsibility, that his chief engineer is of
some importance on board, and that it is necessary in the owner's
interests that they should work together amicably. In ordinary cargo
vessels, the engineer is often better educated than the master
himself, and should _never_ be treated as an inferior while he behaves
with proper respect to the master. To his own deck officers the master
should behave with ordinary courtesy, and, if he finds them
trustworthy, should not spoil them and render them unreliable by
always keeping on or about the bridge; an officer who is never left by
himself in charge will soon fancy himself incapable. It is to be
feared that many young officers are spoiled in this way.

Familiarity with the men before the mast is always unwise. It is not a
good practice in ordinary vessels, where a new crew is shipped each
voyage, to begin by calling the men "Tom" and "Jack." An officer to
have any real command over the men _must_ keep himself apart from them
and show them the difference of their positions. A judicious
shipmaster will warn his young mates about this.

The usual system of mess room for engineers, the officers messing in
the cabin with the master, is a good one, though it is a question
whether it would not be a _very_ good thing if the chief engineer
always messed with the master so long as he was a decent, respectable
man. It is often one of the causes of ill health in the master that he
keeps too much to himself, seldom if ever speaking to his officers
except on business connected with the ship. A man who does this has
far too much time to think, and if he has any trivial illness is apt
to brood over it and actually make himself ill.

It is much wiser and better for all concerned that the master should,
within certain limits, be on friendly terms at any rate with his first
mate, if not with all his officers. Any man with common tact can
always find means for checking undue familiarity, and it will
generally be found that officers treated as equals instead, as is
often the case, as though they were an inferior race of beings, will
be much more inclined to do their work with zeal, and to back up the
master in all his troubles. Many men when they get command seem to
forget that they ever were officers themselves. It is the general
opinion that the strict ship is the most comfortable one, and as a
rule the master who will take the trouble to enforce proper discipline
fore and aft is just the very man who will also be considerate and
courteous to those who sail under his command--whatever be their rank.

To govern others well a man _must_ first have learned to govern
himself. The first lesson for a young seaman to learn is obedience,
and unless he does learn this lesson he will not know how to enforce
it when he becomes an officer, and still less will he be fit for his
position when he obtains command. It is to be feared that many _never_
learn this lesson, and that this is the cause of much of the
insubordination rife in these days.

If the modern hard-driven shipmaster would exercise greater care as to
his health and habits, and would strive more after being a true
_master_ over his ship's company, and this is easier to be gained by
respect than fear, things would go on more smoothly, and when he did
get away for a time from all the petty annoyances of shore, which are
more especially felt in his home port, he would have a time of
comparative comfort, would live longer and happier, and, possibly,
escape the terrible attacks of nervous depression which have finished
the career of many a too finely strung _fin de siecle_ shipmaster.
--_Nautical Magazine._

       *       *       *       *       *


Alfred Tennyson, the poet laureate of England, was born at Sornersby,
Lincolnshire, April 9, 1810, and was the third of a large family of
children, eight of whom were boys and three girls. His father was a
clergyman, a man of remarkably fine abilities; his mother, as should
be the mother of a great poet, was a deeply religious woman with a
sensitive spirit that was keenly attuned to the aspects of nature. It
was from her that Tennyson inherited his poetic temperament combined
with the love of study that was a characteristic of his father.
Tennyson's brother, Charles, superintended the construction of his
younger brother's first poetic composition, which was written upon a
slate when the great laureate was a child of seven. Tennyson's parents
were people who had sufficient of this world's wealth to educate their
sons well, and Alfred was sent to Trinity College, where he as a mere
lad won the gold medal for a poem in blank verse entitled "Timbuctoo,"
which is to be found in all the volumes of his collected works, though
many of the other poems produced in that period are not given place.


His first volume of poems was published in 1827, and in them the
influence of Byron, whom he passionately admired, is everywhere
visible. In 1830 he issued another volume, which defined his position
as a poet of great promise, but which was criticised by Christopher
North with the most biting sarcasm, and which was held up to ridicule
by the great Lockhart. More than ten years followed in which the poet
wrote nothing, then he began a literary career which lifted him to the
highest place in the literary world, a place which he has since held,
and as a lyric poet he has never been equaled.

In 1850 he issued that most wonderful production in any language, "In
Memoriam," which has enriched the English language by hundreds of
quotations and which in its delicate sentiment, its deep sorrow, its
reflective tenderness, has been the voice of many a soul similarly

Had Tennyson never written anything but "In Memoriam," his fame would
have been assured, but "The Idylls of the King," "Enoch Arden," "The
Princess," and other great compositions will stand forever to his
credit. Of Tennyson's personal character much has been said and
written. As pure and sweet as his poetry, beloved by a large circle of
friends, active still in literary work, it may be said of him that he
has always worn

    "without reproach
    The grand old name of gentleman,"

and that his mellow old age is the ripening into fruit of "the white
flower of a blameless life."--_Chicago Graphic._

       *       *       *       *       *


In the case of a distinguished person whose public life has a claim to
be regarded with national and social interest, his fiftieth birthday
must be considered a jubilee; and Monday, Nov. 9, in the present year,
completing that number of anniversaries for the eldest son of her
Majesty the Queen, the heir apparent to the crown of the United
Kingdom, is manifestly an occasion demanding such congratulations as
must arise from sentiments of loyalty to the monarchical constitution
and of respect for the reigning family. His Royal Highness, it is
understood, has preferred to have it treated simply as a private and
domestic affair, entertaining a party of his personal friends, and not
inviting any formal addresses from the representatives of municipal
corporations or other public bodies. Nevertheless, it may be permitted
to journalists, taking note of this period in the life of so important
a contemporary personage, to express their continued good wishes for
his health and happiness, and to indulge in a few retrospective
observations on his past career.

Born on Nov. 9, 1841, second of the offspring of Queen Victoria by her
marriage with the late Prince Consort, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales,
inherited the greatest blessing of humanity, that of having good
parents and wise guardians of his childhood and youth. His instruction
at home was, no doubt, wider in range of studies than that of ordinary
English boys, including an acquaintance with several European
languages and with modern history, needful to qualify him for the
duties of a prince. He was further educated at Christ Church, Oxford,
and at Trinity College, Cambridge; was enrolled a law student of the
Middle Temple and held a commission in the army.

His earliest appearance in a leading part on any public occasion was
in 1858 or 1859, we think at the laying of the foundation stone of the
Lambeth School of Art at Vauxhall; but after the lamented death of his
father, in December, 1861, the Prince of Wales naturally became the
most eminent and desirable performer of all ceremonies in which
beneficent or useful undertakings were to be recognized by royal
approval. This work has occupied a very large share of his time during
thirty years; and we can all testify that it has been discharged with
such frank good will, cordiality, and unaffected graciousness, with
such patient attention, diligence, and punctuality, as to deserve the
gratitude of large numbers of her Majesty's subjects in almost every
part of the kingdom. No prince of any country in any age has ever
personally exerted himself more constantly and faithfully, in
rendering services of this kind to the community, than the Prince of
Wales. The multiplicity and variety of his engagements, on behalf of
local and special objects of utility, would make a surprising list,
and they must have involved a sacrifice of ease and leisure, and
endurance of self-imposed restraint, a submission to tedious
repetitions of similar acts and scenes, and to continual requests and
importunities, which few men of high rank would like to undergo.


The marriage of his Royal Highness to Princess Alexandra of Denmark,
on March 10, 1863, was one of the happiest events within the memory of
this generation. It tended visibly, of course, to raise and confirm
his position as leader of English society, and as the active dispenser
of that encouragement which royalty can bestow on commendable public
objects. Charity, education, science, art, music, industry,
agriculture, and local improvements are in no small measure advanced
by this patronage. The Prince of Wales may not be so learned in some
of these matters as his accomplished father, but he has taken as much
trouble to assist the endless labors of the immediate agents, in doing
which he has shown good judgment and discretion, and a considerable
degree of business talent--notably, in the British preparations for
the Paris Exhibition of 1867, the Indian and Colonial Exhibition of
1886 in London, and the organization of the Imperial Institute. The
last-named institution and the Royal College of Music will be
permanent memorials of the directing energy of the Prince of Wales.

These are but a few examples or slight indications of the work he has
actually done for us all. It is unnecessary to mention the incidental
salutary influences of his visits to Canada and to India, which have
left an abiding favorable impression of English royalty in those
provinces of the empire. Nor can it be requisite to observe the manner
in which the prince's country estate and mansion at Sandringham, with
his care of agricultural improvement, of stock breeding, studs, and
other rural concerns, has set an example to landowners, the value of
which is already felt. We refrain upon this occasion from speaking of
the Princess of Wales, or of the sons and daughters, whose lives, we
trust, will be always good and happy. It is on the personal merits and
services of the head of their illustrious house, with reference only
to public interests, that we have thought it needful to dwell, in view
of the fiftieth birthday of his Royal Highness; and very heartily to
wish him, in homely English phrase, "Many happy returns of the
day!"--_Illustrated London News._

       *       *       *       *       *


I have experimented with carbonate of lithia as an accelerator, and I
have obtained with it rather favorable results. However, in opposition
to Mr. Wickers, I have always found that carbonate of lithia, used
even in larger doses than those recommended by this author, was not
sufficiently active, and that development had to be too much prolonged
in order to obtain prints of good intensity. I have also observed that
the prints developed by this process were as often fogged as when I
made use of carbonate of potash. The oxides of alkaline metals or
their alkaline salts are not the only accelerators susceptible of
being used in pyro development. Two oxides of the earthy alkaline
metals, lime and hydrate of barytes, may also be used as accelerators.
I will not insist upon the second, which, although giving some
results, should be rejected from photographic practice on account of
its caustic properties, and of its too great affinity for the carbonic
acids in the air, which prevents the keeping of its solutions. This
objection does not obtain for the first, provided, however, that
ordinary lime water is not used, but a solution of succharate or
sucrate of lime. In my experiments I have made use of the following

                    _Solution A._

Pyrogallic acid.                           10 grms.
Sulphite of soda.                          20   "
Citric acid.                                2   "
Water.                                    120   "

                    _Solution B._
Water.                                   1000  "
Sugar.              sufficient quantity to triturate.

To which add a sufficient quantity of pure lime to saturate the sugar

In this manner we get a highly concentrated liquid, very alkaline, and
which keeps for a considerable time. To develop, I mix:

Water.                   80 cubic cent.
Solution A.               2    "       "

I throw this over the plate, and allow it to remain for a few moments,
agitating, then I add to this bath gradually and according to the
results obtained, from one to two cubic centimeters of the solution B.
These solutions should be made with a great deal of care and prudence,
as the sucrate of lime is an accelerator of very great energy.
Moreover, according as the plate has been more or less exposed, we may
add to the developing bath a few drops of a solution of citric acid,
or of a solution of an alkaline bromide. We obtain in this way very
soft prints, sometimes too soft, which, however, are not more free
from fogging than plates developed with hydrochinon (new bath), or
pyro having for accelerators ammonia, potash, soda, carbonate of
potash, of soda, or of lithia. I do not give this process with sucrate
of lime as perfect, but I give it as perfectable and susceptible of
application. If I have undertaken to write these few lines it is
because it has never been brought to my knowledge that up to the
present time the oxides and the alkaline salts of the earthy alkaline
metals have been studied from a photographic point of view.--_Leon
Degoix in Photo. Gazette._

       *       *       *       *       *


The wild duck is a shy bird, apt to spread his wings and change his
quarters when a noble sportsman is seen approaching his habitation
with a fowling piece. You have heard of the ass who put on a lion's
skin, and wandered out into the wilderness and brayed. I have
elaborated a device of equal ingenuity and more convincing realism. It
is my habit during the duck-shooting season to put on the skin of a
Blondin donkey and so roam among the sedges bordering on the lakes
where wild ducks most do congregate. I have cut a hole in the face to
see through, and other holes in the legs to put my hands
through.--_London Graphic_


       *       *       *       *       *



  [Footnote 1: Paper read before the Astronomical and Physical
  Society of Toronto, Canada, April 18, 1891.]

These are the palmiest days in the eventful history of physical and
observational astronomy. Along the whole line of professional and
amateur observation substantial progress is being made, but in certain
new directions, and in some old ones, too, the advance is very rapid.
As never before, public interest is alive to the attractions and value
of the work of astronomers. The science itself now appeals to a
constituency of students and readers daily increasing in numbers and
importance. Evidence of this gratifying fact is easily obtained. There
is at the libraries an ever-growing demand for standard astronomical
works, some of them by no means intended to be of a purely popular
character. Some of the most influential and conservative magazines on
both sides of the Atlantic now find it to be in their interest to
devote pages of space to the careful discussion of new theories, or to
the results of the latest work of professional observers. Even the
daily press in some cities has caught the infection, if infection it
may be called. There are in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and
other centers of population on this continent leading newspapers
which, every week or so, publish columns of original matter
contributed by writers evidently able to place before their readers in
an attractive form articles dealing accurately, and yet in a popular
vein, with the many-sided subject of astronomy. In scientific matters
generally, there is abroad in this and other countries a spirit of
inquiry, never more apparent than at the present time.

Readers and thinkers may, no doubt, be numbered by thousands. So far,
however, as astronomy is concerned, the majority of readers and
thinkers is composed of non-observers, most of whom believe they must
be content with studying the theoretical side of the subject only.
They labor under the false impression that unless they have telescopes
of large aperture and other costly apparatus, the pleasures attaching
to practical work are denied them. The great observatories, to which
every intelligent eye is directed, are, in a measure, though
innocently enough, responsible for this. Anticipation is ever on
tiptoe. People are naturally awaiting the latest news from the giant
refracting and reflecting telescopes of the day. Under these
circumstances, it may be that the services rendered, and capable of
being rendered, to science by smaller apertures may be overlooked,
and, therefore, I ask to be permitted to put in a modest plea for the
common telescope. What little I shall have to say will be addressed to
you more for the purpose of arousing interest in the subject than for
communicating to you any information of a novel or special character.

When making use of the term "common telescope," I would like to be
understood as referring to good refractors with object glasses not
exceeding three or three and one-half inches in diameter. In some
works on the subject telescopes as large as five inches or even five
and one-half inches are included in the description "common," but
instruments of such apertures are not so frequently met with in this
country as to justify the classing of them with smaller ones, and,
perhaps, for my purpose, it is well that such is the fact, for the
expense connected with the purchase of first rate telescopes increases
very rapidly in proportion to the size of the object glass, and soon
becomes a serious matter. Should ever the larger apertures become
numerous on this continent, let us hope it shall be found to have been
as one of the results of societies like this, striving to make more
popular the study of astronomy.

It is not by any means proposed to inflict upon you a history of the
telescope, but your indulgence is asked for a few moments while
reference is made to one or two matters connected with its invention,
or, rather, its accidental discovery and subsequent improvement.

The opening years of the seventeenth century found the world without a
telescope, or, at least, such an instrument as was adapted for
astronomical work. It is true that long years before, Arabian and some
other eastern astronomers, for the purpose, possibly, of enabling them
to concentrate their gaze upon celestial objects and follow their
motions, had been accustomed to use a kind of tube consisting of a
long cylinder without glasses of any kind and open at both ends. For
magnifying purposes, this tube was of no value. Still, it must have
been of some kind of service, or else the first telescopes, as
constructed by the spectacle makers, who had stumbled upon the
principle involved, were exceedingly sorry affairs, for, soon after
their introduction, the illustrious Kepler, in his work on "Optics,"
recommended the employment of plain apertures, without lenses, because
they were superior to the telescope on account of their freedom from

But as soon as the principle by which distant objects could,
apparently, be brought nearer the eye became known and its value
recognized by philosophers, telescopes ceased to be regarded as toys,
and underwent material improvements in the hands of such men as
Galilei, and, later, even of Kepler himself, Cassini, Huyghens, and
others. Galilei's first telescope magnified but three times, and his
best not much above thirty times. If I comprehend aright what has been
written upon the subject, I am justified in saying that this little
instrument in my hand, with an aperture of one inch and one-quarter,
and a focus, with an astronomical eye-piece, of about ten inches, is a
better magnifier than was Galilei's best. With it I can see the moons
of Jupiter, some spots on the sun, the phases of Venus, the
composition, in some places, of the Milky Way, the seas, the valleys,
the mountains, and, when in bold relief upon the terminator, even some
of the craters and cones of the moon. Indeed, I am of opinion I can
see even more than he could, for I can readily make out a considerable
portion of the Great Nebula in Orion, some double stars, and enough of
the Saturnian system to discern the disk of the planet and see that
there is something attached to its sides.

For nearly one hundred and fifty years all refracting telescopes
labored under one serious difficulty. The images formed by them were
more or less confused by rainbow tints, due to the bending, or
refracting, by the object glass of the rays of light. To overcome this
obstacle to clear vision, and also to secure magnification, the focal
lengths of the instruments were greatly extended. Telescopes 38, 50,
78, 130, 160, 210, 400, and even 600 feet long were constructed. I
can, however, find nothing on record indicating that the object
glasses of these enormously attenuated instruments ever exceeded in
diameter two and one-half inches. Yet, with unwieldy and ungainly
telescopes, nearly always defining badly, wonders were accomplished by
the painstaking and indomitable observers of the time.

In 1658, Huyghens, using a telescope twenty-three feet long and two
and one-third inches in diameter, with a power of 100, solved the
mystery of Saturn's rings, which had resisted all of Galilei's efforts
as well as his own with a shorter instrument, though he had discovered
Titan, Saturn's largest moon, and fixed correctly its period of
revolution at sixteen days. Fifteen years later, Ball, with a
telescope thirty-eight feet long, discovered the principal division in
the rings. Ten years still later, Cassini, with an instrument twenty
feet long and an object glass two and one-half inches in diameter,
rediscovered the division, which was named after him, rather than
after Ball, who had taken no pains to make widely known his discovery,
which, in the meantime, had been forgotten. Though we have no record,
there is no doubt that the lamented Horrocks and Crabtree, in England,
in 1639, with glasses no better than these, watched with exultant
emotions the first transit of Venus ever seen by human eyes.

In 1722, Bradley, with a telescope 223¼ feet long, succeeded in
measuring the diameter of the same planet. Yet Grant assures us that,
in spite of all their difficulties, such was the industry of the
astronomers that when, at the commencement of this century, it became
possible to construct larger refracting telescopes, there was nothing
to be discovered that could have been discovered with the means at
their disposal. So far as we now know, a good three-inch telescope,
nay, a first-rate two inch one, will show far more than our
great-grandfathers ever saw, or dreamed of seeing, with their

Toward the middle of the seventeenth century the reflecting telescope
had been so much improved as nearly to crowd out its refracting rival,
but, just as its success seemed to be assured, Dollond, working along
lines partially followed up by Hall, found a combination of lenses by
which the chromatic aberration of the refractor could be very
perfectly corrected. While Dollond's invention was of immense value,
it remained that flint object glasses larger than two and one-half
inches in diameter could not, for some years, be manufactured, but
about the opening of the nineteenth century, Guinand, a Swiss,
discovered a process of making masses of optical flint glass
sufficiently large as to admit of the construction from them of
excellent lenses of sizes gradually increasing as time and
experimenting went on. The making of three-inch objectives, achromatic
and of short focus, wrought a revolution in telescopes and renewed the
demand for refractors, though prices, as compared with those of the
present day, were very great. But improvement was succeeded by
improvement. Larger and still larger objectives were made, yet
progress was not so rapid as not to justify Grant, in 1852, in
declaring to be a "munificent gift" the presentation, about 1838, to
Greenwhich Observatory, of a six and seven-tenths object glass alone,
and so it was esteemed by Mr. Airy, the astronomer royal. Improvement
is still the order of the day, and, as a result of keen competition,
very excellent telescopes of small aperture can be purchased at
reasonable prices. Great telescopes are enormously expensive, and will
probably be so until they are superseded by some simple invention
which shall be as superior to them as they are to the "mighty"
instruments which, from time to time, caused such sensations in the
days of Galilei, Cassini, Huyghens, Bradley, Dollond, and those who
came after them.

But, notable as are the services rendered to science by giant
telescopes, it remains that by far the greater bulk of useful work has
been done by apertures of less than twelve inches in diameter. Indeed,
it may be asserted that most of such work has been done by instruments
of six inches or less in size. After referring with some detail to
this, Denning tells us that "nearly all the comets, planetoids, double
stars, etc., owe their detection to small instruments; that our
knowledge of sun spots, lunar and planetary features is also very
largely derived from similar sources; that there is no department
which is not indebted to the services of small telescopes, and that of
some thousands of drawings of celestial objects, made by observers
employing instruments from three to seventy-two inches in diameter, a
careful inspection shows that the smaller instruments have not been
outdone in this interesting field of observation, owing to their
excellent defining powers and the facility with which they are used."
Aperture for aperture, the record is more glorious for the "common
telescope" than for its great rivals. Let us for a moment recall
something of what has been done with instruments which may be embraced
under the designation "common" as such a statement may serve to remove
impressions that small telescopes are but of little use in
astronomical work.

In his unrivaled book, Webb declares that his observations were
chiefly made with a telescope five and one-half feet long, carrying an
object glass of a diameter of three and seven-tenths inches. The
instrument was of "fair defining quality," and one has but to read his
delightful pages in order to form an idea of the countless pleasures
Webb derived from observation with it. Speaking of it, he says that
smaller ones will, of course, do less, especially with faint objects,
but are often very perfect and distinct, and that even diminutive
glasses, if good, will, at least, show something never seen without
them. He adds: "I have a little hand telescope twenty-two and
one-quarter inches long, when fully drawn out, with a focus of about
fourteen inches, and one and one-third inches aperture; this, with an
astronomical eye-piece, will show the _existence_ of sun spots, the
mountains in the moon, Jupiter's satellites and Saturn's ring." In
another place, speaking of the sun, he says that an object glass of
only two inches will exhibit a curdled or marbled appearance over the
whole solar disk, caused by the intermixture of spaces of different
brightness. And I may add here that Dawes recommends a small aperture
for sun work, including spectroscopic examinations, he himself, like
Mr. Miller, our librarian, preferring to use for that purpose a four
inch refractor.

As you know, the North Star is a most beautiful double. Its companion
is of the ninth order of magnitude, that is, three magnitudes smaller
than the smallest star visible to the naked eye on a dark night. There
was a time when Polaris, as a double, was regarded as an excellent
test for a good three inch telescope; that is any three inch
instrument in which the companion could be seen was pronounced to be
first-class. But so persistently have instruments of small aperture
been improved that that star is no longer an absolute test for three
inch objectives of fine quality, or any first-rate objective exceeding
two inches for which Dawes proposed it as a standard of excellence, he
having found that if the eye and telescope be good, the companion to
Polaris may be seen with such an aperture armed with a power of
eighty. As a matter of fact, Dawes, who was, like Burnham, blessed
with most acute vision, saw the companion with an instrument no larger
than this small one in my hand--one inch and three-tenths. Ward saw it
with an inch and one-quarter objective, and Dawson with so small an
aperture as one inch. T.T. Smith has seen it with a reflector stopped
down to one inch and one-quarter, while in the instrument still known
as the "great Dorpat reflector," it has been seen in broad daylight.
This historic telescope has, I believe, a twelve inch object glass,
but the difficulty of seeing in sunshine so minute a star is such that
the fact may fairly be mentioned here.

Another interesting feature is this. Objects once discovered, though
thought to be visible in large telescopes only, may often be seen in
much smaller ones. The first Herschel said truly that less optical
power will show an object than was required for its discovery. The
rifts, or canals, in the Great Nebula in Andromeda is a case in point,
but two better illustrations may be taken from the planets. Though
Saturn was for many years subjected to most careful scrutiny by
skilled astronomers using the most powerful telescopes in existence,
the crape ring eluded discovery until November, 1850, when it was
independently seen by Dawes, in England, and Bond, in the United
States. Both were capital observers and employed excellent instruments
of large aperture, and it was naturally presumed that only such
instruments could show the novel Saturnian feature. Not so. Once
brought to the attention of astronomers, Webb saw the new ring with
his three and seven-tenths telescope and Ross with an aperture not
exceeding three and three-eighths in diameter. Nay, I am permitted to
say that a venerable member of this society made drawings of it with a
three inch refractor. With a two inch objective, Grover not only saw
the crape ring, but Saturn's belts, as well, and the shadow cast by
the ball of the planet upon its system of rings. Titan, Saturn's
largest moon, is merely a point of light as compared with the planet,
as it appears in a telescope, yet it has been seen, so it is said,
with a one inch glass. The shadow of this satellite, while crossing
the face of Saturn, has been observed by Banks with a two and
seven-eighths objective. By hiding the glare of the planet behind an
occulting bar, some of Saturn's smallest moons were seen by Kitchener
with a two and seven-tenths aperture and by Capron with a two and
three-fourths one. Banks saw four of them with a three and
seven-eighths telescope, Grover two of them with a three and
three-quarter inch, and four inches of aperture will show five of
them, so Webb says. Rhea, Dione and Tethys are more minute than
Japetus, yet Cassini, with his inferior means, discerned them and
traced their periods. Take the instance of Mars next. It was long
believed that Mars had no satellites. But in 1877, during one of the
highly favorable oppositions of that planet which occur but once in
about sixteen years, the able Hall, using the great 26 inch refractor
at Washington, discovered two tiny moons which had never been seen
before. One of these, called Deimos, is only six miles in diameter,
the other, named Phobos, is only seven, and both are exceedingly close
to the primary and in rapid revolution. The diameter of these
satellites is really less than the distance from High Park, on the
west of Toronto, to Woodbine race course, on the east of the city. No
wonder these minute objects--seldom, if ever, nearer to us than about
forty millions of miles--are difficult to see at all. Newcomb and
Holden tell us that they are invisible save at the sixteen year
periods referred to, when it happens that the earth and Mars, in their
respective orbits, approach each other more nearly than at any other
time. But once discovered, the rule held good even in the case of the
satellites of Mars. Pratt has seen Deimos, the outermost moon, with an
eight and one-seventh inch telescope; Erek has seen it with a seven
and one-third inch achromatic; Trouvellot, the innermost one, with a
six and three-tenths glass, while Common believes that any one who can
make out Enceladus, one of Saturn's smallest moons, can see those of
Mars by hiding the planet at or near the elongations, and that even
our own moonlight does not prevent the observations being made. It
chances for the benefit of observers, in the northern hemisphere
especially, that one of the sixteen year periods will culminate in
1893, when Mars will be most advantageously situated for close
examination. No doubt every one will avail himself of the opportunity,
and may we not reasonably hope that scores of amateur observers
throughout the United States and Canada will experience the delight of
seeing and studying the tiny moons of our ruddy neighbor?

And so I might proceed until I had wearied you with illustrations
showing what can be done with telescopes so small that they may fairly
be classed as "common," Webb says that such apertures, with somewhat
high powers, will reveal stars down to the eleventh magnitude. The
interesting celestial objects more conspicuous than stars of that
magnitude are sufficiently numerous to exhaust much more time than any
amateur can give to observing. Indeed, the lot of the amateur is a
happy one. With a good, though small, telescope, he may have for
subjects of investigation the sun with his spots, his faculæ, his
prominences and spectra; the moon, a most superb object in nearly
every optical instrument, with her mountains, valleys, seas, craters,
cones, and ever-changing aspects renewed every month, her occupations
of stars, her eclipses, and all that; the planets, some with phases,
and other with markings, belts, rings, and moons with scores of
occupations, eclipses and transits due to their easily observed
rotation around their primaries; the nebulæ, the double, triple and
multiple stars with sometimes beautifully contrasted colors, and a
thousand and one other means of amusing and instructing himself.
Nature has opened in the heavens as interesting a volume as she has
opened on the earth, and with but little trouble any one may learn to
read in it.

I trust it has been shown that expensive telescopes are not
necessarily required for practical work. My advice to an intending
purchaser would be to put into the objective for a refractor, or into
the mirror for a reflector, all the money he feels warranted in
spending, leaving the mounting to be done in the cheapest possible
manner consistent with accuracy of adjustment, because it is in the
objective or in the mirror that the _value_ of the telescope alone
resides. In the shops may be found many telescopes gorgeous in
polished tubes and brass mountings which, for effective work, are
absolutely worthless. On this subject, I consulted the most eminent of
all discoverers of double stars, an observer who, even as an amateur,
made a glorious reputation by the work done with a six inch telescope.
I refer to Mr. S.W. Burnham, of the Lick Observatory, who, in reply,
kindly wrote: "You will certainly have no difficulty in making out a
strong case in favor of the use of small telescopes in many
departments of important astronomical work. Most of the early
telescopic work was done with instruments which would now be
considered as inferior to modern instruments, in quality as well as in
size. You are doubtless familiar with much of the amateur work, in
this country and elsewhere, done with comparatively small apertures.
_The most important condition is to have the refractor_, whatever its
size may be, _of the highest optical perfection_, and then the rest
will depend on the zeal and industry of the observer." The italics are

Incidentally, it may be mentioned that much most interesting work may
be done even with an opera glass, as a few minutes' systematic
observation on any fine night will prove. Newcomb and Holden assure us
that "if Hipparchus had had even such an optical instrument, mankind
need not have waited two thousand years to know the nature of the
Milky Way, nor would it have required a Galilei to discover the phases
of Venus or the spots on the sun." To amplify the thought, if that
mighty geometer and observer and some of his contemporaries had
possessed but the "common telescope," is it not probable that in the
science of astronomy the world would have been to-day two thousand
years in advance of its present position?

       *       *       *       *       *


Those who have had the good fortune to visit Andalusia, that
privileged land of the sun, of light, songs, dances, beautiful girls,
and bull fighters, preserve, among many other poetical and pleasing
recollections, that of election to antique and smiling Cadiz--the
"pearl of the ocean and the silver cup," as the Andalusians say in
their harmonious and imaginative language. There is, in fact, nothing
exaggerated in these epithets, for they translate a true impression.
Especially if we arrive by sea, there is nothing so thrilling as the
dazzling silhouette which, from afar, is reflected all white from the
mirror of a gulf almost always blue.

The Cadiz peninsula has for centuries been legitimately renowned, for,
turn by turn, Phenicians, properly so called, Carthaginians, Romans,
Goths, Arabs and Spaniards have made of it the preferred seat of their
business and pleasure. In his so often unsparing verses, Martial,
even, celebrates with an erotic rapture the undulating suppleness of
the ballet dancers of _Gades_, who are continued in our day by the
_majas_ and _chulas_.


For an epoch anterior to that of the Latin poet, we have the
testimony, among others, of Strabo, who describes the splendors,
formerly and for a long time famous, of the temple of Hercules, and
who gives many details, whose accuracy can still be verified,
concerning various questions of topography or ethnography. Thus the
superb tree called _Dracæna draco_ is mentioned as growing in the
vicinity of _Gadeira_, the Greek name of the city. Now, some of these
trees still exist in certain public and private gardens, and attract
so much the more attention in that they are not met with in any other
European country. However, although historically Cadiz finds her title
to nobility on every page of the Greek and Latin authors, and although
her Phenician origin is averred, nowhere has such origin, in a
monumental and epigraphic sense, left fewer traces than in the
Andalusian peninsula. A few short legends, imperfectly read upon
either silver or bronze coins, and that was all, at least up to recent
times. Such penury as this distressed savants and even put them into
pretty bad humor with the Cadiz archæologists.

To-day, it seems that the ancient Semitic civilization, which has
remained mute for so long in the Iberic territory, is finally willing
to yield up her secret, as is proved by the engravings which we
present to our readers from photographs taken _in situ_. It is
necessary for us to enter into some details.

In 1887 there were met with at the gates of Cadiz, at about five
meters beneath the surface of the earth, three rude tombs of shelly
limestone, in which were found some skeletons, a few small bronze
instruments and some trinkets--the latter of undoubted oriental

In one of these tombs was also inclosed a monolithic sarcophagus of
white marble of the form called anthropoid and measuring 2.15 m. in
length by 0.67 in width. This sarcophagus is now preserved in the
local museum, whose director is the active, intelligent and
disinterested Father Vera. Although this is not the place to furnish
technical or scientific explanations, it will be permitted us to point
out the fact that although it is of essentially oriental manufacture,
our anthropoid has undoubtedly undergone the Hellenistic influence,
which implies an epoch posterior to that of Pericles, who died in 429
B.C. The personage represented, a man of mature age with noble
lineaments and aquiline nose, has thick hair corned up on the forehead
in the form of a crown, and a beard plaited in the Asiatic fashion. As
for the head, which is almost entirely executed in round relief, that
denotes in an undoubted manner the Hellenistic influence, united,
however, with the immutable and somewhat hierarchical traditions of
Phenician art. The arms are naked as far as to the elbow, and the
feet, summarily indicated, emerge from a long sheath-form robe. As for
the arms and hands, they project slightly and are rather outlined than
sculptured. The left hand grasps a fruit, the emblem of fecundity,
while the right held a painted crown, the traces of which have now
entirely disappeared. It suffices to look at this sarcophagus to
recognize the exclusively Phenician character of it, and the complete
analogy with the monuments of the same species met with in Phenicia,
in Cyprus, in Sicily, in Malta, in Sardinia, and everywhere where were
established those of Tyre and Sidon, but never until now in Spain.

On another hand, for those of our readers who are interested in
archæology, we believe it our duty to point out as a source of
information a memoir published last year by our National Society of
Antiquaries. Let us limit ourselves, therefore, to fixing attention
upon one important point: The marble anthropoid was protected by a
tomb absolutely like the rude tombs contiguous to it.

The successive discoveries since the third of last January at nearly
the same place, and at a depth of from 3 to 6 meters beneath the
surface, of numerous _Inculi_ absolutely identical as to material and
structure with those of which we have just spoken, is therefore a
scientific event of high importance. Those discoveries, which were
purely accidental, were brought about by the work on the foundations
of the Maritime Arsenal now in course of construction at the gates of
Cadiz. Our Fig. 1 represents the unearthing of the _loculi_ on the
14th of April, and on the value of which there is no need to dwell. As
to the dimensions, it is easy to judge of these, since the laborer
standing to the left of the spectator holds in his hand a meter
measure serving as a scale. It will suffice to state that the depth of
each tomb is about two meters, and that upon the lower part of three
of the parallelopipeds there exist pavements of crucial appearance.
Finally, nothing denoted externally the existence of these sarcophagi
jealously hidden from investigation according to a usage that is
established especially by the imprecations graven upon the basaltic
casket now preserved in the Museum of the Louvre, and which contained
the ashes of Eshmanazar, King of Sidon.


Space is wanting to furnish ampler information. Our object is simply
to call attention to a zone which is somewhat neglected from a
scientific point of view, and which, however, seems as if it ought to
offer a valuable field of investigation to students of things Semitic,
among whom, as well known, our compatriots hold a rank apart, since it
is to them that falls the laborious and very honorable duty of
collecting and editing the inscriptions in Semitic languages.

On another hand, although in the beginning the sepulchers were taken
to pieces and carried away (two of them imperfectly reconstructed may
be seen in the garden of the Cadizian Museum), there will be an
opportunity of making prevail the system of maintaining _in situ_ the
various monuments that may hereafter be discovered. Thus only could
one, at a given moment, obtain an accurate idea of what the Phenician
necropolis of Cadiz was, and allow the structures that compose it to
preserve their imposing stamp of rustic indestructibility.

The excavation is being carried on at this very moment, and a bronze
statuette of an oriental god and various trinkets of more or less
value have just enriched the municipal collection. Let us hope, then,
as was recently predicted by Mr. Clermont Ganneau, of the Institute,
that some day or another some Semitic inscription will throw a last
ray of light upon the past, which is at present so imperfectly known,
of Phenician Cadiz.--_L'Illustration._

       *       *       *       *       *


_To the Editor of the Scientific American_:

Apropos to Professor Cope's remarks before the A.A.A.S. at Washington,
reported in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, September 12, inclose sketch of a
mounted man, whether on a horse or some other mammal, is a question
open to criticism.

[Illustration: Height, 43 in.; length, 63 in. San Rafiel del Sur, 1878
Drawn for and forwarded to Peabody Museum--No. 53.]

The figure seems incomplete--whether a cloven foot or toes were
intended, cannot say.

A large fossil horse was exhumed in the marsh north of Granada, when
ditching in 1863. Then Lake Managua's outlet at Fipitapa ceased its
usual supply of water to Lake Nicaragua. When notified of the
discovery the spot was under water. Only one of the very large teeth
was given to me, which was forwarded to Prof. Baird, of
Smithsonian--Private No. 34.

When Lake Nicaragua was an ocean inlet, its track extended to foot
hills northward. Its waterworn pebbles and small bowlders were
subsequently covered by lake deposit, during the time between the
inclosure and break out at San Carlos. In this deposit around the lake
(now dry) fossil bones occur--elephas, megatherium, horse, etc. The
large alluvium plains north of lake, cut through by rivers, allow
these bones to settle on their rocky beds. This deposit is of greater
depth in places west of lake.

Now, if we suppose these animals were exterminated in glacial times,
it remains for us to show when this was consummated.

Subsequent to the lake deposit and exposure no new proofs of its
continuance are found.

1. This deposit occurred after the coast range was elevated.

2. Elevation was caused by a volcanic ash eruption, 5 or 6 of a
series. (Geologically demonstrated in my letters to _Antiquarian_ and

3. Coast hills inclosed sea sediment, now rock containing fossil

4. Wash from this sediment, carried with care, formed layers of
sandstone, up to ceiling.

5. This ceiling was covered with elaborate inscriptions.

6. The inscription sent you was a near neighbor to cave.

7. Another representing a saurian reptile on large granite bowlder is
also a neighbor (a glacial dropping).

8. Old river emptying into Lake Managua reveals fossil bones; moraines
east of it are found.

From these data we see the glacial action was prior to the sedimentary
rock here, and had spent its force when elevation of coast range
occurred. No nearer estimate is possible.

As the fossil horse occurs here, our mounted man may have domesticated
him, and afterward slaughtered for food like the modern Frenchman.
Unfortunately Prof. Cope did not find a similar inscription.

Rivas, Nicaragua, October 27, 1891.

       *       *       *       *       *



Since the publication by M. Moissan of his celebrated paper in the
_Annales de Chimîe et de Physique_ for December, 1887, describing the
manner in which he had succeeded in isolating this remarkable gaseous
element, a considerable amount of additional information has been
acquired concerning the chemical behavior of fluorine, and important
additions and improvements have been introduced in the apparatus
employed for preparing and experimenting with the gas. M. Moissan now
gathers together the results of these subsequent researches--some of
which have been published by him from time to time as contributions to
various French scientific journals, while others have not hitherto
been made known--and publishes them in a long but most interesting
paper in the October number of the _Annales de Chimîe et de Physique._
Inasmuch as the experiments described are of so extraordinary a
nature, owing to the intense chemical activity of fluorine, and are so
important as filling a long existing vacancy in our chemical
literature, readers of _Nature_ will doubtless be interested in a
brief account of them.


In his paper of 1887, the main outlines of which were given in
_Nature_ at the time (1887, vol. xxxvii., p. 179), M. Moissan showed
that pure hydrofluoric acid readily dissolves the double fluoride of
potassium and hydrogen, and that the liquid thus obtained is a good
conductor of electricity, rendering electrolysis possible. It will be
remembered that, by passing a strong current of electricity through
this liquid contained in a platinum apparatus, free gaseous fluorine
was obtained at the positive pole and hydrogen at the negative pole.
The amount of hydrofluoric acid employed in these earlier experiments
was about fifteen grms., about six grms. of hydrogen potassium
fluoride, HF.KF, being added in order to render it a conductor. Since
the publication of that memoir a much larger apparatus has been
constructed, in order to obtain the gas in greater quantity for the
study of its reactions, and important additions have been made, by
means of which the fluorine is delivered in a pure state, free from
admixed vapor of the very volatile hydrofluoric acid. As much as a
hundred cubic centimeters of hydrofluoric acid, together with twenty
grms. of the dissolved double fluoride, are submitted to electrolysis
in this new apparatus, and upward of four liters of pure fluorine is
delivered by it per hour.

This improved form of the apparatus is shown in the accompanying
figure (Fig. 1), which is reproduced from the memoir of M. Moissan. It
consists essentially of two parts--the electrolysis apparatus and the
purifying vessels. The electrolysis apparatus, a sectional view of
which is given in Fig. 2, is similar in form to that described in the
paper of 1887, but much larger.

The U-tube of platinum has a capacity of 160 c.c. It is fitted with
two lateral delivery tubes of platinum, as in the earlier form, and
with stoppers of fluorspar, F, inserted in cylinders of platinum, _p_,
carrying screw threads, which engage with similar threads upon the
interior surfaces of the limbs of the U-tube. A key of brass, E,
serves to screw or unscrew the stoppers, and between the flange of
each stopper and the top of each branch of the U-tube a ring of lead
is compressed, by which means hermetic closing is effected. These
fluorspar stoppers, which are covered with a coating of gum lac during
the electrolysis, carry the electrode rods, _t_, which are thus
perfectly insulated. M. Moissan now employs electrodes of pure
platinum instead of irido-platinum, and the interior end of each is
thickened into a club shape in order the longer to withstand
corrosion. The apparatus is immersed during the electrolysis in a bath
of liquid methyl chloride, maintained in tranquil ebullition at -23°.
In order to preserve the methyl chloride as long as possible, the
cylinder containing it is placed in an outer glass cylinder containing
fragments of calcium chloride; by this means it is surrounded with a
layer of dry air, a bad conductor of heat.

The purifying vessels are three in number. The first consists of a
platinum spiral worm-tube of about 40 c.c. capacity, immersed also in
a bath of liquid methyl chloride, maintained at as low a temperature
as possible, about -50°. As hydrofluoric acid boils at 19.5°
(Moissan), almost the whole of the vapor of this substance which is
carried away in the stream of issuing fluorine is condensed and
retained at the bottom of the worm. To remove the last traces of
hydrofluoric acid, advantage is taken of the fact that fused sodium
fluoride combines with the free acid with great energy to form the
double fluoride HF.NaF. Sodium fluoride also possesses the advantage
of not attracting moisture. After traversing the worm condenser,
therefore, the fluorine is caused to pass through two platinum tubes
filled with fragments of fused sodium fluoride, from which it issues
in an almost perfect state of purity. The junctions between the
various parts of the apparatus are effected by means of screw joints,
between the nuts and flanges of which collars of lead are compressed.
During the electrolysis these leaden collars become, where exposed to
the gaseous fluorine, rapidly converted into lead fluoride, which
being greater in bulk causes the joints to become hermetically sealed.
In order to effect the electrolysis, twenty-six to twenty-eight Bunsen
elements are employed, arranged in series. An ampere meter and a
commutator are introduced between the battery and the electrolysis
apparatus; the former affording an excellent indication of the
progress of the electrolysis.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--FLUORINE APPARATUS.]

As the U-tube contains far more hydrofluoric acid than can be used in
one day, each lateral delivery tube is fitted with a metallic screw
stopper, so that the experiments may be discontinued at any time, and
the apparatus closed. The whole electrolysis vessel is then placed
under a glass bell jar containing dry air, and kept in a refrigerator
until again required for use. In this way it may be preserved full of
acid for several weeks, ready at any time for the preparation of the
gas. Considerable care requires to be exercised not to admit the vapor
of methyl chloride into the U-tube, as otherwise violent detonations
are liable to occur. When the liquid methyl chloride is being
introduced into the cylinder, the whole apparatus becomes surrounded
with an atmosphere of its vapor, and as the platinum U-tube is at the
same instant suddenly cooled the vapor is liable to enter by the
abducting tubes. Consequently, as soon as the current is allowed to
pass and fluorine is liberated within the U-tube, an explosion occurs.
Fluorine instantly decomposes methyl chloride, with production of
flame and formation of fluorides of hydrogen and carbon, liberation of
chlorine, and occasionally deposition of carbon. In order to avoid
this unpleasant occurrence, when the methyl chloride is being
introduced the ends of the lateral delivery tubes are attached to long
lengths of caoutchoue tubing, supplied at their ends with calcium
chloride drying tubes, so as to convey dry air from outside the
atmosphere of methyl chloride vapor. If great care is taken to obtain
the minimum temperature, this difficulty may be even more simply
overcome by employing a mixture of well pounded ice and salt instead
of methyl chloride; but there is the counterbalancing disadvantage to
be considered, that such a cooling bath requires much more frequent

[Illustration: FIG. 2.]


In the paper of 1887, M. Moissan adopted the view that the first
action of the electric current was to effect the decomposition of the
potassium fluoride contained in solution in the hydrofluoric acid,
fluorine being liberated at the positive pole and potassium at the
negative terminal. This liberated potassium would at once regenerate
potassium fluoride in presence of hydrofluoric acid, and liberate its
equivalent of hydrogen:

      KF = K + F.
  K + HF = KF + H.

But when the progress of the electrolysis is carefully followed, by
consulting the indications of the amperemeter placed in circuit, it is
found to be by no means as regular as the preceding formulæ would
indicate. With the new apparatus, the decomposition is quite irregular
at first, and does not attain regularity until it has been proceeding
for upward of two hours. Upon stopping the current and unmounting the
apparatus, the platinum rod upon which the fluorine was liberated is
found to be largely corroded, and at the bottom of the U-tube a
quantity of a black, finely divided substance is observed. This black
substance, which was taken at first to be metallic platinum, is a
complex compound containing one equivalent of potassium to one
equivalent of platinum, together with a considerable proportion of

Moreover, the hydrofluoric acid is found to contain a small quantity
of platinum fluoride in solution. The electrolytic reaction is
probably therefore much more complicated than was at first considered
to be the case. The mixture of acid and alkaline fluoride furnishes
fluorine at the positive terminal rod, but this intensely active gas,
in its nascent state, attacks the platinum and produces platinum
tetrafluoride, PtF_{4}; this probably unites with the potassium
fluoride to form a double salt, possibly 2Kl.PtF_{4}, analogous to the
well known platinochloride 2KCl.PtCl_{4}; and it is only when the
liquid contains this double salt that the electrolysis proceeds in a
regular manner, yielding free fluorine at the positive pole, and
hydrogen and the complex black compound at the negative pole.


Fluorine possesses an odor which M. Moissan compares to a mixture of
hypochlorous acid and nitrogen peroxide, but this odor is usually
masked by that of the ozone which it always produces in moist air,
owing to its decomposition of the water vapor. It produces most
serious irritation of the bronchial tubes and mucous membrane of the
nasal cavities, the effects of which are persistent for quite a

When examined in a thickness of one meter, it is seen to possess a
greenish yellow color, but paler, and containing more of yellow, than
that of chlorine. In such a layer, fluorine does not present any
absorption bands. Its spectrum exhibits thirteen bright, lines in the
red, between wave lengths 744 and 623. Their positions and relative
intensities are as follows:

[lambda] = 744 very feeble.    |     [lambda] = 685.5  feeble
           740      "          |                683.5    "
           734      "          |                677    strong
           714 feeble.         |                640.5    "
           704      "          |                634      "
           691      "          |                623      "
           687.5    "          |

At a temperature of -95° at ordinary atmospheric pressure, fluorine
remains gaseous, no sign of liquefaction having been observed.


When it is desired to determine the action of fluorine upon a solid
substance, the following method of procedure is adopted. A preliminary
experiment is first made, in order to obtain some idea as to the
degree of energy of the reaction, by bringing a little of the solid,
placed upon the lid of a platinum crucible held in a pair of tongs,
near the mouth of the delivery tube of the preparation apparatus. If a
gaseous or liquid product results, and it is desirable to collect it
for examination, small fragments of the solid are placed in a platinum
tube connected to the delivery tube by flexible platinum tubing or by
a screw joint, and the resulting gas may be collected over water or
mercury, or the liquid condensed in a cooled cylinder of platinum. In
this manner the action of fluorine upon sulphur and iodine has been
studied. If the solid, phosphorus for instance, attacks platinum, or
the temperature of the reaction is sufficiently high to determine the
combination of platinum and fluorine (toward 500°), a tube of
fluorspar is substituted for the platinum tube. The fluorspar tubes
employed by M. Moissan for the study of the action of phosphorus were
about twelve to fourteen centimeters long, and were terminated by
platinum ends furnished with flanges and screw threads in order to be
able to connect them with the preparation apparatus. If it is required
to heat the fluorspar tubes, they are surrounded by a closely wound
copper spiral, which may be heated by a Bunsen flame.

In experimenting upon liquids, great care is necessary, as the
reaction frequently occurs with explosive violence. A preliminary
experiment is therefore always made, by allowing the fluorine delivery
tube to dip just beneath the surface of the liquid contained in a
small glass cylinder. When the liquid contains water, or when
hydrofluoric acid is a product of the reaction, cylinders of platinum
or of fluorspar are employed. If it is required to collect and examine
the product, the liquid is placed along the bottom of a horizontal
tube of platinum or fluorspar, as in case of solids, connected
directly with the preparation apparatus, and the product is collected
over water or mercury if a gas, or in a cooled platinum receiver if a

During the examination of liquids a means has accidentally been
discovered by which a glass tube may be filled with fluorine gas. A
few liquids, one of which is carbon tetrachloride, react only very
slowly with fluorine at the ordinary temperature. By filling a glass
tube with such a liquid, and inverting it over a platinum capsule also
containing the liquid, it is possible to displace the liquid by
fluorine, which, as the walls are wet, does not attack the glass. Or
the glass tube may be filled with the liquid, and then the latter
poured out, leaving the walls wet; the tube may then be filled with
fluorine gas, which being slightly heavier than air, remains in the
tube for some time. In one experiment, in which a glass test tube had
been filled with fluorine over carbon tetrachloride, it was attempted
to transfer it to a graduated tube over mercury, but in inclining the
test tube for this purpose the mercury suddenly came in contact with
the fluorine, and absorbed it so instantaneously and with such a
violent detonation that both the test tube and the graduated tube were
shattered into fragments. Indeed, owing to the powerful affinity of
mercury for fluorine, it is a most dangerous experiment to transfer a
tube containing fluorine gas, filled according to either the first or
second method, to the mercury trough; the tube is always shattered if
the mercury comes in contact with the gas, and generally with a loud
detonation. Fluorine may, however, be preserved for some time in tubes
over mercury, provided a few drops of the non-reacting liquid are kept
above the mercury meniscus.

For studying the action of fluorine on gases, a special piece of
apparatus, shown in Fig. 3, has been constructed. It is composed of a
tube of platinum, fifteen centimeters long, closed by two plates of
clear, transparent, and colorless fluorspar, and carrying three
lateral narrower tubes also of platinum. Two of these tubes face each
other in the center of the apparatus, and serve one for the conveyance
of the fluorine and the other of the gas to be experimented upon. The
third, which is of somewhat greater diameter than the other two,
serves as exit tube for the product or products of the reaction, and
may be placed in connection with a trough containing either water or

The apparatus is first filled with the gas to be experimented upon,
then the fluorine is allowed to enter, and an observation of what
occurs may be made through the fluorspar windows. One most important
precaution to take in collecting the gaseous products over mercury is
not to permit the platinum delivery tube to dip more than two or at
most three millimeters under the mercury, as otherwise the levels of
the liquid in the two limbs of the electrolysis U-tube become so
different, owing to the pressure, that the fluorine from one side
mixes with the hydrogen evolved upon the other, and there is a violent

[Illustration: FIG. 3.]


_Hydrogen._--As just described, hydrogen combines with fluorine, even
at -23° and in the dark, with explosive force. This is the only case
in which two elementary gases unite directly without the intervention
of extraneous energy. If the end of the tube delivering fluorine is
placed in an atmosphere of hydrogen, a very hot blue flame, bordered
with red, at once appears at the mouth of the tube, and vapor of
hydrofluoric acid is produced.

_Oxygen._--Fluorine has not been found capable of uniting with oxygen
up to a temperature of 500°. On ozone, however, it appears to exert
some action, as will be evident from the following experiment. It was
shown in 1887 that fluorine decomposes water, forming hydrofluoric
acid, and liberating oxygen in the form of ozone. When a few drops of
water are placed in the apparatus shown in Fig. 3, and fluorine
allowed to enter, the water is instantly decomposed, and on looking
through the fluorspar ends a thick dark cloud is seen over the spot
where each drop of water had previously been. This cloud soon
diminishes in intensity, and is eventually replaced by a beautiful
blue gas--ozone in a state of considerable density. If the product is
chased out by a stream of nitrogen as soon as the dense cloud is
formed, a very strong odor is perceived, different from that of either
fluorine or ozone, but which soon gives place to the unmistakable odor
of ozone. It appears as if there is at first produced an unstable
oxide of fluorine, which rapidly decomposes into fluorine and ozone.

_Nitrogen_ and _chlorine_ appear not to react with fluorine.

_Sulphur._--In contact with fluorine gas, sulphur rapidly melts and
inflames. A gaseous fluoride of sulphur is formed, which possesses a
most penetrating odor, somewhat resembling that of chloride of
sulphur. The gas is incombustible, even in oxygen. When warmed in a
glass vessel, the latter becomes etched, owing to the formation of
silicon tetrafluoride, SiF_{4}. Selenium and tellurium behave
similarly, but form crystalline solid fluorides.

_Bromine_ vapor combines with fluorine in the cold with production of
a very bright but low temperature dame. If the fluorine is evolved in
the midst of pure dry liquid bromine, the combination is immediate,
and occurs without flame.

_Iodine._--When fluorine is passed over a fragment of iodine contained
in the horizontal tube, combination occurs, with production of a pale
flame. A very heavy liquid, colorless when free from dissolved iodine,
and fuming strongly in the air, condenses in the cooled receiver. This
liquid fluoride of iodine attacks glass with great energy and
decomposes water when dropped into that liquid with a noise like that
produced by red-hot iron. Its properties agree with those of the
fluoride of iodine prepared by Gore by the action of iodine on silver

_Phosphorus._--Immediately phosphorus, either the ordinary yellow
variety or red phosphorus, comes in contact with fluorine, a most
lively action occurs, accompanied by vivid incandescence. If the
fluorine is in excess, a fuming gas is evolved, which gives up its
excess of fluorine on collecting over mercury, and is soluble in
water. This gas is phosphorus pentafluoride, PF_{5}, prepared some
years ago by Prof. Thorpe. If, on the contrary, the phosphorus is in
excess, a gaseous mixture of this pentafluoride with a new fluoride,
the trifluoride, PF_{3}, a gas insoluble in water, but which may be
absorbed by caustic potash, is obtained. The trifluoride, in turn,
combines with more fluorine to form the pentafluoride, the reaction
being accompanied by the appearance of a flame of comparatively low

_Arsenic_ combines with fluorine at the ordinary temperature with
incandescence. If the current of fluorine is fairly rapid, a colorless
fuming liquid condenses in the receiver, which is mainly arsenic
trifluoride, AsF_{3}, but which appears also to contain a new
fluoride, the pentafluoride, AsF_{5}, inasmuch as the solution in
water yields the reactions of both arsenious and arsenic acids.

_Carbon._--Chlorine does not unite with carbon even at the high
temperature of the electric arc, but fluorine reacts even at the
ordinary temperature with finely divided carbon. Purified lampblack
inflames instantly with great brilliancy, as do also the lighter
varieties of wood charcoal. A curious phenomenon is noticed with wood
charcoal; it appears at first to absorb and condense the fluorine,
then quite suddenly it bursts into flame with bright scintillations.
The denser varieties of charcoal require warming to 50° or 60° before
they inflame, but it once the combustion is started at any point it
rapidly propagates itself throughout the entire piece. Graphite must
be heated to just below dull redness in order to effect combination;
while the diamond has not yet been attacked by fluorine, even at the
temperature of the Bunsen flame. A mixture of gaseous fluorides of
carbon are produced whenever carbon of any variety is acted upon by
fluorine, the predominating constituent being the tetrafluoride,

_Boron._--The amorphous variety of boron inflames instantly in
fluorine, with projection of brilliant sparks and liberation of dense
fumes of boron trifluoride, BF_{3}. The adamantine modification
behaves similarly if powdered. When the experiment is performed in the
fluorspar tube, the gaseous fluoride may be collected over mercury.
The gas fumes strongly in the air, and is instantly decomposed by

_Silicon._--The reaction between fluorine and silicon is one of the
most beautiful of all these extraordinary manifestations of chemical
activity. The cold crystals become immediately white-hot, and the
silicon burns with a very hot flame, scattering showers of star-like,
white-hot particles in all directions. If the action is stopped before
all the silicon is consumed, the residue is found to be fused. As
crystalline silicon only melts at a temperature superior to 1,200°,
the heat evolved must be very great. If the reaction is performed in
the fluorspar tube, the resulting gaseous silicon tetrafluoride,
SiF_{4}, may be collected over mercury.

Amorphous silicon likewise burns with great energy in fluorine.


_Sodium_ and _potassium_ combine with fluorine with great vigor at
ordinary temperatures, becoming incandescent, and forming their
respective fluorides, which may be obtained crystallized from water in
cubes. Metallic _calcium_ also burns in fluorine gas, forming the
fused fluoride, and occasionally minute crystals of fluorspar.
_Thallium_ is rapidly converted to fluoride at ordinary temperatures,
the temperature rising until the metal melts and finally becomes red
hot. Powdered _magnesium_ burns with great brilliancy. _Iron_, reduced
by hydrogen, combines in the cold with immediate incandescence, and
formation of an anhydrous, readily soluble, white fluoride.
_Aluminum_, on heating to low redness, gives a very beautiful
luminosity, as do also _chromium_ and _manganese_. The combustion of
slightly warmed zinc in fluorine is particularly pretty as an
experiment, the flame being of a most dazzling whiteness. _Antimony_
takes fire at the ordinary temperature, and forms a solid white
fluoride. _Lead_ and _mercury_ are attacked in the cold, as previously
described, the latter with great rapidity. _Copper_ reacts at low
redness, but in a strangely feeble manner, and the white fumes formed
appear to combine with a further quantity of fluorine to form a
perfluoride. The main product is a volatile white fluoride. _Silver_
is only slowly attacked in the cold. When heated, however, to 100°,
the metal commences to be covered with a yellow coat of anhydrous
fluoride, and on heating to low redness combination occurs, with
incandescence, and the resulting fluoride becomes fused, and afterward
presents a satin-like aspect. _Gold_ becomes converted into a yellow
deliquescent volatile fluoride when heated to low redness, and at a
slightly higher temperature the fluoride is dissociated into metallic
gold and fluorine gas.

The action of fluorine on _platinum_ has been studied with special
care. It is evident, in view of the corrosion of the positive platinum
terminal of the electrolysis apparatus, that nascent fluorine rapidly
attacks platinum at a temperature of -23°. At 100°, however, fluorine
gas appears to be without action on platinum. At 500°-600° it is
attacked strongly, with formation of the tetrafluoride. PtF_{4}, and a
small quantity of the protofluoride, PtF_{2}. If the fluorine is
admixed with vapor of hydrofluoric acid, the reaction is much more
vigorous, as if a fluorhydrate of the tetrafluoride, perhaps
2HF.PtF_{4}, were formed. The tetrafluoride is generally found in the
form of deep-red fused masses, or small yellow crystals resembling
those of anhydrous platinum chloride. The salt is volatile and very
hygroscopic. Its behavior with water is peculiar. With a small
quantity of water a brownish yellow solution is formed, which,
however, in a very short time becomes warm and the fluoride
decomposes; platinic hydrate is precipitated, and free hydrofluoric
acid remains in solution. If the quantity of water is greater, the
solution may be preserved for some minutes without decomposition. If
the liquid is boiled, it decomposes instantly. At a red heat platinic
fluoride decomposes into metallic platinum and fluorine, which is
evolved in the free state. This reaction can therefore be employed as
a ready means of preparing fluorine, the fluoride only requiring to be
heated rapidly to redness in a platinum tube closed at one end, when
crystallized silicon held at the open end will be found to immediately
take fire in the escaping fluorine. The best mode of obtaining the
fluoride of platinum for this purpose is to heat a bundle of platinum
wires to low redness in the fluorspar reaction tube in a rapid stream
of fluorine. As soon as sufficient fluoride is formed on the wires,
they are transferred to a well stoppered dry glass tube, until
required for the preparation of fluorine.


_Sulphureted Hydrogen._--When the horizontal tube shown in Fig. 3 is
filled with sulphureted hydrogen gas and fluorine is allowed to enter,
a blue flame is observed on looking through the fluorspar windows
playing around the spot where the fluorine is being admitted. The
decomposition continues until the whole of the hydrogen sulphide is
converted into gaseous fluorides of hydrogen and sulphur.

_Sulphur dioxide_ is likewise decomposed in the cold, with production
of a yellow flame and formation of fluoride of sulphur.

_Hydrochloric acid_ gas is also decomposed at ordinary temperatures
with flame, and, if there is not a large excess of hydrochloric acid
present, with detonation. Hydrofluoric acid and free chlorine are the

Gaseous _hydrobromic_ and _hydriodic acids_ react with fluorine in a
similar manner, with production of flame and formation of hydrofluoric
acid. Inasmuch, however, as bromine and iodine combine with fluorine,
as previously described, these halogens do not escape, but burn up to
their respective fluorides. When fluorine is delivered into an aqueous
solution of hydriodic acid, each bubble as it enters produces a flash
of flame, and if the fluorine is being evolved fairly rapidly there is
a series of very violent detonations. A curious reaction also occurs
when fluorine is similarly passed into a 50 per cent. aqueous solution
of hydrofluoric acid itself, a flame being produced in the middle of
the liquid, accompanied by a series of detonations.

_Nitric acid_ vapor reacts with great violence with fluorine, a loud
explosion resulting. If fluorine is passed into the ordinary liquid
acid, each bubble as it enters produces a flame in the liquid.

_Ammonia gas_ is decomposed by fluorine with formation of a yellow
flame, forming hydrofluoric acid and liberating nitrogen. With a
solution of the gas in water, each bubble of fluorine produces an
explosion and flame, as in case of hydriodic acid.

_Phosphoric anhydride_, when heated to low redness, burns with a pale
flame in fluorine, forming a gaseous mixture of fluorides and
oxyfluoride of phosphorus. _Pentachloride and trichloride of
phosphorus_ both react most energetically with fluorine, instantly
producing a brilliant flame, and evolving a mixture of phosphorus
pentafluoride and free chlorine.

_Arsenious anhydride_ also affords a brilliant combustion, forming the
liquid trifluoride of arsenic, AsF_{3}. This liquid in turn appears to
react with more fluorine with considerable evolution of heat, probably
forming the pentafluoride, AsF_{5}. _Chloride of arsenic_, AsCl_{3},
is converted with considerable energy to the trifluoride, free
chlorine being liberated.

_Carbon bisulphide_ inflames in the cold in contact with fluorine, and
if the fluorine is led into the midst of the liquid a similar
production of flame occurs under the surface of the liquid, as in case
of nitric acid. No carbon is deposited, both the carbon and sulphur
being entirely converted into gaseous fluorides.

_Carbon tetrachloride_, as previously mentioned, reacts only very
slowly with fluorine. The liquid may be saturated with gaseous
fluorine at 15°, but on boiling this liquid a gaseous mixture is
evolved, one constituent of which is carbon tetrafluoride, CF_{4}, a
gas readily capable of absorption by alcoholic potash. The remainder
consists of another fluoride of carbon, incapable of absorption by
potash and chlorine. A mixture of the vapors of carbon tetrachloride
and fluorine inflames spontaneously with detonation, and chlorine is
liberated without deposition of carbon.

_Boric anhydride_ is raised to a most vivid incandescence by fluorine,
the experiment being rendered very beautiful by the abundant white
fumes of the trifluoride which are liberated.

_Silicon dioxide_, one of the most inert of substances at the ordinary
temperature, takes fire in the cold in contact with fluorine, becoming
instantly white-hot, and rapidly disappearing in the form of silicon
tetrafluoride. The _chlorides_ of both _boron_ and _silicon_ are
decomposed by fluorine, with formation of fluorides and liberation of
chlorine, the reaction being accompanied by the production of flame.


_Chlorides_ of the metals are instantly decomposed by fluorine,
generally at the ordinary temperature, and in certain cases, antimony
trichloride for instance, with the appearance of flame. Chlorine is in
each case liberated, and a fluoride of the metal formed. A few require
heating, when a similar decomposition occurs, often accompanied by
incandescence, as in case of chromium sesquichloride.

_Bromides_ and _iodides_ are decomposed with even greater energy, and
the liberated bromine and iodine burn in the fluorine with formation
of their respective fluorides.

_Cyanides_ react in a most beautiful manner with fluorine, the
displaced cyanogen burning with a purple flame. Potassium ferrocyanide
in particular affords a very pretty experiment, and reacts in the
cold. Ordinary potassium cyanide requires slightly warming in order to
start the combustion.

Fused _potash_ yields potassium fluoride and ozone. Aqueous potash
does not form potassium hypofluorite when fluorine is bubbled into it,
but only potassium fluoride. _Lime_ becomes most brilliantly
incandescent, owing partly to the excess being raised to a very high
temperature by the heat developed during the decomposition, and partly
to the phosphorescence of the calcium fluoride formed.

_Sulphides_ of the alkalies and alkaline earths are also immediately
rendered incandescent, fluorides of the metal and sulphur being
respectively formed.

_Boron nitride_ behaves in an exceedingly beautiful manner, being
attacked in the cold, and emitting a brilliant blue light which is
surrounded by a halo of the fumes of boron fluoride.

_Sulphates_, _nitrates_ and _phosphates_ generally require the
application of more or less heat, when they too are rapidly and
energetically decomposed. Calcium phosphate is attacked in the cold
like lime, giving out a brilliant white light, and producing calcium
fluoride and gaseous oxyfluoride of phosphorus, POF_{3}. _Calcium
carbonate_ also becomes raised to brilliant incandescence when exposed
to fluorine gas, as does also normal _sodium carbonate_; but curiously
enough the bicarbonates of the alkalies do not react with fluorine
even at red heat. Perhaps this may be explained by the fact that
fluorine has no action at available temperatures upon carbon dioxide.


_Chloroform._--When chloroform is saturated with fluorine, and
subsequently boiled, carbon tetrafluoride, hydrofluoric acid and
chlorine are evolved. If a drop of chloroform is agitated in a glass
tube with excess of fluorine, a violent explosion suddenly occurs,
accompanied by a flash of flame, and the tube is shattered to pieces.
The reaction is very lively when fluorine is evolved in the midst of a
quantity of chloroform, a persistent flame burns beneath the surface
of the liquid, carbon is deposited, and fluorides of hydrogen and
carbon are evolved together with chlorine.

_Methyl chloride_ is decomposed by fluorine, even at -23°, with
production of a yellow flame, deposition of carbon, and liberation of
fluorides of hydrogen and carbon and free chlorine. With the vapor of
methyl chloride, as pointed out in the description of the
electrolysis, violent explosions occur.

_Ethyl alcohol_ vapor at once takes fire in fluorine gas, and the
liquid is decomposed with explosive violence without deposition of
carbon. Aldehyde is formed to a considerable extent during the

_Acetic acid_ and _benzene_ are both decomposed with violence, their
cold vapors burn in fluorine, and when the latter is bubbled through
the liquids themselves, flashes of flame, and often most dangerous
explosions, occur. In the case of benzene, carbon is deposited, and
with both liquids fluorides of hydrogen and carbon are evolved.
_Aniline_ likewise takes fire in fluorine, and deposits a large
quantity of carbon, which, however, if the fluorine is in excess,
burns away completely to carbon tetrafluoride.

Such are the main outlines of these later researches of M. Moissan,
and they cannot fail to impress those who read them with the
prodigious nature of the forces associated with those minutest of
entities, the chemical atoms, as exhibited at their maximum, in so far
as our knowledge at present goes, in the case of the element

       *       *       *       *       *




The author, after criticising the various methods for estimating fat
in milk which have been proposed from time to time, agrees with Stokes
(_Analyst_, 1885, p. 48), Eustace Hill (_Analyst_, 1891, p. 67), and
Bondzynsky (_Landwirth Jahrb. der Schweiz_, 1889), that the method of
Werner Schmid is the simplest, most rapid, and convenient hitherto
introduced. The conditions tending to inaccuracy are: The employment
of ether containing alcohol; boiling the mixture of milk and acid too
long, when a caramel-like body is formed, soluble in ether; the
difficulty of reading off the volume of ether left in the tube, owing
to the gradations of the instrument being obscured by the flocculent
layer of casein; when only a portion of the ether is used, fat may be
left behind in the acid mixture, as shown by Allen (_Chem. Zeit._,
1891, p. 331). The author believes that by the invention of the simple
apparatus represented in the accompanying figure, he has rendered the
process both accurate and convenient. This consists of a flask B of
about 75 c.c. capacity, which has a glass tap fused on, with two
capillary tubes attached, the one passing upward, the other downward.
The neck of flask B is ground into the neck of flask A, which holds
about 90 c.c. Either of the flasks can be placed in communication with
the external air by the opening _a_. The ether must be previously
washed with one or two tenths of its volume of water, to remove traces
of alcohol. The operation is performed as follows: 10 c.c. of well
mixed milk are weighed in (or measured into) flask A, 10 c.c. of
hydrochloric acid added, and the mixture heated to boiling on an
asbestos sheet. The boiling must not exceed a minute and a half, the
fluid being shaken from time to time, and not allowed to become of a
deeper color than a dark brown [not black]. The flask is cooled, and
25 c.c. of ether added. The two flasks are connected as shown in the
figure, the tap closed, and the whole shaken for a few minutes, the
flask being vented two or three times by the opening _a_. The
apparatus is now inverted, allowed to stand five or six minutes, the
tap turned, and the dark acid liquid drawn off into flask B. By a
little shaking of the ether the whole of the acid liquid may be easily
got into the lower flask. The apparatus is again inverted, then
separated, 10 c.c. of ether are introduced into the flask B, the tap
closed, and the fluids well shaken. When the ether layer is distinct,
the acid liquor is run off, and the ether solution transferred to A.
The whole of the ether solution is washed in the apparatus two or
three times with a little water, the flask A removed to the water
bath, the ether driven off, the last traces of ether and water being
removed by placing the flask in a drying oven heated from 107 to 110°
C., where it must remain at least twenty minutes. The usual cooling in
the exsiccator and weighing concludes the operation. Examples are
given showing its concordance with the Adams and other recognized
processes. Sour milk, which must be weighed in the flask, can be
conveniently analyzed; also cream, using 5 grammes cream and 10 c.c.
hydrochloric acid. (_Berichte Deutsch. Chem. Gesell._, 24, p.
2204).--_The Analyst._

       *       *       *       *       *


  [Footnote 1: From advance proof sheets of the Proceedings of the
  American Association for the Advancement of Science; Washington
  meeting, 1891.]

The Committee on Indexing Chemical Literature respectfully presents to
the Chemical Section its ninth annual report.

Since our last meeting the following bibliographies have been printed:

1. A Bibliography of Geometrical Isomerism. Accompanying an address on
this subject to the Chemical Section of the American Association for
the Advancement of Science at Indianapolis, August, 1890, by Professor
Robert B. Warder, Vice President. Proceedings A.A.A.S., vol. xxxix.
Salem, 1890. 8vo.

2. A Bibliography of the Chemical Influence of Light, by Alfred
Tuckerman. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections No. 785. Washington,
D.C., 1891. Pp. 22. 8vo.

3. A Bibliography of Analytical Chemistry for the year 1890, by H.
Carrington Bolton. J. Anal. Appl. Chem., v., No. 3. March, 1891.

We chronicle the publication of the following important bibliography:

4. A Guide to the Literature of Sugar. A book of reference for
chemists, botanists, librarians, manufacturers and planters, with
comprehensive subject index. By H. Ling Roth. London: Kegan Paul,
Trench, Trubner & Co. Limited. 1890. 8vo. Pp xvi-159.

This work contains more than 1,200 titles of books, pamphlets, and
papers relating to sugar. Many of the titles are supplemented with
brief abstracts. The alphabetical author catalogue is followed by a
chronological table and an analytical subject index. The compilation
extends to the beginning of the year 1885, and the author promises a
supplement and possibly an annual guide.

The ambitious work is useful but very incomplete. It does not include
glucose. The author gives a list of fifteen periodicals devoted to
sugar, and omits exactly fifteen more recorded in Bolton's _Catalogue
of Scientific and Technical Periodicals_ (1665-1882). Angelo Sala's
_Saccharologia_ is not named, though mentioned in Roscoe and
Schorlemmer and elsewhere.

Notwithstanding some blemishes, this work is indispensable to chemists
desirous of becoming familiar with the literature of sugar. It is to
be hoped that a second edition brought down to date may be issued by
the author.

5. A Bibliography of Ptomaines accompanies Professor Victor C.
Vaughan's work, Ptomaines and Leucomaines. Philadelphia, 1888. (Pages
296-814.) 8vo.

Chemists will hail with pleasure the announcement that a new
dictionary of solubilities is in progress by a competent hand.
Professor Arthur M. Comey, of Tufts College, College Hill, Mass.,
writes that the work he has undertaken will be as complete as
possible. "The very old matter which forms so large a part of Storer's
Dictionary will be referred to, and in important cases fully given.
Abbreviations will be freely used and formulæ will be given instead of
the chemical names of substances, in the body of the book. This is
found to be absolutely necessary in order to bring the work into a
convenient size for use ..., The arrangement will be strictly
alphabetical. References to original papers will be given in all cases

Professor Comey estimates his work will contain over
70,000 entries, and will make a volume of 1,500-1,700 pages.

The following letter from Mr. Howard L. Prince, Librarian of the
United States Patent Office, explains itself:

    WASHINGTON, D.C., February 11, 1891

    _Dr. H Carrington Bolton._
      _University Club, New York, N.Y._:

    DEAR SIR--In response to your request I take pleasure in
    giving you the following information regarding the past
    accomplishments and plans for the future of the Scientific
    Library in the matter of technological indexing.

    The work of indexing periodicals has been carried on in the
    library for some years in a somewhat desultory fashion, taking
    up one journal after another, the object being, apparently, more
    to supply clerks with work than the pursuance of any well
    defined plan. However, one important work has been substantially
    completed, viz., a general index to the whole set of the
    SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN and SUPPLEMENT from 1846 to date.

    It is unnecessary for me to point out to you the importance of
    this work, embracing a collection which has held the leading
    place in the line of general information on invention and
    progress, the labor of compiling which has been so formidable
    that no movement in that direction has been attempted by the
    publishers except in regard to the SUPPLEMENT only, and that
    very imperfectly. This index embraces now 184,600 cards, not
    punched, and at present stored in shallow drawers and fastened
    by rubber bands, and of course they are at present unavailable
    for use. There is little prospect of printing this index, and
    I have been endeavoring for some time to throw the index open
    to the public by punching the cards and fastening them with
    guard rods, but as yet have made no perceptible impression
    upon the authorities, although the expense of preparation
    would be only about $70.

    There has also been completed an index to the English journal
    _Engineering_, comprising 84,000 cards, from the beginning to

    An index to Dingler's _Polytechnisches Journal_ was also
    commenced as long ago as 1878, carried on for six or seven
    years and then dropped. I hope, however, at no remote date, to
    bring this forward to the present time.

    On taking charge of the library I was at once impressed with
    the immense value of the periodical literature on our shelves
    and the great importance of making it more readily accessible,
    and have had in contemplation for some time the beginning of a
    card index to all our periodicals on the same general plan as
    that of Rieth's Repertorium. I have, however, been unable to
    obtain sufficient force to cover the whole ground, but have
    selected about one hundred and fifty journals, notably those
    upon the subjects of chemistry, electricity and engineering,
    both in English and foreign languages, the indexing of which
    has been in progress since the first of January. This number
    includes substantially all the valuable material in our
    possession in the English language, not only journals, but
    transactions of societies, all the electrical journals and
    nearly all the chemical in foreign languages. This index will
    be kept open to the public as soon as sufficient material has
    accumulated. In general plan it will be alphabetical,
    following nearly the arrangement of the periodical portion of
    the surgeon general's catalogue. I shall depart from the
    strictly alphabetical plan sufficiently to group under such
    important subjects as chemistry, electricity, engineering,
    railroads, etc., all the subdivisions of the art, so that the
    electrical investigator, for instance, will not be obliged to
    travel from one end of the alphabet to the other to find the
    divisions of generators, conductors, dynamos, telephones,
    telegraphs, etc., and in the grouping of the classes of
    applied science the office classification of inventions will,
    as a rule, be adhered to, the subdivisions being, of course,
    arranged in alphabetical order under their general head and
    the title of the several articles also arranged alphabetically
    by authors or principal words.

    With many thanks for the kind interest and valuable
    information afforded me, I remain, very truly yours,

                            HOWARD L. PRINCE,
                            Librarian Scientific Library.

The committee much prefers to record completed work than to mention
projects, as the latter sometimes fail. It is satisfactory, however,
to announce that the indefatigable indexer, Dr. Alfred Tuckerman, is
engaged on an extensive Bibliography of Mineral Waters. The chairman
of the committee expects to complete the MS. of a Select Bibliography
of Chemistry during the year, visiting the chief libraries of Europe
for the purpose this summer.

          H. CARRINGTON BOLTON, Chairman.
          F.W. CLARKE,
          ALBERT R. LEEDS,
          ALEXIS A. JULIEN,
          JOHN W. LANGLEY,

[Dr. Alfred Tuckerman was added to the committee at the Washington
meeting to fill a vacancy.]

       *       *       *       *       *


The French wine law (_Journ. Officiel_, July 11, 1891) includes the
following provisions:

Sect. 1. The product of fermentation of the husks of grapes from which
the must has been extracted with water, with or without the addition
of sugar, or mixed with wine in whatever proportion, may only be sold,
or offered for sale, under the name of husk wine or sugared wine.

Sect. 2. The addition of the following substances to wine, husk wine,
sugared wine, or raisin wine will be considered an adulteration:

1. Coloring matters of all descriptions.

2. Sulphuric, nitric, hydrochloric, salicylic, boric acid, or similar

3. Sodium chloride beyond one gramme per liter.

Sect. 3. The sale of plastered wines, containing more than two grammes
of potassium, or sodium sulphate, is prohibited.

Offenders are subject to a fine of 16 to 500 francs, or to
imprisonment from six days to three months, according to

Barrels or vessels containing plastered wine must have affixed a
notice to that effect in large letters, and the books, invoices, and
bills of lading must likewise bear such notice.

       *       *       *       *       *


M. Berthelot recently called the attention of the Academy (Paris) to
the memoirs of Carey Lea on the allotropic states of silver, and
exhibited specimens of the color of gold and others of a purple color
sent him by the author. He explained the importance of these results,
which remind us of the work of the ancient alchemists, but he reserved
the question whether these substances are really isomeric states of
silver or complex and condensed compounds, sharing the properties of
the element which constituted the principal mass (97-98 per cent.),
conformably to the facts known in the history of the various carbons,
of the derivatives of red phosphorus, and especially of the varieties
of iron and steel. Between these condensed compounds and the pure
elements the continuous transition of the physical and chemical
properties is often effected by insensible degrees, by a mixture of
definite compounds.

The following letter appears in a recent number of the _Chemical

_Sir_: In a recently published lecture, Mr. Meldola seems to call in
question the existence of allotropic silver. This opinion does not
appear, however, to be based on any adequate study of the subject, but
to be somewhat conjectural in its nature. No experimental support of
any sort is given, and the only argument offered (if such it can be
called) is that this altered form of silver is analogous to that of
metals whose properties have been greatly changed by being _alloyed_
with small quantities of other metals. Does, then, Mr. Meldola suppose
that a silver alloy can be formed by precipitating silver in the
presence of another metal from an aqueous solution, or that one can
argue from alloys, which are solutions, to molecular compounds or
lakes? Moreover, he has overlooked the fact that allotropic silver can
be obtained in the absence of any metal with which silver is capable
of combining, as in the case of its formation by the action of soda
and dextrine. Silver cannot be alloyed with sodium.

Mr. Meldola cites Prange as having shown that allotropic silver
obtained with the aid of ferrous citrate contains traces of iron, a
fact which was published by me several years earlier, with an
analytical determination of the amount of iron found. Mr. Prange
repeated and confirmed this fact of the presence of iron (in this
particular case), and my other observations generally, and was fully
convinced of the existence of both soluble and insoluble allotropic
silver. Mr. Meldola's quotation of Mr. Prange would not convey this
impression to the reader.

Of the many forms of allotropic silver, two of the best marked are the
blue and the yellow.

Blue allotropic silver is formed in many reactions with the aid of
many wholly different reagents. To suppose that each of these many
substances is capable of uniting in minute quantity with silver to
produce in all cases an identical result, the same product with
identical color and properties, would be an absurdity.

Gold-colored allotropic silver in thin films is converted by the
slightest pressure to normal silver. A glass rod drawn over it with a
gentle pressure leaves a gray line behind it of ordinary silver. If
the film is then plunged into solution of potassium ferricyanide it
becomes red or blue, while the lines traced show by their different
reaction that they consist of ordinary silver. Heat, electricity, and
contact with strong acids produce a similar change to ordinary gray

These reactions afford the clearest proof that the silver is in an
allotropic form. To account for them on suppositions like Mr.
Meldola's would involve an exceedingly forced interpretation, such as
no one who carefully repeated my work could possibly entertain.

I am, etc.,

  Philadelphia, October 22, 1891.

       *       *       *       *       *


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