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Title: Endless Amusement - A Collection of Nearly 400 Entertaining Experiments
Author: Unknown
Language: English
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                          ENDLESS AMUSEMENT:

                           A COLLECTION OF




                       WONDERS OF THE AIR-PUMP;

                               ALL THE
                               &c., &c.

                          TO WHICH IS ADDED,

                    THE ART OF MAKING FIRE-WORKS.


                         With Illustrations.


                          LEA AND BLANCHARD.


  Aces, the convertible                                          117
  Æolipiles                                                       60
  Aigrettes                                                      185
  Air-pump                                                        77
    bottles broken by                                             77
    glass broken by                                               77
    hand fixed by                                                 77
    water boiled by                                               78
    bubbles, vegetable                                            78
    electrified                                                   98
  Alarum                                                         147
  Alphabet, changes of, in square Yards                           59
  Apparition, armed                                              126
  Atmosphere, to show the Pressure of                            137
  Aurora Borealis, electric                                       91

  Bacchus, animated                                               81
  Ball, electrified                                               97
        electric                                                  99
  Balloon, artificial                                             81
           electric                                               96
           Cases in Fire-works                                   184
  Balloons, Paper, to construct                                   42
            in Fire-works, to load with Stars, Serpents, &c.     184
  Balls, dancing                                                  93
  Barley, the Awn of, an Hydrometer                              157
  Bell, magic                                                     79
  Bladder, exploded                                               80
           cemented                                               81
  Blue, to change to White                                        35
  Bodies, two inodorous, become pungent by Mixture               145
  Body, combustible, to ignite by reflection                      57
  Bottle, magic                                                   48
          enchanted                                               59
  Bronzing, the Art of                                           133
  Bubble, exploding                                               13
  Bubbles, aërial                                                 78
  Burning-glasses, account of two                                 32
  Busts, talking                                                  61
  Butterflies, to take Impressions of on Paper                   134

  Cameleon Spirit                                                 23
  Camera Obscura, to construct                                    16
  Camphor, electrified                                           100
  Candle lighted by electricity                                   84
         Bombs                                                    84
  Card, divining                                                 107
        numerical                                                108
        hit upon by guess                                        109
        found by the Point of a Sword                            109
        changed by Word of Command                               109
        in the Ring                                              112
        in the Mirror                                            113
        in the Opera-glass                                       113
        discovered by the throw of a Die                         115
                   under the Handkerchief                        117
        to tell that a person has touched                        117
        in the Pocket-book                                       118
        in the Egg                                               118
        discovered by the Touch or Smell                         119
  Cards, magnetic                                                 71
         Amusements with                                         101
         Points on three, to name, &c.                           101
         to tell how many taken from a Pack                      102
         to name several fixed on                                104
         to name the Rank of, drawn from a Piquet Pack           104
         to tell the Numbers of any two                          105
                                    three                        106
         four confederate                                        108
         to separate the two Colours of a Pack of, at one Cut    114
         metamorphosed                                           114
         Number of, told by their Weight                         116
         to change, that several persons have drawn from the
           Pack                                                  116
         inverted                                                119
         transmutable                                            119
         convertible                                             120
  Cascade, magical                                                50
           musical                                               148
           of fire, to represent                                 151
  Cement, never-yielding                                          37
  Changes on twelve Bells                                         58
  Charcoal for Fire-works                                        164
  Chase, magic                                                    88
  Coins, to take impressions of                                   44
  Compositions for Fire-works, method of mixing                  168
  Concerto, solar                                                 62
  Cork heavier than Lead                                          81
  Correspondence, secret                                      18, 25
                         by music                                 20
  Coruscations, artificial                                       136
  Cotton electrified                                              92
  Crackers, to make                                              169
  Cylinder, illuminated                                           91

  Dance, magic                                                    86
  Dancer, hydraulic                                               49
  Detonating works                                               190
             Girdle                                              190
             Balls                                               191
             Tape                                                191
             Cards                                               191
  Dial, magnetic                                                  71
  Dodecahedron in Fire-works                                     187
  Duplicates, ten                                                102

  Earthquake, artificial                                 22, 86, 187
  Eclipse of the Sun, to observe                                 129
  Egg, to form Figures on, in Relief                              35
  Eggs, white of, contains an Alkali                             144
  Electric effects of a Russian climate                           30
  Electricity, experiments in                                     83
               Resin lighted by                                   95
               Spirits ignited by                                 95
  Eolian Harp, to make                                           137
  Exhalations, subaqueous                                        137
  Explosion, brilliant, under Water                               54
  Explosion, magical                                              86
             electric                                             98

  Feather, animated                                               83
  Feathers heavier than Lead                                      79
  Figures, two, one blows out, and the other re-lights a Candle   39
  Fire produced by the mixture of two cold Liquids                13
                from Cane                                        136
  Fire-pumps in Fire-works                                       186
  Fire-works in miniature                                         27
             imitative                                           149
             Art of making                                       163
             aquatic                                             192
  Flash of Lightning, to resemble on entering a Room              37
  Flower, to produce the Appearance of, from its Ashes           149
  Flowers, restored                                               26
           to diversify the Colours of                           141
  Fountain, fiery                                                 44
            globular                                              48
            illuminated                                           51
            which acts by the Heat of the Sun                     52
            magic                                                 80
            electrical                                            87
  Fountains, Chinese, in Fire-works                              187
  Fruit, withered, restored                                       78
  Fulminating Powders                                             33
                      more powerful                               34
              Gold                                                40
              Mercury                                             54

  Gas Bubbles, exploding                                         160
  Ghastly Appearance, to give to Persons in a Room                35
  Glass, so to fill with Water that it cannot be removed without
    spilling the whole                                            38
  Gold Chain, old, to make look like new                          43
    to give Silver the Colour of                                  43
  Guinea, penetrative                                            132
  Gunpowder                                                      165
            exploded by reflection                               125
            Brimstone and Charcoal, to meal for Fire-works       165

  Halo, artificial                                                80
  Horn, to make Moulds of                                        134
        to soften                                                134
  Hour of the Day or Night told by a suspended Shilling          152
  Hydrogen Gas, to procure                                       159
                to fill a Bladder with                           159

  Illuminations, artificial                                       22
                 chemical                                         36
  Illusion, alternate                                            146
  Incendiary, unconscious                                         88
  Indromacus                                                     103
  Ink, invisible                                                  23
                 Gold, Silver, Yellow, Red, Green, Violet,
                  and Grey                                    24, 25
                 secret Correspondence by Means of                25
       golden                                                     41
       white                                                      42
  Iron, transformed into Copper                                   36
                         Silver                                   36
        melted in a Moment and run into Drops                     37
        or Steel, to soften                                      135
  Ivory, to cast Figures in Imitation of                         134

  Kings, the four inseparable                                    116
  Kite, electric                                                  87

  Lamp to burn twelve Months without replenishing                 29
       Chronometer                                                46
  Landscape, artificial                                           66
             to draw correctly                                    67
  Lead, metallic, produced from the Powder                       141
  Leech, a Prognosticator of Weather                             157
  Leyden Phial                                                    94
  Light, rays of                                                 143
         refraction of                                           144
         travelling of                                           145
  Lightning, artificial                                           14
             its wonderful Nature                                144
             to guard against                                    153
  Liquor that shines in the Dark                                  40
         luminous                                                 41
  Luminaries, miraculous                                          89

  Magic Lantern, Experiment with the                              62
                 Glasses to paint                                 63
                 solar                                            60
  Magnetism, Experiments in                                       70
  Memory, artificial                                             158
  Microscope, Experiment for the                                 145
  Mirror, Magician's                                             124
          perspective                                            124
          distorting                                             126
          oracular                                               152
  Mirrors, magical                                                53
           deforming                                             123
           igniting                                              125
  Money augmented by optical Illusion                             15
        melted in a Walnut-shell                                  40
  Mortars, in Fire-works                                         184

  Neptune in his Chariot                                         198
  Number, to tell any, privately fixed on                         45
                                       without asking questions   45
          divisible by 9, &c.                                     55
  Numbers, to find the difference of two, &c.                     56

  Objects, three, discernible only with both Eyes                 15
  Oil upon Water, and Water upon Oil, curious Effects of         161
      and Water, Experiments with                                161
  Opaque Bodies, seemingly transparent                           121
         Box made transparent                                    130
  Opera-glass, diagonal                                          129
  Oracle, inanimate                                               61
  Orrery, magnetic                                                72
          electrical                                          92, 99

  Palace, enchanted                                              120
  Parties, three magical                                         110
  Paradox, dioptrical                                            127
  Pass, how to make the                                          107
  Perspective-glass, divining                                    111
  Phantom                                                        126
  Phial of the four Elements                                      48
  Philosophical Candle                                            37
  Phosphorus Match Bottles                                        34
             inflammable                                          53
  Phosphorus, illuminated                                         97
  Picture, magic                                                  13
  Pictures of Birds, to make, with their natural Feathers        132
  Pieces, transposable                                           131
  Plants, remarkable Properties in                               138
  Plaster of Paris cast, to take from a Person's Face            135
  Pomatum, to make, with Wax and Water                            36
  Portrait, miraculous                                            85
  Powder, which catches Fire when exposed to the Air              39
  Prints, to remove Stains from                                   38
  Prospect, boundless                                             57
  Prospects, illuminated                                          68
  Pyrotechny, a complete system of                               163

  Rain and Hail, artificial                                       28
       Gauge, to make                                            142
  Rainbow, artificial                                             60
  Reflector, magnifying                                           16
  Ring, to suspend by a Thread after the Thread has been burnt    35
        on the Finger, to name, &c.                               49
  Roman Candles, in Fire-works                                   186
  Rocket Stars                                                   173
         to fix one on the Top of another                        174
  Rockets                                                        170
          Method of rolling                                      170
          Composition for                                        171
          to drive                                               171
          Decorations for                                        172
          Caduceous                                              175
          Honorary                                               175
          which form an arch in rising                           176
          to make several rise together                          176
          to fix several on the same Stick                       177
          to fire without Sticks                                 178
          Scrolls for                                            179
          Stands for                                             179
          Table                                                  179
          Water                                                  192
  Rose, changeable                                                41
  Resin lighted by Electricity                                    95

  Salt, exploding                                                127
  Saltpetre for Fire-works                                       164
  Saltpetre, to pulverize for Fire-works                         164
  Sealing-wax spun into Threads by Electricity                   100
  Sea-fight, &c. in Aquatic Fire-works                           196
  Serpents, for Fire-works, to make                              169
  Shillings, a Person having an even number of in one Hand, and
          an odd Number in the other, to tell in which Hand the
          odd or even Number is                                   17
  Shock, inconceivable                                            88
  Shower, mercurial                                               80
          fiery                                                   90
  Silver-plate, to give a Lustre to                               44
          extracted from a gilded Ring                           135
  Sky-rockets                                                    170
              to fire under Water                                198
  Sound, travelling of                                      141, 142
  Sparks, electric                                                93
          in choked Cases                                        167
  Sparrows, Experiments with                                      82
  Spectre on the Table                                            64
  Spider, artificial                                              84
  Spirit, Cameleon                                                23
  Spots in the Sun's Disk, to show                               128
  Spur-fire                                                      166
  Square Yards, to contain the Changes of the Alphabet            59
  Squares, Magic                                                  55
  Squibs, to make                                                169
  Stars, with Points, in Fire-works                              188
  Steam, Power of                                                 31
  Steel or Iron, to soften                                       135
  Stone, floating                                                 78
  Storm at Sea, to represent by the Magic Lantern                 63
  Sulphur for Fire-works                                         163
  Sun, fixed, with a transparent Face                            189
  Sun's Rays, Effects of, on different coloured Cloths           146
  Swans and Ducks in Aquatic Fire-works                          199

  Tantalus, Cup of                                                85
  Thunder, artificial                                         14, 15
  Touch-paper, to make                                           167
  Transcolorations, curious                                   29, 30
  Transmutations, magical                                         35
  Travelling of Sound                                       141, 142
                Light                                            145
  Tree, Silver                                                    27
  Tree, Lead                                                      27
        Iron                                                      55
        sublimated                                               139
  Tube, Magic                                                    123
  Tulip, Experiment with                                         140

  Vacuum, illuminated                                             90
  Vase, Magic                                                    110
  Vessel, Magic                                                   21
          that lets Water out of the Bottom as soon as the
           Mouth is uncorked                                      39
  Verse, Magic                                                    74
  Viper, Experiment with                                          82
  Visual Nerves, singular Impression on, by a luminous Object    160
                                         by looking through
          differently-coloured Glasses                           161
  Volcano, artificial                                             22

  Wand, magnetic                                                  70
        mercurial                                                 79
  Watch Dial, to tell by one the Hour when a Person intends
        to rise                                                   17
        mysterious                                                70
        Lamp                                                     140
  Water gilding on Silver                                         43
        which gives Silver a Gold Colour                          43
        to give any Metal a Gold Colour                       43, 44
        Sun                                                       50
        illuminated                                               96
        colder than Ice                                          127
        Experiment with a Glass of                               135
        beautifully transparent                                  142
        Power of                                                 143
              in Steam                                           158
        Pressure of                                              143
        Mass of, contained in the Sea                            145
        Rockets                                                  192
        Wheels, horizontal                                       193
        Pipes in Fire-works                                      193
        Mines                                                    194
        Fire Globes                                              194
        Balloons, odoriferous                                    195
        Fire Fountains                                           200
  Weather, to foretel                                            140
           Table                                                 162
  Wheels, self-moving                                         79, 94
          in Fire-works                                          180
          single vertical                                        180
          horizontal                                             181
          plural                                                 182
          spiral                                                 182
          Balloon                                                183
          double spiral                                          183
          illuminated spiral                                     183
  Winter, changed to Spring                                       26
  Writing, mysterious                                             26
           illuminated                                            28
           burnt, restored                                       129
           in the Dark, to make luminous                         139
           on Glass by the Rays of the Sun                       148


_To produce Fire by the Mixture of two cold Liquids._

Take half a pound of pure dry nitrate, in powder; put it into a retort
that is quite dry; add an equal quantity of highly rectified oil of
vitriol, and, distilling the mixture in a moderate sand heat, it will
produce a liquor like a yellowish fume; this, when caught in a dry
receiver, is _Glauber's Spirits of Nitre_; probably the preparation,
under that name, may be obtained of the chemists, which will of course
save much time and trouble.

You then put a drachm of distilled oil of cloves, turpentine, or
carraways, in a glass vessel; and if you add an equal quantity, or
rather more, of the above spirit, though both are in themselves
perfectly cold, yet, on mixing them together, a great flame will arise
and destroy them both, leaving only a little resinous matter at the

_The Exploding Bubble._

If you take up a small quantity of melted glass with a tube, (the bowl
of a common tobacco-pipe will do,) and let a drop fall into a vessel
of water, it will chill and condense with a fine spiral tail, which
being broken, the whole substance will burst with a loud explosion,
without injury either to the party that holds it, or him that breaks
it; but if the _thick_ end be struck, even with a hammer, it will not

_The Magic Picture._

Take two level pieces of glass, (plate glass is the best,) about three
inches long and four wide, exactly of the same size; lay one on the
other, and leave a space between them by pasting a piece of card, or
two or three small pieces of thick paper, at each corner.

Join these glasses together at the edges by a composition of lime
slaked by exposure to the air, and white of an egg. Cover all the
edges of these glasses with parchment or bladder, except at one end,
which is to be left open to admit the following composition.

Dissolve, by a slow fire, six ounces of hogs'-lard, with half an ounce
of white wax; to which you may add an ounce of clear linseed oil.

This must be poured in a liquid state, and before a fire, between the
glasses, by the space left in the sides, and which you are then to
close up. Wipe the glasses clean, and hold them before the fire, to
see that the composition will not run out at any part.

Then fasten with gum a picture or print, painted on very thin paper,
with its face to one of the glasses, and, if you like, you may fix the
whole in a frame.

While the mixture between the glasses is cold, the picture will be
quite concealed, but become transparent when held to the fire; and, as
the composition cools, it will gradually disappear.

_Artificial Lightning._

Provide a tin tube that is larger at one end than it is at the other,
and in which there are several holes. Fill this tube with powdered
resin; and when it is shook over the flame of a torch, the reflection
will produce the exact appearance of lightning.

_Artificial Thunder._

Mix two drachms of the filings of iron, with one ounce of concentrated
spirit of vitriol, in a strong bottle that holds about a quarter of a
pint; stop it close, and in a few minutes shake the bottle; then
taking out the cork, put a lighted candle near its mouth, which should
be a little inclined, and you will soon observe an inflammation arise
from the bottle, attended with a loud explosion.

To guard against the danger of the bottle bursting, the best way would
be to bury it in the ground, and apply the light to the mouth by means
of a taper fastened to the end of a long stick.

_Another way._

Mix three ounces of saltpetre, two ounces of salt of tartar, and two
ounces of sulphur; roll the mixture up into a ball, of which take a
quantity, about the size of a hazel-nut, and, placing it in a ladle or
shovel over the fire, the explosion will resemble a loud clap of

You will produce a much more violent commotion if you double or treble
the quantity of the last experiment; suppose you put two or three
ounces of the mixture into the shovel. For fear of accidents, it
should not be done in the house, but by placing the shovel over a
chafing-dish of very hot coals, in the open air, standing a great
distance off.

Common prudence will dictate the necessity of using great care in the
above experiments, as an accident will soon happen if a person does
not get out of the way before the composition explodes.

_Money augmented by an Optical Illusion._

In a large drinking-glass of a conical shape, (small at the bottom and
wide at the top,) put a shilling, and let the glass be half full of
water; then place a plate on the top of it, and turn it quickly over,
that the water may not escape. You will see on the plate a piece of
coin of the size of half-a-crown; and a little higher up another the
size of a shilling.

It will add to the amusement this experiment affords, by giving the
glass to any one in company, (but who, of course, has not witnessed
your operations,) and, desiring him to throw away the water, but save
the pieces, he will not be a little surprised at finding only one.

_Three objects discernible only with both Eyes._

If you fix three pieces of paper against the wall of a room at equal
distances, at the height of your eye, placing yourself directly before
them, at a few yards' distance, and close your right eye, and look at
them with your left, you will see only two of them, suppose the first
and second; alter the position of your eye, and you will see the first
and third: alter your position a second time, you will see the second
and third, but never the whole three together; by which it appears,
that a person who has only one eye can never see three objects placed
in this position, nor all the parts of one object of the same extent,
without altering his situation.

_To construct the Camera Obscura._

Make a circular hole in the shutter of a window, from whence there is
a prospect of some distance; in this hole place a magnifying glass,
either double or single, whose focus is at the distance of five or six
feet; no light must enter the room but through this glass. At a
distance from it, equal to its focus, place a very white pasteboard,
(what is called a Bristol board, if you can procure one large enough,
will answer extremely well;) this board must be two feet and a half
long, and eighteen or twenty inches high, with a black border round
it: bend the length of it inward to the form of part of a circle,
whose diameter is equal to double the focal distance of the glass. Fix
it on a frame of the same figure, and put it on a moveable foot, that
it may be easily placed at that distance from the glass, where the
objects appear to the greatest perfection. When it is thus placed, all
the objects in front of the window will be painted on the paper in an
inverted position, with the greatest regularity, and in the most
natural colours. If you place a swing looking-glass outside the
window, by turning it more or less, you will have on the paper all the
objects on each side the window.

If, instead of placing the looking-glass outside the window, you place
it in the room above the hole, (which must then be made near the top
of the shutter,) you may have the representation on a paper placed
horizontally on a table, and draw at your leisure all the objects

Observe, the best situation is directly north; and the best time of
the day is noon.

_The Magnifying Reflector._

Let the rays of light that pass through the magnifying glass in the
shutter be thrown on a large concave mirror, properly fixed in a
frame. Then take a third strip of glass, and stick any small object on
it; hold it in the intervening rays at a little more than the focal
distance from the mirror, and you will see on the opposite wall,
amidst the reflected rays, the image of that object, very large, and
beautifully clear and bright.

_To tell by a Watch Dial the Hour when a Person intends to rise._

The person is told to set the hand of his watch at any hour he
pleases, which hour he tells you; and you add in your mind 12 to it.
You then desire him to count privately the number of that addition on
the dial, commencing at the next hour to that at which he intends to
rise, and including the hour at which he has placed the hand, which
will give the answer: for example.

A intends to rise at 6, (this he conceals to himself;) he places the
hand at 8, which he tells B, who, in his own mind, adds 12 to 8, which
makes twenty. B then tells A to count twenty on the dial, beginning at
the next hour to that at which he proposes to rise, which will be 5,
and counting backwards, reckoning each hour as one, and including in
his addition the number of the hour the hand is placed at, the
addition will end at 6, which is the hour proposed; thus,

  The hour the hand is placed at is                                8
  The next hour to that which A intends to rise at is 5, which
    counts for                                                     1
  Count back the hours from 5, and reckon them at 1 each, there
    will be 11 hours, viz., 4, 3, 2, 1, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6    11
                                                   Making         20

_A person having an even Number of Shillings in one Hand, and an odd
Number in the other, to tell in which hand the odd or even Number is._

You desire the person to multiply the number in his right hand by an
odd figure, and the number in his left by an even one; and tell you if
the products, added together, be odd or even. If even, the even number
is in the right hand; if odd, the even number is in the left. For

  I. Number in the right           In the left hand _odd_    7
          hand is _even_  18       Multiply by               2
     Multiply by           3                               ----
                         ----                      Product  14
                 Product  54                               ----
     Add the Product of
          the left hand   14
     Which produces a
          total of        68

  II. Number in the right          In the left hand _even_  18
          hand is _odd_    7          Multiply by            2
     Multiply by           3                               ----
                         ----                      Product  36
                 Product  21
     Add the Product of
          the left hand   36
     Which produces a
          total of        57

_Secret Correspondence._

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

To carry on a correspondence without the possibility of the meaning of
the letter being detected, in case it should be opened by any other
person, has employed the ingenuity of many. No method will be found
more effectual for this purpose, or more easy, than the following.

Provide a piece of square card or pasteboard, and draw a circle on it,
which circle is to be divided into 27 equal parts, in each of which
parts must be written _one_ of the capital letters of the alphabet,
and the &, as in the figure. Let the centre of this circle be blank.
Then draw another circle, also divided into 27 equal parts, in each of
which write one of the small letters of the alphabet, and the &. This
circle must be cut round, and made exactly to fit the blank space in
the centre of the large circle, and must run round a pivot or pin. The
person with whom you correspond must have a similar dial, and at the
beginning of your letter you must put the capital letter, and at the
end the small letter, which answer to each other when you have fixed
your dial.

Suppose what you wish to communicate is as follows:

    _I am so watched I cannot see you as I promised; but I will
    meet you to-morrow in the park, with the letters, &c._

You begin with the letter _T_, and end with the letter _m_, which
shows how you have fixed the dial, and how your correspondent must fix
his, that he may decipher your letter.

Then, for _I am_, you write _b uf_, and so of the rest, as follows.

    _T b uf lh pumrvayx b rvugghm lyy rhn ul b ikhfblyx vnm b
    pbee fyym rhn mh-fhkkhp bg may iukd pbma may eymmykl, tw.

_Another Way._

Take two pieces of card, pasteboard, or stiff paper, through which
you cut long squares at different distances. One of these you keep
yourself, and the other you give to your correspondent. You lay the
pasteboard on a paper, and, in the spaces cut out, write what you
would have understood by him only; then fill the intermediate spaces
with any words that will connect the whole together, and make a
different sense. When he receives it, he lays his pasteboard over
the whole, and those words which are between crotchets [ ] form the
intelligence you wish to communicate. For example: suppose you want
to express these word,

    "_Don't trust Robert: I have found him a villain._"

"[Don't] fail to send my books. I [trust] they will be ready when
[Robert] calls on you. [I have] heard that you have [found] your dog.
I call [him a villain] who stole him." You may place a pasteboard of
this kind three other ways--the bottom at top--the top at bottom, or
by turning it over; but in this case you must previously apprize your
correspondent, or he may not be able to decipher your meaning.

_Secret Correspondence by Music._

Form a circle like Fig. 2, divided into twenty-six parts, with a
letter of the alphabet written in each. The interior of the circle is
moveable, like that in Fig. 1, and the circumference is to be ruled
like music-paper. Place in each division a note different in figure or

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

[Illustration: Music Piece]

Within the musical lines place the three keys, and on the outer circle
the figures to denote time. Then get a ruled paper, and place one of
the keys (suppose _ge-re-sol_) against the time 2-4ths, at the
beginning of the paper, which will inform your correspondent how to
place his circle. You then copy the notes that answer to the letters
of the words you intend to write, in the manner expressed above.

_The Magic Vessel._

On the bottom of a vessel, lay three pieces of money, the first at A,
the second at B, and the third at C, Fig. 3. Then place a person at D,
where he can see no farther into the vessel than E. You tell him, that
by pouring water in the vessel you will make him see three different
pieces of money; and bid him observe, that you do not convey any money
in with the water. But be careful that you pour the water in very
gently, or the pieces will move out of their places, and thereby
destroy the experiment.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

When the water rises up to F, the piece at A will be visible; when it
reaches G, both A and B will be visible; and when it comes up to H,
all three pieces will be visible.

_Artificial Earthquake and Volcano._

Grind an equal quantity of fresh iron filings with pure sulphur, till
the whole be reduced to a fine powder. Be careful not to let any wet
come near it. Then bury about thirty pounds of it a foot deep in the
earth, and in about six or eight hours the ground will heave and
swell, and shortly after send forth smoke and flames like a burning
mountain. If the earth is raised in a conical shape, it will be no bad
miniature resemblance of one of the burning mountains.

_Artificial Illuminations._

A very pleasing exhibition may be made with very little trouble or
expense, in the following manner: Provide a box, which you fit up with
architectural designs cut out on pasteboard; prick small holes in
those parts of the building where you wish the illuminations to
appear, observing, that in proportion to the perspective, the holes
are to be made smaller; and on the near objects the holes are to be
made larger. Behind these designs thus perforated, you fix a lamp or
candle, but in such a manner that the reflection of the light shall
only shine through the holes; then placing a light of just sufficient
brilliance to show the design of the buildings before it, and making a
hole for the sight at the front end of the box, you will have a very
tolerable representation of illuminated buildings.

The best way of throwing the light in front, is to place an oiled
paper before it, which will cast a mellow gleam over the scenery, and
not diminish the effect of the illumination. This can be very easily
planned, both not to obstruct the sight, nor be seen to disadvantage.
The lights behind the picture should be very strong; and if a
magnifying glass were placed in the sight hole, it would tend greatly
to increase the effect. The box must be covered in, leaving an
aperture for the smoke of the lights to pass through.

The above exhibition can only be shown at candle-light; but there is
another way, by fixing small pieces of gold on the building, instead
of drilling the holes; which gives something like the appearance of
illumination, but by no means equal to the foregoing experiment.

N.B. It would be an improvement, if paper of various colours, rendered
transparent by oil, were placed between the lights behind and the
aperture in the buildings, as they would then resemble lamps of
different colours.

_The Cameleon Spirit._

Put into a decanter volatile spirit, in which you have dissolved
copper filings, and it will produce a fine blue. If the bottle be
stopped, the colour will disappear; but when unstopped, it will
return. This experiment may be often repeated.

_Invisible Ink._

Put litharge of lead into very strong vinegar, and let it stand
twenty-four hours. Strain it off, and let it remain till quite
settled; then put the liquor in a bottle.

You next dissolve orpiment in quick lime water, by setting the water
in the sun for two or three days, turning it five or six times a-day.
Keep the bottle containing this liquor well corked, as the vapour is
highly pernicious if received into the mouth.

Write what you wish with a pen dipped in the first liquor; and, to
make it visible, expose it to the vapour of the second liquor. If you
wish them to disappear again, draw a sponge or pencil, dipped in aqua
fortis, or spirit of nitre, over the paper; and if you wish them to
re-appear, let the paper be quite dry, and then pass the solution of
orpiment over it.


Dissolve bismuth in nitrous acid. When the writing with this fluid is
exposed to the vapour of liver of sulphur, it will become quite black.


Dissolve green vitriol and a little nitrous acid in common water.
Write your characters with a new pen.

Next infuse small Aleppo galls, slightly bruised in water. In two or
three days, pour the liquor off.

By drawing a pencil dipped in this second solution over the characters
written with the first, they will appear a beautiful black.

_Invisible Gold Ink._

Put as much gold in as small a quantity of aqua regia as will dissolve
it, and dilute it with two or three times the quantity of distilled

Next dissolve, in a separate vessel, fine pewter in aqua regia, and
when it is well impregnated, add an equal quantity of distilled water.

Write your characters with the first solution: let it dry in the
shade. To make them visible, draw a pencil or sponge, dipped in the
second solution, over the paper, and the characters will appear of a
purple colour.

_Invisible Silver Ink._

Dissolve fine silver in aqua fortis; and after the dissolution, add
some distilled water in the same manner as in the gold ink.

What is written with the above ink will remain invisible for three or
four months, if kept from the air; but may be easily read in an hour,
if exposed to the fire, air, or sun.

_Invisible Yellow Ink._

Steep marigold flowers seven or eight days in clear distilled vinegar.
Press the flowers and strain the liquor, which is to be kept in a
bottle well corked. If you would have it still more clear, add, when
you use it, some pure water.

To make the characters visible, which you write with this ink, pass a
sponge over the paper, dipped in the following solution:

Take a quantity of flowers of pansy, or the common violet, bruise them
in a mortar with water, strain the liquor in a cloth, and keep it in a

_Invisible Red Ink._

To the pure spirit of vitriol or nitre, add eight times as much water.

Use the above solution of violets to make visible the characters
written with this ink.

_Invisible Green Ink._

Dissolve salt of tartar, clean and dry, in a sufficient quantity of
river water. Use the violet solution to render it visible.

_Another Invisible Green Ink._

Dissolve zaffre, in powder, in aqua regia, for twenty-four hours. Pour
the liquor off, and the same quantity of common water, and keep it in
a bottle well corked.

This ink will not be visible till exposed to the fire or the sun; and
will again be invisible when it becomes cold.

_Invisible Violet Ink._

Express the juice of lemons, and keep it in a bottle well corked. Use
the violet infusion to make the writing visible.

_Invisible Grey Ink._

Mix alum with lemon-juice. The letters written with this ink will be
invisible till dipped in water.

       *       *       *       *       *

We now present our readers with a variety of amusing experiments,
which may be performed by the foregoing inks; and they will, probably,
suggest others equally amusing and useful.

_A Secret Correspondence by means of Invisible Ink._

A person wishing to carry on a correspondence with another, and who is
fearful of having his letter opened, or intercepted, can adopt the
following plan:

Write any unimportant matter with common ink, and let the lines be
very wide apart: then between these lines write the communication you
wish to make, with any of the above invisible inks you can most
readily procure.

Your correspondent is to be previously apprized of the method of
making the characters visible: and writing in common ink will serve to
lull the suspicions of those who might intercept the letter, and who,
not finding any thing important in it, will either forward or keep it.
In either case there can be no danger, as the writing will not be
visible without the proper application.

_The Mysterious Writing._

Write on a piece of paper with common ink any question; then
underneath it write the answer either in invisible silver ink, or the
invisible green ink, made with zaffre and aqua regia, described in
pages 24 and 25.

You give this paper to your friend, and tell him to place it against
the wall, or on his dressing-table, keeping the door locked, that he
may be sure no person has entered his room: he will next day find the
answer written on it.

_The Restored Flowers._

Make a bouquet of artificial flowers; the leaves should be formed of
parchment. Dip the roses in the red invisible ink, the jonquilles in
the yellow, the pinks in the violet, and the leaves in the green ink.
They will all appear white; and you show them to the company,
observing, that you will restore them to their natural colours, and
desiring any person to fix any private mark on them he pleases, that
he may be sure there is no deception. You then, unperceived by the
company, dip them in the revivifying liquor, used to make the yellow
ink visible, described in page 24, and, drawing them gently out, that
the liquor may drop, and the flowers have time to acquire their
colours, you present them to the company, who will see, with surprise,
that they each appear in their natural colours.

_Winter changed to Spring._

Take a print that represents winter, and colour those parts which
should appear green, with the second green invisible ink, described in
page 25; observing, of course, the usual rules of perspective, by
making the near parts deeper in colour than the others. The other
objects must be painted in their natural colours. Then put the print
into a frame with a glass, and cover the back with a paper that is
pasted only at its extremities.

When this print is exposed to a moderate fire, or the warm sun, the
foliage, which appeared covered with snow, will change to a pleasing
green; and if a yellow tint be thrown on the lighter parts before the
invisible ink is drawn over it, this green will be of different
shades. When it is exposed to the cold, it will again resume its first
appearance of winter.

_The Silver Tree._

Dissolve an ounce of fine silver in three ounces of strong aqua
fortis, in a glass bottle. When the silver is dissolved; pour the aqua
fortis into another glass vessel, (a decanter will be best,) with
seven or eight ounces of mercury, to which add a quart of common
water; to the whole add your dissolved silver, and let it remain

In a few days the mercury will appear covered with a number of little
branches of a silver colour. This appearance will increase for a month
or two, and will remain after the mercury is entirely dissolved.

_The Lead Tree._

A more modern invention, and an easier method by far than the above,
is the following:

To a piece of zinc fasten a wire, crooked in the form of the worm of a
still; let the other end of the worm be thrust through a cork. You
then pour spring water into a phial or decanter, to which you add a
small quantity of sugar of lead; thrust the zinc into the bottle, and
with the cork at the end of the wire fasten it up. In a few days the
tree will begin to grow, and produce a most beautiful effect.

_To produce beautiful Fire-works in Miniature._

Put half a drachm of solid phosphorus into a large pint Florence
flask; holding it slanting, that the phosphorus may not break the
glass. Pour upon it a gill and a half of water, and place the whole
over a tea-kettle lamp, or any common tin lamp, filled with spirit of
wine. Light the wick, which should be almost half an inch from the
flask; and as soon as the water is heated, streams of fire will issue
from the water by starts, resembling sky-rockets; some particles will
adhere to the sides of the glass representing stars; and will
frequently display brilliant rays. These appearances will continue at
times till the water begins to simmer, when immediately a curious
aurora borealis begins, and gradually ascends, till it collects to a
pointed flame; when it has continued half a minute, blow out the flame
of the lamp, and the point that was formed will rush down, forming
beautiful illuminated clouds of fire, rolling over each other for some
time, which disappearing, a splendid hemisphere of stars presents
itself: after waiting a minute or two, light the lamp again, and
nearly the same phenomenon will be displayed as from the beginning.
Let the repetition of lighting and blowing out the lamp be made for
three or four times at least, that the stars may be increased. After
the third or fourth time of blowing out the lamp, in a few minutes
after the internal surface of the flask is dry, many of the stars will
shoot with great splendour, from side to side, and some of them will
fire off with brilliant rays; these appearances will continue several
minutes. What remains in the flask will serve for the same experiment
several times, and without adding any more water. Care should be
taken, after the operation is over, to lay the flask and water in a
cool, secure place.

_Artificial Rain and Hail._

Make a hollow cylinder of wood; let it be very thin at the sides,
about eight or ten inches wide, and two or three feet diameter. Divide
its inside into five equal parts, by boards of five or six inches
wide, and let there be between them and the wooden circle, a space of
about one-sixth of an inch. You are to place these boards obliquely.
In this cylinder put four or five pounds of shot that will easily pass
through the opening. When turned upside down, the noise of the shot
going through the various partitions will resemble rain; and if you
put large shot, it will produce the sound of hail.

_Illuminated Writing._

It is well known that if any words are written on a wall with solid
phosphorus, the writing will appear as if on fire; but it is
necessary to give this caution, lest accidents should occur. In using
it, let a cup of water be always near you; and do not keep it more
than a minute and a half in your hand, for fear the warmth of your
hand should set it on fire. When you have written a few words with it,
put the phosphorus into the cup of water, and let it stay a little to
cool; then take it out, and write with it again.

_A Lamp that will burn Twelve Months without replenishing._

Take a stick of phosphorus, and put it into a large dry phial, not
corked, and it will afford a light sufficient to discern any object in
a room when held near it. The phials should be kept in a cool place,
where there is no great current of air, and it will continue its
luminous appearance for more than twelve months.

_Curious Transcolorations._

Put half a table-spoonful of syrup of violets and three
table-spoonfuls of water into a glass; stir them well together with a
stick, and put half the mixture into another glass. If you add a few
drops of acid of vitriol into one of the glasses and stir it, it will
be changed into a crimson; put a few drops of fixed alkali dissolved
into the other glass, and when you stir it, it will change to green.
If you drop slowly into the green liquor, from the side of the glass,
a few drops of acid of vitriol, you will perceive crimson at the
bottom, purple in the middle, and green at the top; and by adding a
little fixed alkali dissolved, to the other glass, the same colours
will appear in different order.


If you put a tea-spoonful of a liquor composed of copper infused in
acid of vitriol, into a glass, and add two or three table-spoonfuls of
water to it, there will be no sensible colour produced; but if you add
a little volatile alkali to it, and stir it, you will perceive a very
beautiful blue colour. Add a little acid of vitriol, the colour will
instantly disappear upon stirring it; and by adding a little fixed
alkali dissolved, it will return again.


Put half a tea-spoonful of a liquor composed of iron infused in acid
of vitriol, into half a glass of water; and add a few drops of
phlogisticated alkali, and a beautiful Prussian blue will appear.

_Curious Account of the Electric Effects of a Russian Climate._

Mr. Æpinus in a letter to Dr. Guthrie, relates the following
phenomena, which took place in Russia, when a severe frost had
continued for several weeks.

Mr. Æpinus was sent for to the palace to see an uncommon phenomenon.
On going into the apartment of Prince Orloff, he found him at his
toilet, and that every time his valet drew the comb through his hair,
a strong crackling noise was heard; and on darkening the room, sparks
were seen following the comb in great abundance, while the prince
himself was so completely electrified, that strong sparks could be
drawn from his hands and face; nay, he was even electrified when he
was only powdered with a puff.

A few days after, he was witness to a more striking effect of the
electric state of a Russian atmosphere. The Grand Duke of Russia sent
for him one evening in the twilight, and told him, that having briskly
drawn a flannel cover off a green damask chair in his bed-chamber, he
was astonished at the appearance of a strong bright flame that
followed; but considering it as an electrical appearance, he had tried
to produce a similar illumination on different pieces of furniture,
and could then show him a beautiful and surprising experiment. His
highness threw himself on his bed, which was covered with a damask
quilt, laced with gold; and, rubbing it with his hands in all
directions, the young prince, who had then reached his twelfth year,
appeared swimming in fire, as at every stroke flames arose all around
him, darted to the gold-laced border, ran along it, and up to that of
the bed, and even to the very top.

While he was showing this experiment, Prince Orloff came into the
room, with a sable muff in his hand, and showed us, that by only
whirling it five or six times round his head in the air, he could
electrify himself so strongly, as to send out sparks from all the
uncovered parts of his body.

_Astonishing Power of Steam._

If you put a small quantity of water into a tea-kettle, and place it
on the fire, it will disappear in a short time, having escaped in the
steam. But if its escape be prevented by stopping up the spout and
crevices, it will force its way by bursting the vessel in which it was

If the steam of boiling water be at liberty, the water never attains
more than a certain degree of heat; but if confined in a close vessel,
the additional fire not escaping, the power of the steam is increased,
it re-acts upon the water, and raises the heat so much higher, that it
would keep lead in a melting state; and so penetrating, that it would
soften the marrow-bone of an ox, in a few minutes.

There is an instrument contrived for the foregoing purposes, called
Papin's Digester, from the name of its inventor, and from its
digestive powers on substances exposed to its action. It is a very
strong vessel, made of copper, fitted with a thick close cover, and
fastened down by several strong screws, so as to render it steam-tight
in great degrees of heat. To render it safe, while being used, there
is a valve on the cover, to let out the steam, when it is too violent;
this valve is kept down by a steel-yard, with a weight moveable upon
it, to regulate the degrees of the steam within.

The following account of an accident with one of these instruments,
will give some idea of the great force of steam.

Mr. Papin (the inventor) having fixed all things right, and included
about a pint of water, with two ounces of marrow-bone, he placed the
vessel horizontally between the bars of the grate, about half-way into
the fire. In three minutes he found it raised to a great heat, and
perceiving the heat in a very short time become more raging, stepped
to a side-table for an iron to take the digester out of the fire,
when it suddenly burst with the explosion of a musket. It was heard at
a considerable distance, and actually shook the house. The bottom of
the vessel that was in the fire gave way; the blast of the expanded
water blew all the coals out of the fire into the room, the remainder
of the vessel flew across the room, and, hitting the leaf of an oak
table, an inch thick, broke it all in pieces, and rebounded half the
length of the room back again. He could not perceive the least sign of
water, though he looked carefully for it; the fire was quite
extinguished, and every coal black in an instant.

The following accident was attended with more fatal consequences.

A steam-engine was repairing at Chelsea, and, as the workmen were
endeavouring to discover the defect, the boiler suddenly exploded, and
a cloud of steam rushing out at the fracture, struck one of the men
who was near it, like a blast of lightning, and killed him in a
moment; when his companions endeavoured to take off his clothes, the
flesh came off with them from the bones.

_Account of the Wonderful Effects of two immense Burning-Glasses._

Mr. de Tschirnhausen constructed a burning-glass, between three and
four feet in diameter, and whose focus was rendered more powerful by a
second one. This glass melted tiles, slates, pumice-stone, &c., in a
moment; pitch, and all resins, were melted even under water; the ashes
of vegetables, wood, and other matters, were converted into glass;
indeed, it either melted, calcined, or dissipated into smoke, every
thing applied to its focus.

Mr. Parker, of Fleet-street, made a burning-glass, three feet in
diameter; it was formed of flint glass, and when on its frame, exposed
a surface of 2 feet 8-1/2 inches to the solar rays. It had a small
glass fitted to it, to converge the rays, and heighten the effect. The
experiments made by it were more powerful and accurate than those
performed by any other glass. The following is a brief epitome of its
astonishing power.

  Substances melted, with their weight; |Weight | Time  |
  and the Time in Seconds, which        |  in   |  in   |
   they took in melting.                |Grains.|Seconds|
  Pure gold                             |   20  |   4   |
  ---- silver                           |   20  |   3   |
  ---- copper                           |   33  |  20   |
  ---- platina                          |   10  |   3   |
  Nickel                                |   16  |   3   |
  A cube of bar-iron                    |   10  |  12   |
  --------- cast-iron                   |   10  |   3   |
  --------- steel                       |   10  |  12   |
  Scoria of wrought-iron                |   12  |   2   |
  Kearsh                                |   10  |   3   |
  Cauk, or terra ponderosa              |   10  |   7   |
  A topaz, or chrysolite                |    3  |  45   |
  An oriental emerald                   |    2  |  25   |
  Crystal pebble                        |    7  |   6   |
  White agate                           |   10  |  30   |
  Oriental flint                        |   10  |  30   |
  Rough cornelian                       |   10  |  75   |
  Jasper                                |   10  |  25   |
  Onyx                                  |   10  |  20   |
  Garnet                                |   10  |  17   |
  White rhomboidal spar                 |   10  |  60   |
  Zeolites                              |   10  |  23   |
  Rotten-stone                          |   10  |  80   |
  Common slate                          |   10  |   2   |
  Asbestos                              |   10  |  10   |
  Common lime-stone                     |   10  |  55   |
  Pumice-stone                          |   10  |  24   |
  Lava                                  |   10  |   7   |
  Volcanic clay                         |   10  |  60   |
  Cornish moor-stone                    |   10  |  60   |

_Fulminating Powder._

This powder is made by rubbing together, in a hot marble mortar, with
a wooden pestle, three parts, by weight, of nitre, two of mild
vegetable alkali, and one of flowers of sulphur, till the whole is
accurately mixed. If a drachm of this powder be exposed to a gentle
heat, in an iron ladle, till it melts, it will explode with a noise as
loud as the report of a cannon.

_A more powerful fulminating Powder._

The most wonderful instance of chemical detonation is formed by the
combination of volatile alkali with silver. Gunpowder, or fulminating
gold, are not to be compared with this invention, and the great danger
attending its manufacture prevents us from giving a methodical account
of its preparation to our readers, particularly as it can be
purchased, properly prepared, of the chemists.

The slightest agitation or friction is sufficient to cause its
explosion. When it is once obtained, it can no longer be touched with
safety. The falling of a few atoms of it, from a small height,
produces an explosion; a drop of water falling on it has the same
effect. No attempt, therefore, can be made to enclose it in a bottle,
but it must be let alone in the capsule, wherein, by evaporation, it
obtains this terrible property. To make this experiment with safety,
no greater quantity than a grain of silver should be used; the last
process of drying should be made in a metallic vessel, and the face of
the operator defended by a mask with strong glass eyes.

_To make the Phosphorus Match Bottles._

Nothing more is necessary for this purpose, than to drop small pieces
of dry phosphorus into a common phial; gently heat it till it melts;
and then turn the bottle round, that it may adhere to the sides. The
phial should be closely corked; and when used, a common brimstone
match is to be introduced, and rubbed against the sides of the phial:
this inflames the match when it is brought out of the bottle. Though
there is no danger in phosphorus, till friction, or fire, is applied,
yet persons cannot be too cautious in the use of it, as instances have
been known of one of these bottles catching fire in the pocket, and
very much endangering the person who carried it; likewise, if
carelessly used, small particles are apt to get under the nails, or on
the hand; and if, by accident, they are held to the fire, or rubbed
together, a flame will presently kindle.

_To make a Ring suspend by a Thread, after the Thread has been

Soak a piece of thread in urine, or common salt and water. Tie it to a
ring, not larger than a wedding-ring. When you apply the flame of a
candle to it, it will burn to ashes, but yet sustain the ring.

_To form Figures in relief on an Egg._

Design on the shell any figure or ornament you please, with melted
tallow, or any other fat oily substance; then immerse the egg into
very strong vinegar, and let it remain till the acid has corroded that
part of the shell which is not covered with the greasy matter: those
parts will then appear in relief, exactly as you have drawn them.

_To give a ghastly Appearance to Persons in a Room._

Dissolve salt in an infusion of saffron and spirits of wine. Dip some
tow in this solution, and, having set fire to it, extinguish all other
lights in the room.

_To change Blue to White._

Dissolve copper filings in a phial of volatile alkali; when the phial
is unstopped, the liquor will be blue; when stopped, it will be white.

_Magical Transmutations._

Infuse a few shavings of logwood in common water, and when the liquor
is sufficiently red, pour it into a bottle. Then take three
drinking-glasses, and rinse one of them with strong vinegar; throw
into the second a small quantity of pounded alum, which will not be
observed if the glass has been recently washed, and leave the third
without any preparation. If the red liquor in the bottle be poured
into the first glass, it will appear of a straw colour; if into the
second, it will pass gradually from bluish-grey to black, when stirred
with a key, or any piece of iron, which has been previously dipped in
strong vinegar. In the third glass, the red liquor will assume a
violet tint.

_To make Pomatum with Water and Wax._

Water and wax are two substances that do not naturally unite together;
therefore, to those who witness the following process, without knowing
the cause, it will have the appearance of marvellous. Put into a new
glazed earthen pot, six ounces of river water and two ounces of white
wax, in which, you must previously conceal a strong dose of salt of
tartar. If the whole be then exposed to a considerable degree of heat,
it will assume the consistence of pomatum, and may be used as such.

_Iron transformed into Copper._

Dissolve blue vitriol in water, till the water is well impregnated
with it; and immerse into the solution small plates of iron, or coarse
iron filings. These will be attacked and dissolved by the acid of the
vitriol, while the copper naturally contained in the vitriol will be
sunk and deposited in the place of the iron dissolved. If the piece of
iron be too large for dissolving, it will be so completely covered
with particles of copper, as to resemble that metal itself.

_Iron transformed into Silver._

Dissolve mercury in marine acid, and dip a piece of iron into it, or
rub the solution over the iron, and it will assume a silver

It is scarcely necessary to say, that these transmutations are only
apparent, though to the credulous it would seem that they were
actually transformed.

_Chemical Illuminations._

Put into a middling-sized bottle, with a short wide neck, three ounces
of oil or spirit of vitriol, with twelve ounces of common water, and
throw into it, at different times, an ounce or two of iron filings. A
violent commotion will then take place, and white vapours will arise
from the mixture. If a taper be held to the mouth of the bottle, these
vapours will inflame and produce a violent explosion, which may be
repeated as long as the vapours continue.

_The Philosophical Candle._

Provide a bladder, into the orifice of which is inserted a metal tube,
some inches in length, that can be adapted to the neck of a bottle,
containing the same mixture as in the last experiment. Having suffered
the atmospheric air to be expelled from the bottle, by the elastic
vapour produced by the solution, apply the orifice of the bladder to
the mouth of the bottle, after carefully squeezing the common air out
of it, (which you must not fail to do, or the bladder will violently
explode.) The bladder will thus become filled with the inflammable
air, which, when forced out against the flame of a candle, by pressing
the sides of the bladder, will form a beautiful green flame.

_To make the appearance of a Flash of Lightning, when any one enters a
Room with a lighted Candle._

Dissolve camphor in spirit of wine, and deposit the vessel containing
the solution in a very close room, where the spirit of wine must be
made to evaporate by strong and speedy boiling. If any one then enters
the room with a lighted candle, the air will inflame, while the
combustion will be so sudden, and of so short a duration, as to
occasion no danger.

_To melt Iron in a Moment and make it run into Drops._

Bring a bar of iron to a white heat, and then apply to it a roll of
sulphur. The iron will immediately melt and run into drops.

This experiment should be performed over a basin of water, in which
the drops that fall down will be quenched. These drops will be found
reduced into a sort of cast-iron.

_Never-yielding Cement._

Calcine oyster-shells, pound them, sift them through a silk sieve, and
grind them on porphyry till they are reduced to the finest powder.
Then take the whites of several eggs, according to the quantity of the
powder; and having mixed them with the powder, form the whole into a
kind of paste. With this paste join the pieces of china, or glass, and
press them together for seven or eight minutes. This cement will stand
both heat and water, and will never give way, even if the article
should, by accident, fall to the ground.

_To remove Stains and Blemishes from Prints._

Paste a piece of paper to a very smooth clear table, that the boiling
water used in the operation may not require a colour which might
lessen its success. Spread out the print you wish to clean upon the
table, and sprinkle it with boiling water; taking care to moisten it
throughout by very carefully applying a very fine sponge. After you
have repeated this process five or six times, you will observe the
stains or spots extend themselves; but this is only a proof that the
dirt begins to be dissolved.

After this preparation, lay the print smoothly and carefully into a
copper or wooden vessel, larger than the size of the print. Then cover
it with a boiling ley of potash, taking care to keep it hot as long as
possible. After the whole is cooled, strain off the liquor, take out
the print with care, spread it on a stretched cord, and when half dry,
press it between leaves of white paper, to prevent wrinkles.

By this process, spots and stains of any kind will be effectually

_To so fill a Glass with Water, that it cannot be removed without
spilling the whole._

This is a mere trick, but may afford some amusement. You offer to bet
any person that you will so fill a glass with water that he shall not
move it off the table without spilling the whole contents. You then
fill the glass, and, laying a piece of paper or thin card over the
top, you dexterously turn the glass upside down on the table, and then
drawing away the paper, you leave the water in the glass, with its
foot upwards. It will therefore be impossible to remove the glass from
the table without spilling every drop.

_Two Figures, one of which blows out and the other re-lights a

Make two figures, of any shape or materials you please; insert in the
mouth of one a small tube, at the end of which is a piece of
phosphorus, and in the mouth of the other a tube containing at the end
a few grains of gunpowder; taking care that each be retained in the
tube by a piece of paper. If the second figure be applied to the flame
of a taper, it will extinguish it; and the first will light it again.

_A vessel that will let Water out at the Bottom, as soon as the Mouth
is uncorked._

Provide a tin vessel, two or three inches in diameter, and five or six
inches in height, having a mouth about three inches in width; and in
the bottom several small holes, just large enough to admit a small
needle. Plunge it in water with its mouth open, and when full, while
it remains in the water, stop it very closely. You can play a trick
with a person, by desiring him to uncork it; if he places it on his
knee for that purpose, the moment it is uncorked the water will run
through at the bottom, and make him completely wet.

_A Powder which catches Fire when exposed to the Air._

Put three ounces of rock alum, and one ounce of honey or sugar, into a
new earthen dish, glazed, and which is capable of standing a strong
heat; keep the mixture over the fire, stirring it continually till it
becomes very dry and hard; then remove it from the fire, and pound it
to a coarse powder. Put this powder into a long-necked bottle, leaving
a part of the vessel empty; and, having placed it in a crucible, fill
up the crucible with fine sand, and surround it with burning coals.
When the bottle has been kept at a red heat for about seven or eight
minutes, and no more vapour issues from it, remove it from the fire,
then stop it with a piece of cork; and, having suffered it to cool,
preserve the mixture in small bottles well closed.

If you unclose one of these bottles, and let fall a few grains of this
powder on a bit of paper, or any other very dry substance, it will
first become blue, then brown, and will at last burn the paper or
other dry substance on which it has fallen.

_Fulminating Gold._

Put into a small long-necked bottle, resting on a little sand, one
part of fine gold filings, and three parts of aqua regia,
(nitro-muriatic acid.) When the gold is dissolved, pour the solution
into a glass, and add five or six times the quantity of water. Then
take spirit of sal ammoniac or oil of tartar, and pour it drop by drop
into the solution, until the gold is entirely precipitated to the
bottom of the glass. Decant the liquor that swims at the top, by
inclining the glass; and, having washed it several times in warm
water, dry it at a moderate heat, placing it on paper capable of
absorbing all the moisture.

If a grain of this powder, put into a spoon, (it should be an iron
one,) be exposed to the flame of a candle, it will explode with a very
loud report.

_To melt a piece of Money in a Walnut-shell, without injuring the

Bend any thin coin, and put it into half a walnut-shell; place the
shell on a little sand, to keep it steady. Then fill the shell with a
mixture made of three parts of very dry pounded nitre, one part of
flowers of sulphur, and a little saw-dust well sifted. If you then set
light to the mixture, you will find, when it is melted, that the metal
will also be melted at the bottom of the shell, in form of a button,
which will become hard when the burning matter round it is consumed:
the shell will have sustained very little injury.

_A Liquid that Shines in the Dark._

Take a bit of phosphorus, about the size of a pea; break it into small
parts, which you are to put into a glass half full of very pure water,
and boil it in a small earthen vessel, over a very moderate fire. Have
in readiness a long narrow bottle, with a well-fitted glass stopper,
and immerse it, with its mouth open, into boiling water. On taking it
out, empty the water, and immediately pour in the mixture in a boiling
state; then put in the stopper, and cover it with mastich, to prevent
the entrance of the external air.

This water will shine in the dark for several months, even without
being touched; and, if it be shaken in dry warm weather, brilliant
flashes will be seen to rise through the middle of the water.

_Luminous Liquor._

Put a little phosphorus, with essence of cloves, into a bottle, which
must be kept closely stopped. Every time the bottle is unclosed, the
liquor will appear luminous. This experiment must be performed in the

_The changeable Rose._

Take a common full-blown rose, and, having thrown a little sulphur
finely pounded into a chafing-dish with coals, expose the rose to the
vapour. By this process the rose will become whitish; but if it be
afterwards held some time in water, it will resume its former colour.

_Golden Ink._

Take some white gum arabic, reduce it to an impalpable powder, in a
brass mortar; dissolve it in strong brandy, and add a little common
water to render it more liquid. Provide some gold in a shell, which
must be detached, in order to reduce it to a powder. When this is
done, moisten it with the gummy solution, and stir the whole with a
small hair-brush, or your finger; then leave it for a night, that the
gold may be better dissolved. If the composition become dry during the
night, dilute it with more gum water, in which a little saffron has
been infused; but take care that the gold solution be sufficiently
liquid to flow freely in a pen. When the writing is dry, polish it
with a dry tooth.

_Another way._

Reduce gum ammoniac into powder, and dissolve it in gum arabic water,
to which a little garlic juice has been added. This water will not
dissolve the ammonia so as to form a transparent liquid; for the
result will be a milky liquor. With the liquor form your letters or
ornaments on paper or vellum, with a pen or fine camels'-hair brush;
then let them dry, and afterwards breathe on them some time, till they
become moist; then apply a few bits of leaf gold to the letters, which
you press down gently with cotton wool. When the whole is dry, brush
off the superfluous gold with a large camels'-hair brush, and, to make
it more brilliant, burnish with a dog's tooth.

_White Ink, for Writing on black Paper._

Having carefully washed some egg-shells, remove the internal skin, and
grind them on a piece of porphyry. Then put the powder into a small
vessel of pure water, and when it has settled at the bottom, draw off
the water, and dry the powder in the sun. This powder must be
preserved in a bottle; when you want to use it, put a small quantity
of gum ammoniac into distilled vinegar, and leave it to dissolve
during the night. Next morning the solution will appear exceedingly
white; and if you then strain it through a piece of linen cloth, and
add to it the powder of egg-shells, in sufficient quantity, you will
obtain a very white ink.

_To construct Paper Balloons._

Take several sheets of silk paper; cut them in the shape of a spindle;
or, to speak more familiarly, like the coverings of the sections of an
orange; join these pieces together, into one spherical or globular
body, and border the aperture with a ribbon, leaving the ends, that
you may suspend them from the following lamp.

Construct a small basket of very fine wire, if the balloon is small,
and suspend it from the aperture, so that the smoke from the flame of
a few leaves of paper, wrapped together, and dipped in oil, may heat
the inside of it. Before you light this paper, suspend the balloon in
such a manner, that it may, in a great measure, be exhausted of air,
and as soon as it has been dilated, let it go, together with the wire
basket, which will serve as ballast.

_Water-Gilding upon Silver._

Take copper-flakes, on which pour strong vinegar; add alum and salt in
equal quantities; set them on a fire, and when the vinegar is boiled,
till it becomes one-fourth part of its original quantity, throw into
it the metal you design to gild, and it will assume a copper colour.
Continue boiling it, and it will change into a fine gold colour.

_A Water which gives Silver a Gold Colour._

Take sulphur and nitre, of each an equal quantity; grind them together
very fine, and put them into an unglazed vessel; cover and lute it
well; then set it over a slow fire for 24 hours; put what remains into
a strong crucible, and let it dissolve; put it into a phial, and
whatever silver you anoint with it will have a gold colour.

_To make an old Gold Chain appear like new._

Dissolve sal ammoniac in urine, boil the chain in it, and it will have
a fine gold colour.

_To give Silver the Colour of Gold._

Dissolve in common aqua fortis as much silver as you please. To eight
ounces of silver, take four ounces of hepatic aloes, six ounces of
turmeric, and two ounces of prepared tutty, that has been several
times quenched in urine. Put these to the solution of the silver; they
will dissolve, but rise up in the glass like a sponge; this glass must
therefore be large, to prevent running over. Then draw it off, and you
will have ten ounces of silver as yellow as gold.

_A Water to give any Metal a Gold Colour._

Take fine sulphur and pulverize it; then boil some stale spring water;
pour it hot upon the powder, and stir it well together; boil it again,
and pour into it an ounce of dragon's blood. After it is well boiled,
take it off, and filter it through a fine cloth; pour this water into
a matrass, (a chemical vessel,) after you have put in what you design
to colour; close it well, and boil it a third time, and the metal will
be a fine gold colour.

_Another way._

Take hepatic aloes, nitre, and Roman vitriol, of each equal
quantities; and distil them with water, in an alembic, till all the
spirits are extracted; it will at last yield a yellowish water, which
will tinge any sort of metal of a gold colour.

_To give Silver-plate a Lustre._

Dissolve alum in a strong ley, and scum it carefully; then mix it up
with soap, and wash your silver utensils with it, using a linen rag.

_The Fiery Fountain._

If twenty grains of phosphorus, cut very small, and mixed with forty
grains of powder of zinc, be put into four drachms of water, and two
drachms of concentrated sulphuric acid be added thereto, bubbles of
inflamed phosphoretted hydrogen gas will quickly cover the whole
surface of the fluid in succession, forming a real fountain of fire.

_To take Impressions of Coins, Medals, &c._

Cut fish-glue, or isinglass, into small pieces, immerse it in clear
water, and set it on a slow fire; when gradually dissolved, let it
boil slowly, stirring it with a wooden spoon, and taking off the scum.
The liquor being sufficiently adhesive, take it off the fire, let it
cool a little, and then pour it on the medal or coin you wish to copy,
having first rubbed the coin over with oil. Let the composition lay
about the thickness of a crown-piece on the medal. Then set it in a
moderate air, neither too hot nor too cold, and let it cool and dry.
When it is dry, it will loosen itself; you will find the impression
correct, and the finest strokes expressed with the greatest accuracy.

You may give a most pleasing effect to the composition, by mixing any
colour with it, red, yellow, blue, green, &c., and if you add a little
parchment size to it, it will make it harder and better. This size is
made by gently simmering the cuttings of clear white parchment in a
pipkin, with a little water, till it becomes adhesive.

_To tell a Person any Number he may privately fix on._

When the person has fixed on a number, bid him double it and add four
to that doubling; then multiply the whole by 5; to the product let him
add 12, and multiply the amount by 10. From the total of all this, let
him deduct 320, and tell you the remainder; from which, if you cut off
the two last figures, the number that remains will be what he fixed
upon. For instance,

  Suppose the number chosen is                       7
  Which doubled                                     14
  Add 4 to it, and it will make                     18
  Multiply 18 by 5, gives                           90
  To which add 12, is                              102
  Multiply that by 10, makes                      1020
  From which deducting 320, the remainder is       700
  And by striking off the two ciphers, it becomes
          the number thought on                      7

_To tell any Number a Person has fixed on, without asking him any

You tell the person to choose any number from 1 to 15; he is to add 1
to that number, and triple the amount. Then,

  1. He is to take the half of that triple, and triple that half.
  2. To take the half of the last triple, and triple that half.
  3. To take the half of the last triple.
  4. To take the half of that half.

Thus, it will be seen, there are four cases where the half is to be
taken; the three first are denoted by one of the eight following Latin
words, each word being composed of three syllables; and those that
contain the letter i refer to those cases where the half cannot be
taken without a fraction; therefore, in those cases, the person who
makes the deduction is to add 1 to the number divided. The fourth case
shows which of the two numbers annexed to every word has been chosen;
for if the fourth half can be taken without adding 1, the number
chosen is in the first column; but if not, it is in the second.

  _The words._    _The numbers they denote._

  Mi-se-ris            8   0
  Ob-tin-git           1   9
  Ni-mi-um             2  19
  No-ta-ri             3  11
  In-fer-nos           4  12
  Or-di-nes           13   5
  Ti-mi-di             6  14
  Te-ne-ant           15   7

For example:

  Suppose the number chosen is      9
  To which is to be added           1
  The triple of that number is     30
  The half of which is             15
  The triple of that half must be  45
  And the half of that[A]          23
  The triple half of that half     69
  The half of that[A]              35
  And the half of that half[A]     18

    [A] At all these stages, 1 must be added, to take the half
    without a fraction.

While the person is performing the operation, you remark, that at the
second and third stages he is obliged to add 1; and, consequently,
that the word _ob-tin-git_, in the second and third syllables of which
is an i, denotes that the number must be either 1 or 9; and, by
observing that he cannot take the last half without adding 1, you know
that it must be the number in the second column. If he makes no
addition at any one of the four stages, the number he chose must be
15, as that is the only number that has not a fraction at either of
the divisions.

_The Lamp Chronometer._

Figure 4 represents a chamber lamp, A, consisting of a cylindrical
vessel made of tin, in the shape of a candle, and is to be filled with
oil. This vessel should be about three inches high and one inch
diameter, placed in a stand, B. The whole apparatus, of lamp and
stand, can be purchased, ready-made, at any tin-shop in London. To the
stand, B, is fixed the handle C, which supports the frame D, about 12
inches high, and four inches wide. This frame is to be covered with
oiled paper, and divided into 12 equal parts by horizontal lines, at
the end of which are written the numbers for the hours, from 1 to 12,
and between the horizontal lines, and diagonals, divided into halves,
quarters, &c. On the handle C, and close to the glass, is fixed the
style or hand E.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.]

Now, as the distance of the style from the flame of the lamp is only
half an inch, then, if the distance of the frame from the style be six
inches, while the float that contains the light descends by the
decrease on the oil, one inch, the shadow of the style of the frame
will ascend 12 inches, being its whole length, and show by its
progression, the regular increase of the hours, with their several

You must be careful always to burn the same oil, which must be the
best; and the wick must never vary in size; if these precautions are
not attended to, the dial never can be accurate.

_The Phial of the Four Elements._

Take a phial, six or seven inches long, and about three quarters of an
inch in diameter. In this phial put, first, glass coarsely powdered;
secondly, oil of tartar per deliquum; thirdly, tincture of salt of
tartar; and lastly, distilled rock oil.

The glass and the various liquors being of different densities, if you
shake the phial, and then let it rest a few moments, the three liquors
will entirely separate, and each assume its place; thus forming no
indifferent resemblance of the four elements, earth, fire, water, and
air: the powdered glass (which should be of some dark colour)
representing the earth; the oil of tartar, water; the tincture, air;
and the rock oil, fire.

_The Magic Bottle._

Take a small bottle, the neck of which is not more than the sixth of
an inch in diameter. With a funnel, fill the bottle quite full of red
wine, and place it in a glass vessel, similar to a show-glass, whose
height exceeds that of the bottle about two inches; fill this vessel
with water. The wine will shortly come out of the bottle, and rise in
the form of a small column to the surface of the water; while at the
same time, the water, entering the bottle, will supply the place of
the wine. The reason of this is, that as water is specifically heavier
than wine, it must hold the lower place, while the other rises to the

An effect equally pleasing will be produced, if the bottle be filled
with water, and the vessel with wine.

_The Globular Fountain._

Make a hollow globe, of copper or lead, and of a size adapted to the
quantity of water that comes from a pipe (hereafter mentioned) to
which it is to be fixed, and which may be fastened to any kind of
pump, provided it be so constructed, that the water shall have no
other means of escape than through the pipe. Pierce a number of small
holes through the globe, that all tend towards its centre, and annex
it to the pipe that communicates with the pump. The water that comes
from the pump, rushing with violence into the globe, will be forced
out at the holes, and form a very pleasing sphere of water.

_The Hydraulic Dancer._

Procure a little figure made of cork, which you may dress as your
fancy dictates. In this figure place a small hollow cone made of thin
leaf brass.

When the figure is placed on a jet d'eau, that plays in a
perpendicular direction, it will be suspended on the top of the water,
and perform a great variety of amusing motions.

If a hollow ball of very thin copper, of an inch diameter, be placed
on a similar jet, it will remain suspended, turning round, and
spreading the water all about it.

_A Person having put a Ring an one of his Fingers, to name the Person,
the Hand, the Finger, and the Joint on which it is placed._

Let a third person double the number of the order in which he stands
who has the ring, and add 5 to that number; then multiply that sum by
5, and to the product add 10. Let him next add 1 to the last number,
if the ring be on the right hand, and 2 if on the left, and multiply
the whole by 10: to the product of this he must add the number of the
finger, (counting the thumb as the first finger,) and multiply the
whole again by 10. Let him then add the number of the joint, and,
lastly, to the whole join 35.

He is then to tell you the amount of the whole, from which you are to
subtract 3535, and the remainder will consist of four figures; the
first of which will express the rank in which the person stands, the
second the hand, (number 1 signifying the right, and 2 the left,) the
third number the finger, and the fourth the joint.--For example:

Suppose the person who stands the third in order has put the ring upon
the second joint of the thumb of his left hand; then,

  The double of the rank of the third person is   6
  To which add                                    5
  Multiply the sum by                             5
  To which add                                   10
  And the number of the left hand                 2
  Which being multiplied by                      10
  To which add the number of the thumb            1
  And multiply again by                          10
  Then add the number of the joint                2
  And lastly the number                          35
  From which deducting                         3535
  The remainder is                             3212

Of which, as we have said, the 3 denotes the third person, the 2 the
left hand, the 1 the thumb, and the last 2 the second joint.

_The Water Sun._

Provide two portions of a hollow sphere, that are very shallow; join
them together in such a manner that the hollow between them be very
narrow. Fix them vertically to a pipe from whence a jet proceeds. Bore
a number of small holes all around that part where the two pieces are
joined together. The water rushing through the holes will form a very
pleasing water sun, or star.

_The Magical Cascade._

Procure a tin vessel, shaped like Fig. 5, about five inches high and
four in diameter, with a cover, C, closed at top. To the bottom of
this vessel, let the pipe D E be soldered. This pipe is to be ten
inches long, and half an inch in diameter, open at each end, and the
upper end must be above the water in the vessel. To the bottom also
fix five or six small tubes, F, about one-eighth of an inch in
diameter. By these pipes, the water in the vessel is to run slowly

[Illustration: Fig. 5.]

Place this machine in a tin basin, G H, with a hole in the middle,
about a quarter of an inch in diameter. Fix to the tube D E, any sort
of ornament that will keep the machine firm on the basin, observing,
that these supports are sufficiently long to leave about a quarter of
an inch between the end of the tube and the orifice in the basin; and
let there be a vessel under the basin to catch the water that runs

As the small pipes discharge more water into the basin than can run
out of the central orifice, the water will rise in the basin above the
lower end of the pipe, and prevent the air from getting into the
vessel, by which the water will cease to flow from the small pipes.
But as the water continues to flow from the basin, the air will have
liberty again to enter the vessel by the tube, and the water will
again flow from the small pipes, and alternately stop and flow, while
any water remains in the vessel.

As you can guess when the pipes will flow, and when they will stop,
you may so manage it, that they will appear to act by word of command.

_The illuminated Fountain, that plays when the Candles are lighted,
and stops when they are extinguished._

Provide two cylindrical vessels, A B and C D, as in Fig. 6. Connect
them by four tubes open at each end, as H I, &c., so that the air may
descend out of the higher into the lower vessel. To these tubes fix
candlesticks, and to the hollow cover, E F, of the lower vessel, fit a
tube, K, reaching almost to the bottom of the vessel. At G let there
be an aperture with a screw, whereby water may be poured into C D,
which, when filled, must be closed by the screw.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.]

When the candles are lighted, the air in the upper cover and
contiguous pipes will be thereby rarefied, and the jet from the small
tube, K, will begin to play: as the air becomes more rarefied, the
force of the jet will increase, and it will continue to play till the
water in the lower vessel is exhausted. As the motion of the jet is
caused by the heat of the candles, when they are extinguished the
fountain will stop.

_A Fountain which acts by the heat of the Sun._

In the annexed engraving, Fig. 7, G N S is a thin hollow globe of
copper, eighteen inches diameter, supported by a small inverted basin,
placed on a stand with four legs, A B C D, which have between them, at
the bottom, a basin of two feet diameter. Through the leg C passes a
concealed pipe, which comes from G, the bottom of the inside of the
globe. This pipe goes by H V, and joins the upright pipe _u_ I, to
make a jet, as I. The short pipe, _u_ I, which goes to the bottom, has
a valve at _u_, under the horizontal pipe H V, and another valve at T,
above that Horizontal pipe, under the cock at K. The use of this cock
is to keep the fountain from playing in the day, if you think proper.
The north pole N of the globe has a screw that opens a hole, whereby
water is poured into the globe.

[Illustration: Fig. 7.]

The machine being thus prepared, and the globe half filled with water,
put it in an open place, when the heat of the sun rarefying the air as
it heats the copper, the air will press strongly against the water,
which, coming down the pipe, will lift up the valve at V, and shut the
valve at u. The cock being opened, the water will spout out at I, and
continue to play a long while, if the sun shines.

_Inflammable Phosphorus._

Take the meal of flour of any vegetable, put it into an iron pan over
a moderate fire, and keep it stirring with an iron spoon till it
changes to a black powder; to one part of this add four parts of raw
alum. Make the whole into a fine powder; put it again into the iron
pan, and keep stirring it till it almost catches fire, to prevent its
forming into lumps, as it is apt to do when the alum melts; in which
case it must be broken again, stirred about, and accurately mixed with
the flour, till it emits no more fumes, and the whole appears a fine
black powder.

Put this powder in a clean dry phial with a narrow neck, filling it to
about one-third of the top. Then stop the mouth of the phial with
loose paper, so as to let the air pass freely through it, and leave
room for the fumes to come through the neck. Place the phial in a
crucible, encompassed on all sides with sand, so that it may not touch
any part of the crucible, but a considerable space everywhere left
between. The phial must be covered up with sand, leaving only a small
part bare, by which you can discern whether the powder is ignited. In
this state, the crucible is to be surrounded with coals, kindled
slowly till it is well heated on all sides, and then the fire is to be
raised, till the crucible and every thing in it is red-hot; keep it in
this state an hour; after this, the fire still burning as fiercely,
close up the orifice of the phial with wax, to exclude the air. Leave
it to cool, and you will find in it a black dusty coal formed of the
flour and alum.

Shake a small quantity of this out of the phial into the cool air, and
it will immediately take fire, but will not burn any thing. Keep the
bottle dry, as even the air will spoil it effectually.

_The Magical Mirrors._

Make two holes in the wainscot of a room, each a foot high and ten
inches wide, and about a foot distant from each other. Let these
apertures be about the height of a man's head, and in each of them
place a transparent glass in a frame, like a common mirror.

Behind the partition, and directly facing each aperture, place two
mirrors enclosed in the wainscot, in an angle of forty-five
degrees.[B] These mirrors are each to be eighteen inches square: and
all the space between them must be enclosed with pasteboard painted
black, and well closed, that no light can enter; let there be also two
curtains to cover them, which you may draw aside at pleasure.

When a person looks into one of these fictitious mirrors, instead of
seeing his own face he will see the object that is in front of the
other; thus, if two persons stand at the same time before these
mirrors, instead of each seeing himself; they will reciprocally see
each other.

There should be a sconce with a lighted candle, placed on each side of
the two glasses in the wainscot, to enlighten the faces of the persons
who look in them, or the experiment will not have so remarkable an

    [B] That is, half-way between a line drawn perpendicularly to
    the ground and its surface.

_To cause a brilliant Explosion under Water._

Drop a piece of phosphorus, the size of a pea, into a tumbler of hot
water; and, from a bladder furnished with a stop-cock, force a stream
of oxygen directly upon it. This will afford a most brilliant
combustion under water.

_Fulminating Mercury._

Dissolve 100 grains of mercury by heat, in an ounce and a half of
nitric acid. This solution being poured cold upon two measured ounces
of alcohol previously introduced into any convenient glass vessel, a
moderate heat is to be applied, till effervescence is excited. A white
fume then begins to appear on the surface of the liquor, and the
powder will be gradually precipitated when the action ceases. The
precipitate is to be immediately collected on a filter, well washed
with distilled water, and cautiously dried in a heat not exceeding
that of a water-bath. Washing the powder immediately is material,
because it is liable to the re-action of the nitric acid; and, while
any of the acid adheres to it, it is very subject to the action of
light. From 100 grains of mercury, about 130 of the powder are

This powder, when struck on an anvil with a hammer, explodes with a
sharp stunning noise, and with such force as to indent both hammer and
anvil. Three or four grains are sufficient for one experiment.

_The Iron Tree._

Dissolve iron filings in aqua fortis, moderately concentrated, till
the acid is saturated; then add to it gradually, a solution of fixed
alkali, (commonly called oil of tartar per deliquum.) A strong
effervescence will ensue, and the iron, instead of falling to the
bottom of the vessel, will afterwards rise so as to cover the sides,
forming a multitude of ramifications heaped one upon the other, which
will sometimes pass over the edge of the vessel, and extend themselves
on the outside, with all the appearance of a plant.

_To make any Number divisible by Nine, by adding a Figure to it._

If (for example) the number named be 72,857, you tell the person who
names it to place the number 7 between any two figures of that sum,
and it will be divisible by 9; for if any number be multiplied by 9,
the sum of the figures of the product will be either 9, or a number
divisible by 9.

_Arithmetical Squares._

An arithmetical magical square consists of numbers so disposed in
parallel and equal lines, that the sum of each, taken any way of the
square, amounts to the same.

Any five of these sums taken in a right line make 65. You will observe
that five numbers in the diagonals A to D, and B to C, of the magical
square, answer to the ranks E to F, and G to H, in the natural square,
and that 13 is the centre number of both squares.

    _A Natural Square._   _A Magical Square._
    A        G      B       A            B
      +--+--+--+--+--+     +--+--+--+--+--+
      | 1| 2| 3| 4| 5|     |11|24| 7|20| 3|
      +--+--+--+--+--+     +--+--+--+--+--+
      | 6| 7| 8| 9|10|     | 4|12|25| 8|16|
      +--+--+--+--+--+     +--+--+--+--+--+
    E |11|12|13|14|15|   F |17| 5|13|21| 9|
      +--+--+--+--+--+     +--+--+--+--+--+
      |16|17|18|19|20|     |10|18| 1|14|22|
      +--+--+--+--+--+     +--+--+--+--+--+
      |21|22|23|24|25|     |23| 6|19| 2|15|
      +--+--+--+--+--+     +--+--+--+--+--+
    C        H      D       C            D

To form a magical square, first transpose the two ranks in the natural
square to the diagonals of the magical square; then place the number 1
under the central number 13, and the number 2 in the next diagonal
downward. The number 3 should be placed in the same diagonal line; but
as there is no room in the square, you are to place it in that part it
would occupy if another square were placed under this. For the same
reason, the number 4, by following the diagonal direction, falling out
of the square, it is to be put into the part it would hold in another
square, placed by the side of this. You then proceed to numbers 5 and
6, still descending; but as the place 6 should hold is already filled,
you then go back to the diagonal, and consequently place the 6 in the
second place under the 5, so that there may remain an empty space
between the two numbers. The same rule is to observed, whenever you
find a space already filled.

You proceed in this manner to fill all the empty cases in the angle
where the 15 is placed: and as there is no space for the 16 in the
same diagonal, descending, you must place it in the part it would hold
in another square, and continue the same plan till all the spaces are
filled. This method will serve equally for all sorts of arithmetical
progressions composed of odd numbers; even numbers being too
complicated to afford any amusement.

_To find the Difference between two Numbers, the greatest of which is

Take as many nines as there are figures in the smallest number, and
subtract that sum from the number of nines. Let another person add
that difference to the largest number, and, taking away the first
figure of the amount, add it to the last figure, and that sum will be
the difference of the two numbers.

For example: Robert, who is 22, tells George, who is older, that he
can discover the difference of their ages; he therefore privately
deducts 22 from 99, and the difference, which is 77, he tells George
to add to his age, and to take away the first figure from the amount,
and add it to the last figure, and that last sum will be the
difference of their ages. Thus, the difference between

  Robert's age and 99, is                      77
  To which George adding his age               35
      The sum will be                         112
  Then by taking away the first figure, 1, }
      and adding it to the last figure, 2, }   13
      the sum is                           }
  Which added to Robert's age                  22
  Gives George's age, which is                 35

_The Boundless Prospect._

Take a square box, about six inches long and twelve high, or of any
other proportionate dimensions. Cover the inside with four flat pieces
of looking-glass placed perpendicular to the bottom of the box. Place
at the bottom any objects you please, as a piece of fortification, a
castle, tents, soldiers, &c. On the top, place a frame of glass shaped
like the bottom of a pyramid, as in Fig. 8, and so formed as to fit on
the box like a cover. The four sides of this cover are to be composed
of ground glass, or covered inside with gauze, so that the light may
enter, and yet the inside be invisible, except at the top, which must
be covered with transparent glass: when you look through this glass,
the inside will present a pleasing prospect of a boundless extent;
and, if managed with care, will afford a deal of amusement.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

_To set Fire to a combustible Body by Reflection._

Place two concave mirrors at about twelve feet distance from each
other, and let the axis of each be in the same line. In the focus of
one of them place a live coal, and in the focus of the other some
gunpowder. With a pair of strong bellows keep blowing the coal, and
notwithstanding the distance between them, the powder will presently
take fire.

The mirror may be either made of glass, metal, or pasteboard gilt.

_To find the Number of Changes that may be rung on Twelve Bells._

Multiply the numbers from 1 to 12 continually into each other, as
follow: and the last product will give the number required.


_To find how many square Yards it would require to write all the
Changes of the Twenty-four Letters of the Alphabet, written so small,
that each Letter should not occupy more than the hundredth part of a
square Inch._

By adopting the plan of the preceding article, the changes of the
twenty-four letters will be found to be


Now, the inches in a square yard being 1,296, that number multiplied
by 100 gives 129,600, which is the number of letters each square yard
will contain; therefore, if we divide the above row of figures,
(the number of changes,) by 129,600, the quotient, which is
478,741,050,720,092,160, will be the number of yards required to
contain the above mentioned number of changes. But as all the 24
letters are contained in every permutation, it will require a space
24 times as large, _viz._,


Now, as the surface of the whole globe only contains
617,197,435,008,000 square yards, it would require a surface 18,620
times as large as the earth to contain them.

_The Enchanted Bottle._

Fill a glass bottle with water to the beginning of the neck; leave
the neck empty, and cork it. Suspend this bottle opposite a concave
mirror, and beyond its focus, that it may appear reversed. Place
yourself still further distant from the bottle; and instead of the
water appearing, as it really is, at the bottom of the bottle, the
bottom will be empty, and the water seen at the top.

If the bottle be suspended with the neck downwards, it will be
reflected in its natural position, and the water at the bottom,
although in reality it is inverted, and fills the neck; leaving the
bottom vacant. While the bottle is in this position, uncork it, and
let the water run gradually out: it will appear, that while the real
bottle is emptying, the reflected one is filling. Care must be taken
that the bottle is not more than half or three parts full, and that no
other liquid is used but water, as in either of these cases the
illusion ceases.

_The Solar Magic Lantern._

Make a box, a foot high, eighteen inches wide, and about three inches
deep. Two of the opposite sides of this box must be quite open, and in
each of the other sides let there be a groove wide enough to admit a
stiff paper or pasteboard. You fasten the box against a window, on
which the sun's rays fall direct. The rest of the window should be
closed up, that no light may enter.

Next provide several sheets of stiff paper, blacked on one side. On
these papers cut out such figures as your fancy may dictate; place
them alternately in the grooves of the box, with their blacked sides
towards you, and look at them through a large and clear glass prism;
and if the light be strong, they will appear painted with the most
lively colours. If you cut on one of these papers the form of a
rainbow, about three-quarters of an inch wide, you will have a very
good representation of the natural one.

For greater convenience, the prism may be placed on a stand on the
table, made to turn round on an axis.

_The Artificial Rainbow._

Opposite a window into which the sun shines direct suspend a glass
globe, filled with clean water, by means of a string that runs over a
pulley, so that the sun's rays may fall on it. Then drawing the globe
gradually up, you will observe, when it comes to a certain height, and
by placing yourself in a proper situation, a purple colour in the
glass; and by drawing it up gradually higher, the other prismatic
colours, blue, green, yellow, and red, will successively appear; after
which, the colours will disappear, till the globe is raised to about
fifty degrees, when they will again appear, but in an inverted order,
the red appearing first, and the blue or violet last; on raising the
globe a little higher, they will totally vanish.

_The Æolipiles._

The æolipile is a small hollow globe of brass, or other metal, in
which a slender neck or pipe is inserted. This ball, when made
red-hot, is cast into a vessel of water, which will rush into its
cavity, then almost void of air. The ball being then set on the fire,
the water, by the rarefaction of the internal air, will be forced out
in steam by fits, with great violence, and with strange noise.

If to the necks of two or more of these balls, there be fitted those
calls that are used by fowlers and hunters, and the balls placed on
the fire, the steam rushing from them will make such a horrible noise,
that it will astonish any person who is ignorant of the contrivance.

_The Talking Busts._

Procure two busts of plaster of Paris; place them on pedestals, on the
opposite sides of the room. Let a thin tube, of an inch diameter, pass
from the ear of one head through the pedestal, under the floor, and go
up to the mouth of the other; taking care that the end of the tube
that is next the ear of the one head, be considerably larger than that
end which comes to the mouth of the other.

Now, when a person speaks quite low into the ear of one bust, the
sound is reverberated through the length of the tube, and will be
distinctly heard by any one placing his ear to the mouth of the other.
It is not necessary that the tube should come to the lips of the bust.
If there be two tubes, one going to the ear, and the other to the
mouth of each head, two persons may converse together, by whispers,
without the knowledge of any person who may stand in the middle of the

_The Inanimate Oracle._

Place a bust on a pedestal in the corner of a room, and let there be
two tubes, as in the preceding article, one to go from the mouth, and
the other from the ear, through the pedestal and the floor to an under
apartment; there may be also wires, that go from the under jaw and the
eyes of the bust, by which they may be easily moved.

A person being placed in the room underneath, and applying his ear to
one of the tubes at a signal given, will hear any question asked, and
can immediately reply, by applying his mouth to the tube which
communicates below, at the same time moving the eyes by the wire, to
accompany his speech.

_The Solar Concerto._

In a large case, similar to what is used for dials and spring clocks,
the front of which, or at least the lower part, must be of glass,
covered on the inside with gauze, place a barrel organ, which when
wound up is prevented from playing by a catch that takes a toothed
wheel at the end of the barrel. To one end of this catch join a wire,
at the end of which is a flat circle of cork, of the same dimensions
with the inside of a glass tube, in which it is to rise and fall. This
tube must communicate with a reservoir that goes across the front part
of the bottom of the case, which is to be filled with spirits, such as
is used in thermometers.

This case being placed in the sun, the spirits will be rarefied by the
heat, and, rising in the tube, will lift up the catch or trigger, and
set the organ in play; which will continue as long as it is kept in
the sun; for the spirits cannot run out of the tube, that part of the
catch to which the circle is fixed being prevented from rising beyond
a certain point, by a check placed over it. Care must be taken to
remove the machine out of the sun before the organ runs down, that its
stopping may be evidently affected by the cold.

In winter it will perform when placed before the fire.


The construction of this amusing optical machine is so well known,
that to describe it would be superfluous; particularly as it can now
be purchased at a very reasonable expense, at any of the opticians':
but as many persons who have a taste for drawing might not be pleased
with the designs to be had at the shops, or might wish to indulge
their fancy in a variety of objects, which to purchase would become
expensive, we here present our readers, in the first place, with the
method of drawing them, which will be succeeded by a plain
description of some very diverting experiments.

_Of Painting the Glasses._

You first draw on a paper, the size of the glass, the subject you mean
to paint; fasten this at each end of the glass with paste, or any
other cement, to prevent it from slipping. Then with some very black
paint mixed with varnish, draw with a fine camels'-hair pencil, very
lightly, the outlines sketched on the paper, which, of course, are
reflected through the glass. Some persons affirm that those outlines
can be more readily traced with japan writing ink, and a common pen
with a fine nib; but this, even if it succeeds in making a delicate
black outline, is sure to be effaced by damp or wet.

It would improve the natural resemblance, if the outlines were drawn
with a strong tint of each of the natural colours of the object; but
in this respect you may please your own fancy. When the outlines are
dry, colour and shade your figures; but observe, to temper your
colours with strong white varnish. A pleasing effect will be produced,
if you leave strong lights in some parts of the drapery, &c., without
any colours. The best colours for this purpose are transparent ones;
opaque or mineral colours will not do. The following are in most

  For Pink and crimson       Lake or carmine.
      Blue                   Prussian blue.
      Green                  Calcined verdigris, or distilled ditto.
      Yellow                 Gamboge.

_To represent a Storm at Sea._

Provide two strips of glass, whose frames are thin enough to admit
both strips freely into the groove of the lantern. On one of these
glasses paint the appearance of the sea from a smooth calm to a
violent storm. Let these representations run gradually into each
other, as in Fig. 9, and you will of course observe, that the more
natural and picturesque the painting is, the more natural and pleasing
will be the reflection.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

[Illustration: Fig. 10.]

On the other glass, Fig. 10, paint various vessels on the ocean,
observing to let that end where the storm is, appear in a state of
violent commotion, and the vessels as if raised on the waves in an
unsettled position, with heavy clouds about them.

You then pass the glasses slowly through the groove, and when you come
to that part where the storm is supposed to begin, move them gently up
and down, which will give the appearance of the sea and vessels being
agitated; increase the motion till they come to the height of the
storm. You will thus have a very natural representation of the sea and
ships in a calm and storm; and as you gradually draw the glasses back,
the tempest will subside, the sky appear clear, and the vessels glide
gently over the waves.

By the means of two or three glasses, you may also represent a battle
on land, or a naval engagement, with a variety of other pleasing

_To produce the appearance of a Spectre on a Pedestal in the middle of
a Table._

Enclose a small magic lantern in a box, Fig. 11, large enough to
contain a small swing dressing-glass, which will reflect the light
thrown on it by the lantern in such a way, that it will pass out at
the aperture made at the top of the box; which aperture should be
oval, and of a size adapted to the cone of light to pass through it.
There should be a flap with hinges, to cover the opening, that the
inside of the box may not be seen.

[Illustration: Fig. 11.]

There must be holes in that part of the box which is over the lantern,
to let the smoke out; and over this must be placed a chafing-dish of
an oblong figure, large enough to hold several lighted coals. This
chafing-dish, for the better carrying on the deception, may be
enclosed in a painted tin box, about a foot high, with a hole at top,
and should stand on four feet, to let the smoke from the lantern

There must also be a glass planned to rise up and down in the groove
_a b_, and so managed by a cord and pulley, _c d e f_, that it may be
raised up and let down by the cord coming through the outside of the
box. On this glass, the spectre, (or any other figure you please,)
must be painted in a contracted or equal form, as the figure will
reflect a greater length than it is drawn.

When you have lighted the lamp in the lantern, and placed the mirror
in a proper direction, put the box on a table, and, setting the
chafing-dish in it, throw some incense, in powder, on the coals. You
then open the trap door and let down the glass in the groove slowly,
and when you perceive the smoke diminish, draw up the glass, that the
figure may disappear, and shut the trap door.

This exhibition will afford a deal of wonder; but observe, that all
the lights in the room must be extinguished; and the box should be
placed on a high table, that the aperture through which the light
comes out may not be seen.

There are many other pleasing experiments which may be made with the
magic lantern, but the limits of our work will not permit us to
specify them, without excluding many other equally interesting
subjects of a different nature.

_The Artificial Landscape._

Procure a box, as in Fig. 12, of about a foot long, eight inches wide,
and six inches high, or any other dimensions you please, so they do
not greatly vary from these proportions. At each of its opposite ends,
on the inside of this box, place a piece of looking-glass that shall
exactly fit: but at that end where the sight hole A is, scrape the
quicksilver off the glass, through which the eye can view the objects.

[Illustration: Fig. 12.]

Cover the box with gauze, over which place a piece of transparent
glass, which is to be well fastened in. Let there be two grooves at
each of the places C D E F, to receive two printed scenes, as follow:
On two pieces of pasteboard, let there be skilfully painted, on both
sides, any subject you think proper, as woods, bowers, gardens,
houses, &c.; and on two other boards, the same subjects on one side
only, and cut out all the white parts: observe also, that there ought
to be in one of them some object relative to the subject, placed at A,
that the mirror placed at B may not reflect the hole on the opposite

The boards painted on both sides are to slide in the grooves C D E F,
and those painted on one side are to be placed against the opposite
mirrors A and B; then cover the box with its transparent top. This box
should be placed in a strong light, to have a good effect.

When it is viewed through the sight hole, it will present an unlimited
prospect of rural scenery, gradually losing itself in obscurity; and
be found well worth the pains bestowed on its construction.

_To draw, easily and correctly, a Landscape, or any other Object,
without being obliged to observe the Rules of Perspective, and without
the Aid of the Camera Obscura._

[Illustration: Fig. 13.]

Procure a box of pasteboard, A B C D, Fig. 13, of about a foot and a
half long, and made in the shape of a truncated pyramid, whose base, B
D F G, is eight inches wide, and six inches high. Fix to the other end
of it a tube of four or five inches long, and which you can draw out
from the box more or less. Line the inside of the box with black
paper, and place it on a leg or stand of wood, H, and on which it may
be elevated or depressed by the hinge I.

Take a small frame of wood, and divide it at every inch by lines of
black silk drawn across it, forming forty-eight equal parts; divide
these into still smaller equal parts, by lines of finer silk:[C] fix
this frame at the end of B D, as the base of the pyramid.

Provide a drawing-paper, divided into the same number of parts as in
the frame, by lines, lightly drawn in pencil. It is not material of
what size these divisions are; that will depend entirely on the size
you propose to draw the objects by this instrument.

Place this instrument opposite a landscape, or any other object that
you want to draw, and fix the leg firmly on, or in the ground, that it
may not shake; then turning it to the side you choose, raise or
incline it, and put the tube further in or out, till you have gained
an advantageous view of the object you intend to draw.

Place your eye, E, by the instrument, which you have adjusted to the
height of your eye, and, looking through the tube, carefully observe
all that is contained in each division of the frame, and transpose it
to the corresponding division in your paper; and if you have the least
knowledge in painting or even drawing, you will make a very pleasing
picture, and one in which all the objects will appear in the most
exact proportion.

By the same method you may draw all sorts of objects, as architecture,
views, &c., and even human figures, if they remain some time in the
same attitude, and are at a proper distance from the instrument.

    [C] The different thicknesses of the silk serve to
    distinguish more readily the corresponding divisions.

_Illuminated Prospects._

Provide yourself with some of those prints that are commonly used in
optical machines, printed on very thin white paper; taking care to
make choice of such as have the greatest effect from the manner in
which the objects are placed in perspective. Place one of these on the
borders of a frame, and paint it carefully with the most lively
colours, making use of none that are terrestrial. Observe to retouch
those parts several times where the engraving is strongest,[D] then
cut off the upper part or sky, and fix that on another frame.

[Illustration: Fig. 14.]

[Illustration: Fig. 15.]

The prints being thus prepared, place them in a box, A B C D, Figs. 14
and 15, the opening to which, E F G H, should be a little less than
the print. Cover this opening with a glass, and paint all the space
between that and the prints, which should be about two or three
inches, black. The frame that contains the sky should be about an inch
behind the other. In the back part of this box, which is behind the
prints, and which may be about four inches deep, place four or five
small candlesticks to hold wax lights, and cover that part entirely
with tin, that it may be the more luminous.

When the print is placed between the wax lights and the opening in the
front of the box, and there is no other light in the room, the effect
will be highly pleasing; especially if the lights are at a sufficient
distance from each other, and not too strong, that they may not
occasion any blots in the print. Those prints that represent the
rising or setting of the sun will have a very picturesque appearance.
Such as represent conflagrations have also a striking effect.

There should be two grooves for the print next the glass, that you may
insert a second subject before you draw away the first; and that the
lights in the back of the box may not be discovered.

You must not, thinking to make the print more transparent, cover it
with varnish; for that will prevent the gradation of the colours from
being visible. The frame should enter the side of the box by a groove,
that a variety of subjects may be introduced.

    [D] When you colour a print, place it before you, against a
    piece of glass, in a position nearly erect, that it may be
    enlightened by the sun. You may also colour both sides of the


_The Magnetic Wand._

Bore a hole three-tenths of an inch in diameter, through a round stick
of wood; or get a hollow cane about eight inches long, and half an
inch thick. Provide a small steel rod, and let it be very strongly
impregnated with a good magnet: this rod is to be put in the hole you
have bored through the wand, and closed at each end by two small ends
of ivory that screw on, different in their shapes, that you may better
distinguish the poles of the magnetic bar.

When you present the north pole of this wand to the south[E] pole of a
magnetic needle, suspended on a pivot, or to a light body swimming on
the surface of the water, (in which you have placed a magnetic bar,)
that body will approach the wand, and present that end which contains
the south end of the bar: but if you present the north or south end of
the wand to the north or south end of the needle, it will recede from

    [E] For the more clearly explaining this, it is to be
    observed, that the two ends of a magnet are called its poles.
    When placed on a pivot, in just equilibrium, that end which
    turns to the north is called the north pole, and the other
    end the south pole.

_The Mysterious Watch._

You desire any person to lend you his watch, and ask him if it will go
when laid on the table. He will, no doubt, say it will; in which case,
you place it over the end of the magnet, and it will presently stop.
You then mark the precise spot where you placed the watch, and, moving
the point of the magnet, you give the watch to another person, and
desire him to make the experiment; in which he not succeeding, you
give it to a third (at the same time replacing the magnet) and he will
immediately perform it.

This experiment cannot be effected, unless you use a very strongly
impregnated magnetic bar, (which may be purchased at the opticians',)
and the balance of the watch must be of steel, which may be easily
ascertained by previously opening it, and looking at the works.

_The Magnetic Dial._

Procure a circle of wood or ivory, about 5 or 6 inches diameter, which
must turn quite free on a stand with a circular border; on the ivory
or wood circle fix a pasteboard, on which you place, in proper
divisions, the hours, as on a dial. There must be a small groove in
the circular frame, to receive the pasteboard circle; and observe,
that the dial must be made to turn so free, that it may go round
without moving the circular border in which it is placed.

Between the pasteboard circle and the bottom of the frame, place a
small artificial magnet, that has a hole in its middle. On the outside
of the frame, place a small pin, which serves to show when the
magnetic needle is to stop. This needle must turn quite free on its
pivot, and its two sides should be in exact equilibrium.

Then provide a small bag, with five or six divisions, like a lady's
work-bag, but smaller. In one of these divisions put small square
pieces of pasteboard, on which are written the numbers from 1 to 12.
In each of the other divisions put twelve or more similar pieces,
observing that all the pieces in each division must be marked with the
same number. The needle being placed upon its pivot, and turned
quickly about, it will necessarily stop at that point where the north
end of the magnetic bar is placed, and which you previously know, by
the situation of the small pin in the circular border.

You then present to any person that division of the bag which contains
the several pieces on which is written the number opposite to the
north end of the bar, and tell him to draw any one he pleases. Then
placing the needle on the pivot, you turn it quickly about, and it
must necessarily stop at that particular number.

_The Magnetic Cards._

Draw a pasteboard circle; you then provide yourself with two needles,
similar to those used in the foregoing experiment, (which you must
distinguish by some private mark,) with their opposite points touched
with the magnet. When you place that needle whose pointed end is
touched, on the pivot described in the centre of the circle, it will
stop on one of the four pips, against which you have placed the pin
in the frame; then take the needle off, and, placing the other, it
will stop on the opposite point.

Having matters thus arranged, desire a person to draw a card from a
piquet pack, offering that card against which you have placed the pin
of the dial, which you may easily do, by having a card a little longer
than the rest. If he should not draw it the first time, as he probably
may not, you must make some excuse for shuffling them again, such as
letting the cards fall, as if by accident, or some other manoeuvre,
until he fix on the card. You then tell him to keep it close, and not
let it be seen. Then give him one of the two needles, and desire him
to place it on the pivot, and turn it round, when it will stop at the
colour of the card he chose; then taking that needle off, and
exchanging it, unperceived, for the other, give it to a second person,
telling him to do the same, and it will stop at the name of the
identical card the first person chose.

_The Magnetic Orrery._

Construct a round box, Fig. 16, about eight inches diameter, and half
an inch deep. On the bottom fix a circular pasteboard drawn like the
figure. You are likewise to have another pasteboard, drawn exactly the
same, which must turn freely in the box, by means of an axis placed on
a pivot, one end of which is to be fixed in the centre of the circle.

On each of the seven smaller circles on the pasteboard, which you have
fixed at the bottom of the box, place a magnetic bar, two inches long,
in the same direction with the diameters of those circles, and their
poles, in the situations expressed in the figure.

There must be an index like the hour hand of a dial, fixed on the axis
of the central circle, by which the pasteboard circle in the box may
be turned about; also a needle (forming in the figure the other hand)
that will turn freely on the axis, without moving the circular

In each of the places where the word _question_ is, write a different
question; and in each of the seven circles where the planetary signs
are, write two answers to each question; observing, that there must
only be seven words in each question: for instance,

In division No. 1, of the circle G, which stands opposite question
No. 1, write the first word of the first answer. In the division No.
2, of the next circle, write the second word; and so on to the last,
which will be in the seventh division of the seventh circle.

[Illustration: Fig. 16.]

In the eighth division of the first circle, write the first word of
the second answer; in the ninth, the second word of the same answer;
and so on to the fourteenth division of the seventh circle, which must
contain the last word of that answer.

The same must be done for all the seven questions, and to each of
these must be assigned two answers, the words of which are to be
dispersed through the seven circles.

At the centre of each of these circles place a pivot, and have two
sets of magnetic needles like the hands of a watch, the pointed end of
one set being north, and the other south.

Now, the index of the central circle being directed to any one of the
questions, if you place one of the two magnetic needles on each of the
seven lesser circles, they will fix themselves according to the
directions of the bars on the corresponding circles at the bottom of
the box, and consequently point to the seven words that compose the
answer. If you place one of the other needles on each circle, it will
point to the words that are diametrically opposite to those of the
first answer, the north pole being in the place of the south pole of
the other.

You therefore present this orrery to any person, and desire him to
choose one of the questions there written. You then set the index of
the central circle to that question; and, putting one of the needles
on each of the seven circles, you turn it about, and when they all
settle, the seven words they point to compose the answer.

The moveable needle, whose point in the figure stands at September, is
to place against the names of the months; and when the party has fixed
upon a question, you place that needle against the month in which he
was born, which will make the ceremony appear a sort of magic
divination. The planetary signs are merely intended to aid this
deception, and give it the appearance of astrology.

_The Magic Verse._

The eight words which compose this Latin verse,

  "_Tot sunt tibi dote, quot coeli sidera, virgo,_"[F]

being privately placed in any one of the different combinations of
which they are susceptible, and which are 40,320 in number, to tell
the order in which they are placed.

    [F] "Thy charms, O, Virgin! are as numerous as the stars of

Provide a box that shuts with hinges, and is eight inches long, three
wide, and half an inch deep, Fig. 17. Have eight pieces of wood, about
one-third of an inch thick, two inches long, and one and a half wide,
which will therefore, when placed close together, exactly fill the
box. In each of these pieces or tablets place a magnetic bar, with
their poles, as is expressed in Fig. 18. The bars being covered over,
write on each of the tablets, in the order they then stand, one of the
words of the foregoing Latin verse.

[Illustration: Fig. 17.]

[Illustration: Fig. 18.]

[Illustration: Fig. 19.]

On a very thin board of the same dimensions with the box, draw the
eight circles, Fig. 19, A B C D E F G H, whose centres should be
exactly over those of the eight tablets in the box, when the board is
placed upon it. Divide each of those circles into eight parts, as in
the figure, and in each of those divisions write one of the words of
the Latin verse, and in the precise order expressed in the plate, so
that when the board is placed over the box, the eight touched needles
placed at the centre of the circles may be regulated by the poles of
the bars in the box, and consequently the word that the needle points
to in the circle will be the same with that inscribed on the tablet.
Cover the board with a glass, to prevent the needles from rising off
their pivots, as is done in the sea-compass.

Over the board place four plates of glass, I L M N, Fig. 17, which
will give the machine the figure of a truncated pyramid, of eight
inches high. Cover it with a glass, or rather a board, in which are
placed two lenses, O, of eight inches focus, and distant from each
other about half an inch. Line the four plates of glass that compose
the sides with very thin paper, that will admit the light, and at the
same time prevent the company from seeing the circles on the board.

These preparations being made, you give the box to any one, and tell
him to place the tablets, on which the words are written privately, in
what position he thinks proper, then to close the box, and, if he
please, to wrap it up in paper, seal it, and give it to you. Then
placing the board with the pyramid upon it, you immediately tell him
the order in which the tablets are placed, by reading the words to
which the needles on the circles point.


We shall not occupy the time of our readers by describing the form and
nature of the air-pump; since those persons whose circumstances will
enable them to have it, can purchase it properly made at an
optician's, at less expense, and with far less trouble, than they can
construct, or cause it to be constructed, themselves.

_Bottles broken by Air._

Take a square bottle of thin glass, and of any size. Apply it to the
hole of the air-pump, and exhaust the air. The bottle will sustain the
weight of the external air as long as it is able, but at length it
will suddenly burst into very small particles, and with a loud

An opposite effect will be produced, if the mouth of a bottle be
sealed so close that no air can escape; then place it in the receiver,
and exhaust the air from its surface. The air which is confined within
the bottle, when the external air is drawn off, will act so powerfully
as to break the bottle into pieces.

_Glass broken by Air._

Lay a square of glass on the top of an open receiver, and exhaust the
air. The weight of the external air will press on the glass, and smash
it to atoms.

_The Hand fixed by Air._

If a person hold his hand on an open receiver, and the air be
exhausted, it will be fixed as if pressed by a weight of sixty pounds.

_Water boiled by Air._

Take water made so warm that you can just bear your hand in it, but
that has not been boiled; put it under the receiver, and exhaust the
air. Bubbles of air will soon be seen to rise, at first very small,
but presently become larger, and will be at last so great, and rise
with such rapidity, as to give the water the appearance of boiling.
This will continue till the air is let into the receiver, when it will
instantly cease.

_Aërial Bubbles._

Take a stone, or any heavy substance, and putting it in a large glass
with water, place it in the receiver. The air being exhausted, the
spring of that which is in the pores of the solid body, by expanding
the particles, will make them rise on its surface in numberless
globules, which resemble the pearly drops of dew on the tops of the
grass. The effect ceases when the air is let into the receiver.

_The floating Stone._

To a piece of cork tie a small stone that will just sink it; and,
putting it in a vessel of water, place it under the receiver. Then
exhausting the receiver, the bubbles of air will expand from its
pores, and, adhering to its surface, will render it, together with the
stone, lighter than water, and consequently they will rise to the
surface, and float.

_Withered Fruit restored._

Take a shrivelled apple, and, placing it under the receiver, exhaust
the air. The apple will immediately be plumped up, and look as fresh
as when first gathered: for this reason, that the pressure of the
external air being taken off, the air in the apple extends it, so much
indeed that it will sometimes burst. If the air be let into the
receiver, the apple will be restored to its pristine shrivelled state.

_Vegetable Air-Bubbles._

Put a small branch of the tree with its leaves, or part of a small
plant, in a vessel of water, and, placing the vessel in the receiver,
exhaust the air.

When the pressure of the external air is taken off, the spring of that
contained in the air-vessels of the plant, by expanding the particles,
will make them rise from the orifices of all the vessels for a long
time together, and produce a most beautiful appearance.

_The Mercurial Wand._

Take a piece of stick, cut it even at each end with a penknife, and
immerse it in a vessel of mercury. When the air is pumped out of the
receiver, it will at the same time come out of the pores of the wood,
through the mercury, as will be visible at each end of the stick. When
the air is again let into the receiver, it falls on the surface of the
mercury, and forces it into the pores of the wood, to possess the
place of the air.

When the rod is taken out, it will be found considerably heavier than
before, and that it has changed its colour, being now all over of a
bluish hue. If cut transversely, the quicksilver will be seen to
glitter in every part of it.

_The Magic Bell._

Fix a small bell to the wire that goes through the top of the
receiver. If you shake the wire, the bell will ring while the air is
in the receiver; but when the air is drawn off, the sound will by
degrees become faint, till at last not the least noise can be heard.
As you let the air in again, the sound returns.

_Feathers heavier than Lead._

At one end of a fine balance, hang a piece of lead, and at the other
as many feathers as will poise it; then place the balance in the
receiver. As the air is exhausted, the feathers will appear to
overweigh the lead, and when all the air is drawn off, the feathers
will preponderate, and the lead ascend.

_The self-moving Wheel._

Take a circle of tin, about ten inches in diameter, or of any other
size that will go into the receiver, and to its circumference fix a
number of tin vanes, each about an inch square. Let this wheel be
placed between two upright pieces on an axis, whose extremities are
quite small, so that the wheel may turn in a vertical position with
the least possible force. Place the wheel and axis in the receiver,
and exhaust the air. Let there be a small pipe with a cock; one end of
the pipe to be outside the top of the receiver, and the other to come
directly over the vanes of the wheel.

When the air is exhausted, turn the cock, and a current will rush
against the vanes of the wheel, and set it in motion, which will
increase, till the receiver is filled with air.

_The Artificial Halo._

Place a candle on one side of the receiver, and let the spectator
place himself at a distance from the other side. Directly the air
begins to be exhausted, the light of the candle will be refracted in
circles of various colours.

_The Mercurial Shower._

Cement a piece of wood into the lower part of the neck of an open
receiver, and pour mercury over it. After a few strokes of the pump,
the pressure of the air on the mercury will force it through the pores
of the wood in the form of a beautiful shower. If you take care that
the receiver is clear and free from spots or dust, and it is dry
weather, it will appear like a fiery shower, when exhibited in a dark

_Magic Fountain._

Take a tall glass tube, hermetically sealed both at top and bottom, by
means of a brass cap screwed on to a stop-cock, and place it on the
plate of the pump. When the air is exhausted, turn the cock, take the
tube off the plate, and plunge it into a basin of mercury or water.
Then the cock being again turned, the fluid, by the pressure of the
air, will play upon the tube in the form of a beautiful fountain.

_The Exploded Bladder._

Take a glass pipe open at both ends, to one of which tie fast a wet
bladder, and let it dry. Then place it on the plate of the pump. While
the air presses the bladder equally on both sides, it will lie even
and straight; but as soon as the air is exhausted, it will press
inwards, and be quite concave on the upper side. In proportion as the
air is exhausted, the bladder will become more stretched; it will soon
yield to the incumbent pressure, and burst with a loud explosion. To
make this experiment more easy, one part of the bladder should be
scraped with a knife, and some of its external fibres taken off.

_The Cemented Bladder._

Tie the neck of the bladder to a stop-cock, which is to be screwed to
the plate of the pump, and the air exhausted from the bladder; then
turn the stop-cock, to prevent the re-entrance of the air, and unscrew
the whole from the pump. The bladder will be transformed into two flat
skins, so closely applied together, that the strongest man cannot
raise them half an inch from each other; for an ordinary-sized
bladder, of six inches across the widest part, will have one side
pressed upon the other with a force equal to 396 pounds' weight.

_Cork heavier than Lead._

Let a large piece of cork be pendent from one end of a balance beam,
and a small piece of lead from the other; the lead should rather
preponderate. If this apparatus be placed under a receiver on the
pump, you will find that when the air is exhausted, the lead, which
seemed the heaviest body, will ascend, and the cork outweigh the lead.
Restore the air, and the effect will cease. This phenomenon is only on
account of the difference of the size in the two objects. The lead,
which owes its heaviness to the operation of the air, yields to a
lighter because a larger substance when deprived of its assistance.

_The animated Bacchus._

Construct a figure of Bacchus, seated on a cask; let his belly be
formed by a bladder, and let a tube proceed from his mouth to the
cask. Fill this tube with coloured water or wine, then place the whole
under the receiver. Exhaust the air, and the liquor will be thrown up
into his mouth. While he is drinking, his belly will expand.

_The Artificial Balloon._

Take a bladder containing only a small quantity of air, and a piece of
lead to it, sufficient to sink it, if immersed in water. Put this
apparatus into a jar of water, and place the whole under a receiver.
Then exhaust the air, and the bladder will expand, become a balloon
lighter than the fluid in which it floats, and ascend, carrying the
weight with it.

_Curious Experiments with a Viper._

Many natural philosophers, in their eagerness to display the powers of
science, have overlooked one of the first duties of life, humanity;
and, with this view, have tortured and killed many harmless animals,
to exemplify the amazing effects of the air-pump. We, however, will
not stain the pages of this little work by recommending any such
species of cruelty, which in many instances can merely gratify
curiosity; but as our readers might like to read the effect on
animals, we extract from the learned Boyle an account of his
experiment with a viper.

He took a newly-caught viper, and, shutting it up in a small receiver,
extracted the air. At first, upon the air being drawn away, the viper
began to swell; a short time after it gasped and opened its jaws; it
then resumed its former lankness, and began to move up and down within
the receiver, as if to seek for air. After a while, it foamed a
little, leaving the foam sticking to the inside of the glass; soon
after, the body and neck became prodigiously swelled, and a blister
appeared on its back. Within an hour and a half from the time the
receiver was exhausted, the distended viper moved, being yet alive,
though its jaws remained quite stretched; its black tongue reached
beyond the mouth, which had also become black in the inside: in this
situation it continued for three hours; but on the air being
re-admitted, the viper's mouth was presently closed, and soon after
opened again; and these motions continued some time, as if there were
still some remains of life.

It is thus with animals of every kind; even minute microscopical
insects cannot live without air.

_Experiments with Sparrows._

Count Morozzo placed successively several full-grown sparrows under a
glass receiver, inverted over water. It was filled with atmospheric
air, and afterwards with vital air. He found,

  First.--That in _atmospheric_ air,    HOURS  MIN.
    The first sparrow lived                 3    0
    The second sparrow lived                0    3
    The third sparrow lived                 0    1

The water rose in the vessels eight lines during the life of the
first; four during the life of the second; and the third produced no

  Second.--In _vital_ air or _oxygen_,  HOURS  MIN.
    The first sparrow lived                 5   23
    The second                              2   10
    The third                               1   30
    The fourth                              1   10
    The fifth                               0   30
    The sixth                               0   47
    The seventh                             0   27
    The eighth                              0   30
    The ninth                               0   22
    The tenth                               0   21

The above experiments elicit the following conclusions:--1. That an
animal will live longer in vital than in atmospheric air.--2. That one
animal can live in air, in which another has died.--3. That,
independently of air, some respect must be had to the constitution of
the animal; for the sixth lived 47 minutes, the fifth only thirty.--4.
That there is either an absorption of air, or the production of a new
kind of air, which is absorbed by the water as it rises.


_The Animated Feather._

Electrify a smooth glass tube with a rubber, and hold a small feather
at a short distance from it. The feather will instantly fly to the
tube, and adhere to it for a short time; it will then fly off, and the
tube can never be brought close to the feather till it has touched the
side of the room, or some other body that communicates with the
ground. If, therefore, you take care to keep the tube between the
feather and the side of the room, you may drive it round to all parts
of the room without touching it; and, what is very remarkable, the
same side of the feather will be constantly opposite the tube.

While the feather is flying before the smooth tube, it will be
immediately attracted by an excited rough tube or a stick of wax, and
fly continually from one tube to the other, till the electricity of
both is discharged.

_The Candle lighted by Electricity._

Charge a small coated phial, whose knob is bent outwards so as to hang
a little over the body of the phial; then wrap some loose cotton over
the extremity of a long brass pin or wire, so as to stick moderately
fast to its substance. Next roll this extremity of the pin, which is
wrapped up in cotton, in some fine powdered resin; then apply the
extremity of the pin or wire to the external coating of the charged
phial, and bring, as quickly as possible, the other extremity, that is
wrapped round with cotton, to the knob; the powdered resin takes fire,
and communicates its flame to the cotton, and both together burn long
enough to light a candle. Dipping the cotton in oil of turpentine will
do as well, if you use a larger sized jar.

_Candle Bombs._

Procure some small glass bubbles, having a neck about an inch long,
with very slender bores, by means of which a small quantity of water
is to be introduced into them, and the orifice afterwards closed up.
This stalk being put through the wick of a burning candle, the flame
boils the water into a steam, and the glass is broken with a loud

_The Artificial Spider._

Cut a piece of burnt cork, about the size of a pea, into the shape of
a spider; make its legs of linen thread, and put a grain or two of
lead in it to give it more weight. Suspend it by a fine line of silk
between an electrified arch and an excited stick of wax; and it will
jump continually from one body to the other, moving its legs at the
same time, as if animated, to the great surprise of the unconscious

_The Miraculous Portrait._

Get a large print (suppose of the king) with a frame and glass. Cut
the print out at about two inches from the frame all round; then with
thin paste fix the border that is left on the inside of the glass,
pressing it smooth and close; fill up the vacancy, by covering the
glass well with leaf-gold or thin tin-foil, so that it may lie close.
Cover likewise the inner edge of the bottom part of the back of the
frame with the same tin-foil, and make a communication between that
and the tin-foil in the middle of the glass; then put in the board,
and that side is finished. Next turn up the glass, and cover the
fore-side with tin-foil, exactly over that on the back part; and when
it is dry, paste over it the panel of the print that was cut out,
observing to bring the corresponding parts of the border and panel
together, so that the picture will appear as at first, only part of it
behind the glass, and part before. Lastly, hold the print horizontally
by the top, and place a little moveable gilt crown on the king's head.

Now, if the tin-foil on both sides of the glass be moderately
electrified, and another person take hold of the bottom of the frame
with one hand, so that his fingers touch the tin-foil, and with the
other hand attempt to take off the crown, he will receive a very smart
blow, and fail in the attempt. The operator, who holds the frame by
the upper end, where there is no tin-foil, feels nothing of the shock,
and can touch the face of the king without danger, which he pretends
is a test of his loyalty.

_The Cup of Tantalus._

You place a cup of any sort of metal on a stool of baked wood or a
cake of wax. Fill it to the brim with any liquor; let it communicate
with the branch by a small chain; and when it is moderately
electrified, desire a person to taste the liquor, without touching the
cup with his hands, and he will instantly receive a shock on his lips.
The motion of the wheel being stopped, you taste the liquor yourself,
and desire the rest of the company to do so; you then give your
operator (who is concealed in an adjoining room) the signal, and he
again charges the cup; you desire the same person to taste the liquor
a second time, and he will receive a second shock.

_Magical Explosion._

Make up some gunpowder, in the form of a small cartridge, in each end
of which put a blunt wire, so that the ends inside of the cartridge be
about half an inch off each other; then join the chain that proceeds
from one side of the electrifying battery, to the wire at the other
end, the shock will instantly pass through the powder, and set it on

_Artificial Earthquake._

In the middle of a large basin of water, lay a round wet board. On the
board place any kind of building, made of pasteboard, of separate
pieces, and not fastened together. Then, fixing a wire that
communicates with the two chains of the electrifying battery, so that
it may pass over the board and the surface of the water, upon making
the explosion, the water will become agitated as in an earthquake, and
the board, moving up and down, will overturn the structure, while the
cause of the commotion is totally concealed.

_The Magic Dance._

From the middle of the brass arch suspend three small bells. The two
outer bells hang by chains, and the middle one by a silk string, while
a chain connects it with the floor. Two small knobs of brass, which
serve as clappers, hang by silk strings, one between each two bells.
Therefore, when the two outer bells communicating with the conductor
are electrified, they will attract the clappers and be struck by them.
The clappers being thus loaded with electricity, will be repelled, and
fly to discharge themselves upon the middle bell, after which they
will be again attracted by the outer bells; and thus, by striking the
bells alternately, the ringing may be continued as long as the
operator pleases.

You next suspend a plate of metal from the same part of the arch to
which the bells are connected; then, at the distance of a few inches
from the arch, and exactly under it, place a metal stand _of the same
size_. On the stand place several figures of men, animals, or what you
please, cut in paper, and pretty sharply pointed at each extremity.
When the plate that hangs from the arch is electrified, the figures
will dance with astonishing rapidity, and the bells will keep ringing,
to the no small entertainment of the spectators.

_The Electrical Fountain._

Suspend a vessel of water from the middle of the brass arch, and place
in the vessel a small tube. The water will be one continued stream;
and if the electrification be strong, a number of streams will issue,
in form of a cone, the top of which will be at the extremity of the
tube. This experiment may be stopped and renewed almost instantly, as
if at the word of command.

_The Electric Kite._

Make a small cross of two light strips of cedar, the arms so long as
to reach to the four corners of a large thin silk handkerchief, when
extended; tie the corners of the handkerchief to the extremities of
the cross; and you have the body of the kite, which being properly
accommodated with a tail, loop, and string, will rise in the air like
those made of paper; but this being silk, it is more adapted to bear
the wet and wind of a thunder gust, without tearing. To the top of the
upright stick of the cross is to be fixed a very sharp-pointed wire,
rising a foot or more above the wood. To the end of the twine is to be
tied a silk ribbon, and where the silk and twine join, a key may be
fastened. This kite is to be raised when a thunder-storm appears to be
coming on; and the person who holds the string must stand within a
door or window, or under some cover, so that the silk ribbon may not
be wet; and care must be taken that the twine do not touch the frame
of the door or window. As soon as any of the thunder clouds come over
the kite, the pointed wire will draw the electric fire from them, and
the kite, with all the twine, will be electrified, while the loose
filaments of the twine will stand out every way, and be attracted by
an approaching finger. When the rain has wetted the kite and twine, so
that it can conduct the electric fire freely, you will find it stream
out plentifully from the key, on the approach of your knuckle. At this
key an electric phial may be charged; and from electric fire thus
obtained, spirits may be kindled, and all the other electric
experiments performed which are usually done by the help of a rubbed
glass or tube; and thereby the identity of the electric matter with
that of lightning completely demonstrated.

_The Magic Chase._

On the top of a finely-pointed wire, rising perpendicularly from the
conductor, let another wire, sharpened at each end, be made to move
freely, as on a centre. If it be well balanced, and the points bent
horizontally, in opposite directions, it will, when electrified, turn
very swiftly round, by the re-action of the air against the current
which flows from off the points. These points may be nearly concealed,
and the figures of men and horses, with hounds, and a hare, stag, or
fox, may be placed upon the wires, so as to turn round with them, when
they appear as if in pursuit. The chase may be diversified, and a
greater variety of figures upon them, by increasing the number of
wires proceeding from the same centre.

_The Unconscious Incendiary._

Let a person stand upon a stool made of baked wood, or upon a cake of
wax, and hold a chain which communicates with the branch. On turning
the wheel he will become electrified; his whole body forming part of
the prime conductor; and he will emit sparks whenever he is touched by
a person standing on the floor.

If the electrified person put his finger, or a rod of iron, into a
dish containing warm spirits of wine, it will be immediately in a
blaze; and if there be a wick or thread in the spirit, that
communicates with a train of gunpowder, he may be made to blow up a
magazine, or set a city on fire, with a piece of cold iron, and at the
same time be ignorant of the mischief he is doing.

_The Inconceivable Shock._

Put in a person's hand a wire that is fixed on to the hook that comes
from the chain, which communicates with one side of the battery, and
in his other hand put a small wire with a hook at the end of it, which
you direct him to fix on to a hook which comes from the other chain.
On attempting to do this, he will instantly receive a shock from his
body, without being able to guess the cause.

Care should be taken that the shock be not too strong; and regard
should be had to the constitution and disposition of the party, as a
shock that would hardly affect one person, might be productive of
very serious consequences to another.

Much entertainment may be derived from concealing the chain that
communicates with that which proceeds from the outside of the battery,
under a carpet, and placing the wire that communicates with the chain
from the inside, in such a manner that a person may put his hand on it
without suspicion, at the same time that his feet are upon the other

The whole company may be made to partake of the shock, by joining
hands, and forming a circle. The experiment may also be varied if they
tread upon each other's toes, or lay their hands upon each other's
heads. It might happen, by the latter method, that the whole company
would be struck to the ground; but it will be productive of no danger,
and very little inconvenience; on the contrary, it has happened that
they have neither heard nor felt the shock.

       *       *       *       *       *

To exhibit the five following amusements in electricity, the room in
which they are performed must be darkened.

_The Miraculous Luminaries._

You must previously prepare the following phosphorus: Calcine common
oyster-shells, by burning them in the fire for half an hour; then
reduce them to powder; of the clearest of which take three parts, and
of flowers of sulphur one part; put the mixture into a crucible, about
an inch and a half deep. Let it burn in a strong fire for rather
better than an hour; and when it is cool, turn it out and break it in
pieces; and, taking those pieces into a dark place, scrape off the
parts that shine brightest, which, if good, will be a white powder.

Then construct a circular board, of three or four feet diameter, on
the centre of which draw in gum-water, or any adhesive liquid, a
half-moon, of three or four inches diameter, and a number of stars
round it, at different distances, and of various magnitudes. Strew the
phosphorus over the figures, to the thickness of about a quarter of an
inch, laying one coat over the other. Place this board behind a
curtain; and when you draw the curtain up or back, discharge one
electrifying jar or phial over each figure, at the distance of about
an inch, and they will become illuminated, exhibiting a very striking
resemblance of the moon and stars; and will continue to shine for
about half an hour, their splendour becoming gradually more faint.

_The Fiery Shower._

On the plate put a number of any kind of seeds, grains of sand, or
brass dust. The conductor being strongly electrified, those light
particles will be attracted and repelled by the plate suspended from
the conductor, with amazing rapidity, so as to exhibit a perfect fiery

Another way is by a sponge that has been soaked in water. When this
sponge is first hung to the conductor, the water will drop from it
very slowly; but when it is electrified, the drops will fall very
fast, and appear like small globes of fire, illuminating the basin
into which they fall.

_The Illuminated Vacuum._

Take a tall receiver that is very dry, and fix through the top of it,
with cement, a blunt wire; then exhaust the receiver, and present the
knob of the wire to the conductor, and every spark will pass through
the vacuum in a broad stream of light, visible through the whole
length of the receiver, let it be as tall as it will. This generally
divides into a variety of beautiful rivulets, which are continually
changing their course, uniting and dividing again in the most pleasing

If a jar be discharged through this vacuum, it presents the appearance
of a very dense body of fire, darting directly through the centre of
the vacuum, without touching the sides; whereas, when a single spark
passes through, it generally goes more or less to the side, and a
finger placed on the outside of the glass will draw it wherever a
person pleases. If the vessel be grasped by both hands, every spark is
felt like the pulsation of a large artery; and all the fire makes
towards the hands. This pulsation is even felt at some distance from
the receiver, and a light is seen between the hand and the glass.

All this while, the pointed wire is supposed to be electrified
positively; if it be electrified negatively, the appearance is
astonishingly different; instead of streams of fire, nothing is seen
but one uniform luminous appearance, like a white cloud, or the _milky
way_ in a clear star-light night. It seldom reaches the whole length
of the vessel, but generally appears only at the end of the wire, like
a lucid ball.

If a small phial be inserted in the neck of a small receiver, so that
the external surface of the glass be exposed to the vacuum, it will
produce a very beautiful appearance. The phial must be coated on the
inside; and while it is charging, at every spark taken from the
conductor into the inside, a flash of light is seen to dart at the
same time from every part of the external surface of the phial, so as
to quite fill the receiver. Upon making the discharge, the light is
seen to run in a much closer body, the whole coming out at once.

_The Illuminated Cylinder._

Provide a glass cylinder, three feet long, and three inches diameter;
near the bottom of it fix a brass plate, and have another brass plate,
so contrived that you may let it down the cylinder, and bring it as
near the first plate as you desire. Let this cylinder be exhausted and
insulated, and when the upper part is electrified, the electric matter
will pass from one plate to the other, when they are at the greatest
distance from each other that the cylinder will admit. The brass plate
at the bottom of the cylinder will also be as strongly electrified as
if it were connected by a wire to the prime conductor.

The electric matter, as it passes through this vacuum, presents a most
brilliant spectacle, exhibiting sparkling flashes of fire the whole
length of the tube, and of a bright silver hue, representing the most
lively exhalations of the aurora borealis.

_The Electric Aurora Borealis._

Make a Torricellian vacuum[G] in a glass tube, about three feet long,
and hermetically sealed.[H] Let one end of this tube be held in the
hand, and the other applied to the conductor; and immediately the
whole tube will be illuminated from one end; and when taken from the
conductor will continue luminous, without interruption, for a
considerable time, very often about a quarter of an hour. If, after
this, it be drawn through the hand either way, the light will be
uncommonly brilliant, and, without the least interruption, from one
end to the other, even to its whole length. After this operation,
which discharges it in a great measure, it will still flash at
intervals, though it be held only at the extremity, and quite still;
but if it be grasped by the other hand at the same time, in a
different place, strong flashes of light will dart from one end to the
other. This will continue for twenty-four hours, and often longer,
without any fresh excitation. Small and long glass tubes, exhausted of
air, and bent in many irregular crooks and angles, will, when properly
electrified, exhibit a very beautiful representation of vivid flashes
of lightning.

    [G] A Torricellian vacuum is made by filling a tube with pure
    mercury and then inverting it, in the same manner as in
    making a barometer; for as the mercury runs out, all the
    space above will be a true vacuum.

    [H] A glass is hermetically sealed by holding the end of it
    in the flame of a candle, till it begin to melt, and then
    twisting it together with a pair of pincers.

_The Electrical Orrery._

By the motion of circulating points, we may in some measure imitate
the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, forming what is called the
_Electrical Orrery_. Let a single wire, with the extremities pointed
and turned, be nicely balanced on a point; fix a small glass ball over
its centre to represent the sun. At one extremity of the wire, let a
small wire be soldered perpendicularly, and on this balance another
small wire with its ends pointed and turned, and having a small pith
ball in its centre, to represent the earth, and a smaller ball of the
same kind at one of the angles, for the moon. Let the whole be
supported upon a glass pillar, and be conducted by a chain proceeding
from the prime conductor to the wire supporting the glass ball. Now,
when the machine is put in motion, the wires will turn round, so that
the ball representing the earth will move round the central ball, and
the little ball at the angle of the smaller wire will at the same time
revolve about the earth.

_The Electrified Cotton._

Take a small lock of cotton, extended in every direction as much as
can conveniently be done, and by a linen thread about five or six
inches long, or by a thread drawn out of the same cotton, tie it to
the end of the prime conductor; then set the machine in motion, and
the lock of cotton, on being electrified, will immediately swell, by
repelling its filaments from one another, and will stretch itself
towards the nearest conductor. In this situation let the cylinder be
kept in motion, and present the end of your finger, or the knob of a
wire, towards the lock of cotton, which will then immediately move
towards the finger, and endeavour to touch it; but take with the
other hand a pointed needle, and present its point towards the cotton,
a little above the end of the finger, and the cotton will be observed
immediately to shrink upwards, and move towards the prime conductor.
Remove the needle, and the cotton will come again towards the finger.
Present the needle, and the cotton will shrink again.

_The Electric Sparks._

When the prime conductor is situated in its proper place, and
electrified by whirling the cylinder, if a metallic wire, with a ball
at its extremity, or the knuckle or a finger be presented to the prime
conductor, a spark will be seen to issue between them, which will be
more vivid, and will be attended with a greater or less explosion,
according as the ball is larger. The strongest and most vivid sparks
are drawn from that end or side of the prime conductor which is
farthest from the cylinder. The sparks have the same appearance
whether they be taken from the positive or negative conductor; they
sometimes appear like a long line of fire reaching from the prime
conductor to the opposed body, and often (particularly when the spark
is long, and different conducting substances in the line of its
direction) it will have the appearance of being bent to sharp angles
in different places, exactly resembling a flash of lightning.

The figure of a spark varies with the superficial dimensions of the
part from which it is taken. If it be drawn from a ball of two or
three inches in diameter, it will have the appearance of a straight
line; but if the ball from which it is drawn be much smaller, as half
an inch in diameter, it will assume the zig-zag appearance above

_Dancing Balls._

Take a common tumbler or glass jar, and having placed a brass ball in
one of the holes of the prime conductor, set the machine in motion,
and let the balls touch the inside of the tumbler; while the ball
touches only one point, no more of the surface of the glass will be
electrified, but by moving the tumblers about, so as to make the ball
touch many points successively, all the points will be electrified, as
will appear by turning down the tumbler over a number of pith or cork
balls placed on a table. These balls will immediately begin to fly

_The Leyden Phial._

When a nail or piece of thick brass wire, &c., is put into a small
apothecary's phial, and electrified, remarkable effects follow; but
the phial must be very dry or warm. Rub it once beforehand with your
finger, on which put some pounded chalk. If a little mercury, or a few
drops of spirit of wine, be put into it, the experiment succeeds the
better. As soon as this phial and nail are removed from the
electrifying glass, or the prime conductor, to which it has been
exposed, is taken away, it throws out a stream of flame so long, that
with this burning-machine in your hand, you may take about sixty steps
in walking about your room. When it is electrified strongly, you may
take it into another room, and there fire spirits of wine with it. If,
while it is electrifying, you put your finger, or a piece of gold
which you hold in your hand, to the nail, you receive a shock which
stuns your arms and shoulders.

A tin tube, or a man placed upon electrics, is electrified much
stronger by these means than in the common way. When you present this
phial and nail it to a tin tube, fifteen feet long, nothing but
experience can make a person believe how strongly it is electrified.
Two thin glasses have been broken by the shock of it. It appears
extraordinary, that when this phial and nail are in contact with their
conducting or non-conducting matter, the strong shock does not follow.

_The Self-moving Wheel._

The self-moving wheel is made of a thin round plate of window-glass,
seventeen inches in diameter, well gilt on both sides, to within two
inches of the circumference. Two small hemispheres of wood are then
fixed with cement, to the middle of the upper and under sides,
centrally opposite, and in each of them a thick strong wire, eight or
ten inches long, making together the axis of the wheel. It turns
horizontally on a point at the lower end of its axis, which rests on a
bit of brass, cemented within a glass salt-cellar. The upper end of
its axis passes through a hole in a thin brass plate, cemented to a
long and strong piece of glass, which keeps it six or eight inches
distant from any non-electric, and has a small ball of wax or metal on
its top.

In a circle on the table which supports the wheel, are fixed twelve
small pillars of glass, at about eleven inches distance, with a
thimble on the top of each. On the edge of the wheel is a small
leaden bullet, communicating by a wire with the upper surface of the
wheel; and about six inches from it is another bullet, communicating,
in like manner, with the under surface. When the wheel is to be
charged by the upper surface, a communication must be made from the
under surface with the table.

When it is well charged it begins to move. The bullet nearest to a
pillar moves towards the thimble on that pillar, and, passing by,
electrifies it, and then pushes itself from it. The succeeding bullet,
which communicates with the other surface of the glass, more strongly
attracts that thimble, on account of its being electrified before by
the other bullet; and thus the wheel increases its motion, till the
resistance of the air regulates it. It will go half an hour, and make,
one minute with another, twenty turns in a minute, which is six
hundred turns in the whole, the bullet of the upper surface giving in
each turn twelve sparks to the thimbles, which make seven thousand two
hundred sparks, and the bullet of the under surface receiving as many
from the thimble, these bullets moving in the time nearly two thousand
five hundred feet. The thimbles should be well fixed, and in so exact
a circle, that the bullets may pass within a very small distance of
each of them.

If instead of two bullets you put eight, four communicating with the
upper surface, and four with the under surface, placed alternately,
(which eight, at about six inches distance, complete the
circumference,) the force and swiftness will be greatly increased, the
wheel making fifty turns in a minute; but then it will not continue
moving so long.

_Resin ignited by Electricity._

Wrap some cotton wool, containing as much powdered resin as it will
hold, about one of the knobs of a discharging-rod. Then having charged
a Leyden jar, apply the naked knob of the rod to the external coating,
and the knob enveloped by the cotton to the ball of the wire. The act
of discharging the jar will set fire to the resin.

A piece of phosphorus or camphor wrapped in cotton wool, and used in
the same way, will be much more easily inflamed.

_Spirits ignited by Electricity._

Hang a small ball with a stem to the prime conductor, so that the ball
may project below the conductor. Then warm a little ardent spirit, by
holding it a short time over a candle in a metallic spoon; hold the
spoon about an inch below the ball, and set the machine in motion. A
spark will soon issue from the ball and set fire to the spirits.

This experiment may be varied different ways, and may be rendered very
agreeable to a company of spectators. A person, for instance, standing
upon an electric stool, and communicating with the prime conductor,
may hold the spoon with the spirits in his hand, and another person,
standing upon the floor, may set the spirits on fire, by bringing his
finger within a small distance of it. Instead of his finger he may
fire the spirits with a piece of ice, when the experiment will seem
much more surprising. If the spoon be held by the person standing upon
the floor, and the insulated person bring some conducting substance
over the surface of the spirit, the experiment succeeds as well.

_The Electric Balloon._

Two balloons, made of the allantoides of a calf, are to be filled with
hydrogen gas, of which each contains about two cubic feet. To each of
these is to be suspended, by a silken thread about eight feet long,
such a weight as is just sufficient to prevent it from rising higher
in the air; they are connected, the one with the positive, the other
with the negative conductor, by small wires about 30 feet in length;
and being kept nearly 20 feet asunder, are placed as far from the
machine as the length of the wires will admit. On being electrified,
these balloons will rise up in the air as high as the wire will allow,
attracting each other, and uniting as it were into one cloud, gently

_The Illuminated Water._

Connect one end of a chain with the outside of a charged phial, and
let the other end lie on the table. Place the end of another piece of
chain at the distance of about a quarter of an inch from the former;
and set a glass decanter of water on these separated ends. On making
the discharge, the water will appear perfectly luminous.

The electric spark may be rendered visible in water, in the following
manner:--Take a glass tube of about half an inch in diameter, and six
inches long; fill it with water, and to each extremity of the tube
adapt a cork, which may confine the water; through each cork insert a
blunt wire, so that the extremities of the wires within the tube may
be very near one another; then, on connecting one of these wires with
the coating of a small charged phial, and touching the other wire with
the knob of it, the shock will pass through the wires, and cause a
vivid spark to appear within their extremities within the tube. The
charge in this experiment must be very weak, or there will be danger
of bursting the tube.

_The Electrified Ball._

Place an ivory ball on the prime conductor of the machine, and take a
strong spark, or send the charge of a Leyden phial through its centre,
and the ball will appear perfectly luminous; but if the charge be not
sent through the centre, it will pass over the surface of the ball and
singe it. A spark made to pass through a ball of box-wood, not only
illuminates the whole, but makes it appear of a beautiful crimson, or
rather a fine scarlet colour.

_Illuminated Phosphorus._

Put some of Canton's phosphorus into a clear glass phial, and stop it
with a glass stopper, or a cork and sealing-wax. If this wire be kept
in a darkened room (which for this experiment must be very dark) it
will give no light; but let two or three strong sparks be drawn from
the prime conductor, when the phial is kept about two inches distant
from the sparks, so that it may be exposed to that light, and this
phial will receive the light and afterwards will appear illuminated
for a considerable time.

This powder may be stuck upon a board by means of the white of an egg,
so as to represent figures of planets, letters, or any thing else, at
the pleasure of the operator, and these figures may be illuminated in
the dark, in the same manner as the above described phial.

A beautiful method of expressing geometrical figures with the above
powder, is to bend small glass tubes, of about the tenth part of an
inch diameter, in the shape of the figure desired, and then to fill
them with the phosphoric powder. These may be illuminated in the
manner described; and they are not so subject to be spoiled, as the
figures represented upon the board frequently are.

_The Luminous Writing._

Small pieces of tin-foil may be stuck on a flat piece of glass, so as
to represent various fanciful figures. Upon the same principle is the
word LIGHT produced, in luminous characters.

It is formed by the small separations of the tin-foil pasted on a
piece of glass fixed in a frame of baked wood. To use this, the frame
must be held in the hand, and the ball presented to the conductor. The
spark will then be exhibited in the intervals composing the word, from
whence it passes to the hook, and thence to the ground by a chain. The
brilliancy of this is equal to that of the spiral tubes.

_The Electric Explosion._

Take a card, a quire of paper, or the cover of a book; and keep it
close to the outside coating of a charged jar: put one knob of the
discharging-rod upon the card, quire of paper, &c., so that, between
the knob and coating of the jar, the thickness of that card or quire
of paper only is interposed; lastly, by bringing the other knob of the
discharged rod near the knob of the jar, make the discharge, and the
electric spark will pierce a hole (or perhaps several) quite through
the card or quire of paper. This hole has a bur raised on each side,
except the card, &c., be pressed hard between the discharging-rod and
the jar. If this experiment be made with two cards instead of one,
which, however, must be kept very little distant from one another,
each of the cards, after the explosion, will be found pierced with one
or more holes, and each hole will have burs on both surfaces of each
card. The hole, or holes, are larger or smaller, according as the
card, &c., is more damp or more dry. It is remarkable, that if the
nostrils are presented to it, they will be affected with a sulphurous,
or rather a phosphoric smell, just like that produced by an excited

If, instead of paper, a very thin plate of glass, resin, sealing-wax,
or the like, be interposed between the knob of the discharging-rod and
the outside coating of the jar, on making the discharge, this will be
broken in several pieces.

_Electrified Air._

Fix two or three pointed needles into the prime conductor of an
electrical machine, and set the glass in motion so as to keep the
prime conductor electrified for several minutes. If now, an
electometer be brought within the air that is contiguous to the prime
conductor, it will exhibit signs of electricity, and this air will
continue electrified for some time, even after the machine has been
removed into another room. The air, in this case, is electrified
positively; it maybe negatively electrified by fixing the needles in
the negative conductor while insulated, and making a communication
between the prime conductor and the table, by means of a chain or
other conducting substance.

The air of a room may be electrified in another way. Charge a large
jar, and insulate it; then connect two or more sharp-pointed wires or
needles, with the knob of the jar, and connect the outside coating of
the jar with the table. If the jar be charged positively, the air of
the room will soon become positively electrified likewise; but if the
jar be charged negatively, the electricity communicated by it to the
air will also become negative. A charged jar being held in one hand,
and the flame of an insulated candle held in the other being brought
near the knob of the jar, will also produce the same effect.

_Another Electric Orrery._ (See page 92.)

From the prime conductor of an electric machine suspend six concentric
hoops of metal at different distances from each other, in such a
manner as to represent in some measure the proportional distances of
the planets. Under these, and at a distance of about half an inch,
place a metallic plate, and upon this plate, within each of the hoops,
a glass bubble blown very thin and light. On electrifying the hoops,
the bubbles will be immediately attracted by them, and will continue
to move round the hoops as long as the electrification continues. If
the electricity be very strong, the bubbles will frequently be driven
off, run hither and thither on the plate, making a variety of
surprising motions round their axis; after which they will return to
the hoop, and circulate as before; and if the room be darkened, they
will all appear beautifully illuminated with electric light.

_The Electric Ball._

Provide a ball of cork about three-quarters of an inch in diameter,
hollowed out in the internal part by cutting it in two hemispheres,
scooping out the inside, and then joining them together with paste.
Having attached this to a silk thread between three and four feet in
length, suspend it in such a manner that it may just touch the knob of
an electric jar, the outside of which communicates with the ground. On
the first contact it will be repelled to a considerable distance, and
after making several vibrations, will remain stationary; but if a
candle be placed at some distance behind it, so that the ball may be
between it and the bottle, the ball will instantly begin to move, and
will turn round the knob of the jar, moving in a kind of ellipsis as
long as there is any electricity in the bottle. This experiment is
very striking, though the motions are far from being regular; but it
is remarkable that they always affect the elliptical rather than the
circular form.

_To spin Sealing-wax into Threads by Electricity._

Stick a small piece of sealing-wax on the end of a wire, and set fire
to it. Then put an electrical machine in motion, and present the wax
just blown out at the distance of some inches from the prime
conductor. A number of extremely fine filaments will immediately dart
from the sealing-wax to the conductor, on which they will be condensed
into a kind of net-work resembling wool.

If the wire with the sealing-wax be stuck into one of the holes of the
conductor, and a piece of paper be presented at a moderate distance
from the wax, just after it has been ignited, on setting the machine
in motion, a net-work of wax will be formed on the paper. The same
effect, but in a slighter degree, will be produced, if the paper be
briskly rubbed with a piece of elastic gum, and the melting
sealing-wax be held pretty near the paper immediately after rubbing.

If the paper thus painted, as it were, with sealing-wax be gently
warmed by holding the back of it to the fire, the wax will adhere to
it, and the result of the experiment will thus be rendered permanent.

_The Electrified Camphor._

A beautiful experiment of the same nature is made with camphor. A
spoon holding a piece of lighted camphor is made to communicate with
an electrified body, as the prime conductor of a machine; while the
conductor continues electrified by keeping the machine in motion, the
camphor will throw out ramifications, and appear to shoot like a


Many of the following recreations are performed by arithmetical
calculations, and may therefore be considered as connected with
science; but as it has been the aim of this work to unite amusement
with instruction, some experiments on this subject are introduced, the
performance of which depends on dexterity of hand. As this is only to
be acquired by practice, and, after all, is merely a mechanical
operation, the study of it will produce little useful knowledge,
though it may afford much entertainment; but as it must be gratifying
to know the method by which they are performed by those persons
skilled in such manoeuvres, who publicly exhibit them to the
astonishment of the spectator, they are presented to our readers, that
when they recognize them at any of these exhibitions, their eyes may
not be in danger of deceiving their judgment.

_To tell the Number of Points on Three Cards, placed under Three
different Parcels of Cards._

You first premise that the ace counts for eleven; the court cards ten
each; and the others according to the number of their pips. You then
propose to any person in company to choose three cards, and to place
over each as many as will make the number of the points of that card,
fifteen; take the remaining cards, and, under the appearance of
looking for a particular card, count how many there are, and by adding
sixteen to that number, you will have the amount of the pips on the
three cards. For example:

Suppose a person choose a seven, a ten, and an ace; then over the
seven he must place eight cards; over the ten, five cards; and over
the ace, four cards. In this instance there will remain twelve cards;
to which if you add sixteen it will make twenty-eight, which is the
amount of the pips on the three cards.

_The Ten Duplicates._

Select any twenty cards; let any person shuffle them; lay them by
pairs on the board, without looking at them. You next desire several
persons, (as many persons as there are pairs on the table,) each to
look at different pairs and remember what cards compose them. You then
take up all the cards in the order they lay, and replace them with
their faces uppermost on the table, according to the order of the
letters in the following words:

   M  U  T  U  S
   1  2  3  4  5
   D  E  D  I  T
   6  7  8  9 10
   N  O  M  E  N
  11 12 13 14 15
   C  O  C  I  S
  16 17 18 19 20

(These words convey no meaning.)--You will observe, that they contain
ten letters repeated, or two of each sort. You therefore ask each
person which row or rows the cards he looked at are in; if he say the
first, you know they must be the second and fourth, there being two
letters of a sort (two U's) in that row; if he say the second and
fourth, they must be the ninth and nineteenth, (two I's,) and so of
the rest. This amusement, which is very simple, and requires very
little practice, will be found to excite, in those who are
unacquainted with the key, the greatest astonishment.

The readiest way is to have a fac-simile of the key drawn on a card,
to which you refer.

_To tell how many Cards a Person takes out of a Pack, and to specify
each Card._

To perform this, you must so dispose a PIQUET pack of cards, that you
can easily remember the order in which they are placed. Suppose, for
instance, they are placed according to the words in the following

  _Seven Aces, Eight Kings, Nine Queens, and Ten Knaves;_

and that every card be of a different suite, following each other in
this order: spades, clubs, hearts, and diamonds. Then the eight first
cards will be the seven of spades, ace of clubs, eight of hearts, king
of diamonds, nine of spades, queen of clubs, ten of hearts, and knave
of diamonds, and so of the rest.

You show that the cards are placed promiscuously, and you offer them
with their backs upward to any one, that he may draw what quantity he
pleases; you then dexterously look at the card that precedes and that
which follows those he has taken. When he has carefully counted the
cards, which is not to be done in your presence, (and, in order to
give you time for recollection, you tell him to do it twice over, that
he may be certain,) you then take them from him, mix them with the
pack, shuffle, and tell him to shuffle.

During all this time you recollect, by the foregoing line, all the
cards he took out; and as you lay them down, one by one, you name each

Unless a person has a most excellent memory, he had better not attempt
the performance of the above amusement, as the least forgetfulness
will spoil the whole, and make the operator appear ridiculous.

_A Hundred different Names being written on the Cards, to tell the
particular Name any Person thought of._

Write on ten cards a hundred different names, observing that the
last name on each card begins with one of the letters in the word
INDROMACUS, which letters, in the order they stand, answer the numbers
1 to 10, thus:

  I N D R O M A C U S
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

On ten other cards write the same names, with this restriction, that
the first name on every card must be taken from the first of the other
cards, whose last name begins with I; the second name must be taken
from that whose last name begins with N; and so of the rest. Then let
any person choose a card out of the first ten, and after he has fixed
on a name, give it to you again, when you carefully note the last
name, by which you know the number of that card. You then take the
other ten cards, and, after shuffling them, show them to the person,
and ask if he sees the name he chose, and when he answers in the
affirmative, you look to that name which is the same in number from
the top with the number of the card he took from the other parcel, and
that will be the name he fixed on.

Instead of ten cards there may be twenty to each parcel, by adding
duplicates to each card; which will make it appear more mysterious,
and will not at all embarrass it, as you have only to remember the
last name on each card. Instead of names you may write questions on
one of the parcels, and answers on the other.

_Several different Cards being fixed on by different Persons, to name
that on which each Person fixed._

There must be as many different cards shown to _each person_, as there
are cards to choose; so that, if there are three persons, you must
show three cards to each person, telling the first to retain _one_ in
his memory. You then lay those three cards down, and show three others
to the second person, and three others to the third. Next take up the
first person's cards, and lay them down separately, one by one, with
their faces upwards; place the second person's cards over the first,
and the third over the second's, so that there will be one card in
each parcel belonging to each person. You then ask each of them in
which parcel his card is, and by the answer you immediately know which
card it is; for the first person's will always be the first, the
second person's the second, and the third person's the third in that
parcel where each says his card is.

This amusement may be performed with a single person, by letting him
fix on three, four, or more cards. In this case you must show him as
many parcels as he is to choose cards, and every parcel must consist
of that number, out of which he is to fix on one; and you then proceed
as before, he telling you the parcel that contains each of his cards.

_To name the Rank of a Card that a Person has drawn from a Piquet

The rank of a card means whether it be an ace, king, queen, &c. You
therefore first fix a certain number to each card; thus you call the
king four, the queen three, the knave two, the ace one, and the others
according to the number of their pips.

You then shuffle the cards, and let a person draw any one of them;
then turning up the remaining cards, you add the number of the first
to that of the second, the second to the third, and so on, till it
amounts to ten, which you then reject, and begin again; or if it be
more, reject the ten, and carry the remainder to the next card, and so
on to the last; and to the last amount add four, and subtract that sum
from ten, if it be less, or from twenty, if it be more than ten, and
the remainder will be the number of the card that was drawn; as for
example, if the remainder be two, the card drawn was a knave; if
three, a queen, and so on.

_To tell the Amount of the Numbers of any two Cards drawn from a
common Pack._

Each court card in this amusement counts for ten, and the other cards
according to the number of their pips. Let the person who draws the
cards add as many more cards to each of those he has drawn as will
make each of their numbers twenty-five. Then take the remaining cards
in your hand, and, seeming to search for some card among them, tell
them over to yourself, and their number will be the amount of the two
cards drawn.

For example.--Suppose the person has drawn a ten and a seven, then he
must add fifteen cards to the first, to make the number twenty-five,
and eighteen to the last, for the same reason; now fifteen and
eighteen make thirty-three, and the two cards themselves make
thirty-five, which deducted from fifty-two, leave seventeen, which
must be the number of the remaining cards, and also of the two cards

You may perform this amusement without touching the cards, thus:

Let the person who has drawn the two cards deduct the number of each
of them from twenty-six, which is half the number of the pack, and
after adding the remainders together, let him tell you the amount,
which you privately deduct from fifty-two, the total number of all the
cards, and the remainder will be the amount of the two cards.

_Example._--Suppose the two cards to be as before, ten and seven; then
the person deducting ten from twenty-six, there remain sixteen, and
deducting seven from twenty-six, there remain nineteen; these two
remainders added together make thirty-five, which you subtract from
fifty-two; and there must remain seventeen for the amount of the two
cards, as before.

_To tell the Amount of the Numbers of any Three Cards that a Person
shall draw from the Pack._

After the person has drawn his three cards, draw one yourself and lay
it aside, for it is necessary that the number of the remaining cards
be divisible by three, which they will not be in a pack of fifty-two
cards, if only three be drawn. The card you draw, you may call the
confederate, and pretend it is by the aid of that card you discover
the amount of the others. Then tell the party to add as many more to
each of his cards as will make its number sixteen, which is the third
part of the remaining forty-eight cards; therefore, suppose he has
drawn a ten, a seven, and a six; then, to the first he must add six
cards, to the second nine, and to the third ten, which together make
twenty-five, and the four cards drawn being added to them make
twenty-nine. You then take the remaining cards, and, telling them
over, as in the last amusement, you find their number to be
twenty-three, the amount of the three cards the person drew.

This amusement may also be performed without touching the cards,
thus:--When the party has drawn his three cards, and you have drawn
one, let him deduct the number of each of the cards he has drawn from
seventeen, which is one-third of the pack after you have drawn your
card; and let him tell you the amount of the several remainders, to
which you privately add one to the card you drew, and, deducting that
amount from fifty-two, (the whole number of the cards,) the remainder
will be the amount of the three cards drawn.

_Example._--Suppose the three cards to be ten, seven, and six, as
before; then, each of those numbers subtracted from seventeen, the
remainders will be respectively, seven, ten, and eleven, which, added
together, make twenty-eight, to which the single card you drew being
reckoned as one, and added, makes twenty-nine; and that number
deducted from fifty-two, leaves twenty-three, which is the amount of
the three cards the party drew.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following amusements principally depend on dexterity of hand; and,
as what is termed _making the pass_, will be necessary to be acquired,
to enable the operator to perform many of them, we subjoin the
following explanation of this term:

_How to make the Pass._--Hold the pack of cards in your right hand, so
that the palm of your hand may be under the cards: place the thumb of
that hand on one side of the pack; the first, second, and third
fingers on the other side, and your little finger between those cards
that are to be brought to the top, and the rest of the pack. Then
place your left hand over the cards in such a manner that the thumb
may be at C, the fore-finger at A, and the other fingers at B, as in
the following figure:

  +----------------+   +----------------+
  |     _Bottom._  |   |      _Top._    |
  |                |   |                |
  | 2              |   |                |
  |                |   |                |
  |     _Thumb._   |   |                |
  | 3              |   |                |
  | 4              |   |                |
  |                |   |                |
  |                |   |                |
  |_Little Finger._|   |                |
  +----------------+   +----------------+

The hands and the two parts of the cards being thus disposed, you draw
off the lower cards, confined by the little finger and the other parts
of the right hand, and place them, with an imperceptible motion, on
the top of the pack.

But before you attempt any of the tricks that depend on _making the
pass_, you must have great practice, and be able to perform it so
dexterously and expeditiously, that the eye cannot detect the movement
of the hand; or you may, instead of deceiving others, expose yourself.

_The Long Card._--Another stratagem, connected with the performance of
many of the following tricks, is what is termed the _Long Card_; that
is, a card, either a trifle longer or wider than the other cards, not
perceptible to the eye of the spectator, but easily to be
distinguished by the touch of the operator.

_The Divining Card._

Provide a pack in which there is a long card; open it at that part
where the long card is, and present the pack to a person in such a
manner that he will naturally draw that card. You then tell him to put
it into any part of the pack, and shuffle the cards. You take the
pack, and offer the same card in like manner to a second or third
person, taking care that they do not stand near enough to see the card
each other draws.

You then draw several cards yourself, among which is the long card,
and ask each of the parties if his card be among those cards, and he
will naturally say _yes_, as they have all drawn the same card. You
then shuffle all the cards together, and, cutting them at the long
card, you hold it before the first person, so that the others may not
see it, and tell him that is his card. You then put it in the pack,
shuffle it, cut it again at the same card, and hold it to the second

You can perform this recreation without the long card, in the
following manner:

Let a person draw any card, and replace it in the pack. You then _make
the pass_, (see p. 107,) and bring that card to the top of the pack,
and shuffle them, without losing sight of that card. You then offer
that card to a second person, that he may draw it, and put it in the
middle of the pack. You _make the pass_, and shuffle the cards a
second time in the same manner, and offer the card to a third person,
and so again to a fourth or fifth.

_The Four Confederate Cards._

A person draws four cards from the pack, and you tell him to remember
one of them. He then returns them to the pack, and you dexterously
place two under and two on the top of the pack. Under the bottom ones
you place four cards of any sort, and then, taking eight or ten from
the bottom cards, you spread them on the table, and ask the person if
the card he fixed on be among them. If he say _no_, you are sure it is
one of the two cards on the top. You then pass those two cards to the
bottom and, drawing off the lowest of them, you ask if that is not his
card. If he again say _no_, you take up that card, and bid him draw
his card from the bottom of the pack. If, on the contrary, he say his
cards _are_ among those you _first_ drew from the bottom, you must
dexterously take up the four cards you put under them, and, placing
those on the top, let the other two be the bottom cards of the pack,
which you are to draw in the manner before described.

_The Numerical Cards._

Let the long card be the sixteenth in the pack of piquet cards. Take
ten or twelve cards from the top of the pack, and, spreading them on
the table, desire a person to think on any one of them, and to observe
the number it is from the first card. Make the pass at the long card,
which will then be at the bottom. Then ask the party the number his
card was at, and, counting to yourself from that number to sixteen,
turn the cards up, one by one, from the bottom. Then stop at the
seventeenth card, and ask the person if he has seen his card, when he
will say _no_. You then ask him how many more cards you shall draw
before his card appears; and when he has named the number, you draw
the card aside with your finger, turn up the number of cards he
proposed, and throw down the card he fixed on.

_The Card found out by the Point of the Sword._

When a card has been drawn, you place it under the long card, and by
shuffling them dexterously, you bring it to the top of the pack. Then
lay or throw the pack on the ground, observing where the top card
lies. A handkerchief is then bound round your eyes, which ought to be
done by a confederate, in such a way that you can see the ground. A
sword is put into your hand, with which you touch several of the
cards, as if in doubt, but never losing sight of the top card, in
which at last you fix the point of the sword, and present it to the
party who drew it.

_The Card hit upon by the Guess._

Spread part of the pack before a person, in such way that only one
court card is visible; and so arrange it, that it shall appear the
most prominent and striking card. You desire him to think on one; and
observe if he fix his eye on the court card. When he tells you he has
determined on one, shuffle the cards, and, turning them up one by one,
when you come to the court card tell him that is the one.

If he does not seem to fix his eye on the court card, you should not
hazard the experiment; but frame an excuse for performing some other
amusement; neither should it be attempted with those who are
conversant with these sort of deceptions.

_The Card changed by Word of Command._

You must have two cards of the same sort in the pack, (say the king of
spades.) Place one next the bottom card, (say seven of hearts,) and
the other at top. Shuffle the cards without displacing those three,
and show a person that the bottom card is the seven of hearts. This
card you dexterously slip aside with your finger, which you have
previously wetted, and, taking the king of spades from the bottom,
which the person supposes to be the seven of hearts, lay it on the
table, telling him to cover it with his hand.

Shuffle the cards again, without displacing the first and last card,
and, shifting the other king of spades from the top to the bottom,
show it to another person. You then draw that privately away, and,
taking the bottom card, which will then be the seven of hearts, you
lay that on the table, and tell the second person (who believes it to
be the king of spades) to cover it with his hand.

You then command the cards to change places; and when the two parties
take off their hands and turn up the cards, they will see, to their
great astonishment, that your commands are obeyed.

_The Three Magical Parties._

Offer the long card to a person, that he may draw it, and replace it
in any part of the pack he pleases. _Make the pass_, and bring that
card to the top. Next divide the pack in three parcels, putting the
long card in the middle heap. You then ask the person which of the
three heaps his card shall be in. He will, probably, say the middle;
in which case you immediately show it to him. But if he say either of
the others, you take all the cards in your hand, placing the parcel he
has named over the other two, and observing to put your little finger
between that and the middle heap, at the top of which is the card he
drew. You then ask at what number in that heap he will have his card
appear. If, for example, he say the sixth, you tell down five cards
from the top of the pack, and then, dexterously making the pass, you
bring the long card to the top, and tell it down as the sixth.

_The Magic Vase._

Construct a vase of wood, or pasteboard, see Fig. 20. On the inside
let there be five divisions; two of them, _c d_, to be large enough to
admit a pack of cards each; and the other three, _e f g_, only large
enough to contain a single card. Place this vase on a bracket, L,
which is fastened to the partition M. Fix a silken thread at H, the
other end of which passes down the division _d_, and, over the pulley
I, runs along the bracket L, and goes out behind the partition M.

[Illustration: Fig. 20.]

Take three cards from the piquet pack, and place one of them in each
of the divisions _e f g_, making the silk thread or line go under each
of them. In the division _c_ put the remainder of the pack.

You then get another pack of cards, at the top of which are to be
three cards, the same as those in the three small divisions: and,
making the pass, bring them to the middle of the pack. Let them be
drawn by three persons; let them shuffle all the cards; after which
place the pack in the division _d_, and tell the parties that the
cards they drew will rise at their command, separately, from the vase.

A confederate behind the partition then gently drawing the line, the
three cards will then gradually appear from the vase; then taking the
cards from _c_, you show that those three are gone from the pack.

The vase must be placed so high that the company cannot see the

_The Divining Perspective Glass._

Procure a small perspective-glass, wide enough, where the object-glass
is placed, to hold the following table:

  | 1,131 | 10,132 | 19,133 |
  | 2,231 | 11,232 | 20,233 |
  | 3,331 | 12,332 | 21,333 |
  | 4,121 | 13,122 | 22,123 |
  | 5,221 | 14,222 | 23,223 |
  | 6,321 | 15,322 | 24,323 |
  | 7,111 | 16,112 | 25,113 |
  | 8,211 | 17,212 | 26,213 |
  | 9,311 | 18,312 | 27,313 |

Take a pack of twenty-seven cards; give them to a person, bid him fix,
on one, shuffle them, and return them to you. Arrange the twenty-seven
cards in three parcels, by laying one down, alternately, on each
parcel; but before you lay each card down, show it to the person,
without seeing it yourself. When you have completed the three parcels,
ask him at what number, from one to twenty-seven, he will have his
card appear, and in which heap it then is. You then look at the heap
through your glass; and if the first of the three numbers, which
stands against the number it is to appear at, be one, put that heap at
top; if the number be at two, put it in the middle; and if it be
three, put it at the bottom. Next divide the cards into three heaps,
in the same manner, a second and third time, and his card will be at
the number he chose.

_Example._--Suppose the person wishes his card to be the twentieth
from the top; and the first time of making the heaps, he says it is in
the third heap; you then look at the table in the perspective, and you
see that the first figure is two; you, therefore, put that heap in the
middle of the pack. The second and third times, you in like manner put
the heap in which he says it is, at bottom; the number each time being
three. Then looking at the pack with your glass, as if to discover
which the card was, you lay the cards down, one by one, and the
twentieth will be the card fixed on.

_The Card in the Ring._

Get a ring, made of any metal, in which is set a large transparent
stone or piece of glass, to the bottom of which is fastened a small
piece of black silk; under the silk is to be the figure of a small
card; and the silk must be so constructed that it may be either drawn
aside or spread, by turning the stone round.

You then cause a person to draw the same sort of card as that at the
bottom of the ring; and tell him to burn it in the candle. Now, the
ring being so constructed that the silk conceals the card underneath
it, you first show him the ring, that he may see it is not there, and
tell him you will make it appear; then rubbing the ashes of the card
on the ring, you manage to turn the stone or glass dexterously round,
and exhibit to him the small card at the bottom.

_The Card in the Mirror._

Provide a mirror, either round or oval, the frame of which must be at
least as wide as a card, and the glass must be wider than the distance
between the frame, by at least the width of a card. The glass in the
middle must be made to move in two grooves, and so much of the
quicksilver must be scraped off, as is equal to the size of a common
card. You then paste over the part where the quicksilver is rubbed
off, a piece of pasteboard, on which is a cord, that must exactly fit
the space, which must at first be placed behind the frame.

Fix this mirror against a partition, through which two strings are to
go, by which an assistant in an adjoining room can easily move the
glass in the grooves, and make the card appear or disappear at
pleasure. Or it may be done without an assistant, if a table be placed
against the partition, and a string from the glass be made to pass
through a leg of it, and communicate with a small trigger, which you
may easily push down with your foot, and at the same time wiping the
glass with your handkerchief, under the pretence that the card may
appear more conspicuous; which will also serve most effectually to
disguise the operation.

Having every thing thus arranged, you contrive to make a person draw
the same sort of card as that fixed to the mirror; if you do not
succeed in this with a stranger, make some pretence for shuffling the
cards again, and present the pack to a confederate, who, of course,
will draw the card you wish, and who is to show it to two or three
persons next to him, under the pretence that it might slip his memory.
This card you place in the middle of the pack, then _make the pass_,
and bring it to the bottom. Direct the person to look for his card in
the mirror, which the confederate behind the partition is to draw
slowly forward; or if you perform the operation yourself, press the
trigger with your foot, and the card will appear as if placed between
the glass and the quicksilver. While the glass is drawing forward, you
slide off the card from the bottom of the pack, and convey it away.

_The Card in the Opera Glass._

Procure an opera-glass, two inches and a half long; the tube to be
made of ivory, so thin that it may appear transparent. Place it in a
magnifying glass, of such a power, and at such a distance, that a
card, three-quarters of an inch long, may appear like a common-sized
card. At the bottom of the tube lay a circle of black pasteboard, to
which fasten a small card, with the pips, or figures, on both sides,
and in such a manner, that by turning the table, either side of the
glass may be visible.

You then offer two cards to two persons, similar to the double card in
the glass. You put them in the pack again, or convey them to your
pocket; and after a few flourishing motions you tell the persons you
have conveyed their cards into the glass; then you show each person
his card in the glass, by turning it in the proper position.

You may easily induce the parties to draw the two cards you wish, by
placing them first on the top of the pack, and then, by making the
pass, bringing them to the middle.

When you can make the pass in a dexterous manner, it is preferable to
the long card, which obliges the operator to change the pack
frequently, as, if the same card is always drawn, it may excite

_To separate the two Colours of a Pack of Cards by one Cut._

To perform this amusement, all the cards of one colour must be cut
something narrower at one end than the other. You show the cards, and
give them to any one, that he may shuffle them; then holding them
between your hands, one hand being at each extremity, with one motion
you separate the hearts and diamonds from the spades and clubs.

_The Metamorphosed Cards._

In the middle of a pack place a card that is something wider than the
rest, which we will suppose to be the knave of spades, under which
place the seven of diamonds, and under that the ten of clubs. On the
top of the pack put cards similar to these, and others on which are
painted different objects, _viz._:

  First card      A bird
  Second          A seven of diamonds
  Third           A flower
  Fourth          Another seven of diamonds
  Fifth           A bird
  Sixth           A ten of clubs
  Seventh         A flower
  Eighth          Another ten of clubs;

then seven or eight indifferent cards, the knave of spades, which is
the wide card, the seven of diamonds, the ten of clubs, and the rest
any indifferent cards.

Two persons are to draw the two cards that are under the wide card,
which are the seven of diamonds and the ten of clubs. You take the
pack in your left hand, and open it at the wide end, as you open a
book, and tell the person who drew the seven of diamonds to place it
in that opening. You then blow on the cards, and, without closing
them, instantly bring the card which is at top, and on which a bird is
painted, over that seven of diamonds. To do this dexterously, you must
wet the middle finger of your left hand, with which you are to bring
the card to the middle of the pack. You then bid the person look at
his card, and when he has remarked the change, to place it where it
was before. Then blow on the cards a second time, and, bringing the
seven of diamonds, which is at the top of the pack, to the opening,
you bid him look at his card again, when he will see it is that which
he drew. You may do the same with all the other painted cards, either
with the same person, or with him who drew the ten of clubs.

The whole artifice consists in bringing the card at the top of the
pack to the opening in the middle, by the wet finger, which requires
no great practice. Observe, not to let the pack go out of your hands.

_To discover the Card which is drawn, by the Throw of a Die._

Prepare a pack of cards, in which there are only six sorts of cards.
Dispose these cards in such manner that each of the six different
cards shall follow each other, and let the last of each suite be a
long card. The cards being thus disposed, it follows, that if you
divide them into six parcels, by cutting at each of the long cards,
those parcels will all consist of similar cards.

Let a person draw a card from the pack, and let him replace it in the
parcel from whence it was drawn, by dexterously offering that part.
Cut the cards several times, so that a long card be always at bottom.
Divide the cards in this manner into six heaps, and giving a die to
the person who drew the card, tell him that the point he throws shall
indicate the parcel in which is the card he drew; then take up the
parcel and show him the card.

_To tell the Number of the Cards by their Weight._

Take a parcel of cards, suppose forty, among which insert two long
cards; let the first be, for example, the fifteenth, and the other the
twenty-sixth from the top. Seem to shuffle the cards, and then cutting
them at the first long card, poise those you have cut off in your left
hand, and say, "There should be here fifteen cards." Cut them again at
the second long card, and say, "There are here only eleven cards."
Then poising the remainder, you say, "Here are fourteen cards."

_The Four Inseparable Kings._

Take the four kings, and behind the last of them place two other
cards, so that they may not be seen. Then spread open the four kings
to the company, and put the six cards at the bottom of the pack. Draw
one of the kings, and put it at the top of the pack. Draw one of the
two cards at the bottom, and put it towards the middle. Draw the
other, and put it at some distance from the last, and then show that
there remains a king at bottom. Then let any one cut the cards, and as
there remains three kings at bottom, they will then be altogether in
the middle of the pack.

_To change the Cards which several Persons have drawn from the Pack._

On the top of the pack put any card you please--suppose the queen of
clubs; make the pass, bring that card to the middle of the pack, and
offer it to a person to draw. Then, by cutting the cards, bring the
queen again to the middle of the pack. Make the pass a second time,
bring it to the top, and shuffle the cards without displacing those on
the top. Make the pass a third time, bring it to the middle of the
pack and offer it to a second person to draw, who must be at a proper
distance from the first person, that he may not perceive it is the
same card. After the like manner let five persons draw the same card.

Shuffle the pack without losing sight of the queen of clubs, and,
laying down four other cards with the queen, ask each person if he see
his card there? They will all reply, "Yes," as they all drew the queen
of clubs. Place four of those cards on the pack, and, drawing the
queen privately away, you approach the first person, and showing him
that card, so that the others cannot see it, ask if that be his card;
then patting it on the top of the pack, blow on it, or give it a
stroke with your hand, and show it in the same manner to the second
person, and so of the rest.

_The Card discovered under the Handkerchief._

Let a person draw any card from the rest, and put it in the middle of
the pack; you make the pass at that place, and the card will
consequently be at top; then placing the pack on the table, cover it
with a handkerchief; and, putting your hand under it, take off the top
card, and after seeming to search among the cards for some time, draw
it out.

This amusement may be performed by putting the cards in another
person's pocket, after the pass is made. Several cards may also be
drawn and placed together in the middle of the pack, and the pass then

_The Convertible Aces._

On the ace of spades fix, with soap, a heart, and on the ace of hearts
a spade, in such a manner that they will easily slip off.

Show these two aces to the company; then, taking the ace of spades,
you desire a person to put his foot upon it, and as you place it on
the ground, draw away the spade. In like manner you place the seeming
ace of hearts under the foot of another person. You then command the
two cards to change their places; and that they obey your command, the
two persons, on taking up their cards, will have ocular demonstration.

A deception similar to this is sometimes practised with one card,
suppose the ace of spades, over which a heart is pasted lightly. After
showing a person the card, you let him hold one end of it, and you
hold the other, and while you amuse him with discourse, you slide off
the heart. Then laying the card on the table, you bid him cover it
with his hand; you then knock under the table, and command the heart
to turn into the ace of spades.

_To tell the Card that a Person has touched with his Finger._

This amusement is to be performed by confederacy. You previously agree
with your confederate on certain signs, by which he is to denote the
suite, and the particular card of each suite; thus: if he touch the
first button of his coat, it signifies an ace; if the second, a king,
&c.; and then again, if he take out his handkerchief, it denotes the
suite to be hearts; if he take snuff, diamonds, &c. These
preliminaries being settled, you give the pack to a person who is near
your confederate, and tell him to separate any one card from the rest,
while you are absent, and draw his finger once over it. He is then to
return you the pack, and while you are shuffling the cards, you
carefully note the signals made by your confederate; then turning the
cards over one by one, you directly fix on the card he touched.

_The Card in the Pocket-book._

A confederate is previously to know the card you have taken from the
pack, and put into your pocket-book. You then present the pack to him,
and desire him to fix on a card, (which we will suppose to be the
queen of diamonds,) and place the pack on the table. You then ask him
the name of the card, and when he says the queen of diamonds, you ask
him if he be not mistaken, and if he be sure that the card is in the
pack: when he replies in the affirmative, you say, "It might be there
when you looked over the cards, but I believe it is now in my pocket;"
then desire a third person to put his hand in your pocket, and take
out your book, and when it is opened the card will appear.

_The Card in the Egg._

Take a card, the same as your long card, and, rolling it up very
close, put it in an egg, by making a hole as small as possible, and
which you are to fill up carefully with white wax. You then offer the
long card to be drawn, and when it is replaced in the pack, you
shuffle the cards several times, giving the egg to the person who drew
the card, and while he is breaking it, you privately withdraw the long
card, that it may appear, upon examining the cards, to have gone from
the pack into the egg. This may be rendered more surprising by having
several eggs, in each of which is placed a card of the same sort, and
then giving the person the liberty to choose which egg he thinks fit.

This deception may be still further diversified, by having, as most
public performers have, a confederate, who is previously to know the
egg in which the card is placed; for you may then break the other
eggs, and show that the only one that contains a card is that in which
you directed it to be.

_The Card discovered by the Touch or Smell._

You offer the long card, or any other that you know, and as the person
who has drawn it holds it in his hand, you pretend to feel the pips or
figure on the under side, by your fore-finger; or you sagaciously
smell to it, and then pronounce what card it is.

If it be the long card, you may give the pack to the person who drew
it, and leave him at liberty either to replace it or not. Then taking
the pack, you feel immediately whether it be there or not, and,
shuffling the cards in a careless manner, without looking at them, you
pronounce accordingly.

_The Inverted Cards._

Prepare a pack of cards, by cutting one end of them about one-tenth of
an inch narrower than the other; then offer the pack to any one, that
he may draw a card; place the pack on the table, and observe carefully
if he turn the card while he is looking at it; if he do not, when you
take the pack from the table, you offer the other end of it for him to
insert that card; but if he turn the card, you then offer him the same
end of the pack. You afterwards offer the cards to a second or third
person, for them to draw or replace a card in the same manner. You
then let any one shuffle the cards, and, taking them again into your
own hand, as you turn them up one by one, you easily perceive by the
touch which are those cards that have been inverted, and, laying the
first of them down on the table, you ask the person if that card be
his; and if he say _no_, you ask the same of the second person; and if
he say _no_, you tell the third person it is his card; and so of the
second or third cards. You shall lay the pack on the table after each
person has drawn his card, and turn it dexterously in taking it up,
when it is to be turned, that the experiment may not appear to depend
on the cards being inverted.

_The Transmuted Cards._

In a common pack of cards let the ace of hearts and nine of spades be
something larger than the rest. With the juice of lemon draw over the
ace of hearts a spade, large enough to cover it entirely, and on each
side draw four other spades.

Present the pack to two persons, so adroitly, that one of them shall
draw the ace of hearts, and the other the nine of spades, and tell him
who draws the latter, to burn it on a chafing-dish. You then take the
ashes of that card, put them into a small metal box, and give it to
him that has the ace of hearts, that he may himself put that card into
the box and fasten it. Then put the box for a short time on the
chafing-dish, and let the person who put the card in it take it off,
and take out the card, which he will see is changed into the nine of

_The Convertible Cards._

To perform this amusement you must observe, that there are several
letters which may be changed into others, without any appearance of
the alteration, as the _a_ into _d_, the _c_ into _a_, _e_, _d_, _g_,
_o_, or _q_; the _i_ into _b_, _d_, or _l_; the _l_ into _t_; the _o_
into _a_, _d_, _g_, or _q_; the _v_ into _y_, &c.

Take a parcel of cards, suppose twenty, and on one of them write with
juice of lemon or onion, or vitriol and water, the word law, (these
letters should not be joined;) and on the other, with the same ink,
the words _old woman_; then holding them to the fire, they both become
visible. Now, you will observe, that by altering the _a_ in the word
_law_ into _d_, and adding _o_ before the _l_, and _oman_ after the
_w_, it becomes _old woman_. Therefore you make those alterations with
the invisible ink, and let it remain so. On the rest of the cards you
write any words you think fit.

Present the cards in such manner to two persons, that one of them
shall draw the word _law_, and the other the words _old woman_. You
then tell the person who drew the word _law_, that it shall disappear,
and the words on the other card shall be written in its place; and,
that you may not change the cards, desire each of the parties to write
his name on his card. Then putting the cards together, and holding
them before the fire, as if to dry the names just written, the word
_law_ will presently change into _old woman_.

_The Enchanted Palace._

On the six-sided plane A B C D E F, Fig. 21, draw six semi-diameters;
and on each of these place perpendicularly two plane mirrors, which
must join exactly at the centre, and which, placed back to back, must
be as thin as possible. Decorate the exterior boundary of this piece,
(which is at the extremity of the angles of the hexagon,) with six
columns, that at the same time serve to support the mirrors by grooves
formed on their inner sides. Add to these columns their entablatures,
and cover the edifice in whatever manner you please. In each one of
these six triangular spaces, contained between two mirrors, place
little figures of pasteboard, in relief, representing such subjects,
as, when seen in an hexagonal form, will produce an agreeable effect.
To these add small figures of enamel, and take particular care to
conceal by some object that has no relation to the subject, the place
where the mirrors join, which, as before observed, all meet in the
common centre.

[Illustration: Fig. 21.]

When you look into any one of the six openings of this palace, the
objects there contained, being reflected six times, will seem entirely
to fill up the whole of the building. This illusion will appear very
remarkable, especially if the objects chosen are properly adapted to
the effect which the mirrors are intended to produce.

If you place between two of these mirrors part of a fortification, as
a curtain, and two demi-bastions, you will see an entire citadel with
six bastions; or if you place part of a ball-room, ornamented with
chandeliers and figures, all these objects being here multiplied, will
afford a very pleasing prospect.

_Opaque Bodies seemingly Transparent._

Within the case A B C D, place four mirrors O P Q R, Fig. 22, so
disposed, that they may each make an angle of 45 degrees, that is,
that they may be half-way inclined from the perpendicular, as in the
figure. In each of the two extremities A B, make a circular overture;
in one of which fix the tube G L, in the other the tube M F, and
observe, that in each of these is to be inserted another tube, as H
and I. [_Observe._ These four tubes must terminate in the substance of
the case, and not enter the inside, that they may not hinder the
effect of the mirrors. The four-fold reflection of the rays of light
from the mirrors, darkens in some degree the brightness of the object;
some light is also lost by the magnifying power of the perspective.
If, therefore, instead of the object-glass at G, and concave eye-glass
at F, plain glasses were substituted, the magnifying power of the
perspective will be taken away, and the object appear brighter.]

[Illustration: Fig. 22.]

Furnish the first of these tubes with an object-glass at G, and a
concave eye-glass at F. You are to observe, that in regulating the
focus of these glasses with regard to the length of the tube, you are
to suppose it equal to the line G, or visual pointed ray, which
entering at the aperture G is reflected by the four mirrors, and goes
out at the other aperture F, where the eye-glass is placed. Put any
glass you please into the two ends of the moveable tubes H and L; and
lastly, place the machine on stand E, moveable at the point S, that it
may be elevated or lowered at pleasure.

When the eye is placed at F, and you look through the tube, the rays
of light that proceed from the object T, passing through the glass G,
are successively reflected by the mirrors O P Q and R to the eye at F,
and there point the object T in its proper situation, and these rays
appear to proceed directly from that object.

The two moveable tubes H and I, at the extremity of which a glass is
placed, serve only to disguise the illusion, for they have no
communication with the interior of the machine. This instrument being
moveable on the stand E, may be directed to any object; and if
furnished with proper glasses, will answer the purpose of common

The two moveable tubes, H and I, being brought together, the machine
is directed towards any object; and, desiring a person to look at the
end F, you ask him if he sees that object distinctly. You then
separate the two moveable tubes, and, leaving space between them
sufficiently wide to place your hand or any other solid body, you tell
him that the machine has the power of making objects visible through
the most opaque body; and as a proof, you desire him to look at the
same object, when to his great surprise he will see it as distinctly
as if no solid body interposed.

This experiment is the more extraordinary as it is very difficult
to conceive how the effect is produced; the two arms of the
case appearing to be made for the purpose of supporting the
perspective-glass; and to whatever object it be directed, the effect
is still the same.

_The Deforming Mirrors._

If a person look in a concave mirror placed perpendicularly to
another, (that is, supposing one mirror to be laid on the floor, and
the other attached to the ceiling,) his face will appear entirely
deformed. If the mirror be a little inclined, so as to make an angle
of 80 degrees, (that is, one-ninth part from the perpendicular,) he
will then see all the parts of his face, except the nose and forehead.
If it be inclined to 60 degrees; (that is, one-third part,) he will
appear with three noses and six eyes: in short, the apparent deformity
will vary at each degree of inclination, and when the glass comes to
45 degrees, (that is, half-way down,) the face will vanish. If,
instead of placing the two mirrors in this situation, they are so
disposed that their junction may be vertical, then different
inclinations will produce other effects, as the situation of the
object relative is quite different.

_The Magic Tube._

Procure a small tube of glass, whose canal is extremely narrow, and
open at both ends; let one end of it be plunged in water, and the
water within the tube will rise to a considerable height above the
external surface: or if two or more tubes be immersed in the same
fluid, the one with a narrow canal, and the other wider, the water
will ascend higher in the former than the latter.

_The Magician's Mirror._

Construct a box of wood, of a cubical shape, A B C D, Fig. 23, of
about fifteen inches every way. Let it be fixed to the pedestal P, at
the usual height of a man's head. In each side of this box let there
be an opening, of an oval form, ten inches high, and seven wide. In
this box place two mirrors, A D, with their backs against each other.
Let them cross the box in a diagonal line, and in a vertical position.
Decorate the openings in the side of this box with four oval frames
and transparent glasses, and cover each with a curtain so contrived as
all to draw up together.

[Illustration: Fig. 23.]

Place four persons in front of the four sides, and at equal distances
from the box, and then draw them up that they may see themselves in
the mirrors, when each of them, instead of his own figure, will see
that of the person next to him, but who will appear to him to be
placed on the opposite side. Their confusion will be the greater, as
it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for them to discover the
mirrors concealed in the box. The reason of this phenomenon is
evident; for though the rays of light may be turned aside by a mirror,
yet they always _appear_ to proceed in right lines.

_The Perspective Mirror._

Provide a box, A B C D, Fig. 24, of about two feet long, 15 inches
wide, and 12 inches high. At the end A C, place the concave mirror,
the focus of whose parallel rays is 18 inches from the reflecting
surface. At I L place a pasteboard, blacked, in which a hole is cut,
sufficiently large to see on the mirror H the object placed at B E F
D. Cover the top of the box, from A to I, close, that the mirror H may
be entirely darkened. The other part, I B, must be covered with glass,
under which is placed a gauze, or oiled paper, to prevent the inside
from being seen. Make an aperture at G, near the top of the side E B,
beneath which, on the inside, place in succession, paintings of
vistas, landscapes, figures, &c., so that they may be in front of the
mirror H. Let the box be placed that the objects may be strongly
illuminated by the sun, or by wax-lights placed under the enclosed
part of the box A I. By this simple construction, the objects placed
at G D will be thrown into their natural perspective, and if the
subjects be properly chosen and well executed, the appearance will be
both wonderful and pleasing.

[Illustration: Fig. 24.]

_Gunpowder Exploded by Reflection._

Place two concave mirrors at about 12 or 15 feet distance from each
other, and let the axis of each be in the same line. In the focus of
one of them place a live coal, and in the focus of the other place
some gunpowder. With a pair of double bellows, which make a continual
blast, keep constantly blowing the coal, and notwithstanding the
distance between them, the powder will presently take fire.

_The Igniting Mirrors._

The rays of a luminous body placed in the focus of concave mirror,
being reflected in parallel lines, and a second mirror being placed
diametrically opposite to the first, will set fire to a combustible
body, by collecting those rays in the focus.

_The Armed Apparition._

If a person with a drawn sword place himself before a large concave
mirror, but further from it than its focus, he will see an inverted
image of himself in the air, between him and the mirror, of a less
size than himself. If he steadily present the sword towards the centre
of the mirror, an image of the sword will come out from it, point to
point, as if to fence with him; and by his pushing the sword nearer,
the image will appear to come nearer to him, and almost to touch his
breast. If the mirror be turned 45 degrees, or one-eighth round, the
reflected image will go out perpendicularly to the direction of the
sword presented, and apparently come to another person placed in the
direction of the motion of the image, who, if he be unacquainted with
the experiment, and does not see the original sword, will be much
surprised and alarmed.

_The Phantom._

You inform a person that at a certain hour, and in a certain place, he
shall see the apparition of a deceased friend, (whose portrait you
possess.) In order to produce this phantom, there must be a door which
opens into an apartment to which there is a considerable descent.
Under that door you are to place the portrait, which must be inverted
and strongly illuminated, that it may be brightly reflected by the
mirror, which must be large and well polished. Then having introduced
the incredulous spectator at another door, and placed him in the
proper point of view, you suddenly throw open the door, when to his
great surprise he will view the apparition of his friend.

_The Distorting Mirror._

Opticians sometimes grind a glass mirror concave in one direction
only, or longitudinally; it is in fact a concave portion of a
cylinder, the breadth of which may be considered that of the mirror. A
person looking at his face in this mirror, in the direction of its
concavity, will see it curiously distorted in a very lengthened
appearance; and by turning the cylindrical mirror a quarter round, his
visage will appear distorted another way, by an apparent increase in
width only. If in a very near situation before it, you put your finger
on the right hand side of your nose, it will appear the same in the
mirror; but if in a distant situation, somewhat beyond the centre of
concavity, you again look at your face in the mirror, your finger will
appear to be removed to the other side of your nose.

_Water colder than Ice._

Put a lump of ice into an equal quantity of water, heated to 176
degrees, the result will be, that the fluid will be no hotter than
water just beginning to freeze; but if a little sea salt be added to
the water, and it be heated only to 166 or 170, a fluid will be
produced _colder than the ice was at first_.

_Exploding Salt._

If a small quantity of powdered charcoal and hyper-oxymuriate of
potash be rubbed together in a mortar, an explosion will be produced,
and the charcoal inflamed. Three parts of this salt, and one of
sulphur, rubbed together in a mortar, produce a violent detonation. If
struck with a hammer on an anvil, there is an explosion like the
report of a pistol.

When concentrated sulphuric acid is poured upon this salt, there is a
considerable explosion; it is thrown about to a great distance,
sometimes with a red flame; and there is exhaled a brown vapour,
accompanied with a strong odour.

_Dioptrical Paradox._

Construct a machine similar to that in Fig. 25. Its effect will be,
that a print, or an ornamented drawing, with any object, such as an
ace of diamonds, &c. in the centre F, will be seen as an ace of clubs
when placed in the machine, and viewed through a single plane glass
only, contained in the tube E. The glass in the tube F, which produces
this surprising change, is somewhat on the principle of the common
multiplying glass, as represented at G, which, by the number of its
inclined surfaces, and from the refractive power of the rays
proceeding from the objects placed before it shows it in a multiplied
state. The only difference is, that the sides of this glass are flat,
and diverge upwards from the base to a point in the axis of the glass
like a cone; it has six sides, and each side, from its angular
position to the eye, has the property of refracting from the border of
the print F, such a portion of it (designedly placed there) as will
make a part in the composition of the figure to be represented; for
the hexagonal and conical figure of this glass prevents any part of
the ace of diamonds being seen; consequently the ace of clubs being
previously and mechanically drawn in the circle of refraction in six
different parts of the border, at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and artfully
disguised in the ornamental border, by blending them with it, the
glass in the tube at E will change the appearance of the ace of
diamonds, F, into the ace of clubs, G. In the same manner many other
prints undergo similar changes, according to the will of an ingenious
draughtsman who may design them. The figure of the glass is shown at

[Illustration: Fig. 25.]

_To show the Spots in the Sun's Disk by its Image in the Camera

Put the object-glass of a ten or twelve feet telescope into the
scioptric ball, and turn it about till it be directly opposite the
sun. Then place the pasteboard mentioned in page 16, in the focus of
the lens, and you will see a clear bright image of the sun, about an
inch diameter, in which the spots on the sun's surface will be exactly

As this image is too bright to be seen with pleasure by the naked eye,
you may view it through a lens whose focus is at six or eight inches
distance, which, while it prevents the light from being offensive,
will, by magnifying both the image and the spot, make them appear to
greater advantage.

_The Diagonal Opera Glass._

By the diagonal position of a plane mirror, a curious opera-glass is
constructed, by which any person may be viewed in a theatre or public
company without knowing it. It consists only in placing a concave
glass near the plane mirror, in the end of a short round tube, and a
convex glass in a hole in the side of the tube, then holding the end
of the tube with the glass to the eye, all objects next to the hole in
the side will be reflected so as to appear in a direct line forward,
or in a position at right angles to the person's situation who is
looked at. Plane glasses, instead of a convex and concave, may be
used; in this case the size of the object will not be increased, but
it will appear brighter.

_To observe an Eclipse of the Sun, without Injury to the Eye._

Take a burning-glass, or spectacle-glass, that magnifies very much;
hold it before a book or pasteboard, twice the distance of its focus,
and you will see the round body of the sun, and the manner in which
the moon passes between the glass and the sun, during the whole

_The Burnt Writing restored._

Cover the outside of a small memorandum book with black paper, and in
one of its inside covers make a flap, to open secretly, and observe
there must be nothing over the flap but the black paper that covers
the book.

Mix soot with black or brown soap, with which rub the side of the
black paper next the flap; then wipe it clean, that a white paper
pressed against it will not receive any mark.

Provide a black-lead pencil that will not mark without pressing hard
on the paper. Have likewise a small box, about the size of a
memorandum book, and that opens on both sides, but on one of them by a
private method. Give a person a pencil and a slip of thin paper, on
which he is to write what he thinks proper; you present him the
memorandum book at the same time, that he may not write on the bare
paper. You tell him to keep what he writes to himself, and direct him
to burn it on the iron plate laid on a chafing-dish of coals, and give
you the ashes. You then go into another room to fetch your magic box,
before described, and take with you the memorandum book.

Having previously placed a paper under the flap in the cover of the
book, when he presses hard with the pencil, to write on his paper,
every stroke, by means of the stuff rubbed on the black paper, will
appear on that under the flap. You therefore take it out, and put it
into one side of the box.

You then return to the other room, and taking a slip of black paper,
you put it into the other side of the box, strewing the ashes of the
burnt paper over it. Then shaking the box for a few moments, and at
the same time turning it dexterously over, you open the other side,
and show the person the paper you first put in, the writing on which
he will readily acknowledge to be his.

If there be a press or cupboard that communicates with the next room,
you need only put the book in the press, and your assistant will open
it, and put the paper in the box, which you presently after take out,
and perform the rest of the amusement as before.

There may likewise be a flap on the other cover of the book; and you
may rub the paper against that with red lead. In this case you give
the person the choice of writing either with a black or red pencil;
and present him the proper side of the book accordingly.

_The Opaque Box made Transparent._

Make a box three or four inches long, and two or three wide, and have
a sort of perspective-glass, the bottom of which is the same size with
the box, and slides out, that you may privately place a paper on it.
The sides of this perspective are to be of glass, covered on the
inside with fine paper.

Let a person write on a slip of paper, putting your memorandum book
under it, as in the last amusement; then give him the little box, and
let him put what he has written into it. In the mean time you put the
memorandum book into the press, where the perspective is already
placed. Your assistant then takes the paper out of the book, and puts
it at the bottom of the perspective; which you presently take out of
the press, and direct the person to put the little box that contains
the paper under it. You then look in at the top of the perspective,
and feigning to see through the top of the box, you read what is
written on the paper at the bottom of the perspective.

With this perspective box you may perform another amusement, which is,
by having in a bag twelve or more ivory counters, numbered, which you
show to the company, that they may see all the numbers are different.
You tell a person to draw any one of them, and keep it close in his
hand. You then put the bag in the press, when your assistant examines
the counters, and sees which is wanting, and puts another of the same
number at the bottom of the perspective, which you then take out, and
placing the person's hand close to it, look in at the top, and
pretending to see through his hand, you name the number on the counter
in it.

_The Transposable Pieces._

Take two guineas and two shillings, and grind part of them away, on
one side only, so that they may be but half the common thickness; and
observe, that they must be quite thin at the edge; then rivet a guinea
and a shilling together. Lay one of these double pieces, with the
shilling upwards, on the palm of your hand, at the bottom of your
three first fingers, and lay the other piece with the guinea upwards
in the like manner, in the other hand. Let the company take notice in
which hand is the guinea, and in which is the shilling. Then as you
shut your hands, you naturally turn the pieces over, and when you open
them again, the shilling and the guinea will appear to have changed
their places.

_The Penetrative Guinea._

Provide a large tin box, of the size of a large snuff-box, and in this
place eight other boxes, which will go easily into each other, and let
the least of them be of a size to hold a guinea. Each of these boxes
should shut with a hinge, and to the least of them there must be a
small lock, that is fastened with a spring, but cannot be opened
without a key;--observe, that all these boxes must shut so freely,
that they may be all closed at once. Place these boxes in each other,
with their tops open, in the drawer of the table on which you make
your experiments; or, if you please, in your pocket, in such a manner
that they cannot be displaced.

Then ask a person to lend you a new guinea, and desire him to mark it,
that it may not be changed. You take this piece in one hand, and in
the other you have another of the same appearance, and putting your
hand into the drawer, you slip the piece that is marked into the least
box, and shutting them all at once, you take them out; then showing
the piece you have in your hand, and which the company suppose to be
the same that was marked, you pretend to make it pass through the box,
and dexterously convey it away.

You then present the box, for the spectators do not yet know there are
more than one, to any person in company, who, when he opens it, finds
another, and another, till he comes to the last, but that he cannot
open without the key, which you then give him, and retiring to a
distant part of the room, you tell him to take out the guinea himself,
and see if it be that which he marked.

This amusement may be made more surprising, by putting the key into
the snuff-box of one of the company, which you may do by asking him
for a pinch of snuff, and at the same time conceal the key, which must
be very small, among the snuff; and when the person, who is to open
the box, asks for the key, you tell him that one of the company has it
in his snuff-box. This part of the amusement may likewise be performed
by means of a confederate.

_To make Pictures of Birds with their Natural Feathers._

First take thin board or panel, of deal or wainscot, well seasoned,
that it may not shrink; then paste white paper smoothly on it, and
let it dry; if the colour of the wood show through, paste a second
paper over it. When the paper is dry, get ready any bird that you
would represent, and draw the outline as exact as you can on the
papered panel. You then paint the ground-work, stump of a tree, the
bill and legs, their proper colour, with water-colours, leaving the
body to be covered with its own natural feathers. In the space you
have left for the body, you lay on very thick gum-water, letting each
coat dry before you lay on another, and so continuing until the gum is
as thick as a shilling. Then take the feathers off the bird; and, as
you proceed, draw a camels'-hair pencil, dipped in gum-water, over the
coat of gum that you have laid on the paper, that it may more readily
adhere. As you strip the bird, you must fix the feathers in their
proper places on the board, and you shave the shafts or stems of the
larger feathers, that they may lie flat. The most ready way to perform
the operation, is to provide yourself with a pair of steel pliars to
take up and lay on the feathers with. You should prepare some small
leaden weights to lay on the feathers, that they may more readily
adhere to, and lie flat on, the gum. The part where the eye is must be
supplied by a small piece of paper, coloured and shaped like one; or
you may, probably, be able to get a glass bead that will answer the
purpose better. In order that the feathers may lie smooth and regular,
when the whole is perfectly dry, lay a book, or a flat board, with a
weight on it.

_The Art of Bronzing._

Bronzing is that process by which figures of plaster-of-paris, wood,
&c. are made to have the appearance of copper or brass. The method is
as follows:

Dissolve copper filings in aqua fortis. When the copper has
impregnated the acid, pour off the solution, and put into it some
pieces of iron, or iron filings. The effect of this will be to sink
the powder to the bottom of the acid. Pour off the liquor, and wash
the powder in successive quantities of fresh water. When the powder is
dry, it is to be rubbed on the figure with a soft cloth, or piece of
leather; but observe, that previously to the application of the bronze
powder, a dark blackish sort of green is first to be laid on the
figure: and if you wish the powder to adhere stronger, mix it with
gum-water, lay it on like paint, with a camels'-hair brush, or
previously trace the parts to be bronzed with gold size, and when
nearly dry, rub the powder over it.

_Method of taking the Impression of Butterflies on Paper._

Clip the wings off the butterfly, lay them on clean, in the form of a
butterfly when flying. Spread some thick clean gum-water on another
piece of paper, press it on the wings, and it will take them up; lay a
piece of white paper over it, and rub it gently with your finger, or
the smooth handle of a knife. The bodies are to be drawn in the space
which you leave between the wings.

_To soften Horn._

To one pound of wood-ashes, add two pounds of quick lime; put them
into a quart of water. Let the whole boil till reduced to one-third.
Then dip a feather in, and if, on drawing it out, the plume should
come off, it is a proof that it is boiled enough; if not, let it boil
a little longer. When it is settled, filter it off, and in the liquor
thus strained put in shavings of horn. Let them soak for three days;
and, first anointing your hands with oil, work the horn into a mass,
and print or mould it into any shape you please.

_To make Moulds of Horn._

If you wish to take the impression of any coin, medal, &c., previously
anoint it with oil; then lay the horn shavings over it in its softened
state. When dry, the impression will be sunk into the horn; and this
will serve as a mould to re-produce, either by plaster-of-paris, putty
and glue, or isinglass and ground egg-shells, the exact resemblance of
the coin or medal.

_To cast Figures in Imitation of Ivory._

Make isinglass and strong brandy into a paste, with powder of
egg-shells, very finely ground. You may give it what colour you
please; but cast it warm into your mould, which you previously oil
over. Leave the figure in the mould till dry, and you will find, on
taking it out, that it bears a very strong resemblance to ivory.

_To extract the Silver out of a Ring that is thick gilded, so that the
Gold may remain entire._

Take a silver ring that is thick gilded. Make a little hole through
the gold into the silver; then put the ring into aqua fortis, in a
warm place: it will dissolve the silver, and the gold will remain

_To soften Iron or Steel._

Either of the following simple methods will make iron or steel as soft
as lead:

1. Anoint it all over with tallow; temper it in a gentle charcoal
fire, and let it cool of itself.

2. Take a little clay, cover your iron with it, temper it in a
charcoal fire.

3. When the iron or steel is red-hot, strew hellebore on it.

4. Quench the iron or steel in the juice or water of common beans.

_To take a Plaster-of-Paris Cast from a Person's Face._

The person must lie on his back, and his hair be tied behind. Into
each nostril put a conical piece of paper, open at each end to allow
of breathing. The face is to be lightly oiled over, and the plaster
being properly prepared is to be poured over the face, (taking care
that the eyes are shut,) till it is a quarter of an inch thick. In a
few minutes the plaster may be removed. In this a mould is to be
formed, from which a second cast is to be taken, that will furnish
casts exactly like the original.

_Curious Experiment with a Glass of Water._

Saturate a certain quantity of water in a moderate heat, with three
ounces of sugar; and when it will no longer receive that, there is
still room in it for two ounces of salt of tartar, and after that for
an ounce and a drachm of green vitriol, nearly six drachms of nitre,
the same of sal-ammoniac, two drachms and a scruple of alum, and a
drachm and half of borax.

_To make Artificial Coruscations._

There is a method of producing artificial coruscations, or sparkling
fiery meteors, which will be visible, not only in the dark but at
noon-day, and that from two liquors actually cold. The method is
this:--Fifteen grains of solid phosphorus are to be melted in about a
drachm of water: when this is cold, pour upon it two ounces of oil of
vitriol; let these be shaken together in a large phial, and they will
at first heat, and afterwards will throw up fiery balls in great
number, which will adhere like so many stars to the sides of the
glass, and continue burning a considerable time; after this, if a
small quantity of oil of turpentine be poured in without shaking the
phial, the mixture will of itself take fire, and burn very furiously.
The vessels should be large and open at the top.

_Another Method._

Artificial coruscations may also be produced by means of oil of
vitriol and iron, in the following manner:--Take a glass vessel
capable of holding three quarts: put into this three ounces of oil of
vitriol, and twelve ounces of water, then warming the mixture a
little, throw in at several times two ounces, or more, of clear iron
filings: upon this, an ebullition and white vapours will arise; then
present a lighted candle to the mouth of the vessel, and the vapour
will take fire, and afford a bright fulmination or flash; like
lightning. Applying the candle in this manner several times, the
effect will always be the same; and sometimes the fire will fill the
whole body of the glass, and even circulate to the bottom of the
liquor; at others, it will only reach a little down its neck. The
great caution to be used in making this experiment, is the making the
vapour of a proper heat; for if made too cold few vapours will arise;
and, if made too hot, they will arise too fast, and will only take
fire in the neck of the glass, without any remarkable coruscation.

_To produce Fire from Cane._

The Chinese rattans, which are used, when split, for making cane
chairs, will, when dry, if struck against each other, give fire; and
are used accordingly in some places, in lieu of flint and steel.

_To make an Eolian Harp._

This instrument may be made by almost any carpenter: it consists of a
long narrow box of very thin deal, about five or six inches deep, with
a circle in the middle of the upper side, of an inch and a half in
diameter, in which are to be drilled small holes. On this side, seven,
ten, or more strings, of very fine gut, are stretched over bridges at
each end, like the bridges of a fiddle, and screwed up or relaxed with
screw pins. The strings must be all tuned to one and the same note,
and the instrument be placed in some current of air, where the wind
can pass over its strings with freedom. A window, of which the width
is exactly equal to the length of the harp, with the sash just raised
to give the air admission, is a proper situation. When the air blows
upon these strings, with different degrees of force, it will excite
different tones of sounds; sometimes the blast brings out all the
tones in full concert, and sometimes it sinks them to the softest

_To show the Pressure of the Atmosphere._

Invert a tall glass or jar in a dish of water, and place a lighted
taper under it: as the taper consumes the air in the jar its pressure
becomes less on the water immediately under the jar; while the
pressure of the atmosphere on the water _without_ the circle of the
jar remaining the same, part of the water in the dish will be forced
up into the jar, to supply the place of the air which the taper has
consumed. Nothing but the pressure of the atmosphere could thus cause
part of the water to rise within the jar, above its own level.

_Subaqueous Exhalation._

Pour a little clear water into a small glass tumbler, and put one or
two small pieces of phosphoret of lime into it. In a short time,
flashes of fire will dart from the surface of the water, and terminate
in ringlets of smoke, which will ascend in regular succession.

_Remarkable Properties in certain Plants._

Plants, when forced from their natural position, are endowed with a
power to restore themselves. A hop-plant, twisting round a stick,
directs its course from south to west, as the sun does. Untwist it,
and tie it in the opposite direction, it dies. Leave it loose in the
wrong direction, it recovers its natural direction in a single night.
Twist a branch of a tree so as to invert its leaves, and fix it in
that position; if left in any degree loose, it untwists itself
gradually, till the leaves be restored to their natural position. What
better can an animal do for its welfare? A root of a tree meeting with
a ditch in its progress, is laid open to the air; what follows? It
alters its course like a rational being, dips into the ground,
surrounds the ditch, rises on the opposite side of its wonted distance
from the surface, and then proceeds in its original direction. Lay a
wet sponge near a root exposed to the air; the root will direct its
course to the sponge; change the place of the sponge, the root varies
its direction. Thrust a pole into the ground at a moderate distance
from a climbing plant; the plant directs its course to the pole, lays
hold of it, and rises on its natural height. A honeysuckle proceeds in
its course, till it be too long for supporting its weight, and then
strengthens itself by shooting into a spiral. If it meet with another
plant of the same kind, they coalesce for mutual support; the one
screwing to the right, the other to the left. If a honeysuckle twig
meet with a dead branch, it screws from the right to the left. The
claspers of briony shoot into the spiral, and lay hold of whatever
comes in their way, for support. If, after completing a spiral of
three rounds, they meet with nothing, they try again, by altering
their course.

_Flowers curiously affected by the Sun and the Weather._

The petals of many flowers expand in the sun, but contract all night,
or on the approach of rain; after the seeds are fecundated the petals
no longer contract. All the trefoil may serve as a barometer to the
husbandman; they always contract their leaves on an impending storm.

_Easy Method of obtaining Flowers of different Colours from the same

Scoop out the pith from a small twig of elder, and having split it
lengthwise, fill each of the parts with small seeds that produce
flowers of different colours, but that blossom nearly at the same
time. Surround them with earth; and then tying together the two bits
of wood, plant the whole in a pot filled with earth, properly

_A Luminous Bottle, which will show the Hour on a Watch in the Dark._

Throw a bit of phosphorus, of the size of a pea, into a long glass
phial, and pour boiling oil carefully over it, till the phial is
one-third filled. The phial must be carefully corked, and when used
should be unstopped, to admit the external air, and closed again. The
empty space of the phial will then appear luminous, and give as much
light as an ordinary lamp. Each time that the light disappears, on
removing the stopper it will instantly re-appear. In cold weather the
bottle should be warmed in the hands before the stopper is removed. A
phial thus prepared may be used every night for six months.

_To make Luminous Writing in the Dark._

Fix a small piece of solid phosphorus in a quill, and write with it
upon paper; if the paper be carried into a dark room, the writing will
appear beautifully luminous.

_The Sublimated Tree._

Into a large glass jar inverted upon a flat brick tile, and containing
near its top a branch of fresh rosemary, or any other such shrub,
moistened with water, introduce a flat thick piece of heated iron, on
which place some gum benzoin, in gross powder. The benzoin, in
consequence of the heat, will be separated, and ascend in white fumes,
which will at length condense, and form a most beautiful appearance
upon the leaves of the vegetable.

_Easy and curious Methods of foretelling Rainy or Fine Weather._

If a line be made of good whipcord, that is well dried, and a plummet
affixed to the end of it, and then hung against a wainscot, and a line
drawn under it, exactly where the plummet reaches, in very moderate
weather it will be found to rise above it before rain, and to sink
below when the weather is likely to become fair. But the best
instrument of all, is a good pair of scales, in one of which let there
be a brass weight of a pound, and in the other a pound of salt, or of
saltpetre, well dried; a stand being placed under the scale, so as to
hinder it falling too low. When it is inclined to rain, the salt will
swell, and sink the scale: when the weather is growing fair, the brass
weight will regain its ascendancy.

_Contrivance for a Watch Lamp, perfectly safe, which will show the
Hour of the Night, without any trouble, to a person lying in Bed._

It consists of a stand, with three claws, the pillar of which is made
hollow, for the purpose of receiving a water candlestick of an inch
diameter. On the top of the pillar, by means of two hinges and a bolt,
is fixed on a small proportionate table, a box of six sides, lined
with brass, tin, or any shining metal, nine inches deep, and six
inches in diameter. In the centre of one of these sides is fixed a
lens, double convex, of at least three inches and a half diameter. The
centre of the side directly opposite to the lens is perforated so as
to receive the dial-plate of the watch, the body of which is confined
on the outside, by means of a hollow slide. When the box is lighted by
a common watch-light, the figures are magnified nearly to the size of
those of an ordinary clock.

_Curious Experiment with a Tulip._

The bulb of a tulip in every respect resembles buds, except in their
being produced under ground, and include the leaves and flower in
miniature, which are to be expanded in the ensuing spring. By
cautiously cutting in the early spring, through the concentric coats
of a tulip root, longitudinally from the top to the base, and taking
them off successively, the whole flower of the next summer's tulip is
beautifully seen by the naked eye, with its petals, pistal, and

_The Travelling of Sound experimentally proved._

There is probably no substance which is not in some measure a
conductor of sound; but sound is much enfeebled by passing from one
medium to another. If a man, stopping one of his ears with his finger,
stop the other also by pressing it against the end of a long stick,
and a watch be applied to the opposite end of the stick, or a piece of
timber, be it ever so long, the beating of the watch will be
distinctly heard; whereas, in the usual way, it can scarcely be heard
at the distance of fifteen or eighteen feet. The same effect will take
place if he stops both his ears with his hands, and rest his teeth,
his temple, or the gristly part of one of his ears against the end of
a stick. Instead of a watch, a gentle scratch may be made at one end
of a pole or rod, and the person who keeps his ear in close contact
with the other end of the pole, will hear it very plainly. Thus,
persons who are dull of hearing, may, by applying their teeth to some
part of a harpsichord, or other sounding body, hear the sound much
better than otherwise.

If a person tie a strip of flannel about a yard long, round a poker,
then press with his thumbs and fingers the ends of the flannel into
his ears, while he swings the poker against an iron fender, he will
hear a sound very like that of a large church bell.

_To produce Metallic Lead from the Powder._

Take one ounce of red lead, and half a drachm of charcoal in powder,
incorporate them well in a mortar, and then fill the bowl of a
tobacco-pipe with the mixture. Submit it to an intense heat, in a
common fire, and when melted, pour it out upon a slab, and the result
will be metallic lead completely revived.

_To diversify the Colours of Flowers._

Fill a vessel of what size or shape you please, with good rich earth,
which has been dried and sifted in the sun, then plant in the same a
slip or branch of a plant bearing a white flower, (for such only can
be tinged,) and use no other water to water it with, but such as is
tinged with red, if you desire red flowers; with blue, if blue
flowers, &c. With this coloured water, water the plant twice a day,
morning and evening, and remove it into the house at night, so that it
drink not of the morning or evening dew for three weeks. You will then
experience, that it will produce flowers, not altogether tinctured
with that colour wherewith you watered it, but partly with that, and
partly with the natural.

_How far Sound travels in a Minute._

However it may be with regard to the theories of sound, experience has
taught us, that it travels at about the rate of 1142 feet in a second,
or nearly thirteen miles in a minute. The method of calculating its
progress is easily made known: when a gun is discharged at a distance,
we see the fire long before we hear the sound; if, then, we know the
distance of the place, and know the time of the interval between our
first seeing the fire, and then hearing the report, this will show us
exactly the time the sound has been travelling to us. For instance, if
the gun be discharged a mile off, the moment the flash is seen I take
a watch and count the seconds till I hear the sound; the number of
seconds is the time the sound has been travelling a mile.

_Easy Method of making a Rain Gauge._

A very simple rain gauge, and one which will answer all practical
purposes, consists of a copper funnel the area of whose opening is
exactly ten square inches: this funnel is fixed in a bottle, and the
quantity of rain caught is ascertained by multiplying the weight in
ounces by 173, which gives the depth in inches and parts of an inch.
In fixing these gauges, care must be taken that the rain may have free
access to them: hence the tops of buildings are usually the best
places. When the quantities of rain collected in them at different
places are compared, the instruments ought to be fixed at the same
heights above the ground at both places, because at different heights
the quantities are always different, even at the same place.

_To make beautiful Transparent coloured Water._

The following liquors, which are coloured, being mixed, produce
colours very different from their own. The yellow tincture of
saffron, and the red tincture of roses, when mixed, produce a green.
Blue tincture of violets, and brown spirit of sulphur, produce a
crimson. Red tincture of roses, and brown spirits of hartshorn, make a
blue. Blue tincture of violets, and blue solution of copper, give a
violet colour. Blue tincture of cyanus, and blue spirit of
sal-ammoniac coloured, make green. Blue solution of Hungarian vitriol,
and brown ley of potash, make yellow. Blue solution of Hungarian
vitriol, and red tincture of roses, make black; and blue tincture of
cyanus, and green solution of copper, produce red.

_Curious Experiment on Rays of Light._

That the rays of light flow in all directions from different bodies,
without interrupting one another, is plain from the following
experiment:--Make a little hole in a thin plate of metal, and set the
plate upright on a table, facing a row of lighted candles standing
near together; then place a sheet of paper or pasteboard at a little
distance from the other side of the plate; and the rays of all the
candles, flowing through the hole, will form as many specks of light
on the paper as there are candles before the plate; each speck as
distinct and large as if there were only one candle to cast one speck;
which shows that the rays do not obstruct each other in their motions,
although they all cross in the same hole.

_The Power of Water._

Let a strong small iron tube of twenty feet in height be inserted into
the bung-hole of a cask, and the aperture round so strongly closed,
that it shall be water-tight; pour water into the cask till it is
full, through the pipe; also continue filling the pipe till the cask
bursts, which will be when the water is within a foot of the top of
the tube. In this experiment the water, on bursting the vessel, will
fly about with considerable violence.

_The Pressure of Water._

The pressure of water may be known to every one who will only take the
trouble to look at the cock of a water-butt when turned: if the tub or
cistern be full, the water runs with much greater velocity through
the cock, and a vessel will be filled from it in a shorter time than
when it is only half-full, although the cock, in both cases, is
equally replete with the fluid during the time the vessel is filling.
From this also is understood, how a hole or leak, near the keel of a
ship, admits the water much quicker, and with greater violence, than
one of the same size near what the mariners call the water's edge.

_Refraction of Light._

In the middle of an empty basin put a piece of money, and then retire
from it till the edge of the basin hides the piece from your sight:
then keep your head steady, let another person fill the basin gently
with water; as the water rises in the basin the money will come in
view; and when of a sufficient height in the basin, the whole of the
piece will be in sight.

_Wonderful Nature of Lightning._

If two persons, standing in a room, looking different ways, and a loud
clap of thunder, accompanied with zigzag lightning, happen, they will
both distinctly see the flash at the same time; not only the
illumination, but the very form of the lightning itself, and every
angle it makes in its course will be as distinctly perceptible, as
though they had both looked directly at the cloud from whence it
proceeded. If a person happened at that time to be looking on a book,
or other object, which he held in his hand, he would distinctly see
the form of the lightning between him and the object at which he
looked. This property seems peculiar to lightning, as it does not
apply to any other kind of fire whatever.

_To show that the White of Eggs contains an Alkali._

Add to a wine-glass half full of tincture of red cabbage a small
quantity of the white of an egg, either in a liquid state or rendered
concrete by boiling. The tincture will lose its blue colour and become
changed to green, because the white of the egg contains soda.

_Two Inodorous Bodies become very Pungent and Odorous by Mixture._

When equal parts of muriate of ammonia and unslaked lime, both
substances destitute of odour, are intimately blended together in a
mortar, a very pungent gas (ammonia) becomes evolved.

_Interesting Experiment for the Microscope._

The embryo grain of wheat, at the time of blossoming, being carefully
taken out of the husk, will be found to have a small downy tuft at its
extremity, which, when viewed in a microscope, greatly resembles the
branches of thorn, spreading archwise, in opposite directions. By
expanding a few of the grains, and selecting the most perfect, a very
pretty microscopic object will be obtained for preservation.

_The Travelling of Light._

Light travels at the rate of a hundred and fifty thousand miles in a
single second; and it is seven minutes in passing from the sun to the
earth, which is nearly a distance of seventy millions of miles. Such
is the rapidity with which these rays dart themselves forward that a
journey they thus perform in less than eight minutes, a ball from the
mouth of a cannon would not complete in several weeks! But the
minuteness of the particles of light are still several degrees beyond
their velocity; and they are therefore harmless, because so very
small. A ray of light is nothing more than a constant stream of minute
parts, still flowing from the luminary, so inconceivably little, that
a candle in a single second of time, has been said to diffuse several
hundreds of millions more particles of light, than there could be
grains in the whole earth, if it were entirely one heap of sand. The
sun furnishes them, and the stars also, without appearing in the least
to consume, by granting us the supply. Its light is diffused in a wide
sphere, and seems inexhaustible.

_Calculation of the Mass of Water contained in the Sea._

If we would have an idea of the enormous quantity of water which the
sea contains, let us suppose a common and general depth of the ocean;
by computing it at only 200 fathoms, or the tenth part of a mile, we
shall see that there is sufficient water to cover the whole globe to
the height of 503 feet of water; and if we were to reduce this water
into one mass, we should find that it forms a globe of more than sixty
thousand miles diameter.

_Different Degrees of Heat imbibed from the Sun's Rays by Cloths of
different Colours._

Walk but a quarter of an hour in your garden, when the sun shines,
with a part of your dress white, and a part black; then apply your
hand to them alternately, and you will find a very great difference in
their warmth. The black will be quite hot to the touch, and the white
still cool.

Try to fire paper with a burning-glass; if it be white, you will not
easily burn it; but if you bring the focus to a black spot, or upon
letters, written or printed, the paper will immediately be on fire
under the letters.

Thus, fullers and dyers find black cloths, of equal thickness with
white ones, and hung out equally wet, dry in the sun much sooner than
the white, being more readily heated by the sun's rays. It is the same
before a fire, the heat of which sooner penetrates black stockings
than white ones, and so is apt sooner to burn a man's shins. Also beer
much sooner warms in a black mug set before the fire than a white one,
or in a bright silver tankard. Take a number of little square pieces
of cloth from a tailor's pattern card, of various colours; say black,
deep blue, lighter blue, green, purple, red, yellow, white, and other
colours, or shades of colours; lay them all out upon the snow in a
bright sun-shiny morning; in a few hours, the black being warmed most
by the sun will be sunk so low as to be below the stroke of the sun's
rays; the dark blue almost as low; the lighter blue not quite so much
as the dark; the other colours less, as they are lighter; and the
quite white remain on the surface of the snow, as it will not have
entered it at all.

_Alternate Illusion._

With a convex lens of about an inch focus, look attentively at a
silver seal, on which a cipher is engraved. It will at first appear
cut in, as to the naked eye; but if you continue to observe it some
time, without changing your situation, it will seem to be in relief,
and the lights and shades will appear the same as they did before. If
you regard it with the same attention still longer, it will again
appear to be engraved: and so on alternately.

If you look off the seal for a few moments, when you view it again,
instead of seeing it, as at first, engraved, it will appear in relief.

If, while you are turned towards the light, you suddenly incline the
seal, while you continue to regard it, those parts that seemed to be
engraved will immediately appear in relief: and if, when you are
regarding these seemingly prominent parts, you turn yourself so that
the light may fall on the right hand, you will see the shadows on the
same side from whence the light comes, which will appear not a little
extraordinary. In like manner the shadows will appear on the left, if
the light fall on that side. If instead of a seal you look at a piece
of money, these alterations will not be visible, in whatever situation
you place yourself.


Against the wall of a room, near the ceiling, fix a wheel of twelve or
eighteen inches diameter; on the rim of which place a number of bells
in tune, and, if you please, of different sizes. To the axis of this
wheel there should be fixed a fly to regulate its motion; and round
the circumference there must be wound a rope, to the end of which is
hung a weight.

Near to the wheel let a stand be fixed, on which is an upright piece
that holds a balance or moveable lever, on one end of which rests the
weight just mentioned; and to the other end must hang an inverted
hollow cone, or funnel, the aperture of which is very small. This cone
must be graduated on the inside, that the sand put in may answer to
the number of hours it is to run. Against the upright piece, on the
side next the cone, there must be fixed a check, to prevent it from
descending. This stand, together with the wheel, may be enclosed in a
case, and so contrived, as to be moved from one room to another with
very little trouble.

It is evident, from the construction of this machine, that when a
certain quantity of the sand is run out, the weight will descend, and
put the wheel in motion, which motion will continue till the weight
comes to the ground. If the wheel be required to continue longer in
motion, two or more pulleys may be added, over which the rope may run.

_Musical Cascade._

Where there is a natural cascade, near the lower stream, but not in
it, let there be placed a large wheel, equal to the breadth of the
cascade: the diameter of this wheel, for about a foot from each end,
must be much less than that of the middle part; and all the water from
the cascade must be made to fall on the ends. The water that falls on
the wheel may pass through pipes, so that part of it may be made
occasionally to pass over or fall short of the wheel, as you would
have the time of the music quicker or slower. The remaining part of
the wheel, which is to be kept free from the water, must consist of
bars, on which are placed stops that strike against the bells: these
stops must likewise be moveable. It is evident from the construction
of this machine, that the water falling on the floats at the end of
the wheel, will make the stops, which are adapted to different tunes,
strike the notes of those tunes on the respective bells. Two or three
sets of bells may here be placed on the same line, when the cascade is
sufficiently wide.

Where there is not a natural cascade, one may be artificially
constructed, by raising part of the ground, wherever there is a
descent of water; whether it be a stream that supplies a reservoir or
fountain, or serves domestic uses; or if it be refuse water that has
already served some other purpose.

_Writing on Glass by the Rays of the Sun._

Dissolve chalk in aqua fortis, to the consistence of milk, and add to
that a strong solution of silver. Keep this liquor in a glass decanter
well stopped. Then cut out from a paper the letters you would have
appear, and paste the paper on the decanter, which you are to place in
the sun, in such a manner that its rays may pass through the spaces
cut out of the paper, and fall on the surface of the liquor. The part
of the glass through which the rays pass will turn black, and that
under the paper will remain white. You must observe not to move the
bottle during the time of the operation.

_To produce the Appearance of a Flower from its Ashes._

Make a tin box, with a cover that takes off. Let this box be supported
by a pedestal of the same metal, and on which there is a little door.
In the front of this box is to be a glass.

In a groove, at a small distance from this glass, place a double
glass, made in the same manner as described in p. 13, (_Magic
Picture._) Between the front and back glasses place a small upright
tin tube, supported by a cross piece. Let there be also a small
chafing-dish placed in the pedestal. The box is to be opened behind.
You privately place a flower in the tin tube, but not so near the
front glass as to be in the least degree visible, and presenting one
that resembles it to any person, desire him to burn it on the coals in
a chafing-dish.

You then strew some powder over the coals, which may be supposed to
aid the ashes in producing the flower; and put the chafing-dish in the
pedestal under the box. As the heat by degrees melts the composition
between the glasses, the flower will gradually appear, but when the
chafing-dish is taken away, and the powder of the ashes is supposed to
be removed, the flower soon disappears.

You may present several flowers, and let the person choose any one of
them. In this case, while he is burning the flower, you fetch the box
from another apartment, and at the same time put in a corresponding
flower, which will make the experiment still more surprising.

_Imitative Fire-works._

Take a paper that is blacked on both sides, or instead of black, the
paper may be coloured on each side with a deep blue, which will be
still better for such as are to be seen through transparent papers. It
must be of a proper size for the figure you intend to exhibit. In this
paper cut out with a penknife several spaces, and with a piercer make
a number of holes, rather long than round, and at no regular distance
from each other.

To represent revolving pyramids and globes, the paper must be cut
through with a penknife, and the space cut out between each spiral
should be three or four times as wide as the spirals themselves. You
must observe to cut them so that the pyramid or globe may appear to
turn on its axis. The columns that are represented in pieces of
architecture, or in jets of fire, must be cut in the same manner, if
they are to be represented as turning on their axis.

In like manner may be exhibited a great variety of ornaments, ciphers,
and medallions, which, when properly coloured, cannot fail of
producing the most pleasing effect. There should not be a very great
diversity of colours, as they would not produce the most agreeable

When these pieces are drawn on a large scale, the architecture or
ornaments may be shaded; and, to represent different shades, pieces of
coloured paper must be pasted over each other, which will produce an
effect that would not be expected from transparent paintings. Five or
six pieces of paper pasted over each other will be sufficient to
represent the strongest shades.

To give these pieces the different motions they require, you must
first consider the nature of each piece; if, for example, you have cut
out the figure of the sun, or of a star, you must construct a wire
wheel of the same diameter with these pieces; over this wheel you
paste a very thin paper, on which is drawn, with black ink, the spiral
figure. The wheel thus prepared, is to be placed behind the sun or
star, in such a manner that its axis may be exactly opposite the
centre of either of these figures. This wheel may be turned by any
method you think proper.

Now, the wheel being placed directly behind the sun, for example, and
very near to it, is to be turned regularly round, and strongly
illuminated by candles placed behind it. The lines that form the
spiral will then appear, through the spaces cut out from the sun, to
proceed from its centre to its circumference, and will resemble sparks
of fire that incessantly succeed each other. The same effect will be
produced by the star or by any other figure where the fire is not to
appear as proceeding from the circumference of the centre.

These two pieces, as well as those that follow, may be of any size,
provided you observe the proportion between the parts of the figure
and the spiral, which must be wider in larger figures than in small.
If the sun, for example, have from six to twelve inches diameter, the
width of the strokes that form the spiral need not be more than
one-twentieth part of an inch, and the spaces between them, that form
transparent parts, about two-tenths of an inch. If the sun be two feet
diameter, the strokes should be one-eighth of an inch, and the space
between, one quarter of an inch; and if the figure be six feet
diameter, the strokes should be one quarter of an inch and the spaces
five-twelfths of an inch. These pieces have a pleasing effect, when
represented of a small size, but the deception is more striking when
they are of large dimensions.

It will be proper to place those pieces, when of a small size, in a
box quite closed on every side, that none of the light may be diffused
in the chamber: for which purpose it will be convenient to have a tin
door behind the box, to which the candlesticks may be soldered, and
the candles more easily lighted.

The several figures cut out should be placed in frames, that they may
be put, alternately, in a groove in the forepart of the box; or there
may be two grooves, that the second piece may be put in before the
first is taken out.

The wheel must be carefully concealed from the eye of the spectator.

Where there is an opportunity of representing these artificial fires
by a hole in the partition, they will doubtless have a much more
striking effect, as the spectator cannot then conjecture by what means
they are produced.

It is easy to conceive that by extending this method, wheels may be
constructed with three or four spirals, to which may be given
different directions. It is manifest also that, on the same principle,
a great variety of transparent figures may be contrived, and which may
be all placed before the spiral lines.

_To represent Cascades of Fire._

In cutting out cascades, you must take care to preserve a natural
inequality in the parts cut out; for if, to save time, you should make
all the holes with the same pointed tool, the uniformity of the parts
will not fail to produce a disagreeable effect. As these cascades are
very pleasing when well executed, so they are highly disgusting when
imperfect. These are the most difficult pieces to cut out.

To produce the apparent motion of these cascades, instead of drawing a
spiral, you must have a slip of strong paper, of such length as you
judge convenient. In this paper there must be a greater number of
holes near each other, and made with pointed tools of different

At each end of the paper, a part of the same size with the cascade
must be left uncut; and towards those parts the holes must be made at
a greater distance from each other.

When the cascade that is cut out is placed before the scroll of paper
just mentioned, and it is entirely wound upon the roller, the part of
the paper that is then between being quite opaque, no part of the
cascade will be visible; but as the winch is gently turned, and
regularly round, the transparent part of the paper will give to the
cascade the appearance of fire that descends in the same direction;
and the illusion will be so strong, that the spectators will think
they see a cascade of fire; especially if the figure be judiciously
cut out.

_The Oracular Mirror._

Provide a round mirror of about three inches in diameter and whose
frame is an inch wide. Line the under part of the frame, in which
holes are to be cut, with very thin glass; behind this glass let a
mirror of about two inches diameter be placed, which is to be
moveable, so that by inclining the frame to either side, part of the
mirror will be visible behind the glass on that side.

Then take Spanish chalk, or cypress vitriol, of which you make a
pencil, and with this you may write on a glass, and rub it off with a
cloth, and by breathing on the glass, the writing will appear and
disappear several times. With this pencil write on one side of the
mirror, before it is put in the frame, the word _yes_, and on the
other side, _no_; and wipe them off with a cloth.

You propose to a person to ask any question of this mirror that can be
answered by the words _yes_ or _no_. Then turning the glass to one
side, and putting your mouth close to it, as if to repeat the question
softly, you breathe on it, and the word yes or no will immediately
appear. This mirror will serve for many other agreeable amusements.

_The Hour of the Day or Night told by a suspended Shilling._

However improbable the following experiment may appear, it has been
proved by repeated trials:

Sling a shilling or sixpence at the end of a piece of thread by means
of a loop. Then resting your elbow on a table, hold the other end of
the thread betwixt your fore-finger and thumb, observing to let it
pass across the ball of the thumb, and thus suspend the shilling into
an empty goblet. Observe, your hand must be perfectly steady; and if
you find it difficult to keep it in an immoveable posture, it is
useless to attempt the experiment. Premising, however, that the
shilling is properly suspended, you will observe, that when it has
recovered its equilibrium, it will for a moment be stationary: it will
then of its own accord, and without the least agency from the person
holding it, assume the action of a pendulum, vibrating from side to
side of the glass, and, after a few seconds, will strike the hour
nearest to the time of day; for instance, if the time be twenty-five
minutes past six, it will strike six; if thirty-five minutes past six,
it will strike seven; and so on of any other hour.

It is necessary to observe, that the thread should lie over the pulse
of the thumb, and this may in some measure account for the _vibration_
of the shilling; but to what cause its striking the precise hour is to
be traced, remains unexplained; for it is no less astonishing than
true, that when it has struck the proper number, its vibration ceases,
it acquires a kind of rotatory motion, and at last becomes stationary,
as before.

_Of Lightning, and the best Method of guarding against its mischievous

Experiments made in electricity first gave philosophers a suspicion,
that the matter of lightning was the same with the electric matter.
Experiments afterwards made on lightning obtained from the clouds by
pointed rods, received into bottles, and subjected to every trial,
have since proved this suspicion to be perfectly well founded; and
that, whatever properties we find in electricity, are also the
properties of lightning.

This matter of lightning, or of electricity, is an extreme subtle
fluid, penetrating other bodies, and subsisting in them, equally

When, by any operation of art or nature, there happens to be a greater
proportion of this fluid in one body than in another, the body which
has most will communicate to that which has least, till the proportion
becomes equal, provided the distance between them be not too great;
or, if it be too great, till there be proper conductors to convey it
from one to the other.

If the communication be through the air, without any conductor, a
bright light is seen between the bodies, and a sound is heard. In
small experiments, we call this light and sound the electric spark and
snap; but in the great operations of nature, the light is what we call
_lightning_, and the sound (produced at the same time, though
generally arriving later at our ears than the light does in our eyes)
is, with its echoes, called _thunder_.

If the communication of this fluid be by a conductor, it may be
without either light or sound, the subtle fluid passing in the
substance of the conductor.

If the conductor be good, and of sufficient bigness, the fluid passes
through it without hurting it. If otherwise, it is damaged or

All metals, and water, are good conductors. Other bodies may become
conductors by having some quantity of water in them, as wood and other
materials used in building, but not having much water in them, are not
good conductors, and therefore are often damaged in the operation.

Glass, wax, silk, wool, hair, feathers, and even wood perfectly dry,
are non-conductors: that is, they resist instead of facilitating the
passage of this subtle fluid.

When this fluid has an opportunity of passing through two conductors,
one good and sufficient, as of metal, the other not so good, it passes
in the best, and will follow in any direction.

The distance at which a body charged with this fluid will discharge
itself suddenly, striking through the air into another body that is
not charged, or not so highly charged, is different according to the
quantity of the fluid, the dimensions and form of the bodies
themselves, and the state of the air between them. This distance,
whatever it happens to be between any two bodies, is called their
striking _distance_, as, till they come within that distance of each
other, no stroke will be made.

The clouds have often more of this fluid in proportion than the earth:
in which case, as soon as they come near enough, (that is, within the
striking distance,) or meet with a conductor, the fluid quits them and
strikes into the earth. A cloud fully charged with this fluid, if so
high as to be beyond the striking distance from the earth, passes
quietly without making noise or giving light, unless it meet with
other clouds that have less.

Tall trees and lofty buildings, as the towers and spires of churches,
become sometimes conductors between the clouds and the earth; but, not
being good ones, that is, not conveying the fluid freely, they are
often damaged.

Buildings that have their roofs covered with lead, or other metal, and
spouts of metal continued from the roof into the ground to carry off
the water, are never hurt by lightning, as, whenever it falls on such
a building, it passes in the metals and not in the walls.

When other buildings happen to be within the striking distance from
such clouds, the fluid passes in the walls, whether of wood, brick, or
stone, quitting the wall only when it can find better conductors near
them, as metal rods, bolts, and hinges of windows or doors, gilding on
wainscot, or frames of pictures, the silvering on the backs of
looking-glasses, the wires for bells, and the bodies of animals, so
containing watery fluids. And in passing through the house it follows
the direction of these conductors, taking as many in its way as can
assist in its passage, whether in a straight or crooked line, leaping
from one to the other, if not far distant from each other, only
rending the wall in the spaces where these partial good conductors are
too distant from each other.

An iron rod being placed on the outside of a building, from the
highest part continued down into the moist earth, in any direction,
straight or crooked, following the form of the roof or other parts of
the building, will receive the lightning at its upper end, attracting
it so as to prevent its striking any other part; and, affording it a
good conveyance into the earth, will prevent its damaging any part of
the building.

A small quantity of metal is found able to conduct a quantity of this
fluid. A wire no higher than a goose-quill has been known to conduct
(with safety to the building, as far as the wire was continued) a
quantity of lightning that did prodigious damage both above and below
it; and probably larger rods are not necessary, though it is common in
America to make them of half an inch, some three-quarters, or an inch,

The rod may be fastened to the wall, chimney, &c., with staples of
iron. The lightning will not leave the rod (a good conductor) to pass
into the wall (a bad conductor) through those staples. It would
rather, if any were in the wall, pass out of it into the rod, to get
more readily by that conductor into the earth.

If the building be very large and extensive, two or more rods may be
placed in different parts, for greater security.

Small ragged parts of clouds, suspended in the air between the great
body of clouds and the earth, (like leaf gold in electrical
experiments,) often serve as partial conductors for the lightning,
which proceeds from one of them to another, and by their help comes
within the striking distance to the earth or a building. It therefore
strikes, through those conductors, a building that would otherwise be
out of the striking distance.

Long sharp points communicating with the earth, and presented to such
parts of clouds, drawing silently from them the fluid they are charged
with, they are then attracted to the cloud, and may leave the distance
so great as to be beyond the reach of striking.

It is therefore that we elevate the upper end of the rod, six or eight
feet above the highest part of the building, tapering it gradually to
a fine sharp point, which is gilt, to prevent its rusting.

Thus the pointed rod either presents a stroke from the cloud, or if a
stroke be made, conducts it to the earth, with safety to the building.

The lower end of the rod should enter the earth so deep as to come at
the moist part, perhaps two or three feet; and if bent when under the
surface, so as to go in a horizontal line six or eight feet from the
wall, and then bent again downwards three or four feet, it will
prevent damage to any of the stones of the foundation.

A person apprehensive of danger from lightning, happening during the
time of thunder to be in a house not so secured, will do well to avoid
sitting near the chimney, near a looking-glass, or any gilt pictures
or wainscot; the safest place is in the middle of the room, (so it be
not under a metal lustre suspended by a chain,) sitting in one chair
and laying the feet up in another. It is still safer to bring two or
three mattresses or beds into the middle of the room, and, folding
them up double, place the chair upon them; for they, not being so good
conductors as the walls, the lightning will not choose an interrupted
course through the air of the room and the bedding, when it can go
through a continued better conductor, the wall. But where it can be
had, a hammock or swinging-bed, suspended by silk cords equally
distant from the walls on every side, and from the ceiling and floor
above and below, affords the safest situation a person can have in any
room whatever; and what, indeed, may be deemed quite free from danger
of any stroke by lightning.

_The Leech, a Prognosticator of the Weather._

Confine a leech in a large phial, three parts filled with rain water,
regularly changed twice a week, and placed on a window frame, fronting
the north. In fair and frosty weather it lies motionless, and rolled
up in a spiral form, at the bottom of the glass: but prior to rain or
snow, it creeps up to the top, where if the rain will be heavy and of
some continuance, it remains a considerable time; if trifling, it
quickly descends. Should the rain or snow be accompanied with wind, it
darts about its habitation with amazing celerity, and seldom ceases
until it begins to blow hard. If a storm of thunder or lightning be
approaching, it is exceedingly agitated, and expresses its feelings in
violent convulsive starts, at the top of the glass. It is remarkable
that however fine and serene the weather may be, and not the least
indication to change, either from the sky, the barometer, or any other
cause whatsoever, yet, if the animal ever shift its position, or move
in a desultory manner, so certain will the coincident results occur,
within thirty-six hours, frequently within twenty-four, and sometimes
in twelve; though its motions chiefly depend on the fall and duration
of the wet, and the strength of the wind.

_The Awn of Barley an Hydrometer._

The awn of barley is furnished with stiff points, which, like the
teeth of a saw, are all turned towards the point of it; as this long
awn lies upon the ground, it extends itself in the moist air of night,
and pushes forward the barley-corn, which it adheres to in the day; it
shortens as it dries; and, as these points prevent it from receding,
it draws up its pointed end, and thus, creeping like a worm, will
travel many feet from the parent stem. That very ingenious mechanic
philosopher, Mr. Edgworth, once made on this principle a wooden
automaton: its back consisted of soft fir-wood, about an inch square,
and four feet long, made of pieces cut the cross-way in respect to the
fibres of the wood, and glued together; it had two feet before, and
two behind, which supported the back horizontally, but were placed
with their extremities, which were armed with sharp points of iron,
bending backwards. Hence, in moist weather, the back lengthened, and
the two foremost feet were pushed forwards; in dry weather the hinder
feet were drawn after, as the obliquity of the points of the feet
prevented it from receding.

_The Power of Water when reduced to Vapour by Heat._

Whatever force water may have while its parts remain together, is
nothing, if compared to the almost incredible power with which its
parts are endued, when they are reduced to vapour by heat. Those
steams which we see rising from the surface of boiling water, and
which to us appear feeble, yet, if properly conducted, acquire immense
force. In the same manner as gunpowder has but small effect, if
suffered to expand at large, so the steam issuing from water is
impotent, where it is permitted to evaporate into the air; but where
confined in a narrow compass, as, for instance, where it rises in an
iron tube shut up on every side, it there exerts all the wonders of
its strength. _Muschenbrook_ has proved by experiment, that the force
of gunpowder is feeble when compared to that of rising steam. A
hundred and forty pounds of gunpowder blew up a weight of thirty
thousand pounds: but, on the other hand, a hundred and forty pounds of
water, converted by heat into steam, lifted a weight of seventy-seven
thousand pounds; and would lift a much greater, if there were means of
giving the steam more heat with safety; for the hotter the steam the
greater is its force.

_Artificial Memory._

In travelling along a road, the sight of the more remarkable scenes we
meet with, frequently puts us in mind of the subjects we were thinking
or talking of when we last saw them. Such facts, which were perfectly
familiar, even to the vulgar, might very naturally suggest the
possibility of assisting the memory, by establishing a connexion
between the ideas we wish to remember, and certain sensible objects,
which have been found from experience to make a permanent impression
on the mind. It was said, that a person contrived a method of
committing to memory the sermons which he was accustomed to hear, by
fixing his attention, during the different heads of the discourse, on
different compartments of the roof of the church, in such a manner as,
that when he afterwards saw the roof, or remembered the order in which
its compartments were disposed, he recollected the method which the
preacher had observed in treating his subject. This contrivance was
perfectly analogous to the topical memory of the ancients; an art
which, whatever be the opinion we entertain of its use, is certainly
entitled, in a high degree, to the praise of ingenuity.

Suppose you fix in your memory the different apartments in some very
large building, and that you had accustomed yourself to think of these
apartments always in the same invariable order. Suppose further, that,
in preparing yourself for a public discourse, in which you had
occasion to treat of a great variety of particulars, you were anxious
to fix in your memory the order you proposed to observe in the
communication of your ideas. It is evident, that by a proper division
of your subject into heads, and by connecting each head with a
particular apartment, (which you could easily do, by conceiving
yourself to be sitting in the apartment while you were studying the
part of your discourse you mean to connect with it,) the habitual
order in which these apartments occurred to your thoughts, would
present to you in the proper arrangement, and without any effort on
your part, the ideas of which you were to treat. It is also obvious,
that very little practice would enable you to avail yourself of this
contrivance, without any embarrassment or distraction of your

_To procure Hydrogen Gas._

Provide a phial with a cork stopper, through which is thrust a piece
of tobacco-pipe. Into the phial put a few pieces of zinc, or small
iron nails; on this pour a mixture, of equal parts of sulphuric acid
(oil of vitriol) and water, previously mixed in a tea-cup, to prevent
accidents. Replace the cork stopper, with a piece of tobacco-pipe in
it; the hydrogen gas will then be liberated through the pipe into a
small steam. Apply the flame of a candle or taper to this steam, and
it will immediately take fire, and burn with a clear flame until all
the hydrogen in the phial be exhausted. In this experiment the zinc or
iron, by the action of the acid, becomes oxygenized, and is dissolved,
thus taking the oxygen from the sulphuric acid and water; the hydrogen
(the other constituent part of the water) is thereby liberated, and

_To fill a Bladder with Hydrogen Gas._

Apply a bladder, previously wetted and compressed, in order to squeeze
out all the common air, to the piece of tobacco-pipe inserted in the
cork stopper of the phial, (as described in the experiment above.) The
bladder will thus be filled with hydrogen gas.

_Exploding Gas Bubbles._

Adapt the end of a common tobacco-pipe to a bladder filled with
hydrogen gas, and dip the bowl of the pipe into soap-suds, prepared as
if for blowing up soap bubbles; squeeze out small portions of gas from
the bladder into the soap-suds, and the bubbles will ascend into the
air with very great rapidity, until they are out of sight. If a
lighted taper or candle be applied to the bubbles as they ascend from
the bowl of the pipe, they will explode with a loud noise.

_Another Method._

Put a small quantity of phosphorus and some potash, dissolved in
water, into a retort; apply the flame of a candle or lamp to the
bottom of the retort, until the contents boil. The phosphuretted
hydrogen gas will then rise, and may be collected in receivers. But
it, instead of receiving the gas into a jar, you let it simply ascend
into water, the bubbles of gas will then explode in succession, as
they reach the surface of the water, and a beautiful white smoke will
be formed, which rises slowly and majestically to the ceiling. If bits
of phosphorus are kept some hours in hydrogen gas, phosphorized
hydrogen gas is produced: and if bubbles of this gas are thrown up
into the receiver of an air-pump, previously filled with oxygen gas, a
brilliant bluish flame will immediately fill the jar.

_Singular Impression on the visual Nerves by a Luminous Object._

If, while sitting in a room, you look earnestly at the middle of a
window, a little while, when the day is bright, and then shut your
eyes, the figure of the window will still remain in your eye, and so
distinct that you may count the panes. A remarkable circumstance
attending this experiment is, that the impression of forms is better
retained than that of colours; for, after the eyes are shut, when you
first discern the image of the window, the panes appear dark, and the
cross-bars of the sashes, with the window frames and walls, appear
white and bright; but if you still add to the darkness of the eyes, by
covering them with your hand, the reverse instantly takes place--the
panes appear luminous, and the cross-bars dark; and by removing the
hand, they are again reversed.

_Curious Effects of Oil upon Water, and Water upon Oil._

Fasten a piece of pack-thread round a tumbler, with strings of the
same from each side, meeting above it in a knot at about a foot
distance from the top of the tumbler. Then putting in as much water as
will fill about one-third part of the tumbler, lift it up by the knot,
and swing it to and fro in the air; the water will keep its place as
steadily in the glass as if it were ice. But pour gently in upon the
water about as much oil, and then again swing it in the air as before,
the tranquillity before possessed by the water will be transferred to
the surface of the oil, and the water under it will be violently

_Another curious Experiment with Oil and Water._

Drop a small quantity of oil into water agitated by the wind; it will
immediately spread itself with surprising swiftness upon the surface,
and the oil, though scarcely more than a tea-spoonful, will produce an
instant calm over a space several yards square. It should be done on
the windward side of the pond or river, and you will observe it extend
to the size of nearly half an acre, making it appear as smooth as a
looking-glass. One remarkable circumstance in this experiment is the
sudden, wide, and forcible spreading of a drop of oil on the surface
of the water; for if a drop of oil be put upon a highly polished
marble table, or a looking-glass, laid horizontally, the drop remains
in its place, spreading very little, but when dropped on water it
spreads instantly many feet round, becoming so thin as to produce the
prismatic colours for a considerable space, and beyond them so much
thinner as to be invisible, except in its effect in smoothing the
waves at a much greater distance. It seems as if a repulsion of its
particles took place as soon as it touched the water, and so strong as
to act on other bodies swimming on the surface, as straw, leaves,
chips, &c., forcing them to recede every way from the drop, as from a
centre, leaving a large clear space.

_Remarkable Effects on the visual Nerves, by looking through
differently-coloured Glasses._

After looking through green spectacles, the white paper of a book
will, on first taking them off, appear to have a blush of red; and
after looking through red glasses, a greenish cast. This seems to
intimate a relation between green and red, not yet explained.

_Weather Table._

   NEW AND FULL MOON. |       SUMMER.       |         WINTER.
  If the new or full  |                     |
   moon enters into   |                     |
   the first or last  |                     |
   quarter of the     |                     |
   hour of 12 at noon | Very rainy          | Snow and rain.
                      |                     |
  If between the      |                     |
   hours of           |                     |
   (P.M.) 2 and 4     | Changeable          | Fair and mild.
          4 and 6     | Fair                | Fair.
          6 and 8     | { Fair, if wind     | { Fair and frosty, if
                      | {  at N.W.          | {  wind at N. or N.E.
                      | { Rainy, if wind    | { Rain or snow, if S.
                      | {  at S. or S.W.    | {  or S.W.
          8 and 10    | Ditto               | Ditto.
            10        | Fair                | Fair and frosty.
   (A.M.)    2        | Ditto               | { Hard frost, unless
                      |                     | {  wind S.S.W.
          2 and 4     | Cold, with frequent |
                      |  showers            |
          4 and 6     | Rain                | Ditto, ditto.
          6 and 8     | Wind and Rain       | Stormy weather.
          8 and 10    | Changeable          | { Cold and rain, if
                      |                     | {  wind N.; snow if E.
         10 and 12    | Frequent showers    | Cold, with high wind.





In the art of making fire-works, great attention must be paid to the
well-mixing of the materials--without which all labour is thrown away;
to the purity of the articles; and to the proper quantities of each.
Sulphur, to be good, must be of a high colour, and crack and bounce
when held in the hand. For small fire-works, such as may be bought in
the flour will be found quite good enough, but for the larger kinds,
the lump brimstone ground is preferable.

_Benzoin_ is used in fire-works, more for its pleasant scent than any
material use for the purposes of fire. It may be procured at the
chemists, ready for use. The oil is also used in wet composition, for
stars, &c.

_Of Sulphur, or Brimstone._

Sulphur is by nature the food of fire, and one of the principal
ingredients in gunpowder, and in almost all compositions of
fire-works; therefore, great care ought to be taken of its being good,
and brought to the highest perfection. Now, to know when the sulphur
is good, you are to observe that it be of a high yellow; and if, when
held in one's hand, it crackles and bounces, it is a sign that it is
fresh and good: but as the method of reducing brimstone to a powder is
very troublesome, it is better to buy the flour ready made, which is
done in large quantities, and in great perfection; but when a great
quantity of fire-works is to be made, it is best to use the lump
brimstone ground, in the same manner as gunpowder.

_Of Saltpetre._

Saltpetre being the principal ingredient in fire-works, and a volatile
body by reason of its aqueous and aërial parts, is easily rarefied by
fire; but not so soon when foul and gross, as when purified from its
gross and earthy parts, which greatly retard its velocity; therefore,
when any quantity of fire-works is intended to be made, it would be
necessary first to examine the saltpetre; for if it be not well
cleansed from all impurities, and of a good sort, your works will not
have their proper effect.

_To pulverize Saltpetre._

Take a copper kettle, the bottom being spherical, and put into it
fourteen pounds of refined saltpetre, with two quarts or five pints of
clean water; then put the kettle on a slow fire, and when the
saltpetre is dissolved, if any impurities arise, skim them off, and
keep constantly stirring it with two large spatulas, till all the
water exhales; and when done enough, it will appear like white sand,
and as fine as flour; but if it should boil too fast, take the kettle
off the fire, and set it on some wet sand, which will prevent the
nitre from sticking to the kettle. When you have pulverized a quantity
of saltpetre, be careful to keep it in a dry place.

_To prepare Charcoal for Fire-works._

Charcoal is a preservative, by which the saltpetre and brimstone are
made into gunpowder, by preventing the sulphur from suffocating the
strong and windy exhalation of the nitre. There are several sorts of
wood made use of for this purpose; some prefer hazel, others willow,
and others alder. The method of burning the wood is this: cut it in
pieces of two or three feet long, then slit each piece in four parts;
scale off the bark and hard knots, and dry them in the sun, or in an
oven; then make in the earth a square hole, and line it with bricks,
in which lay the wood crossing one another, and set it on fire; when
thoroughly lighted, and in a flame, cover the whole with boards, and
fling earth over them close, to prevent the air from getting in, yet
so as not to fall among the charcoal; and when it has lain thus for
twenty-four hours, take out the coals and lay them in a dry place for
use. It is to be observed, that charcoal for fire-works must always be
soft and well burnt, which may be bought ready done.

_Of Gunpowder, &c._

Gunpowder being a principal ingredient in fire-works, it will not be
improper to give a short definition of its strange explosive force,
and cause of action, which, according to Dr. Shaw's opinion of the
chemical cause of the explosive force of gunpowder, is as
follows:--"Each grain of gunpowder consisting of a certain proportion
of sulphur, nitre, and coal, the coal presently taking fire, upon
contact of the smallest spark; at which time both the sulphur and the
nitre immediately melt, and by means of the coal interposed between
them, burst into flame; which spreading from grain to grain,
propagates the same effect almost instantaneously, whence the whole
mass of powder comes to be fired; and as nitre contains a large
proportion both of air and water, which are now violently rarefied by
the heat, a kind of fiery explosive blast is thus produced, wherein
the nitre seems, by its aqueous and aërial parts, to act as bellows to
the other inflammable bodies (sulphur and coal) to blow them into a
flame, and carry off their whole substance in smoke and vapour."

_How to meal Gunpowder, Brimstone, and Charcoal._

There have been many methods used to grind these ingredients to a
powder for fire-works, such as large mortars and pestles made of
ebony, and other hard woods; but none of these methods have proved so
effectual and speedy as the last invention, that of the mealing table.
This table is made of elm, with a rim round its edge four or five
inches high; and at the narrow end is a slider which runs in a groove
and forms part of the rim; so that when you have taken out of the
table as much powder as you conveniently can, with a copper shovel,
you may sweep all clean out at the slider. When you are going to meal
a quantity of powder, observe not to put too much on the table at
once; but when you have put in a good proportion, take a muller and
rub it therewith till all the grains are broken; sift it in a lawn
sieve, that has a receiver and top to it; and that which does not pass
through the sieve, return again to the table and grind it more, till
you have brought it all fine enough to go through the sieve. Brimstone
and charcoal are ground in the same manner as gunpowder, only the
muller must be made of ebony, for these ingredients being harder than
powder, would stick in the grain of the elm and be very difficult to
grind; and as the brimstone is apt to stick and clog to the table, it
would be best to keep one for that purpose only, by which means you
will always have your brimstone clean and well ground.

_Spur Fire._

This fire is the most beautiful of any composition yet known. As it
requires great trouble to bring it to perfection, particular care must
be paid to the following instructions. They are made generally in
cases about six inches long, but not driven very hard.

    CHARGE.      lb. oz.              CHARGE.     lb. oz.
  Saltpetre        4   0 }        { Saltpetre       1   0
  Sulphur          2   0 }   or   { Sulphur         0   8
  Lamp-black       1   8 }        { Lamp-black  4 quarts.

This composition is very difficult to mix. The saltpetre and brimstone
must be first sifted together, and then put into a marble mortar, and
the lamp-black with them, which you work down by degrees with a wooden
pestle, till all the ingredients appear of one colour, which will be
something greyish, but very near black; then drive a little into a
case for trial, and fire it in a dark place; and if the sparks, which
are called stars or pinks, come out in clusters, and afterwards spread
well without any other sparks, it is a sign of its being good,
otherwise, not; for if any drossy sparks appear, and the stars not
full, it is then not mixed enough; but if the pinks are very small,
and soon break, it is a sign that you have rubbed it too much.

This mixture, when rubbed too much, will be too fierce, and hardly
show any stars; and, on the contrary, when not mixed enough, will be
too weak, and throw out an obscure smoke, and lumps of dross, without
any stars. The reason of this charge being called the spur fire is,
because the sparks it yields have a great resemblance to the rowel of
a spur, from whence it takes its name. As the beauty of this
composition cannot be seen at so great a distance as brilliant fire,
it has a better effect in a room than in the open air, and may be
fired in a chamber without any danger; it is of so innocent a nature,
that, although an improper phrase, it may be called a cold fire; and
so extraordinary is the fire produced from this composition, that, if
well made, the sparks will not burn a handkerchief when held in the
midst of them; you may hold them in your hand while burning, with as
much safety as a candle; and if you put your hand within a foot of the
case, you will feel the sparks fall like drops of rain.

_To make Touch Paper._

Dissolve in some spirits of wine or vinegar, a little saltpetre; then
take some purple or blue paper, wet it with the above liquor, and when
dry it will be fit for use. When you paste this paper on any of your
works, take care that the paste does not touch that part which is to

The method of using this paper is, by cutting it into slips, long
enough to go once round the mouth of the serpent, cracker, &c. When
you paste on these slips, leave a little, above the mouth of the case,
not pasted; then prime the case with meal-powder (see p. 165) and
twist the paper to a point.

_Of such Ingredients as show themselves in Sparks, when rammed into
choked Cases._

The set colours of fire produced by sparks are divided into four
sorts, viz., the black, white, grey, and red; the black charges are
composed of two ingredients, which are meal-powder and charcoal; the
white of three, viz., saltpetre, sulphur, and charcoal; the grey of
four, viz., meal-powder, saltpetre, brimstone, and charcoal; and the
red of three, viz., meal-powder, charcoal, and saw-dust.

There are, besides these four regular or set charges, two others
which are distinguished by the names of compound and brilliant
charges; the compound charge being made of many ingredients, such as
meal-powder, saltpetre, brimstone, charcoal, saw-dust, sea-coal,
antimony, glass-dust, brass-dust, steel-filings, cast-iron, tanners'
dust, &c., or any thing that will yield sparks; all which must be
managed with discretion. The brilliant fires are composed of
meal-powder, saltpetre, brimstone, and steel-dust; or with
meal-powder, and steel-filings only.

_Of the Method of mixing Compositions._

The performance of the principal part of fire-works depends much on
the compositions being well mixed; therefore, great care ought to be
taken in this part of the work, particularly in the composition for
sky-rockets. When you have four or five pounds of ingredients to mix,
which is a sufficient quantity at a time, (for a larger proportion
will not do so well,) first put the different ingredients together,
then work them about with your hands, till you think they are pretty
well incorporated: after which, put them into a lawn sieve with a
receiver and top to it; and if, after it is sifted, any should remain
that will not pass through the sieve, grind it again till fine enough;
and if it be twice sifted it will not be amiss; but the compositions
for wheels and common works are not so material, nor need be so fine.
But in all fixed works, from which the fire is to play regular, the
ingredients must be very fine, and great care taken in mixing them
well together: and observe, that, in all compositions wherein are
steel or iron filings, the hands must not touch; nor will any works
which have iron or steel in their charge, keep long in damp weather,
without being properly prepared, according to the following

It may sometimes happen, that fire-works may be required to be kept a
long time, or sent abroad; neither of which could be done with
brilliant fires, if made with filings unprepared; for this reason,
that the saltpetre being of a damp nature, it causes the iron to rust,
the natural consequence of which is, that when the works are fired,
there will appear but very few brilliant sparks, but instead of them a
number of red and drossy sparks; and besides, the charge will be so
much weakened, that if this should happen to wheels, the fire will not
be strong enough to force them round; to prevent such accidents,
prepare your filings after the following manner:--Melt in a glazed
earthen pan some brimstone over a slow fire, and when melted, throw in
some filings, which keep stirring about till they are covered with
brimstone; this you must do while it is on the fire; then take it off,
and stir it very quick till cold, when you must roll it on a board
with a wooden roller, till you have broken it as fine as corn powder;
after which, sift from it as much of the brimstone as you can. There
is another method of preparing filings, so as to keep two or three
months in winter; this may be done by rubbing them between the
strongest sort of brown paper, which has been previously moistened
with linseed oil.

N.B. If the brimstone should take fire, you may put it out, by
covering the pan close at top. It is not of much consequence what
quantity of brimstone you use, provided there is enough to give each
grain of iron a coat; but as much as will cover the bottom of a pan of
about one foot diameter, will do for five or six pounds of filings.
Cast-iron for gerbes will be preserved by the above method.

_To make Crackers._

Cut some stout cartridge-paper into pieces three inches and a half
broad, and one foot long; one edge of each of these pieces fold down
lengthwise about three-quarters of an inch broad; then fold the double
edge down a quarter of an inch, and turn the single edge back half
over the double fold; open it, and lay all along the channel, which is
formed by the foldings of the paper, some meal-powder; then fold it
over and over till all the paper is doubled up, rubbing it down every
turn; this being done, bend it backwards and forwards, two inches and
a half or thereabouts, at a time, as often as the paper will allow;
hold all these folds flat and close, and with a small pinching cord,
give one turn round the middle of the cracker, and pinch it close;
bind it with packthread, as tight as you can; then in the place where
it was pinched, prime one end, and cap it with touch-paper. When these
crackers are fired, they will give a report at every turn of the
paper; if you would have a great number of bounces, you must cut the
paper longer, or join them after they are made; but if they are made
very long before they are pinched, you must have a piece of wood with
a groove in it, deep enough to let in half the cracker; this will hold
it straight while it is pinching.

_To make Squibs and Serpents._

First make the cases, of about six inches in length, by rolling slips
of stout cartridge-paper three times round a roller, and pasting the
last fold; tying it near the bottom as tight as possible, and making
it air-tight at the end, by sealing-wax. Then take of gunpowder half a
pound, charcoal one ounce, brimstone one ounce, and steel-filings half
an ounce, (or in like proportion,) grind them with a muller, or pound
them in a mortar. Your cases being dry and ready, first put a
thimble-full of your powder, and ram it hard down with a ruler; then
fill the case to the top with the aforesaid mixture, ramming it hard
down in the course of filling, two or three times; when this is done
point with touch-paper, which should be pasted on that part which
touches the case, otherwise it is liable to drop off.


Rockets being of the fire-works most in use, we shall give them the
preference in description. As the performance of rockets depends much
upon their moulds, they should be made according to the following
proportions:--Taking the diameter of the orifice, its height should be
equal to six diameters and two-thirds: the choke, one diameter and
one-third of this model, will serve for every rocket from 4 oz. to 6
lb.--For instance:--suppose the diameter of a rocket of 1 lb. be 1-1/2
inch, then its length being 6 diameters and two-thirds, the length of
the case must be 10-1/3 inches, and the choke 2-1/4 inches. Your
rammer must have a collar of brass, to prevent the wood from

_Method of rolling Rocket Cases._--The cases must be made of the
strongest cartridge-paper, and rolled dry. The case of a
middling-sized rocket will take up paper of four or five sheets thick;
having cut your papers to a proper size, and the last sheet with a
slope at one end, fold down one end, and lay your former on the double
edge, and when you have rolled on the paper within two or three turns,
lay the next sheet on that part which is loose, and roll it all on.
Then, in order to roll the case as hard as possible, place it on a
table, and with a smooth board roll it for some time forwards on the
table, till it becomes quite hard and firm. This must be done with
every sheet. You have next to choke the case; for which purpose draw
your former a little distance from the bottom, then, with a cord, once
round the case, pull it rather easy at first, and harder, till you
have closed the end. To make it easy, you may dip the ends of the
inner sheets in water before rolling, then bind it with small twine.

Having thus pinched and tied the case so as not to give way, put it
into the mould without its foot, and with a mallet drive the former
hard on the end-piece, which will force the neck close and smooth.
This done, cut the case to its proper length, allowing from the neck
to the edge of the mouth half a diameter, which is equal to the
height of the nipple; then take out the former, and drive the case
over the piercer with a long rammer, and the vent will be of a proper

Having formed your cases, we will now proceed to the description of
the ingredients necessary for the rocket.

_Of mixing the Composition._--The performance of the principal part of
fire-works depends much on the compositions being well mixed;
therefore, great care must be taken in this part of the work,
particularly for the composition for sky-rockets. When you have four
or five pounds of ingredients to mix, which is a sufficient quantity
at a time, (for a large proportion will not do so well,) first put the
different ingredients together, then work them about with your hands,
till you think they are pretty well incorporated; after which, put
them into a lawn sieve with a receiver and top to it; and if, after it
is sifted, any remains that will not pass through the sieve, grind it
again till it is fine enough; and if it be twice sifted it will not be
amiss; but the compositions for wheels and common works are not so
material, nor need be so fine. But in all fixed works, from which the
fire is to play regular, the ingredients must be very fine, and great
care taken in mixing them well together; and observe, that in all
compositions wherein are iron filings, the hand must not touch them;
nor will any works which have iron or steel in their charge keep long
in damp weather.

_To drive or ram Rockets._--Rockets are filled hollow, otherwise they
would not ascend, and there is not a part that requires greater
attention than this stage of the process. One blow more or less with
the mallet will spoil the ascent.

The charge of rockets must always be driven above the piercer, and on
it must be rammed a thin head of clay; through the middle of which
bore a small hole to the composition, that when the charge is burnt to
the top, it may communicate its fire through the hole to the stars in
the head. To a rocket of four ounces, give to each ladle-full of
charge 16 strokes; to a rocket of 1 lb., 28; to a 2-pounder, 36; to a
4-pounder, 42; and to a 6-pounder, 56; but rockets of a larger sort
cannot be driven well by hand, but must be rammed with a machine made
in the same manner as those for driving piles.

The method of ramming wheel cases, or any other sort in which the
charge is driven solid, is the same as sky-rockets.

When you load the heads of your rockets with stars, rains, serpents,
crackers, scrolls, or any thing else, according to your fancy,
remember always to put a ladle-full of meal-powder into each head,
which will be enough to burst the head and disperse the stars, or
whatever it contains.

_Decorations for Sky-rockets._--Sky-rockets may be decorated according
to fancy. Some are headed with stars of different sorts, such as
tailed, brilliant, white, blue, and yellow stars, &c. Some with gold
and silver rains; others with serpents, crackers, fire-scrolls, and
marrons; and some with small rockets and other devices, as the maker


For rockets of 6 lb. 0 oz. the stick must be 14 ft. 10 in. long
               4     0                       12     10
               2     0                        9      4
               1     0                        8      2
               0     8                        6      6
               0     4                        5      3

Having your sticks ready, cut on one of the flat sides at the top a
groove the length of the rocket, and as broad as the stick will allow;
then on the opposite flat side cut two notches, for the cord which
ties on the rocket to lie in; one of these notches must be near the
top of the stick, and the other facing the neck of the rocket; the
distance between these notches may be easily known, for the top of the
stick should always touch the head of the rocket. When your rockets
and sticks are ready, lay the rockets in the grooves in the sticks,
and tie them on. We will now proceed to the charge for sky-rockets.


                  lb. oz.
  Meal-powder       1   4
  Saltpetre         0   4
  Charcoal          0   2


                   lb. oz.
  Meal-powder        1   0
  Saltpetre          0   4
  Brimstone          0   3
  Charcoal           0   1-1/2


                  lb. oz.
  Meal-powder       2   0
  Saltpetre         0   8
  Brimstone         0   4
  Charcoal          0   2
  Steel-filings     0   1-1/2


                        lb.    oz.
  Saltpetre               4      0
  Brimstone               1-1/2  0
  Charcoal                1     12
  Meal-powder             0      2


                        lb.    oz.
  Saltpetre               4      0
  Meal-powder             1      0
  Brimstone               1      0


                        lb.    oz.
  Meal-powder             1      0
  Charcoal                1      0
  Saltpetre               3      0
  Sulphur                 2      0



                        lb.     oz.
  Meal-powder             0      4
  Saltpetre               0     12
  Sulphur vivum           0      6
  Oil of spike            0      2
  Camphor                 0      5


                        lb.    oz.
  Meal-powder             0      8
  Saltpetre               0      4
  Sulphur                 0      2
  Spirits of wine         0      2
  Oil of Spike            0      2


                        lb.    oz.
  Meal-powder             0      3-1/2
  Saltpetre               0      4
  Sulphur vivum           0      2
  Camphor                 0      2


                        lb.    oz.
  Saltpetre               0      8-1/2
  Sulphur                 0      1-1/2
  Meal-powder             0      0-3/4

Worked up with spirits of wine only.


                        lb.    oz.
  Saltpetre               1      0
  Brimstone               0      4
  Antimony                0      4-3/4
  Isinglass               0      0-1/2
  Camphor                 0      0-1/4
  Spirits of wine         0      0-1/4


                              lb.    oz.
  Meal-powder                   0      2
  Brimstone                     0      2
  Saltpetre                     0      2
  Charcoal (coarsely ground)    0      0-3/4


                        lb.    oz.
  Sulphur                 0      1
  Meal-powder             0      1
  Saltpetre               0      1
  Camphor                 0      0-1/4
  Oil of turpentine       0      0-1/4



                        lb.    oz.
  Saltpetre               0      8
  Brimstone               0      2
  Glass-dust              0      1
  Antimony                0      0-3/4
  Brass-dust              0      0-1/4
  Saw-dust                0      0-1/4


                        lb.    oz.
  Saltpetre               0      8
  Brimstone               0      2
  Charcoal                0      4
  Steel-dust              0      0-1/4

_To fix one Rocket on the top of another._--When sky-rockets are fixed
one on the top of another, they are called _towering rockets_, on
account of their mounting so very high. Towering rockets are made
after this manner: Fix on a pound rocket a head without a collar; then
take a four-ounce rocket, which may be headed or bounced, and rub the
mouth of it with meal-powder wetted with spirit of wine: this done,
put it in the head of a large rocket with its mouth downwards; but
before it is put in, stick a bit of quick-match in the hole of the
clay of the pound rocket, which match should be long enough to go a
little way up the bore of the small rocket, to fire it when the large
rocket is burnt out. As the four-ounce rocket is too small to fill the
head of the other, roll round it as much tow as will make it stand
upright in the centre of the head: the rocket being thus fixed, paste
a single paper round the opening of the top of the head of the large
rocket. The large rocket must have only half a diameter of charge
rammed above the piercer; for, if filled to the usual height, it
would turn before the small one takes fire, and entirely destroy the
intended effect: when one rocket is headed with another, there will be
no occasion for any blowing powder; for the force with which it goes
off will be sufficient to disengage it from the head of the first
fired rocket. The sticks for these rockets must be a little longer
than for those headed with stars, rains, &c.

_Caduceous Rockets._--They are such as, in rising, form two spiral
lines, by reason of their being placed obliquely, one opposite to the
other; and their counterpoise in the centre, which causes them to rise
in a vertical direction. Rockets for this purpose must have their ends
choked close, without either head or bounce; for a weight at the top
would be a great obstruction to their mounting. No caduceous rockets
ascend so high as single, because of their serpentine motion, and
likewise the resistance of air, which is much greater than two rockets
of the same size would meet with if fired singly.

The sticks for this purpose must have all their sides equal, and the
sides should be equal to the breadth of a stick proper for a
sky-rocket of the same weight as those you intend to use, and made to
taper downwards as usual, long enough to balance them, one length of a
rocket from the cross stick, which must be placed from the large stick
six diameters of one of the rockets, and its length seven diameters;
so that each rocket, when tied on, may form, with the large stick, an
angle of 60 degrees. In tying on the rockets, place their heads on the
opposite side of the cross stick; then carry a leader from the mouth
of one into that of the other. When these rockets are to be fired,
suspend them between two hooks, or nails, then burn the leader through
the middle, and both will take fire at the same time. Rockets of 1 lb.
are a good size for this use.

_Honorary Rockets._--These are the same as sky-rockets, except that
they carry no head nor report, but are closed at top, on which is
fixed a cone; then on the case, close to the top of the stick, is tied
on a two-ounce case, about five or six inches long, filled with a
strong charge, and pinched close at both ends; then in the reverse
side, at each end, bore a hole in the same manner as in tourbillons,
to be presently described; from each hole carry a leader into the top
of the rocket. When the rocket is fired, and arrived to its proper
height, it will give fire to the case at top; which will cause both
rocket and stick to spin very fast in their return, and represent a
worm of fire descending to the ground.

There is another method of placing the small case, which is by letting
the stick rise a little above the top of the rocket, and tying the
case to it, so as to rest on the rocket: these rockets have no cones.

A third method by which they are managed is this: in the top of a
rocket fix a piece of wood, in which drive a small iron spindle; then
make a hole in the middle of the small case, through which is put the
spindle; then fix on the top of it a nut, to keep the case from
falling off; when this is done, the case will turn very fast, without
the rocket: but this method does not answer so well as either of the

_To make a Rocket form an Arch in rising._--Having some rockets made,
headed according to fancy, and tied on their sticks, get some sheet
tin, and cut it into round pieces about three or four inches diameter;
then on the stick of each rocket, under the mouth of the case, fix one
of these pieces of tin 16 inches from the rocket's neck, and support
it by a wooden bracket, as strong as possible: the use of this is,
that when the rocket is ascending, the fire may play with greater
force on the tin, which will divide the tail in such a manner that it
will form an arch as it mounts, and will have a very good effect when
well managed; if there is a short piece of port fire, of a strong
charge, tied to the end of the stick, it will make a great addition;
but this must be lighted before the rocket is fired.

_To make several Rockets rise together._--Take six, or any number of
sky-rockets, of any size; then cut some strong packthread into pieces
of three or four yards long, and tie each end of these pieces to a
rocket in this manner:

Having tied one end of the packthread round the body of one rocket,
and the other end to another, take a second piece of packthread, and
make one end of it fast to one of the rockets already tied, and the
other end to a third rocket, so that all the rockets, except the two
on the outside, will be fastened to the two pieces of packthread: the
length of thread from one rocket to the other may be what the maker
pleases; but the rockets must be all of a size, and their heads filled
with the same weight of stars, rains, &c.

Having thus done, fix in the mouth of each rocket a leader of the same
length; and when about to fire them, hang them almost close; then tie
the ends of the leaders together, and prime them; this prime being
fired, all the rockets will mount at the same time, and divide as far
as the strings will allow; and this division they keep, provided they
are all rammed alike, and well made. They are sometimes called
chained rockets.

_To fix several Rockets to the same Stick._--Two, three, or six
sky-rockets, fixed on one stick, and fired together, make a grand and
beautiful appearance; for the tails of all will seem but as one of an
immense size, and the breaking of so many heads at once will resemble
the bursting of an air-balloon. The management of this device requires
a skilful hand; but if the following instructions be well observed,
even by those who have not made a great progress in this art, there
will be no doubt of the rockets having the desired effect.

Rockets for this purpose must be made with the greatest exactness, all
rammed by the same hand, in the same mould, and filled with the same
proportion of composition: and after they are filled and headed, must
all be of the same weight. The stick must also be well made (and
proportioned) to the following directions; first, supposing the
rockets to be half-pounders, whose sticks are six feet six inches
long, then if two, three, or six of these are to be fixed on one
stick, let the length of it be nine feet nine inches; then cut the top
of it into as many sides as there are rockets, and let the length of
each side be equal to the length of one of the rockets without its
head; and in each side cut a groove (as usual;) then from the grooves
plane it round, down to the bottom, where its thickness must be equal
to half the top of the round part. As their thickness cannot be
exactly ascertained, we shall give a rule, which generally answers for
any number of rockets above two; the rule is this: that the stick at
top must be thick enough, when the grooves are cut, for all the
rockets to lie, without pressing each other, though as near as

When only two rockets are to be fixed on one stick, let the length of
the stick be the last given proportion, but shaped after the common
method, and the breadth and thickness double the usual dimensions. The
point of poise must be in the usual place (let the number of rockets
be what it will;) if sticks made by the above directions should be too
heavy, plane them thinner; and if too light, make them thicker; but
always make them of the same length.

When more than two rockets are tied on one stick, there will be some
danger of their flying up without the stick, unless the following
precaution is taken: For cases being placed on all sides, there can be
no notches for the cord which ties on the rockets to lie in:
therefore, instead of notches, drive a small nail in each side of the
stick, between the necks of the cases, and let the cord, which goes
round their necks, be brought close under the nails; by this means the
rockets will be as secure as when tied on singly. The rockets being
thus fixed, carry a quick-match, without a pipe, from the mouth of one
rocket to the other; this match being lighted will give fire to all at

Though the directions already given may be sufficient for these
rockets, we shall here add an improvement on a very essential part of
this device, which is, that of hanging the rockets to be fired; for
before the following method was contrived, many attempts proved
unsuccessful. Instead, therefore, of the old and common manner of
hanging them on nails or hooks, make use of the following contrivance:
Have a ring made of strong iron wire, large enough for the stick to go
in as far as the mouths of the rockets; then have another ring
supported by a small iron, at some distance from the post or stand to
which it is fixed; then have another ring fit to receive and guide the
small end of the stick. Rockets thus suspended will have nothing to
obstruct their fire; but when they are hung on nails or hooks, in such
a manner that some of their mouths or against or upon a rail, there
can be no certainty of their rising in a vertical direction.

_To fire Rockets without Sticks._--You must have a stand, of a block
of wood, a foot diameter, and make the bottom flat, so that it may
stand steady: in the centre of the top of this block draw a circle two
inches and a half diameter, and divide the circumference of it into
three equal parts; then take three pieces of thick iron wire, each
about three feet long, and drive them into the block, one at each
point made on the circle; when these wires are driven in deep enough
to hold them fast and upright, so that the distance from one to the
other is the same at top as at bottom, the stand is complete.

The stand being thus made, prepare the rockets thus: Take some common
sky-rockets of any size, and head them as you please; then get some
balls of lead, and tie to each a small wire two or two feet and a half
long, and the other end of each wire tie to the neck of a rocket.
These balls answer the purpose of sticks, when made of a proper
weight, which is about two-thirds the weight of the rocket; but when
they are of a proper size, they will balance the rocket in the same
manner as a stick, at the usual point of poise. To fire these, hand
them one at a time, between the tops of the wires, letting their heads
rest on the point of the wires, and the balls hang down between them:
if the wires should be too wide for the rockets, press them together
till they fit; and if too close, force them open; the wires for this
purpose must be softened, so as not to have any spring, or they will
not keep their position when pressed close or opened.

_Scrolls for Rockets._--Cases for scrolls should be made four or five
inches in length, and their interior diameters three-eighths of an
inch: one end of these cases must be pinched quite close before
beginning to fill; and when filled, close the other end; then in the
opposite sides make a small hole at each end, to the composition, as
in tourbillons, and prime them with wet meal-powder. You may put in
the head of the rocket as many of these cases as it will contain:
being fired, they turn very quick in the air, and form a scroll or
spiral line. They are generally filled with a strong charge, as that
of serpents or brilliant fire.

_Stands for Rockets._--Care must be taken, in placing the rockets,
when they are to be fired, to give them a vertical direction at their
first setting out; which may be managed thus: Have two rails of wood,
of any length, supported at each end by a perpendicular leg, so that
the rails may be horizontal, and let the distance from one to the
other be almost equal to the length of the sticks of the rockets
intended to be fired; then in the front of the top rail drive square
hooks at eight inches distance, with their points turned sidewise, so
that when the rockets are hung on them, the points will be before the
sticks, and keep them from falling or being blown off by the wind; in
the front of the rail at bottom must be staples, driven
perpendicularly under the hooks at top; through these staples put the
small ends of the rocket-sticks. Rockets are fired by applying a
lighted port-fire to their mouths.

_Table-Rockets._--Table-rockets are designed merely to show the truth
of driving, and the judgment of a fire-worker; they having no other
effect, when fired, than spinning round in the same place where they
began, till they are burnt out, and showing nothing more than a
horizontal circle of fire.

The method of making these rockets is thus:--Have a cone turned out of
hard wood two inches and a half in diameter, and as much high; round
the base of it drive a line; on this line fix four spokes, each two
inches long, so as to stand one opposite the other; then fill four
nine-inch one-pound cases with any strong composition, within two
inches of the top: these cases are made like tourbillons, and must be
rammed with the greatest exactness.

The rockets being filled, fix their open ends on the short spokes;
then in the side of each case bore a hole near the clay; all these
holes, or vents, must be so made that the fire of each case may act
the same way; from these vents carry leaders to the top of the cone,
and tie them together. When the rockets are to be fired, set them on a
smooth table, and light the leaders in the middle, and all the cases
will fire together and spin on the point of the cone.

These rockets may be made to rise like tourbillons, by making the
cases shorter, and boring four holes in the under side of each at
equal distances; this being done they are called _double tourbillons_.

_Note._--All the vents in the under side of the cases must be lighted
at once, and the sharp point of the cone cut off; at which place make
it spherical.


Wheel-cases are made to any length; which must always depend on the
size of the wheel, but must not exceed the length of each angle.

Charge for wheel-cases, from 2 oz. to 4 lb.

                     lb.    oz.
  Meal-powder         4      0
  Saltpetre           1      0
  Brimstone           0      8
  Charcoal            0      4

The filings in this composition may be varied by using a portion of
sea-coal, glass-dust, saw-dust, &c., or a combination of the whole.


                      lb.    oz.
  Saltpetre            0      4
  Brimstone            0      2
  Meal-powder          0      1-1/2

or, 1 oz. of brimstone may be used with 1 oz. of antimony.


                     oz.     dr.
  Saltpetre           4-1/4   0
  Brimstone           0-1/4   0
  Lapis-caliminaris   0       2
  Antimony            0       2

_Single Vertical Wheels._--There are different sorts of vertical
wheels; some having their fells of a circular form, others of an
hexagonal, octagonal, or decagonal form, or of any number of sides,
according to the length of the cases you design for the wheel; the
spokes being fixed in the nave, nail slips of tin, with their edges
turned up so as to form grooves for the cases to lie in; form the end
of one spoke to that of another; then tie the cases in the grooves
head to tail, in the same manner as those on the horizontal
water-wheel; so that the cases, successively taking fire from one
another, will keep the wheel in an equal rotation. Two of these wheels
are very often fired together, one on each side of a building, and
both lighted at the same time, and all the cases filled alike, to make
them keep time together; as they will, if made by the following
directions: In all the cases of both wheels, except the first, on each
wheel drive two or three ladlesful of slow fire, in any part of the
case; but be careful to ram the same quantity in each case; and in the
end of one of the cases, on each wheel, you may ram one ladleful of
dead-fire composition, which must be very lightly driven; you may also
make many changes of fire by this method.

Let the hole in the nave of the wheel be lined with brass, and made to
turn on a smooth iron spindle. On the end of this spindle let there be
a nut, to screw off and on; when you have put the wheel on the
spindle, screw on the nut, which will keep the wheel from flying off.
Let the mouth of the first case be a little raised. Vertical wheels
are made from ten inches to three feet diameter, and the size of the
cases must differ accordingly; four-ounce cases will do for wheels of
14 or 16 inches diameter, which is the proportion generally used. The
best wood for wheels of all sorts is a light and dry beech.

_Horizontal Wheels._--They are best when their fells are made
circular; in the middle of the top of the nave must be a pintle,
turned out of the same piece as the nave, two inches long, and equal
in diameter to the bore of one of the cases of the wheel; there must
be a hole bored up the centre of the nave, within half an inch of the
top of the pintle. The wheel being made; nail at the end of each spoke
(of which there should be six or eight) a piece of wood, with a groove
cut in it to receive the case. Fix these pieces in such a manner that
half the cases may incline upwards and half downwards, and that, when
they are tied on, their heads and tails may come very nearly together:
from the tail of one case to the mouth of the other carry a leader,
which should be secured with pasted paper. Besides these pipes, it
will be necessary to put a little meal-powder within the pasted
paper, to blow off the pipe, that there may be no obstruction to the
fire from the cases. By means of these pipes the cases will
successively take fire, burning one upwards and the other downwards.
On the pintle fix a case of the same sort as those on the wheel; this
case must be fired by a leader from the mouth of the last case on the
wheel, which case must play downwards: instead of a common case in the
middle, you may put a case of Chinese fire, long enough to burn as
long as two or three of the cases on the wheel.

Horizontal wheels are often fired two at a time, and made to keep time
like vertical wheels, only they are made without any slow or dead
fire; 10 or 12 inches will be enough for the diameter of wheels with
six spokes.

_Spiral Wheels._--They are only double horizontal wheels, and made
thus: the nave must be about six inches long, and rather thicker than
the single sort; instead of the pintle at top, make a hole for the
case to be fixed in, and two sets of spokes, one set near the top of
the nave, and the other near the bottom. At the end of each spoke cut
a groove wherein you tie the cases, there being no fell: the spokes
should not be more than two inches and a half long from the naves, so
that the wheel may not be more than eight or nine inches diameter; the
cases are placed in such a manner, that those at top play down, and
those at bottom play up; but let the third or fourth case play
horizontally. The case in the middle may begin with any of the others;
six spokes will be enough for each set, so that the wheel may consist
of 12 cases, besides that on the top: the cases six inches each.

_Plural Wheels._--Plural wheels are made to turn horizontally, and to
consist of three sets of spokes, placed six at top, six at bottom, and
four in the middle; which last must be a little shorter than the rest:
let the diameter of the wheel be 10 inches: the cases must be tied on
the ends of the spokes in grooves cut on purpose, or on pieces of wood
nailed on the ends of the spokes, with grooves cut in them as usual:
in clothing these wheels, make the upper set of cases play obliquely
downwards, the bottom set obliquely upwards, and the middle set
horizontally. In placing the leaders, they must be managed so that the
cases may burn thus, viz., first up, then down, then horizontal, and
so on with the rest. But another change may be made, by driving in the
end of the eighth case two or three ladlesful of slow fire, to burn
till the wheel has stopped its course; then let the other cases be
fixed the contrary way, which will make the wheel run back again; for
the case at top you may put a small gerbe; and let the cases on the
spokes be short, and filled with a strong brilliant charge.

_Illuminated Spiral Wheel._--First have a circular horizontal wheel
made two feet diameter, with a hole quite through the nave; then take
three thin pieces of deal, three feet long each, and three-fourths of
an inch broad each: nail one end of each of these pieces to the fell
of the wheel, at an equal distance from one another, and the other end
nail to a block with a hole in its bottom, which must be perpendicular
to that in the block of the wheel, but not so large. The wheel being
thus made, have a loop planed down very thin and flat; then nail one
end of it into the fell of the wheel, and wind it round the three
sticks in a spiral line from the wheel to the block at top; on the top
of this block fix a case of Chinese fire; on the wheel you may place
any number of cases, which must incline downwards, and burn two at a
time. If the wheel should consist of ten cases, you may let the
illuminations and Chinese fire begin with the second cases. The
spindle for this wheel must be a little longer than the cone, and made
very smooth at top, on which the upper block is to turn, and the whole
weight of the wheel to rest.

_Double Spiral Wheels._--For these wheels, the block or nave must be
as long as the height of the worms, or spiral lines, but must be made
very thin, and as light as possible. In this block must be fixed
several spokes, which must diminish in length, from the wheel to the
top, so as not to exceed the surface of a cone of the same height. To
the ends of these spokes nail the worms, which must cross each other
several times: close these worms with illuminations, the same as those
on the single wheels; but the horizontal wheel you may clothe as you
like. At the top of the worm place a case of spur-fire, or an amber

_Balloon Wheels._--They are made to turn horizontally: they must be
made two feet diameter, without any spokes, and very strong, with any
number of sides. On the top of a wheel range and fix in pots, three
inches diameter and seven inches high each, as many of these as there
are cases on the wheel: near the bottom of each pot make a small vent;
into each of these vents carry a leader from the tail of each case;
load some of the pots with stars, and some with serpents, crackers,
&c. As the wheels turn, the pots will successively be fired, and throw
into the air a great variety of fires.


You must have an oval former, turned of smooth wood; then paste a
quantity of brown or cartridge-paper, and let it lie till the paste
has soaked all through; this done, rub the former with soap or grease,
to prevent the paper from sticking to it; then lay the paper on in
small slips, till you have made it one-third of the thickness of the
shell intended. Having thus done, set it to dry; and when dry, cut it
round the middle, leaving about one inch not cut, which will make the
halves join much better than if quite separated. When you have some
ready to join, place the halves even together, and let that dry; then
lay on paper all over as before, everywhere equal. When the shell is
thoroughly dry, burn a vent at top with a square iron.

Shells that are designed for stars only, may be made quite round, and
the thinner they are at the opening the better; for if they are too
strong, the stars are apt to break at the bursting of the shell.
Balloons must always be made to go easy into the mortars.


These mortars must be made of pasteboard, with a small copper chamber
at bottom, in which the powder is to be placed, on which the balloon
is to be put. In the centre of the bottom of this chamber make a small
hole a little down the foot: the hole must be met by another of the
same size as the foot. Then putting a quick-match, or touch-string, of
touch-paper, into the hole, your mortar will be ready to be fired.

_To load Air Balloons with Stars, Serpents, &c., &c._--When you fill
your shells, you must first put in the serpents, rains, &c., or
whatever they are composed of, then the blowing powder; but the shells
must not be quite filled. All those things must be put in at the
fuse-hole, but marrons being too large to go in at the fuse-hole, must
be put in before the inside shall be joined. When the shells are
loaded, glue and drive in the fuses very tight. The number and
quantities of each article for the different shells are as follows:

                        BALLOONS ILLUMINATED.
  Meal-powder                1
  Corn-powder                0-1/2
  Powder for the mortar      2

1 oz. driven or rolled stars, or as many as will fill the shell.

                        BALLOONS OR SERPENTS.
  Meal-powder                1
  Corn-powder                1
  Powder for the mortar      2-1/2


Mortars to throw aigrettes are generally made of pasteboard, of the
same thickness as balloon mortars, and two diameters and a half long
in the inside from the top of the foot: the foot must be made of elm
without a chamber, but flat at top, and in the same proportions as
those for balloon mortars; these mortars must also be bound round with
a cord: sometimes eight or nine of these mortars, of about three or
four inches diameter, are bound all together, so as to appear but one;
but when they are made for this purpose, the bottom of the foot must
be of the same diameter as the mortars, and only half a diameter high.
The mortars being bound well together, fix them on a heavy solid block
of wood. To load these mortars, first put on the inside bottom of each
a piece of paper, and on it spread one ounce and a half of meal and
corn-powder mixed; then tie the serpents up in parcels with
quick-match, and put them in the mortar with their mouths downwards;
but take care the parcels do not fit too tight in the mortars, and
that all the serpents have been well primed with powder wetted with
spirit of wine. On the top of the serpents in each mortar lay some
paper or tow; then carry a leader from one mortar to the other all
round, and then from all the outside mortars into that in the middle:
these leaders must be put between the cases and the sides of the
mortar, down to the powder at bottom: in the centre of the middle
mortar fix a fire-pump, or brilliant fountain, which must be open at
bottom, and long enough to project out of the mouth of the mortar;
then paste papers on the tops of all the mortars.

Mortars thus prepared are called a _nest of serpents_. When these
mortars are to be fired, light the fire-pump, which when consumed will
communicate to all the mortars at once by means of the leaders. For
mortars of 8, 9, or 10 inches diameter, the serpents should be made in
one and two-ounce cases, six or seven inches long, and fired by a
leader brought out of the mouth of the mortar, and turned down on the
outside, and the end of it covered with paper, to prevent the sparks
of the other works from setting it on fire. For a six-inch mortar, let
the quantity of powder for firing be two ounces; for an eight-inch,
two ounces and three-quarters; and for a ten-inch, three ounces and
three-quarters. Care must be taken in these, as well as small mortars,
not to put in the serpents too tight, for fear of bursting the
mortars. These mortars may be loaded with stars, crackers, &c.

If the mortars, when loaded, are sent to any distance, or liable to be
much moved, the firing powder should be secured from getting amongst
the serpents, which would endanger the mortars, as well as hurt their
performance. To prevent this, load the mortars thus: First put in the
firing powder, and spread it equally about; then cut a round piece of
blue touch-paper, equal to the exterior diameter of the mortar, and
draw on it a circle equal to the interior diameter of the mortar, and
notch it all round as far as that circle: then paste that part which
is notched, and put it down the mortar close to the powder, and stick
the pasted edge to the mortar: this will keep the powder always smooth
at bottom, so that it may be moved or carried anywhere without
receiving damage. The large single mortars are called _pots des


Cases for fire-pumps are made like those for tourbillons; only they
are pasted instead of being rolled dry. Having rolled and dried your
cases fill them: first put in a little meal-powder and then a star, on
which ram, lightly, a ladle or two of composition, then a little
meal-powder, and on that a star; then again composition, and so on
till you have filled the case. Stars for fire-pumps should not be
round, but must be made either square, or flat and circular with a
hole through the middle: the quantity of powder for throwing the stars
must increase as you come near the top of the case; for, if much
powder be put at the bottom, it will burst the case. The stars must
differ in size in this manner: let the star which you put in first be
a little less than the bore of the case; but let the next star be a
little larger, and the third star a little larger than the second, and
so on: let them increase in diameter till within two of the top of the
case, which two must fit in tight. As the loading of fire-pumps is
somewhat difficult, it will be necessary to make two or three trials
before you depend on their performance. When you fill a number of
pumps, take care not to put in each an equal quantity of charge
between the stars, so that when they are fired they may not throw up
too many stars together. Cases for fire-pumps should be made very
strong, and rolled on 4 or 8-ounce formers, 10 or 12 inches long each.

                lb.    oz.                        lb.    oz.
  Saltpetre       5      0          Saltpetre       5      0
  Brimstone       1      0          Brimstone       2      0
  Meal-powder     1-1/2  0          Meal-powder     1      8
  Glass-dust      1      0          Glass-dust      1      8


Mix the following ingredients to a paste, with water; bury it in the
ground, and in a few hours the earth will break open in several

               lb.    oz.
  Sulphur        4      0
  Steel-dust     4      0

_Chinese Fountains._

To make a Chinese fountain, you must have a perpendicular piece of
wood, seven feet long, and two inches and a half square. Sixteen
inches from the top, fix on the front a cross piece one inch thick,
and two and a half broad, with the broad side upwards; below this, fix
three more pieces of the same width and thickness, at sixteen inches
from each other; let the bottom rail be five feet long, and the others
of such a length as to allow the fire-pumps to stand in the middle of
the intervals of each other. The pyramid being thus made, fix in the
holes made in the bottom rail five fire-pumps, at equal distances; on
the second rail, place four pumps; on the third, three; on the fourth,
two; and on the top of the post, one; but place them all to incline a
little forward, that, when they throw out the stars, they may not
strike against the cross-rails. Having fixed your fire-pumps, clothe
them with leaders, so that they may all be fired together.

_The Dodecahedron,_

So called because it nearly represents a twelve-sided figure, is made
thus: First have a ball turned out of some hard wood, 14 inches
diameter; divide its surface into 14 equal parts, from which bore
holes one inch and a half diameter, perpendicular to the centre, so
that they may all meet in the middle: then let there be turned in the
inside of each hole a female screw; and to all the holes but one must
be made a round spoke five feet long, with four inches of the screw at
one end to fit the holes; then in the screw-end of all the spokes bore
a hole five inches long, which must be bored slanting, so as to come
out at one side, a little above the screw; from which cut a small
groove along the spoke within six inches of the other end, where make
another hole through to the other side of the spoke. In this end fix a
spindle, on which put a small wheel of three or four sides, each side
six or seven inches long; these sides must have grooves cut in them
large enough to receive a two or four-ounce case. When these wheels
are clothed, put them on the spindles, and at the end of each spindle
put a nut, to keep the wheel from falling off. The wheels being thus
fixed, carry a pipe from the mouth of the first case on each wheel,
through the hole in the side of the spoke, and from thence along the
groove, and through the other hole, so as to hang out at the screw-end
about an inch. The spokes being all prepared in this manner, you must
have a post, on which you intend to fire the work, with an iron screw
in the top of it, to fit one of the holes in the ball: on the screw
fix the ball; then in the top hole of the ball put a little
meal-powder and some loose quick-match: then screw in all the spokes;
and in one side of the ball bore a hole, in which put a leader, and
secure it at the end, and the work will be ready to be fired. By the
leader the powder and match in the centre is fired, which will light
the match at the ends of the spokes all at once, whereby all the
wheels will be lighted at once. There may be an addition to this
piece, by fixing a small globe on each wheel, or one on the top wheel
only. A grey charge will be proper for the wheel-cases.

_Stars with Points._

These stars are made of different sizes, according to the work for
which they are intended; they are made with cases from one ounce to
one pound, but in general with four-ounce cases, four or five inches
long: the case must be rolled with paste, and twice as thick as that
of a rocket of the same bore. Having rolled a case, pinch one end of
it quite close; then drive in half a diameter of clay; and when the
case is dry, fill it with composition two or three inches to the
length of the cases with which it is to burn: at top of the charge
drive some clay; as the ends of these cases are seldom pinched, they
would be liable to take fire. Having filled a case, divide the
circumference of it at the pinched end close to the clay, into five
equal parts; then bore five holes with a gimblet about the size of the
neck of a common four-ounce case, into the composition; from one hole
to the other carry a quick-match, and secure it with paper: this paper
must be put on in the manner of that on the end of wheel-cases, so
that the hollow part, which projects from the end of the case, may
serve to receive a leader from any other work, to give fire to the
points of the stars. These stars may be made with any number of

_Fixed Sun with a transparent Face._

To make a sun of the best kind, there should be two rows of cases,
which should show a double glory, and make the rays strong and full.
The frame or sun-wheel must be made thus: have a circular flat nave
made very strong, 12 inches diameter; to this fix six strong flat
spokes; on the front of these fix a circular fell, five feet diameter;
within which, fix another fell, the length of one of the sun-cases
less in diameter; within this fix a third fell, whose diameter must be
less than the second by the length of one case and one-third. The
wheel being made, divide the fells into so many equal parts as there
are to be cases, (which may be done from 24 to 44:) at each division
fix a flat iron staple: these staples must be made to fit the cases,
to hold them fast on the wheel; let the staples be so placed, that one
row of cases may lie in the middle of the intervals of the other.

In the centre of the block of the sun drive a spindle, on which put a
small hexagonal wheel, whose cases must be filled with the same charge
as the cases of the sun; two cases of this wheel must burn at a time,
and begin with those on the fells. Having fixed on all the cases,
carry pipes of communication from one to the other, and from one side
of the sun to the wheel in the middle, and from thence to the other
side of the sun. These leaders will hold the wheel steady while the
sun is fixing up, and will also be a sure method of lighting both
cases of the wheel together. A sun thus made is called a _brilliant
sun_, because the wood-work is entirely covered with fire from the
wheel in the middle, so that there appears nothing but sparks of
brilliant fire; but if you would have a transparent face in the
centre, you must have one made of pasteboard of any size. The method
of making a face is, by cutting out the eyes, nose, and mouth, for the
sparks of the wheel to appear through; but instead of this face, you
may have one painted on oil paper, or Persian silk, strained tight on
a hoop; which hoop must be supported by three or four pieces of wire
at six inches distance from the wheel in the centre, so that the light
of it may illuminate the face. By this method may be shown, in the
front of the sun, VIVAT REGINA, cut in pasteboard, or Apollo, painted
in silk; but, for a small collection, a sun with a single glory and a
wheel in front will be most suitable. Half-pound cases, filled ten
inches with composition, will be a good size for a sun of five feet
diameter; but, if larger, the cases must be greater in proportion.



Take a slip of cartridge-paper, about three-quarters of an inch in
width, paste and double it; let it remain till dry, and cut it into
two equal parts in length, (No. 1 and 2,) according to the following

  | No. 1.   Glass. | S | Glass.| No. 2. |

Take some of the glass composition, and lay it across the paper as in
the pattern, and put about a quarter of a grain of fulminating silver
in the place marked S, and while the glass composition is moist, put
the paper marked No. 2, over the farthest row of glass. Over all,
paste twice over the part that covers the silver a piece of paper; let
it dry, and when you wish to explode it, take hold of the two ends and
pull them sharply from each other, and it will produce a loud report.


Procure a piece of girth from 12 to 18 inches in length. Double it,
and fold it down about 1-1/2 inch, similar to the fold of a letter,
and then turn back one end of the girth, and it will form two
compartments. Then take some gum and dissolve it in water; boil it
till it is quite melted, and very thick; add coarse powdered glass,
sufficient to make it into a very thick paste; place two upright rows
of the glass composition in the inside of one of the folds, about as
wide as the thickness of a lath, and as high as a half-crown laid
flat; and when they are dry, sew the first fold together on the edge,
and then the second at the opposite end, so that one end may be open.
Then, in the centre of the two rows, put about a grain of fulminating
silver, and paste a piece of cotton or silk over it. Make a hole at
each end of the girdle, and hang it to a hook in the door-post, and
the other hook on the door, observing to place the silk part so that
it may come against the edge of the door when opened, which will cause
a report as loud as a small cannon. The fulminating silver may be
purchased at any of the operating chemists.


Procure some glass globes, between the size of a pea and a small
marble, in which there must be a small hole; put into it half a grain
of fulminating silver. Paste a piece of paper carefully over the ball
to prevent the silver from escaping. When you wish to explode one put
it on the ground, and tread hard upon it, and it will go off with a
loud noise. These balls may be made productive of much amusement in
company, by placing a chair lightly on them; for whoever sits down
upon them will cause them to explode. These globes may be procured at
the barometer-makers.


Is made of binding, about three-eighths of an inch in width. Observe
the same directions as given for the girdle; you may either explode it
yourself, by taking hold of each end, and rolling the ends from each
other sharply, or give one end to another, and pull together.


Take a piece of card about three-fourths of an inch in breadth and 12
in length; slit it at one end, and place in the opening a quarter of a
grain of fulminating silver; close the edges down with a little paste,
and when dry you may use it by lighting the end in a candle.

Having given the method by which these loud reports are produced, we
shall mention some other effects to be produced by the silver, capable
of affording much amusement. For instance, by placing about a quarter
of a grain of the silver in the midst of some tobacco in a pipe, or
between the leaves of a cigar, and closing the end again, to prevent
the powder from falling out; when lighted, it causes a loud explosion;
for heat, as well as friction, will equally do.

Or, take one-third of the grain of fulminating silver; fold it up in a
small piece of paper, and wrap it up in another piece, and paste it
round a pin. These pins stuck in the wick of a candle make a very loud

Fulminating silver may be also used in the following manner:--Put half
a grain in a piece of glass-paper, and enclose it in a piece of foil;
put it then at the bottom or side of a drawer, and on opening or
shutting it, it will immediately go off.

Put a quarter of a grain of fulminating silver into a piece of paper,
and place in the snuffers when quite cold; when the candle is snuffed,
it will go off.


Works that sport in the water are much esteemed by most admirers of
fire-works, particularly water-rockets; and as they seem of a very
extraordinary nature to those who are unacquainted with this art, they
merit a particular explanation.


They may be made from four ounces to two pounds. If larger, they are
too heavy; so that it will be difficult to make them keep above water
without a cork float, which must be tied to the neck of the case; but
the rockets will not dive so well with as without floats.

Cases for these are made in the same manner and proportion as
sky-rockets, only a little thicker of paper. When you fill those which
are driven solid, put in first one ladleful of slow fire, then two of
the proper charge, and on that one or two ladles of sinking charge,
then the proper charge, then the sinking charge again, and so on, till
you have filled the case within three diameters; then drive on the
composition one ladleful of clay; through which make a small hole to
the charge; then fill the case, within half a diameter, with
corn-powder, on which turn down two or three rounds of the case in the
inside; then pinch and tie the end very tight; having filled the
rockets, (according to the above directions,) dip their ends in melted
resin or sealing-wax, or else secure them well with grease. When you
fire those rockets, throw in six or eight at a time; but, if you would
have them all sink, or swim, at the same time, you must fill them with
an equal quantity of composition, and fire them together.

_Pipes of Communication for Water._

They may be used under water, but must be a little thicker in the
paper than those for land. Having rolled a sufficient number of pipes,
and kept them till dry, wash them over with drying oil, and set them
to dry; but when you oil them, leave about an inch and a half at each
end dry, for joints; as, if they were oiled all over, when you come to
join them, the paste will not stick where the paper is greasy: after
the leaders are joined, and the paste dry, oil the joints. These pipes
will lie many hours under water, without receiving any damage.

_Horizontal Water-Wheels._

To make horizontal wheels for the water, first get a large wooden bowl
without a handle; then have an eight-sided wheel, made of a flat board
18 inches diameter, so that the length of each side may nearly be
seven inches: in all the sides cut a groove for the cases to lie in.
This wheel being made, nail it on the top of the bowl; then take four
eight-ounce cases, filled with a proper charge, each about six inches
in length. Now, to clothe the wheel with these cases, get some
whitish-brown paper, and cut it into slips; being pasted all over on
one side, take one of the cases, and roll one of the slips of paper
about an inch and a half on its end, so that there will remain about
two inches and a half of the paper hollow from the end of the case:
tie this case on one of the sides of the wheel, near the corners of
which must be holes bored, through which put the packthread to tie the
cases: having tied on the first case at the neck and end, put a little
meal-powder in the hollow paper; then paste a slip of paper on the end
of another case, the head of which put into the hollow paper on the
first, allowing a sufficient distance from the tail of one to the head
of the other, for the pasted paper to bend without tearing: tie on the
second case as you did the first, and so on with the rest, except the
last, which must be closed at the end, unless it is to communicate to
any thing on the top of the wheel, such as fire-pumps or brilliant
fires, fixed in holes cut in the wheel, and fired by the last or
second case, as the fancy directs: six, eight, or any number, may be
placed on the top of the wheel, provided they are not too heavy for
the bowl.

Before trying on the cases, cut the upper part of all their ends,
except the last, a little shelving, that the fire from one may play
over the other, without being obstructed by the case. Wheel-cases have
no clay driven in their ends, nor pinched, but are always left open,
only the last, or those which are not to lead fire, which must be well


For water-mines you must have a bowl with a wheel on it, made in the
same manner as the water-wheel; only in its middle there must be a
hole, of the same diameter as that of the intended mine. These mines
are tin pots, with strong bottoms, and a little more than two
diameters in length: the mine must be fixed in the hole in the wheel,
with its bottom resting on the bowl; then loaded with serpents,
crackers, stars, small water-rockets, &c., in the same manner as pots
of aigrettes; but in their centre fix a case of Chinese fire, or a
small gerbe, which must be lighted at the beginning of the last case
on the wheel. These wheels are to be clothed as usual.

_Fire Globes for the Water._

Bowls for water-globes must be very large, and the wheels on them of
ten sides: on each side nail a piece of wood four inches long; and on
the outside of each piece cut a groove, wide enough to receive about
one-fourth of the thickness of a four-ounce case: these pieces of wood
must be nailed in the middle of each face of the wheel, and fixed in
an oblique direction, so that the fire from the cases may incline
upwards: the wheel being thus prepared, tie in each groove a
four-ounce case filled with a grey charge; then carry a leader from
the tail of one case to the mouth of the other.

Globes for these wheels are made of two in hoops, with their edges
outwards, fixed one within the other, at right angles. The diameter of
these hoops must be rather less than that of the wheel. Having made
the globe, drive in the centre of the wheel an iron spindle which must
stand perpendicular, and its length be four or six inches more than
the diameter of the globe.

The spindle serves for an axis, on which is fixed the globe, which
must stand four or six inches from the wheel; round one side of each
hoop must be soldered little bits of tin, two inches and a half
distance from each other; which pieces must be two inches in length
each, and only fastened at one end, the other ends being left loose,
to turn round the small port-fires, and hold them on: these port-fires
must be made of such a length as will last out the cases on the wheel.
There need not be any port-fires at the bottom of the globe within
four inches of the spindle, as they would have no effect but to burn
the wheel: all the port-fires must be placed perpendicularly from the
centre of the globe, with their mouths outwards, and must be clothed
with leaders, so as all to take fire with the second case of the
wheel; and the cases must burn two at a time, one opposite the other.
When two cases of a wheel begin together, two will end together;
therefore the two opposite end cases must have their ends pinched and
secured from fire. The method of firing such wheels is, by carrying a
leader from the mouth of one of the first cases to that of the other;
and the leader being burnt through the middle, will give fire to both
at the same time.

_Odoriferous Water-Balloons._

They are made in the same manner as air-balloons, but very thin of
paper, and in diameter one inch and three-fourths, with a vent of half
an inch diameter. The shells being made, and quite dry, fill them with
any of the following compositions, which must be rammed in tight:
these balloons must be fired at the vent, and put into a bowl of
water. Odoriferous works are generally fired in rooms.

_Composition I._ Saltpetre two ounces, flour of sulphur one ounce,
camphor half an ounce, yellow amber half an ounce, charcoal-dust
three-fourths of an ounce, salt of Benzoin half an ounce, all powdered
very fine and well mixed.

II. Saltpetre twelve ounces, meal-powder three ounces, frankincense
one ounce, myrrh half an ounce, camphor half an ounce, charcoal three
ounces, all moistened with the oil of spike.

III. Saltpetre two ounces, sulphur half an ounce, antimony half an
ounce, amber half an ounce, cedar raspings one-fourth of an ounce, all
mixed with the oil of roses and a few drops of bergamot.

IV. Saltpetre four ounces, sulphur one ounce, saw-dust of juniper half
an ounce, saw-dust of cypress one ounce, camphor one-fourth of an
ounce, myrrh two drachms, dried rosemary one-fourth of an ounce, all
moistened a little with the oil of roses.

N.B. Water-rockets may be made with any of the above compositions,
with a little alteration, to make them weaker or stronger, according
to the size of the cases.

_A Sea-fight with small Ships and a Fire-ship._

Having procured four or five small ships, of two or three feet in
length, make a number of small reports, which are to serve for guns.
Of these range as many as you please on each side of the upper decks;
then at the head and stern of each ship fix a two-ounce case, eight
inches long, filled with a slow port-fire composition; but take care
to place it in such a manner that the fire may fall in the water, and
not burn the rigging; in these cases bore holes at unequal distances
from one another, but make as many in each case as half the number of
reports, so that one case may fire the guns on one side, and the other
those on the opposite. The method of firing the guns is, by carrying a
leader from the holes in the cases to the reports on the decks; you
must make these leaders very small, and be careful in calculating the
burning of the slow fire in the regulating cases, that more than two
guns be not fired at a time. When you would have a broadside given,
let a leader be carried to a cracker placed on the outside of the
ship; which cracker must be tied loose, or the reports will be too
slow: in all the ships put artificial guns at the port-holes. Reports
for these and similar occasions are made by filling small cartridges
with grained powder, pinching them close at each end, and, when used,
boring a hole in the side, to which is placed a match or leader for
firing them.

Having filled and bored holes in two port-fires, for regulating the
guns in one ship, make all the rest exactly the same; then, when you
begin the engagement, light one ship first, and set it a sailing, and
so on with the rest, sending them out singly, which will make them
fire regularly, at different times, without confusion; for the time
between the firing of each gun will be equal to that of lighting the
slow fires.

The fire-ship may be of any size, and need not be very good, for it is
always lost in the action. To prepare a ship for this purpose, make a
port-fire equal in size with those in the other ships, and place it at
the stern; in every port place a larger port-fire, filled with a very
strong composition, and painted in imitation of a gun, and let them
all be fired at once by a leader from the slow fire, within two or
three diameters of its bottom; all along both sides, on the top of the
upper deck, lay star-composition about half an inch thick and one
broad, which must be wetted with thin size, then primed with
meal-powder, and secured from fire by pasting paper over it; in the
place where you lay this composition, drive some little tacks with
flat heads, to hold it fast to the deck; this must be fired just after
the sham guns, and when burning will show a flame all round the ship:
at the head take up the decks, and put in a tin mortar loaded with
crackers, which mortar must be fired by a pipe from the end of the
slow fire: the firing of this mortar will sink the ship, and make a
pretty conclusion. The regulating port-fire of this ship must be
lighted at the same time with the first fighting ship.

Having prepared all the ships for fighting, we shall next proceed with
the management of them when on the water. At one end of the pond, just
under the surface of the water, fit two running blocks, at what
distance you choose the ships should fight; and at the other end of
the pond, opposite to each of these blocks, under the water, fix a
double block; then on the land, by each of the double blocks, place
two small windlasses; round one of them turn one end of a small cord,
and put the other end through one of the blocks; then carry it through
the single one at the opposite end of the pond, and bring it back
through the double block again, and round the other windlass: to this
cord, near the double block, tie as many small strings as half the
number of the ships, at any distance; but these strings must not be
more than two feet long each: make fast the loose end of each to a
ship, just under her bowsprit; for if tied to the keel, or too near
the water, it will overset the ship. Half the ships being thus
prepared, near the other double block fix two more windlasses, to
which fasten a cord, and to it tie the other half of the ships as
before: when you fire the ships, pull in the cord with one of the
windlasses, to get all the ships together; and when you have set fire
to the first, turn that windlass which draws them out, and so on with
the rest, till they are all out in the middle of the pond; then, by
turning the other windlass, you will draw them back again; by which
method you may make them change sides, and tack about backwards and
forwards at pleasure. For the fire-ship fix the blocks and windlasses
between the others, so that when she sails out she will be between the
other ships: you must not let this ship advance till the guns at her
ports take fire.

_To fire Sky-Rockets under Water._

You must have stands made as usual, only the rails must be placed flat
instead of edgewise, and have holes in them for the rocket-sticks to
go through; for if they were hung upon hooks, the motion of the water
would throw them off: the stands being made, if the pond be deep
enough, sink them at the sides so deep, that, when the rockets are in,
their heads may just appear above the surface of the water; to the
mouth of each rocket fix a leader, which put through the hole with a
stick; then a little above the water must be a board, supported by the
stand, and placed along one side of the rockets; then the ends of the
leaders are turned up through holes made in this board, exactly
opposite the rockets. By this means you may fire them singly or all at
once. Rockets may be fired by this method in the middle of a pond, by
a Neptune, a swan, a water-wheel, or any thing else you choose.

_Neptune in his Chariot._

To represent Neptune in his chariot, you must have a Neptune (made of
wood, or basket-work) as big as life, fixed on a float large enough to
bear his weight; on which must be two horses' heads and necks, so as
to seem swimming. For the wheels of the chariot, there must be two
vertical wheels of black fire, and on Neptune's head a horizontal
wheel of brilliant fire, with all its cases, to play upwards. When
this wheel is made, cover it with paper or pasteboard, cut and painted
like Neptune's coronet; then let the trident be made without prongs,
but instead of them, fix three cases of a weak grey charge, and on
each horse's head put an eight-ounce case of brilliant fire, and on
the mouth of each fix a short case, of the same diameter, filled with
the white flame composition enough to last out all the cases on the
wheels: these short cases must be open at bottom, that they may light
the brilliant fires; for the horses' eyes put small port-fires, and
in each nostril put a small case half filled with grey charge, and the
rest with port-fire composition.

If Neptune is to give fire to any building on the water, at his first
setting out, the wheels of the chariot, and that on his head, with the
white flame on the horses' heads, and the port-fires in their eyes and
nostrils, must all be lighted at once; then from the bottom of the
white flames carry a leader to the trident. As Neptune is to advance
by the help of a block and cord, you must manage it so as not to let
him turn about, till the brilliant fires on the horses and the trident
begin; for it is by the fire from the horses (which plays almost
upright,) that the building, or work, is lighted, which must be thus
prepared. From the mouth of the case which is to be first fired, hang
some loose quick-match to receive the fire from the horses. When
Neptune is only to be shown by himself, without setting fire to any
other works, let the white flames on the horses be very short, and not
to last longer than one case of each wheel, and let two cases of each
wheel burn at a time.

_Swans and Ducks in Water._

If you would have swans or ducks discharge rockets into the water,
they must be made hollow, and of paper, and filled with small
water-rockets, with some blowing powder to throw them out; but if this
is not done, they may be made of wood, which will last many times.
Having made and painted some swans, fix them on floats; then in the
places where their eyes should be, bore holes two inches deep,
inclining downwards, and wide enough to receive a small port-fire; the
port-fire cases for this purpose must be made of brass, two inches
long, and filled with a slow bright charge. In the middle of one of
these cases make a little hole; then put the port-fire in the eye-hole
of the swan, leaving about half an inch to project out; and in the
other eye put another port-fire, with a hole made in it: then in the
neck of the swan, within two inches of one of the eyes, bore a hole
slantwise, to meet that in the port-fire; in this hole put a leader,
and carry it to a water-rocket, that must be fixed under the tail with
its mouth upwards. On the top of the head place two one-ounce cases,
four inches long each, driven with brilliant fire; one of these cases
must incline forwards, and the other backwards: these must be lighted
at the same time as the water-rocket; to do which, bore a hole
between them in the top of the swan's head, down to the hole in the
port-fire, to which carry a leader: if the swan is filled with
rockets, they must be fired by a pipe from the end of the water-rocket
under the tail. When you set the swan a swimming, light the two eyes.

_Water Fire-Fountains._

To make a fire-fountain for the water, first have a float made of
wood, three feet diameter; then in the middle fix a round
perpendicular post, four feet high, and two inches diameter; round
this post fix three circular wheels made of thin wood, without any
spokes. The largest of these wheels must be placed within two or three
inches of the float, and must be nearly of the same diameter. The
second wheel must be two feet two inches diameter, and fixed at two
feet distance from the first. The third wheel must be one foot four
inches diameter, and fixed within six inches of the top of the post:
the wheels being fixed, take 18 four or eight-ounce cases of brilliant
fire, and place them round the first wheel with their mouths outwards,
and inclining downwards; on the second wheel place 13 cases of the
same, and in the same manner as those on the first; on the third,
place eight more of these cases, in the same manner as before, and on
the top of the post fix a gerbe; then clothe all the cases with
leaders, so that both they and the gerbe may take fire at the same
time. Before firing this work, try it in the water, to see whether the
float is properly made, so as to keep the fountain upright.





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    THE YEAR OF GRACE 1845."




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       *       *       *       *       *






    For sale very low, in various styles of binding.

    Some years having elapsed since the original thirteen volumes
    of the ENCYCLOPÆDIA AMERICANA were published, to bring it up
    to the present day, with the history of that period, at the
    request of numerous subscribers, the publishers have just
    issued a



    Vice-Provost and Professor of Mathematics in the University
    of Pennsylvania, Author of "A Treatise on Political Economy."

    In one large octavo volume of over 650 double columned pages.

    The numerous subscribers who have been waiting the completion
    of this volume can now perfect their sets, and all who want


    can obtain this volume separately: price Two Dollars uncut in
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"This volume is worth owning by itself, as a most convenient and
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The entire work forms the cheapest and probably now the most desirable
Encyclopædia published for popular use."--_New York Tribune._

"The Conversations Lexicon (Encyclopædia Americana) has become a
household book in all the intelligent families in America, and is
undoubtedly the best depository of biographical, historical,
geographical, and political information of that kind which
discriminating readers require."--_Silliman's Journal._

"This volume of the Encyclopædia is a Westminster Abbey of American
reputation. What names are on the roll since 1833!"--_N. Y. Literary

"The work to which this volume forms a supplement, is one of the most
important contributions that has ever been made to the literature of
our country. Besides condensing into a comparatively narrow compass,
the substance of larger works of the same kind which had preceded it,
it contains a vast amount of information that is not elsewhere to be
found, and is distinguished, not less for its admirable arrangement,
than for the variety of subjects of which it treats. The present
volume, which is edited by one of the most distinguished scholars of
our country, is worthy to follow in the train of those which have
preceded it. It is a remarkably felicitous condensation of the more
recent improvements in science and the arts, besides forming a very
important addition to the department of Biography, the general
progress of society, &c., &c."--_Albany Argus._

       *       *       *       *       *






    Now complete in seven handsome crown octavo volumes.

    _Bringing the work to the death of Lord Eldon, 1838._

"The volumes teem with exciting incidents, abound in portraits,
sketches, and anecdotes, and are at once interesting and instructive.
The work is not only historical and biographical, but it is
anecdotical and philosophical. Many of the chapters embody thrilling
incidents, while as a whole, the publication may be regarded as of a
high intellectual order."--_Inquirer._

       *       *       *       *       *







    BY HUGH MURRAY, F.R.S.E., &c.

    Assisted in Botany by Professor HOOKER--Zoology, &c., by W.
    W. SWAINSON--Astronomy &c., by Professor WALLACE--Geology,
    &c., by Professor JAMESON.




    _In three large octavo volumes,_


This great work, furnished at a remarkably cheap rate, contains
about NINETEEN HUNDRED LARGE IMPERIAL PAGES, and is illustrated by
Tanner's, together with about ELEVEN HUNDRED WOOD-CUTS, executed in
the best style.

       *       *       *       *       *








    Assistant Physician to Guy's Hospital.


    In one neat volume.

"By the appearance of Dr. Bird's work, the student has now all that he
can desire in one neat, concise, and well-digested volume. The
elements of natural philosophy are explained in very simple language,
and illustrated by numerous wood-cuts."--_Medical Gazette._

"A volume of useful and beautiful instruction for the
young."--_Literary Gazette._

"We should like to know that Dr. Bird's book was associated with every
boys' and girls' school throughout the kingdom."--_Medical Gazette._

"This work marks an advance which has long been wanting in our system
of instruction. Mr. Bird has succeeded in producing an elementary work
of great merit."--_Athenæum._

       *       *       *       *       *


    BY SIR JOHN F. W. HERSCHELL, F. R. S., &c.


    BY S. C. WALKER.

    In one volume, 12mo.

       *       *       *       *       *



    Superintendent of the Coast Survey, &c.

    In one volume, 12mo., with numerous wood-cuts.

       *       *       *       *       *





    Professor of Physics at the University of Freiburg.


    In one octavo volume.


    In laying the following pages before the public, it seems
    necessary to state that the design of them is to render more
    easily accessible a greater portion of the general principles
    of Physics and Meteorology than is usually to be obtained,
    without the sacrifice of a greater amount of time and labour
    than most persons can afford, or are willing to make. The
    subjects of which this volume treats are very numerous--more
    numerous, in fact, than at first sight it would seem possible
    to embrace in so small a compass. The Author has, however, by
    a system of the most judicious selection and condensation,
    been enabled to introduce all the most important facts and
    theories relating to Statics, Hydrostatics, Dynamics,
    Hydrodynamics, Pneumatics, the Laws of the Motions of Waves
    in general, Sound, the Theory of Musical Notes, the Voice and
    Hearing, Geometrical and Physical Optics, Magnetism,
    Electricity and Galvanism, in all their subdivisions, Heat
    and Meteorology, within the space of an ordinary middle-sized
    volume. Of the manner in which the translator has executed
    his task, it behoves him to say nothing; he has attempted
    nothing more than a plain, and nearly literal version of the
    original. He cannot, however, conclude this brief
    introductory note without directing the attention of his
    Readers to the splendid manner in which the Publishers have
    illustrated this volume.

    _August, 1847._

"The Physics of Muller is a work, superb, complete, unique: the
greatest want known to English Science could not have been better
supplied. The work is of surpassing interest. The value of this
contribution to the scientific records of this country may be duly
estimated by the fact, that the cost of the original drawings and
engravings alone has exceeded the sum of 2000£."--_Lancet_, March,

"The plan adopted by Muller is simple; it reminds us of the excellent
and popular treatise published many years since by Dr. Arnott, but it
takes a much wider range of subjects. Like it, all the necessary
explanations are given in clear and concise language, without more
than an occasional reference to mathematics; and the treatise is most
abundantly illustrated with well-executed wood engravings.

"The author has actually contrived to comprise in about five hundred
pages, including the space occupied by illustrations, Mechanics, the
Laws of Motion, Acoustics, Light, Magnetism, Electricity, Galvanism,
Electro-Magnetism, Heat, and Meteorology.

"Medical practitioners and students, even if they have the means to
procure, have certainly not the time to study an elaborate treatise in
every branch of science: and the question therefore is, simply,
whether they are to remain wholly ignorant of such subjects, or to
make a profitable use of the labours of those who have the happy art
of saying or suggesting much in a small space.

"From our examination of this volume, we do not hesitate to recommend
it to our readers as a useful book on a most interesting branch of
science. We may remark, that the translation is so well executed, that
we think the translator is doing himself injustice by concealing his
name."--_London Medical Gazette_, August, 1847.

       *       *       *       *       *




    BY T. GRAHAM, F. R. S., &c.


    Professor of Chemistry in the Franklin Medical College,

    In one large octavo volume, with numerous wood-engravings.

This edition will be found enlarged and improved, so as to be fully brought
up to a level with the science of the day.

       *       *       *       *       *





    Complete in one octavo volume, with nearly two hundred

This standard work has been long and favourably known as one of the
best popular expositions of the interesting science it treats of. It
is extensively used in many of the first seminaries.

       *       *       *       *       *


    Chemical Lecturer in the Middlesex Hospital Medical School,
    &c., &c.


    Professor of General and Pharmaceutical Chemistry in the
    Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, &c., &c.


    In one large duodecimo volume, sheep, or extra cloth, with
    nearly two hundred wood-cuts.

The character of this work is such as to recommend it to all colleges
and academies in want of a text-book. It is fully brought up to the
day, containing all the late views and discoveries that have so
entirely changed the face of the science, and it is completely
illustrated with very numerous wood engravings, explanatory of all
the different processes and forms of apparatus. Though strictly
scientific, it is written with great clearness and simplicity of
style, rendering it easy to be comprehended by those who are
commencing the study.

It may be had well bound in leather, or neatly done up in strong
cloth. Its low price places it within the reach of all.

    _Extract of a letter from Professor Millington, of William
    and Mary College, Va._

    "I have perused the book with much pleasure, and find it a
    most admirable work; and, to my mind, such a one as is just
    now much needed in schools and colleges. * * * All the books
    I have met with on chemistry are either too puerile or too
    erudite, and I confess Dr. Fownes' book seems to be the
    happiest medium I have seen, and admirably suited to fill up
    the hiatus."

Though this work has been so recently published, it has already been
adopted as a text-book by a large number of the higher schools and
colleges throughout the country, and many of the Medical Institutions.
As a work for the upper classes in academies and the junior students
of colleges, there has been but one opinion expressed concerning it,
and it may now be considered as THE TEXT-BOOK for the Chemical

       *       *       *       *       *





    With Plates, Plain or Colored.

    BY W. KIRBY, M.A., F.R.S., AND W. SPENCE, ESQ., F.R.S.


    In one large octavo volume, extra cloth.

"We have been greatly interested in running over the pages of this
treatise. There is scarcely, in the wide range of natural science, a
more interesting or instructive study than that of insects, or one
that is calculated to excite more curiosity or wonder.

"The popular form of letters is adopted by the authors in imparting a
knowledge of the subject, which renders the work peculiarly fitted for
our district school libraries, which are open to all ages and
classes."--_Hunt's Merchants' Magazine._

       *       *       *       *       *



    Author of the "Principles of Practical Gardening," "The
    Gardener's Almanac," &c.



    In one large royal duodecimo volume, extra cloth, of nearly
    Six Hundred and Fifty double columned Pages.

This edition has been greatly altered from the original. Many articles
of little interest to Americans have been curtailed or wholly omitted,
and much new matter, with numerous illustrations, added, especially
with respect to the varieties of fruit which experience has shown to
be peculiarly adapted to our climate. Still, the editor admits that he
has only followed in the path so admirably marked out by Mr. Johnson,
to whom the chief merit of the work belongs. It has been an object
with the editor and publishers to increase its popular character,
thereby adapting it to the larger class of horticultural readers in
this country, and they trust it will prove what they have desired it
to be, an Encyclopædia of Gardening, if not of Rural Affairs, so
condensed and at such a price as to be within reach of nearly all whom
those subjects interest.

       *       *       *       *       *






This work having assumed the position of a standard history of this
country, the publishers have been induced to issue an edition in
smaller size and at a less cost, that its circulation may be
commensurate with its merits. It is now considered as the most
impartial and trustworthy history that has yet appeared.

A few copies of the edition in four volumes, on extra fine thick
paper, price eight dollars, may still be had by gentlemen desirous
of procuring a beautiful work for their libraries.

       *       *       *       *       *




    BY D. T. ANSTED, M. A., F.R.S, F.G.S., &c.


    In one very neat volume, fine extra cloth, with about One
    Hundred and Fifty Illustrations.

The object of this work is to present to the general reader the chief
results of Geological investigation in a simple and comprehensive
manner. The author has avoided all minute details of geological
formations and particular observations, and has endeavoured as far as
possible to present striking views of the wonderful results of the
science, divested of its mere technicalities. The work is printed in a
handsome manner, with numerous illustrations, and forms a neat volume
for the centre table.

"As a resume of what is at present known on the subject of fossil
remains, it is worthy to be a companion to the author's 'Descriptive
Geology,' a work of which we have spoken in the highest terms. This
volume is illustrated in the style of all Van Voorst's Natural History
works, and that is sufficient recommendation. Our extracts will convey
a notion of the style of the work, which is, like all that Professor
Ansted has written, clear and pointed.--_Athenæum._

       *       *       *       *       *





    Professor of Chemistry in the Medical College of St.
    Bartholomew's Hospital, &c.

    In one large royal 12mo. volume, with many Wood-Cuts, extra

"Chemistry is assuredly one of the most useful and interesting of the
natural sciences. Chemical changes meet us at every step, and during
every season, the winds and the rain, the heat and the frosts, each
have their peculiar and appropriate phenomena. And those who have
hitherto remained insensible to these changes and unmoved amid such
remarkable, and often startling results, will lose their apathy upon
reading the Chemistry of the 'Four Seasons,' and be prepared to enjoy
the highest intellectual pleasures. Conceived in a happy spirit, and
written with taste and elegance, the essay of Mr. Griffiths cannot
fail to receive the admiration of cultivated minds; and those who have
looked less carefully into nature's beauties, will find themselves led
on step by step, until they realize a new intellectual being. Such
works, we believe, exert a happy influence over society, and hence we
hope that the present one may be extensively read."--_The Western

       *       *       *       *       *




    In one very neat royal 18mo. volume, with nearly one hundred
    illustrations on wood. Fine extra crimson cloth.

"Messrs. Lea & Blanchard have issued, in a beautiful manner, a
handsome book, called 'Philosophy in Sport, made Science in Earnest.'
This is an admirable attempt to illustrate the first principles of
Natural Philosophy, by the aid of the popular toys and sports of
youth. Useful information is conveyed in an easy, graceful, yet
dignified manner, and rendered easy to the simplest understanding. The
book is an admirable one, and must meet with universal favour."--_N.
Y. Evening Mirror._

       *       *       *       *       *






    &c., &c.





    In one neat royal 18mo. volume, fine extra crimson cloth.

"It contains everything that can please the grave or the gay. It is
'endless amusement,' and the publishers might have added, instruction.
What a help to a dull gathering, or what an able adjunct to a
children's party! It may be introduced to the scientific or to the
family circle, and to each it will give instruction and pleasure. It
is filled with illustrations. We shall give extracts from it
occasionally."--_Lady's Book._

       *       *       *       *       *




    _In one neat royal 12mo. volume, extra cloth._

    CONTENTS.--Geology--Form of the Great Continent--Highlands
    of the Great Continent--Mountain Systems of the Great
    Continent--Africa--American Continent--Low Lands of South
    America--Central America--North America--Greenland--Australia--The
    Ocean--Springs--European Rivers--African Rivers--Asiatic
    Rivers--River Systems of North America--Rivers of South
    America--Lakes--The Atmosphere--Vegetation--Vegetation
    of the Great Continent--Flora of Tropical Asia--African
    Flora--Australian Flora--American Vegetation--Distribution
    of Insects--Distribution of Fishes--Distribution of
    Reptiles--Distribution of Birds--Distribution of
    Mammalia--Distribution, Conditions and Future Prospects
    of the Human Race.

While reading this work we could not help thinking how interesting, as
well as useful, geography as a branch of education might be made in
our schools. In many of them, however, this is not accomplished. It is
to be hoped that this defect will be remedied; and that in all our
educational institutions Geography will soon be taught in the proper
way. Mrs. Somerville's work may, in this respect, be pointed to as a
model.--_Tait's Edinburgh Magazine_, September, 1848.

       *       *       *       *       *



    _In two very handsome 18mo. volumes, with beautiful plates,
    done up in crimson extra cloth._

Messrs. Lea & Blanchard deserve the thanks of all the little people in
the land for these delightful volumes, which are as agreeable to read as
they are attractive in appearance.--_N. Y. Literary World._

       *       *       *       *       *



    _In one handsome royal 18mo. volume, crimson extra cloth,
    with illustrations._

In these pretty tales from the legendary and authentic history of
England and Continental Europe, Miss Strickland has hit a happy mean
in presenting to the mind of youth, fact in its most fascinating, and
fiction in its least objectionable garb. It is a little work which
will be dog's eared, and pored over with absorbing interest by the
school-boy.--_Balt. Patriot._

       *       *       *       *       *

The above works will be found admirable reading books for
schools.--Lea & Blanchard also publish the following, which are
suitable to advanced classes.

    Carpenter, M. D. In one royal 12mo. volume, with wood-cuts.

    D. T. Ansted, M. A., F. R. S., F. G. S. In one royal 12mo.
    volume, with 150 wood-cuts.

    WINTER; an Essay principally concerning Natural Phenomena
    admitting of interpretation by Chemical Science, and
    illustrating passages of Scripture. By Thomas Griffiths. In
    one large royal 12mo. volume, with 60 wood-cuts.

       *       *       *       *       *





    In one very neat volume, bound in extra crimson cloth;
    handsomely printed and illustrated with engravings in the
    first style of art, and containing about six hundred and
    fifty articles. A present for all seasons.


This Illustrated Manual of "Sports, Pastimes, and Recreations," has
been prepared with especial regard to the Health, Exercise, and
Rational Enjoyment of the young readers to whom it is addressed.

Every variety of commendable Recreation will be found in the following
pages. First, you have the little Toys of the Nursery; the Tops and
Marbles of the Play-ground; and the Balls of the Play-room, or the
smooth Lawn.

Then, you have a number of Pastimes that serve to gladden the
fireside; to light up many faces right joyfully, and make the parlour
re-echo with mirth.

Next, come the Exercising Sports of the Field, the Green, and the
Play-ground; followed by the noble and truly English game of Cricket.

Gymnastics are next admitted; then, the delightful recreation of
Swimming; and the healthful sport of Skating.

Archery, once the pride of England, is then detailed; and very
properly followed by Instructions in the graceful accomplishment of
Fencing, and the manly and enlivening exercise of Riding.

Angling, the pastime of childhood, boyhood, manhood, and old age, is
next described; and by attention to the instructions here laid down,
the lad with a stick and a string may soon become an expert Angler.

Keeping Animals is a favourite pursuit of boyhood. Accordingly, we
have described how to rear the Rabbit, the Squirrel, the Dormouse, the
Guinea Pig, the Pigeon, and the Silkworm. A long chapter is adapted to
the rearing of Song Birds; the several varieties of which, and their
respective cages, are next described. And here we may hint, that
kindness to Animals invariably denotes an excellent disposition: for,
to pet a little creature one hour, and to treat it harshly the next,
marks a capricious if not a cruel temper. Humanity is a jewel, which
every boy should be proud to wear in his breast.

We now approach the more sedate amusements--as Draughts and Chess: two
of the noblest exercises of the ingenuity of the human mind. Dominoes
and Bagatelle follow. With a knowledge of these four games, who would
pass a dull hour in the dreariest day of winter; or who would sit idly
by the fire?

Amusements in Arithmetic, harmless Legerdemain, or sleight-of-hand,
and Tricks with Cards, will delight many a family circle, when the
business of the day is over, and the book is laid aside.

Although the present volume is a book of amusements, Science has not
been excluded from its pages. And why should it be? when Science is as
entertaining as a fairy tale. The changes we read of in little
nursery-books are not more amusing than the changes in Chemistry,
Optics, Electricity, Magnetism, &c. By understanding these, you may
almost become a little Magician.

Toy Balloons and Paper Fireworks, (or Fireworks _without_ Fire,) come
next. Then follow Instructions for Modelling in Card-Board; so that
you may build for yourself a palace or a carriage, and, in short, make
for yourself a little paper world.

Puzzles and Paradoxes, Enigmas and Riddles, and Talking with the
Fingers, next make up plenty of exercise for "Guess," and "Guess
again." And as you have the "Keys" in your own hand, you may keep your
friends in suspense, and make yourself as mysterious as the Sphynx.

A chapter of Miscellanies--useful and amusing secrets--winds up the

The "Treasury" contains upwards of four hundred Engravings; so that it
is not only a collection of "secrets worth knowing," but it is a book
of pictures, as full of prints as a Christmas pudding is of plums.

It may be as well to mention that the "Treasury" holds many new games
that have never before been printed in a book of this kind. The old
games have been described afresh. Thus it is, altogether, a new book.

And now we take leave, wishing you many hours, and days, and weeks of
enjoyment over these pages; and we hope that you may be as happy as
this book is brimful of amusement.


1. Passages in italics are surrounded by _underscores_.

2. Images have been moved from the middle of a paragraph to the
closest paragraph break.

3. The words coeli, manoeuvre and manoeuvres uses an "oe" ligature
in the original.

4. The fractional numbers are represented by a hyphen and a forward
slash. For example, 3-1/2 represents three and a half.

5. The following misprints have been corrected:
    "umlimited" corrected to "unlimited" (page 67)
    "immerged" corrected to "immersed" (page 124)
    "shil ing" corrected to "shilling" (page 133)
    "where-ever" corrected to "wherever" (page 148)
    "sttll" corrected to "still" (page 149)
    "mattrasses" corrected to "mattresses" (page 156)

6. Other than the corrections listed above, printer's inconsistencies
in spelling, punctuation, and hyphenation, have been retained.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Endless Amusement - A Collection of Nearly 400 Entertaining Experiments" ***

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