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Title: Scientific American, Vol. XXXIX.—No. 24. [New Series.], December 14, 1878 - A Weekly Journal Of Practical Information, Art, Science, - Mechanics, Chemistry, And Manufactures
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Scientific American, Vol. XXXIX.—No. 24. [New Series.], December 14, 1878 - A Weekly Journal Of Practical Information, Art, Science, - Mechanics, Chemistry, And Manufactures" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.





Vol. XXXIX.--No. 24. [NEW SERIES.]

[$3.20 per Annum [POSTAGE PREPAID.]]

       *       *       *       *       *


(Illustrated articles are marked with an asterisk.)

  Alum in baking powders
  Alum in bread                    376
  Argonaut, or Paper Nautilus*     375
  Astronomical notes               377
  Babbitt metal, to make [5]       378
  Belts, rubber, slipping [6]      378
  Bench, saw, Casson's*            374
  Boot polish liquid [8]           378
  Butter, to color [16]            378
  Canal, ship, Belgian*            367
  Economy, machine shop            371
  Eggs, preservation of            375
  Electric light, Werdermann*      373
  Engineers, warning to            367
  Engine, steam, valve yoke [48]   379
  Exterminator, roach [57]         379
  Filter for rain water [19]       378
  Foot power, new*                 370
  Glass, iridescent                368
  Glass, to make a hole in         375
  Hair, to prevent falling out [42]379
  Inks, sympathetic                377
  Invention, reward of             371
  Inventions, new,                 370
  Inventions, new agricultural     377
  Inventions, new mechanical       374
  Inventors, bait for              374
  Iron and steel, preservation of  367
  Iron, malleable, to make [43]    379
  Leaves, culinary uses for        370
  Line, straight, to draw* [36]    379
  Mechanics, amateur*              371
  Mexico, progress of science in   376
  Microphone as a thief catcher    375
  Naphtha and benzine              377
  Nitrate of silver, reduction of  377
  Notes and queries                378
  Oil notes                        372
  Petroleum and gold               377
  Petroleum, progress of           368
  Poultices                        374
  Quinine, effects of on hearing   374
  Railroad, first in U. S. [2]     378
  Rails and railway accidents      368
  Railway notes                    373
  Sanitary Science in the U. S.    369
  Screw heads, blue color for [4]  378
  Sheep husbandry, American        375
  Shutter fastener, new*           370
  Silver mill in the clouds        374
  Spider, trap-door*               375
  Sprinkler, garden, improved*     370
  Telescope, sunshade for [3]      378
  Tools, steel, to temper [55]     379
  Tree, tallest in the world       375
  Tree trunks elongation of        376
  Trees, felling by electricity    370
  Tubing, to satin finish [51]     379
  Vise, an improved*               370
  White lead, to test [14]         378
  Wire clothing for cylinders*     377
  Work, the limit of               368

       *       *       *       *       *


The ship canal from Ghent to Terneuzen was originally laid out with
many bends, rendering navigation difficult; it had a depth of 14 feet
4 inches and a width of 98 feet 6 inches at the water level. The works
which are at present in course of execution have especially for their
object the deepening of the canal to 21 feet 3 inches, with a width
of 55 feet 9 inches at the bottom and 103 feet 9 inches on the water
line. The slopes have a uniform inclination of 1 to 3, and the towing
paths on each side are placed 6 feet 6 inches above the water level,
and are 32 feet 8 inches wide. In many instances also the course of
the canal has been altered and straightened for the improvement of
navigation; several important diversions have been made for this
purpose. The excavation has been effected by hand, by dredging, and by
the Couvreux excavator, figured as below in _Engineering_.

The earth excavated was carried to spoil, and in many cases was
employed to form dikes inclosing large areas, which served as
receptacles for the semi-liquid material excavated by the dredging
machines with the long conductors; the Couvreux excavator used will be
readily understood from the engraving. It had already done service on
the Danube regulation works. The material with which it had to deal,
however, was of a more difficult nature, being a fine sand charged
with water and very adherent. The length of track laid for the
excavator was about 3 miles along the side of the old canal, which had
been previously lowered to the level of the water.

       *       *       *       *       *


We are indebted to J. Pechar, Railway Director in Teplitz, Bohemia,
for the first official report in English from the Paris International
Exhibition which has come to hand. This volume contains the report
on the coal and iron products in all countries of the world, and is
valuable for its statistical and other information, giving, as it
does, the places where the coal and minerals are found, and the
quantities of each kind produced, for what it is used, and to what
other countries it is exported. The able compiler of these statistics
in the introduction of his report gives the following account of
the means recommended by Professor Barff, of London, for preventing
oxidation, which is being considerably used abroad. The writer says:

It is well known that the efficient preservation of iron against
rusting is at present only provided for in cases where human life
would be endangered by failure, as in the case of railway bridges
and steamers. Thus, for example, at Mr. Cramer-Klett's ironworks at
Nuremberg every piece of iron used for his bowstring bridges is dipped
in oil heated to eight hundred degrees. The very great care which
is at present taken in this matter may be judged from the current
practice of most bridge and roofing manufacturers. Every piece of
iron before being riveted in its place is cleaned from rust by being
immersed in a solution of hydrochloric acid. The last traces of free
acid having been cleared away, at first by quicklime and afterward by
a copious ablution with hot water, the piece is immediately immersed
in hot linseed oil, which protects every part of the surface from the
action of the atmosphere. Afterward it is riveted and painted.

Notwithstanding all this, the painting requires continual and
careful renewal. On the Britannia Bridge, near Bangor, the painter is
permanently at work; yet, in spite of all this care and expense, rust
cannot be entirely avoided. The age of iron railway bridges is still
too short to enable us to draw conclusions as to the probabilities of
accidents. Now, Professor Barff has discovered a process by which
iron may be kept from rusting by being entirely coated with its own
sesquioxide. A piece of iron exposed to the action of superheated
steam, in a close chamber and under a certain pressure, becomes
gradually covered by a skin of this black oxide, of a thickness
depending upon the temperature of the steam and the duration of
the experiment. For instance, exposure during five hours to steam
superheated to five hundred degrees will produce a hermetical coating
capable of resisting for a considerable time the application of emery
paper and of preserving the iron from rust even in a humid atmosphere,
if under shelter from the weather. If the temperature is raised to
1,200 degrees, and the time of exposure to six or seven hours, the
skin of sesquioxide will resist every mechanical action, and the
influence of any kind of weather. The sesquioxide being harder than
the iron itself, and adhering to its surface even more firmly than the
atoms of iron do to each other, there is an increased resistance not
only to chemical but also to mechanical action. The surface is not
altered by the process in any other respect, a plain forging retaining
its roughness, a polished piece its smooth surface. If the skin is
broken away oxidation takes place, but only just on the spot from
which the oxide has been removed. If Professor Barff's experiments
are borne out by practice, this invention may become of very great
importance. It is within the bounds of probability that it may enable
iron, by increasing its facility in competing with wood, to recover,
at least for a considerable time, even more than the ground it has
lost by the extraordinary extension of the use of steel. Iron is
already being used for building purposes to a large extent; but
oxidation once thoroughly prevented it will be able to take the place
of wood and stone to a still greater degree. Iron roofing may be
made quite as light as that of wood, and of greater strength, by a
judicious arrangement and use of T iron.

       *       *       *       *       *


Drs. Charles M. Cresson and Robert E. Rogers, of this city, says
the Philadelphia _Ledger_, well known as experts in chemistry and
dynamics, were appointed by the Reading Railroad Company to inquire
into and report upon the causes of the recent explosion of the boiler
of the express locomotive "Gem," at Mahanoy City, by which five lives
were lost. Their report, which is designed to cover the whole scope
of a most careful investigation, is not yet made public, but they have
arrived at the following specific conclusion, which we give in their
own language: "We are, therefore, of the opinion that the explosion of
the boiler of the locomotive 'Gem,' was produced by the projection of
foam upon the heated crown bars of the furnace, caused by suddenly
and widely opening the safety valve, at a time when the water had been
permitted to get so low as to overheat the crown of the furnace." This
is an important matter that should be carefully noted by locomotive
and other engineers.

       *       *       *       *       *



MUNN & CO., Editors and Proprietors.



       *       *       *       *       *

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Most of the plates and pages of the four preceding weekly issues of
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       *       *       *       *       *

VOL. XXXIX., No. 24. [NEW SERIES.] Thirty-third Year. NEW YORK,

       *       *       *       *       *



No. 154,

For the Week ending December 14, 1878.

Price 10 cents. For sale by all newsdealers.

I. ENGINEERING AND MECHANICS.--Portable Steam Pumping Engine, 1
  engraving.--New Bone Crushing Mill, 2 engravings.--Picard's Boiler.
  Extraction of Salt from Salt Water.--Compressed Air Machines.
  Hydraulic vs. air pressure. Causes of the losses of power.
  Estimates of useful effects obtainable.--The St. Gothard Tunnel.
  By GEO. J. SPECHT, C.E.--Apparatus for Lifting Sunken Vessels,
  with 8 figures.--Russia Sheet Iron.--Manufacture of Artificial
  Stone.--Compressed Fuel.--The New Magnesi Process for Boiler Feed

  Description of sixteen new and peculiar wine presses at the
  Exhibition, with 31 figures and 9 engravings. The Press Primat;
  Press Mabille; Press David; Samain Press; Marchand, Maupre,
  Boyries, Chapellier, Marmonier, Nogues, Mailhe, Moreau, Piquet,
  Delperoux, Terrel des Chenes, and Cassan fils Presses.

  The Algerian Exhibit. The street of Algiers, with 1
  illustration.--Woolen Fabrics.

III. ELECTRICITY, LIGHT, HEAT, ETC.--Electric Lighting. Estimate
  of the comparative heating effect in gas and electric lighting,
  and the consequent loss of power.--The Electric Light. Remarks on
  its economy.--The Present Bugbear of French Savants.

  New Planets.

  The Dutch Arctic Expedition. The Peak of Beerenburg, Spitzbergen,
  with 1 illustration.

IV. CHEMISTRY AND METALLURGY.--New Process for Separating Iodine
  and Bromine from Kelp.--Inoffensive Colors for Toys.--New Coloring

  Ozone and the Atmosphere. By ALBERT R. LEEDS, Ph.D. Table of
  percentage of ozone contained in the atmosphere at various
  localities in the United States. Register of ozone observations
  for one month at Upper Saranac Lake, N. Y., giving thermometric
  and barometric observations, and full record of weather.
  Examination of methods in ozonometry. Preparation of ozone by
  electrolysis of water containing sulphuric acid, with 1 engraving.
  Preparation by electricity, with 1 engraving. Does the electric
  spark decompose potassium iodide? Collection and preservation of
  ozone. Preparation by chemical methods. Critical examination of
  ozonoscopes. Potassium iodide; starch; paper classification of
  ozonoscopes. Examination of ozonoscopes under certain conditions.

  Limits of the Combustibility of Gases.--The Diffusion of
  Salicylate of Soda.--Singular use of Fluorescein.--New Metal.
  Philippium By M. MARC DELAFONTAINE.--Better Pharmaceutical
  Education. By RICHARD V. MATTISON, Ph. G.--An El Dorado for

V. MEDICINE AND HYGIENE.--The Science of Easy Chairs. The muscular
  conditions of fatigue, and how to obtain the greatest rest. How
  easy chairs should be made.

  Prof. Huxley on the Hand. Abstract of his inaugural lecture before
  the South London Workingmen's College.

  Paint from a Sanitary Point of View. The required abolition of
  absorbent surfaces in dwellings. Lead poisoning from paint not
  thoroughly dry. Cases described in which white lead paint in
  dwellings never dries, but gives off poisonous particles, which
  are inhaled by the inmates, causing depression, weakness headache,
  and loss of appetite. Zinc recommended in paint to avoid lead
  poisoning, and the new oxy-sulphide of Zinc described, with
  covering qualities equal to white lead.

  The Purification of Sewage. By HENRY ROBINSON, F.R.S. Paper
  read before the Sanitary Institute of Great Britain. Progress
  in purifying sewage by precipitation. The use of chemicals for
  precipitating, deodorizing, and disinfecting. Practical data on
  a large scale, with cost. Average number of gallons per head of
  population, etc., of the successful system now in operation at
  Coventry and Hertford. How the water is removed from the sludge by
  filter presses. Drying and removal of the sludge. Theoretical and
  actual values of the sludge for fertilizing.

VI. AGRICULTURE, HORTICULTURE, ETC.--The Broadside Steam Digger,
  with 1 engraving.--Shall I Plow the Lawn?--Bee Culture.

       *       *       *       *       *


The efforts of the great majority of the Western Pennsylvania
petroleum producers to obtain relief from what they deem the
oppressive acts of the Standard Oil Company and the unjust
discriminations of the United Pipe Lines, and the various railroads
traversing the oil regions, have attracted more than usual attention
to the present condition of this industry and its possible future.

We would here explain that the Standard Oil Company originated in
Cleveland, Ohio, about twelve years ago, and was incorporated under
the laws of Ohio, with a nominal capital now, we are informed, of
$3,000,000, which, however, very inadequately represents the financial
strength of its members. It is now a combination of the most
prominent refiners in the country, and has before been credited with
manipulating the transportation lines to its own special advantage.

We can recall no instance of such serious hostility between parties
whose interests are at the same time of such magnitude and so nearly
identical; nor can we see what substantial, enduring benefit would
accrue to the producers in the event of their victory in the struggle.

They charge that the Standard Oil Company has become the controlling
power to fix prices and to determine the avenues by which the oil
shall be transported eastward for home consumption and for foreign
exportation; that the railway companies have given this company lower
rates than other parties for transporting the oil; and that through
the rates given to it by the railways the value of their property is

The reply, in effect, is, Granting all this to be true, what does
it amount to? Neither more nor less than that the managers of the
Standard Oil Company, by combination of capital, by intelligence and
shrewdness in the management of their operations, have built up a
successful business, and that they have so extended it by the use of
all practicable appliances, and by the purchase of the property of
competitors, that they do practically control the prices of oil, both
crude and refined, and that the uncombined capital of the other oil
producers, lacking the power, the intelligence, and the business skill
which combined capital can secure, cannot compete with the Standard
Oil Company. Now, is there any great wrong or injustice in this?

When brains can command capital it is always more successful in
business matters than any amount of brains without capital or capital
without brains. This result is the natural working out of the same
principle that is everywhere to be seen--some men are successful and
others are not.

It is the essence of communism to drag down those who succeed to the
level of the unsuccessful.

If men cannot compete with others in any business they must accept the
fact, and try some other employment.

If, through superior intelligence and capital, the Standard Oil
Company can control the oil business of Pennsylvania, then, according
to the principles of common sense, it must be permitted to do so.

What right, then, has the oil producer to complain? Why, if all that
is alleged is true, will they persist in sinking more wells, when,
as they say, they are controlled by the Standard Oil Company? No one
forces them to lose money by continuing in the business. Let them find
other employment. They do not show that the Standard Oil Company
does anything that combined capital on their part and equal business
ability could not effect.

The cry of monopoly in this case is altogether unfounded, those
opposed to the Standard Oil Company having just as much right to do
all that that company does, and, therefore, there can be no monopoly,
because they have no exclusive powers.

As to the railway companies, they can afford and have a right to
transport the tonnage offered them by the Standard Oil Company at less
cost, because it costs them less to do a regular and large business
than an irregular and smaller one. They would simply be acting in
accordance with business principles the world over.

These are the arguments, the statement of the position of a successful
combination confident in its resources and of victory in the coming
struggle. The justness, the correctness of the doctrines enunciated,
and the wisdom of so doing at this crisis, we do not propose to
criticise; but it is very safe to say that if the prosperity of the
complainants depends upon relief in this direction they may as well
cease producing.

There are too many of them for harmonious and concerted action against
the powerful corporations they complain of; and if they should succeed
in securing equal transportation facilities the prices would still be
regulated by the monopolists, who carry more than four-fifths of the
accumulated stock of the oil regions.

The proposed appeal to Congress to pass some law whereby each producer
can compel railroad companies to carry his produce at regular rates,
amounts to a confession of the desperate straits of the producers
and of their weakness as well; and even if successful, which is most
improbable, would not remedy the deplorable existing state of things.

Still lower rates would fail to give relief, with all the present
avenues of trade filled to repletion and with an increasing output
at the wells. Relief and permanent relief can be found only in the
direction we have before indicated: in the general application of
petroleum and its products to the manufacture of gas for illuminating
and heating purposes, and its substitution for coal in the metallurgic
and other prominent industries of the world.

       *       *       *       *       *


In distributing the prizes to workmen at the Paris Exhibition, Louis
Blanc, the leader of the French Republican Socialist party, quoted
approvingly these words of Simonde de Sismondi:

"If the workman were his own master, when he had done in two hours
with the aid of machinery what would have taken him twelve hours to do
without it, he would stop at the end of the two."

M. Blanc had been discussing very eloquently, but also very
fallaciously, the relations of machinery to labor. If men were
properly united in the bonds of association, he said, if the
solidarity of interests were realized, "the happy result of the
application of mechanical power to industry would be equal production,
with less of effort, for all. The discovery of an economic method
would never have the lamentable consequence of robbing men of the work
by which they live. Unfortunately, we are far from this ideal. Under
the empire of that universal antagonism which is the very essence of
the economic constitution of modern societies, and which too often
only profits one man by ruining another, machinery has been employed
to make the rule of the strong weigh more heavily on the weak. There
is not a single mechanical invention which has not been a subject of
anguish and a cause of distress to thousands of fathers of families
from the moment it began to work."

If all this, and much else that M. Blanc alleges, were true, then the
condition of all workingmen to-day should be in every way worse than
that of their fathers, in anti-machinery days. But such is not the
case. There never was a time when the laborer toiled less or enjoyed
more than in these days of machinery; and the laborer's condition is
best where the machinery is best and most used.

A hundred years ago the laborer toiled long, produced little, and
enjoyed less. To-day, thanks to the victories of invention, machinery
does the heaviest of the work; the workman's hours of labor are fewer
than formerly; his wages are greater; and his earnings will buy vastly
more, dollar for dollar, than in any previous age in the world's

What laborer of to-day would be satisfied with the remuneration, the
food, the shelter, the clothing of the laboring classes of one hundred
years ago? The wants of men, as well as their thoughts, are widened by
the process of the suns. And in no section of society have the daily
wants been more markedly increased, or the facilities for gratifying
them either, than among those that live by labor.

"If the workman were his own master, when he had done in two hours
with the aid of machinery what it would have taken him twelve hours to
do without it, he would stop at the end of the two."

So says the theoretical socialist. The practical workman never has,
nor, we believe, ever will, act so foolishly; certainly not until the
limit of man's capacity to enjoy has been reached. When the united
products of manual and mechanical effort fully satisfy the desires of
all men, and leave no margin of want unfilled, then and then only
will men be satisfied with the reduction of effort demanded by the
socialists. Until then the larger part of every increase in production
by mechanical improvements will go to swell the volume of good things
for human use and enjoyment. Our machinery enables our thousands of
busy workers to accomplish what millions could not have done years
ago, and a very large part of the aggregate increase of product
comes back to them in conveniences and luxuries surpassing those
the wealthiest could enjoy were machinery not employed, or were it
employed, as the socialist advocates, without increasing the aggregate
of production. The laziness of the savage and the advantages of
civilization are incompatible. The chief merit of machinery lies in
its enabling us to multiply constantly the scope and variety of our
enjoyments without a corresponding increase of toil.

       *       *       *       *       *


Ornamental glassware in many styles, tinted with the glowing colors
of the rainbow, is now making its appearance in the shop windows
of Broadway and Fifth Avenue. This is one of those brilliant little
achievements of science that delights the eye and pleases the
imagination. To produce the colors, the glass, while in a heated
state, is subjected to the vapor of chloride of tin. Shades of more or
less depth or intensity are imparted by adding to the tin chloride a
little nitrate of strontium or barium.

       *       *       *       *       *


A meeting of the Section of Physics, New York Academy of Sciences,
was held November 25, 1878. President J. S. Newberry in the chair.
Numerous publications of learned societies were received and
acknowledged. Professor Newberry read a letter from Professor Agassiz
stating that sea lilies, which had hitherto been very rare--a single
specimen bringing as much as fifty dollars--have been found in some
numbers by dredging in the Gulf of Mexico. Their colors are white,
pink, and yellow. Professor Newberry also exhibited specimens of
garnet from California, lamellar quartz from North Carolina, sharks'
teeth belonging to the eocene and miocene tertiary ages from the
phosphate beds of South Carolina, and a number of shells.

Professor Thomas Egleston then addressed the Academy on the subject of
"The Structure of Rails as Affecting Railway Accidents."

The destruction of rails is due to three causes. 1. Defects in the
manufacture; 2. Improper mechanical or chemical composition; and 3.
Physical changes.

A very large number of rails are annually made which should never be
put in any track. Their defects are often imperceptible to the naked
eye, but they very soon begin to break. Statistics show that the
breakage from defects in making increase until they have been used
18 months; then it decreases to zero, and after that rails break from
different causes. In France, breakage usually begins in December,
reaches its maximum in January, and becomes normal in April. As a more
intense cold would be necessary to explain such breakage than that
which is felt in that climate, the cause must be sought in the
stiffness and inelasticity of the frozen road bed. The impact of
the locomotive is then apt to break the rail, very much on the same
principle that is taken advantage of in breaking them up for the
manufacture of smaller objects. A nick is made somewhere, and the
workman then strikes a blow with a hammer at a point between the nick
and the place where the rail is supported. This will sever the rail at
the nicked place. Sometimes more than a second intervenes between the
blow and the fracture. Now, whenever holes are punched in rails for
the fish plates, flaws are apt to radiate from them; and if these
flaws are not planed or filed out, they may cause the rail to break,
just as the nicks above mentioned. Such rails have been known to last
no longer than 18 months, and some have actually broken on the way
from the manufacturer to their destination. There are establishments
in this country and in Europe where they "doctor" such rails by
filling up the flaws with a mixture of iron filings, sal ammoniac, and
some adhesive substance. Beware of them; a poor cheap rail is dear
at any price. The French government stipulates in its contracts for
rails, that flaws shall be planed, drilled, or filed out; that the
rails shall not be allowed to drop on the ground, but shall be carried
by men and slid down. The Lyons railroad does not pay for its rails
until 15,000 trains have passed over them.

By imperfect mechanical composition is meant imperfect union of the
parts of rails. Steel heads are welded to the rest of the rail in a
variety of ways, and this welding is necessarily imperfect. A number
of sections of rails etched with acid plainly showed this want of
homogeneity, as did likewise prints taken from the etched surfaces.
Before such rails have lost weight appreciably, they are used up by
the constant rolling they undergo. The advantage of a steel rail is
its homogeneity, but a good iron rail, such as those made under the
direction of the speaker, for the Reading Railroad Company, is likely
to prove better than one of poor steel. The life of a steel rail
is chiefly affected by the temperature at which it is rolled and
annealed. It ought not to wear off more than 1 mm. for 20,000,000
tons of traffic, and is usually calculated to wear 10 mm. before it is
taken up. In other words, it would last about 20 years on roads doing
as much business as the New York Central. It is, however, unlikely
that our steel rails will stand more than half this amount of traffic.

The effects of chemical composition are but little understood. Some
of the purest irons have turned out utterly worthless. Apparently the
absolute quantities of carbon, silicon, aluminum, phosphorus, etc.,
present are not of so much importance as their relative proportion.
One specimen containing carbon 0.16, silicon 0.08, and phosphorus
0.012, could be bent double when cold, while another, containing
carbon 0.58, silicon 0.56, and phosphorus 0.011 broke at once.

The physical tests for tensile and torsional strength, usually made on
a portion cut out of the head of the rail, are not sufficient, because
the flaws before spoken of exist mostly in the flange of the rail, and
fracture usually begins there.

The effect of cold rolling and shocks that a rail is exposed to was
shown by a piece of rail made by the Campbells, Sheffield, Eng., which
had been worn 3 mm. by a traffic of 60,000,000 tons at Spuyten Duyvel.
The head had been somewhat flattened, and the flange driven down into
the foot to a certain extent. Under such usage an iron rail would have
gone to pieces long ago.

Sometimes steel rails crumble all at once and pieces fall out of
the head. This is probably due to some physical defects or to
crystallization from shocks. The cause has not yet been definitely

Mr. Collingwood stated that of a rail only a section of 3/8 square
inch was pressed by the wheel of a locomotive, the effect being to
cause this portion to act like a wedge, and thus to contribute to the
disintegration of the rail. He also exhibited a hook which had been
used to hoist stones of 10 to 12 tons, and then suddenly broke with a
weight of only 6½ tons. It had been worn from a thickness of 2 inches
to 1-7/8. The pressure at the upper surface crowded the particles and
caused them to act as wedges. Their fracture was crystalline, while
that of the lower surface, which parted more slowly, was fibrous.

Professor Egleston asserted that there was no such thing as fibrous
iron; what appeared so being simply crystalline with the ends
drawn out. A sharp blow would cause this to fall off and show the
crystalline structure beneath.

The discussion was continued by Professors Trowbridge, Egleston, and

C. F. K.

       *       *       *       *       *

FORMATION OF IODIFORM.--All mixtures in which alcohol and iodine enter
in combination with any alkali forming colorless solutions go in part
to the formation of iodiform. Even chloroform and iodine, forming a
colorless solution, give rise to the same product.--_L. Myers Connor._

       *       *       *       *       *


The following is an abstract of a paper on the Present and Future of
Sanitary Science in the United States, read by Professor Albert R.
Leeds, of the Stevens Institute of Technology, before the New York
Academy of Sciences at their meeting, November 11th, 1878:

Sciences, such as the one under consideration, that have in them a
side largely practical, are sure of a welcome in our midst. The study
of the laws of public health grew into prominence in this country
during the war, when the Sanitary Commission undertook to supervise
the camps and hospitals. Sanitary associations were then formed
in many States and smaller communities, and these have led to the
establishment of State and city boards of health, clothed to a greater
or less degree with executive functions. Every epidemic has been the
cause of wider dissemination of sanitary knowledge by the daily press.
The yellow fever plague, by which more than twelve thousand people
have perished, has thoroughly aroused public interest. During its
continuance the papers were full of homilies on private and public
hygiene, the people everywhere sent aid and sympathy to the afflicted,
and a lady offered to defray the expenses of a scientific commission
of sanitary experts to inquire into the cause and prevention of the
scourge. The proper execution of sanitary laws depends on the free
and intelligent co-operation of individuals much more than on the
influence of a strong central authority. A general health department
at Washington could not legislate pure air, pure water, and pure
food into use throughout the nation. The people themselves, in each
community, must be educated to demand these requisites of health and
to secure them in their own way.

I. _Vital Statistics._--The first "Bill of Mortality" in New York city
extended from November 1st, 1801, to January 1st, 1803. In it people
are said to have died of "flux," "hives," "putrid fever," "breaking
out," "stoppage," "fits," of "rash," and, by way of contrast,
of "lingering illness." This rude beginning gradually led to the
organization of the Metropolitan Board of Health, whose first report
was made in 1866. Their second report showed a decrease of 3,152
deaths, mainly in districts where the greatest amount of sanitary work
had been done. Valuable illustrations of the relation between damp
houses and consumption were obtained by constructing maps of certain
wards, on which every death from phthisis for several years was noted
opposite each house. It was found that the disease was most fatal in
the lowest levels, in rainy seasons, and in crowded localities.

The registration of marriages continued so defective that a writer on
the subject declares it would be impossible for a large portion of
the adult native population of the United States to prove by any legal
document that they have a right to the name they bear, or that their
parents were ever married. The mortality returns of 1871 were probably
nearly perfect, and their very accuracy told against New York city,
whose death rate was 28.6 per thousand, while St. Louis reported 17,
Rochester 16, Buffalo 14, and Jersey City 7 per thousand. To secure
accuracy in the returns of marriages and births, etc., more stringent
legislation will be necessary.

In New Jersey the State Sanitary Association has conclusively
shown the utter worthlessness of the State vital statistics. They
memorialized the legislature, and caused the passage of a law which
gives to New Jersey one of the best systems of registration yet
devised. It owes its excellence to the following features, which
should be universally copied:

1. _Burial Permits_ are issued only after registry has been made by a
properly qualified person; and

2. The returns are made to an _expert_, who collates them and deduces
practical lessons from them.

II. _Registration of Disease_.--A large class of diseases may be
prevented from becoming epidemic if their existence is known in time.
For this purpose the boards of health should be invested with power
and provided with means to investigate, reform, and, if necessary,
to punish delinquency. Yet in the face of so practical a requirement
little more is annually appropriated for the Board of Health of New
Jersey than for the pay of two policemen.

III. _State Sanitary Legislation_.--The agitation for sanitary reform
caused by the yellow fever should not be allowed to die out with the
pressure of the calamity that aroused it. It should continue until
every State that has been the seat of yellow fever, year after year,
has as efficient a health code as Massachusetts and Michigan. The
necessity of educating the people before it is possible to secure
the requisite legislation will cause a considerable period of time
to elapse before all the States have laws in accordance with modern
knowledge. Probably no community takes the trouble to protect itself
until it has actually suffered. To the distress of London the world
owes the report of the Royal Commissions on water supply and the
pollution of rivers, still the best repertory of the best knowledge on
the subject. The manufactories of England have made it necessary for
the government to take cognizance of aerial impurities. Similarly in
this country the pollution of the Passaic has caused inquiries to be
set on foot in the same direction. [1]

[Footnote 1: See Report to Board of Public Works of Jersey City,
by Professors Wurtz and Leeds; also, Analyt. Beiträge aus dem
Laboratorium des Stevens Institute of Technology, by Professor Leeds,
in _Zeitschr. fur Anal. Chem. _1878.]

An attempt was made to deprive the inhabitants of New York of their
public parks, and to occupy them with buildings devoted to military
and other purposes; but the people had already been sufficiently
educated up to an appreciation of their sanitary value not to permit
it. Dr. Seguin eloquently advocated the improvement of the parks,
to make them not only pleasure grounds, but places of æsthetical and
practical out-door education of the public school children.

IV. _Ventilation_.--It would be a great step in the interests of
sanitary science if builders, vestrymen, and school or hospital
trustees could be persuaded that their offices did not make them
temporary authorities on ventilation, and that they had best intrust
this matter to specialists who have fought their way into successful

It appears that both the system of ventilation by aspiration and
that by propulsion have had great successes and great failures. Many
authorities have declared in favor of mechanical ventilation, yet in
most institutions where fans had been introduced they are now standing
still. In Roosevelt Hospital, New York, they ran their fan backwards
for months and then stopped it.

V. _Physical Education_.--Instruction in hygiene and physical
exercise as a part of the college curriculum was first successfully
accomplished at Amherst College, and has now had a trial of nearly
twenty years. The importance attached to it is shown by the fact that
only distinguished members of the medical profession are appointed
as professors, and that they have the same rank as the rest of the
faculty. Their first duty is to know the physical condition of every
student and to see that the laws of health are not violated. In case
of sickness, the students are given certificates to excuse them from
attendance and are put in the way of obtaining suitable treatment. The
records kept are of great interest. All the classes are required to
attend the gymnastic exercises four times a week. For a full account
see Professor Hitchcock's report on Hygiene at Amherst College to
the American Public Health Association. The excellent results of this
feature--it can no longer be regarded as an experiment--recommend its
introduction in all our colleges and public schools.

VI. _Health Resorts_.--The number of people who leave the cities in
the summer to visit the seashore, the mountains, and the country is
annually increasing. A healthful village is often changed to a center
of pestilence merely by such an influx of strangers, the ordinary
means of removing offal, etc., being no longer adequate. The town of
Bethlehem, N. H., became so popular by reason of its pure air that
several thousand hay fever patients sought relief there in 1877.
The consequence was insufficient drainage; but as the inhabitants
understood their interests, this defect was at once remedied.

The sea shore of New Jersey from Sandy Hook to Cape May is becoming
an almost continuous city, and harbors a multitude of visitors every
summer. Those whose interest it is to retain this patronage
cannot have it too strongly impressed upon them to preserve their
healthfulness by introducing cemented cisterns, by causing garbage to
be removed daily, and by encouraging local boards of health.

VII. _Illuminating Gas_ not only withdraws from the air of our rooms a
considerable amount of oxygen, but fills them with noxious products of
combustion. All this may be avoided in the future by the introduction
of the electric light.

VIII. _Sanitary Surveys_.--Dr. Bowditch has shown that a thousand
deaths from consumption in Massachusetts are due to a wet and
retentive soil, and this fact alone will show the importance of
sanitary surveys of the country, such as that made of Staten Island
by Professors Newberry and Trowbridge, who determined the influence
of the surface soil, of the underlying rock, its porosity, its bedding
and its joints, upon the drainage and upon the local climate and
health. A similar survey of Hudson county, New Jersey, has been
recently made by L. B. Heard, C.E.

IX. _Composition of the Atmosphere_.--The English government has
been obliged to appoint the celebrated Dr. Angus Smith to examine
the effects of atmospheric contamination. In Philadelphia there is
scarcely a house front that is not disfigured by the stain of magnesia
and lime salts, caused by acid vapors in the atmosphere.

A discussion followed, which was introduced by Mr. Collingwood, who
remarked that the problem of the sewage of cities was still far from
being solved. Though the recent experiments in England on utilizing
sewage for agricultural purposes by filtration and otherwise were
reported to be successful, we had only dodged the question in this
country. Our sewage is still emptied into rivers to poison the water
of cities further down their course. When the country becomes more
thickly settled, this will answer no longer.

It was also stated that while gas in large chandeliers could be made
an effective means of ventilation, there was another objection to its
use in the fact that the soil of the city was everywhere impregnated
with it from leaky mains, thus causing poisonous exhalations and an
insufferable odor whenever the ground was opened. Attention was also
called to the evil effects of the system of tenement houses, which led
to an unfavorable comparison of the health and morality of New York
with those of cities like Philadelphia and Cleveland, that abound in
small homes.

Dr. Minor attributed disease to what Richardson calls
"ultra-microscopic molecular aggregates," which always exist in
the air, but take hold of us only when our vitality is reduced to a
certain point. It has been shown that decay is absolutely impossible
in vessels from which they are excluded. But for them the earth would
now be heaped with the undecomposed remains of animals and vegetables.
According to this view, the future efforts of sanitary science must be
simply in the direction of learning how to protect ourselves against
the "ultra-microscopic molecular aggregates."

C. F. K.

       *       *       *       *       *


Some years ago a Doctor Robinson of this city obtained a patent
through the agency of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN for Felling Trees by
Electricity. Subsequently a description of the invention was published
in this paper, soon after which the newspapers in this country
and Europe teemed with the account of a gentleman in India having
contrived an apparatus for felling trees in the same manner. Since
these several years have elapsed we have heard nothing of the
gentleman from India till a few days ago our papers have taken up the
subject anew, and annexed is the account they give of the inventor's
progress in developing his discovery.

The electric fluid in the form of lightning oftentimes proves itself
a very efficient wood cutter, and it has occurred to some ingenious
gentleman in India that artificial electricity may be so applied and
controlled as to cut down trees a good deal faster than the clumsy
ax or that American notion the chain saw. The two ends of the copper
wires of a galvanic battery are connected with platinum wire, which of
course instantly becomes red hot, and while in that state it is gently
seesawed across the trunk of the trees to be felled. When arrangements
were made for the experiment, it turned out that the thickness of
the thickest platinum wire that could be got was only that of crochet
cotton. It was at once seen that such a wire would be consumed before
the tree was half severed from its trunk. However, the attempt was
made. The burning wire performed its task very well as long as it
lasted, but, as anticipated, the wire continually broke, and at
length there was no wire left. There can be little doubt that, with
a stronger battery and a thicker wire, the experiment would have been
entirely successful. As it was, the tree was sawn one fifth through.

       *       *       *       *       *


The novel vise shown in the engraving was recently patented by Mr.
William Starkey, of Pittsburg, Pa.

[Illustration: STARKEY'S VISE.]

The fixed jaw is supported by two standards from the base piece, and
has a square boxing or tube for receiving the slide of the movable
jaw. This slide is hollow, and contains a rack which is engaged by a
pinion on the short vertical shaft, which is supported by the fixed
jaw. At the lower end of the vertical shaft there is a worm wheel,
that is engaged by a worm on the horizontal shaft on which is placed
the hand wheel. By turning the hand wheel the vertical shaft is
rotated and the movable jaw is drawn against the object to be clamped
by the vise.

       *       *       *       *       *


A writer in the London _Iron Trade Exchange_, calling attention to a
neglected source of culinary flavors, says:

"With the exception of sweet and bitter herbs, grown chiefly for the
purpose, and parsley, which is neither bitter nor sweet, but the most
popular of all flavoring plants, comparatively few other leaves are
used. Perhaps I ought also to except the sweet bay, which is popular
in rice and other puddings, and certainly imparts one of the most
pleasant and exquisite flavors; but, on the other hand, what a waste
there is of the flavoring properties of peach, almond, and laurel
leaves, so richly charged with the essence of bitter almonds, so
much used in most kitchens! Of course such leaves must be used with
caution, but so must the spirit as well. An infusion of these could
readily be made, either green or dry, and a tea or table spoonful of
the flavoring liquid used. One of the most useful and harmless of all
leaves for flavoring is that of the common syringa. When cucumbers are
scarce, these are a perfect substitute in salads or anything in which
that flavor is desired. The taste is not only like that of cucumbers,
but identical--a curious instance of the correlation of flavors in
widely different families. Again, the young leaves of cucumbers have a
striking likeness in the way of flavor to that of the fruit. The
same may be affirmed of carrot tops, while in most gardens there is
a prodigious waste of celery flavor in the sacrifice of the external
leaves and their partially blanched footstalks. Scores of celery are
cut up into soup, when the outsides would flavor it equally well or
better. The young leaves of gooseberries added to bottled fruit give
a fresher flavor and a greener color to pies and tarts. The leaves of
the flowering currant give a sort of intermediate flavor between black
currants and red. Orange, citron, and lemon leaves impart a flavoring
equal to that of the fruit and rind combined, and somewhat different
from both. A few leaves added to pies, or boiled in the milk used to
bake with rice, or formed into crusts or paste impart an admirable and
almost inimitable bouquet. In short, leaves are not half so much used
for seasoning purposes as they might be."

       *       *       *       *       *


We give herewith an engraving of a new shutter fastener, recently
patented by Mr. P. F. Fernandez, of San Juan, Porto Rico, West Indies.
This fastener is designed for holding doors or window shutters in
position when open, to prevent them from closing or swinging in the


To the wall is secured a plate to which is pivoted the spring-acted
hook, A, and upon the shutter in the proper position for engaging the
hook, A, there is a rigid hook, B. A coil spring is attached to the
plate that supports the hook, A, and when the shutter is open is
engaged by a boss formed on the end of the hook, B. By this means the
hook, B, is pressed forward into close contact with hook, A, thereby
preventing all jarring and rattling.

The hook, A, is provided with an eye for receiving the cord, C, which
extends to the window casing and is within easy reach, so that when
it is desired to close the shutter the hook, A, may be readily
disengaged from the hook, B, by simply pulling the cord.

Further information may be obtained by addressing the inventor as

       *       *       *       *       *


A novel garden sprinkler, which may be carried on the back, is shown
in the accompanying engraving. The cylindrical vessel has a removable
cover, and contains a perforated plunger which is operated by a hand
lever from without. The cylindrical vessel is provided with shoulder
straps, and it has two sprinkling nozzles connected with it by
flexible tubes.


This sprinkler is especially designed for applying insect-destroying
poison to plants. The operator, as he goes through the field or
garden, takes one nozzle in each hand and distributes the liquid upon
the plants. From time to time the liquid will be agitated by moving
the perforated plunger.

This invention was recently patented by Adolf Hodel, of Jefferson, and
F. A. Stauber, of Chicago, Ill.

       *       *       *       *       *


In our issue of November 9 we illustrated and described a sewing
machine having W. F. Lane's improved foot power applied. We give
herewith views of the foot power in detail, Fig. 1 being a side
elevation, and Figs. 2 and 3 sectional views. The device is designed
for application to any light machinery that can be propelled by
foot power. A is the shaft to which motion is to be imparted by the
treadles, B, the latter being pivoted to oscillate on the shaft,
H. Two ratchet wheels, C, are secured to the shaft, A, and are each
worked by pawls, D, which are pivoted to a carrier, E, which turns
loosely on the shaft. The pawls are in the form of an elbow lever, and
the movement of their tooth ends is limited by lugs or shoulders on
the carrier, E. The outer ends of the pawls are received between lugs
that project from the plate, F, which turns loosely on the shaft,
A, and has attached to it the rope pulley, G. When the plate, F, is
turned in one direction the pawls are raised and ride loosely over
the teeth, but when the plate turns in the other direction the pawls
engage the ratchet teeth and carry them and also the shaft, A. A
guide pulley, I, is pivoted below the shaft, A, with its axis at right
angles to the shaft.

The motion from the alternately-oscillated treadles, B, is transmitted
to the pulleys, G, by means of a rope (shown in dotted lines), both
ends of which are fastened by hooks to some fixed point. This rope
runs from one of the hooks down under a pulley pivoted in the toe
of one of the treadles, thence around one of the pulleys, G, thence
around the pulley, I, over the other pulley, G, and downward around
the pulley in the other treadle, and upward to the second fixed hook.
The depression of one of the treadles causes the shaft to rotate, and
also lifts the other treadle into position to be operated.

[Illustration: LANE'S FOOT POWER.]

For further information address Wm. F. Lane, Elgin, Ill.

       *       *       *       *       *


Mr. Samuel Heaton, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has patented an improved
Iron Fence Post, which is particularly adapted for wire fences. It
is formed of a slotted iron bar, constituting the post proper, and a
triangular brace, which is so connected with said bar that it may be
easily adjusted at different angles, corresponding to the undulation
or unevenness of the ground surface where the post is used.

Mr. Thomas S. Alexander, of Meriden, Conn., has patented an improved
Drawer Pull, which is neat, strong, and durable, and is less expensive
than when made in the usual way.

An improved Earth Scraper has been patented by Mr. Benjamin Slusser,
of Sidney, Ohio. This is an improvement in that class of earth
scrapers which are arranged to revolve for the purpose of dumping the
load, and during the intervals, or while being filled, are locked in
rigid position.

An improvement in Wagon Bodies has been patented by Mr. James H.
Paschal, of Camden, Ark. This invention consists, essentially, in a
frame provided with spurs projecting therefrom for engagement with the
bales to prevent them from slipping, and the combination therewith of
removable extension side and end pieces, for enabling the wagon to be
used for other purposes when not employed for hauling cotton bales;
there is an extension of the frame forming a feed trough for the
horses employed to draw the vehicle.

An improved Scraper has been patented by Mr. George Eiteman, of Round
Grove, Ill. This is a double-ended scraper hung at its center on a rod
connected to the handle arms, whereby either end of the scraper may be
used. It has catches to prevent the scraper from revolving backward,
and spring actuated dogs on the handle frame to retain the scraper in
position and prevent it from turning over until released.

       *       *       *       *       *


For amusement, exercise, and profit we commend, to those who are
mechanically inclined, the practice of working with tools of the
smaller sort, either in wood or other of the softer materials, or in
metals, glass, or stone. This practice renders the hands dexterous,
the muscles strong, and the head clear, with the further advantage of
producing something for either ornament or use. Of course a bench with
a vise and a few wood working and iron working tools will be required;
but the most expensive as well as the most essential tool is a lathe.
With this tool, not only turning in wood, metal, ivory, rubber, etc.,
can be accomplished, but it may also be used for screw-thread cutting,
gear cutting, drilling metals, boring wood, spinning metals, milling,
sawing metal and wood, grinding, polishing, moulding, shaping, and
other purposes. A first class plain lathe of small size cannot be
purchased for less than $50 or $60, and one of inferior quality will
cost $20 to $30.

While the purchase of a lathe is recommended there may be many who
would prefer to make one. A lathe that will do admirably and which
may be easily made is shown in the accompanying engravings, Fig.
1 representing in perspective the lathe complete; Fig. 2 is a
perspective view of the lathe without the table; Fig. 3 is a vertical
longitudinal section of the lathe, showing the manner of securing the
head and tail stocks to the bars which form the bed or shears.

In making this lathe one pattern only will be required for the two
standards of the head stock, and the support of the ends of the bars.
The lower part of the tail stock is made in two parts, so that they
may be clamped tightly together on the shears by means of the bolt
that passes through both parts, and is provided with a nut having
a lever handle. The rest support is also made in two parts, clamped
together on the ways in a similar way.

The patterns may be easily sawed from 1¼ inch pine. The holes that
receive the round bars should be chambered to receive Babbitt metal,
used in making the fit around the bars forming the shears, around the
head and tail spindles, and around the shank of the tool rest. The
smallest diameter of the holes that receive the round bars should be a
little less than that of the bars, so that the several pieces that
are placed on the bars may be fitted to hold them in place while the
Babbitt metal is poured in.

The dimensions of the lathe are as follows:

Length of round bars forming shears, 24 inches; diameter of bars, 1
inch; distance from the upper side of upper bar to center of spindle,
3 inches; between bars, ¾ inch; between standards that support the
live spindle, 3½ inches; size of standard above shears, ¾ x 1¼
inch; diameter of head and tail spindles, ¾ inch; diameter of
pulleys, 5 inches, 3½ inches, and 2 inches; width of base of
standards, 5 inches; height of standards, 7 inches.

The live spindle should be enlarged at the face plate end, and tapered
at both ends, as indicated in the engraving.

The pulleys, which are of hard wood, are made of three pieces glued
together, bored, and driven on the spindle, secured by a pin passing
through both it and the spindle, and turned off. The bars forming the
shears may be either cold rolled iron or round machinery steel; they
will require no labor except perhaps squaring up at the ends. The
castings having been fitted to the bars, and provided with set screws
for clamping them, the two standards that support the live spindle and
the support for the opposite end of the bars are put in position, when
the bars are made truly parallel, and a little clay or putty is placed
around each bar and over the annular cavity that surrounds it, and is
formed into a spout or lip at the upper side to facilitate the pouring
of Babbitt metal. The metal must be quite hot when poured, so that
it will run sharp and fill the cavity. To guard against a possible
difficulty in removing the castings from the bars it might be well to
cover the side of the bar next the screw with a thin piece of paper.
The pieces of the tail stock and tool rest support are fitted to the
bars by means of Babbitt metal, the metal being poured first in one
half and then in the other. The bolts which clamp the two parts of the
rest support and tail stock together are provided with lever handles.
After fitting the parts to the two bars by means of Babbitt metal, the
tail spindle, which is threaded for half its length, is placed in the
tail stock parallel with the bars and Babbitted. A binding screw is
provided for clamping the tail spindle, and the spindle is drilled at
one end to receive the center, and has at the other end a crank for
operating it. A steel or bronze button is placed in the hole in the
standard that supports the smaller end of the live spindle, and the
spindle is supported in its working position and Babbitted.

The thread on the spindle should be rather coarse, so that wooden or
type metal face plates and chucks may be used.

The table shown in Fig. 1 is simple and inexpensive. It consists of
two pairs of crossed legs halved together and secured to a plank top.
A small rod passes through the rear legs near their lower ends, and
also through a piece of gas pipe placed between the legs. A diagonal
brace is secured to the top near one end, and is fastened to the lower
end of the rear leg at the other end of the table.

A block is secured to each pair of legs for supporting a pair of
ordinary grindstone rollers, which form a bearing for the balance
wheel shaft. This shaft has formed in it two cranks, and it carries
an ordinary balance wheel, to the side of which is secured by means
of hook bolts a grooved wooden rim for receiving the driving belt. The
cranks are connected, by means of hooks of ordinary round iron, with a
treadle that is pivoted on the gas pipe at the rear of the table. The
shaft will work tolerably well, even if it is not turned. The cranks
must have half round grooves filed in them to receive the treadle
hooks. The size of the different diameters of the drive wheel may be
found by turning the larger one first and the smaller ones afterward,
using the belt to determine when the proper size is reached. The
wooden rim may be turned off in position by using a pointed tool.

[Illustration: Fig. 1]

[Illustration: Fig. 2]

[Illustration: Fig. 3]


The lathe above described, although very easily made and inexpensive,
will be found to serve an excellent purpose for hand work, and if the
holes, instead of being Babbitted, are bored, and if the bars forming
the shears are turned, the lathe may be converted into a kind of
engine lathe by placing a feeding screw between the bars, and putting
a small tool post in the rest support.


       *       *       *       *       *


In times like the present, when even with good management our best
machine shops are enabled to exhibit but small margins of profit, and
shops with indifferent management exhibit margins on the wrong side,
it is a question of paramount importance what kind of economy should
be pursued in order to maintain a successful business. The directors
of long established machinery enterprises differ widely upon some
methods of conducting business, and while one gains success by
pursuing a certain plan, another, with perhaps as much ability, cannot
pursue the same with satisfactory results.

While in the main there are many different plans upon which successful
machinery establishments are conducted, there are some underlying
principles that must be observed to avoid meeting with difficulties.
The rate of wages paid is certainly a large element of shop economy,
but there are so many other elements that should be considered before
wages are reached, that we often find proprietors, who pay their
workmen at a comparatively high rate, doing a more prosperous business
than their competitors who have reduced wages to the lowest possible
scale. Many machine shop owners, not having mastered the various
economies of management, as soon as profits begin to shorten, pounce
directly upon the wages paid to their workmen, and pare them down so
as to make up for the deficiency elsewhere. They don't seem to realize
that there are important elements of economical management other than
closely watching the wages of labor and the cost of material. It is
sometimes necessary to reduce the rate of wages, but what a different
effect it has upon the men in different shops! In one shop you
scarcely hear a murmur--no angry meetings--no threats of a strike--no
growling at the head of the establishment. The intelligent workmen
understand the reasons for the reduction without a wordy explanation,
and accept it, feeling confident that it has not been unjustly made.
In another shop it causes ill feeling, angry protests, and perhaps
a disastrous strike. The owner often charges his trouble to the
character of his workmen. Let him review his course, and see if the
great cause is not in his own management. Mechanics are keen and
observing. If the business is poorly managed they are not slow to
mark it, and when a cut is made in wages can generally cipher out the
cause. It is good economy to keep a systematic record of the cost
of everything. This record will be found very valuable in making
estimates, much more so than guess work. It is not good economy
to keep using worn-out tools when any work of consequence is to be
performed. The extra cost of labor and spoiled pieces would soon pay
for new tools. It is not good economy to keep discharging capable
workmen for petty causes, and employing new hands to take their
places. It is poor economy to use slow-cutting grindstones to
accomplish work that fast cutting emery wheels are suited for. It is
questionable economy to employ lathes, planers, and drills to perform
work of any extent that a milling machine will do better in less time
and at much less expense.

It is decidedly bad economy to employ engines and boilers that waste
fuel and are troublesome to keep in good running condition. It is
mistaken economy to buy inferior tools, machines, and shop supplies,
because they are low priced.

It is very defective economy to fit the parts of machines together by
trial instead of making them by aid of correct drawings and standard
tools for accurate measurement. It is faulty economy to practice
borrowing and lending working tools.

The idea that economy consists in withholding every expense not
absolutely demanded is erroneous. An extra outlay in one or another
direction often assures the saving as well as the making of money.
Wise economy looks to the future as well as the present, and requires
that all work sent out from a shop should be of the best and most
reliable character.--_American Machinist._

       *       *       *       *       *


_Capital and Labor_ publishes the substance of a letter from Mr. Henry
Bessemer with reference to the refusal of the English Government, or
of its ambassador in Paris, to allow the Grand Cross of the Legion of
Honor to be accepted by its countrymen, and in his letter Mr. Bessemer
furnishes some autobiographic particulars which cannot fail to be of
interest. He tells us that at the age of eighteen he came to London
from a small country village, knowing no one, and himself unknown; but
his studious habits and his love of invention soon gained for him
a footing, and in two years he was pursuing a method of his own
invention for taking copies from antique and modern bassi-rilievi in
a manner that enabled him to stamp them on a cardboard, thus producing
thousands of embossed copies of the highest works of art, at a small
cost. The facility for making a permanent die, even from a thin paper
original, capable of producing a thousand copies, would have opened
a wide door to successful fraud if the process had been known to
unscrupulous persons; for by its means, Mr. Bessemer states, there is
not a government stamp, or the paper seal of a corporate body, that
every common office clerk could not forge in a few minutes at the
office of his employer or at his own home. The production of a
die from a common paper stamp is the work of only ten minutes; the
materials cost less than one penny. No sort of technical skill is
necessary, and a common copying press or letter stamp yields most
successful copies. There is no need for the would-be forger to
associate himself with a skillful die sinker, capable of making a good
imitation in steel of the original, for the merest tyro could make
an absolute copy on the first attempt. The public knowledge of such a
means of forging would, at that time, have shattered the whole system
of the British Stamp Office, had a knowledge of the method been
allowed to escape. The secret has, however, been carefully guarded to
this day.

During the time that Mr. Bessemer was engaged in studying this
question he was informed that the government were themselves cognizant
of the fact that they were losers to a great amount annually by
the transfer of stamps from old and useless deeds to new skins of
parchment, thus making the stamps do duty a second or third time, to
the serious loss of the revenue. One official in high position said
that he believed they were defrauded in this way to the extent of
probably £100,000 per annum. To fully appreciate the importance of
this fact, and realize the facility afforded for this species of fraud
by the system then in use, it must be understood that the ordinary
impressed or embossed stamp, such as is employed on all bills of
exchange, if impressed directly on a skin of parchment, would be
entirely obliterated by exposing the deed for a few months to a damp
atmosphere. The deed would thus appear as if unstamped, and therefore
invalid. To prevent this it has been the practice as far back as
the reign of Queen Anne to gum a small piece of blue paper on to the
parchment; and for still greater security a strip of metal foil is
passed through it, and another small piece of paper with the printed
initials of the Sovereign is gummed over the loose ends of the foil at
the back. The stamp is then impressed on the blue paper, which, unlike
parchment, is incapable of losing the impression by exposure to a damp
atmosphere. But, practically, it has been found that a little piece of
moistened blotting paper applied for a whole night so softens the gum
that the two pieces of paper and the slip of foil can be removed from
the old deed most easily, and be applied to a new skin of parchment,
and thus be made to do duty a second or third time. Thus the expensive
stamps on thousands of old deeds of partnership, leases, and other old
documents, when no longer of value, offer a rich harvest to those who
are dishonest enough to use them. A knowledge of these facts led Mr.
Bessemer to fully appreciate the importance of any system of stamps
that would effectually prevent so great a loss; nor did he for one
moment doubt but that government would amply reward success. After
some months of study and experiment, which he cheerfully undertook
(although it interfered considerably with the pursuit of regular
business, inasmuch as it was necessary to carry on the experiments
with the strictest secrecy, and to do all the work himself during the
night after his people had left work), he succeeded in making a stamp
that satisfied all the necessary conditions. It was impossible to
remove it from one deed and transfer it to another. No amount of
damp, or even saturation with water, could obliterate it, and it
was impossible to take any impression from it capable of producing a

Mr. Bessemer says that he knew nothing of patents or patent law in
those days; and adds that if he had for a moment thought it necessary
to make any preliminary conditions with government he would have at
once scouted the idea as utterly unworthy, thinking his interests
absolutely secure. In this full confidence he sought an interview with
the then chief of the Stamp Office, Sir Charles Presley, and showed
him by numerous proofs how easily all his stamps could be forged, and
also the mode of prevention. He was greatly astonished, and at a later
interview he suggested that the principle of the invention should be
worked out fully. This Mr. Bessemer was only too anxious to do; and
some five or six weeks later called again with a newly designed stamp,
which greatly pleased him. The design was circular, about 2½ inches
in diameter, and consisted of the Garter with the motto in capital
letters surmounted by a crown. Within the Garter was a shield with the
words "five pounds." The space between the shield and the Garter was
filled with network in imitation of lace. The die had been executed in
steel, which pierced the parchment with more than 400 holes, each one
of the necessary form to produce its special portion of the design.
Since that period perforated paper of this kind has been largely
employed for valentines and other ornamental purposes, but was
previously unknown. It was at once obvious that the transfer of such
a stamp was impossible. It was equally clear that dampness could not
obliterate it; nor was it possible to take any impression from it
capable of perforating another skin of parchment.

This design gave great satisfaction, and everything went on smoothly;
Sir Charles consulted Lord Althorp, and the Stamp Office authorities
determined to adopt it. Mr. Bessemer was then asked if, instead of
receiving a sum of money from the Treasury, he would be satisfied with
the position of Superintendent of Stamps, at some £600 or £800 per
annum. This was all that he then desired, rejoicing over the prospect,
for he was at that time engaged to be married, and his future position
in life seemed assured. An incident now occurred that reads almost
like romance. A few days after affairs had assumed this satisfactory
position, he called on the young lady to whom he was then engaged
(now Mrs. Bessemer), and showed her the pretty piece of network which
constituted the new parchment stamp, explaining how it could never
be removed from the parchment and used again, and mentioning the fact
that old deeds with stamps on them dated as far back as the reign
of Queen Anne could be fraudulently used. She at once said, "Yes, I
understand this; but surely, if all stamps had a date put upon them,
they could not at a future time be used again without detection?" This
was indeed a new light, and greatly startled the inventor, who at once
said that steel dies used for this purpose could have but one date
engraved upon them. But after a little consideration he saw that
movable dates were by no means impossible, and that this could easily
be effected by drilling three holes of about a quarter of an inch in
diameter in the steel die, and fitting into each of these openings a
steel plug or type with sunk figures engraved on their ends, giving on
one the date of the month, on the next the month of the year, and on
the third circular steel type the last two figures of the year. This
plan would be most simple and efficient, would take less time and
money to inaugurate than the more elaborate plan that had been
devised; but while pleased and proud at the clever and simple
suggestion of the young lady, her future husband saw also that all his
more elaborate system of piercing dies, the result of months of study,
and the toil of many a weary and lonely night, was shattered to pieces
by it. He feared to disturb the decision that Sir Charles Presley
had come to, as to the adoption of the perforated stamp, but, with
a strong conviction of the advantages of the new plan, felt in honor
bound not to suppress it, whatever might be the result. Thus it was
that he soon found himself again closeted with Sir Charles at Somerset
House, discussing the new scheme, which he much preferred, because,
as he said, all the old dies, old presses, and old workmen could
be employed, and there would be but little change in the office--so
little, in fact, that no new superintendent of stamps was required,
which the then unknown art of making and using piercing dies would
have rendered absolutely necessary. After due consideration the first
plan was definitely abandoned by the office in favor of the dated
stamps, with which every one is now familiar. In six or eight weeks
from this time an Act of Parliament was passed calling in the private
stock of stamps dispersed throughout the country, and authorizing the
issue of the new dated ones.

Thus was inaugurated a system that has been in operation some
forty-five years, successfully preventing that source of fraud from
which the revenue had so severely suffered. If anything like Sir
Charles Presley's estimate of £100,000 per annum was correct, this
saving must now amount to some millions sterling; but whatever the
varying amount might have been, it is certain that so important and
long established a system as that in use at the Stamp Office would
never have been voluntarily broken up by its own officials, except
under the strongest conviction that the losses were very great, and
that the new order of things would prove an effectual barrier to
future fraud. During all the bustle of this great change no steps had
been taken to install the inventor in the office. Lord Althorp had
resigned, and no one seemed to have authority to do anything. All
sorts of half promises and excuses followed each other, with long
delays between, and Mr. Bessemer gradually saw the whole thing sliding
out of his grasp. Instead of holding fast to the first plan, which
they could not have executed without his aid and special knowledge,
he had, in all the trustfulness of youthful inexperience, shown them
another plan, so simple that they could put it in operation without
any assistance. He had no patent to fall back upon, and could not go
to law, even if he wished to do so, for he was reminded, when
pressing for mere money out of pocket, that he had done all the work
voluntarily. Wearied and disgusted, he at last ceased to waste time
in calling at the Stamp Office, and he felt that nothing but increased
exertions could make up for the loss of some nine months of toil and
expenditure. Thus, sad and dispirited, and with a burning sense of
injustice overpowering all other feelings, he went from the Stamp
Office, too proud to ask as a favor that which was indubitably his
just right, and he adds, "Up to this hour I have never received one
shilling or any kind of acknowledgment whatever from the British
Government." It is notorious, adds the editor, that some of the most
renowned and invaluable inventions of recent years, especially those
connected with the navy, have narrowly escaped rejection by permanent
but ignorant officials; and that the authors of the inventions have
had to submit to delay, loss, annoyance, and contumely before their
processes could be tried, even after their success had been officially
demonstrated. Perhaps it is not now so much a question of money,
for it is to be hoped that Mr. Bessemer is reaping the due reward
of ingenuity and skill in other fields of invention. But even his
discoveries in steel making, if they have very properly enriched
himself, have, in an infinitely larger degree, added to the wealth of
the country, and have given employment to many thousands. Such a man
is a public benefactor, and eminently deserves recognition by
the state, especially by way of atonement for former neglect and
injustice. Military men receive titular honors and a pecuniary reward
for slaying a crowd of savages and burning their huts, while the
men who have helped to make England what she is, commercially and
industrially, are in most cases left to their fate, which may chance
to be pecuniary ruin.

       *       *       *       *       *



The total production of crude petroleum for the first three quarters
of 1878 was 11,126,037 barrels, against 8,436,867 barrels for the same
time in 1877; increase in 1878, 1,689,170 barrels.

The total number of drilling wells completed for the first three
quarters of 1878 were 2,333, against 2,699 for the same time in 1877;
decrease in 1878, 366.

The daily average production of the new wells completed for the first
three quarters of 1878 was 13 2-10 barrels, against 14 2-10 for the
same time in 1877; decrease in 1878, 1 barrel.

The total number of dry holes developed in the first three quarters
of 1878 were 280, against 476 for the same time in 1877; decrease in
1878, 196.

The total amount of crude petroleum held in the producing regions of
Pennsvlvania, at the close of the third quarter of 1878, was 4,599,362
barrels, against 2,503,657 at the same time in 1877; increase in 1878,
2,095,705 barrels.

The amount of crude petroleum represented by outstanding certificates
on the last day of September was 1,705,853 barrels, against 1,317,484
barrels on the last day of October, a reduction during October of
158,127 barrels.

Mr. J. M. Guffey has purchased of Marcus Hulings an undivided half
interest in the celebrated Kinzua Creek property (Bradford district).
The purchased portion contains 6,400 acres, on which there is a well
that was struck in June last, and since that time has been doing from
16 to 18 barrels, and has never been torpedoed. Mr. Guffey looks upon
this as one of the best prospective oil territories in the country.

D. W. C. Carroll & Co., of Pittsburg, have kept from 45 to 75 men
employed, since June, in the oil regions, building iron tanks, nearly
all of which are located in the Bradford district.


The Wheeling _Intelligencer_ says: As noticed in our Moundsville
letter this morning, extensive preparations have been made to bore for
oil on the opposite side of the river at the Union Coal Works shaft.
The machinery was brought down from Pittsburg on Tuesday, and is now
being put in position by contractors, who have engaged to go down
1,200 feet. It will be recollected that for a long time past oil has
been found in the coal shaft, and the company who are putting down the
well feel confident that plenty of it exists deeper down. Some parties
look forward to the development of the fact that Moundsville is
situated in an important oil break, and that oil in abundance will
be found on both sides of the river. The progress of the well will be
looked forward to with much interest by the people of that vicinity.


The Maverick Oil Works at East Boston have recently made some very
extensive additions and improvements, lengthening their wharf and
making a variety of alterations in their buildings. They will shortly
complete a new cooper shop, wherein, it is probable, they will
construct all the tin cans required by the demands of their business.


The oil excitement has broken out afresh in West Mecca, Warren county,
Ohio. Oil men, heavily backed with capital, have recently come in from
Pennsylvania, and are making things lively in that locality. Eight new
wells have been put in operation during the past week. This district
is the same where the principal excitement prevailed 18 years ago.


The Tokio _Times_ states that the principal feature of American trade
with Japan is the petroleum exports from New York. The enterprise was
inaugurated only eight years ago; but the business has so increased
that while only 200 cases of kerosene, valued at $600, were exported
in 1870, in 1877 366,639 cases were sent to Yokohama, and 128,158
cases to Hiogo, whither none had before been carried direct. The value
of these consignments was over $1,000,000.

Several refineries are in operation in Japan, making kerosene from
native petroleum.


The recent reports concerning the discovery of oil near the shores of
the Caspian Sea seem to be fully confirmed. From one of the wells a
stream, free from gas and froth, is forced to a height of 75 feet,
yielding at the rate of 10,000 barrels a day. It is reported that
companies are forming at Odessa, Kovo-Tcherkask, Astrakhan, and other
cities, for the purpose of obtaining oil. Two large manufacturing
concerns, who have their headquarters in New York city, recently
received orders for considerable quantities of oil-line pipes,
steam pumps, engines, boilers, and other apparatus, to be shipped
immediately for St. Petersburg, Russia.


The oil wells of Italy comprise about 5, with a capacity of about 30
barrels per day, of a thick substance of 14 gravity. They are pumped
by hand, which, though primitive, is cheaper than steam, for both men
and women are employed, the former receiving as compensation for a
day's work 1 lira, equal to 20 cents; and the women 60 centessimi,
equal to 12 cents of our money. The wells are located in a deep
valley, and the oil carried up on the backs of donkeys to a refinery,
where it is treated, and yields from 2 to 5 per cent. of burning oil.


It is proposed to build a pipe line from the refinery on the estates
of Henry Meiggs to the shipping port, a distance of about 7 miles. It
is stated that oil can be produced at this point for less than 1 cent
a gallon, and as the fields have produced from time immemorial, there
is no prospect of their early exhaustion.


The oil refinery at St. Thomas, Ont., is running day and night; 494
barrels of crude petroleum were brought from Petrolia for it in one
week recently.--_Stowell's Petroleum Reporter_.

       *       *       *       *       *


The new track laid in this country during the year ending September
10, 1878, was 1,160 miles. During the six preceding years the number
of miles of track laid was: In 1872, 4,498; 1873, 2,455; 1874, 1,066;
1875, 702; 1876, 1,467; 1877, 1,176.

The statement made in the recent Narrow Gauge Convention, that
standard gauge freight cars weigh ten tons and carry ten tons, is
indignantly disputed by users of the latter. One gentleman, having
much to do with freight cars, says that the modern freight cars weigh
from 17,000 to 18,000 lbs., commonly carry (and that on long hauls)
28,000 lbs., are guaranteed to carry 30,000 lbs., while he has seen
them show on the scales 30,000 and 32,000 lbs. of load, and in one
case 35,000 lbs. The general tendency for some years has been to
increase loads without increasing, but in many cases decreasing,
weights of cars; and it seems quite likely that 30,000 lbs. will soon
be the standard load. The tank cars used for carrying petroleum have
an average capacity--and they are almost always run full--of 30,000
lbs. The Standard Oil Company, which has some 3,000 of such cars,
carried on four-wheeled trucks with the Master Car Builders' standard
axle, has run them with such loads for years, and only recently had
its first case of a broken axle, manifestly due to a defect in the

INTERESTING observations have been made recently on the Cologne-Minden
Road, Prussia, on the rusting of iron rails. A pile of rails of odd
lengths were laid on sleepers over a bed of gravel early in 1870, and
remained undisturbed until the fall of 1877, there being no use for
them. It was then found that they were covered with a layer of rust
0.12 inch thick, which had to be removed by striking the rail with a
hammer. The cleaned rail weighed only 398.2 lbs., while its original
weight was 419.1 lbs., showing that 5 per cent. of the rail had been
destroyed by rust, which covered the rail quite uniformly. This
confirms the observation often made, that rails stacked away are much
more liable to rust than those laid down in a track.

According to _Le Fer_, at a meeting of directors of the German
railroads held at Constance, the following information was furnished
in regard to the relative value of the different methods of injecting

1. Railroad from Hanover and Cologne to Minden. Pine ties injected
with chloride of zinc; after 21 years the proportion of ties renewed
was 21 per cent. Beech ties injected with creasote; after 22 years,
46 per cent. Oak ties injected with chloride of zinc; after 17 years,
20.7 per cent. Oak ties not injected; after 17 years, 49 per cent. The
conditions were very favorable for experiment; the road bed was good,
and permitted of easy desiccation. The unrenewed ties showed, on
cutting, that they were in a condition of perfect health.

2. Railroad "Kaiser-Ferdinands-Nord." Oak ties not injected; after
12 years the proportion renewed was 74.48 per cent. Oak ties injected
with chloride of zinc; after 7 years, 3.29 per cent. Oak ties injected
with creasote; after 6 years, 0.09 per cent. Pine ties injected with
chloride of zinc; after 17 years, 4.46 per cent.

The annual official reports of the railroads of India place the length
of railways there at 7,551½ miles, of which 492½ miles were
completed during the year 1877, and 223 miles since the close of the
year. There are 806½ miles of double track; 5,912¾ miles are
constructed on the 5 foot 6 inch gauge, and 1,638¾ on narrower
gauges. The capital outlay on the State lines amounted to £3,122,051,
and on the guaranteed lines to £1,374,882, bringing the total capital
expenditure, up to the end of October, as regards the State, and to the
end of March last, as regards the guaranteed lines, to £113,144,541.
The expenditure up to the end of the year may be taken in round numbers
at £13,344,500. The revenue from all the open lines was £6,232,888, of
which £6,091,532 were earned by the guaranteed lines, with a capital of
£95,482,941, and £141,356 were earned by the State lines, on a capital
expenditure of £17,661,600. The net receipts from the guaranteed lines
exceeded the amount advanced for guaranteed interest by £1,454,591; the
year previous there was a deficit of £216,517.

A French engineer named Duponchel has made a report on the project of
a railroad across the Desert of Sahara. The projected railway would
run from Algiers to Timbuctoo, a distance of 2,500 kilometers. M.
Duponchel stated that the principal portion of the line would rest
during nearly its whole extent on layers of sand, and toward the end
on primitive volcanic rocks, granite, gneiss, etc. No mountainous
obstructions would have to be encountered. The average heat does not
appear to exceed 23° or 24° C. (73 2-5° or 75 1-5° Fah.), but account
must be taken of the great variations which occur in the 24 hours. For
instance, occasionally, a very cold night succeeds a temperature
of 40° C. (104° Fah.) in the day time. The great difficulty to be
overcome would be the want of water, which is not to be procured in
that region. M. Duponchel calculates that for three trains daily the
amount of water required would be 4,000 cubic meters, and that the
engineering science of the day is quite sufficient to supply even a
much greater quantity at the requisite points.

The government of Costa Rica has advertised for tenders for building
bridges on the second Atlantic Division of its railroad. There will
be needed 194 bridges. The bridges will vary in length from 3 feet
to 1,044 feet, and will be built for a track of 3 foot 3½ inch gauge.
They will be of sufficient strength to stand a strain of 2,240 lbs.
to the lineal foot, in addition to the weight of the usual freight

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: FIG. 1 THE WERDERMANN LAMP.]

It has been looked upon as essential that a certain distance should
separate the ends of the carbon electrodes used in electric lamps.
Every one has accepted this as an axiom. Mr. Werdermann's skepticism
has, however, caused him to doubt the axiom, and the result is that he
has discarded the electric arc space, and by placing his electrodes
in actual contact, has produced a lamp which provides the means of
dividing the electric current, and promises to give almost any number
of lights from a single machine. Mr. Werdermann's inventions, says the
_Engineering_, are secured by patents considerably in advance of those
of Mr. Edison, and may in their chief points be explained as follows:

In place of two electrodes of similar form and dimensions, one
electrode consists of a large bun-shaped disk of carbon placed with
the rounded face downward. The other carbon is a fine rod of carbon of
about 1/8 or 5-32 inch in diameter. The upper end of this is pointed
and maintained in contact with the center of the lower surface of the
disk. This rod is supported by means of a spring collar, which also
forms the circuit connection. This is within about ¾ in. of the
top of the carbon, so that the ¾ in. becomes incandescent, and the
contact between the two carbons being only a point, a small electric
arc is produced between the two carbons, while the electricity is at
the same time passed on through the carbon disk, and the connections
there attached to the next lamp.

[Illustration: DIAGRAM OF CURRENT.]

Referring to our diagrams, in Fig. 1 the upper carbon is shown at
C, and the rod carbon at c. The former is supported by means of an
adjustable jointed bracket, B, attached to the wood stand. The rod
carbon is guided by the spring collar on the top of the stand, and
to which the connection is made, and is supported by the fine cord
running over the pulley, P. This cord is attached to the clasp, D, at
the bottom of the rod, and to the balance weight, W, by which the rod
is maintained in constant, practical, though not absolute contact
with the disk. Round the upper part of the disk is a metal band, A, to
which the circuit wire is attached, and the current thus passed on to
the next lamps.

At a recent trial of this lamp, the current was derived from a small
Gramme electro-plating machine, requiring only 2 horse power to put
it in full work. It may therefore be assumed that this was about the
limit of the power at work to produce the light. At the commencement
of the proceedings two lights were maintained, each stated to be equal
to 320 sperm candles. At this rate the two lights would be equal to
640 candles, or 40 full power gas lights, each consuming 5 cubic feet
of 16 candle gas per hour. Such gas lights, it may be observed, are
not often seen, except in the argand form. The two lights burned with
extreme steadiness, there being no undulation, or flickering whatever,
although there was no glass globe to tone down any variations of
luster. The lights were perfectly bare and unprotected, and the place
where the trial was made was a workshop of moderate size.

Later in the evening one light was exhibited outside the building, in
an open thoroughfare, and the same perfect steadiness was observable.
After the two lights had been burning for a time they were
extinguished, and the current was sent through a row of ten lamps.
The light per lamp was of course reduced, but there was the remarkable
fact that ten lights were maintained by a comparatively weak machine,
driven by an engine exerting the power of only two horses.

The light of each of these ten lamps was stated to be that of 40
candles, making, therefore, a total of 400. A reduction of light,
consequent on the further division of the current, is thus apparent;
but for this loss there may be ample compensation in the superior
economy of a distributed light as compared with one that is
concentrated. In the case of the ten lamps, the light is equal to that
of 25 full power gas lights, consuming altogether 125 cubic feet of
gas per hour. The extremely small arc due to the peculiar arrangement
of the carbons in the Werdermann light has the advantage of offering
the least possible resistance to the passage of the current.

This resistance increases much more rapidly than is represented by
increase of distance between the carbon points. Hence the electric
power with Werdermann's lamp is economized to the utmost in this
respect, and it becomes possible--as in the recent experiment--to make
use of an electric current large in quantity but of low intensity.
The tension being small, there is the less difficulty with regard to
insulation. If one lamp or more should be accidentally extinguished,
the rest will continue to burn. The whole of the lamps can also be
extinguished and relit by merely stopping the current and then sending
it on again. No nice and troublesome adjustment with reference to the
length of the electric arc is requisite, and simple contact between
the point of the rod and the surface of the disk is sufficient for the
manifestation of the light.

In respect to duration, a carbon rod 5-32 in. in diameter, and a yard
long, obtained from Paris, costs a franc. This, placed in a large
lamp, having an estimated lighting power of 320 candles, will last
from 12 to 15 hours. The smaller lamps take a carbon of 1/8 in.

Mr. Werdermann endeavors to make the resistance of the external
portion of the circuit equal to the internal resistance, in order to
obtain the greatest effect. It is well known that the best results
are obtained when the internal and external resistances are equal. The
method adopted is that known to electricians as the divided arc, and
will easily be understood from Fig. 2. Let B represent the source of
the electric current, and A a copper wire connected to the positive
and negative poles of the source as in the diagram. The wire, A, has
a certain resistance. Suppose, now, we arrange for the current to pass
as in the diagram, Fig. 3. By the insertion of the new wire, C, we
have lessened the total external resistance and increased the current,
as will be seen by reference to Ohm's law. C = E/(R+r) where C
= current; E = electromotive force; R = resistance external; r =
resistance internal. The fraction E/(R+r) increases as its denominator
is lessened.

The current passes along the two branches in equal quantities if the
resistances of the wires are equal, but inversely as the resistances
if they are unequal. Thus, if the branch, A, has a resistance, 9, and
C has a resistance, 1, 9-10 of the current will pass through C, and
1-10 through A. Similarly, for any number of branches the current will
divide itself according to the resistances. If, then, we have a number
of branches, as indicated in Fig. 4, the current will divide itself
equally among the branches when the resistances of the branches are
equal. This is the arrangement adopted by Mr. Werdermann, as will be
seen from the annexed diagram, Fig. 5, in which N and P represent
the negative and positive poles of the machine, and L L the electric

When any one lamp is put out the inventor arranges that an equivalent
resistance shall be put into the circuit, so that as a whole the
circuit is unaltered, and the other lamps unaffected.

       *       *       *       *       *


We give herewith a perspective view of a circular saw bench made by
Messrs. Oliver & Co. (Limited), of Chesterfield, England, which we
take from _Engineering_. The chief features in this machine are that
it is fitted with Mr. John Casson's patent feed gear and apparatus for
steadying the saws. This feeding arrangement has now been in use some
years, and has been fitted to a very large number of circular saw
benches. This being the case, and the arrangement being very clearly
shown by our engraving, it will be unnecessary for us to describe it
in detail here.

The saw-steadying apparatus, with which the saw bench we illustrate
is fitted, is a novel arrangement, recently patented by Mr. Casson; in
the present case it is applied to two saws.

The steadying arrangement consists of accurately fitted sliding jaws
mounted on the arms of a forked support, so that they can be moved and
adjusted only by fine threaded screws, the jaws having their surfaces
next the saws, accurately parallel with the plane of the collar of the
saw spindle; these jaws, A, are fixed when the adjusting screws are at
rest, and they are faced with strips of greenheart or other suitable
timber, secured by countersunk screw bolts, these faces forming a
perfectly true guide for the saw blades.

For a single saw the guides just described would suffice; but for two
or more saws the outside guides must be supplemented by others between
the saw blades.

It will be noticed that the support, F, carrying the guiding jaws, has
a square stem sliding through the head of a suitable standard, and it
can be readily fixed at any desired height by means of the set screw.


The arrangement we have been describing is well carried out, and there
can be no doubt that it will do good service, and enable thin saws
to be efficiently used with a heavy feed. We have received very
satisfactory reports of its performance.

       *       *       *       *       *


I will give $200 for a machine that will bale hay in the field. Rake
and press combined would be preferable, but would not object to
its taking the hay in the windrow. The machine must be expeditious,
executing as fast as a mower is able to cut. Must have sufficient
power to make a bale suitable for commercial uses; shape of the bale
immaterial; a round one preferred. Must be of light draught; one team
is generally all that is available for any machine on the farm. These,
with the other qualifications demanded of every machine, simplicity,
durability, easy to manage, etc. If such an invention could be
produced it would make a revolution in the hay field almost equal to
that which the mower has made.

What an awkward, ungainly spectacle a man presents, struggling at one
end of a six foot pole, with a ten pound lock of hay at the other end,
endeavoring with all his might and main to elevate it 12 or 15 feet on
top of a load! It is an insult to human intelligence. A load of loose
hay is an uncertain quantity. You are never sure of getting it into
the barn. Top heavy, one sided, too wide or too high for the doors;
and even with the best of luck, a good percentage has drizzled in the
wake of the wagon over the lot to the barn. A 100 or 200 lb. bale,
with an inclined plane, or a pulley on side or aft of a good strong
rack, and all this barbarism has succumbed to civilization.

At the barn comes a worse servitude. (I don't mean the horse fork;
that is a grand lift to civilization. I hope to modify it shortly to
throw bales.) There a man struggles with sheer desperation to press
by his own avoirdupois 20 tons of hay into a place that won't hold 10.
Tramp, tramp, tramp, leg-weary, panting like an overheated dog, every
fiber of his clothing saturated with perspiration, a subject worthy
of a better immortality than the Greek slave. O Edison! don't fritter
away your genius on sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. Elevate the
laborer. Liberate our overworked people. Make us a chariot to press
our hay.--_Edmund Adams, North Manlius, N. Y., to the New York

       *       *       *       *       *


The largest and most complete silver mill ever constructed, says the
San Francisco Stock Report, has recently been built by Messrs. Rankin,
Brayton & Co., of the Pacific Iron Works of that city, for the Cerro
de Pasco Mining Company, of Peru, and shipped for Callao, the port of
destination. This enormous mill consists of 80 stamps, 900 lbs, each,
44 live foot amalgamating pans, 22 nine foot settlers, and all the
accessories of a first-class modern mill. It is to be erected upon the
above named mines, which are situated in the heart of the Andes,
some 150 miles east of the city of Lima, at an elevation of more than
14,000 feet. To admit of mule transportation a portion of the way up
this tremendous ascent, the mill had to be made in sections, no piece
weighing more than 500 lbs. Some idea of the magnitude of this work
may be inferred from the fact that the mill, as thus constructed,
consisted of more than 17,000 pieces, and weighed upward of 600 tons.
This enormous amount of machinery was constructed by the above firm
and put on board a ship 50 days from date of contract.

The Cerro de Pasco mines have been the richest and most famous in the
world's history. They have been worked by the old arastra process for
the past 200 years, and have produced, according to the most authentic
records, more than $500,000,000. With such improved machinery the
product of these mines will undoubtedly attract the attention of the
world, and so reflect great credit upon the capacity, ingenuity, and
skill of our mechanical establishments.

       *       *       *       *       *


The common practice in making poultices of mixing the linseed meal
with hot water, and applying them directly to the skin, is quite
wrong, because, if we do not wish to burn the patient, we must wait
until a great portion of the heat has been lost. The proper method
is to take a flannel bag (the size of the poultice required), to fill
this with the linseed poultice as hot as it can possibly be made, and
to put between this and the skin a second piece of flannel, so that
there shall be at least two thicknesses of flannel between the skin
and the poultice itself. Above the poultice should be placed more
flannel, or a piece of cotton wool, to prevent it from getting cold.
By this method we are able to apply the linseed meal boiling hot,
without burning the patient, and the heat, gradually diffusing through
the flannel, affords a grateful sense of relief which cannot be
obtained by other means. There are few ways in which such marked
relief is given to abdominal pain as by the application of a poultice
in this manner.--_Dr. T. Lauder Brunton, in Brain._

       *       *       *       *       *


Mr. Joseph Adams, of Washington, D. C., has patented an improved Gas
Regulator, designed either to cut off the gas entirely or to let on
a larger amount of gas than its automatic action would ordinarily
permit, or to allow the regulator to operate with an automatic action,
as usual.

Mr. Jean A. Hitter, Jr., of St. Martinsville, La., has patented an
improved Type Writer, of simple and compact construction, that may be
readily used for printing on paper and for other purposes, being
small enough to be carried conveniently in the pocket, if desired, and
readily operated with little practice.

Messrs. Edwin N. Boynton, Geo. M. Coburn, and Thos. F. Carver, of
Worcester, Mass., have patented an improved Hand Drilling Machine, by
which a fast or slow motion can be readily obtained, at the will
of the operator, the slower motion being especially advantageous in
drilling large holes, as more power is obtained, and the holes are
drilled with greater ease.

Mr. Reuben R. James, of Rising Sun, Ind., has devised an improved
Adding Machine of simple and comparatively inexpensive construction.
The chief feature of the machine is a series of toothed revolving
counting wheels, which are inscribed on their peripheries with the
nine digits and cipher, and mounted loosely on a common axis, and each
having four lateral inclines or cams, which cause, at the proper time,
a weighted pawl lever to engage the next counting wheel on the left,
so as to carry ten when the numbers added on the wheel on the right
exceed ten. The adding is effected by successively drawing down to a
stop on the finger board the teeth of the counting wheels which are
opposite the numbers to be added, and the numerical result will be
seen on the wheels in a series of slots or apertures in the case of
the machine.

Mr. Jacob Croft, of Scipio, Utah Ter., has devised an improved Turbine
Water Wheel, which is constructed to prevent back pressure by the
water against the casing as it escapes from the buckets. Sand and
other substances in the water are prevented from entering around the
shaft and cutting or wearing it.

An improvement in Sweeping Machines has been patented by Mr. Isaac
A. Chomel, of Brooklyn, N. Y. This invention relates to apparatus for
sweeping up and collecting dirt, dust, and other refuse from floors,
carpets, streets, and other places. The dust box is to be rolled over
the floor and the brush revolved by a winch. The speed of the brush is
independent of the motion of the machine along the floor.

Mr. D. A. Ferris, of Tioga Center, N. Y., has patented an improved
Implement for Forcing Flooring Planks together when laying floors. It
is simple, convenient, and powerful.

       *       *       *       *       *


It is a well known fact to medical men that there exists a great
prejudice among a large number of people against taking quinine, the
idea being very prevalent that a prolonged use of it not only affects
the hearing, but (to use the common expression) that it "gets into
the bones." As regards the former belief, Dr. Roosa, of New York,
has recently been collecting and examining the evidence as far as
possible, and has come to the conclusion that in some cases there
really is a permanent nervous affection of the ear produced which
justifies the opinion held by the laity. Hitherto physicians have
generally disbelieved this, and ascribed the notion to prejudice.

       *       *       *       *       *


The microphone as a thief catcher has proved very useful to an English
resident in India, who found his store of oil rapidly and mysteriously
diminishing. He fixed a microphone to the oil cans, carried the wire
up to his bedroom, and, after the house had been closed for the night,
sat up to await the result. Very shortly he heard the clinking of
bottles, followed by the gurgling sound of liquid being poured out,
and running downstairs he caught his bearer in the act of filling
small bottles with oil for easy conveyance from the premises.

       *       *       *       *       *


The tallest accurately measured _Sequoia_ standing in the Calaveras
Grove, near Stockton, California, measures 325 feet, and there is
no positive evidence that any trees of this genus ever exceeded that
height. Of late years, explorations in Gippsland, Victoria, have
brought to light some marvelous specimens of _Eucalyptus_, and the
State Surveyor of Forests measured a fallen tree on the banks of the
Watts River, and found it to be 435 feet from the roots to the top of
the trunk. The crest of this tree was broken off, but the trunk at the
fracture was 9 feet in circumference, and the height of the tree when
growing was estimated to have been more than 500 feet. This tree,
however, was dead, though there is no doubt that it was far loftier
than the tallest Sequoia. Near Fernshaw, in the Dandenong district,
Victoria, there has recently been discovered a specimen of the "Almond
Leaf Gum" (_Eucalyptus amygdalesia_), measuring 380 feet from the
ground to the first branch, and 450 feet to the topmost wing. This
tree would overtop the tallest living _Sequoia_ by 125 feet. Its girth
is 80 feet, which is less than that of many Sequoias, but as far as
height is concerned it must be considered the tallest living tree in
the world.

       *       *       *       *       *



This mollusk received the first title in allusion to the pretty fable
which was formerly narrated of its sailing powers, and the latter
title is given on account of the extreme thinness and fragility of the
shell. It is remarkable that the shell of the argonaut is, during the
life of its owner, elastic and yielding, almost as if it were made of
thin horn.

The two arms of the argonaut are greatly dilated at their extremities;
and it was formerly asserted, and generally believed, that the
creature was accustomed to employ these arms as sails, raising them
high above the shell, and allowing itself to be driven over the
surface by the breeze, while it directed its course by the remaining
arms, which were suffered to hang over the edge of the shell into the
water and acted like so many oars. In consequence of this belief the
creature was named the argonaut, in allusion to the old classical
fable of the ship Argo and her golden freight.

The animal, or "poulp," as it is technically called, is a lovely
creature despite its unattractive form. It is a mass of silver with a
cloud of spots of the most beautiful rose color, and a fine dotting
of the same, which heighten its beauty. A large membrane, which is
the expanded velation of the arms, covers all. It has been definitely
proved that the use of the expanded arms which cover the exterior of
the shell is to build up its delicate texture, and to repair damages,
the substance being secreted by these arms, and by their broad
expansions moulded into shape. The larger figure in the engraving
represents the argonaut while thus within its shell. While crawling
the creature turns itself so as to rest on its head, withdraws its
body as far as possible into its shell, and, using its arms like legs,
creeps slowly but securely along the ground, sometimes affixing its
disks to stones or projecting points of rocks for the purpose of
hauling itself along. When, however, it wishes to attain greater
speed, and to pass through the waters, it makes use of a totally
different principle. Respiration is achieved by the passage of water
over double gills or branchiæ; the water, after it has completed its
purpose, being ejected through a moderately long tube, technically
called a siphon. The orifice of the siphon is directed toward the
head of the animal, and it is by means of this simple apparatus that
progression is effected. When the creature desires to dart rapidly
through the water, it gathers its six arms into a straight line, so
as to afford little resistance to the water, keeps its velated arms
stretched tightly over the shell, and then, by violently ejecting
the water from the siphon, drives itself by reaction in the opposite
direction. The uppermost figure shows the argonaut in the act of

       *       *       *       *       *


This spider digs a burrow in the earth and lines it with a silken web.
The burrow is closed by a trap door, having a hinge that permits it
to be opened and closed with admirable accuracy. The door is circular,
and is made of alternate layers of earth and web, and is hinged to
the lining of the tube that leads to the burrow by a band of the same
silken secretion. The door exactly fits the entrance to the burrow,
and when closed, so precisely corresponds with the surrounding earth
that it can hardly be distinguished, even when its position is known.
It is a strange sight to see the earth open, a little lid raised, some
hairy legs protrude, and gradually the whole form of the spider show

[Illustration: TRAP DOOR SPIDER.]

The mode in which these spiders procure food seems to be by hunting at
night, and in some cases by catching insects that are entangled in the
threads that the creature spins by the side of its house.

In the day time they are very chary of opening the door of their
domicile, and if the trap be raised from the outside, they run to the
spot, hitch the claws of their fore feet in the silken webbing of the
door, and those of the hind feet in the lining of the burrow, and so
resist with all their might. The strength of the spider is wonderfully
great in proportion to its size.

       *       *       *       *       *


_New Remedies_ describes the following easy method of making a hole
in plate glass: Make a circle of clay or cement rather larger than the
intended hole; pour some kerosene into the cell thus made, ignite
it, place the plate upon a moderately hard support, and with a stick
rather smaller than the hole required, and a hammer, strike a rather
smart blow. This will leave a rough-edged hole, which may be smoothed
with a file. Cold water is said to answer even better than a blow.

       *       *       *       *       *


As science advances, the processes proposed for the preservation
of organic substances are being brought to greater and greater
perfection. No subject perhaps in this connection has received
greater attention, and been the subject of more processes, patent and
otherwise, than that of the preservation of eggs. In fact this is a
question of considerable importance, not only from a culinary, but
also from an industrial standpoint--that of the manufacture of albumen
for photographic purposes. In the _Moniteur de la Photographie_ Dr.
Phipson calls attention to a new process, which may be briefly stated
as follows:

On taking the eggs from the nest they are covered over, by means of a
bit of wool, with butter in which has been dissolved 2 or 3 per cent
of salicylic acid. Each egg, after receiving this coat, is placed in
a box filled with very fine and absolutely dry saw dust. If care
be taken that the eggs do not touch each other, and that they be
perfectly covered with the saw dust, they will keep fresh for several
months--perhaps for more than a year. Dr. Phipson states that he has
experimented with this process for two years, with most excellent
results. So much for the preservation of the entire egg; but there
is also a process for the preservation of the albumen of the egg
for photographic uses, due to M. Berg. In this process, the white,
separated from the yolk, is evaporated in zinc pans or porcelain cups,
at a temperature of 45° C. The solidified albumen thus obtained is
pulverized by means of a mill. The yolk, by means of machinery, is
whipped up into a light mass, and then spread out on zinc plates and
evaporated to dryness at a temperature of 80°, and finally powdered.
The powders thus obtained keep for a long time. The white of eggs, so
prepared, is used for the purposes to which albumen is applied in
the industrial arts, while the powdered yolks are used for domestic

       *       *       *       *       *


Dr. Hayes, in his recent address before the National Agricultural
Congress, remarking that a very inadequate idea is given of a nation's
resources by the number of sheep raised--the character of the animals
being of the first consideration--proceeds to show some of the
characteristics of American sheep husbandry. He states that the sheep
of the United States consist, first, of what are called native sheep;
second, descendants from improved English races; third, the Mexican
sheep found in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and California; fourth,
the merino sheep, and crosses of that breed with the three preceding
races. The merinos constitute the principal and characteristic race
of the United States; and this is the most important fact in the
enumeration of our resources for sheep husbandry and the wool
manufacture. England has no merinos, except in her colonies; Russia
has but 12,000,000 merinos; France, but 9,000,000. The merinos and
grades in the United States exceed 25,000,000. Merino wool is for
clothing what wheat is for food; it is the chief material for cloth
at the present day, the coarsest as well as the finest. While the
softest, it is the strongest of all fibers. From its fulling
and spinning qualities, it is the best adhesive for the cheap
fabrics--coarser wool, cotton, or shoddy; the mixture of merino wool
increasing indefinitely the material for cheap clothing. An abundance
of merino wool is the greatest boon the world has received from the
animal kingdom in the last century. It is, in fact, in its extended
culture the product of the last century. A century ago all the merinos
in the world, confined exclusively to Spain, did not number 1,000,000.
1765 marks the epoch of the first exportation of the merinos to
Saxony; 1786, to France; 1833, to Australia; 1802, the introduction
of the first merino sheep to this country; and to Gen. Humphreys, of
Connecticut, and to the introduction to his farm of twenty-one rams
and seventy ewes, may be directly traced the most celebrated breeds
of the American merino; producing individuals actually sold for $5,000
each, others for $2,000 to $3,000, and one for which $10,000 was
refused. The fiber of the merino sheep is not the only excellence of
the animal; when properly bred, this race has a hardiness surpassing
all other high-bred races. The "yolk," provided by nature to assist in
the growth of the wool, abounding in this race more than in any
other, causes the tips of the fleece to be cemented, and to become
impenetrable to rains and snows. A lighter pasture suffices for their
maintenance than would support the mutton races. This race is fitted,
above all others, for the remote pastoral lands and for culture on a
large scale.

Our breeders, in aiming to increase the weight of their fleece, have
developed the length of the staple, and have unconsciously created
a merino combing wool--a wool in special demand through modern
improvements in machinery and changes in the fashion of goods. Mr.
Ferneau, an eminent Belgian wool manufacturer, who has thoroughly
studied our wool resources and manufactures, says that three quarters
of the American wool is "combing wool," and will be ultimately
employed for this purpose. The bulk of American merino wools is of
strong, sound, and healthy staple, having few weak spots in them.
Those from the other States of the West are free from burrs. Those
from California have this defect in a high degree. They are admirably
fitted for blankets, flannels, and fancy cassimeres, and the great
bulk of our card wool manufactures. They are so excellent, as a whole,
that M. Ferneau says they are too valuable to be used for clothing
purposes. They supply nine tenths of all the card or clothing wool
consumed in American mills.

       *       *       *       *       *


Mexico, the land of so many and such frequent revolutions, and the
scene of such intestinal commotions and bitter strife through the
whole period of her existence, from the Spanish conquest up to within
a few years, is at present happily in a state of comparative peace
and quiet; the laws are less disregarded, brigandage is gradually
disappearing, more attention is being paid to the protection of life
and property, and public education is in a prosperous condition. No
greater evidence of this felicitous state of affairs could be afforded
than that shown in the display of energy and zeal with which the
present administration, aided by the foremost Mexican scientists,
is carrying out an extended system of scientific explorations,
investigations, and internal improvements; and the progress of which
is being recorded in a valuable series of government publications;
one of these--the _Annals of the Minister of Public Works_--being
now before us. This volume, the third of the series, begins with
an article by the able director of the National Meteorological
Observatory, Sr. Mariano Barcena, calling attention, in the first
place, to the great national importance, as well as necessity, of a
well organized system of meteorological observations; (2) giving a
description of the Mexican Observatory, its equipment, the questions
it proposes to investigate, and the hours of observation; (3)
an explanation, accompanied by charts, of the daily system of
registration pursued at the observatory; and, finally, observations on
the periodic phenomena of vegetation, and notes on the orography
and geology of the valley of Mexico. Sr. A. Anquiano follows with a
communication on the "Geographical Position of Chalco," prefacing
the results of his labors by an able essay on the "Mexican Method"
of determining the latitude of places, a "method" founded on an
observation of the stars. It would be interesting to quote from this,
but our limited space will not permit. The "Citlaltepetl Commission,"
consisting of the engineers, Srs. Plowes, Rodriguez, and Vigil, whose
patriotic ardor induced the minister to commission them to explore
"and be the first to plant the flag of Mexican science on the snow
clad peak of Citlaltepetl," render their report of operations during
the year 1877 in the form of an exceedingly interesting memoir. They
ascertained the peak of the volcano Citlaltepetl (or Orizaba) to be
17,651 feet above the level of the sea, which is 292 feet more
than Humboldt made it. After a somewhat exhaustive treatise on the
"Telescope and its Amplifying Power," by Sr. Jimenez, we have a long
and extremely interesting account of the Ancient Aqueduct of Zempoala,
one of the most notable of existing monuments of the old Spanish rule.
These aqueducts (for there were three) were projected and carried to a
successful termination by an humble and ignorant Franciscan monk--the
Friar Tembleque. The construction of these remarkable works, begun
in 1554 and occupying a period of 17 years, was undertaken for the
purpose of carrying water from Zempoala to Otumba (a distance of
27 miles), and was the occasion of a curious contract between the
inhabitants of these two cities. It seems that Otumba, situated at a
high elevation, needed water; Zempoala was blessed with water, but was
sadly in need of spiritual advisers; the people of the former city,
therefore, agreed to furnish a certain proportion of friars to
minister to the religious wants of the parties of the second part, and
the latter in return bound themselves to furnish water, and the labor
and materials for the building of an aqueduct to lead it, to the
parties of the first part. No tradition remains to state when these
structures ceased to be used. The longest of the three extends across
the valley of the Papelote, a distance of 2,960 feet, and consists
of 68 arches, the highest of which has an altitude of 106 feet. Señor
Salazar urges on the Minister of Public Works the importance of having
these monuments of a past age repaired and restored, not alone for
archaeological reasons, but because Otumba to-day is as greatly in
need of running water as it was in that remote period when these
viaducts were constructed. Señor Barcena follows with a description
and colored plate of a plant (_Gaudichaudia Enrico-Martinezii_) new
to the Mexican flora, and Sr. Federico Weidner with some "General
Reflections on the Iron Industry of the Country." Succeeding the
latter paper, an exhaustive article by the same writer gives us,
from a geological point of view, the structure, as far as can be
ascertained, of the "Cerro de Mercado" of Durango, which is said to be
one vast mass of iron. The author after a thorough examination of this
hill, last year, concludes that it is of eruptive or volcanic origin.
This is contrary to the statements made in most published works,
the authors of which probably derived their notions from the views
expressed by Humboldt, who was of the opinion that this mass of iron
was an immense aerolite. Sr. Weidner, however, concludes that the
great traveler never visited the locality in person, but obtained his
information from heresay. He shows that the hill is deficient in the
chemical constituents of aerolites, namely, iron, nickel, and cobalt,
in a native or malleable state; but, on the contrary, is made up in a
great measure of crystalline magnetic iron, and various useful oxides
of the same metal. By a careful estimate of the quantity of iron
contained in that portion only of the Cerro which appears above the
surface of the soil, the author obtains as a result the enormous sum
of 507,000,000 pounds, and this reduced to a metallic state would
yield 250,000,000 pounds of pure iron. The structure of this
remarkable hill is made apparent to the reader by means of an
excellent geological section, in colors, accompanying the text.

The volume closes with some notes by Sr. Barcena on the "Hydrographic
System of the Hacienda of Cienega de Mata, and its application to one
of the theories that explain Natural Fountains."

In taking leave of this subject we have to congratulate the Mexican
Government not only for the valuable matter contained in its
scientific publications, but also for the very excellent style in
which the latter are being issued. The general make up of the volume
before us leaves little to be desired; the arrangement of the types
is extremely tasty, the imprint is clean, sharp, and clear, the
paper good, the margins of the pages broad, and the illustrations
exceedingly well executed. It is to be sincerely hoped that the
present state of peace, which our sister republic is enjoying, will
endure for numerous years to come; and that the scientific work begun
under such happy auspices may go on uninterruptedly until the whole
country shall have been thoroughly explored. For as yet, we know but
comparatively little about the geology of Mexico, and a great deal is
yet to be learned, too, about her natural productions.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *



On August 13, 1878, I obtained letters patent for the exclusive right
to use exsiccated ammonia alum in baking powders. This fact I state
that the public may know the reason that elicits this reply to
the remarkable article on adulterations in baking powders, in the
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN of Nov. 16th, emanating from the pen of Henry A.
Mott, Jr. I wish the Professor had been equally candid in stating his
reasons for contributing the article. It is rare for a chemist to turn
philanthropist without some consideration. The analysis of forty-two
baking powders requires no little labor; twenty-one were examined
at the expense of the government for the benefit of the Indian
Department, the others, no doubt, at the expense and for the benefit
of the Royal Baking Powder Company. I hope his services have been
liberally requited. The public certainly owe him nothing for his labor
or opinions. An excuse can be made for the prejudice existing against
the use of alum in any form for baking purposes; it is an inheritance
from a preceding age; but no apology can be offered for a practical
chemist in this day, who labors to keep alive and foster a prejudice
by the suppression of truths and facts. Professor Mott, in attempting
to prove a fraud in food, has perpetrated a fraud in facts. That this
opinion may not be unwarranted, I will state the facts about alum,
which may be new to the public, but familiar to every chemist. Alum
was formerly a compound of sulph. alumina and sulph. potash. In the
past ten years nearly all manufacturers of alum have substituted
sulph. ammonia for the sulph. potash; this change removes from alum
a dangerous and objectionable ingredient, and adds a healthful
one. Professor Mott recommends the use of ammonia in the form of a
carbonate--carbonate of ammonia is one of the results in baking powder
of the decomposition which takes place between alum and bicarbonate of
soda; in the complete decomposition which takes place pure alumina is
eliminated, highly recommended as an antacid. During the process
of baking, alum is completely decomposed through the liberation of
carbonic acid. Professor Mott must have known this, yet with this
knowledge warns the public on the deleterious effect of alum in bread.

About the first of last October I determined to vindicate the use
of exsiccated ammonia alum as a substitute for cream of tartar, and
accordingly issued a circular to the trade; from this circular I now
give the following extract, which enters minutely into the subject:

"To claim that an experience of 35 years in compounding medicines
should entitle my opinion on chemicals and chemical compounds to a
respectful consideration, is neither presumptuous nor unreasonable.
With this simple introduction I now avow myself the originator
and patentee of exsiccated ammonia alum baking powder. The use of
exsiccated ammonia alum has been declared unhealthful by the advocates
of other baking powders, and every manufacturer using it has been held
up for public reprobation. This has been done by rival manufacturers,
either through ignorance or malice; if from the former they are to be
pitied, if from the latter they are contemptible. These opinions have
been promulgated by kitchen chemists, whose circle of knowledge begins
and ends with cream tartar and soda; and even of these articles they
only know that cream tartar is in some way derived from grapes. In
this circular I propose to state a few facts in relation to cream
tartar and exsiccated alum, and the combinations they form with
bicarbonate of soda, and allow you to form your own opinion of their
respective merits. Crude tartar is the incrustation found in wine
casks. It contains coloring matter and about 15 per cent of lime.
This article is purified and called the cream of tartar, but it is
impossible to extract all the lime. Commercially pure cream tartar
contains at least 5 per cent of lime. When cream tartar is used in
proportion of two parts to one of bicarbonate of soda, you will have
an average of 3 to 4 per cent of lime. In using cream tartar and soda
in baking, a chemical change commences as soon as water is added; the
cream tartar unites with the soda, setting free the carbonic acid gas,
which lightens the bread, and the residue is Rochelle salts. This
is what you eat in your bread, the cream tartar and soda entirely
disappearing in the process of baking, by forming this salt. Any
doctor or chemist will confirm the above statement. When I undertook
to manufacture baking powder, I labored to improve the quality and
cheapen the cost. The first I accomplished by retaining the carbonic
acid until heat was applied, the latter, by manufacturing a more
economical acid than foreign cream tartar. After more than a
thousand experiments covering a period of six months, I discovered by
exsiccating ammonia alum I provided an article that would possess the
necessary qualities. This article no more resembles the ordinary
alum than charcoal resembles wood--it is light, porous, friable, and
without taste. This article, under the influence of heat, combines
with the soda and forms Glauber salts. In baking, the alum unites
with the soda, just as cream tartar unites. In using the baking powder
prepared according to my formula, you have in your bread Glauber
instead of Rochelle salts. To your physician apply for his opinion
of these salts; I will bow to his decision. Another false impression
these zealous guardians of the public health have made is, that I
used the exsiccated alum because it was cheap. The fact is that when I
commenced its use it cost by the thousand pounds 12 per cent. more
than the best cream tartar is worth to-day, and 33 per cent. more than
average price of that article for the past year. I have since reduced
the cost of manufacturing, and as I did so, correspondingly reduced
the price of powder to the public. I regard the quantity of soda in
cream tartar baking powders as very objectionable; they generally
contain about 33 per cent. In my powder only 20 per cent. The
prejudice in the public mind against alum, originated in the habit of
the English bakers buying damaged flour, and by the addition of crude
alum, made their bread in appearance equal to that made from best
flour. Against this practice laws were enacted, not so much against
the qualities of alum, as against its use in covering up a fraud
in flour. This was the common potash alum and uncombined with any
carbonated alkali, and it passed into the stomach unchanged. It is
a trick--for it deserves no better name--of our rivals to show by
chemical analysis that my powder contains alum, but are careful
neither to state the kind nor the change it undergoes in baking. The
manufacturer who knowingly misrepresents the goods of a rival, may
well be doubted when he speaks of the quality of his own.

"Great stress is laid on the fact that cream tartar is a vegetable
acid, the product of the grape, hence it must be healthy. They forget
that cream tartar is not entirely vegetable, but principally second
handed minerals. It is a compound of tartaric acid, potash, and lime;
the last two are minerals, which the grape takes up from the earth,
but redeposits them as crude tartar when fermentation converts the
grape into wine. In 1807 Sir Humphry Davy from this crude tartar first
made the metal potassium. Of lime it is unnecessary to speak. The
potash and lime form the bulk of cream tartar. In ammonia alum there
is no more mineral substance than in cream tartar. The chemistry
of nature is wonderful. Vegetation lives on minerals--wheat, corn,
potatoes, are all mineral compounds. Lime, soda, potash, magnesia,
sulphur, iron, etc., are all found abundantly in water and grain, and
all these minerals are essential in food."

Professor Mott has given the Royal Baking Powder the benefit of his
indorsement; it may be all that he claims for it. But baking powders
are now judged by constituent ingredients and chemical analysis; to
this test I propose to bring the Royal. It is now in the hands of a
competent chemist, and when the analysis is complete I will give
the public the benefit of a comparison between that powder and the
Patapsco. I will take Professor Mott's analysis of Patapsco, which,
though not correct, I accept as such. The comparison will be made on
the healthfulness of constituents in combination, and the chemical
changes they undergo in baking. This is a progressive age. The people
want facts, and they will form their own theories. Will the reader
believe that in the reign of Henry VIII. of England, a citizen
of London was executed for burning coal, which was then a capital
offense? A pope about the same time issued a Bull excommunicating all
Catholics who used tobacco, calling it the devil's weed. To-day coals
still burn, and tobacco solaces millions of the civilized world. If
the Royal Baking Powder Company (what a misnomer) possessed royal
prerogatives, the advocates of exsiccated alum would fare no better
than they did under the sumptuary laws of England. Professor Mott has
fulminated _ex cathedra_ his blast, but we survive. "Truth is a torch,
the more 'tis shook it shines." Our strength is in the intelligence of
the age. SMITH, HANWAY & Co., Baltimore.

       *       *       *       *       *


The _College Quarterly_ says that experiments made at the Iowa
Agricultural College show that the popular notion that the trunks
of trees elongate is entirely erroneous. Tacks were driven into the
trunks of various trees, and the distance between them accurately
measured. At the end of the season they were found to have neither
increased nor decreased their distances. In the experiment, tree
trunks were selected of all ages, from one year up to five or six, and
in no case was there any change whatever noticeable.

       *       *       *       *       *



PENN YAN, N. Y., Saturday, December 14, 1878. The following
calculations are adapted to the latitude of New York city, and are
expressed in true or clock time, being for the date given in the
caption when not otherwise stated:

Mars rises                    4 57 mo.
Jupiter sets                  7 54 eve.
Saturn in meridian            6 16 eve.
Uranus rises                 10 11 eve.
Neptune in meridian           8 48 eve.

Alpheratz in meridian         6 28 mo.
Mira (var.) in meridian       8 39 eve.
Algol (var.) in meridian      9 26 eve.
7 stars (Pleiades) in merid. 10 06 eve.
Aldebaran in meridian        10 54 eve.
Capella in meridian          11 33 eve.
Rigel in meridian            11 34 eve.
Betelgeuse in meridian        0 18 mo.
Sirius rises                  8 05 eve.
Procyon rises                 7 40 eve.
Regulus rises                 9 43 eve.
Spica rises                   2 24 mo.
Arcturus rises                1 27 mo.
Antares rises                 6 30 mo.
Vega sets                     9 52 eve.
Altair sets                   8 40 eve.
Deneb sets                    1 02 mo.
Fomalhaut sets                9 16 eve.


Saturday, Cancer              26°
Sunday, Leo                    9°
Monday, Leo                   23°
Tuesday, Virgo                 7°
Wednesday, Virgo              22°
Thursday, Libra                6°
Friday, Libra                 21°


The sun will attain his greatest southern declination and enter the
constellation _Sagittarius_ December 21, 5h. 45m. evening, at which
time winter begins. Mars will be 5° north of the moon December 21, in
the morning. Saturn will be 90° east of the sun December 18, passing
the meridian at 6 o'clock in the evening. He is now advancing among
the stars, and will soon be again upon the equinoctial colure. Uranus
will be nearly 4° north of the moon December 15.

       *       *       *       *       *


Under the name of sympathetic inks are designated certain liquids
which, being used for writing, leave no visible traces on the paper,
but which, through the agency of heat, or by the action of chemicals,
are made to appear in various colors. The use of such means for secret
correspondence is very ancient. Ovid, Pliny, and other Roman writers
speak of an ink of this kind, which, however, was nothing more than
fresh milk. It merely sufficed to dust powdered charcoal over the
surface of the paper upon which characters had been traced with the
colorless fluid, when the black powder adhered only to those places
where the fatty matter of the milk had spread. Such a process,
however, was merely mechanical, and the results very crude.

A great number of sympathetic inks may be obtained by means of
reactions known to chemistry. For instance, write on paper with a
colorless solution of sugar of lead; if the water that is used for the
solution be pure, no trace of the writing will remain when it becomes
dry. Now hold the paper over a jet of sulphureted hydrogen, and the
characters will immediately appear on the paper, of an intense black
color. The following recipes for inks of this kind are more simple:
If writing be executed with a dilute solution of sulphate of iron, the
invisible characters will appear of a beautiful blue, if the dry paper
be brushed over with a pencil full of a solution of yellow prussiate
of potash; or they will be black, if a solution of tannin be
substituted for the prussiate. If the characters be written with
a solution of sulphate of copper, they will at once turn blue on
exposing to the vapors of ammonia. Another sympathetic ink is afforded
by chloride of gold, which becomes of a reddish purple when acted upon
by a salt of tin. A red sympathetic ink may be made in the following
manner: Write with a very dilute solution of perchloride of iron--so
dilute, indeed, that the writing will be invisible when dry. By
holding the paper in the vapor arising from a long-necked glass
flask containing sulphuric acid and a few drops of a solution of
sulpho-cyanide of potassium, the characters will appear of a blood-red
color, which will again disappear on submitting them to the vapors of
caustic ammonia. This experiment can be repeated _ad infinitum_.

During the war in India, some years ago, important correspondence
was carried on by the English by means of the use of rice water as a
writing fluid. On the application of iodine the dispatches immediately
appeared in blue characters.

Sympathetic inks which are developed under the influence of heat only
are much easier to use than the foregoing. The liquids which possess
such a property are very numerous. Almost every one perhaps knows that
if writing be executed on paper with a clean quill pen dipped in onion
or turnip juice, it becomes absolutely invisible when dry; and that
when the paper is heated the writing at once makes its appearance
in characters of a brown color. All albuminoid, mucilaginous, and
saccharine vegetable juices make excellent sympathetic inks; we may
cite, as among the best, the juices of lemon, orange, apple, and pear.
A dilute solution of chloride of copper used for writing is invisible
until the paper is heated, when the letters are seen of a beautiful
yellow, disappearing again when the heat that developed them is
removed. The salts of cobalt, as the acetate, nitrate, sulphate, and
chloride, possess a like property. When a dilute solution of these
salts is used as an ink, the writing, although invisible when dry,
becomes blue when exposed to heat. The addition of chloride of iron,
or of a salt of nickel, renders them green, and this opens the way for
a very pretty experiment: If a winter landscape be drawn in India ink,
and the sky be painted with a wash of cobalt alone, and the branches
of the trees be clothed with leaves executed with a mixture of cobalt
and nickel, and the snow-clad earth be washed over with the same
mixture, a magic transformation at once takes place on the application
of heat, the winter landscape changing to a summer scene.

There is a well known proprietary article sold in Paris under the
name of _"Encre pour les Dames"_ (ink for ladies). Hager, in a recent
scientific journal, states that this consists of an aqueous solution
of iodide of starch, and is "specially intended for love letters." In
four weeks characters written with it disappear, preventing all abuse
of letters, and doing away with all documentary evidence of any kind
in the hands of the recipient. The signers of bills of exchange who
use this ink are of course freed from all obligations in the same
length of time.

       *       *       *       *       *


Heretofore two kinds of clothing for cylinders for treating fibrous
material have been employed, one consisting of a set of serrated rings
cut from sheet steel and secured to the periphery of the cylinder, and
the other consisting of flat serrated iron wire. The serrated rings,
of necessity, entail a great loss of material in their manufacture,
and the iron wire clothing is so soft that it soon wears out or
becomes dull, necessitating the reclothing or sharpening of the


Our engraving represents a new form of steel wire clothing for such
cylinders, which was recently patented by Mr. Frank P. Pendleton, of
Philadelphia, Pa.

The improvement consists in notching or nicking the base of the teeth
or back of the wire, so as to admit of bending the wire around the
cylinders without breaking.

       *       *       *       *       *


As one of the leading staples of American export, our petroleum wells
have been more valuable than gold mines. A recent discovery by Mr.
John Turnbridge, of Newark, N. J., indicates that in some cases
petroleum wells may be in fact, as well as in effect, real gold
mines. He says that while investigating the peculiar behavior of the
hydrocarbons and their singular quality of separating the precious
metals from aqueous solutions, assisted by constant application that
furnished evidence of the force of chemical action which could be
satisfactorily measured, there occurred to him the probability that
analogous effects might be traced in the operations of nature; more
particularly in certain geological formations peculiar to auriferous
soils. These ideas, he asserts, have been singularly verified in
subsequent research by the discovery of gold in many samples of crude
petroleum, also in the sediment or refuse of the distillation of that
substance. The attraction existing between the hydrocarbons and many
elementary bodies ought to create no surprise, especially if reference
is had to the reducing action of the hydrocarbons in contact with
metallic solutions. The procedure in the examples above referred to
consist in pouring crude petroleum on vegetable fiber or wood shavings
and firing it, collecting the ashes and making the usual fire assay.
The cupel disclosed a small pellet. After due examination with the
appropriate test it was found to be pure gold. The distillery refuse
when assayed gave $34.85 value per ton. It may be mentioned in the
last case considerable molybdenum was present, a substance resembling
plumbago. Mr. Turnbridge has no knowledge of the locality whence
these samples of crude petroleum were originally obtained. He infers,
however, that oil wells in the vicinity of auriferous deposits may
yield a larger quantity of gold than from oil wells situated
in carboniferous strata. There has been, he states, a practical
application of this discovery for the recovery of gold, applied in
cases where quicksilver has failed to be of service.

       *       *       *       *       *


A very simple method of reducing nitrate of silver, analagous to
that some years ago mentioned by the late Mr. Hadow, is given in the
_Archiv der Pharmacie_, by Mr. C. F. Chandler. If crystallized or
fused nitrate of silver be placed upon glowing charcoal, combustion
forthwith takes place, the silver remaining behind in a metallic
form, while nitrous oxide and carbonic acid are freely given off. The
nitrate of silver is fused by the heat developed by the reaction,
and is imbibed through the pores of the charcoal; as every atom of
consumed carbon is replaced by an atom of metallic silver, the original
form and structure of the charcoal are preserved intact in pure
silver. By proceeding in this manner it is possible to produce silver
structures of any desired size, possessing in every way the original
form of the wood. A crystal of nitrate of silver is in the first place
put upon a piece of charcoal, and a blowpipe flame is then applied in
the vicinity, in order to start the reaction in the first instance,
and as soon as combustion commences crystal after crystal may be
added as these, one after another, become consumed. The silver salt is
liquefied, and penetrates into the charcoal, where it becomes reduced.
Pieces of silver may in this way be prepared, of one or two ounces in
weight, which exhibit all the markings and rings of the original wood
to a most perfect and beautiful degree.

       *       *       *       *       *


Mr. Charles E. Macarthy, of Forsyth, Ga., has patented an improved
Horse Power, designed more particularly to be located beneath a gin
house for ginning cotton, but applicable for all purposes for which a
horse power is ordinarily employed.

An improved Corn Planter has been patented by Mr. Thomas A. Sammons,
of Lewisburg, West Va. This corn planter is designed to plant the
corn in straight rows both ways and at varying distances apart. It
is constructed upon the general principle of a reciprocating slide,
passing alternately beneath a hopper, and carrying a number of grains
from beneath the same to a discharge outlet.

An improved machine for Cutting the Bands of Gavels or bundles of
grain, and feeding the same to the cylinder of a thrasher, has been
patented by Mr. James M. O'Neall, of Fort Worth, Texas.

An improved Sulky Breaking Plow has been patented by Mr. Edward T.
Hunter, of Hallsville, Ill. This is an improved sulky attachment for
breaking plows, which is so constructed as to receive any ordinary
plow; it may be adjusted to cause the plow to work deeper or shallower
in the ground, and will allow the plow to be turned to either side.

Mr. Osman C. Du Souchet, of Alexandria, Mo., has invented an improved
Check Row Corn Planter and Drill, which is so constructed that its
operating mechanism may be at all times under the control of the
driver. It will plant the corn in accurate check row, and is easily

An improved Thrashing Machine has been patented by Mr. Peter Parrott,
of Red Bud, Ill. This is an improvement in the class of thrashing
machines having an attachment for removing dust from the space in
front of the cylinder, and having pickers for loosening or shaking the
grain from straw delivered from the cylinder.

An improved Corn Planter has been patented by Mr. John H. Zarley, of
Oakland, Ill. The object of this invention is to provide an efficient
and cheaply constructed corn planter, which may be drawn forward by
horses, but is arranged so that the seed valves may be operated by

Messrs. Clayton M. Van Orman and James M. Hagenbaugh, of Athens,
Mich., have patented an improved Grain Separator, in which the
arrangement of the screens, feedboard, and blast of a fanning mill
effect the thorough removal from the grain of all impurities. Only two
screens are employed.

An improved Churning Apparatus has been patented by Messrs. William
H. Foster and Isaac C. Roberts, of Louisburg, Kan. It is simple,
inexpensive, convenient, and effective in operation. It will bring the
butter very quickly, and at the same time gather it.

An improved Plow has been patented by Mr. Robert B. Mitchell, of
Minneapolis, Kan. The object of this invention is to improve the
construction of sod, stirring, and other plows, so that the cutter
may be moved forward as it is worn or ground off. It prevents roots,
grass, and other trash from gathering upon the share.

Messrs. John B. Martin and William T. Carothers, of Clarence, Mo.,
have patented an improved Hay Loader capable of placing hay upon
stacks or ricks, or upon wagons. It is simple in its construction and
effective in its operation.

       *       *       *       *       *


We have often been asked the difference between benzine and naphtha,
many people wanting to know whether naphtha didn't include benzine, or
whether it wasn't the same thing under a marketable name. A prominent
refiner says that benzine is the first product that arises from the
process of refining crude oil, and bears the same relation to naphtha
that that distillate does to refined oil. In other words, benzine
is crude naphtha. The reason it is not quotable under the name of
benzine, therefore, is because it has to be reduced to naphtha before
it is marketable in any extensive quantity.

The process that benzine is subject to, to produce naphtha, is not a
separate business, but is carried on by the regular oil refiners in
the same stills and retorts that the refined oil is produced. The
benzine is treated with sulphuric acid, and the result is naphtha,
which is in wide demand in Europe, especially in France, for the
purpose of producing aniline dyes, while it is also put to many other

This demand is partially instrumental in keeping up its price, but its
rapid evaporation also has a tendency in that direction, as any large
seller of it has to take into consideration the depreciation that
might take place by the time he sells it on that account, and for
the same reason buyers give no more orders than immediate necessity

All refiners, however, do not produce naphtha, but some of them sell
the benzine, which is largely used for fuel purposes, for which it is
much better than coal, as it is not only absolutely cheaper, but gives
a steadier heat.--_Parker Daily_.

       *       *       *       *       *

For joining the porcelain heads to the metal spikes used for
ornamental nails, the _Prakt. Maschinen Construct._, recommends the
use of a thick paste made of a mixture of Portland cement and glue.

       *       *       *       *       *


An experience of more than thirty years, and the preparation of not
less than one hundred thousand applications for patents at home
and abroad, enable us to understand the laws and practice on both
continents, and to possess unequaled facilities for procuring patents
everywhere. In addition to our facilities for preparing drawings and
specifications quickly, the applicant can rest assured that his case
will be filed in the Patent Office without delay. Every application,
in which the fees have been paid, is sent complete--including the
model--to the Patent Office the same day the papers are signed at our
office, or received by mail, so there is no delay in filing the case,
a complaint we often hear from other sources. Another advantage to the
inventor in securing his patent through the Scientific American Patent
Agency, it insures a special notice of the invention in the SCIENTIFIC
AMERICAN, which publication often opens negotiations for the sale of
the patent or manufacture of the article. A synopsis of the patent
laws in foreign countries may be found on another page, and persons
contemplating the securing of patents abroad are invited to write to
this office for prices, which have been reduced in accordance with
the times, and our perfected facilities for conducting the business.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

_The Charge for Insertion under this head is One Dollar a line for
each insertion; about eight words to a line. Advertisements must be
received at publication office as early as Thursday morning to appear
in next issue._

       *       *       *       *       *

Magic Lanterns and Stereopticons of all prices. Views illustrating
every subject for public exhibitions. Profitable business for a man
with a small capital. Also lanterns for college and home amusement. 74
page catalogue free. McAllister, Mf. Optician, 49 Nassau St., N. Y.

Chapman Valves and Hydrants received the highest award at Mass.
Mechanics Fair. Chapman Valve Manuf. Co., Boston, Mass.

Wanted, cheap.--2d hand Lathe Chuck to swing 17 in. Iron sheave.
Penfield Block Works, Lockport, N. Y.

To Manufacturers.--Messrs. Bignall & Ostrander, 806-808 N. 2d St.,
St. Louis, Mo., have added to their present establishment a Machinery
Department, from whence the wants of the Western machine-using public
will be supplied. Manufacturers will do well to correspond with them.

On actual test the Eaton Sulky Plow is ahead. Manufacturers wanted to
build them. Territory for sale. Address E. C. Eaton, Pinckneyville,

Sir Henry Halford says Vanity Fair Smoking Tobacco has no equal.
Received highest award at Paris, 1878.

Wanted.--Tools for the manufacture of Wagon Axles and Springs. Address
Box 66, Lambertville, N. J.

For Sale.--Norwalk Engine, 16 x 42; little used; excellent order; very
cheap. Address Box 106, Meriden, Ct.

H. W. Johns' Asbestos Liquid Paints contain no water. They are the
best and most economical paints in the world for general purposes,
and for wood and iron structures exposed to severe tests of climatic
changes, saltwater atmosphere, etc. They are 50 per cent more durable
than the best white lead and linseed oil.

1,000 2d hand machines for sale. Send stamp for descriptive price
list. Forsaith & Co., Manchester, N. H.

Florey & Smith, San Francisco, make a specialty of introducing useful
inventions in the Pacific States.

J. C. Hoadley, Consulting Engineer and Mechanical and Scientific
Expert, Lawrence, Mass.

Nickel Plating.--Wenzel's Patent Perforated Carbon Box Anode for
holding Grain Nickel. A. C. Wenzel, 114 Center St., New York City.

Bolt Forging Machine & Power Hammers a specialty. Send for circulars.
Forsaith & Co., Manchester, N. H.

For Sale.--A 6 x 6 Upright Yacht Engine, 6 H.P. Wm. F. Codd, Nantucket,

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

The Lawrence Engine is the best. See ad. page 381.

Sheet Metal Presses, Ferracute Co., Bridgeton, N. J.

The only Engine in the market attached to boiler having cold bearings.
F. F. & A. B. Landis, Lancaster, Pa.

Brush Electric Light.--20 lights from one machine. Latest & best
light. Telegraph Supply Co., Cleveland, O.

The Lathes, Planers, Drills, and other Tools, new and second-hand, of
the Wood & Light Machine Company, Worcester, are to be sold out very
low by the George Place Machinery Agency, 121 Chambers St., New York.

For the best advertising at lowest prices in Scientific, Mechanical,
and other Newspapers, write to E. N. Freshman & Bros., Advertising
Agents, 186 W. 4th St., Cin., O.

For Town and Village use, comb'd Hand Fire Engine & Hose Carriage,
$350. Forsaith & Co., Manchester, N. H.

Manufacturers of Improved Goods who desire to build up a lucrative
foreign trade, will do well to insert a well displayed advertisement
in the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN Export Edition. This paper has a very large
foreign circulation.

Brick Presses for Fire and Red Brick. Factory, 309 S. 5th St.,
Philadelphia, Pa. S. P. Miller & Son.

Punching Presses, Drop Hammers, and Dies for working Metals, etc. The
Stiles & Parker Press Co., Middletown, Conn.

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

Nickel Plating.--A white deposit guaranteed by using our material.
Condit, Hanson & Van Winkle, Newark, N. J. English Agency, 18 Caroline
St., Birmingham.

H. Prentiss & Co., 14 Dey St., N. Y., Manufs. Taps, Dies, Screw
Plates, Reamers, etc. Send for list.

Diamond Engineer, J. Dickinson, 64 Nassau St., N. Y.

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

Presses, Dies, and Tools for working Sheet Metals, etc. Fruit
and other Can Tools. Bliss & Williams, Brooklyn, N. Y., and Paris
Exposition, 1878.

The Cameron Steam Pump mounted in Phosphor Bronze is an indestructible
machine. See advertisement.

Wheel Press, Cotton Press, Pipe Line, and Test Mercury Gauges. T.
Shaw, 915 Ridge Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.

The SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN Export Edition is published monthly, about the
15th of each month. Every number comprises most of the plates of the
four preceding weekly numbers of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, with other
appropriate contents, business announcements etc. It forms a large and
splendid periodical of nearly one hundred quarto pages, each number
illustrated with about one hundred engravings. It is a complete record
of American progress in the arts.

Special Planers for Jointing and Surfacing, Band and Scroll Saws,
Universal Wood-workers, etc., manufactured by Bentel, Margedant & Co.,
Hamilton, Ohio.

Boston Blower Co., Boston, Mass. Blowers, Exhaust Fans, Hot Blast
Apparatus. All parts interchangeable material and workmanship
warranted the best. Write for particulars.

We make steel castings from ¼ to 10,000 lbs. weight 3 times as
strong as cast iron. 12,000 Crank Shafts of this steel now running
and proved superior to wrought iron. Circulars and price, list free.
Address Chester Steel Castings Co., Evelina St., Philadelphia, Pa.

Machine Cut Brass Gear Wheels for Models, etc. (new list). Models,
experimental work, and machine work generally. D. Gilbert & Son, 212
Chester St., Phila., Pa.

Elevators, Freight and Passenger, Shafting, Pulley and Hangers. L. S.
Graves & Son, Rochester, N. Y.

Holly System of Water Supply and Fire Protection for Cities and
Villages, is fully described in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT, No.

Howard Patent Safety Elevators. Howard Iron Works Buffalo, N. Y.

Mellen, Williams & Co., 57 Kilby St., Boston, Mass. Wiegand Sectional
Steam Boiler. Ætna Rocking Grate Bar.

North's Lathe Dog. 347 N. 4th St., Philadelphia, Pa.

Self-feeding upright Drilling Machine of superior construction. Drills
holes from 1/8 to ¾ in. diameter Pratt & Whitney Co., Manufs.,
Hartford, Conn.

Wm. Sellers & Co., Phila., have introduced a new Injector, worked by a
single motion of a lever.

For Shafts, Pulleys, or Hangers, call and see stock kept at 79 Liberty
St. Wm. Sellers & Co.

The Turbine Wheel made by Risdon & Co., Mt. Holly N. J., gave the best
results at Centennial test.

Wheels and Pinions, heavy and light, remarkably strong and durable.
Especially suited for sugar mills and similar work. Pittsburgh Steel
Casting Company, Pittsburgh, Pa.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

(1) Detroit asks whether a boat propelled with a force of 3 miles an
hour on still water will with the same propelling force run 6 miles an
hour in a current running 3 miles an hour? A. We think so.

(2) J. C. R asks: Which was the first railroad built in the United
States? That is, a regular, incorporated road, connecting two points,
and conveying passengers, freight, etc. A. We believe that the road
now known as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was the first in the
United States chartered for carrying on a general transportation

(3) J. R. E. asks how to make an ordinary sunshade for a telescope
when placed, and what kind of glass it is composed of. A. Any very
dark glass will answer, providing it is perfectly plane. It should be
placed between the eye and eyepiece.

(4) W. H. G. S. writes: I wish to give a blue color to screw heads,
wire and steel. What shall I use? A. Heat them in a sand bath, or
apply shellac or copal varnish, to which a little Prussian blue has
been added.

(5) T. McW. asks (1) for a good recipe for making Babbitt metal. A.
By weight, 4 parts copper, 8 parts antimony, 96 parts tin. 2. What is
meant by heating surface in boilers, and how is it computed? A. The
term heating surface, as ordinarily used, refers to the surface which
has water on one side, and flame or the products of combustion on the
other. 3. I have a peculiar kind of steel which I cannot harden by
fire and water, neither will it caseharden by prussiate of potash.
What can I do with it to harden it? A. Assuming your account to be
correct, we judge that you cannot harden it.

(6) A. Van B. writes: A correspondent in your last issue asks how
to keep rubber belts from slipping. Mine slipped considerably, but I
checked it by throwing powdered rosin in between the belt and pulley
while running. The pulley soon becomes covered with a tough black
coating, very much like leather, and there is no more slip. [This
expedient can be used to advantage in certain cases, but it is
better to have a belt large enough to drive without using any

(7) E. B. C. asks: 1. Does a more powerful battery produce better
results in telephone or microphone? A. A powerful battery is not
required for either. 2. Can you give me a short description of the
principle and construction of the aerophone? A. We think it has not
been perfected.

(8) A. T. L. asks for a recipe for a liquid boot or shoe polish. A.
Clausen's ink is made as follows: Nutgalls, 8 parts; logwood extract,
10 parts; boil together in water, q. s., and add Castile soap, 4
parts; glycerin, trace. Crocker's--Logwood extract, 6 ozs.; water, 1
gallon; ivory black, 1.5 oz.; glycerin, 1 oz.; bichromate of potassa,
0.125 oz.; copperas, 0.125 oz.; boil together. Sefton's--Orange
shellac, 64 ozs.; alcohol, 4 gallons; pure asphaltum, 60 ozs.; neat's
foot oil, 1 pint; lampblack, q. s. Ovington's--Water, 1 gallon;
logwood extract, 6 ozs.; water, 1 gallon; borax, 6 ozs.; shellac,
1.5 oz.; water, 0.5 pint; bichromate of potassa, 0.375 oz. Mix the
solutions, and add 3 ozs. ammonia. Shaw's--Borax, 3 ozs.; orange
shellac, 5 ozs.; water, q. s.; boil and add soluble aniline black or
nigrosine, q. s. Rub the spots with strong aqueous solution of ferric
chloride, and dry before applying the dressing.

(9) J. S. & R. M. write: 1. We propose putting in a steam engine of 20
horse power, and we are informed there is an engine that weighs 2,700
lbs., that has a balance wheel weighing 500 lbs., cylinder 10 x 10
inches; cutting off at ¾ stroke, running at 180 to 200 revolutions
a minute, and they say that it is 20 horse at 70 lbs. steam. Will such
an engine develop 20 horse power? A. The engine would develop 20 horse
power under the above conditions, if well constructed. 2. How can
we calculate the power of an engine? A. To determine the power of
an engine, multiply the mean pressure on the piston in lbs., by the
piston speed in feet per minute, and divide the product by 33,000.

(10) A. L. G. asks: 1. With a boiler 15 inches in diameter by 30
inches in height, with five 1½ inch tubes 18 inches long, firebox 12
x 12, and all made of iron plates ¼ inch thick. What is the greatest
number of pounds of steam to the square inch it will hold, and what
fraction of a horse power will it give to an engine having a cylinder
2 x 4 inches, situated 2 feet from the boiler, and connected by 40
inches of steam pipe? A. You can carry 150 lbs. of steam, and might
develop 1 horse power. 2. What is meant by the pitch of a wheel in a
propeller, and what is the inclination of a cylinder? A. The pitch of
a propeller is the distance it would advance in the direction of its
axis at each revolution, if it worked without slip. The inclination of
a cylinder refers to the angle made by its axis with a horizontal or
vertical line.

(11) J. H. asks: 1. Has steel been used for portable boilers? A. Yes.
2. What size boiler is required for an engine having a 3 x 4 inch
cylinder? A. Diameter, 24 inches; height, 45 inches; heating surface,
65 to 70 square feet.

(12) J. A. M. asks: How large must an air pump be for an engine steam
cylinder 8 x 8, making 100 revolutions per minute with 90 lbs. of
steam, allowing the pump to be 4 inches stroke, double acting, to be
attached to surface condenser? A. Diameter, 3½ inches.

(13) J. A. F. asks: 1. What shall I paint my boiler and smoke stack
with, and where can I get the paint? My engine is a thrashing engine,
and of course is out of doors during the fall of the year. A. Get
some black varnish made from petroleum, from a dealer in machinists'
supplies. 2. How shall I care for the boiler inside? A. Leave the
boiler perfectly dry, unless you can coat the interior with oil. 3.
What shall I do for the engine. Is it necessary to take the piston out
of cylinder and oil it? A. If the engine is to stand for some time,
remove the piston, coat it and the cylinder with tallow; the same for
the journals. Cover all finished parts of the engine with a mixture of
white lead and tallow. 4. I find my steam gauge does not indicate less
than 10 lbs. when boiler is cold. What is the trouble and how can it
be repaired? A. In such a case it is best to send the gauge to a maker
for repairs.

(14) "Zebra" wishes to know the best test of the genuineness of
white lead; also the simplest way to try the comparative value of
two samples of ground white lead. Also the name of the best work to
consult upon the manufacture of Portland cement. A. See answer No. 29,
p. 283, current volume, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. Also pp. 102-105 Normandy
and Noad's "Commercial Analysis." The relative value of different
samples of white lead in oil is roughly judged from the weight of
a given measured quantity, the covering properties when compared on
glass with a sample of finest white lead, and the color and general
appearance of the sample. You may consult Reid's "Manufacture of
Portland Cement."

(15) J. B. B. asks: Can I arrange an electric battery so as to heat a
platinum wire for the purpose of cutting wood? Is it practicable? A.
Two or three Bunsen cells will do it. It is impracticable save as an

(16) D. S. M. asks how to color butter to make it yellow, without
injuring it in any way. A. A little annotto is often used. If pure, it
is not injurious.

(17) H. C. M. asks: What substances are there that will absorb light
during the day when exposed to light, and give it out again at night?
A. 1. Heat strontium theosulphate for fifteen minutes over a good
Bunsen gas lamp and then for 5 minutes over a blast lamp. 2. Heat
equal parts of strontium carbonate and lac Supt gently for 5
minutes, then strongly for 25 minutes over a Bunsen lamp, and finally
5 minutes over a blast lamp. 3. Precipitate strong aqueous solution
of strontium chloride by means of sulphuric acid, dry the precipitate,
and heat it to redness for some time in a current of hydrogen, then
over a Bunsen lamp for 10 minutes, and for 20 minutes over a blast
lamp. Mix any of these with pure melted paraffin for use as a paint,
and expose for a time to sunlight. The two former yield a greenish
phosphorescence in the dark, the latter a bluish light.

(18) Z. asks: Is the Great African Desert below the level of the sea,
and if so, could it be made into an inland sea by flooding from the
ocean? A. A considerable, though relatively small, portion of the
Sahara is below the sea level, and the flooding of the lowest portion
has been proposed. The greater part of North Africa lies at a higher
level, the exception being a chain of old lake beds or chotts on the
border of Algeria.

(19) J. P. L. asks: How can I make a filter to cleanse rain water from
smoke as it passes from the roof to the cistern? The coal which is
burned here (bituminous) gives us a great deal of trouble in this
regard. A. The carbonaceous matters may be removed by passing the
water through a large barrel half filled with fine gravel and pounded,
freshly-burnt charcoal (free from dust), distributed in alternate
layers, each several inches deep. Over this spread a clean piece of
bagging, and fill in with fine gravel or coarse clean quartz sand for
12 inches or more. The inlet pipe should discharge at the bottom of
the barrel--the filtered water flowing from the top.

(20) F. E. H. asks: Can percussion caps be so composed as to explode
when pierced by a sharp pointed needle? If so, of what should they be
composed? A. Such an arrangement is employed in the needle gun. The
composition may be of mercuric fulminate.

(21) C. A. N. asks: What is the horse power of an engine 30 inches
stroke, 14 inches cylinder, 51 revolutions per minute, 60 lbs. mean
pressure in cylinder?

A. Piston area = 153.94 square inches. Piston speed = 255 feet per
minute. Indicated horse power =

153.94 x 60 x 255
-----------------  = 71.4

(22) P. O. asks: If I admit steam 100 lbs. pressure in a cylinder 15
x 24 inches, and cut the steam off when piston has traveled 6 inches,
what will be the pressure at 6 inches, 12 inches, 18 inches, and 24
inches, or just before it exhausts? A. The pressure will vary about in
the inverse ratio of the volume, so that, approximately,

vol. of cylinder up to point of cut-off + clearance vol.
vol. of cylinder at any point of expansion + clearance vol.

    pressure above zero, at the given point.
 =  ----------------------------------------
    pressure above zero, at point of cut-off.

(23) H. T. S. asks: What size should I make the holes in the side of a
fan wheel, 20 inches in diameter? Also what size should the nozzle
be? A. Allow an opening of from 17 to 20 square inches at inlet and

(24) E. M. D. writes: I am constructing a telephone according to
directions in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT No. 142, using a bar
magnet in place of horseshoe magnet and soft iron core. 1. Would it
reduce the strength of bar magnet to cut a thread on one end of it?
A. No. 2. Will a bar magnet, used in Bell telephone, lose its power to
such a degree as not to work? A. Not readily. 3. Is No. 22 copper wire
of sufficient size for a telephone line of 1,000 feet? A. Yes; but
larger would be better.

(25) S. & Y. write: We have a pair of burrs on which we grind plaster.
The burrs are about 4 feet in diameter and 1½ foot thick. We are
running them as an over runner at this time, but wish to change them
and make the lower burr run instead of the upper. Can a pair of burrs
of the above size be run in that way, and if so, what is the maximum
speed at which they can be run? A. If properly arranged, you can
run them, after the change, as fast as is allowable for overrunning

(26) J. J. asks: Which tire makes a wheel the strongest, 1.25 x 0.50
inch iron, or 1.25 x 5/16 steel tire? A. The steel tire will be the
strongest, comparing good qualities of steel and iron.

(27) E. L. W. asks: Is a ton (2,000 lbs.) of first class coke equal in
heat giving power to a ton (2,000 lbs.) of coal? If not, please
give me the relative value of coke and coal in heat giving power?
A. Calling the evaporative power of good anthracite coal 1, good
bituminous coal rates at about 0.92, and coke from 0.89 to 0.95.

(28) J. W. S. asks what to impregnate paper with to give it an
agreeable smell while burning. A. You may try a strong ethereal or
alcoholic solution of benzoin, tolu, storax, olibanum or labdanum.
To burn well the paper should first be impregnated with an aqueous
solution of niter and dried.

(29) M. G. asks whether hydrogen and oxygen can be produced as rapidly
and copiously in the decomposition of water by the galvanic battery as
by the action of sulphuric acid on zinc or lead in the one case,
and by heating chlorate of potassa in the other. A. Yes, with a very
powerful current.

(30) T. G. H. asks for names of useful treatises on mechanical
movements. A. "Scientific American Reference Book," and "507
Mechanical Movements."

(31) R. B. T. writes: We have just set up a new engine; the cylinder
is 8 x 12, has a common slide valve. We think the valve is too short;
it is set 0.125 inch open when on center, takes steam 10 inches before
cutting off; the exhaust is very free. The engine runs about 110
revolutions per minute. We think we could save steam by using a longer
valve, and cut-off about 5/8 stroke, and make the exhaust space in the
valve shorter, so that it will shut in a portion of the exhaust and
form a cushion for the piston. About how much of the exhaust can
we shut in without overdoing it? A. You can obtain a good action by
making the ratio of compression equal to the ratio of expansion,
with the proviso that the final cushion pressure must not exceed the
initial pressure.

(32) D. B. L. writes: Our boiler after being repaired was tested at
110 lbs. cold water pressure. Three days after it gave out where it
was repaired at 58 lbs. steam pressure. To find the leak we put on
80 lbs. cold water pressure, and could not find it. We then put steam
pressure at 40 lbs., which made the leak very great, whereas with
cold water pressure we could find none. Can you explain it? A. The
phenomenon is probably due to the change of shape in the boiler when

(33) F. C. writes: Our engine is a plain slide valve engine, 24 x 9,
steam following almost to end of stroke. How shall I make a valve to
cut off at ¾? Our exhaust now is 1 inch, steam ports 0.75, bridges
0.75. Length of valve 4½ inches, cavity 2-3/8, travel of valve 2
inches. Will I have to enlarge the steam chest; the valve uses the
whole length of it now? A. As the length and travel of valve must be
increased, it will be necessary to lengthen the steam chest, unless
you can apply an independent cut-off valve.

(34) T. P. writes: A small basement room 9 feet high is to be heated
by a furnace in an adjoining room. By carrying the hot air pipe
through the partition midway between the floor and the ceiling it will
stand at an angle of about 45°. If carried through at the top of the
room it will of course be nearer vertical. In which position of the
hot air pipe will the room be most easily heated? A. Place the hot air
pipe in the position first described. Take the cold air from a point
near the floor through a flue opening above the roof.

(35) G. M. P. asks: What is a good and cheap substitute for salt for
raising the temperature of water to 230° Fah.? A. An oil bath is often
used instead. Chloride of calcium will answer as well as salt, though
not so cheap.

[Illustration: Right Triangle--sides 15, 20, 25ft.]

(36) J. D. reminds us of an old and good method of drawing a
perpendicular to a straight line for the purpose of squaring
foundations, etc. From the corner of the foundation take two lines
respectively 15 and 20 feet, and connect them by a line of 25 feet;
the angle included between the two shorter lines will be a right
angle. The numbers 3, 4, 5, or, as in the present case, their
multiples 15, 20, 25, are taken to measure respectively the
perpendicular, base, and slant side of the triangle. It is obvious
that any scale may be used so long as the ratio of 3, 4, 5, is

(37) J. H. asks what kind of iron to use in making cast iron
armatures. A. Soft gray iron.

(38) F. H. C. asks: How can I etch cheaply on glass to imitate ground
figures or transparent figures on a ground background? A. For this
purpose the sand blast is now generally used; the glass is covered
with a film of wax or varnish, through which, with suitable needles or
gravers, is etched the design; a fine sharp silicious sand impelled
by a current of air is then directed from a suitable jet over the
prepared surface, and the etching is accomplished in a few minutes.
Glass is etched also by hydrofluoric acid; the plate may be prepared
as for the sand blast, and placed face downwards over a shallow leaden
tray, containing powdered fluorspar moistened with strong oil of
vitriol and gently warmed; the gaseous hydrofluoric acid given off
rapidly etches the portions of the glass not protected by the wax or
varnish. Hydrofluoric acid should be used with great care.

(39) L. H. writes: I have seen it asserted that the parasites that
infest the Asiatic tiger's paw are an exact miniature image of itself.
Is this so? A. No.

(40) J. G. B. asks if there is any way of melting brass in a common
sand crucible for castings of a pound or so in weight for a small
engine. A. You may melt small quantities of brass in any common stove
having a good draught, using a coal fire. You may use borax as a flux.

(41) F. & Co. ask: 1. In making a telephone as described in Figs. 4
and 5, SUPPLEMENT 142, must the diaphragm be entirely free, or can it
be punched and the screws which secure the flange pass through it? A.
The diaphragm should not be punched. 2. In new form of telephone in No
20, current volume, must there be a battery in the circuit, or is the
telephone sufficient to work it? A. A battery is required.

(42) J. M. B. asks: What will prevent the hair from falling out? A.
Keep the pores of the skin open by frequent bathing and change of
underclothing. Bathe the head with clean soft water, and stimulate
the scalp with a moderately stiff brush morning and evening. The head
should be occasionally cleansed with a weak solution of glycerin soap
in dilute spirit of wine, with care to remove all traces of soap from
the hair. Use no pomades or oils of any kind.

(43) B. H. P. asks (1) how to make malleable iron, such as used in
wrenches. A. Malleable iron castings are made from mottled iron. They
are cleaned by tumbling and then packed in iron boxes with alternating
layers of rolling mill scale. The boxes are carefully luted and packed
in an annealing furnace, where they are kept at a white heat for a
week or more, and then allowed to cool gradually. 2. How is steel
or iron made to adhere to the face of the jaws of the wrench? A. By

(44) J. G. E. asks: What is the highest column of water that can
be raised from a well by means of a siphon pump with 60 lbs. steam,
likewise a 1 inch column of water with 60 lbs. steam? A. Lift, from 26
to 27 feet.

(45) W. H. W. asks: 1. Is there any solution excepting rubber that
will make cloth thoroughly waterproof, or at least withstand the
attack of water for an hour or so? It should be applied by dipping
the cloth in the solution. A. Linseed oil boiled with a little wax and
litharge is useful for some purposes. Cloth prepared with paraffin,
balata gum, the gum of the asclet pias or milkweed, naphtha solution
of the dried pulp of the bamboo berry, anhydrous aluminum soaps (see
pp. 149 and 159, "Science Record," 1874), are also employed. 2. Is
there any chemical that could be combined with the solution, imparting
some property to the same for which rats or mice would have an
antipathy so as to prevent their attacks? A. A trace of phenol will
generally suffice.

(46) J. L. asks: Is the balata gum softened by animal oils or fat? A.

(47) P. L. W. asks. What distance would a 100 lb. weight have to fall
to run a sewing machine for 5 hours? A. For an ordinary family sewing
machine, requiring about one thirtieth of a horse power, the weight
would have to fall about 3,300 feet in the 5 hours.

(48) W. G. R. asks: 1. What is the valve yoke of a steam engine? A.
We presume you refer to the rectangular yoke that receives the back
of the valve in the class of engines having balanced valves. 2. What
should be the diameter of the bore of an engine of 1 horse power with
100 lbs. pressure, also the length of stroke? A. Diameter, 2¾ inches;
stroke, 4½ inches. 3. How are the back gears of a lathe made so as
to be thrown out of gear when it is wished to use the lathe at a high
speed? A. Ordinarily by a cam and lever, or tight and loose joint. 4.
Would 1/64 of an inch thickness of sheet steel be strong enough for
the boiler of a small model locomotive? How much pressure would it
stand to the inch? A. If the diameter does not exceed 3 inches, you
can carry a pressure of from 50 to 60 lbs. per square inch.

(49) J. W. W. asks: Which will stand the most pressure, a piece of
round iron 1 inch long and 1 inch in diameter, or a piece of gas pipe
the same dimensions, both being set upon end? A. The round iron.

(50) W. M. B. writes: 1. I have one eighth inch basswood, cherry,
butternut and walnut. Which do you advise for the sounding board of a
microphone and Hughes telephone? A. Either will do, but pine or spruce
is better. 2. Would a glazed earthen jar do for the outside of battery
described in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT, No. 149? A. Yes. 3. Could
I make insulated wire myself? If so, how? A. Wire may be insulated by
giving it a coat of shellac varnish and allowing it to become dry and
nearly hard before winding.

(51) W. H. S. asks how to satin finish tubing like sample sent. A. The
specimen has been electro-plated with silver in the usual manner,
and the electric current then reversed for a few moments, thus
redissolving a portion of the plate, the remainder presenting the
peculiar satin like luster.

(52) S. W. C. asks: Has carbon for telephone purposes ever been made
by subjecting the black deposited by a flame to a heavy pressure? A.
Yes. Edison's carbons are made in this manner.

(53) "Hardware" asks: 1. Where is best to take hot air in a room, at
register near ceiling or in floor? A. At or near the floor. 2. Where
is best place to have ventilation, near floor or near ceiling? A.
If connected with a flue having a good draught it should be near the

(54) R. W. J. asks: What causes the cracking noise in the pipes of a
steam heating apparatus, when a fire has been started to warm up the
building? Is it the water in the pipes made by condensed steam, or is
it the expansion of the pipes from being heated? A. The noise is due
to both causes in some degree, but principally to the water, which
produces violent blows.

(55) C. N. A. asks how to temper steel tools for working on stone or
similar work. There is some preparation which is put in water which
accomplishes the purpose when the steel is heated and plunged in. A.
Heat the tools to a cherry red, and plunge in clean, moderately cool
water. A little common salt is sometimes added to the water.

(56) G. B. asks: 1. Is the height to which water is raised by a
hydraulic ram measured from the ram itself or from the spring from
which the supply comes? A. From the ram. 2. Can a hydraulic ram be
constructed to discharge 1,000 gallons of water per minute? A. Yes.

(57) L. D. writes that benzine will answer much better to exterminate
roaches, moths, etc., than anything else. It will not hurt furniture
in the least, will evaporate, and can be easily applied.

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

M. B. W.--No. 1 is a silicious clay--it might be useful in the
manufacture of some grades of pottery, etc. No. 2 is a ferruginous
shale--contains about 80 per cent. of silica and 10 per cent. of
alumina, besides lime, magnesia, iron oxide, and water.--W. S.--It is
fibrous talc--talc of good quality is in considerable demand for paper
making and other purposes.--W. G. H.--The sand contains no precious
metal--the glittering particles are mica.--S. F.--The specimen you
send consists of a mass of the long hairs which have been attached
to the seeds of the "milkweed" (_asclepias_), or, as it is sometimes
called, from the silky nature of these appendages, "silkweed." We
believe that this material is put to no other economic use at present
than that of a filling for cushions and pillows. The beauty of this
silk like down long ago attracted attention, and many unsuccessful
attempts have been made to put it to some practical use in the arts;
but, as you have probably noticed, the hairs are both brittle and
weak, and an examination with a lens will show that it wants the
roughness and angularity necessary to fit it for being spun like other
fibers. It has, however, been mixed with cotton and woven into fabrics
having a silky luster and capable of taking brilliant dyes, but the
manufacture has never been prosecuted. The plants, though widely
distributed over the United States, and quite common, are nevertheless
not abundant enough in a wild state to afford much of a supply, and we
believe no experiments have been made in cultivating them.

       *       *       *       *       *

Any numbers of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT referred to in these
columns may be had at this office. Price 10 cents each.

       *       *       *       *       *


The Editor of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN acknowledges with much pleasure
the receipt of original papers and contributions on the following

Manufacture of Porous Cups for Tyndall Grove Battery. By W. H. S.

Cylinder Condensation. By F. F. H.

Sawdust. By W. H. M.

Keely Motor. By G. R. S.

Firing. By A. P. A.

Steam Launches. By G. F. S.

       *       *       *       *       *


We renew our request that correspondents, in referring to former
answers or articles, will be kind enough to name the date of the paper
and the page, or the number of the question.

Many of our correspondents make inquiries which cannot properly be
answered in these columns. Such inquiries, if signed by initials only,
are liable to be cast into the waste basket.

Persons desiring special information which is purely of a personal
character, and not of general interest, should remit from $1 to $5,
according to the subject, as we cannot be expected to spend time and
labor to obtain such information without remuneration.

       *       *       *       *       *

English Patents Issued to Americans. From November 8 to November 12,
inclusive. Electric light.--T. A. Edison, Menlo Park, N. J. Feed water
apparatus.--S. J. Hayes et al.,-------.

Pipe, manufacture of.--W. Radde, N. Y. city.

Potato digger.--L. A. Aspinwall, Albany, N. Y.

Refrigerator.--J. A. Whitney, N. Y. city.

Screw cutting machinery.--C. D. Rogers, Providence, R. I.

Sewing machine.--Wilson Sewing Machine Company, Chicago, Ill.

Wire machinery.--C. D. Rogers, Providence, R. I.

       *       *       *       *       *




Letters Patent of the United States were

Granted in the Week Ending

October 15, 1878,


[Those marked (r) are reissued patents.]

       *       *       *       *       *

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

       *       *       *       *       *

Animal trap, B. H. Noelting                          209,068
Axle box, car, J. N. Smith                           208,993
Axle skein, vehicle, L. A. Winchester                209,096
Ballot box, W. L. Barnes                             208,951
Bed bottom, F. W. Mitchell                           208,917
Bed bottom, spring, H. Pitcher                       208,987
Bed lounge, H. S. Carter                             209,019
Bed, spring, A. J. Lattin                            208,979
Bedstead fastening, L. P. Clark                      209,022
Boilers, low water alarm for steam, G. H. Crosby     208,962
Boot and shoe counter support, etc., J. Wissen       208,943
Bootjack, C. Tyson                                   209,091
Brake, vacuum, F. W. Eames                           208,895
Bran scourer, R. Tyson                               209,092
Broom, M. T. Boult                                   209,017
Brush, A. C. Estabrook                               208,898
Camera, J. W. T. Cadett                              208,956
Can, E. Norton                                       209,070
Can, metallic, J. Broughton                          209,009
Can, oil, A. E. Gardner                              209,037
Can, sheet metal, A. N. Lapierre                     209,060
Car bumper, S. M. Cummings (r)                         8,448
Car coupling, J. Simmons                             208,934
Car draw bar attachment, railway, J. H. Smitt        208,994
Car journal box, F. M. Alexander                     208,947
Car running gear, railway, J. C. Weaver              209,093
Cars, dust deflector for, Morgan & Gilleland         209,066
Carbureter, air, G. Reznor                           209,076
Carriage, C. H. Palmer, Jr.                          208,923
Carriage seats, corner iron for, L. Emerson          208,971
Carriage top standard, F. W. Whitney                 209,097
Cartridge loading machine, G. S. Slocum              208,935
Cartridges, machine for gauging, J. H. Gill          208,903
Casting andirons, mould for, S. E. Jones             209,054
Casting temple rollers, mould for, J. B. Stamour     208,997
Chair for children, high, J. Nichols (r)               8,454
Chair, reclining, N. N. Horton                       208,907
Chalk, sharpener for tailor's, J. Butcher            208,955
Churn, J. H. Folliott                                209,033
Churn, reciprocating, L. B. Wilson                   208,941
Clasp, T. P. Taylor                                  208,998
Clock striking attachment, D. C. Wolf                209,098
Cock, steam, G. H. Crosby                            208,961
Coin holder, C. H. Carpenter                         208,958
Coin holder, B. McGovern                             208,984
Coin measure, C. H. Fuller                           208,902
Coke oven, W. H. Rosewarne                           208,930
Combing machine, Rushton & Macqueen                  208,991
Cooler and filter, water, J. C. Jewett               208,909
Cooler, water, G. W. Malpass                         208,913
Cotton gin, J. B. Hull                               209,049
Crucible machine, J. C. Clime                        208,960
Cultivator, J. C. Bean                               209,005
Cultivator, B. H. Cross                              208,964
Cultivator, C. Nash                                  208,921
Dental foil package, R. S. Williams                  209,002
Dental plugger, W. G. A. Bonwill                     209,006
Desk, H. E. Moon                                     208,919
Doffer combs, operator for, E. Wright                208,946
Draught equalizer, L. O. Brekke                      209,007
Dredging machine, J. B. Eads                         208,894
Drill cleaner, grain, J. W. Lucas                    208,982
Dummy, H. H. Baker                                   208,881
Ear ring, W. P. Dolloff                              208,968
Electric machine, dynamo, E. Weston                  209,094
Elevator, windlass water, J. Knipscheer              209,057
End gate fastening, F. Rock                          208,928
Evaporator, fruit and vegetable, J. W. Powers        208,925
Excavating machine, J. T. Dougine                    208,893
Exercising machine, W. J. O. Bryon, Jr.              208,954
Exhaust nozzle, N. J. White                          208,939
Fabric cutter, Muehling & Davis                      208,920
Feathers for dusters, G. M. Richmond                 209,080
Fence, J. Williams                                   209,095
Fence, picket, Terry & W. W. Green, Jr.              209,089
Firearm, breech-loading, H. C. Bull                  209,010
Firearm, breech-loading, J. D. Coon                  208,889
Fire escape, V. Wohlmann                             208,944
Firekindler, T. M. Benner                            208,882
Firekindler, E. J. Norris                            209,069
Fluting machine, C. G. Cabell (r)                      8,453
Fork, W. H. Kretsinger                               209,058
Fuel compressor, W. H. Rosewarne                     208,929
Gas burner, pressure governing, J. N. Chamberlain    209,021
Gas burners, apparatus for, A. L. Bogart             209,016
Gate, C. D. & I. Haldeman                            209,040
Gate, J. S. Henshaw                                  208,976
Gate, Nason & Wilson (r)                               8,456
Grain binder, M. A. Keller                           209,059
Grain separator, G. W. Earhart                       208,896
Gun, air, B. T. Babbitt                              209,014
Harness, neck yoke attachment for, J. S. Nelson      208,922
Harrow, sulky, S. C. Dix                             209,028
Harvester rake, J. Barnes                            208,950
Harvester reel, Hodges & Mohler                      209,047
Head light, locomotive, E. L. Hall                   209,041
Heels, turner for wooden, Prenot & Marchal           208,989
Hide and skin dresser, C. Molinier                   208,918
Hitching post, Thomas & Knox                         209,090
Hoe. T. Weiss                                        209,000
Hog cholera compound, M. Hemmingway                  208,975
Horse collar, J. J. Crowley                          209,025
Horse power, C. H. Baker                             208,948
Horsepower, A. B. Farquhar                           209,032
Horse toe weight, J. W. Bopp                         208,927
Ice, manufacturing, A. Albertson (r)                   8,455
Indicator, water level, E. Jerome                    209,052
Journal, R. Macdonald                                208,983
Journal bearing, W. W. Smalley                       209,084
Knife, chopping, W. Millspaugh                       209,065
Knob attachment, door, J. F. Peacock                 208,924
Lamp holder, A. A. Noyes                             209,071
Lamp bowl, F. Rhind                                  209,077
Lamp chimney, nursery, E. Mecier                     208,916
Lamp, miner's, W. Roberts                            209,082
Lamp, self-extinguishing, F. Rhind                   209,078
Lantern, J. H. Irwin                                 209,051
Lantern, signal. H. E. Pond (r)                        8,457
Latch, B. W. Foster                                  209,034
Lathe for turning regular forms, E. A. Marsh         209,064
Lead, refining, impure, N. S. Keith                  209,056
Leather skiving machine, M. M. Clough                208,959
Leather splitting machine, A. E. Whitney             209,001
Loom temple, J. B. Stamour                           209,101
Lubricator, N. Seibert                               208,932
Lubricator, steam cylinder, N. Seibert               208,931
Marble, slate, etc., ornamenting, W. K. Lorenz       209,062
Match dipping machine, A. R. Sprout                  208,996
Meter, steam diaphragm, C. Holly                     209,048
Middlings bolt, M. Inskeep                           209,050
Middlings separator, G. T. Smith.                    208,936
Musical instrument, E. P. Needham (r)                  8,451
Musical string instruments, key for, F. Z. Nicolier  208,985
Needle, J. Burrows                                   209,018
Oat meal machine, Eberhard & Turner                  208,970
Ordnance, operating heavy, H. C. Bull                209,011
Ore separator, P. Plant                              209,074
Oven, hot blast, Miles & Burghardt                   208,915
Package wrapper, G. V. Hecker                        209,044
Packing for piston rods, metallic, M. H. Gerry       208,973
Pan cover, milk, C. C. Fairlamb                      208,900
Paper feeding apparatus, F. H. Lauten                208,980
Paper making machines, box for, C. Young             209,003
Paper pulp, reducing wood to, Cornell & Tollner      208,890
Peach parer, W. S. Plummer                           208,988
Pen, puncturing, J. M. Griest                        208,905
Pessary, medicated, T. N. Berlin                     208,883
Pipe, smoking, W. H. Caddy                           208,886
Planter, corn, Brigham & Flenniken                   208,885
Planter, grain, C. E. McBonn                         208,914
Planter, seed, G. A. Woods                           208,945
Plaster bandages, making, C. G. Hill                 209,045
Plow, C. Myers                                       209,067
Plow and harrow attachment, shovel, A. Heartsill     209,043
Plow and harrow, W. G. Himrod                        209,046
Plow clevis, H. Estes                                208,899
Plow, hillside, shovel, and subsoil, E. Tate         209,088
Plow, sulky, F. H. Isaacs                            208,978
Press, cotton and hay, Tappey & Steel                209,087
Printing and painting machine, O. Currier            208,892
Printing, photo-mechanical, M. R. Freeman            209,036
Propelling vessels, P. Boisset                       208,952
Pulleys to wheels, engaging, Blake & Davis           208,884
Pump, S. Stucky                                      209,086
Pump, double acting lift, Dean & Pike                209,027
Rafter, F. M. Covert                                 209,024
Railway rails, muffling, A. Atwood                   208,880
Railway signal, C. E. Hanscom                        209,042
Railway signal, electro-magnetic, H. W. Spang        208,995
Railway track, B. F. Card                            208,957
Rake, horse hay, W. Adriance                         209,004
Rolling mills, bearing for, S. W. Baldwin            208,949
Roofs, attaching slates to, S. Farquhar              209,031
Rope holding reel, C. N. Cass                        209,020
Rosettes from wood, making, J. H. Burnshow           239,012
Seal, baggage, E. J. Brooks                          208,953
Seal, metallic, E. J. Brooks                         209,008
Seeding machine, S. O. Campbell                      208,887
Sewing machine, C. S. Cushman                        209,026
Sewing machine, J. A. Davis                          208,967
Sewing machine, L. Evans                             209,030
Sewing machine, book, J. S. Lever                    209,061
Sewing machine, hem stitching, J. A. Lakin           208,911
Sewing machine tuck marker, G. Rehfuss               209,075
Shaft and pulley coupling, H. C. Crowell             208,965
Shears, metal, W. G. Collins                         208,888
Ships unloading grain from W. Stanton (r)              8,452
Shoe, J. F. Emerson                                  208,897
Shutter bower, T. Thorn                              208,937
Shutter worker, W. Jones                             209,055
Sign, W. Gulden                                      208,974
Sinks, measuring and weighing, D. T. Winter          208,942
Sled, stone and log, W. Gregg                        209,039
Sleigh, propeller, R. Schluter                       209,083
Spittoon, T. Loughran                                208,981
Spring, car, G. F. Godley                            208,904
Spring, vehicle, E. Chamberlin (r)             8,449,  8,450
Spring, vehicle, C. W. Fillmore                      208,901
Spring, vehicle, H. R. Huie                          208,977
Steamer, feed, Machamer & McCulloch                  209,063
Stirrup, saddle, J. M. Freeman                       208,972
Stove board, A. C. Stoessiger                        209,085
Stove cover and check damper, H. Ritter              209,081
Stove pipe shelf, L. W. Turner                       208,938
Stoves, foot bar and rail for, J. Jewett             209,053
Stoves, hood for cooking, S. Cromer                  208,891
Stump puller. W. A. Webb                             208,999
Sugar, manufacture of hard, J. O. Donner             209,029
Switch cords, tip for, T. B. Doolittle               208,969
Table folding, R. M. Lambie                          208,912
Tablet, writing, W. O. Davis                         208,966
Target, W. Kuhn                                      208,910
Ticket, passenger, A. C. Sheldon                     208,933
Ticket-reel. T. D. Haehnlen                          208,906
Toy money box J. Gerard                              209,038
Treadle power, I. M. Rhodes                          209,079
Turbines, steam and other, P. C. Humblot             208,908
Valve, J. Patterson                                  208,986
Valve, feed water regulating, E. C. Da Silva         208,992
Valve gear, steam engine, J. Butcher                 209,013
Ventilator, T. Owens                                 209,072
Wagon jack, W. B. Bartram                            209,015
Wagon jack, Williams & Dodge                         208,940
Washing machine, D. Coman                            209,023
Washing machine, A. R. Fowler                        209,035
Washing machine, F. F. Reynolds                      208,990
Water gauge, G. H. Crosby                            208,963
Weighing apparatus, J. H. Wright                     209,099
Window, A. K. Phillips                               209,073
Window frame, C. Rebhun                              208,926
Wreaths, machine for twining, G. B. Shepard          209,100


Cigars, cigarettes, etc., E. Hilson                    6,726
Cigars, etc., Engelbrecht Fox & Co.             6,724, 6,725
Disinfecting compound, Hance Bros. & White             6,718
Gin, Hoffheimer Brothers                               6,729
Lamp chimneys, Norcross, Mellen & Co.                  6,730
Liquid cements. W. H. Sanger                           6,731
Malt extract, Tarrant & Co.                            6,722
Matches, J. Eaton & Son                                6,727
Mustard and spices, H. B. Sherman               6,720, 6,721
Perfumery, J. T. Lanman                                6,719
Playing cards, The N. Y. Consolidated Card Co.         6,723
Smoking tobacco, H. W. Meyer                           6,728
Wash blue, F. Damcke                                   6,711


Carpet, C. Magee                                      10,870
Cigar boxes, Weller & Repetti                         10,871
Font of printing types, J. M. Conner                  10,868
Group of statuary, J. Rogers                          10,869
Handkerchiefs, J. Grimshaw                    10,866, 10,867

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

THE SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN Export Edition is a large and SPLENDID
PERIODICAL, issued once a month, forming a complete and interesting
Monthly Record of all Progress in Science and the Useful Arts
throughout the World. Each number contains about ONE HUNDRED LARGE
QUARTO PAGES, profusely illustrated, embracing:

(1.) Most of the plates and pages of the four preceding weekly issues

(2.) Prices Current, Commercial, Trade, and Manufacturing
Announcements of Leading Houses. In connection with these
Announcements many of the Principal Articles of American Manufacture
are exhibited to the eye of the reader by means of SPLENDID

This is by far the most satisfactory and superior Export Journal ever
brought before the public.

Terms for Export Edition, FIVE DOLLARS A YEAR, sent prepaid to any
part of the world. Single copies, 50 cents. For sale at this office.
To be had at all News and Book Stores throughout the country.

       *       *       *       *       *


Of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN Export Edition for November,


  The Incoming Commissioner of Patents.
  A South Australian Offer for an Improvement.
  The Forster-Firmin Amalgamator. Three engravings.
  Lyman's Trigonometer. One figure.
  Patent Law.
  The Benefits of Patent Rights.
  Hop Picking by Machinery.
  Description of Recent Most Important Agricultural Inventions.
  Displays of Ingenuity at the Boston Mechanics Fair.
  Description of Recent Most Important Mechanical Inventions.
  New Wilson Oscillating Sewing Machine. Seven figs.
  A Nail Gun.
  Who will Invent a Satisfactory Milking Machine?
  The Hermetical Sanitary Closet. One engraving.
  New Refrigerator Basket. Two engravings.
  New Fireproof Shutter. One engraving.
  Inventors Needed in England.
  New Foot Power. One engraving.
  New Wool Scouring and Rinsing Machine. One eng.
  New Measuring Jacket. Three engravings.
  New Rheostat. Two engravings.
  The Paris International Patent Congress.
  Patent Rights, and Who Oppose Them.
  New Gas Regulator. Three engravings.
  Combined Traction Engine and Steam Fire Engine. One engraving.
  Van Renne's Caloric Engine and Pump. Three engs.
  The Watson Pump. One engraving.
  The Swedish Buckeye Machine.
  Pipe Wrench and Cutter. Two engravings.
  Drilling Square Holes. Four figures.
  Description of Recent Most Important Engineering Inventions.
  New Mortising Machine. One engraving.
  New Steam Fire Engine. One engraving.
  New Bank Note Paper Wanted.
  The Proposed Addition to the Patent Office. Two engravings.
  A Year's Work in the Patent Office.
  New Rule in Trade Mark Cases.
  Electric Light in Chancery.
  Novel Egg Opener. Two engravings.
  Patents for Protecting the Dead.
  Electric Light Patents.
  A New Platen Gauge. Four engravings.
  New Draughting Pencil. Two engravings.
  Gas and Water-tight Cloth.
  New Regulator for Clock Pendulums. Two engs.
  Steam Engine Governor. One engraving.
  Description of Recent Most Important Miscellaneous Inventions.
  Notices of New Inventions.
  Patent Office Library.

  Chard's Lubricene and Cups.
  The Electric Light and the Gas Companies.
  Fuel Gas.
  New Ways to Use Iron Wanted.
  Progress and Prospects of the East River Bridge. Two engravings.
  A Steam Tricycle.
  New Artesian Well, Victoria, Spain.
  A Long Train.
  How a Good House Should be Built.
  Jetties Under Water.
  How the Capitol at Albany, N. Y., is to be Warmed and Ventilated.
  What a Perfect Railway Brake Should do.
  The Secret of It.
  Florida Ship Canal.
  The Torpedo Vessel Destroyer. One illustration.
  Steam from Petroleum.
  The Motion of a Wagon Wheel.
  Building in Steel.
  Locomotive for the Metropolitan Elevated Railway. One illustration.
  The French Dam Below Pittsburg, Ohio.
  The Adelphi Explosion.
  "Forney" Locomotive for the New York Elevated Railway. One large engraving.
  The Steam Value of Oil Fuels.
  The Mechanical and other Properties of Iron and Mild Steel.
  French Wheelbarrows. Twenty-five engravings.
  Small Steamboats.
  Life Preservers.
  A Gas Clock.
  Another Mountain Railway.
  Preservation of Iron.
  The Salisbury Furnace for Petroleum.
  Danger from Lubricating Oils.
  The Testing of Boiler Iron.
  Tramway Rail Experiments. Two engravings.
  Aluminum and Platinum in the Manufacture of Watches.
  Great Machine Tool Makers.
  Gas as a Substitute for Solid Fuel.


  The Formation of Quartz.
  Depth of Nevada Gold and Silver Mines.
  California Mining vs. Farming.
  New Form of Iron Manufacture.
  Comstock Silver Lodes.


  Dangers from Impure Potassium Iodide.
  The Poplar as a Lightning Conductor.
  The Mariner's Compass.
  Crude Sulphur from Iron Pyrites.
  Antimony for Batteries.
  Delicate Test for Water.
  The Polarization of Electrodes.
  Balata Gum.
  Astronomical Notes. Giving the Positions, Rising,
  and Setting of the Planets for November.
  Professor Morton on the Electric Light.
  The Electrical Department in the Mechanic's Fair, Boston.
  The Satellites of Mars.
  Gold Amalgams.
  Another New Electric Light.
  Albumen of the Serum and that of Egg, and their Combinations.
  A Mirror Telegraph.
  Some Modifications of the Microphone and Telephone. Four engravings.
  A Chance for Electric Competition.
  Advantages of Experimental Study.
  The Black Spot of Jupiter.
  The Electric Light. With five engravings.
  Spontaneous Combustion.
  Recent Military Balloon Experiments.
  Burner for Electric Light. One engraving.
  Artificial Ball Lightning. One engraving.
  To Make Corks Air-tight and Water-tight.
  Electric Time Service for New York. Four engravings.
  The Hosmer Motor.
  Polarized Light.
  Phosphorescent Timepieces.
  The De Meritens Magneto-electric Machine. Two figures.
  Cellulose as a Material for Washers.


  The Golden Cup Oak.
  Serpulas, or Sea Worms. One engraving.
  The King Tody Bird. One engraving.
  Life Without Air.
  Cadaver-poison of the Australian Natives.
  The Contortion of Rocks from Heat Mechanically Generated.
  The Stiffening of Plant Stalks.
  Immense Labor Performed by Bees.
  The Torrey Botanical Club.
  The Big Trees of California.
  Explorations in Greenland.
  The Umbrella Bird. One engraving.
  The Argan Tree.
  A Spruce-destroying Beetle.
  A Geological Discovery in Deep Water.
  The Mound Builder's Unit of Measure.
  Progress of Horticulture.
  Bishop Ferrette on the Cedars of Lebanon.
  Special Senses in Insects.
  Natural History Notes.
  New Cave Discovery in Kentucky.
  Longevity of the Horse.
  Bee Culture in Egypt.
  The Poison Ivy and Virginia Creeper. Two engravings.
  The Crafty Hermit Crab. One illustration.


  Nitrate of Amyl in Sea Sickness.
  Milk cure for Lead Colic.
  Milkweed Juice for Raw Surfaces.
  The Use of Snails in Medicine.
  The Art of Prolonging Life.
  The Deleterious Use of Alum in Bread and Baking
  Powders.--Alum being Substituted for Cream of Tartar.
  The Treatment of Hydrophobia.
  New Use for Warts.
  Removal of the Entire Scalp by Machinery.
  The Probable Starting Point of the Yellow Fever.
  Scientific Reliance on Soap.
  The Medical Ice Hat.
  Ventilation of Bed Rooms.
  The Filtration of Drinking Water.
  The Texas "Screw Worm."


  Success of American Exhibitors at Paris.
  The Main Building at the Exhibition. With one full page illustration.
  The French Industrial Exhibition of 1878.
  Awards and Honors at Paris.
  Ingram Rotary Press. One illustration.
  A Grand World's Fair in New York.
  A Mexican Exhibition.
  Australia to have a World's Fair.
  Closing of the French Exhibition.
  Hydraulic Motors at the Exhibition. With two engravings.
  The National Academy of Sciences.
  The Official Reports of the Paris Exhibition.
  American Society of Civil Engineers.


  Should the Nation Engage in Manufactures?
  American Export of Agricultural Machinery.
  American Made Goods Exhibited as European Manufactures.
  The California Tea Fields.
  An Odd Craft.
  Progress of our Foreign Trade.
  The Condition of Manufacturing Interests in Germany.
  Labor in Chicago.
  Apples for Europe.
  Adulterated Graham Flour.
  Addition to our List of Food Fishes.
  Preservation of Milk.
  Electrical Test for Oils.
  Russian Pottery. Two engravings.
  Notes from the South.--Facts about the Cotton Worm.
  The Mediterranean Trade.
  American Competition in Great Britain.
  Rapid Increase in French Woolen Industries.
  The Rockport Granite Quarries.
  Trade Mark Treaty with Brazil.
  Early Manufacture of Steel Pens.
  New and Stale Bread.
  Leather from Sheep Stomachs.
  New Source of Rubber.
  A National Law Governing Adulteration Needed.
  How to get Pure Teas.
  Skilled Labor in New York City.
  French Subsoil and Clearing Plow. One figure.
  Opening for Trade in Madagascar.
  Handling Grain in Buffalo.
  The Blue Process of Copying Tracings.
  We Buy of them that Advertise.
  Unprofitable Agents.
  Various Uses of Paper.
  Improved Grinding Mill and Crusher. Two engravings.
  The Cultivation of the Common Nettle.
  The Economic Products of Seaweed.
  The Japanese Wax Tree in California.
  Preservation of Food by Gelatin.
  Pearl Millet.
  To Turn Oak Black.
  Dairy and Poultry Produce in America.
  Australian Gum Trees.
  Frauds in Wine Making.
  Removal of Iron Coloring from Liquors.
  The Utilization of Iron Slag.
  Relative Cost of Coal Transportation by Water and by Rail.
  How to get Rid of Ants.
  The Science of Milling.


  Progress in England and America.
  An Improvement on Tea Chromos.
  A Correction.
  The Stability of Modern Civilization.
  Future Rifle Shooting.
  "Bruce," the Manchester Fire Horse.
  The Trial of the "Pyx."
  Early Gold Payments.
  Workingmen in England and France.
  Washington Memorials in Northamptonshire. Three engravings.
  Culinary Uses of Leaves.
  A Remarkable Bank Robbery.--Scientific Safeguards Neglected.
  Cleopatra's Needle.
  A Steam Juryman.
  Roads in Baden.
  Indications of Progress.
  Practical Education in Russia.
  Table Forks.
  The Cost of Insecurity.
  Improved Copying Pencils.

Answers to Correspondents, embodying a large quantity of valuable
information, practical recipes, and instructions in various arts.

Single numbers of the _Scientific American Export Edition_, 50 cents.
To be had at this office, and at all news stores. Subscriptions, _Five
Dollars a year_; sent postpaid to all parts of the world.


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foreign trade may have large and handsomely displayed announcements
published in this edition at a very moderate cost.

The Scientific American Export Edition has a large guaranteed
circulation in all commercial places throughout the world. Regular
Files of the Export Edition are also carried on ALL STEAMSHIPS,
foreign and coastwise, leaving the port of New York. Address MUNN &
CO., 37 Park Row, New York.

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General description, dimensions, and particulars, with 2 pages of
drawings, covering illustrations of all the details, for a bridge of
100 feet span or less; specially useful for crossing of creeks, small
rivers, gullies, or wherever a costly structure is not desirable. The
drawings are from the Spar Bridge exhibited at the Centennial, in the
U. S. Department of Military Engineering. These bridges are wholly
composed of undressed stuff. SUPPLEMENT 71. Price 10 cents.

       *       *       *       *       *

paper, containing Plans and Descriptions of Model Fireproof Dwellings
of cheap construction lately erected in Chicago. By A. J. Smith,
Architect. With 9 illustrations. Plan No. 1 exhibits the construction
of comfortable one-story, 16 ft. front dwellings, of brick and
concrete, finished complete at a cost of $1,200. Plan No. 2 exhibits
the construction of a comfortable 23 ft. front, two-story dwelling,
of brick and concrete, finished complete, with cellar, for $1,700.
Several of these dwellings, on both plans, have been built at the
prices stated. This valuable paper also contains the Report of the
City Authorities of Chicago, certifying to the fireproof nature
of these buildings, with other useful particulars. Contained in
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT No. 91. Price 10 cts. To be had at this
office and of all newsdealers.

       *       *       *       *       *


By Capt. JOHN C. MORRIS, Pa. Carelessness in Breeding. How to Select
for Breeding. Marks of the Handsome Cow. Care and Training of the
Heifer. Infallible Marks of Good Milkers. Distinguishing Marks and
Characteristics of the "Bastard" and the "Bogus" Cow, etc. Contained,
with useful Remarks on Bee Culture, in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT
No. 135. Price 10 cents. To be had at this office and of all

       *       *       *       *       *


By ALFRED L. LOOMIS, M.D. A Highly Instructive Clinical Lecture,
delivered at the University Medical College, N. Y Contained in
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT No. 102. Price 10 cents. To be had at
this office and of all newsdealers.

       *       *       *       *       *

ICE-HOUSE AND COLD ROOM.--BY R. G. Hatfleld. With directions for
construction. Four engravings. SUPPLEMENT No. 59. Price, 10 cents.

       *       *       *       *       *



The Most Popular Scientific Paper in the World.


Only $3.20 a Year including Postage. Weekly. 52 Numbers a Year.

This widely circulated and splendidly illustrated paper is published
weekly. Every number contains sixteen pages of useful information,
and a large number of original engravings of new inventions and
discoveries, representing Engineering Works, Steam Machinery,
New Inventions, Novelties in Mechanics, Manufactures, Chemistry,
Electricity, Telegraphy, Photography, Architecture, Agriculture,
Horticulture, Natural History, etc.

_resume_ of the best scientific information of the day; and it is the
aim of the publishers to present it in an attractive form, avoiding
as much as possible abstruse terms. To every intelligent mind, this
journal affords a constant supply of instructive reading. It is
promotive of knowledge and progress in every community where it

sent for _one year_--52 numbers--postage prepaid, to any subscriber
in the United States or Canada, on receipt of THREE DOLLARS AND TWENTY
CENTS by the publishers; six months, $1.60; three months, $1.00.

gratis _for every club of five subscribers_ at $3.20 each; additional
copies at same proportionate rate. Postage prepaid.

AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT will be sent for one year, postage prepaid, to
any subscriber in the United States or Canada, on receipt of _seven
dollars_ by the publishers.

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

  MUNN & CO.,
  37 Park Row, New York.

TO FOREIGN SUBSCRIBERS.--Under the facilities of the Postal Union,
the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN is now sent by post direct from New York, with
regularity, to subscribers in Great Britain, India, Australia, and all
other British colonies; to France, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Russia,
and all other European States; Japan, Brazil, Mexico, and all States
of Central and South America. Terms, when sent to foreign countries,
Canada excepted, $4, gold, for SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, 1 year; $9, gold,
for both SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN AND SUPPLEMENT for 1 year. This includes
postage, which we pay. Remit by postal order or draft to order of Munn
& Co., 37 Park Row, New York.

       *       *       *       *       *




By the terms of the New Patent Law of _Spain_, which has lately gone
into operation, the citizens of the United States may obtain Spanish
Patents on very favorable conditions.

The Spanish Patent covers SPAIN, and all the Spanish Colonies,
including CUBA, Porto Rico, the Philippine Islands, etc. Total cost
of obtaining the Patent, $100. Duration of the Patent, 20 years, 10
years, and 5 years, as follows:

The Spanish Patent, if applied for by the original inventor before his
American patent is actually issued, will run for 20 years. Total cost
of the patent, $100. It covers Spain, Cuba, etc. The Spanish Patent,
if applied for by the original inventor not more than two years after
the American patent has been issued, will run for 10 years. Total cost
of patent, $100. Covers Spain, Cuba, etc.

_A Spanish Patent of Introduction_, good for 5 years, can be taken
by any person, whether inventor or merely introducer. Cost of such
patent, $100. Covers Spain, Cuba, and all the Spanish dominions.

In order to facilitate the transaction of our business in obtaining
Spanish Patents, we have established a special agency at No. 4
Soldado, Madrid.

Further particulars, with Synopsis of Foreign Patents, Costs, etc.,
furnished gratis.

Solicitors of American and Foreign Patents,
Proprietors of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN,

       *       *       *       *       *

WATER SUPPLY FOR TOWNS AND Villages.--By Clarence Delafield, C.E.
A concise and valuable report, showing the costs and merits of the
various systems--Discussion of the Holly system, its merits
and defects--The reservoir system, with pumps, cost, and
advantages--Results obtained and economy of use of various systems in
different towns, with names and duty realized--Facts and figures to
enable town committees to judge for themselves as to the system
best suited for their wants--The best sources of water supply--
Water-bearing rocks--Artesian wells, their feasibility, excellence,
and cost of boring--Importance of pure water--How surface water is
rendered impure--Cost of water pipes, from 2 to 12 inches diameter,
for towns, including laying, all labor, materials, gates, joints, etc.
Estimates of income, water-rates for supply of 1,000 buildings.
Contained in SUPPLEMENT 27. Price 10 cents.

       *       *       *       *       *

ICE BOATS--THEIR CONSTRUCTION and management. With working drawings,
details, and directions in full. Four engravings, showing mode of
construction. Views of the two fastest ice-sailing boats used on the
Hudson river in winter. By H. A. Horsfall, M.E. SUPPLEMENT 1. The same
number also contains the rules and regulations for the formation of
ice-boat clubs, the sailing and management of ice-boats, etc. Price 10

       *       *       *       *       *

ICE AND ICE-HOUSES--HOW TO MAKE ice ponds; amount of ice required,
etc., and full directions for building ice-house, with illustrated
plan. SUPPLEMENT 55. Price 10 cents.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Patents]


Messrs. Munn & Co., in connection with the publication of the
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, continue to examine Improvements, and to act as
Solicitors of Patents for Inventors.

In this line of business they have had OVER THIRTY YEARS' EXPERIENCE,
and now have _unequaled facilities_ for the preparation of Patent
Drawings, Specifications, and the Prosecution of Applications for
Patents in the United States. Canada, and Foreign Countries. Messrs.
Munn & Co. also attend to the preparation of Caveats, Trade Mark
Regulations, Copyrights for Books, Labels, Reissues, Assignments, and
Reports on Infringements of Patents. All business intrusted to them is
done with special care and promptness, on very moderate terms.

We send free of charge, on application, a pamphlet containing
further information about Patents and how to procure them; directions
concerning Trade Marks, Copyrights, Designs, Patents, Appeals,
Reissues, Infringements, Assignments, Rejected Cases, Hints on the
Sale of Patents, etc.

_FOREIGN PATENTS._--We also send, _free of charge_, a Synopsis of
Foreign Patent Laws, showing the cost and method of securing patents
in all the principal countries of the world. American inventors should
bear in mind that, as a general rule, any invention that is valuable
to the patentee in this country is worth equally as much in England
and some other foreign countries. Five patents--embracing Canadian,
English, German, French, and Belgian--will secure to an inventor the
exclusive monopoly to his discovery among about ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY
MILLIONS of the most intelligent people in the world. The facilities
of business and steam communication are such that patents can be
obtained abroad by our citizens almost as easily as at home. The
expense to apply for an English patent is $75; German, $100; French,
$100; Belgian, $100; Canadian, $50. _COPIES OF PATENTS._--Persons
desiring any patent issued from 1836 to November 26, 1867, can be
supplied with official copies at reasonable cost, the price depending
upon the extent of drawings and length of specifications.

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

A copy of the claims of any patent issued since 1836 will be furnished
for $1.

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

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


37 Park Row, N. Y.
_BRANCH OFFICE--Corner of F and 7th Streets,
Washington, D. C._

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

Inside Page, each insertion - - - 75 cents a line.
Back Page, each insertion - - - - $1.00 a line.
  (About eight words to a line.)

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

       *       *       *       *       *



pages, 8vo; a Catalogue of Books on DYEING, CALICO PRINTING, WEAVING,
COTTON and WOOLEN MANUFACTURE, 4to; Catalogue of a choice collection
4to; List of Important Books on METALLURGY, METALS, STRENGTH OF
POPULATION, PAUPERISM, and kindred subjects sent free to any one who
will forward his address.

Industrial Publishers, Booksellers, and Importers,


An engine that works without Boiler. Always ready to be started and to
give at once full power.


Burns common Gas and Air. No steam, no coal, no ashes, no fires, no
danger, no extra insurance. Almost no attendance.


Useful for all work of small stationary steam engine. Offered in sizes
of 2, 4, and 7 H.P. Send for illustrated circular. SCHLEICHER, SCHUMM
& CO., Phila., Pa.

       *       *       *       *       *


_The most profitable plan_ for operating in stocks is by uniting
capital of various sums in combining or pooling orders of thousands
of customers and using them as _one mighty whole_, which is done so
successfully by Messrs. Lawrence & Co., Bankers, 57 Exchange Place,
N. Y. City. By this cooperative system each investor is placed on an
equal footing with the largest operator and profits divided _pro rata_
among shareholders every 30 days. $10 invested makes $50 or 5 per cent.
on the stock during the month--$50 returns $350 or 7 per cent., $100
pays $1,000, or 10 per cent., and so on according to the market. The
firm's new circular (copyrighted and free) contains "Two unerring
rules for success in stock operations," and explains everything. All
kinds of Stocks and Bonds wanted. New Government Loan supplied.
LAWRENCE & CO., _Bankers and Brokers_, 57 Exchange Place, N. Y. City.

       *       *       *       *       *



For Mill and Farm. Built on the durable and scientific principles.
Warranted fully equal to any in the market. Mills for grinding all
substances. We have made mill building a specialty for 13 years.


Engineers, Founders & Machinists,

23d and Wood St., Phila., Pa.

Construction of Stables. Best Floor. Lighting and Ventilation.
Hay-racks. Watering and Feeding. Grooming and Exercise. Cracked Heels;
Lice; Colic; Mud Fever; Wind Galls. Also, in same number, facts about
improved Cow Stables. How to keep Cows clean and maintain Pure Air
in Stables. Increased Cleanliness and Convenience with Less Labor.
Contained in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT. No. 123. Price 10 cents.
To be had at this office and of all newsdealers.

Burning Appliances. Drawings and advice free to customers. Jeanesville
Iron Works (J. C. Haydon & Co.). Address HOWELL GREEN, Supt.,
Jeanesville, Luzerne Co., Pa.


Straub's Scientific GRAIN MILL, 12, 20, and 30 inch


For Farm and Merchant work. Warranted the full equal of any mill built
in America. Before purchasing elsewhere send for our circular and
price list.


Philadelphia, Pa.

USE WILHIDE'S NOISELESS, SELF-Setting Rat and Mouse Traps. Caught
19 rats one hour; 46 one night. Ask your storekeeper for them. State
right for sale. Circulars, etc., free. J. T. WILHIDE & BRO., York
Road, Carroll Co., Md.

AGENTS and SALESMEN wanted in every city and town to introduce a new
Work, the

to dealers. Great inducements. Don't fail to write for particulars. W.
H. Pamphilon, Pub., 30 Bond St., N. Y.




CO., 156 FULTON ST., N. Y.







WATCHMAN'S TIME DETECTOR, capable of accurately controlling the motion
of a watchman or patrolman at the different stations of his beat. Send
for circular.


N. B.--The suit against Imhaeuser & Co., of New York, was decided in my
favor, June 10, 1874. A fine was assessed against them Nov. 11, 1876,
for selling contrary to the order of the court. Persons buying or
using clocks infringing on my patent will be dealt with according to


Machinery of Every Description.

121 Chambers and 103 Reade Streets, New York.


Pa., will grant state rights or licenses on easy terms. This system
works up to assay, and recovers the mercury rapidly.

Apply as above.


Town and County privileges for making DRIVEN WELLS and selling
Licenses under the established AMERICAN DRIVEN WELL PATENT, leased by
the year to responsible parties, by




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








No Commissions to Agents. Bottom Prices to Purchasers.



A. & S. were lately with




239 Broadway, N. Y. 83 Water St., Boston.

Condensing or Non-Condensing. Used in over 100 Water-Works Stations.

STEAM PUMPS--Duplex and Single Cylinder.








Regular Monthly Sales by George W. Keeler, Auctioneer. For terms,
address NEW YORK PATENT EXCHANGE, 67 Liberty Street, New York.

50 PERFUMED CHROMO AND MOTTO CARDS, 10C. _Name in Gold and Jet._ Seavy
Bros., Northford, Ct.





_Warranted for One Year._


This bankrupt stock of Watches must be closed out in 90 days. THE
FORMER PRICE OF THESE WATCHES WAS $12.00 EACH. They are silvered case
and open face, all one style, and of French manufacture, the movements
of which being well known the world over for their fine finish. They
are used on RAILROADS and STEAMBOATS, where ACCURATE TIME is required,
and give good satisfaction. Think of it, a $12.00 Watch for ONLY

CINCINNATI. O., October 1st, 1878.

The Walters Importing Co. is an old established and very reliable
house, and we cheerfully recommend them.


After the closure of sale of this bankrupt stock of Watches, which
will continue 90 days from date of this paper, no order will be filled
at less than $12.00 each; so please send your order at once. With each
We will forward the Watch promptly on receipt of $3.00, or will send
C.O.D. if customers desire and remit $1.00 on account.

Address all orders to WALTERS IMPORTING CO., 180 ELM STREET,

-->TO WATCH SPECULATORS: We call particular I attention to these
Watches, as they sell readily at from $12.00 to $20.00 each.

-->_Cut this Advertisement Out._


$10 to $1000

Invested in Wall St. Stocks makes fortunes every month. Books sent
free explaining everything.

Address BAXTER & CO., Bankers, 17 Wall St., N. Y.



Improved Solid Emery Wheels, for grinding Iron and Brass Castings.
Tools, etc. Manufactured by AM. TWIST DRILL CO., Woonsocket, R. I.


Drills, Bolt and Gear Cutters, Milling Machines. Special Machinery. E.


163 BLEECKER ST., N. Y.,

Manufacturers of strictly first-class Pianos. We sell DIRECT to
Families from OUR OWN Factory at LOWEST WHOLESALE price. Beautiful NEW
7 1-3 Octave, Rosewood Pianos. Sent on trial. Thousands in use. HEAVY
DISCOUNT to CASH buyers. DON'T buy until you read our Catalogue. It
will INTEREST you--Mailed FREE.









CARS AND CAR WHEELS of all descriptions,

Wheels and Axles, Chilled Tires, Engine, Car and Bridge Castings, of
any pattern, furnished to order at short notice. Also Street Car Turn



Works, Eastern Avenue and Lewis Street.

C. W. LE COUNT, SOUTH NORWALK, CONN., Mfr. of Lathe Dogs, Iron and
Steel Expanding Mandrels of all sizes. A specialty made of Amateurs'
Mandrels and Dogs.



13 Different machines with which Builders, Cabinet Makers, Wagon
Makers, and Jobbers in miscellaneous work can compete as to QUALITY
AND PRICE with steam power manufacturing; also Amateurs' supplies.


Say where you read this, and send for catalogue and prices.

W. F. & JOHN BARNES, Rockford, Winnebago Co., Ill.

wanted for English trade. 1,000 Sewing Machines to be sold cheap.
Apply BRITANNIA COMPANY, Colchester, England.

[Illustration: Anvil



Warranted of the hardest temper, and _never_ to settle.


Steel Horn, warranted not to break and Face of _Best Cast Steel_.



50 SIZES, FROM 1-2 LB. TO 800 LBS.

Catalogues furnished on application.



The Relative Proportions of the Steam Engine. A course of Lectures on
the Steam Engine delivered to the students of Dynamical Engineering in
the University of Pennsylvania. By WM. D. MARKS, Whitney Professor
of Dynamical Engineering. With numerous Illustrations. 12mo. Flexible
cloth. $1.50.

"A valuable addition to the literature of the Steam Engine, and one
which will be appreciated by engineers in practice as well as by
students."--_Pittsburgh American Manufacturer_.

"A valuable work, and one which will meet with a favorable reception.
* * * There is much need and much room for a rational and practical
method for proportioning the various parts of the steam engine, and
in this respect your work is very welcome."--_Augustus Jay Du Bois,
Ph.D., Yale College_.

*** For sale by all Booksellers, or will be sent by mail, postpaid,
upon receipt of price, by





$50 Screw Cutting Foot Lathe.

Foot and Power Lathes, Drill Presses, Scrolls, Circular and Band Saws,
Saw Attachments, Chucks, Mandrils, Twist Drills, Dogs, Calipers, etc.
Send for catalogue of outfits for amateurs or artisans.


331, 333, 335, & 337 West Front Street,




_25 per cent. Discount._


WORLD, and the only completely satisfactory low priced instrument,
scientific principles; warranted to work ONE MILE, unaffected by
changes in the weather. We will send to one address ONE SAMPLE SET,
comprising two Telephones, two walnut holders, six copper bound
insulators and 200 feet heavy wire, AT 25 PER CENT. DISCOUNT from
REGULAR RATES, which is $3.00 for the $4.00 instruments. This offer
WILL NOT hold good after JAN. 15, 1879, as our goods will then be
sufficiently well known to sell through the trade, and we shall be
obliged to strictly maintain the retail price. Any person of ordinary
intelligence can put them up by following directions sent with each
pair. We have sold during the last three months nearly 1000 of these
instruments, and have HUNDREDS OF TESTIMONIALS from all parts of the
country. We GUARANTEE all instruments sold. For any Telephone that
fails to work, we will REFUND THE MONEY and pay all charges. Ask any
Commercial Agency, and you will find we are good for all we agree to

Name this paper when you write.






Send for a full descriptive circular and price list to the
manufacturers, the











Round Writing

Useful for Everybody

Book of Instructions & Pens

Sent on receipt of $1.50


Importers and Manuf'rers of Drawing Materials.




Standard Gauges and Measuring Implements, Hardened Steel Turning
Mandrels, Adjustable Blade Reamers, Patent Tool Holders, Lathe
Drivers, etc. JOHN RICHARDS & CO.,



1 H.P. BOILER & ENGINE, $150. 2 H.P., $175. 3 H.P., $200.

Tested to 200 lbs. Steam.


Builders of Engines and Boilers, 1 to 100 horse power. Send for
circulars and prices, and state size and style you want.


Such as Woodworth Planing, Tonguing, and Grooving Machines, Daniel's
Planers. Richardson's Patent Improved Tenon Machines, Mortising,
Moulding, and Re-Saw Machines, and Wood-Working Machinery generally.
Manufactured by

WITHERBY, RUGG & RICHARDSON, 26 Salisbury Street, Worcester, Mass.
(Shop formerly occupied by R. BALL & CO.)


Boiler Tubes, Steam Pipe, Light and Heavy Forgings, Engines, Boilers,
Cotton Presses, Rolling Mill and Blast Furnace Work.




A sample box, for trial, containing our leading styles, including the
famous "U" and "Falcon" Pens, mailed on receipt of 25 cts.



614 TO 626 W. 24TH ST., NEW YORK.

BOILER FLUES of all the Regular Sizes,



No Payment Required till Tubes are Fully Tested and Satisfactory.









The Best in the World.


Also thin lumber of all other kinds, 1/8 to ½ in., at corresponding
prices. All qualities. Equal in all respects to any made, and at
prices much under any to be obtained outside of our establishment.
Send for price list.



$1.00 A LINE. (About eight words to a line.)

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


Fire & Burglar
      & Track




To introduce my IMPROVED PROTRACTOR. Splendid chance for a person with
small capital. Address or call on O. M. DAYTON, Utica, N. Y.




Also manufacture as a specialty


To any required tensile strength, from one to three and one-half
inches, with thread and nuts. Orders for which are respectfully
solicited. Office, 10th Street, near Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa.


Manufacturer of

[Illustration: WIRE ROPE]

Of every description, for Railroad and Mining Use. Elevators,
Derricks, Rope Tramways, Transmission of Power, etc. No. 81 John
St., N. Y. Send for price list. Plans and Estimates furnished for
Suspension Bridges.


We make Burr Millstones, Portable Mills, Smut Machines, Packers, Mill
Picks, Water Wheels, Pulleys, and Gearing, specially adapted to Flour
Mills. Send for Catalogue.




Send for new illustrated catalogue.

Lathes, Planers, Drills, &c.

New Haven, Conn.


Of the very highest order and quality made any and everywhere from
Refuse or Decomposed Limestone, Marble, Shells, Chalk and Clay, and
River Deposit as per Letters Patent. Address

JOHN DIMELOW, Laboratorian, Austin, Texas.


Official List of the Awards in the American Department, enumerating
Exhibits and Names and Addresses of Exhibitors, with kind of Prize
awarded in each case. SUPPLEMENTS 149, 150. Price 10 cents each.



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

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

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

$7 A DAY to Agents canvassing for the FIRESIDE VISITOR. Terms and
Outfit Free. Address P. O. VICKERY, Augusta, Maine.

B. W. Payne & Sons, Corning, N. Y.

Established in 1840.



|h.p.| cyl.   |  ht.   |space| wt.  |price. |
| 2  |3-1/8x4 | 48 in. |40x25|  900 | $150  |
| 4  | 4x6    | 56     |46x30| 1600 |  250  |
| 6  | 5x7    | 72     |72x42| 2700 |  400  |

Plantations_. Send for Circulars.



       * * *

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




Rutland, Vt.
Paris 1878
Were awarded the

The highest award for Scales; also several Special Medals of Gold,
Silver, and Bronze. In addition to the above the


have been awarded the _"First Premium"_ at Twelve different State
Fairs held during the Fall of the present year.


PRIEST, PAGE & CO., 325 Broadway, New York.
PRIEST, PAGE & CO., 145 Franklin St., Boston.
A. M. GILBERT & CO., 97 to 101 Lake St., Chicago.
J. FRED DENNIS, European Manager, Bremen, Germany.



Made by THE POPE M'F'G CO., 89 Summer Street, Boston.

A practical road machine, easy to learn to ride, and when mastered one
can beat the best horse in a day's run over an ordinary road. Send 3c.
stamp for catalogue.

BIG PAY.--With Stencil Outfits. What costs 4 cts. sells rapidly
for 50 cts. Catalogue _free_. S. M. SPENCER, 112 Wash'n St., Boston,

65 MIXED CARDS with name, 10c. and stamp.
Agent's Outfit, 10c. L. C. COE & Co., Bristol, Ct.



Iron Frame; French Burr; Self-oiling; Self-feeding; Long Bearings;
Adjustable-balanced; best arranged, made and finished, _cheapest_, and
for quality and quantity ground no superior in the world.

Also the Yale Vertical and Horizontal Steam Engines and Boilers, Send
for Circular.

YALE IRON WORKS, New Haven, Conn.


And Experimental Machinery, Metal or Wood, made to order by

J. F. WERNER, 62 Centre St., N. Y.


ASBESTOS (Trade Mark)]

Are the most Effective and Economical Non-conducting Coverings in the
World. Ready for use and can be easily applied by any one. Be sure and
get the Genuine, which are Manufactured only by

H. W. JOHNS MANUFACTURING CO., 87 Maiden Lane. New York,

Sole Manufacturers of Genuine Asbestos Roofing, Liquid Paints,
Cements, etc. Send for Price Lists, etc.


For showing heat of Ovens, Hot Blast Pipes, Boiler Flues, Superheated
Steam, Oil Stills, etc.

HENRY W. BULKLEY, Sole Manufacturer, 149 Broadway, N. Y.


For Mines, Blast Furnaces, Rolling Mills, Oil Refineries, Boiler
Feeders, &c.

For Illustrated Catalogue and Reduced Price List send to


[Illustration: WIRE ROPE]

Address JOHN A. ROEBLING'S SONS, Manufacturers, Trenton, N. J., or 117
Liberty Street, New York.

Wheels and Rope for conveying power long distances.

Send for circular.



Room 51, Coal and Iron Exchange, P.O. Box 3083, N. Y.




Gen'l Ag't, 6 Cortlandt St., NEW YORK.


76 and 78 Centre Street, New York.
Send for catalogue and price list.

60 Chromo and Perfumed Cards [no 3 alike], Name in Gold and Jet, 10c.
CLINTON BROS., Clintonville, Ct.


The only Machines giving a solid core showing exact nature of rocks
passed through.




Every Man His Own Printer!

[Illustration: THE EXCELSIOR]

$3 PRESS Prints labels, cards etc. (Self-inker $5) 9 Larger sizes For
business, pleasure, young or old.

Catalogue of Presses, Type, Etc., for 2 stamps.

Meriden, Conn.

MICROSCOPES, Opera Glasses, Spectacles, at greatly reduced prices.
Send three stamps for Illustrated Catalogue.

R. & J. BECK, Philadelphia, Pa.

--Apply to S. C. HILLS, 78 Chambers St., New York.





Lightest covering and best non-conductor. Asbestos lining prevents
any charring of the hair felt. Easily applied and removed. For prices,




GEO. PLACE, 131 Chambers St., New York Agent.




ENGINEER and MACHINIST. Flax, Hemp, Jute, Rope, Oakum and Bagging
Machinery, Steam Engines, Boilers, etc. I also manufacture Baxter's
New Portable Engine of 1877. Can be seen in operation at my store.
A one horse-power portable engine, complete, $125; two horse-power,
$225; two and a half horse-power, $250; three horse-power, $275.
Manufactured exclusively by

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


For State Rights to manufacture above, apply to

A. VAN WINKLE, Newark, N. J.

TO ADVERTISERS We fill orders for the insertion of advertisements in
the newspapers of the United States and Dominion of Canada. To furnish
advertisers with reliable information concerning newspapers and their
rates, and thus enable the most inexperienced to select intelligently
the mediums best adapted to any particular purpose, WE ISSUE


FOR ADVERTISERS. 164 8vo. pp. Gives the names, circulation, and
advertising rates of several thousand newspapers in the United States
and Canada, and contains more information of value to an advertiser
than can be found in any other publication. All lists carefully
revised in each edition, and where practicable prices reduced. The
special offers are numerous and unusually advantageous. It will pay
you to examine it before spending any money in newspaper advertising.
The last edition will be sent postpaid to any address on receipt of
25 cents by N. W. AYER & SON, ADVERTISING AGENTS, Times Building,




Engine Lathes, Planers, Drills, &c.

DAVID W. POND, Worcester, Mass.

       *       *       *       *       *


This is the first inquiry that naturally occurs to every author or
discoverer of a new idea or improvement. The quickest and best way to
obtain a satisfactory answer, without expense, is to write to us (Munn
& Co.), describing the invention, with a small sketch. All we need
is to get the _idea_. Do not use pale ink. Be brief. Send stamps for
postage. We will immediately answer and inform you whether or not your
improvement is probably patentable; and if so, give you the necessary
instructions for further procedure. Our long experience enables us to
decide quickly. For this advice we make _no charge_. All persons who
desire to consult us in regard to obtaining patents are cordially
invited to do so. We shall be happy to see them in person at our
office, or to advise them by letter. In all cases, they may expect
from us a careful consideration of their plans, an honest opinion, and
a prompt reply.

_WHAT SECURITY HAVE I_ that my communication to Munn & Co. will be
faithfully guarded and remain confidential?

_Answer_.--You have none except our well-known integrity in this
respect, based upon a most extensive practice of thirty years'
standing. Our clients are numbered by hundreds of thousands. They
are to be found in every town and city in the Union. Please to
make inquiry about us. Such a thing as the betrayal of a client's
interests, when committed to our professional care, never has
occurred, and is not likely to occur. All business and communications
intrusted to us are kept _secret and confidential_.

Publishers of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN,
37 Park Row New York.

       *       *       *       *       *

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

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note:

_x_ indicates italic script; =x= indicates bold script. ^ indicates

Some archaic (Early American) spellings have been retained.


'irridescent' corrected to 'iridescent'.
"Glass, iridescent"

'monoply' corrected to 'monopoly'.
"The cry of monopoly in this case is altogether unfounded,..."
(Article 4: Progress of Petroleum)

'possesing' corrected to 'possessing'.
"... possessing in every way the original form of the wood."
(Article 42: Reduction of Nitrate of Silver by Means of Charcoal.)

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Scientific American, Vol. XXXIX.—No. 24. [New Series.], December 14, 1878 - A Weekly Journal Of Practical Information, Art, Science, - Mechanics, Chemistry, And Manufactures" ***

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