Scientific American Supplement, No. 365, December 30, 1882
Author: Various
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Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XIV., No. 365.

Scientific American established 1845

Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.

Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.

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I. ENGINEERING AND MECHANICS.—Louis Favre, Constructor of the St. Gothard Tunnel.—2 figures.—Portrait and monument at Turin to commemorate the tunneling of the Alps 5817

The New Harbor of Vera Cruz.—New artificial harbor for Vera Cruz.—Capt. Eads's plan.—1 figure.—Plan of harbor and improvement 5818

Cost of Power to Make Flour 5818

Driving gear Mechanism for Lift Hammers.—2 figures 5819

De Junker and Ruh's Machine for Cutting Annular Wheels.—3 figures 5819

Recent Hydraulic Experiments.—Results of experiments on the flow of water in the Ganges Canal 5819

The Germ: Shall It be Retained in Flour? By Arthur Atkins 5820

Wheat Tests 5820

II. TECHNOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY.—Apparatus for Manufacturing Gaseous or Aerated Beverages.—11 figures.—Bicarbonate of soda apparatus. Generator. Washer.—Suction pump.—Saturator.—Apparatus for using carbonate of lime.—Apparatus completely mechanical in operation 5815

Detection and Estimation of Fusel Oil 5816

On Silicon.—Curious formation of silicide of platinum 5816

Stannous Nitrates.—The formation of explosive compounds in machines by the corrosion of bronze and tin solder 5816

Metallic Thorium. By L.F. Nilson 5816

Friedrich Woehler.—Obituary notice of the great German chemist 5816

Apparatus for Printing by the Blue Process. By Channing Whitaker.—3 figures 5820

III. ELECTRICITY, LIGHT, HEAT, ETC.—Spectrum Gratings 5822

A New Pocket Opera Glass.—4 figures 5822

Atoms, Molecules, and Ether Waves. By JOHN TYNDALL. Action of heat and light on molecules.—Heat as an agent in exploring molecular conditions.—The results of a recent incursion into the extra-sensible world of atoms and molecules 5823

Apparatus for Measuring Electricity at the Upper School of Telegraphy. By E. MERCADIER.—5 figures. Constant vibrator.—The Electrical tuning fork. Arrangement for testing electric piles.—Very rapid electric tuning fork.—A vibrating micrometer 5824

IV. NATURAL HISTORY.—Our Origin as a Species. By RICHARD OWEN.—The Neanderthal skull.—Differential characters between the lowest Homo and the highest Simia 5825

The Aba or Odika. By Dr. W.H. BACHELER.—A remarkable tree of West Africa 5826

California Cedars 5826

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The apparatus employed at present for making gaseous beverages are divided into two classes—intermittent apparatus based on chemical compression, and continuous ones based on mechanical compression.

The first are simple in appearance and occupy small space, but their use is attended with too great inconveniences and losses to allow them to be employed in cases where the manufacture is of any extent, so the continuous apparatus are more and more preferred by those engaged in the industry.

Continuous apparatus, however, other than those that we now propose to occupy ourselves with, are not without some defects, for the gas is produced in them intermittingly and at intervals, and more rapidly than it is used, thus necessitating the use of a gasometer, numerous and large washers, complicated piping, and, besides, of an acid cock.

To get rid of such drawbacks, it became necessary to seek a means of rendering the production of the gas continuous, and of regulating it automatically without the aid of the operator. Mr. Mondollot has obtained such a result through a happy modification of the primitive system of the English engineer Bramah. He preserves the suction and force pump but, while applying it to the same uses, he likewise employs it, by the aid of a special arrangement, so as to distribute the sulphuric acid automatically over the chalk in the generator, and to thus obtain a regular and continuous disengagement of carbonic acid gas. The dangers and difficulties in the maneuver of an acid cock are obviated, the gasometer and its cumbersome accessories are dispensed with, and the purification is more certain, owing to the regularity with which the gas traverses the washers.

In the accompanying plate we have figured three types of these apparatus. The first that we shall describe is arranged for the use of bicarbonate of soda. This apparatus consists (1) of a generator, C D, (2) of a double washer G G, (3) of a suction pump, P, and (4) of a saturator, S (See Figs 1 to 9).

The Generator.—This consists of a cylindrical leaden receptacle, D, on the bottom of which rests a leaden bell containing apertures, c, at its base. A partition, c, into which is screwed a leaden tube, C, containing apertures divides the interior of the bell into two compartments. The upper of these latter is surmounted by a mouth, B, closed by a clamp, and through which the bicarbonate of soda is introduced. A definite quantity of water and sulphuric acid having been poured into the receptacle, D, a level tends to take place between the latter and the bell, C, the liquid passing through the apertures. But the acidulated water, coming in contact with the soda, sets free carbonic acid gas, which, having no exit, forces the water back and stops the production of gas until the apparatus is set in motion. At this moment, the suction of the pump causes a new inflow of acidulated water upon the soda, from whence another disengagement of gas, and then a momentary forcing of the water, whose level thus alternately rises and falls and causes a continuous production of gas proportionate with the suction of the pump.

The consumption of soda and acid is about 2 kilogrammes each for charging 100 siphons or 150 bottles. The bicarbonate is known to be used up when the liquid in the generator is seen to descend to the bottom of the water level, n, fixed to the vessel, D.

The Washer (Figs 1 and 4)—The gas, on leaving the generator, enters the washer through a bent copper pipe, R. The washer is formed of two ovoid glass flasks G G, mounted on a bronze piece, L, to which they are fixed by screw rings, l, of the same metal. The two flasks, G G, communicate with each other only through the tinned-copper tube q, which is held in the mounting q, of the same metal. This latter is screwed into the piece, L, and contains numerous apertures, through which the gas coming in from the pipe, R, passes to reach the upper flask, G. The gas is washed by bubbling up through water that has been introduced through the cock, R. After it has traversed both flasks, it escapes through the copper pipe, p, into which it is sucked by the pump, P.

The Pump (Figs 1, 5 and 6)—This consists of a cylindrical chamber, P, of bronze, bolted to a bracket on the frame, and cast in a piece, with the suction valve chamber, P, in which the valve, p, plays. It is surmounted by the distributing valve chamber P squared. This latter is held by means of two nuts screwed on to the extremity of the rods, p cubed, connected with the shell, E, of the distributing-cock, E. In the shell, E, terminates, on one side, the pipe, p, through which enters the gas from the washer, and, on the other, the pipe i, that communicates with a feed-reservoir not shown in the cuts. The cock E, permits of the simultaneous regulation of the entrance of the gas and water. Its position is shown by an index e, passing over a graduated dial, e. From the distributing valve chamber, P squared the pipe, s, leads the mixture of water and gas under pressure into

The Saturator, S (Figs 1, 7 and 9)—This consists of a large copper vessel, s, affixed to the top of the frame through the intermedium of a bronze collar h, and a self closing bottom H. This latter is provided with two pipes, one of which, s, leads the mixture of water and carbonic acid forced by the pump, and the other, b, communicates with the siphons or bottles to be filled. The pipe, b, is not affixed directly to the bottom, but is connected therewith through the intermedium of a cock, r. The object of the broken form of this pipe is to cause the pressure to act according to the axis of the screw, r, which is maneuvered by the key, r squared.

The water under pressure, having been forced into the vessel, S, is submitted therein to an agitation that allows it to dissolve a larger quantity of gas. Such agitation is produced by two pairs of paddles, J J, mounted at the extremity of an axle actuated by the wheel, A, through the intermedium of gearings, g and g.

The course of the operation in the saturator may be followed by an inspection of the water level, n, seen at the front and side in Figs. 2 and 3. This apparatus, in which the pressure reaches 4 to 6 atmospheres in the manufacture of Seltzer water or gaseous lemonade in bottles, and from 10 to 12 atmospheres in that of Seltzer water in siphons, is provided also with a pressure gauge, m, and a safety valve, both screwed, as is also the tube, n squared, into a sphere, S, on the top of the saturator.

Apparatus for Using Carbonate of Lime (Figs 2, 3, and 10)—When chalk is acted upon by sulphuric acid, there is formed an insoluble sulphate which, by covering the chalk, prevents the action of the acid from continuing if care be not taken to constantly agitate the materials. This has led to a change in the arrangement of the generator in the apparatus designed for the use of chalk.

It consists in this case of a leaden vessel, D, having a hemispherical bottom set into a cylindrical cast iron base, K, and of an agitator similar to that shown in Fig. 11, for keeping the chalk in suspension in the water. These latter materials are introduced through the mouth, B (Fig. 3). Then a special receptacle, C, of lead, shown in detail in Fig. 10, and the cock, c, of which is kept closed, is filled with sulphuric acid. The acid is not introduced directly into the vessel, C, but is poured into the cylinder, C, whose sides contain numerous apertures which prevent foreign materials from passing into the siphon tube c, and obstructing it.

To put the apparatus in operation, the acid cock, c, is opened and the wheel, A, is turned, thus setting in motion both the pump piston, P, and the agitator, within S and D. Then the play of the pump produces a suction in the washers and from thence in the generator and causes the acid in the vessel, C, to flow into the generator through the leaden siphon tubes, c. Coming in contact with the chalk in suspension, the acid produces a disengagement of gas which soon establishes sufficient pressure to stop the flow of the acid and drive it back into the siphon tube. The play of the pump continuing, a new suction takes place and consequently a momentary flow of acid and a new disengagement of gas. Thus the production of the latter is continuous, and is regulated by the very action of the pump, without the operator having to maneuver an acid-cock. The latter he only has to open when he sets the apparatus in operation, and to close it when he stops it.

The arrangement of the washer is the same as in the preceding apparatus, save that a larger cylindrical copper reservoir, G', is substituted for the lower flask. The pump and saturator offer nothing peculiar.

A bent tube, u, which communicates with the generator, D, on one side, and with a cylindrical tube, V, ending in a glass vessel on the other, serves as a safety-valve for both the generator and the acid vessel.

The consumption of chalk is about 2.5 kilogrammes, and the same of acid, for charging 100 siphons or 150 bottles. The apparatus shown in the figure is capable of charging 600 siphons or 900 bottles per day.

An Apparatus Completely Mechanical in Operation (Fig. 11).—This apparatus consists of two very distinct parts. The saturator, pump, and driving shaft are supported by a hollow base, in whose interior are placed a copper washer and the water-inlet controlled by a float-cock. This part of the apparatus is not shown in the plate. The generator, partially shown in Fig. 11, is placed on a base of its own, and is connected by a pipe with the rest of the apparatus. It consists of two similar generators, D, made of copper lined with lead, and working alternately, so as to avoid all stoppages in the manufacture when the materials are being renewed. The pipe, d, connecting the two parts of the apparatus forks so as to lead the gas from one or the other of the generators, whence it passes into the copper washer within the base, then into the glass indicating washer, and then to the pump which forces it into the saturator.

Each of the generators communicates by special pipes, a, with a single safety vessel, V, that operates the same as in the preceding apparatus. The agitator, Q, is of bronze, and is curved as shown in Fig. 11.

The production of this type of apparatus is dependent upon the number of siphons that can be filled by a siphon filler working without interruption.—Machines, Outils et Appareils.

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Until quite recently we have had no accurate method for the determination of fusel oil in alcohol or brandy. In 1837 Meurer suggested a solution of one part of silver nitrate in nine parts of water as a reagent for its detection, stating that when added to alcohol containing fusel oil, a reddish brown color is produced, and in case large quantities are present, a dark brown precipitate is formed. It was soon found, however, that other substances than amyl alcohol produce brown colored solutions with silver nitrate; and Bouvier[1] observed that on adding potassium iodide to alcohol containing fusel oil, the solution is colored yellow, from the decomposition of the iodide. Subsequently Boettger[2] proved that potassium iodide is not decomposed by pure amyl alcohol, and that the decomposition is due to the presence of acids contained in fusel oil. More accurate results are obtained by using a very dilute solution of potassium permanganate, which is decomposed by amyl alcohol much more rapidly than by ethyl alcohol.

[Footnote 1: Zeitschrift f. Anal. Chem. xi., 343.]

[Footnote 2: Dingler's Polytech. Jour., ccxii., 516.]

Depre[3] determines fusel oil by oxidizing a definite quantity of the alcohol in a closed vessel with potassium bichromate and sulphuric acid. after removal of excess of the oxidizing reagents, the organic acids are distilled, and, by repeated fractional distillation, the acetic acid is separated as completely as possible. The remaining acids are saturated with barium hydroxide, and the salts analyzed; a difference between the percentage of barium found and that of barium in barium acetate proves the presence of fusel oil, and the amount of difference gives some idea of its quantity. Betelli[4] dilutes 5 c.c. of the alcohol to be tested with 6 to 7 volumes of water, and adds 15 to 20 drops of chloroform and shakes thoroughly. If fusel oil is present, its odor may be detected by evaporating the chloroform; or, by treatment with sulphuric acid and sodium acetate, the ether is obtained, which can be readily recognized. Jorissen[5] tests for fusel oil by adding 10 drops of colorless aniline and 2 to 3 drops of hydrochloric acid to 10 c.c. of the alcohol. In the presence of fusel oil a red color is produced within a short time, which can be detected when not more than 0.1 per cent. is present. But Foerster[6] objects to this method because he finds the color to be due to the presence of furfurol, and that pure amyl alcohol gives no color with aniline and hydrochloric acid.

[Footnote 3: Pharm. J. Trans. [3] vi., 867.]

[Footnote 4: Berichte d. Deutschen Chem. Gesellsch., viii., 72.]

[Footnote 5: Pharm. Centralhalle, xxii., 3.]

[Footnote 6: Berichte d. Deutsch. Chem. Gesellsch., xv., 230.]

Hager[7] detects fusel oil as follows: If the spirit contains more than 60 per cent. of alcohol, it is diluted with an equal volume of water and some glycerine added, pieces of filter paper are then saturated with the liquid and exposed to the After the evaporation of the alcohol, the odor of the fusel oil can be readily detected. For the quantitative determination he distills 100 c.c. of the alcohol in a flask of 150 to 200 c.c. capacity connected with a condenser, and so arranged that the apparatus does not extend more than 20 cm. above the water bath. This arrangement prevents the fusel oil from passing over. If the alcohol is stronger than 70 per cent., and the height of the distillation apparatus is not more than 17 cm., the residue in the flask may be weighed as fusel oil. With a weaker alcohol, or an apparatus which projects further out of the water bath, the residual fusel oil is mixed with water. It can, however, be separated by adding strong alcohol and redistilling, or by treating with ether, which dissolves the amyl alcohol, and distilling, the temperature being raised finally to 60 deg..

[Footnote 7: Pharm. Centralhalle, xxii., 236.]

Marquardt,[8] like Betelli, extracts the fusel oil from alcohol by means of chloroform, and by oxidation converts it into valeric acid. From the quantity of barium valerate found he calculates the amount of amyl alcohol present in the original solution; 150 c.c. of the spirit, which has been diluted so as to contain 12 to 15 per cent. of alcohol, are shaken up thoroughly with 50 c.c. of chloroform, the aqueous layer drawn off, and shaken with a fresh portion of chloroform. This treatment is repeated several times. The extracts are then united, and washed repeatedly with water. The chloroform, which is now free from alcohol and contains all the fusel oil, is treated with a solution of 5 grammes of potassium bichromate in 30 grammes of water and 2 grammes of sulphuric acid, and then heated in a closed flask for six hours on a water bath at 85 deg.. The contents of the flask are then distilled, the distillate saturated with barium carbonate, and the chloroform distilled; the residue is evaporated to a small volume, the excess of barium carbonate filtered off, and the filtrate evaporated to dryness and weighed. The residue is dissolved in water, a few drops of nitric acid added, and the solution divided into two portions. In the first portion the barium is determined; in the second the barium chloride. The total per cent. of barium minus that of barium chloride gives the amount present as barium valerate, from which is calculated the per cent. of amyl alcohol. By this process the author has determined one part of fusel oil in ten thousand of alcohol. To detect very minute quantities of fusel oil, the chloroform extracts are treated with several drops of sulphuric acid and enough potassium permanganate to keep the solution red for twenty-four hours. If allowed to stand in a test tube, the odor of valeric aldehyde will first be noticed, then that of amyl valerate, and lastly that of valeric acid.—Amer. Chem. Journal.

[Footnote 8: Berichte d. Deutsch. Chem. Gesellsch., xv., 1,370 and 1,663.]

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It is known that platinum heated in a forge fire, in contact with carbon, becomes fusible. Boussingault has shown that this is due to the formation of a silicide of platinum by means of the reduction of the silica of the carbon by the metal. MM. P. Schuetzenberger and A. Colson have produced the same phenomenon by heating to white heat a slip of platinum in the center of a thick layer of lampblack free from silica.

The increase in weight of the metal and the augmentation of its fusibility were found to be due, in this case also, to a combination with silicon. As the silicon could not come directly from the carbon which surrounded the platinum, MM. Schuetzenberger and Colson have endeavored to discover under what form it could pass from the walls of the crucible through a layer of lampblack several centimeters in thickness, in spite of a volatility amounting to almost nothing under the conditions of the experiment. They describe the following experiments as serving to throw some light upon the question:

1. A thin slip of platinum rolled in a spiral is placed in a small crucible of retort carbon closed by a turned cover of the same material. This is placed in a second larger crucible of refractory clay, and the intervening space filled with lampblack tightly packed. The whole is then heated to white heat for an hour and a half in a good wind furnace. After cooling, the platinum is generally found to have been fused into a button, with a marked increase in weight due to taking up silicon, which has penetrated in the form of vapor through the walls of the interior crucible.

2. If, in the preceding experiment, the lampblack be replaced by a mixture of lampblack and rutile in fine powder, the slip of platinum remains absolutely intact, and does not change in weight. Thus the titaniferous packing recommended by Sainte-Claire Deville for preventing the access of nitrogen in experiments at high temperatures also prevents the passage of silicon. A mixture of carbon and finely divided iron is, on the contrary, ineffectual. These facts seem to indicate that nitrogen plays a part in the transportation of the silicon, as this is only prevented by the same means made use of in order to prevent the passage of nitrogen.

3. The volatility of free silicon at a high temperature is too slight to account for the alteration of the platinum at a distance. This can be shown by placing several decigrammes of crystallized silicon on the bottom of a small crucible of retort carbon, covering the silicon with a small flat disk of retort carbon upon which is placed the slip of platinum. The crucible, closed by its turned cover, is then enveloped in a titaniferous packing and kept at a brilliant white heat for an hour and a half. The metal is found to have only very slightly increased in weight, and its properties remain unaltered. This experiment was repeated several times with the same result. If, however, the crystallized silicon be replaced by powdered calcined silica, the platinum, placed upon the carbon disk, fuses and increases in weight, while the silica loses weight. The theory of these curious phenomena is very difficult to establish on account of the high temperatures which are necessary for their manifestation, but it may be concluded, at present, that nitrogen and probably oxygen also play some part in the transportation of the silicon across the intervening space, and that the carbosilicious compounds recently described by MM. Schuetzenberger and Colson also take part in the phenomenon.—Comptes Rendus, xciv., 1,710.—Amer. Chem. Journal.

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At the Royal Powder Works at Spandau, Prussia, frequent ignition of the powder at a certain stage of the process led to an examination of the machinery, when it was found that where, at certain parts, bronze pieces which were soldered were in constant contact with the moist powder, the solder was much corroded and in part entirely destroyed, and that in the joints had collected a substance which, on being scraped out with a chisel, exploded with emission of sparks. It was suspected that the formation of this explosive material was in some way connected with the corrosion of the solder, and the subject was referred for investigation to Rudolph Weber, of the School of Technology, at Berlin. The main results of his investigation are here given.

The explosive properties of the substance indicated a probable nitro-compound of one of the solder metals (tin and lead), and as the lead salts are more stable and better understood than those of tin, it was resolved to investigate the latter, in hope of obtaining a similar explosive compound. Experiments on the action of moist potassium nitrate on pure tin led to no result, as no explosive body was formed. Stannous nitrate, Sn(NO{3}){2}, formed by the action of dilute nitric acid on tin, has long been known, but only in solution, as it is decomposed on evaporating. By adding freshly precipitated moist brown stannous oxide to cool nitric acid of sp. gr. 1.20, as long as solution occurred, and then cooling the solution to -20 deg., Weber obtained an abundance of crystals of the composition Sn(NO{3}){2} + 20H{2}O. They resemble crystals of potassium chlorate. They cannot be kept, as they liquefy at ordinary temperatures. An insoluble basic salt was obtained by digesting an excess of moist stannous oxide in solution of stannous nitrate, or by adding to a solution of stannous nitrate by degrees, with constant stirring, a quantity of sodium carbonate solution insufficient for complete precipitation. Thus obtained, the basic salt, which has the composition Sn{2}N{2}O{7}, is a snow-white crystalline powder, which is partially decomposed by water, and slowly oxidized by long exposure to the air, or by heating to 100 deg.. By rapid heating to a higher temperature, as well as by percussion and friction, it explodes violently, giving off a shower of sparks. This compound is also formed when a fine spray of nitric acid (sp. gr. 1.20) is thrown upon a surface of tin or solder. It is also formed when tin or solder is exposed to the action of a solution of copper nitrate, and thus formed presents the properties already described.

In this, then, we have a probable cause of the explosions occurring in the powder works; but the explanation of the formation of the substance is wanting, as potassium nitrate was shown not to give an explosive substance with tin. A thin layer of a mixture of sulphur and potassium nitrate was placed between sheets of tin and copper foil, and allowed to stand, being kept constantly moist. After a time the copper was found to have become coated with sulphide, while the tin was largely converted into the explosive basic nitrate. The conditions are obviously the same as those found in the powder machinery, where bronze and tin solder are constantly in contact with moist gunpowder. The chemical action is probably this: the sulphur of the powder forms, with the copper of the bronze, copper sulphide; this is oxidized to sulphate, which reacts with the niter of the powder, forming potassium sulphate and copper nitrate; the latter, as shown above, then forms with the tin of the solder the explosive basic nitrate, which, being insoluble, gradually collects in the joints, and finally leads to an explosion.—Journal fuer Praktische Chemie.

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The density of thorium as obtained by reducing the anhydrous chloride by means of sodium was found by Chydenius, 7.657 to 7.795. The author has obtained metallic thorium by heating sodium with the double anhydrous thorium potassium chloride, in presence of sodium chloride in an iron crucible. After treating the residue with water there remains a grayish, heavy, sparkling powder, which under the microscope appears to consist of very small crystals. Metallic thorium is brittle and almost infusible; the powder takes a metallic luster under pressure, is permanent in the air at temperatures up to 120 deg., takes fire below a red heat either in air or oxygen, and burns with a dazzling luster, leaving a residue of perfectly white thoria. If heated with chlorine, bromine, iodine, and sulphur, it combines with them with ignition. It is not attacked by water, cold or hot. Dilute sulphuric acid occasions the disengagement of hydrogen, especially if heated, but the metal is acted on very slowly. Concentrated sulphuric acid with the aid of heat attacks the metal very slightly, evolving sulphurous anhydride. Nitric acid, strong or weak, has no sensible action. Fuming hydrochloric acid and aqua regia attack thorium readily, but the alkalies are without action. The metal examined by the author behaves with the reagents in question the same as did the specimens obtained by Berzelius. The mean specific gravity of pure thorium is about 11. Hence it would seem that the metal obtained by Chydenius must have contained much foreign matter. The specific gravity of pure thoria is 10.2207 to 10.2198. The equivalent and the density being known, we may calculate the atomic volume. If we admit that the metal is equivalent to 4 atoms of hydrogen, we obtain the value 21.1. This number coincides with the atomic volumes of zirconium (21.7), cerium (21.1), lanthanum (22.6), and didymium (21.5). This analogy is certainly not due to chance; it rather confirms the opinion which I have put forward in connection with my researches on the selenites, on certain chloro-platinates and chloro-platinites, etc., that the elements of the rare earths form a series of quadrivalent metals.

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No one but a chemist can appreciate the full significance of the brief message which came to us a month ago without warning—"Woehler is dead!" What need be added to it? No chemist was better known or more honored than Woehler, and none ever deserved distinction and honor more than he. His life was made up of a series of brilliant successes, which not only compelled the admiration of the world at large, but directed the thoughts of his fellow workers, and led to results of the highest importance to science.

It is impossible in a few words to give a correct account of the work of Woehler, and to show in what way his life and work have been of such great value to chemistry. Could he himself direct the preparation of this notice, the writer knows that his advice would be, "Keep to the facts." So far as any one phrase can characterize the teachings of Woehler, that one does it; and though enthusiasm prompts to eulogy, let us rather recall the plain facts of his life, and let them, in the main, speak for themselves.[1]

[Footnote 1: See Kopp's "Geschichte der Chemie," iv., 440.]

He was born in the year 1800 at Eschersheim, a village near Frankfort-on-the-Main. From his earliest years the study of nature appears to have been attractive to him. He took great delight in collecting minerals and in performing chemical and physical experiments. While still a boy, he associated with a Dr. Buch, of Frankfort, and was aided by this gentleman, who did what he could to encourage in the young student his inclination toward the natural sciences. The first paper which bears the name of Woehler dates from this period, and is upon the presence of selenium in the iron pyrites from Kraslitz. In 1820 he went to the University of Marburg to study medicine. While there he did not, however, neglect the study of chemistry. He was at that time particularly interested in an investigation on certain cyanogen compounds. In 1821 he went to Heidelberg, and in 1823 he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine. L. Gmelin became interested in him, and it was largely due to Gmelin's influence that Woehler gave up his intention of practicing medicine, and concluded to devote himself entirely to chemistry. For further instruction in his chosen science, Woehler went to Stockholm to receive instruction from Berzelius, in whose laboratory he continued to work from the fall of 1823 until the middle of the following year. Only a few years since, in a communication entitled "Jugenderinnerungen eines Chemikers," he gave a fascinating account of his journey to Stockholm and his experiences while working with Berzelius. On his return to Germany, he was called to teach chemistry in the recently founded municipal trade school (Gewerbschule) at Berlin. He accepted the call, and remained in Berlin until 1832, when he went to Cassel to live. In a short time he was called upon to take part in the direction of the higher trade school at Cassel. He continued to teach and work in Cassel until 1836, when he was appointed Professor of Chemistry in Goettingen. This office he held at the time of his death, September 23, 1882.

In 1825 Woehler became acquainted with Liebig, and an intimate friendship resulted, which continued until the death of Liebig, a few years ago. Though they lived far apart, they met during the vacations at their homes, or traveled together. Many important investigations were conceived by them as they talked over the problems of chemistry, and many papers appeared under both their names, containing the results of their joint work. Among such papers may be mentioned: "On Cyanic Acid" (1830); "On Mellithic Acid" (1830); "On Sulphotartaric Acid" (1831); "On Oil of Bitter Almonds, Benzoic Acid, and Related Compounds" (1832); "On the Formation of Oil of Bitter Almonds from Amygdalin" (1837); and "On Uric Acid" (1837).

Of the papers included in the above list, the two which most attract attention are those "On the Oil of Bitter Almonds" and "On Uric Acid." In the former it was shown for the first time that in analogous carbon compounds there are groups which remain unchanged, though the compounds containing them may, in other respects, undergo a variety of changes. This is the conception of radicals or residues as we use it at the present day. It cannot be denied that this conception has done very much to simplify the study of organic compounds. The full value of the discovery was recognized at once by Berzelius, who, in a letter to the authors of the paper, proposed that they should call their radical proin or orthrin (the dawn of day), for the reason that the assumption of its existence might be likened to the dawn of a new day in chemistry. The study of this paper should form a part of the work of every advanced student of chemistry. It is a model of all that is desirable in a scientific memoir. The paper on uric acid is remarkable for the number of interesting transformation products described in it, and the skill displayed in devising methods for the isolation and purification of the new compounds. Comparatively little has been added to our knowledge of uric acid since the appearance of the paper of Liebig and Woehler.

It would lead too far to attempt to give a complete list of the papers which have appeared under the name of Woehler alone. In 1828 he made the remarkable discovery that when an aqueous solution of ammonium cyanate, CNONH_{4}, is evaporated, the salt is completely transformed into urea, which has the same percentage composition. It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of this discovery. That a substance like urea, which up to that time had only been met with as a product of processes which take place in the animal body, should be formed in the laboratory out of inorganic compounds, appeared to chemists then to be little less than a miracle. To-day such facts are among the commonest of chemistry. The many brilliant syntheses of well-known and valuable organic compounds which have been made during the past twenty years are results of this discovery of Woehler.

In 1823 he published a paper on secretion, in the urine, of substances which are foreign to the animal organism, but which are brought into the body. He discovered the transformation of neutral organic salts into carbonates by the process of assimilation.

In 1832 he investigated the dimorphism of arsenious acid and antimony oxide. In 1841 he made the discovery that dimorphous bodies have different fusing points, according as they are in the crystallized or amorphous condition.

Among the more remarkable of his investigations in inorganic chemistry are those on methods for the preparation of potassium (1823); on tungsten compounds (1824); the preparation of aluminum (1827); of glucinum and yttrium (1828). In 1856, working with Ste. Claire Deville, he discovered crystallized boron.

Analytical methods were improved in many ways, and excellent new methods were introduced by him. Further, he did a great deal for the improvement of the processes of applied chemistry.

With Liebig he was associated in editing the "Annalen der Chemie and Pharmacie" and the "Handwoerterbuch der Chemie." He wrote a remarkably useful and popular "Grundriss der Chemie." The part relating to inorganic chemistry appeared first in 1831, and was in use until a few years ago, when Fittig wrote his "Grundriss" on the same plan, a work which supplanted its prototype.

The above will serve to give some idea of the great activity of Woehler's life, and the fruitfulness of his labors. While thus contributing largely by his own work directly to the growth of chemistry, he did perhaps as much in the capacity of teacher. Many of the active chemists of the present day have enjoyed the advantages of Woehler's instruction, and many can trace their success to the impulse gathered in the laboratory at Goettingen. The hand of the old master appears in investigations carried on to-day by his pupils.

Woehler's was not a speculative mind. He took very little part in the many important discussions on chemical theories which engaged the attention of such men as Dumas, Gerhardt, Berzelius, and Liebig, during the active period of his life. He preferred to deal with the facts as such; and no one ever dealt with the facts of chemistry more successfully. He had a genius for methods which has never been equaled. The obstacles which had baffled his predecessors were surmounted by him with ease. He was in this respect a truly great man.

Personally, Woehler was modest and retiring. His life was simple and unostentatious. He had a kindly disposition, which endeared him to his students, to which fact many American chemists who were students at Goettingen during the time of Woehler's activity can cordially testify. In short, it may be said deliberately that Woehler, as a chemist and as a man, was a fit model for all of us and for those who will come after us. Though he has gone, his methods live in every laboratory. His spirit reigns in many; could it reign in all, the chemical world would be the better for it.


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It is now already a year that the locomotive has been rolling over the St. Gothard road, crossing at a flash the distance separating Basle from Milan, and passing rapidly from the dark and damp defiles of German Switzerland into the sun lit plains of Lombardy. Our neighbors uproariously feted the opening of this great international artery, which they consider as their personal and exclusive work, as well from a technical point of view as from that of the economic result that they had proposed to attain—the creation of a road which, in the words of Bismarck, "glorifies no other nation." As regards the piercing of the Gothard, the initiative does, in fact, belong by good right to the powerful "Iron Chancellor," so we have never dreamed of robbing Germany of the glory (and it is a true glory) of having created the second of the great transalpine routes, that open to European products a new gate to the Oriental world. It seems to us, however, that in the noisy concert of acclamations that echoed during the days of the fetes over the inauguration of the line, a less modest place might have been made for those who, with invincible tenacity and rare talent, directed the technical part of the work, and especially those 15 kilometers of colossal boring—the great St. Gothard Tunnel, which ranks in the history of great public works side by side with the piercing of the Frejus, and the marvelous digging of Suez and Panama.

We recall just now the names of those who, during nearly ten years, have contributed with entire disinterestedness to the completion of this colossal work. Over all stands a figure of very peculiar originality—that of M. Louis Favre, the general contractor of the great tunnel, whose name will remain attached to the creation of this work through the Helvetian Alps, like that of Sommeiller to the great tunnel of the Frejus, and that of De Lesseps to the artificial straits that henceforward join the oceans. Having myself had the honor of occupying the position of general secretary of the enterprise under consideration, I have been enabled to make a close acquaintance with the man who was so remarkable in all respects, and who, after passing his entire life in great public works, died like a soldier on the field of honor—in the depths of the tunnel.

I saw Favre, for the first time, in Geneva, in 1872, a few days after he had assumed the responsibility of undertaking the great work. He had been living since the war on his magnificent Plongeon estate, on the right bank of the lake. There was no need of dancing attendance in order to reach the contractor of the greatest work that has been accomplished up to the present time, for M. Favre was easy of access. We had scarcely passed five minutes together than we we were conversing as we often did later after an acquaintance of six years. After making known to him the object of my visit, the desire of being numbered among the personnel of his enterprise, the conversation quickly took that turn of mirthfulness that was at the bottom of Favre's character. "This is the first time," said he to me, laughing, "that I ever worked with Germans, and I had not yet struck the first blow of the pick on the Gothard when they began to quibble about our contract of the 8th of last August. Ah! that agreement of August 8th! How I had to change and re-change it, later on. If this thing continues, we shall have a pretty quarrel, considering that I do not understand a word of the multiple interpretations of their charabia. I ought to have mistrusted this. But you see I have remained inactive during the whole of this unfortunate war. I was not made for promenading in the paths of a garden, and I should have died of chagrin if such inaction had had to be prolonged. When one lives, as I have, for thirty years around lumber yards, it is difficult to accustom one's self to the sedentary and secluded life that I have led here for nearly two years."

As he said, with just pride, Louis Favre had, indeed, before becoming the first contractor of public works in the world, lived for a long time in lumber yards. The years that so many other better instructed but less learned persons, who were afterward to gladly accept his authority, had given up to their studies, Favre had passed in the humble shop of his father, a carpenter at Chene, a small village at a half league from Geneva. It soon becoming somewhat irksome for him in the village, he left the paternal workbench to start on what is called the "tour of France." He was then eighteen years of age. Three years afterward, he was undertaking small works. It was not long ere he was remarked by the engineers conducting the latter, and he was soon called to give his advice on all difficult questions. Between times, Favre had courageously studied the principal bases of such sciences as were to be useful to him. In the evening, he made up at the public school what was lacking in his early instruction; not that he hoped to make a complete study for an engineer, but only to learn the indispensable. He was, before all things, a practical man, who made up for the enforced insufficiency of his technical knowledge by a coup d'oeil of surprising accuracy. Here it may be said to me that the piercing of the great St. Gothard Tunnel was accompanied by considerable loss. That is true, but it must be recalled also that this colossal work was accomplished amid the most insurmountable difficulties which ever presented themselves. In spite of this, the cost of the tunnel per running foot was also a third less than that of the great Mont Cenis Tunnel.

When Favre undertook the St. Gothard, he already reckoned to his credit numerous victories in the domain of public works, especially in the construction of subterranean ones. The majority of tunnels of any length which, since the beginning of the establishment of railways, have been considered as works of some proportions (the Blaisy Tunnel, for instance), were executed by him, in addition to other open air works. So Favre reached the St. Gothard full of hope. The battle with the colossus did not displease him, and his courage and his confidence in the success of the work seemed to increase in measure as the circumstances surrounding the boring became more difficult. In the presence of the terrible inundation of the gallery of Airolo and the falling of aquiferous rocks, creating in the subterranean work so desperate a situation that a large number of very experienced engineers almost advised the abandonment of the works, Favre remained impassive. Amid the general apprehension, which, it may be readily comprehended, was felt in such a situation he made his confident and cheerful voice heard, reviving the ardor of all, and speaking disdainfully of "that insignificant Gothard, which would come out all right." The personnel of the enterprise were not the only ones, however, who were uneasy over the constantly occurring difficulties in the way of the work, for the company itself and the Swiss Federal Council made known to Favre their fears that the execution of the work would be delayed. He, however, calmed their fears, and exposed his projects to them, and the seances always ended by a vote of confidence in the future of the undertaking. Favre certainly did not dissimulate the difficulties that he should have to conquer, but he execrated those who were timorous and always tried to put confidence into those who surrounded him. But, singular phenomenon, he ended by deceiving himself and, at certain times, it would not have been easy to prove to him that the St. Gothard was not the most easy undertaking in the world. Those who have lived around him know the jokes that he sometimes made at the expense of poor Gothard, which paid him back with interest, however, and did not allow itself to be pierced so easy after all.

Such confidence as existed in the first years, however, was not to exist for ever. The tunnel advanced, the heading deepened, but at the price of what troubles, and especially of how many expenses! Day by day one could soon count the probable deficit in the affair and the silent partners began to get a glimpse of the loss of the eight millions of securities that had had to be deposited with the Swiss Federal Council. For Favre personally the failure of the enterprise would have been ruin for his fortune was not so large as has been stated. To fears which Favre possessed more on account of the associates that he had engaged in the enterprise than for himself, came to join themselves those troubles with the Germans that he had spoken to me about on the first day. The St. Gothard Company, whose troubles are so celebrated, and whose inactivity lasted until the reconstruction of the affair, was seemingly undertaking to make Favre, who was directing the only work then in activity, bear all the insults that it had itself had to endure. And yet, amid these multiple cares, the contractor of the tunnel did not allow himself to become disheartened. Constantly at the breach he lived at his works, going from the gigantic adit of Goschenen to the inundated one of Anolo, constantly on the mountain, having no heed of the icy and perilous crossing, and passing days in the torrential rain that was flooding the tunnel. Who of us does not picture him in mind as he reached the inn at night, with his high boots still soaking wet, and his gray beard full of icicles to take his accustomed seat at the table, and, between courses, to tell some story full of mirth, some joke from the other works whence he had come, which made us laugh immoderately, and brought a smile to the faces of the German engineers.

It is a singular coincidence that this confidence in his own work, despite all the struggles borne, was shared likewise by another man than Favre—by Germano Sommeiller, the creator of the Mont Cenis Tunnel. When the work of the first piercing of the Alps was yet in the period of attacks and incredulity, Sommeiller wrote his brother the following letter: "Always keep me posted my dear Leander, as to what the laughers are saying and remember the proverb that 'he will laugh well who laughs last!' The majority of the people, even engineers, are rubbing their hands in expectation of the colossal fiasco that awaits us, and it is for that that the envious keep somewhat silent. I will predict to you that as soon as success is assured everybody will mount to the house tops and say 'I told you so! It was an idea of my own!' What great geniuses are going to spring from the earth! I am in haste, so adieu, courage, energy, silence and especially cheerfulness! And especially cheerfulness!" Perhaps this cheerfulness of strong minds is the invincible weapon of those who, like Sommeiller and Favre, fight against apathy or the bad faith of their adversaries! Like Favre however Sommeiller had not the pleasure of being present at the consecration of his glory, for at the Mont Cenis banquet as at the St. Gothard the place reserved for the creator of the great work was empty.

As disastrous as was the enterprise from a financial point of view what a triumph for Favre would have been the day on which he traversed from one end to the other that 15 kilometers of tunnel that he had walked over step by step since the first blow of the pick had struck the rock of the St. Gothard! But such a satisfaction was not to be reserved for him. Suddenly, on the 19th of July, 1879, less than seven years after the beginning of the work, and six months before the meeting of the adits, in the course of one of his visits to the tunnel Favre was carried off by the rupture of a blood vessel. A year before that epoch, I had left the enterprise, Favre having confided to me the general supervision over the manufacture of dynamite that he had undertaken at Varallo Pombia for the needs of his tunnel, but my friend M. Stockalper, engineer in chief of the Goschenen section, who accompanied Favre on his fatal subterranean excursion, has many a time recounted to me the sad details of his sudden death.

For months before it must be said Favre had been growing old. The man of broad shoulders and with head covered with thick hair in which here and there a few silver threads showed themselves, and who was as straight as at the age of twenty years, had begun to stoop, his hair had whitened and his face had assumed an expression of sadness that it was difficult for him to conceal. As powerful as it was this character had been subjugated. The transformation had not escaped me. Often during the days that we passed together he complained of a dizziness that became more and more frequent. We all saw him rapidly growing old. On the 19th of July, 1879, he had entered the tunnel with one of his friends, a French engineer who had come to visit the work, accompanied by M. Stockalper. Up to the end of the adit he had complained of nothing, but, according to his habit, went along examining the timbers, stopping at different points to give instructions, and making now and then a sally at his friend, who was unused to the smell of dynamite. In returning he began to complain of internal pains. "My dear Stockalper," said he, "take my lamp, I will join you." At the end of ten minutes not seeing him return, M. Stockalper exclaimed, "Well! M. Favre, are you coming?" No answer. The visitor and engineer retraced their steps, and when they reached Favre he was leaning against the rocks with his head resting upon his breast. His heart had already ceased to beat. A train loaded with excavated rock was passing and on this was laid the already stiff body of him who had struggled up to his last breath to execute a work all science and labor. A glorious end, if ever there was one!

Favre died in the full plenitude of his forces at less than fifty four years of age, and I can say, without fear of contradiction, that he was universally and sincerely regretted by all those who had worked at his side. Still at the present time when a few of us old colleagues of Goschenen, Airolo or Altorf meet, it is not without emotion that we recall the old days, the joyful reunions at which he cheered the whole table with his broad and genial laugh.—Maxime Helene, in La Nature.

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Besides the enormous engineering work of rendering navigable one of the mouths of the Mississippi Delta, and the continuous labor of developing the more original and still bolder project for an Isthmian ship railway, Mr. James B. Eads has been engaged in the design of new and extensive harbor works at Vera Cruz, which, when completed, will secure for that city a commodious and secure port. The accompanying plan shows the natural features of the locality, as well as the new works. The harbor is formed by the coast line from the Punta de la Caleta to the Punta de Hornos, and by La Gallega reef. From the first named point a coral reef, nearly dry at low water, extends out about 300 yards into the gulf, and a similar one of about the same length runs out from the Punta de Hornos. Between these is a bay 2,000 meters wide, and at its northwest end lies the city of Vera Cruz. The bay is partly inclosed by an island or reef—La Gallega—which, on the harbor front, has a length of 1,200 meters. Beyond this, and to the southeast, is another small island—the Lavendera reef. Between the end of this reef and that projecting from the Punta de Hornos is 320 meters wide. As will be seen from the plan the natural harbor is exposed to the gale from the north and northwest, while the formation affords general protection from the northeast and southeast thanks to five large coral reefs. Not unfrequently, however, heavy seas sweep through the wide channels between these small islands interfering seriously with vessels lying alongside the present limited wharfage. Northeast, La Gallega and Gallaguilla reefs run northward from the harbor for 3,300 meters and these with the main coast line, form a bay exposed to the full fury of the winds from the north, and when northern winds prevail rough water is driven through the passage between La Gallega and Caleta reefs with great violence, and sets up a rapid and dangerous current into the harbor.

From the foregoing it will be seen that, while presenting some advantages, the natural harbor of Vera Cruz possesses many drawbacks and dangers which the design of Mr. Eads will completely remove. The leading features of the works about to be carried out are indicated on the plan. They comprise

1. The construction of a sea wall between La Gallega and the Lavendera reefs, with an extension over the latter.

2. The construction of a sea wall from Punta de la Caleta to La Gallega. This part of the work will be begun after the completion of the first wall to a height of at least 3 ft. above low water.

3. A dike connecting the northern ends of the first two dikes with each other, and stretching across the southern part of La Gallega, to prevent the seas which sometimes break over this reef from entering the harbor. The wall between La Gallega and Lavendera will not only cut off the rough water during northerly gales, but will also effectually prevent the deposition of sand in the harbor, because the through passage to the northwest will be stopped. Passages closed by sluice gates will be formed through this wall at about low water level, so that at any time the harbor may be flushed out and stagnation prevented.

4. After the construction of the inclosing walls the harbor will be dredged out and cleared of coral to a depth of 25 ft. below low water.

5. Following these works of primary importance comes the construction of a wooden roadway from the Hornos reef to the northwestern dike. This roadway will form the south front of the harbor, and the excavated material will be deposited on the space between the roadway and the existing bottom, so as ultimately to make it a permanent work with a masonry retaining wall fronting the harbor. The land between the roadway and the city would also be reclaimed to the extent of more than 740,000 square yards.

6. The construction of wooden piers at right angles to the roadway, which would be extended to run around the harbor as trade required it, for ships to be alongside for loading and unloading. The construction of these short piers would be similar to those used in New York and other United States ports, and they might afterward be replaced by masonry if the increase in trade justified so large an expenditure.

7. The erection of a lighthouse, at or near the eastern end of the Lavendera sea wall of a second on the eastern side of La Gallaguilla reef, and of another on the west side of La Blanquilla reef. These houses will be furnished with distinctive signals to enable steamers running in before another to run with safety between La Gallaguilla and La Blanquilla as soon as the Lavendera light is seen between the other two.

The width of deep water at the entrance between the Lavendera and Hornos reefs will be 1,000 ft. The estimated cost of these extensive works is ten millions of dollars, a large sum for the Mexican Republic to expend in harbor improvements at one port but it will doubtless be found a profitable investment as it will tend greatly to promote trade, and so increase indefinitely the commerce of the port.

Mr. Eads' plan having been approved by the Mexican Government the work was formally commenced on the 14th of last August. Plans were also furnished by him at the request of the Government, for deepening the mouth of the Panuco River upon which is located the city of Tampico, the Gulf terminus of the Mexican central railway system.—Engineering.

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The following estimate of the cost of the power required to manufacture a barrel of flour is taken from the Miller. The calculation would hardly hold good in this country owing to difference in cost of fuel attendance etc., but is nevertheless of interest.

"The cost of a steam motor per 20 stone (280 lb.) sack of flour depends entirely on local circumstances. It depends first, on the amount of power expended in the production of a sack of flour, that is on its mode of manufacture, and it depends, secondly, on the cost of the necessary amount of power, that is, on the cost of fuel burned per horse power The average consumption of coal of first class steam engines may be taken at 2 lb. per hour per indicated horse power.

"Supposing a mill with six pairs of stones, two pairs of porcelain roller mills, and the necessary dressing, purifying, and wheat cleaning machinery to require a steam motor of 100 indicated horse power to drive it, then the average consumption of fuel in this mill would be 200 lb. of coal per hour. Such a mill working day and night will turn out about 400 sacks of flour per week of, say, 130 hours, so that 200 X 13 = 26,000 lb. of coal would be required to manufacture 400 sacks of flour. The cost of this quantity of coal may be taken at, say, L12 (about $58.32), and for cost of attending engine and boiler, cost of oil, etc., another L3 (about $14.58) per week may be added; so that, in this case, the manufacture of 400 sacks of flour would cause an expenditure of L15 ($72.90) for the steam motor. Therefore the cost of the steam motor per 20-stone sack of flour may be taken at 9d. (about 18 cents) per sack, if an improved low grinding system is used.

"In this case it is supposed that about 55 per cent. of flour is obtained in the first run, leaving about 30 per cent. of middlings and about 12 per cent. of bran, which is finished in a bran duster. The middlings are purified, ground over one pair of middling stones, then dressed through a centrifugal and the tailings of the latter are passed over one of the porcelain roller mills, whereas the other porcelain roller mill treats the second quality of middlings coming from the purifier. The products from the two porcelain roller mills are dressed through a second centrifugal, and the whole flour is mixed into one straight grade. Four pairs of stones are supposed to work on wheat, one on middlings, and one pair is sharpening. The first run is supposed to be dressed through two long silk reels. Of course, not every steam motor has so low a consumption of coal as two pounds per hour per horse power; it often amounts to three, four, and five pounds per hour. In that case, of course, the cost of steam power per sack is much greater than 9d. per sack. A greater number of breaks does not necessarily increase the cost of steam power per sack of flour. Although more machines may be employed, each of them may require less horse power; so that the total amount of power required for manufacturing an equal amount of flour may not be greater in the case of gradual reduction.

"As, however, the cost of maintenance may be slightly greater in the latter case, on account of a greater number of more elaborate machines, the cost of manufacturing a sack of flour may be a little greater when gradual reduction is employed, taking into account the total expenses of the mill and interest on the capital employed.

"Water motors are generally a much cheaper source of energy than steam motors, but they are not so reliable and constant as the latter. The very irregular supply of water sometimes causes stoppages of the mill, and often a reserve steam engine has to be provided in order to assist the water motor when the quantity of water decreases during the summer months. Wind motors were formerly extensively used for milling purposes, but they are now gradually disappearing. They are too irregular and unreliable, although they utilize a very cheap motive power. It is not advantageous to expend a large amount of capital for a mill which often is unable to work at the very time when there are favorable opportunities for doing profitable business. Animal motors are too dear. They are only suitable for driving very small mills in out of the way localities."

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A very interesting system of driving gear for lift hammers was applied in an apparatus exhibited at Frankfort in 1881 by Mr. Meier of Herzen. The arrangement of the mechanism is shown in Figs. 1 and 2. In the upper part of the hammer-frame there is a shaft which is possessed of a continuous rotary motion, and, with it, there is connected by a friction coupling a drum that receives the belt from which is suspended the hammer. In the apparatus exhibited, the mechanism is so arranged that the hammer must always follow the motion of the controlling lever in the same direction; but a system may likewise be adopted such that the hammer shall continue to operate automatically, when and so long as a lever prepared for such purpose is lowered.

ab is the shaft having a continuous rotary motion, and upon which are fixed the pulley, c, the fly-wheel, d, and the friction-disk, e. Upon one of the extremities of the driving shaft is fixed an elongated sleeve, formed of the drum, g, and of the screw, f, carried by the nut, h. This latter is supported in the frame in such a way that it cannot turn, but can move easily in the direction of the axis. Such motion may be produced by the spring, i, and its extent is such that the drum, g, is brought in contact with the friction-disk, e.

The hand-lever, k, rod, l, and bent lever, m, serve to bring about a motion in the opposite direction, and which disengages the drum, g, from the disk, e, and lets the hammer fall; the drum being then able to turn freely. If the lever, k, be afterward raised again, the spring, i, will act anew and couple the drum with the driving-shaft, so that the hammer will be lifted. In this rotary motion the screw, f, turns or re-enters into its nut, which it displaces toward the left, since it cannot itself move in that direction until the rectilinear motion be wiped out, and the power of the spring be thus overcome. At the same moment, the screw should naturally also make this rectilinear movement forward, that is to say, the coupling would be disengaged, if, at the least lateral motion toward the right, the spring, i, did not push the system toward the left. There is thus produced a state of equilibrium such that there is just enough friction between the disk, e, and the drum, g, to keep the hammer at rest and suspended. Through the action of an external force which lowers the lever, K, the hammer at once falls, and the screw issues anew from its nut and brings the parts into their former positions.

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The machine shown in Figs. 1, 2, and 3 has been devised by Messrs. Junker & Ruh, of Carlsruhe, for cutting internally-toothed gear-wheels. The progress of the work is such that the wheel is pushed toward the tool by a piece, n, provided with a curve guide, and that the tool is raised and separated from the wheel after a tooth has been cut, in order to allow the wheel to revolve one division further.

The tool is placed in a support, b, which is fixed to the upright, d, in such away that it may revolve; and this support is connected to the frame, a, of the machine. A strong flat spring, f, constantly presses the tool-carrier, b, toward the upright, d, as much as the screw, g, will permit; and this pressure and the tension of the belt draw the tool downward. The screws, g, determine the depth of the cut, and compensate for the differences in the diameter of the tool.

The wheels to be cut are set by pressure into a wrought iron ring, with which they are placed in a sleeve or support, h. The connection between the two is assured by means of a nut, c. The axle of the support, h, is held in the upright of the carriage, k, which receives from a piece, l, placed on the driving-shaft, n, a slow forward motion toward the tool, and a rapid motion backward. The trajectory curve or groove of special form of the piece, l, in which moves the conducting roller, o, of the carriage, is not closed everywhere on the two sides, in that the guides that limit it extend only on the part strictly necessary. This arrangement permits of the roller being made to leave the trajectory in order that the carriage may be drawn back to a sufficient distance from the tool when the wheel is finished, so as to replace the latter by another.

One hollow is cut during each forward travel of the carriage; and, when such travel is finished, a cam-disk, p, placed on the shaft, n, lifts the tool-carrier, b, and thus draws the cutting-tool out of the hollow cut by it, so that the carriage cam can then move back without restraint. In the interim, the sleeve, h, which supports the wheel, revolves one tooth through the following arrangement: On the axis, e, of this sleeve there are two ratchet-wheels, r and s, the number of whose teeth is equal to that of the teeth to be cut in the wheel. The wheel, r, produces the rotation of the sleeve, h, and the wheel, s, keeps the shaft stationary during the operation. The two wheels are set in motion by a lever, t, or by its click, this lever being raised at the desired moment on the free extremity of the driving shaft, n, by a wedge, u. The short arm of the lever, t, engages, through its point of appropriate shape, with the teeth of the wheel, s, so as to keep this latter stationary while the tool is cutting out the interspace between the teeth. When the lever, t, is raised, this point is at first disengaged from the wheel, s; and the raising of the lever being prolonged, the button, i, places itself against the upper curve of the slot in the lever, q, and raises that likewise. q is connected with the lever, v, which revolves about the axis, e, and v carries the click, w, so that when the lever, v, is raised, the wheel, r, turns forward by one tooth. When the lever, t, is lowered, as the wedge, u, turns more, its click holds the wheel, s, stationary. This series of operations is repeated until the last interspace between the teeth has been cut, when the machine stops automatically as follows: A cam of the disk, A, which receives from the shaft, n, through cone-wheels, a motion corresponding to that of the wheels, r and s, abuts against the two-armed lever, z, and this latter then disengages the rod, y, so that the weight, G, can move the fork, B, in such a way that the belt shall pass from the fast to the loose pulley.

Motion is communicated to the machine as a whole by the shaft, C, which is provided with a fast and loose pulley. As shown in the engraving, the pulley, D, moves the tool, and the pulley, E, causes the revolution of the shaft, n, through a helicoidal gearing, F.

The construction of the tool carrier is represented in detail in Fig. 3. The cutting tool, F, rests on a sleeve forming part of the pulley, r1, against which it is pressed by a nut, while its position is fixed by a key. The axle, s1, of the tool is held in two boxes, in which it is fixed by screws. In order that the tool may be placed exactly in the axis of the wheel to be toothed, and that also the play produced by lateral wear of the pulley, r1, may be compensated for, two screws, r2, are arranged on the sides. All rotation of the shaft, s1, is prevented by a screw, o, which traverses the cast iron stirrup, C, and the steel axle box.

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At a late meeting of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the paper read was on "Recent Hydraulic Experiments," by Major Allan Cunningham, R.E.

This paper was mainly a general account of some extensive experiments on the flow of water in the Ganges Canal, lasting over four years—1874-79. Their principal object was to find a good mode of discharge measurements for large canals, and to test existing formulae. There are about 50,000 velocity, and 600 surface-slope measurements, besides many special experiments. The Ganges Canal, from its great size, from the variety of its branches abounding in long straight reaches, and from the power of control over the water in it, was eminently suited for such experiments. An important feature was the great range of conditions, and, therefore, also of results obtained. Thus the chief work was done at thirteen sites in brickwork and in earth, some being rectangular and others trapezoidal, and varying from 193 ft. to 13 ft. in breadth, and from 11 ft. to 7 in. in depth, with surface-slopes from 480 to 24 per million, velocities from 7.7 ft. to 0.6 ft. per second, and discharges from 7,364 to 114 cubic feet per second. For all systematic velocity measurements, floats were exclusively used, viz., surface floats, double floats, and loaded rods. Their advantages and disadvantages had been fully discussed in the detailed treatise "Roorkee Hydraulic Experiments"—1881. They measured only "forward velocity," the practically useful part of the actual velocity. The motion of water, even when tranquil to the eye, was found to be technically "unsteady;" it was inferred that there is no definite velocity at any point, and that the velocity varies everywhere largely, both in direction and in magnitude. The average of, say, fifty forward velocity measurements at any one point was pretty constant, so that there must be probably average steady motion. Hence average forward velocity measurements would be the only ones of much practical use. To obtain these would be tedious and costly, and special arrangements would be required to obviate the effects of a change in the state of water, which often occurred in a long experiment, as when velocities at many points were wanted.

As to surface-slope its measurement—from nearly 600 trials—was found to be such a delicate operation that the result would be of doubtful utility. This would affect the application of all formulas into which it entered. The water surface was ascertained, on the average of its oscillations, to be sensibly level across, not convex, as supposed by some writers. There were 565 sets of vertical velocity measurements combined into forty-six series. The forty-six average curves were all very flat and convex down stream—except near an irregular bank—and were approximately parabolas with horizontal axes; the data determined the parameters only very roughly; the maximum velocity line was usually below the service, and sank in a rectangular channel, from the center outward down to about mid-depth near the banks. Its depression seemed not to depend on the depth, slope, velocity, or wind; probably the air itself, being a continuous source of surface retardation, would permanently depress the maximum velocity, while wind failed to effect this, owing to its short duration. On any vertical the mid-depth velocity was greater than the mean, and the bed velocity was the least. The details showed that the mid-depth velocity was nearly as variable from instant to instant as any other, instead of being nearly constant, as suggested by the Mississippi experimenters.

The measurement of the mean velocity past a vertical was thought to be of fundamental importance. Loaded rods seemed by far the best for both accuracy and convenience in depths under 15 ft. They should be immersed only 0.94 of the full depth. The chief objection to their use, that—from not dipping into the slack water near the bed—they moved too quickly, was thus for the first time removed. A double float with two similar sub-floats at depths of 0.211 and 0.789 of the full depth would also give this mean with more accuracy and convenience than any instrument of its class; this instrument is new. Measurement of the velocity at five eighths depth would also afford a fair approximation.

One hundred and fourteen average transverse velocity curves were prepared from 714 separate curves. These average curves were all very flat, and were convex down stream—over a level or concave bed—and nearly symmetric in a symmetric section. The velocity was greatest near the center, or deepest channel, decreased very slowly at first toward both banks, more rapidly with approach to the banks or with shallowing of the depth, very rapidly close to the banks, and was very small at the edges, possibly zero. The figure of the curve was found to be determined by the figure of the bed, a convexity in the bed producing a concavity in the curve and vice versa, and more markedly in shallow than in deep water. Curves on the same transversal, at the same site, and with similar conditions, but differing in general velocity, were nearly parallel projections. At the edges there was a strong transverse surface flow from the edge toward mid-channel, decreasing rapidly with distance from the edge. The discussion showed that it was almost hopeless to seek the geometric figure of the curves from mere experiment.

Five hundred and eighty-one cubic discharges were measured under very varied conditions. The process adopted contained three steps: (1) Sounding along about fifteen float courses, scattered across the site in eight cross sections; time, say four hours. (2) Measurement of the mean velocities through the full depths in those float courses, each thrice repeated; time, say four hours. (3) Computation, say two hours. This process was direct and wholly experimental; each step was done in a time which gave some chance of a constant state of water. From an extended comparison of all results under similar conditions, it appeared that the above process yielded, under favorable circumstances, results not likely to differ more than 5 per cent. The sequel showed that in a channel with variable regimen, a discharge table for a given site must be of at least double entry, as dependent on the local gauge-reading, and on the velocity or surface-slope.

Special attention was paid to rapid approximations to mean sectional velocity. The mean velocity past the central vertical, the central surface velocity, and Chezy's quasi-velocity—i.e.,

100 x Sqrt (R x S)

where R = the hydraulic mean depth, and S = surface slope—were tried in detail; thus 100, 76, and 83 average values thereof respectively were taken from 581, 313, and 363 detail values. The ratios of these three velocities to the mean velocity were taken out, and compared in detail with Bazin's and Cutter's coefficients. Other formulae were contrasted also in slight detail. Kutter's alone seemed to be of general applicability; when the surface slope measurement is good, and the rugosity coefficient known for the site—both doubtful matters—it would probably give results within 71/2 per cent. of error. Improvement in formulae could at present be obtained only by increased complexity, and the tentative research would be excessively laborious. Now the first two ratios varied far less than the third; thus their use would probably involve less error than the third, or approximation would be more likely from direct velocity measurement than from any use of surface slope. The connection between velocities was probably a closer one than between velocity and slope; the former being perhaps only a geometric, and the latter a physical one. The mean velocity past the central vertical was recommended for use, as not being affected by wind; the reduction coefficient could at present only be found by special experiment for each site. Three current meters were tried for some time with a special lift, contrived to grip the meter firmly parallel to the current axis, so as to register only forward velocity, and with a nearly rigid gearing wire. No useful general results were obtained. Ninety specimens of silt were collected, but no connection could be traced between silt and velocity; it seemed that the silt at any point varied greatly from instant to instant, and that the quantity depended not on the mean velocity, but probably on the silt in the supply water. Forty measurements of the evaporation from the canal surface were made in a floating pan, during twenty five months. The average daily evaporation was only about 1/10 in. The smallness of this result seemed to be due to the coldness of the water—only 63 deg. in May, with 165 deg. in the sun and 105 deg. in shade. Lastly, it must suffice to say that great care was taken to insure accuracy in both fieldwork and computation.

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There seems to have sprung up within a few mouths a tendency to revive the discussion on that hackneyed question, "Shall the germ be retained in the flour?" This question has been more than once answered in the negative by both scientific and practical men, but recently certain prominent persons have come to the conclusion that every one has been wrong on this point, and the miller should by all means retain the germ. Now the nutritive value of the germ cannot be disputed, but there are two circumstances which condemn it us an ingredient of flour. The first is that the albuminoids which it contains are largely soluble, and this means that good light bread from germy flour is impossible. I have not time to go into a detailed explanation of the chemical reasons for this, but they may be found in a series of articles which appeared in The Milling World about a year ago. In the next place, the oil contained in the germ not only discolors the flour, but seriously interferes with its keeping qualities. Now color is only a matter of taste, and if that were the only objection to the germ, it might be admitted, but we certainly do not want anything in our flour to interfere with making light, sweet bread, and will render it more liable to spoil. If our scientists can discover some method of obviating these objections, it will then be time enough to talk about retaining the germ. Meanwhile millers know that germy flour is low priced flour, and they are not very likely to reduce their profits by retaining the germ.—Milling World.

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There was considerable complaint last season, on the part of wheat raisers in sections tributary to Minneapolis, on account of the rigid standard of grading adopted by the millers of that city. It was asserted that the differentiation of prices between the grades was unjustly great and out of proportion to the actual difference of value. In order to ascertain whether this was the case or not, the Farmers' Association of Blue Earth County, Minn., decided to have samples of each grade analyzed by a competent chemist in order to determine their relative value. Accordingly specimens were secured, certified to by the agent of the Millers' Association of Minneapolis, and sent to the University of Minnesota for analysis. The analysis was conducted by Prof. Wm. A. Noyes, Ph.D., an experienced chemist, who has recently reported as follows:

"The analyses of wheat given below were undertaken for the purpose of determining whether the millers' grades of wheat correspond to an actual difference in the chemical character of the wheat. For this purpose samples of wheat were secured, which were inspected and certified to by M. W. Trexa on April 13th of this year. The inspection cards contained no statement except the grade of the wheat and the weight per bushel, but the samples were all of Fife, for the purpose of a better comparison. The analyses of the wheat were made during October in this laboratory. In each case the wheat was carefully separated from any foreign substances before analysis. The results of analysis were as follows:

Grade Grade Grade No. 1. No. 2. No. 3. Weight per bushel.................. 59 lb. 561/2 lb. 55 lb. Grains to weigh 10 grains.......... 366 474 491 Per ct. Per ct. Per ct. Foreign matter (seeds, etc.)....... 0.41 0.20 1.57 Nitrogen........................... 2.09 2.08 2.17 Phosphorus......................... 0.35 0.46 0.46 Water.............................. 12.34 11.31 11.85 Ash................................ 1.59 1.92 1.97 Albuminoids (nitrogen multiplied by 61/4)........................... 13.06 13.00 13.56 Cellulose.......................... 2.03 2.37 2.50 Starch, sugar, fat, etc............ 70.98 71.40 70.12

"The analyses require but little comment. The only substances in which there is evident connection between the results of analysis and the grades of wheat are the cellulose, ash, and phosphorus. As regards the last substance, grades two and three seem to have the greatest food value. But it seems quite probable from the results that greater difference would be found between different varieties of wheat of the same kind than is shown here between different grades of the same variety of wheat. However, it does not necessarily follow from this that the different grades of wheat are of nearly equal value to the miller for the purpose of making flour. That is a question which can be best answered by determining accurately the amount and character of the flour which can be made from each grade of wheat. If possible, the investigation will be continued in that direction."

As Prof. Noyes justly remarks, the value of the different grades of wheat can best be determined by a comparison of the results of reducing them to flour, but an intelligent study of the table given above would of itself be sufficient to indicate the justness of the grading. In the first place, even were the percentages of the different components exactly the same in each grade, still the difference in weight would of itself be sufficient to justify a marked difference in price. This requires no proof, for, other things being equal, fifty-nine pounds is worth more than fifty-five pounds. Again, the figures show that No. 3 contained nearly four times as much foreign matter as No. 1. Millers certainly should not be expected to pay for foreign seeds or other substances valueless for their purpose, at the price of wheat. Finally, if the analysis proves anything, it proves that the lower grades contain a decidedly larger percentage of components which it is generally agreed, whether directly or the reverse, ought not to be incorporated with the flour, and are, therefore, of comparatively little value to the miller. This is shown by the relative amounts of cellulose, ash, and phosphorus present. Cellulose, as every one knows, is the woody, indigestible substance which is found in the bran, and the greater the amount of cellulose, the heavier will be the bran in proportion to the flour producing elements. According to the figures presented, No. 3 contained nearly one-quarter more cellulose than No. 1, while the amount in No. 2 was slightly less than in No. 3. The ash, too, which represents the mineral constituents of the wheat, is directly dependent upon the quantity of bran. Here, too, the lowest grade is shown to yield about one-quarter more than the highest. The larger percentage of phosphorus in the lower grades is suggested by the analyst to indicate their greater food value in this respect. So it would, were we in the habit of boiling our wheat and heating it whole, or of using "whole wheat meal." But, fortunately or unfortunately, the bread reformers have not yet succeeded in inoculating any considerable portion of the community with their doctrines, and hence the actual food value of any sample of wheat must be ascertained, not directly from the composition of the wheat, but from the composition of the flour made therefrom. Now, as already stated, phosphorus, like the other mineral components, is found almost entirely in the bran. Its presence in greater quantity, therefore, simply adds to the testimony that a larger proportion of the low grade wheat must be rejected than of the higher grade. It should be evident to the complaining farmers that the millers were in the right of the question, on this occasion at least.

It is expected that further analysis will be made, this time of the flour made from the different grades of wheat. If these investigations be properly conducted, we have no doubt that they will simply confirm the evidence of the wheat tests. A chemical analysis alone, however, will not be sufficient. The quantity of flour obtained from a given amount of wheat must also be ascertained and its quality further tested by means best known to millers, as regards "doughing-up," keeping qualities, color, etc. And then the result can be no less than to show what millers already knew—that the best quality of flour, commanding the top prices in the market, cannot be obtained from an inferior quality of wheat.—Milling World.

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[Footnote 1: Read June 21, 1882, before the Boston Society of Civil Engineers.]


The blue process is well known to the members of the society, and I need not take time to describe it; but with the ordinary blue process printing frame the results are sometimes unsatisfactory, and now that the process has come to be so commonly used I have thought that an account of an inexpensive but efficient printing frame would be of interest. The essential parts of the apparatus are its frame, its glass, its pad or cushion, its clamps, and the mechanism by which the surface of the glass can easily be made to take a position that is square with the direction of the sun's rays.

The Blue Process Printing Frame in Common Use.—Its Defects.—The pad of the apparatus in common use consists of several thicknesses of blanketing stretched upon a back board. The sensitized paper and the negative are placed between the pad and the plate glass, and the whole is squeezed together by pressure applied at the periphery of the glass and of the back-board. Both the glass and the back-board spring under the pressure, and it results that the sensitized paper is not so severely pressed against the negative near the center of the glass as it is near the edges. If at any point the sensitized paper is not pressed hard up against the negative, a bluish tinge will appear where a white line or surface was expected. With an efficient printing frame and suitable negatives, these blue lines will never appear, and it was to prevent the production of defective work that I undertook to improve the pad of the printing frame.

The Printing Frame Used in Ordinary Photography.—Very naturally, I first examined the printing frame used in ordinary photography. This frame is extremely simple, and is very well adapted to its use. It is, undoubtedly, the best frame for blue process printing, when the area of the glass is not too large. The glass is set in an ordinary wooden frame, while the back-board is stiff and divided into two parts. A flat, bow-shaped spring is attached by a pivot to the center of each half of the back-board. The two halves of the back-board are hinged together by ordinary butts. Four lugs are fastened to the back of the frame, and, when the back-board is placed in position, the springs may be swung around, parallel to the line of the hinges, and pressed under the lugs, so that the back of the back-board is pressed most severely at the center of each half, while the glass is prevented from springing away from the back-board by the resistance of the frame at its edges. Unless the frame is remarkably stiff, it will resist the springing of the glass more perfectly in the neighborhood of the lugs than elsewhere. It will now be seen that, on account of the manner in which the pressure is applied, the back-board tends to become convex toward the glass, while the adjacent surface of the glass tends to become concave toward the back-board; and that with such a frame, the pressure upon all parts of the sensitized paper is more nearly uniform than when the pressure is applied in the manner before described. With a small frame of this description, a piece of ordinary cotton flannel is used between the back-board and the sensitized paper, and, with larger sizes, one or more thicknesses of elastic woolen blanket are substituted for the cotton flannel. There is an advantage in having a hinged back-board like that which has been described, because, when the operator thinks that the exposure to sunlight has been sufficiently prolonged, he can turn down either half of the back and examine the sensitized paper, to see if the process has been carried far enough. If it has not, the back-board can be replaced, and the exposure continued, without any displacement of the sensitized paper with respect to the negative. This is an important advantage.

An Efficient Blue Process Frame, for Printing from Large Negatives, or for Printing Simultaneously from many Small Ones.—In order to be efficient, such a frame must be capable of keeping the sensitized paper everywhere tightly pressed against the negative. Again, such a frame, being large, is necessarily somewhat heavy. It should be so mounted that it can be handled with ease; and, in order that it may print quickly, it should be so arranged that it can be turned without delay, at any time, into a position that is square with the direction of the sun's rays.

Undoubtedly, if a sufficiently thick plate of glass should be used, the ordinary photographic printing frames would answer the purpose, whatever the size, but very thick plate glass is both heavy and expensive. Commercial plate glass varies in thickness from one-fourth to three eighths of an inch, and the thicker plates are rather rare. A large plate of it is easily broken by a slight uniformly distributed pressure. But the pressure that is required for the blue process printing, although slight, is much greater than is used in the ordinary photographic process. For the sensitized paper that is used in the blue process printing is, comparatively, very thick and stiff, and it may cockle more or less, while the paper that is used in ordinary photography is thin and does not cockle. Now, it is easy to see that a pressure severe enough to flatten all cockles must be had at every part of the sensitized paper, and that, if the comparatively thin, inexpensive, light weight, commercial plate glass is to be used, it is desirable to have the pressure nowhere much greater than is needed for that purpose, lest the fragile glass should be fractured by it. In each of my large frames I use the commercial plate glass; instead of the cushion of cotton flannel, or of flannel, I use a cushion filled with air of sufficiently high pressure to flatten all cockles, and to press all parts of the sensitized paper closely against the negative; and instead of the hinged back-board I use a back-board made in one piece and clamped to the frame of the glass at its edges. Connected with the cushion is a pressure gauge, and a tube with a cock, for charging the cushion with air from the lungs. Experience shows what pressure is necessary with any given paper, and the gauge enables one to know that the pressure is neither deficient nor in excess of that which is safe for the glass.

The Construction of the Air-Cushion.—The expense of such an air-cushion seemed at first likely to prevent its being used; but a method of construction suggested itself, the expense of which proved to be very slight. The wooden back-board, as constructed, is made in one piece containing no wide cracks. It has laid upon it some thick brown Manila paper, the upper surface of which has been previously shellacked to make it entirely air-tight. Upon this shellacked surface is laid a single thickness of thin paper of any kind; even newspaper will answer. Its object is simply to prevent the sheet rubber, which forms the top of the air-cushion, from sticking to the shellacked paper. The heat of the sun is often sufficient to bring the shellac to a sticky state. It would probably answer as well to shellac the under side of the paper, and to use but one sheet, but I have not tried this plan. Around the periphery of the pad, there is laid a piece of rubber gasket about one and a half inches wide, and about one-eighth of an inch thick. In order that the gasket may not be too expensive, it is cut from two strips about three inches wide. One of them is as long as the outside length of the frame, and the other is as long as the outside width of the frame. Each of these strips is cut into two L-shaped pieces, an inch and a half in width, with the shorter leg of each L three inches long. When the four pieces are put together a scarf joint is made near each corner, having an inch and one-half lap. It is somewhat difficult to cut such a scarf joint as perfectly as one would wish, and it is best to use rubber cement at the joints. Over the gasket is laid a sheet of the thinnest grade of what is called pure rubber or elastic gum. Above this, and over the gasket, is placed a single thickness of cotton cloth, of the same dimensions as the gasket, and yet above this are strips of ordinary strap iron, an inch and a half wide and nearly one eighth of an inch thick. These strips are filed square at the ends and butt against each other at right angles. As the edges of the strips are slightly rounded, they are filed away sufficiently to form good joints wherever the others butt against them. The whole combination is bound together by ordinary stove bolts, one quarter of an inch in diameter, placed near the center of the width of the iron strips, and at a distance apart of about two and one-half inches. Their heads are countersunk into the strap iron. In making the holes for the stove bolts through the thin rubber, care should be taken to make them sufficiently large to enable the bolt to pass through without touching the rubber, otherwise the rubber may cling to the bolts, and if they are turned in their holes the rubber may be torn near the bolts and made to leak. A rough washer, under each nut, prevents it from cutting into the back-board. For the purpose of introducing air to, or removing air from, the pad, a three-eighths of an inch lock nut nipple is introduced through the back-board, the shellacked paper, and its thin paper covering. Without the back-board a T connects with the nipple. One of its branches leads, by a rubber tube, to the pressure gauge, which is a U-tube of glass containing mercury. The other branch has upon it an ordinary plug cock, and, beyond this, a rubber tube terminating in a glass mouth-piece. When it is desired to inflate the air-cushion, it is only necessary to blow into the mouth-piece. A pressure of one inch of mercury is sufficient for any work that I have yet undertaken. With particularly good paper, a lower pressure is sufficient. Upon the top of the pad is laid a piece of common cotton flannel with the nap outward, and with its edges tacked along the under edge of the back-board. The cotton flannel is not drawn tight across the top of the pad. The reason for employing a cotton flannel covering is this: When the sheet rubber has been exposed for a few days to the strong sunlight, it loses its strength and becomes worthless. The cotton flannel is a protection against the destruction of the rubber by the sunlight. I first observed this destruction while experimenting with a cheap and convenient form of gauge. I used, as an inexpensive gauge, an ordinary toy balloon, and I could tell, with sufficient accuracy, how much pressure I had applied, by the swelling of the balloon. This balloon ruptured from some unknown cause, and I made a substitute for it out of a round sheet of thin flat rubber, gathered all around the circumference. I made holes about one-quarter of an inch apart, and passing a string in and out drew it tight upon the outside of a piece of three eighths of an inch pipe, I then wound a string tightly over the rubber, on the pipe, and found the whole to be air-tight. This served me for some time, but one day, on applying the pressure, I found a hole in the balloon which looked as if it had been cut with a very sharp knife. That it had been so cut was not to be imagined, and on further examination I found that the fracture had occured at a line which separated a surface in the strong sunlight from a surface in the shade, at a fold in the rubber. I saw that all of the rubber which had been continuously exposed to the intense sunlight had changed color and had become whiter than before, and that that portion of the balloon had lost its strength. I then returned to the use of the mercury gauge, and took the precaution to cover my pad with cotton flannel, as a protection from the light and from other sources of destruction. This pad is upon the roof of the Institute; and is exposed to all weathers. As a protection from the rain and the snow, the whole is covered again with a rubber blanket. It has withstood the exposure perfectly well for a year, without injury. The gauge, made from flat rubber, is altogether so cheap and so convenient that I am now experimenting with one of this description having a black cloth covering upon the outside. The balloon is of spherical shape, the black cloth covering is of cylindrical shape, and I hope that this device will serve every necessary purpose. A sectional view of the air-cushion is offered as a part of this communication.

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