Scientific American Supplement, No. 443, June 28, 1884
Author: Various
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NEW YORK, JUNE 28, 1884.

Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XVII., No. 443.

Scientific American established 1845

Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.

Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.

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I. CHEMISTRY AND METALLURGY.—Beeswax and its Adulterations. —Chemical ingredients.—Detection of adulterations. 7064

Phenol in the Stem, Leaves, and Cones of Pinus Sylvestris. —A discovery bearing on the flora of the Carboniferous epoch and the formation of petroleum. 7065

The School of Physics and Chemistry of Paris.—With engraving of laboratory. 7065

Some Relations of Heat to Voltaic and Thermo Electric Action of Metals in Electrolysis.—By G. GORE. 7070

II. ENGINEERING, MECHANICS, ETC.—Air Refrigerating Machine.—5 figures. 7071

A Gas Radiator and Heater. 7071

Concrete Water Pipes. 7071

The Sellers Standard System of Screw Threads. Nuts, and Bolt Heads.—A table. 7072

An English Railway Ferry Boat.—3 figures. 7072

The Problem of Flight and the Flying Machine. 7072

III. TECHNICAL.—Concrete Buildings for Farms.—How to construct them. 7063

What Causes Paint to Blister and Peel?—How to prevent it. 7063

Olive Oil.—Difficulties encountered in raising an olive crop.—Process of making Oil. 7064

IV. ELECTRICITY. ETC.—Telephony and Telegraphy on the Same Wires Simultaneously.—4 figures. 7067

The Electric Marigraph.—An apparatus for measuring the height of the tide.—With engravings and diagrams showing the Siemens and Halske marigraph and the operation of the same. 7068

Delune & Co.'s System of Laying Underground Cables.—2 figures. 7069

Electricity Applied to Horseshoeing.—Quieting an unruly animal.—3 engravings. 7069

Esteve's Automatic Pile.—1 figure. 7070

Woodward's Diffusion Motor. 7070

V. ASTRONOMY.—Lunar Heat.—Its reflected and obscure heat.—Trifling influence of the moon upon wind and weather.—By Prof. C.A. YOUNG. 7073

VI. NATURAL HISTORY.—The Long-haired Pointer "Mylord." —With engraving. 7073

VII. HORTICULTURE, ETC.—Apple Tree Borers.—Protection against the same. 7074

Keffel's Germinating Apparatus.—With engraving. 7074

Millet.—Its Cultivation. 7074

VIII. MISCELLANEOUS.—Puerta del Sol, Madrid, Spain.—With engraving. 7063

Dust-free Spaces.—A lecture delivered by Dr. OLIVER J. LODGE before the Royal Dublin Society. 7067

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Puerta del Sol, or Gate of the Sun, Madrid, is the most famous and favorite public square in the Spanish city of Madrid. It was the eastern portal of the old city. From this square radiate several of the finest streets, such as Alcala, one of the handsomest thoroughfares in the world, Mayor, Martera, Carretas, Geronimo. In our engraving the post office is seen on the right. Large and splendid buildings adorn the other sides, which embrace hotels, cafes, reading rooms, elegant stores, etc. From this square the street railway lines traverse the city in all directions. The population of the city is about 400,000. It contains many magnificent buildings. Our engraving is from Illustrirte Zeitung.

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Buildings made of concrete have never received the attention in this country that they deserve. They have the merit of being durable and fire-proof, and of not being liable to be blown down by violent winds. It is very easy to erect them in places where sand and gravel are near at hand and lime is comparatively cheap. Experiments made in England show that coal screenings may be employed to good advantage in the place of sand and gravel. Mr. Samuel Preston, of Mount Carroll, Ill., has a dwelling and several other buildings made of concrete and erected by himself. They were put up in 1851, and are in excellent condition. In The Farmers' Review he gives the following directions for building concrete walls:

First, secure a good stone foundation, the bottom below frost, the top about one foot above ground. Near the top of the foundation bed in 2x4 scantling edgewise transversely with the walls, at such distances apart as the length of the planks that form the boxes to hold the concrete may require, the ends of the scantling to run six inches beyond the outside and inside of the wall. Now take 2x6 studding, one foot longer than the height of the concrete walls are to be, bolt in an upright position in pairs to each end of the 2x4 scantling, and, if a foot wall is to be built, sixteen inches apart, as the box plank will take up four inches. To hold the studding together at the top, take pieces of 2x6 lumber, make two mortises in each piece large enough to slip easily up and down on the studding, forming a tie. Make one mortise long enough to insert a key, so that the studding can be opened at the top when the box plank are to be raised. When the box plank are in position, nail cleats with a hole in each of them on each side of the studding, and corresponding holes in the studding, into which insert a pin to hold the plank to the studding. Bore holes along up in the studding, to hold the boxes when raised.

To make the walls hollow, and I would do it in a building for any purpose, use inch boards the same width of the box plank, one side planed; put the two rough sides together with shingles between, nailing them together with six-penny nails; place them in the middle of the wall, the thin end of the shingle down. That gives them a bevel and can be easily raised with the boxes. To tie the wall together, at every third course place strips of boards a little shorter than the thickness of the wall; cut notches in each so that the concrete will fill in, holding all fast. The side walls being up, place two inch planks on top of the wall upon which to rest the upper joists, put on joist and rafters, remove the box plank, take inch boards for boxes, cut to fit between joists and rafters, and fill with concrete to upper side of rafters, which makes walls that will keep out cold and damp, all kinds of vermin, and a roof which nothing but a cyclone can remove. In making door and window frames, make the jambs two inches narrower than the thickness of the walls, nailing on temporary two inch strips.

Make the mortar bed large enough to hold the material for one course; put in unslaked quicklime in proportion to 1 to 20 or 30 of other material; throw into it plenty of water, and don't have that antediluvian idea that you can drown it; put in clean sand and gravel, broken stone, making it thin enough, so that when it is put into boxes the thinner portion will run in, filling all interstices, forming a solid mass. A brick trowel is necessary to work it down alongside the boxing plank. One of the best and easiest things to carry the concrete to the boxes is a railroad wheelbarrow, scooping it in with a scoop shovel. Two courses a week is about as fast as it will be safe to lay up the walls.

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The Medical Summary recommends the external use of buttermilk to ladies who are exposed to tan or freckles.

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This subject has been treated by many, but out of the numerous ideas that have been brought to bear upon it, the writers have failed to elucidate the question fully, probably owing to the fact that in most parts they were themselves dubious as to the real cause. Last year W.S. gave a lengthy description in the Building News, in which he classified blistering and peeling of paint into one of blistering only. He stated in the beginning of his treatise the following:

"The subject of blistering of paint has from time to time engrossed the attention of practical men; but so far as we can follow it in the literature pertaining to the building trade, its cause has never been clearly laid down, and hence it is a detail enshrouded in mystery."

W.S. dwells mostly, in his following explanations on blistering paints, on steam raised in damp wood. Also an English painter, according to the Painters' Journal, lately reiterates the same theory, and gives sundry reasons how water will get into wood through paint, but is oblivious that the channels which lead water into wood are open to let it out again. He lays great stress on boiled oil holding water in suspense to cause blistering, which is merely a conjecture. Water boils at 212 deg. F. and linseed oil at 600 deg. F., consequently no water can possibly remain after boiling, and a drop of water put into boiling oil would cause an explosion too dangerous to be encountered.

It will be shown herewith that boiled oil, though in general use, is unfit for durable painting, that it is the cause of most of the troubles painters have to contend with, and that raw linseed oil seasoned by age is the only source to bind pigments for durable painting; but how to procure it is another trouble to overcome, as all our American raw linseed oil has been heated by the manufacturers, to qualify it for quick drying and an early market, thereby impairing its quality. After linseed oil has been boiled, it becomes a poor varnish; it remains soft and pliable when used in paint, giving way to air pressure from the wood in hot weather, forming blisters. Turpentine causes no blistering; it evaporates upon being exposed, and leaves the paint in a porous condition for the gas in the wood to escape; but all painters agree that blistering is caused by gas, and on investigation we find two main sources from which gas is generated to blister paint—one from the wood, the other from the ingredients of the paint. The first named source of gas is started in hot weather by expansion of air confined in painted wood, which presses against the paint and raises blisters when the paint is too soft to resist. Tough, well-cemented paint resists the pressure and keeps the air back. These blisters mostly subside as soon as the air cools and returns to the pores, but subsequently peel off.

W.S. and others assert that damp in painted wood turns into steam when exposed to sun heat, forming blisters, which cannot be possible when we know that water does not take a gaseous form (steam) at less than 212 deg. F. They have very likely been deluded by the known way of distilling water with the aid of sunshine without concentrating the rays of the sun, based upon the solubility of water in air, viz.: Air holds more water in solution (or suspension) in a warmer than in a cooler degree of temperature; by means of a simple apparatus sun-heated air is guided over sun-heated water, when the air saturated with water is conducted into a cooler, to give up its water again. But water has an influence toward hastening to blister paint; it holds the unhardened woodsap in solution, forming a slight solvent of the oil, thereby loosening the paint from the wood, favoring blistering and peeling. There is a certain kind of blister which appears in certain spots or places only, and nowhere else, puzzling many painters. The explanation of this is the same as before—soft paint at these spots, caused by accident or sluggish workmen having saturated the wood with coal oil, wax, tar, grease, or any other paint-softening material before the wood was painted, which reacts on the paint to give way to air pressure, forming blisters.

The second cause of paint blistering from the ingredients of the paint happens between any layer of paint or varnish on wood, iron, stone, or any other substance. Its origin is the gaseous formation of volatile oils during the heated season, of which the lighter coal oils play the most conspicuous part; they being less valuable than all other volatile oils, are used in low priced japan driers and varnishes. These volatile oils take a gaseous form at different temperatures, lie partly dormant until the thermometer hovers at 90 deg. F. in the shade, when they develop into gas, forming blisters in airtight paint, or escape unnoticed in porous paint. This is the reason why coal-tar paint is so liable to blister in hot weather; an elastic, soft coal-tar covering holds part of its volatile oil confined until heated to generate into gas; a few drops only of such oil is sufficient to spoil the best painted work, and worse, when it has been applied in priming, it settles into the pores of the wood, needing often from two to three repetitions of scraping and repainting before the evil is overcome. Now, inasmuch as soft drying paint is unfit to answer the purpose, it is equally as bad when paint too hard or brittle has been used, that does not expand and contract in harmony with the painted article, causing the paint to crack and peel off, which is always the case when either oil or varnish has been too sparingly and turpentine too freely used. Intense cold favors the action, when all paints become very brittle, a fact much to be seen on low-priced vehicles in winter time. Damp in wood will also hasten it, as stated in blistering, the woodsap undermining the paint.

To avoid peeling and blistering, the paint should be mixed with raw linseed oil in such proportions that it neither becomes too brittle nor too soft when dry. Priming paint with nearly all oil and hardly any pigment is the foundation of many evils in painting; it leaves too much free oil in the paint, forming a soft undercoat. For durable painting, paint should be mixed with as much of a base pigment as it can possibly be spread with a brush, giving a thin coat and forming a chemical combination called soap. To avoid an excess of oil, the following coats need turpentine to insure the same proportion of oil and pigment. As proof of this, prime a piece of wood and a piece of iron with the same paint; when the wood takes up part of the oil from the paint and leaves the rest in proportion to harden well, where at the same time the paint on iron remains soft. To be more lucid, it need be explained, linseed oil boiled has lost its oleic acid and glycerine ether, which form with the bases of pigments the insoluble soap, as well as its albumen, which in boiling is thrown out. It coagulates at 160 deg. F. heat; each is needed to better withstand the action of wind and weather, preventing the dust from attaching itself to a painted surface, a channel for ammonia in damp weather to dissolve and wash off the paint. In later years linseed oil has been extracted from linseed meal by the aid of naphtha and percolation, the product of a very clear, quick drying oil, but lacking in its binding quality, no doubt caused by the naphtha dissolving the fatty matter only, leaving the glycerine and albumen in the meal.

All pigments of paint group according to their affinity to raw linseed oil into three classes. First, those that form chemical combinations, called soap. This kind is the most durable, is used for priming purposes, and consists of lead, zinc, and iron bases, of which red lead takes up the most oil; next, white lead, the pure carbonate Dutch process made, following with zinc white and iron carbonates, as iron ore paint, Turkey umber, yellow ocher; also faintly the chromates of lead—chrome-green and chrome-yellow, finishing with the poorest of all, modern white lead, made by the wet or vinegar process. The second class being neutrals have no chemical affinity to linseed oil; they need a large quantity of drier to harden the paint, and include all blacks, vermilion, Prussian, Paris, and Chinese blue, also terra di Sienna, Vandyke brown, Paris green, verdigris, ultramarine, genuine carmine, and madderlake. The last seven are, on account of their transparency, better adapted for varnish mixtures—glazing. The third class of pigments act destructively to linseed oil; they having an acid base (mostly tin salt, hydrochloride of tin, and redwood dye), form with the gelatinous matter of the oil a jelly that will neither work well under the brush nor harden sufficiently, and can be used in varnish for glazing only; they are not permanent in color, and among the most troublesome are the lower grades of so-called carmines, madderlakes, rose pinks, etc., which contain more or less acidous dyes, forming a soft paint with linseed oil that once dry on a job can be twisted or peeled off like the skin of a ripe peach. All these combinations of paint have to be closely observed by the painter to insure his success.

Twenty-five years ago a house needed to be painted outside but once in from five to seven years; it looked well all the time, as no dust settled in the paint to make it unsightly. Painters then used the Dutch-process-made white-lead, a base and raw linseed oil, a fat acid, which formed the insoluble soap. They also put turpentine in the following coats, to keep up the proportions of oil and pigment. All held out well against wind and weather. Now they use the wet-process-made white lead, neutralized by vinegar, with oil neutralized by boiling, from the first to the last coat, and—fail in making their work permanent.

W.S., in the Building News, relates an unaccountable mysterious blistering in a leaky house, where the rainwater came from above on a painted wood wall, blistering the paint in streaks and filled at the lower ends with water, which no doubt was caused by the water soaking the wood at the upper ends where there was no paint, and following it down through the fibers, pushed and peeled off the soft, inadhesive paint. Green, sappy, and resinous wood is unfit for durable painting, and to avoid blistering and peeling wood should be well seasoned and primed with all raw linseed oil, some drier, to insure a moderately slow drying, and as much of a base pigment as the painter can possibly spread (much drier takes up too much oil acid, needed for the pigment base to combine with), which insures a tough paint that never fails to stand against blistering or peeling, as well as wind, weather, and ammonia.

The coach, car, and house painter can materially improve his painting where his needs lie by first oiling the wood with raw oil, then smoothing the surface down with lump pumicestone, washing it with a mixture of japan drier or, better yet, gold sizing and turpentine, wiping dry, and following it up with a coat of white lead, oil, and turpentine. The explanation is: the raw oil penetrates the wood and raises the wood fibers on the surface to be rubbed down with pumicestone, insuring the best surface for the following painting: to harden the oil in the wood it receives a coat of japan drier, which follows into the pores and there forms a tough, resinous matter, resisting any air pressure that might arise from within, and at the same time reacts on the first coat of lead as a drier. This mode insures the smoothest and toughest foundation for the following painting, and may be exposed to the hottest July sun without fear of either blistering or peeling.


Bloomington, Ill.

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The following particulars with regard to the production of olive oil in Tuscany have been furnished to Mr. Consul Inglis by one of the principal exporters in Leghorn:

The olive oil produced in Tuscany from the first pressing of the fruit is intended for consumption as an article of food. Hence, great attention is paid both to the culture of the olive tree and the process of making oil.

The olive crop is subject to many vicissitudes, and is an uncertain one. It may be taken as a rule that a good crop does not occur more frequently than once in three years. A prolonged drought in summer may cause the greater part of the small fruit to fall off the trees. A warm and wet autumn will subject the fruit to the ravages of a maggot or worm, which eats its way into it. Fruit thus injured falls to the ground prematurely, and the oil made from it is of very bad quality, being nauseous in taste and somewhat thick and viscous. Frost following immediately on a fall of snow or sleet, when the trees are still wet, will irretrievably damage the fruit, causing it to shrivel up and greatly diminishing the yield of oil, while the oil itself has a dark color, and loses its delicate flavor.

The olive tree in Tuscany generally blossoms in April. By November the fruit has attained its full size, though not full maturity, and the olive harvest generally commences then. The fruit, generally speaking, is gathered as it falls to the ground, either from ripeness or in windy weather. In some districts, however, and when the crop is short, the practice is to strip the fruit from the trees early in the season. When there is a full crop the harvest lasts many months, and may not be finished till the end of May, as the fruit does not all ripen simultaneously.

Oil made early in the season has a deeper color, and is distinguished by a fruity flavor, with a certain degree of pungency; while as the season advances it becomes lighter in color, thinner in body, and milder and sweeter in taste. Oil made toward the close of the harvest in April or May from extremely ripe fruit is of a very pale straw color, mild and sweet to the taste, though sometimes, if the fruit has remained too long on the trees, it may be slightly rancid. Oil very light in color is much prized in certain countries, notably France, and hence, if it also possesses good quality, commands a higher price in the Tuscan markets.

The fruit of the olive tree varies just as much in quality as does the grape, according to the species of the tree itself, the nature of the soil, exposure, and climate of the locality where it grows. Some varieties of the olive tree largely grown, because thought to be better suited to the special conditions of some districts, yield a fruit which imparts a bitter taste to the oil made from it; such oil, even when otherwise perfect, ranks as a second rate quality.

The highest quality of oil can only be obtained when the fruit is perfectly and uniformly sound, well ripened, gathered as soon as it has dropped from the trees, and crushed immediately with great attention. Should the fruit remain any time on the ground, particularly during wet weather, it deteriorates fast and gets an earthy taste; while if allowed to remain an undue length of time in the garners it heats, begins to decompose, and will yield only bad oil.

The process of making oil is as follows: The fruit is crushed in a stone mill, generally moved by water power; the pulp is then put into bags made of fiber, and a certain number of these bags, piled one upon another, are placed in a press, most frequently worked by hand; when pressure is applied, the oil flows down into a channel by which it is conveyed to a receptacle or tank.

When oil ceases to flow, tepid water is poured upon the bags to carry off oil retained by the bags. The pulp is then removed from the bags, ground again in the mill, then replaced in the bags, and pressed a second time. The water used in the process of making oil must be quite pure; the mill, press, bags, and vessels sweet and clean, as the least taint would ruin the quality of the oil produced.

The oil which has collected in the tank or receptacle just mentioned is removed day by day, and the water also drained off, as oil would suffer in quality if left in contact with water; the water also, which necessarily contains some oil mingled with it, is sent to a deposit outside, and at some distance from the crushing house, which is called the "Inferno," where it is allowed to accumulate, and the oil which comes to the surface is skimmed off from time to time. It is fit only for manufacturing purposes.

After the second pressing the olive-pulp is not yet done with; it is beaten up with water by mechanical agitators moved by water-power, and then the whole discharged into open-air tanks adjoining the crushing house. There the crushed olive kernels sink to the bottom, are gathered up and sold for fuel, fetching about 12 francs per 1,000 kilos, while the debris of the pulp is skimmed off the surface of the tank and again pressed in bags, yielding a considerable quantity of inferior oil, called "olio lavato," or washed oil, which, if freshly made, is even used for food by the poorer classes. The pulp then remaining has still further use. It is sold for treatment in factories by the sulphide of carbon process, and by this method yields from seven to nine per cent. of oil, of course suitable only for manufacturing purposes. Only the first two pressings yield oil which ranks as first quality, subject of course to the condition of the fruit being unexceptionable. New oil is allowed to rest a while in order to get rid of sediment; it is then clarified by passing through clean cotton wool, when it is fit for use.

The highest quality of olive oil for eating purposes should not only be free from the least taint in taste or smell, but possessed of a delicate, appetizing flavor. When so many favorable conditions are needed as to growth, maturity, and soundness of the fruit, coupled with great attention during the process of oil-making, it is not to be wondered at that by no means all or even the greater part of the oil produced in the most favored districts of Tuscany is of the highest quality. On the contrary, the bulk is inferior and defective.

These defective oils are largely dealt in both for home consumption and export, when price and not quality is the object.

In foreign countries there is always a market for inferior, defective olive oil for cooking purposes, etc., provided the price be low. Price and not quality is the object, so much so that when olive oil is dear, cotton-seed, ground-nut, and other oils are substituted, which bear the same relation to good olive oil that butterine and similar preparations do to real butter.

The very choicest qualities of pure olive oil are largely shipped from Leghorn to England, along with the very lowest qualities, often also adulterated.

The oil put into Florence flasks is of the latter kind. Many years back this was not the case, but now it is a recognized fact that nothing but the lowest quality of oil is put into these flasks; oil utterly unfit for food, and so bad that it is a mystery to what use it is applied in England. Importers in England of oil in these flasks care nothing, however, about quality; cheapness is the only desideratum.

The best quality of Tuscan olive oil is imported in London in casks, bottled there, and bears the name of the importers alone on the label. There is no difficulty in procuring in England the best Tuscan oil, which nothing produced elsewhere can surpass; but consumers who wish to get, and are willing to pay for, the best article must look to the name and reputation of the importers and the general excellence of all the articles they sell, which is the best guarantee they can have of quality.

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Beeswax is a peculiar waxy substance secreted only by bees, and consisting of 80.2 per cent. carbon, 13.4 per cent. hydrogen, and 6.4 per cent. oxygen. It is a mixture of myricine, cerotic acid, and cerolein, the first of which is insoluble in boiling alcohol, the second is soluble in hot alcohol and crystallizes out on cooling, while the third remains dissolved in cold alcohol.

Although we are unable to produce real beeswax artificially, there are many imitations which are made use of to adulterate the genuine article, and their detection is a matter of considerable difficulty. Huebl says (Dingl. Jour., p. 338) that the most reliable method of estimating the adulteration of beeswax is that proposed by Becker, and known as the saponification method.

The quantity of potassic hydrate required to saponify one gramme or 15 grains of pure beeswax varies from 97 to 107 milligrammes. Other kinds of wax and its substitutes require in some cases more and in others less of the alkali. This method would, however, lead to very erroneous conclusions if applied to a mixture of which some of the constituents have higher saponification numbers than beeswax and others higher, as one error would balance the other.

To avoid this, the quantity of alkali required to saponify the myricine is first ascertained, and then that required to saturate the free cerotic acid. In this way two numbers are obtained; and in an investigation of twenty samples of Austrian yellow beeswax, the author found these numbers stood to each other almost in the constant ratio of 1 to 3.70. Although this ratio cannot be considered as definitely established by so few experiments, it may serve as a guide in judging of the purity of beeswax.

The experiment is carried out as follows: 3 or 4 grammes of the wax that has been melted in water are put in 20 c.c. of neutral 95 per cent, alcohol, and warmed until the wax melts, when phenolphthaleine is added, and enough of an alcoholic solution of potash run in from a burette until on shaking it retains a faint but permanent red color. The burette used by the author is divided in 0.05 c.c. After adding 20 c.c. more of a half normal potash solution, it is heated on a water bath for 3/4 hour. Then the uncombined excess of alkali is titrated with half normal hydrochloric acid. The alcohol must be tested as to its reaction before using it, and carefully neutralized with the acid of phenolphthalein.

To saturate the free acid in 1 gramme of wax requires 19 to 21 milligrammes of potassic hydrate, while 73 to 76 milligrammes more are necessary to saponify the myricine ether. The lower numbers in the one usually occur with low numbers for the other, so that the proportions remain 1 to 3.6 or 1 to 3.8.

For comparison he gives the following numbers obtained with one gramme of the more common adulterants:

+ + + -+ + To To Total neutralize convert saponifi- the acid. the ether. cation. Ratio. + + + -+ + Japanese wax 20 200 220 10 Carnauba wax 4 75 79 19 Tallow 4 176 180 44 Stearic acid 195 0 195 0/195 Rosin 110 1.6 112 0.015 Paraffine 0 0 0 0 Ceresine 0 0 0 0 Yellow beeswax 20 75 95 3.75 + + + -+ +

The author deduces the following conclusions as the results of these investigations:

1. If the numbers obtained lie between these limits, 19 to 21, 73 to 76, 92 to 97, and 3.6 to 3.8 respectively, it may be assumed that the beeswax is pure, provided it also corresponds to beeswax in its physical properties.

2. If the saponification figures fall below 92 and yet the ratio is correct, it is adulterated with some neutral substance like paraffine.

3. If the ratio is above 3.8, it is very probable that Japanese or carnauba wax or grease has been added.

4. If the ratio falls below 3.6, stearic acid or resin has been used as the adulterant.

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By A.B. GRIFFITHS, Ph.D., F.C.S. Membre de la Societe Chimique de Paris, Medallist in Chemistry and Botany, etc.

Having found, in small quantities, alcohols of the C{n}H{2n-7} series, last summer, in the stem, acicular leaves, and cones of Pinus sylvestris, I wish in this paper to say a few words on the subject.

First of all, I took a number of cones, cut them up into small pieces, and placed them in a large glass beaker, then nearly filled it with distilled water, and heated to about 80 deg. C., keeping the decoction at this temperature for about half an hour, I occasionally stirred with a glass rod, and then allowed it to cool, and filtered. This filtrate was then evaporated nearly to dryness, when a small quantity of six-sided prisms crystallized out, which subsequently were found to be the hydrate of phenol (C{6}H{5}HO){2}H{2}O. Its melting point was found to be 17.2 deg. C. Further, the crystals already referred to were dissolved in ether, and then allowed to evaporate, when long colorless needles were obtained, which, on being placed in a dry test tube and the tube placed in a water bath kept at 42 deg. C., were found to melt; and on making a careful combustion analysis of these crystals, the following composition was obtained:

Carbon 76.6 Hydrogen 6.4 Oxygen 17.0 ——- 100.0

This gives C{6}H{6}O, which is the formula for phenol.

On dissolving some of these crystals in water (excess) and adding ferric chloride, a beautiful violet color was imparted to the solution. To another aqueous solution of the crystals was added bromine water, and a white precipitate was obtained, consisting of tribromophenol. An aqueous solution of the crystals immediately coagulated albumen.

All these reactions show that the phenol occurs in the free state in the cones of this plant. In the same manner I treated the acicular leaves, and portions of the stem separately, both being previously cut up into small pieces, and from both I obtained phenol.

I have ascertained the relative amount of phenol in each part of the plant operated upon; by heating the stem with water at 80 deg. C., and filtering, and repeating this operation until the aqueous filtrate gave no violet color with ferric chloride and no white precipitate with bromine water.

I found various quantities according to the age of the stem. The older portions yielding as much as 0.1021 per cent, while the young portions only gave 0.0654 per cent. The leaves yielding according to their age, 0.0936 and 0.0315 per cent.; and the cones also gave varying amounts, according to their maturity, the amounts varying between 0.0774 and 0.0293.

Two methods were used in the quantitative estimation of the amount of phenol. The first was the new volumetric method of M. Chandelon (Bulletin de la Societe Chemique de Paris, July 20, 1882; and Deutsch-Americanishe Apotheker Zeitung, vol. iii., No. 12, September 1, 1882), which I have found to be very satisfactory. The process depends on the precipitation of phenol by a dilute aqueous solution of bromine as tribromophenol. The second method was to extract, as already staled, a known weight of each part of the plant with water, until the last extract gives no violet color with ferric chloride, and no white precipitate with the bromine test (which is capable of detecting in a solution the 1/60000 part of phenol). The aqueous extract is at this point evaporated, then ether is added, and finally the ethereal solution is allowed to evaporate. The residue (phenol) is weighed directly, and from this the percentage can be ascertained. By this method of extraction, the oil of turpentine, resins, etc., contained in Pinus sylvestris do not pass into solution, because they are insoluble in water, even when boiling; what passes into solution besides phenol is a little tannin, which is practically insoluble in ether.

From this investigation it will be seen that phenol exists in various proportions in the free state in the leaves, stem, and cones of Pinus sylvestris, and as this compound is a product in the distillation of coal, and as geologists have to a certain extent direct evidence that the flora of the Carboniferous epoch was essentially crytogamous, the only phaenogamous plants which constituted any feature in "the coal forests" being the coniferae, and as coal is the fossil remains of that gigantic flora which contained phenol, I think my discovery of phenol in the coniferae of the present day further supports, from a chemical point of view, the views of geologists that the coniferae existed so far back in the world's history as the Carboniferous age.

I think this discovery also supports the theory that the origin of petroleum in nature is produced by moderate heat on coal or similar matter of a vegetable origin. For we know from the researches of Freund and Pebal (Ann. Chem. Pharm., cxv. 19), that petroleum contains phenol and its homologues, and as I have found this organic compound in the coniferae of to-day, it is probable that petroleum in certain areas has been produced from the conifers and the flora generally of some primaeval forests. It is stated by numerous chemists that "petroleum almost always contains solid paraffin" and similar hydrocarbons. Professors Schorlemmer and Thorpe have found heptane in Pinus, which heptane yielded primary heptyl-alcohol, and methyl-pentyl-carbinol, exactly as the heptane obtained from petroleum does (Annalen de Chemie, ccxvii., 139, and clxxxviii., 249; and Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft, viii., 1649); and, further, petroleum contains a large number of hydrocarbons which are found in coal. Again, Mendelejeff, Beilstein, and others (Bulletin de la Societe Chemique de Paris, No. 1, July 5, 1883), have found hydrocarbons of the—

C{n}H{2n2+}, C{n}H{2n-6},

also hydrocarbons of the C{n}H{2n} series in the petroleum of Baku, American petroleum containing similar hydrocarbons.

I think all these facts give very great weight to the theory that petroleum is of organic origin.

On the other hand, Berthelot, from his synthetic production of hydrocarbons, believes that the interior of the globe contains alkaline metals in the free state, which yield acetylides in the presence of carbonic anhydride, which are decomposed into acetylene by aqueous vapor. But it has been already proved that acetylene may be polymerized, so as to produce aromatic carbides, or the derivatives of marsh gas, by the absorption of hydrogen. Berthelot's view, therefore, is too imaginative; for the presence of free alkaline metals in the earth's interior is an unproved and very improbable hypothesis. Byasson states that petroleum is formed by the action of water, carbonic anhydride, and sulphureted hydrogen upon incandescent iron. Mendelejeff thinks it is formed by the action of aqueous vapor upon carbides of iron; and in his article, "Petroleum, the Light of the Poor" (in this month's—February—number of Good Words), Sir Lyon Playfair, K.C.B., F.R.S., etc., holds opinions similar to those of Mendelejeff.

Taking in consideration the facts that solid paraffin is found in petroleum and is also found in coal, and from my own work that phenol exists in Pinus sylvestris, and has been found by others in coal which is produced from the decomposition of a flora containing numerous gigantic coniferae allied to Pinus, and that petroleum contains phenol, and each (i.e., petroleum and coal) contains a number of hydrocarbons common to both, I am inclined to think that the balance of evidence is in favor of the hypothesis that petroleum has been produced in nature from a vegetable source in the interior of the globe. Of course, there can be no practical or direct evidence as to the origin of petroleum; therefore "theories are the only lights with which we can penetrate the obscurity of the unknown, and they are to be valued just as far as they illuminate our path."

In conclusion, I think that there is a connecting link between the old pine and fir forest of bygone ages and the origin of petroleum in nature.—Chemical News.

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Recently we paid a visit to the New Municipal School of Physics and Chemistry that the city of Paris founded in 1882, and that is now in operation in the large building of the old Rollin College. This establishment is one of those that supply a long-felt want of our time, and we are happy to make it known to our readers. The object for which it was designed was, in the intention of its founders, to give young people who have just graduated from the higher primary schools special instruction which shall be at once scientific and practical, and which shall fit them to become engineers or superintendents in laboratories connected with chemical and physical industries. To reach such a result it has been necessary to give the teaching an essentially practical character, by permitting the pupils to proceed of themselves in manipulations in well fitted laboratories. It is upon this important point that we shall now more particularly dwell; but, before making known the general mode of teaching, we wish to quote a few passages from the school's official programme:

"Many questions and problems, in physics as well as in chemistry, find their solution only with the aid of mathematics and mechanics. It therefore became necessary, through lectures bearing upon the useful branches of mathematics, to supplement the too limited ideas that pupils brought with them on entering the school. Mathematics and mechanics are therefore taught here at the same time with physics and chemistry, but they are merely regarded in the light of auxiliaries to the latter.

"The studies extend over three years. Each of the three divisions (1st, 2d, and 3d years) includes thirty pupils.

"During the three first semesters, pupils of the same grade attend lectures and go through manipulations in chemistry, physics, mathematics, and draughting in common.

"At the end of the third semester they are divided into 10 physical and 20 chemical students.

"From this moment, although certain courses still remain wholly or partially common to the two categories of pupils (physical and chemical), the same is no longer the case with regard to the practical exercises, for the physical students thereafter manipulate only in the physical laboratories, and the chemical only in the chemical laboratories; moreover, the manipulations acquire a greater importance through the time that is devoted to them.

"At each promotion the three first semesters are taken up with general and scientific studies. Technical applications are the subject of the lectures and exercises of the three last semesters. At the end of the third year certificates are given to those pupils who have undergone examination in a satisfactory manner, and diplomas to such as have particularly distinguished themselves."

When pupils have been received at the school, after passing the necessary examination, their time of working is divided up between lectures and questionings and different laboratory manipulations.

The course of lectures on general and applied physics comprises hydrostatics and heat (Prof. Dommer), electricity and magnetism (Prof. Hospitalier), and optics and acoustics (Prof. Baille). Lectures on general chemistry are delivered by Profs. Schultzenberger and Henninger, on analytical chemistry by Prof. Silva, on chemistry applied to the industries by Prof. Henninger (for inorganic) and Prof. Schultzenberger (for organic). The lectures on pure and applied mathematics and mechanics are delivered by Profs. Levy and Roze.

The pupils occupy themselves regularly every day, during half the time spent at the school, with practical work in analytical and applied chemistry and physics and general chemistry. This practical work is a complement to the various lectures, and has reference to what has been taught therein. Once or twice per week the pupils spend three hours in a shop devoted to wood and metal working, and learn how to turn, forge, file, adjust, etc.

The school's cabinets are now provided with the best instruments for study, and are daily becoming richer therein. The chemical laboratories are none the less remarkably organized. In the accompanying cut we give a view of one of these—the one that is under the direction of Mr. Schultzenberger, professor of chemistry and director of the new school. Each pupil has his own place in front of a large table provided with a stand whereon he may arrange all the products that he has to employ. Beneath the work-table he has at his disposal a closet in which to place his apparatus after he is through using them. Each pupil has in front of him a water-faucet, which is fixed to a vertical column and placed over a sink. Alongside of this faucet there is a double gas burner, which may be connected with furnaces and heating apparatus by means of rubber tubing. A special hall, with draught and ventilation, is set apart for precipitations by sulphureted hydrogen and the preparation of chlorine and other ill-smelling and deleterious gases. The great amount of light and space provided secure the best of conditions of hygiene to this fine and vast laboratory, where young people have all the necessary requisites for becoming true chemists.—La Nature.

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[Footnote 1: Lecture to the Royal Dublin Society by Dr. Oliver J. Lodge, April 2, 1884.]

Within the last few years a singular interest has arisen in the subject of dust, smoke, and fog, and several scientific researches into the nature and properties of these phenomena have been recently conducted. It so happened that at the time I received a request from the secretary of this society to lecture here this afternoon I was in the middle of a research connected with dust, which I had been carrying on for some months in conjunction with Mr. J.W. Clark, Demonstrator of Physics in University College, Liverpool, and which had led us to some interesting results. It struck me that possibly some sort of account of this investigation might not be unacceptable to a learned body such as this, and accordingly I telegraphed off to Mr. Moss the title of this afternoon's lecture. But now that the time has come for me to approach the subject before you, I find myself conscious of some misgivings, and the misgivings are founded upon this ground: that the subject is not one that lends itself easily to experimental demonstration before an audience. Many of the experiments can only be made on a small scale, and require to be watched closely. However, by help of diagrams and by not confining myself too closely to our special investigation, but dealing somewhat with the wider subject of dust in general, I may hope to render myself and my subject intelligible if not very entertaining.

First of all, I draw no distinction between "dust" and "smoke." It would be possible to draw such a distinction, but it would hardly be in accordance with usage. Dust might be defined as smoke which had settled, and the term smoke applied to solid particles still suspended in the air. But at present the term "smoke" is applied to solid particles produced by combustion only, and "dust" to particles owing their floating existence to some other cause. This is evidently an unessential distinction, and for the present I shall use either term without distinction, meaning by dust or smoke, solid particles floating in the air. Then "fog"; this differs from smoke only in the fact that the particles are liquid instead of solid. And the three terms dust, smoke, and fog, come to much the same thing, only that the latter term is applied when the suspended particles are liquid. I do not think, however, that we usually apply the term "fog" when the liquid particles are pure water; we call it then mostly either mist or cloud. The name "fog," at any rate in towns, carries with it the idea of a hideous, greasy compound, consisting of smoke and mist and sulphur and filth, as unlike the mists on a Highland mountain as a country meadow is unlike a city slum. Nevertheless, the finest cloud or mist that ever existed consists simply of little globules of water suspended in air, and thus for our present purpose differs in no important respect from fog, dust, and smoke. A cloud or mist is, in fact, fine water-dust. Rain is coarse water-dust formed by the aggregation of smaller globules, and varying in fineness from the Scotch mist to the tropical deluge. It has often been asked how it is that clouds and mists are able to float about when water is so much heavier (800 times heavier) than air. The answer to this is easy. It depends on the resistance or viscosity of fluids, and on the smallness of the particles concerned. Bodies falling far through fluids acquire a "terminal velocity," at which they are in stable equilibrium—their weight being exactly equal to the resistance—and this terminal velocity is greater for large particles than for small; consequently we have all sorts of rain velocity, depending on the size of the drops; and large particles of dust settle more quickly than small. Cloud-spherules are falling therefore, but falling very slowly.

To recognize the presence of dust in air there are two principal tests; the first is, the obvious one of looking at it with plenty of light, the way one is accustomed to look for anything else; the other is a method of Mr. John Aitken's, viz., to observe the condensation of water vapor.

Take these in order. When a sunbeam enters a darkened room through a chink, it is commonly said to be rendered visible by the motes or dust particles dancing in it; but of course really it is not the motes which make the sunbeam visible, but the sunbeam the motes. A dust particle is illuminated like any other solid screen, and is able to send a sufficient fraction of light to our eyes to render itself visible. If there are no such particles in the beam—nothing but clear, invisible air—then of course nothing is seen, and the beam plunges on its way quite invisible to us unless we place our eyes in its course. In other words, to be visible, light must enter the eye. (A concentrated beam was passed through an empty tube, and then ordinary air let in.)

The other test, that of Mr. Aitken, depends on the condensation of steam. When a jet of steam finds itself in dusty air, it condenses around each dust particle as a nucleus, and forms the white visible cloud popularly called steam. In the absence of nuclei Mr. Aitken has shown that the steam cannot condense until it is highly supersaturated, and that when it does it condenses straight into rain—that is, into large drops which fall. The condensation of steam is a more delicate test for dust than is a beam of light. A curious illustration of the action of nuclei in condensing moisture has just occurred to me, in the experiment—well known to children—of writing on a reasonably clean window-pane with, say, a blunt wooden point, and then breathing on the glass; the condensation of the breath renders the writing legible. No doubt the nuclei are partially wiped away by the writing, and the moisture will condense into larger drops with less light-scattering power along the written lines than over the general surface of the pane where the nuclei are plentiful, and the drops therefore numerous and minute. Mr. Aitken points out that if the air were ever quite dustless, vapor could not condense, but the air would gradually get into a horribly supersaturated condition, soaking all our walls and clothes, dripping from every leaf, and penetrating everywhere, instead of falling in an honest shower, against which umbrellas and slate roofs are some protection. But let us understand what sort of dust it is which is necessary for this condensing process. It is not the dust and smoke of towns, it is not the dust of a country road; all such particles as these are gross and large compared with those which are able to act as condensers of moisture. The fine dust of Mr. Aitken exists everywhere, even in the upper regions of the atmosphere; many of its particles are of ultra-microscopic fineness, one of them must exist in every raindrop, nay, even in every spherule of a mist or cloud, but it is only occasionally that one can find them with the microscope. It is to such particles as these that we owe the blue of the sky, and yet they are sufficiently gross and tangible to be capable of being filtered out of the air by a packed mass of cotton-wool. Such dust as this, then, we need never be afraid of being without. Without it there could be no rain, and existence would be insupportable, perhaps impossible; but it is not manufactured in towns; the sea makes it; trees and wind make it; but the kind of dust made in towns rises only a few hundred yards or so into the atmosphere, floating as a canopy or pall over those unfortunate regions, and sinks and settles most of it as soon as the air is quiet, but scarcely any of it ever rises into the upper regions of the atmosphere at all.

Dust, then, being so universally prevalent, what do I mean by dust-free spaces? How are such things possible? And where are they to be found? In 1870 Dr. Tyndall was examining dusty air by means of a beam of light in which a spirit-lamp happened to be burning, when he noticed that from the flame there poured up torrents of apparently thick black smoke. He could not think the flame was really smoky, but to make sure he tried, first a Bunsen gas flame and then a hydrogen flame. They all showed the same effect, and smoke was out of the question. He then used a red-hot poker, a platinum wire ignited by an electric current, and ultimately a flask of hot water, and he found that from all warm bodies examined in dusty air by a beam of light the upstreaming convection currents were dark. Now, of course smoke would behave very differently. Dusty air itself is only a kind of smoke, and it looks bright, and the thicker the smoke the brighter it looks; the blackness is simply the utter absence of smoke; there is nothing at all for the light to illuminate, accordingly we have the blankness of sheer invisibility. Here is a flame burning under the beam, and, to show what real smoke looks like, I will burn also this spirit lamp filled with turpentine instead of alcohol. Why the convention currents were free from dust was unknown; Tyndall thought the dust was burnt and consumed; Dr. Frankland thought it was simply evaporated.

In 1881 Lord Rayleigh took the matter up, not feeling satisfied with these explanations, and repeated the experiment very carefully. He noted several new points, and hit on the capital idea of seeing what a cold body did. From the cold body the descending current was just as dark and dust-free as from a warm body. Combustion and evaporation explanations suffered their death-blow. But he was unable to suggest any other explanation in their room, and so the phenomenon remained curious and unexplained.

In this state Mr. Clark and I took the matter up last summer, and critically examined all sorts of hypotheses that suggested themselves, Mr. Clark following up the phenomena experimentally with great ingenuity and perseverance. One hypothesis after another suggested itself, seemed hopeful for a time, but ultimately had to be discarded. Some died quickly, others lingered long. In the examination of one electrical hypothesis which suggested itself we came across various curious phenomena which we hope still to follow up.[2] It was some months before what we now believe to be the true explanation began to dawn upon us. Meanwhile we had acquired various new facts, and first and foremost we found that the dark plane rising from a warm body was only the upstreaming portion of a dust-free coat perpetually being renewed on the surface of the body. Let me describe the appearance and mode of seeing it by help of a diagram. (For full description see Philosophical Magazine for March, 1884.)

[Footnote 2: For instance, the electric properties of crystals can be readily examined in illuminated dusty air; the dust grows on them in little bushes and marks out their poles and neutral regions, without any need for an electrometer. Magnesia smoke answers capitally.]

Surrounding all bodies warmer than the air is a thin region free from dust, which shows itself as a dark space when examined by looking along a cylinder illuminated transversely, and with a dark background. At high temperatures the coat is thick; at very low temperatures it is absent, and dust then rapidly collects on the rod. On a warm surface only the heavy particles are able to settle—there is evidently some action tending to drive small bodies away. An excess of temperature of a degree or two is sufficient to establish this dust-free coat, and it is easy to see the dust-free plane rising from it. The appearances may also be examined by looking along a cylinder toward the source of light, when the dust-free spaces will appear brighter than the rest. A rod of electric light carbon warmed and fixed horizontally across a bell-jar full of dense smoke is very suitable for this experiment, and by means of a lens the dust-free regions may be thus projected on to a screen. Diminished pressure makes the coat thicker. Increased pressure makes it thinner. In hydrogen it is thicker, and in carbonic acid thinner, than in air. We have also succeeded in observing it in liquids—for instance, in water holding fine rouge in suspension, the solid body being a metal steam tube. Quantitative determinations are now in progress.

Fig. 1 shows the appearance when looking along a copper or carbon rod laterally illuminated; the paths of the dust particles are roughly indicated. Fig. 2 shows the coat on a semi-cylinder of sheet copper with the concave side turned toward the light.

It is difficult to give the full explanation of the dust free spaces in a few words, but we may say roughly that there is a molecular bombardment from all warm surfaces by means of which small suspended bodies get driven outward and kept away from the surface. It is a sort of differential bombardment of the gas molecules on the two faces of a dust particle somewhat analogous to the action on Mr. Crookes' radiometer vanes. Near cold surfaces the bombardment is very feeble, and if they are cold enough it appears to act toward the body, driving the dust inward—at any rate, there is no outward bombardment sufficient to keep the dust away, and bodies colder than the atmosphere surrounding them soon get dusty. Thus if I hold this piece of glass in a magnesium flame, or in a turpentine or camphor flame, it quickly gets covered with smoke—white in the one case, black in the other. I take two conical flasks with their surfaces blackened with camphor black, and filling one with ice, the other with boiling water, I cork them and put a bell jar over them, under which I burn some magnesium wire; in a quarter of an hour or so we find that the cold one is white and hoary, the hot one has only a few larger specks of dust on it, these being of such size that the bombardment was unable to sustain their weight, and they have settled by gravitation. We thus see that when the air in a room is warmer than the solids in it—as will be the case when stoves, gas-burners, etc., are used—things will get very dusty; whereas when walls and objects are warmer than the air—as will be the case in sunshine, or when open fireplaces are used, things will tend to keep themselves more free from dust. Mr. Aitken points out that soot in a chimney is an illustration of this kind of deposition of dust; and as another illustration it strikes me as just possible that the dirtiness of snow during a thaw may be partly due to the bombardment on to the cold surface of dust out of the warmer air above. Mr. Aitken has indeed suggested a sort of practical dust or smoke filter on this principle, passing air between two surfaces—one hot and one cold—so as to vigorously bombard the particles on to the cold surface and leave the air free.

But we have found another and apparently much more effectual mode of clearing air than this. We do it by discharging electricity into it. It is easily possible to electrify air by means of a point or flame, and an electrified body has this curious property, that the dust near it at once aggregates together into larger particles. It is not difficult to understand why this happens; each of the particles becomes polarized by induction, and they then cling together end to end, just like iron filings near a magnet. A feeble charge is often sufficient to start this coagulating action. And when the particles have grown into big ones, they easily and quickly fall. A stronger charge forcibly drives them on to all electrified surfaces, where they cling. A fine water fog in a bell jar, electrified, turns first into a coarse fog or Scotch mist, and then into rain. Smoke also has its particles coagulated, and a space can thus be cleared of it. I will illustrate this action by making some artificial fogs in a bell-jar furnished with a metal point. First burn some magnesium wire, electrify it by a few turns of this small Voss machine, and the smoke has become snow; the particles are elongated, and by pointing to the charged rod indicate the lines of electrostatic force very beautifully; electrify further, and the air is perfectly clear. Next burn turpentine, and electrify gently; the dense black smoke coagulates into black masses over an inch long; electrify further, and the glass is covered with soot, but the air is clear. Turpentine smoke acts very well, and can be tried on a larger scale; a room filled with turpentine smoke, so dense that a gas-light is invisible inside it, begins to clear in a minute or two after the machine begins to turn, and in a quarter of an hour one can go in and find the walls thickly covered with stringy blacks, notably on the gas-pipes and everything most easily charged by induction. Next fill a bell-jar full of steam, and electrify, paying attention to insulation of the supply point in this case. In a few seconds the air looks clear, and turning on a beam of light we see the globules of water dancing about, no longer fine and impalpable, but separately visible and rapidly falling. Finally, make a London fog by burning turpentine and sulphur, adding a little sulphuric acid, either directly as vapor or indirectly by a trace of nitric oxide, and then blowing in steam. Electrify, and it soon becomes clear, although it lakes a little longer than before; and on removing the bell-jar we find that even the smell of SO2 has disappeared, and only a little vapor of turpentine remains. Similarly we can make a Widnes fog by sulphureted hydrogen, chlorine, sulphuric acid, and a little steam. Probably the steam assists the clearing when gases have to be dealt with. It may be possible to clear the air of tunnels by simply discharging electricity into the air—the electricity being supplied by Holtz machines, driven say by small turbines—a very handy form of power, difficult to get out of order. Or possibly some hydro-electric arrangement might be devised for the locomotive steam to do the work. I even hope to make some impression on a London fog, discharging from lightning conductors or captive balloons carrying flames, but it is premature to say anything about this matter yet. I have, however, cleared a room of smoke very quickly with a small hand machine.

It will naturally strike you how closely allied these phenomena must be to the fact of popular science that "thunder clears the air." Ozone is undoubtedly generated by the flashes, and may have a beneficial effect, but the dust-coagulating and dust-expelling power of the electricity has a much more rapid effect, though it may not act till the cloud is discharged. Consider a cloud electrified slightly; the mists and clouds in its vicinity begin to coagulate, and go on till large drops are formed, which may be held up by electrical action, the drops dancing from one cloud to another and thus forming the very dense thunder cloud. The coagulation of charged drops increases the potential, as Prof. Tait points out, until at length—flash—the cloud is discharged, and the large drops fall in a violent shower. Moreover, the rapid excursion to and fro of the drops may easily have caused them to evaporate so fast as to freeze, and hence we may get hail.

While the cloud was electrified, it acted inductively on the earth underneath, drawing up an opposite charge from all points, and thus electrifying the atmosphere. When the discharge occurs this atmospheric electrification engages with the earth, clearing the air between, and driving the dust and germs on to all exposed surfaces. In some such way also it may be that "thunder turns milk sour," and exerts other putrefactive influences on the bodies which receive the germs and dust from the air.

But we are now no longer on safe and thoroughly explored territory. I have allowed myself to found upon a basis of experimental fact, a superstructure of practical application to the explanation of the phenomena of nature and to the uses of man. The basis seems to me strong enough to bear most of the superstructure, but before being sure it will be necessary actually to put the methods into operation and to experiment on a very large scale. I hope to do this when I can get to a suitable place of operation. Liverpool fogs are poor affairs, and not worth clearing off. Manchester fogs are much better and more frequent, but there is nothing to beat the real article as found in London, and in London if possible I intend to rig up some large machines and to see what happens. The underground railway also offers its suffocating murkiness as a most tempting field for experiment, and I wish I were able already to tell you the actual result instead of being only in a position to indicate possibilities. Whether anything comes of it practically or not, it is an instructive example of how the smallest and most unpromising beginnings may, if only followed up long enough, lead to suggestions for large practical application. When we began the investigation into the dust-free spaces found above warm bodies, we were not only without expectation, but without hope or idea of any sort, that anything was likely to come of it; the phenomenon itself possessed its own interest and charm.

And so it must ever be. The devotee of pure science never has practical developments as his primary aim; often he not only does not know, but does not in the least care whether his researches will ever lead to any beneficial result. In some minds this passive ignoring of the practical goes so far as to become active repulsion; so that some singularly biased minds will not engage in anything which seems likely to lead to practical use. I regard this as an error, and as the sign of a warped judgment, for after all man is to us the most important part of nature; but the system works well nevertheless, and the division of labor accomplishes its object. One man investigates nature impelled simply by his own genius, and because he feels he cannot help it; it never occurs to him to give a reason for or to justify his pursuits. Another subsequently utilizes his results, and applies them to the benefit of the race. Meanwhile, however, it may happen that the yet unapplied and unfruitful results evoke a sneer, and the question: "Cui bono?" the only answer to which question seems to be: "No one is wise enough to tell beforehand what gigantic developments may not spring from the most insignificant fact."

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For the last eighteen months a system has been in active operation in Belgium whereby the ordinary telegraph wires are used to convey telephonic communications at the same time that they are being employed in their ordinary work of transmitting telegraphic messages. This system, the invention of M. Van Rysselberghe, whose previous devices for diminishing the evil effects of induction in the telephone service will be remembered, has lately been described in the Journal Telegraphique of Berne, by M.J. Banneux of the Belgian Telegraph Department. Our information is derived from this article and from others by M. Hospitalier.

The method previously adopted by Van Rysselberghe, to prevent induction from taking place between the telegraph wires and those running parallel to them used for telephone work, was briefly as follows: The system of sending the dots and dashes of the code—usually done by depressing and raising a key which suddenly turns on the current and then suddenly turns it off—was modified so that the current should rise gradually and fall gradually in its strength by the introduction of suitable resistances. These were introduced into the circuit at the moment of closing or opening by a simple automatic arrangement worked exactly as before by a key. The result, of the gradual opening and gradual closing of the circuit was that the current attained its full strength gradually instead of suddenly, and died away also gradually. And as induction from one wire to another depends not on the strength of the current, but on the rate at which the strength changes, this very simple modification had the effect of suppressing induction. Later Van Rysselberghe changed these arrangements for the still simpler device of introducing permanently into the circuit either condensers or else electro-magnets having a high coefficient of self-induction. These, as is well known to all telegraphic engineers, retard the rise or fall of an electric current; they fulfill the conditions required for the working of Van Rysselberghe's method better than any other device.

Having got thus far in his devices for destroying induction from one line to another, Van Rysselberghe saw that, as an immediate consequence, it might be concluded that, if the telegraph currents were thus modified and graduated so that they produced no induction in a neighboring telephone line, they would produce no sound in the telephone if that instrument were itself joined up in the telegraph line. And such was found to be case. Why this is so will be more readily comprehended if it be remembered that a telephone is sensitive to the changes in the strength of the current if those changes occur with a frequency of some hundreds or in some cases thousands of times per second. On the other hand, currents vibrating with such rapidity as this are utterly incompetent to affect the moving parts of telegraphic instruments, which cannot at the most be worked so as to give more than 200 to 800 separate signals per minute.

The simplest arrangement for carrying out this method is shown in Fig. 1, which illustrates the arrangements at one end of a line. M is the Morse key for sending messages, and is shown as in its position of rest for receiving. The currents arriving from the line pass first through a "graduating" electromagnet, E2, of about 500 ohms resistance, then through the key, thence through the electromagnet, R, of the receiving Morse instrument, and so to the earth. A condenser, C, of 2 microfarads capacity is also introduced between the key and earth. There is a second "graduating" electromagnet, E1, of 500 ohms resistance introduced between the sending battery, B, and the key. When the key, M, is depressed in order to send a signal, the current from the battery must charge the condenser, C, and must magnetize the cores of the two electromagnets, E1 and E2, and is thereby retarded in rising to its full strength. Consequently no sound is heard in a telephone, T, inserted in the line-circuit. Neither the currents which start from one end nor those which start from the other will affect the telephones inserted in the line. And, if these currents do not affect telephones in the actual line, it is clear that they will not affect telephones in neighboring lines. Also the telephones so inserted in the main line might be used for speaking to one another, though the arrangement of the telephones in the same actual line would be inconvenient. Accordingly M. Van Rysselberghe has devised a further modification in which a separate branch taken from the telegraph line is made available for the telephone service. To understand this matter, one other fact must be explained. Telephonic conversation can be carried on, even though the actual metallic communication be severed by the insertion of a condenser. Indeed, in quite the early days of the Bell telephone, an operator in the States used a condenser in the telegraph line to enable him to talk through the wire. If a telephonic set at T1 (Fig. 2) communicate through the line to a distant station, T2, through a condenser, C, of a capacity of half a microfarad, conversation is still perfectly audible, provided the telephonic system is one that acts by induction currents. And since in this case the interposition of the condenser prevents any continuous flow of current through the line, no perceptible weakening will be felt if a shunt S, of as high a resistance as 500 ohms and of great electromagnetic rigidity, that is to say, having a high coefficient of self-induction, be placed across the circuit from line to earth. In this, as well as in the other figures, the telephones indicated are of the Bell pattern, and if set up as shown in Fig. 2, without any battery, would be used both as transmitter and receiver on Bell's original plan. But as a matter of fact any ordinary telephone might be used. In practice the Bell telephone is not advantageous as a transmitter, and has been abandoned except for receiving; the Blake, Ader, or some other modification of the microphone being used in conjunction with a separate battery. To avoid complication in the drawings, however, the simplest case is taken. And it must be understood that instead of the single instrument shown at T1 or T2, a complete set of telephonic instruments, including transmitter, battery, induction-coil, and receiver or receivers, may be substituted. And if a shunt, S, of 500 ohms placed across the circuit makes no difference to the talking in the telephones because of the interposition of the separating condenser, C, it will readily be understood that a telegraphic system properly "graduated," and having also a resistance of 500 ohms, will not affect the telephones if interposed in the place of S. This arrangement is shown in Fig. 3, where the "graduated" telegraph-set from Fig. 1 is intercalated into the telephonic system of Fig. 2, so that both work simultaneously, but independently, through a single line. The combined system at each end of the line will then consist of the telephone-set, T1, the telegraph instruments (comprising battery, B1, key, M1 and Morse receiver, R1), the "graduating" electromagnets, E1, and E2, the "graduating" condenser, C1, and the "separating" condenser, C2. It was found by actual experiments that the same arrangement was good for lines varying from 28 to 200 miles in length. A single wire between Brussels, Ghent, and Ostend is now regularly employed for transmission by telegraph of the ordinary messages and of the telemeteorographic signals between the two observatories at those places, and by telephone of verbal simultaneous correspondence, for one of the Ghent newspapers. A still more interesting arrangement is possible, and is indicated in Fig. 4. Here a separating condenser is introduced at the intermediate station at Ghent between earth and the line, which is thereby cut into two independent sections for telephonic purposes, while remaining for telegraphic purposes a single undivided line between Brussels and Ostend. Brussels can telegraph to Ostend, or Ostend to Brussels, and at the same time the wire can be used to telephone between Ghent and Ostend, or between Ghent and Brussels, or both sections may be simultaneously used.

It would appear, then, that M. Van Rysselberghe has made an advance of very extraordinary merit in devising these combinations. We have seen in recent years how duplex telegraphy superseded single working, only to be in turn superseded by the quadruplex system. Multiplex telegraphy of various kinds has been actively pursued, but chiefly on the other side of the Atlantic rather than in this country, where our fast-speed automatic system has proved quite adequate hitherto. Whether we shall see the adoption in the United Kingdom of Van Rysselberghe's system is, however, by no means certain. The essence of it consists in retarding the telegraphic signals to a degree quite incompatible with the fast-speed automatic transmission of telegraphic messages in which our Post Office system excels. We are not likely to spoil our telegraphic system for the sake of simultaneous telephony, unless there is something to be gained of much greater advantage than as yet appears.—Nature.

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For registering the height of the tide at every instant, hydrographic services generally adopt quite a simple marigraph. The apparatus consists in principle of a counterpoised float whose rising and falling motion, reduced to a tenth, by means of a system of toothed wheels, is transmitted to a pencil which moves in front of a vertical cylinder. This cylinder itself moves around its axis by means of a clockwork mechanism, and accomplishes one entire revolution every twenty-four hours. By this means is obtained a curve of the tide in which the times are taken for abscisses and the heights of the sea for ordinates. However little such marigraphs have had to be used, great defects have been recognized in them. When we come to change the sheet on the cylinder (and such change should be made at least once every fifteen days), there is an interruption in the curve. It is necessary, besides, to perform office work of the most detailed kind in order to refer to the same origin all these curves, which are intercrossed and often superposed in certain parts upon the original sheet. In order to render such a disentanglement possible, it is indispensable to mark by hand, at least once every twenty-four hours, upon each curve, the date of the day corresponding to it. It is equally useful to verify the exactness of the indications given by the apparatus by making readings several times a day on a scale of tides placed alongside of the float. Nine times out of ten the rise of the waves renders such readings very difficult and the control absolutely illusory.

All these conditions united, as well as others that we neglect in this brief discussion, necessitate a surveillance at every instant. The result is that these marigraphs must be installed in a special structure, very near the bank, so as to be reachable at all times, and that the indications that they give are always vitiated by error, since the operation is performed upon a level at which are exerted disturbing influences that are not found at a kilometer at sea. It were to be desired that the float could be isolated by placing it a certain distance from the shore, and transmit its indications, by meant of a play of currents, to a registering apparatus situated upon terra firma.

In the course of one of his lectures published in the December number (1883) of the Elektrotechnische Zeitschrift, Mr. Von Hefner-Alteneck tells us that such a desideratum has been supplied by the firm of Siemens & Halske. This marigraph, constructed on an order of the German Admiralty, gives the level of the sea every ten minutes with an approximation of 0.12 per cent., and that too for a difference of 8 meters between the highest and lowest sea. The apparatus consists, as we said above, of a float and registering device, connected with each other by means of a cable. This latter is formed of three ordinary conductors covered with gutta percha and surrounded with a leaden sheath, which latter is itself protected against accident by means of a strong covering of iron wire and hemp. The return is effected through the earth. We shall enter into details concerning each of these two apparatus in-succession, by beginning with the float, of which Fig. 1 gives a general view, and Fig. 2 a diagrammatic sketch. The float moves in a cast iron cylinder, having at its lower part a large number of apertures of small diameter, so that the motion of the waves does not perceptibly influence the level of the water in the interior of the cylinder. It is attached to a copper ribbon, B, whose other extremity is fixed to the drum, T. The ribbon winds around the latter in the rising motion of the float, owing to a spiral spring arranged so as to act upon the drum. The tension of this spring goes on increasing in measure as the float descends.

This difference in tension is utilized for balancing at every instant the weight of the ribbon unwound, and thus causing the float to immerse itself in the water to a constant degree. The ribbon, B, is provided throughout its length with equidistant apertures that exactly correspond to tappets that project from the circumference of the wheel, R. When the float moves its position, the wheel, R, begins to turn and carries along in doing so the pinion, w, which revolves over the toothed wheels, s1, s2, and s3. The thickness of w is equal to that of the three wheels, s1, s2, and s3, and a special spring secures at every instant an intimate contact between the pinion and the said wheels. These latter are insulated from each other and from the axle upon which they are keyed, and communicate, each of them, with conductors, I., II., and III. They are so formed and mounted that, in each of them, the tooth in one corresponds to the interspace in the two others. As a result of this, in the motion of the pinion, w, the latter is never in contact with but one of the three wheels, s1, s2, and s3.

If we add that the lines, I., II., and III. are united at the shore station with one of the poles of a pile whose other pole is connected with the earth, and that w communicates with the earth through the intermedium of R, and the body of the apparatus, it is easy to see that in a vertical motion of the float in one direction we shall have currents succeeding each other in the order I., II., III., I., II., etc., while the order will become III., II., I., III., II., etc., if the direction of the float's motion happen to change.

In order to understand how a variation in currents of this kind can be applied in general for producing a rotary motion in the two directions, it will only be necessary to refer to Figs. 3 and 4. The conductors, L1, L2, and L3 communicate with the bobbins of three electromagnets, E1, E2, and E3, whose poles are bent at right angles to the circumference of the wheel, R. There is never but one pole opposite a tooth. The distance between two consecutive poles must be equal to a multiple of the pitch increased (Fig. 3) or diminished (Fig. 4) by one-third thereof. It will be seen upon a simple inspection of the figures that R will revolve in the direction of the hands of a watch when the currents follow the order L1, L2, L3, etc., in the case shown in Fig. 3, while in the case shown in Fig. 4 the rotary motion will be in the contrary direction for this same order of currents. But, in both cases, and this is the important point, the direction of rotation changes when the order in the succession of currents; is inverted. Fig. 6 gives a perspective view of the registering apparatus, and Fig. 5 represents it in diagram. It will be at once seen that, the toothed wheel, r, is reduced to its simplest expression, since it consists of two teeth only. The electro-magnets are arranged at an angle of 120 deg., and for a change of current the wheel, r, describes an angle of 60 deg., that is to say, a sixth of a circumference. The motion of r is transmitted, by means of the pinion, d, and the wheel, e, to the wheel, T. For a one-meter variation in level the wheel, T, makes one complete revolution. It is divided into 100 equal parts, and each arc therefore corresponds to a difference of one centimeter in the level, and carries, engraved in projection, the corresponding number. As a consequence, there is upon the entire circumference a series of numbers from to 99. The axle upon which the wheel, T, is keyed is prolonged, on the side opposite e, by a threaded part, a, which actuates a stylet, g. This latter is held above by a rod, I, which is connected with a fork movable around a vertical axis, shown in Fig. 6. The rectilinear motion of g is 5 mm. for a variation of one meter in level. Its total travel is consequently 40 mm. The sheet of paper upon which the indications are taken, and which is shown of actual size in Fig. 7, winds around the drum, P, and receives its motion from the cylinder, W. This sheet is covered throughout its length with fine prepared paper that permits of taking the imprints by impression.

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