SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT NO. 508
NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 26, 1885
Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XX., No. 508.
Scientific American established 1845
Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.
Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE I. CHEMISTRY AND METALLURGY.—The Cowles Electric Smelting Process. 5 figures. 8113
On the Electrical Furnace and the Reduction of the Oxides of Boron, Silicon, Aluminum, and other Metals by Carbon.—By EUGENE H. COWLES, ALFRED H. COWLES, and CHARLES F. MABERY. 8112
Chemical Action of Light. 8117
Eutexia.—Cryohydrates.—Eutectic salt alloys and metal alloys. 8117
Method of Rapid Estimation of Urea. 1 figure. 8118
Assay of Earthenware Glaze. 8112
II. ENGINEERING AND MECHANICS.—Deep Shafts and Deep Mining. 8104
Sinking of the Quievrechain Working Shaft.—Numerous figures. 8108
On the Elementary Principles of the Gas Engine.—An interesting paper read before the Gas Institute by Mr. DENNY LANE, of Cork, and discussion following. 8109
M. MEIZEL'S Reciprocating Exhauster. 8112
Automatic Siphon for Irrigation. 1 figure. 8113
III. ELECTRICITY, TELEGRAPHY, ETC.—Optical Telegraphy.— Cryptography.—Preservation of Telegrams.—The projector in optical telegraphy.—Use of balloons. 4 figures. 8114
A New Style of Submarine Telegraph. 4 figures. 8115
A New Circuit Cutter. 2 figures. 8115
New Micro Telephonic Apparatus. 5 figures. 8116
Messrs. Kapp and Crompton's Measuring Instruments. 5 figures. 8116
IV. GEOLOGY, ETC.—Permeability of Sand Rock.—By F.H. NEWELL. 8103
The Grotto of Gargas, in the Pyrenees.—Paleontological remains found therein. 2 engravings. 8103
Remarkable Wells and Caverns in Yucatan.—By ALICE D. LE PLONGEON. 8105
V. NATURAL HISTORY.—The Cabbage Butterfly and the Peacock Butterfly. 8105
VI. BOTANY AND HORTICULTURE.—The Bhotan Cypress (Cupressus torulosa).—With engraving. 8106
The Pitcher Plant. 8106
What is a Plant? 8106
Camellias.—Culture of the same. 8106
Arisaema Fimbriatum.—Leaf, spathe, and floral details.—With engraving. 8107
VII. MISCELLANEOUS.—Striking a Light with Bamboo. 8107
Experiments in Memory. 8107
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PERMEABILITY OF SAND ROCK.
By FREDERICK H. NEWELL, M.E.
Among oil producers, there has been much discussion as to whether the sand rock in which petroleum occurs is of necessity fissured or is still in its original unbroken condition.
The earliest and most natural theory, which for years was indisputed, and is still given by some textbooks, was, that oil wells reached a cavity filled with petroleum.
Within the past few years, however, the opinion has been gaining ground that the oil is stored in the sandrock itself in the minute spaces between the small grains of sand, not entirely filled by cementing material, and that crevices holding and conducting oil are rare, all fissures as a rule being confined to the upper fresh-water bearing rocks of the well. Mr. Carll, in III. Pennsylvania Second Geological Survey, has discussed this subject very fully, and has made estimates of the quantity of oil that the sand rock can hold and deliver into a well; also, T. Sterry Hunt, in his Chemical and Geological Essays, has made deductions as to the petroleum contained in the Niagara limestone that outcrops about Chicago.
While the experiments and conclusions of these geologists go to prove that these rocks are capable of holding the oil, there are on record no facts as to the phenomena of its flow, other than by capillarity, through the rock. To obtain some data of the flow of liquids under pressure through certain oil-bearing stones, series of tests on small pieces were made. These tests were carried on during this spring, and many results quite unlooked for were obtained. When crude oil, kerosene, or water (river or distilled) was forced through the specimens, the pressure being constant, the rate of flow was variable. At first, the amount flowing through was large, then fell off rapidly, and when the flow had diminished to about one-quarter of its original rate, the decrease was very slight, but still continued as long as measurements were made, in some cases for three weeks.
When using crude oil, this result was not surprising, for, as the oil men say, crude oil "paraffines up" a rock, that is, clogs the minute pores by depositing solid paraffine (?); but this so-called paraffining took place, not only with crude oil, but with refined oil, and even with distilled water.
The only explanation as yet is, that liquids flowing under pressure through rock on which they exert little or no dissolving effect, instead of washing out fine particles, tend to dislodge any minute grains of the stone that may not be firmly held by cement, and these block up extremely fine and crooked pores in which the fluid is passing.
Several tests indicated that this blocking up was largely near the surface into which the fluid was passing. When this surface was ground off, even 1/50 of an inch, the flow increased immediately nearly to the original rate.
Reversing the flow also had the effect of increasing the rate, even above that of any time previous.
With the moderate pressures used—from 2" to 80" of mercury—the results show that the rate of flow, other things being equal, is directly proportional to the pressure.
The porosity of rock is not always a criterion of its permeability; a very fine grained marble, containing about 0.6 per cent. cell space, transmitted water and oil more freely than a shale that would hold 4 per cent. of its bulk of water.
If the above conclusions hold on a large scale as on the small, they may aid in explaining the diminished flow of oil wells. Not only will the flow lessen from reduced gas pressure, but the passages in the rock become less able to allow the oil to flow through.
The increase in flow following the explosion of large shots in a sand rock may be due not only to fissuring of the rock, but to temporary reversal of the pressure, the force of the explosive tending to drive the oil back for an instant.
The large shots now used (up to 200 quarts, or say 660 pounds of nitroglycerine) must exert some influence of this kind, especially when held down by 500+- feet of liquid tamping. In the course of these tests, it was noticed that fresh water has a more energetic disintegrating action on the shales and clay than on salt water.
This may furnish a reason for the fact, noticed by the oil men, that fresh water has a much more injurious effect than salt in clogging a well. No oil-bearing sand rock is free from laminae of shale, and when fresh water gets down into the sand, the water must, as the experiments show, rapidly break up the shale, setting free fine particles, which soon are driven along into the minute interstices of the sand rock, plastering it up and injuring the well.—Engineering and Mining Journal.
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THE GROTTO OF GARGAS.
The grotto of Gargas is located in Mount Tibiran about three hundred yards above the level of the valley, and about two miles southeast of the village of Aventignan. Access to it is easy, since a road made by Mr. Borderes in 1884 allows carriages to reach its entrance.
This grotto is one of the most beautiful in the Pyrenees, and presents to the visitor a succession of vast halls with roofs that are curved like a dome, or are in the form of an ogive, or are as flat as a ceiling. It is easy to explore these halls, for the floor is covered with a thick stalagmitic stratum, and is not irregular as in the majority of large caves.
Upon entering through the iron gate at the mouth of the grotto, one finds himself in Bear Hall, wherein a strange calcareous concretion offers the form of the carnivorous animal after which the room is named. This chamber is about 80 feet in width by 98 in length. We first descend a slope formed of earth and debris mostly derived from the outside. This slope, in which are cut several steps, rests upon a hard, compact, and crystalline stalagmitic floor. Upon turning to the right, we come to the Hall of Columns, the most beautiful of all. Here the floor bristles with stalagmites, which in several places are connected with the stalactites that depend from the ceiling. This room is about 50 feet square. After this we reach the Hall of Crevices, 80 feet square, and this leads to the great Hall of Gargas, which is about 328 feet in length by 80, 98, and 105 in width. In certain places enormous fissures in the vault rise to a great height. Some of these, shaped like great inverted funnels, are more than 60 yards in length. The grotto terminates in the Creeping Hall. As its name indicates, this part of the cave can only be traversed by lying flat upon the belly. It gives access to the upper grotto through a narrow and difficult passage that it would be possible to widen, and which would then allow visitors to make their exit by traversing the beautiful upper grotto, whose natural entrance is situated 150 yards above the present one. This latter was blasted out about thirty years ago.
Upon following the direction of the great crevices, we reach a small chamber, wherein are found the Oubliettes of Gargas—a vertical well 65 feet feet in depth. The aperture that gives access to this strange well (rendered important through the paleontological remains collected in it) is no more than two feet in diameter. Such is the general configuration of the grotto.
In 1865 Dr. Garrigou and Mr. De Chastaignier visited the grotto, and were the first to make excavations therein. These latter allowed these scientists to ascertain that the great chamber contained the remains of a quaternary fauna, and, near the declivity, a deposit of the reindeer age.
As soon as it was possible to obtain a permit from the Municipal Council of Aventignan to do so, I began the work of excavation, and the persistence with which I continued my explorations led me to discover one of the most important deposits that we possess in the chain of the Pyrenees. My first excavations in Bear Hall were made in 1873, and were particularly fruitful in an opening 29 feet long by 10 wide that terminates the hall, to the left. I have remarked that these sorts of retreats in grottoes are generally rich in bones. Currents of water rushing through the entrance to the grotto carry along the bones—entire, broken, or gnawed—that lie upon the ground. These remains are transported to the depths of the cave, and are often stopped along the walls, and lie buried in the chambers in argillaceous mud. Rounded flint stones are constantly associated with the bones, and the latter are always in great disorder. The species that I met with were as follows: the great cave bear, the little bear, the hyena, the great cat, the rhinoceros, the ox, the horse, and the stag.
The stalagmitic floor is 11/2, 2, and 21/4 inches thick. The bones were either scattered or accumulated at certain points. They were generally broken, and often worn and rounded. They appeared to have been rolled with violence by the waters. The clay that contained them was from 3 to 6 feet in thickness, and rested upon a stratum of water-worn pebbles whose dimensions varied from the size of the fist to a grain of sand. A thick layer of very hard, crystalline stalagmite covers the Hall of Columns, and it was very difficult to excavate without destroying this part of the grotto.
I found that there anciently existed several apertures that are now sealed up, either by calcareous concretions or by earthy rubbish from the mountain. One of these was situated in the vicinity of the present mouth, and permitted of the access to Bear Hall of a host of carnivora that found therein a vast and convenient place of shelter.
These excavations revealed to me at this entrance, at the bottom of the declivity, a thick stratum of remains brought thither by primitive man. This deposit, which was formed of black earth mixed with charcoal and numerous remains of bones, calcined and broken longitudinally for the most part, contained rudely worked flint stones. I collected a few implements, one surface of which offered a clean fracture, while the other represented the cutting edge. According to Mr. De Mortillet, such instruments were not intended to have a handle. They were capable of serving as paring knives and saws, but they were especially designed for scraping bones and skins. The deposit was from 26 to 32 feet square and from 2 inches to 5 feet deep, and rested upon a bed of broken stones above the stalagmite. The animals found in it were the modern bear (rare), the aurochs, the ox, the horse, and the stag—the last four in abundance.
At the extremity of the grotto there is a well with vertical sides which is no less than 65 feet in depth. It is called the Gargas Oubilettes. Its mouth is from 15 to 24 inches in diameter, and scarcely gives passage to a man (Fig. 1). Mr. Borderes, in the hope of discovering a new grotto, was the first to descend into this well, which he did by means of a rope ladder, and collected a few bones that were a revelation to me. Despite the great difficulty and danger of excavating at this point, I proceeded, and found at the first blow of the pick that there was here a deposit of the highest importance, since all the bones that I met with were intact. The first thing collected was an entire skull of the great cave bear, with its maxillaries in place. From this moment I began a series of excavations that lasted two years.
The descent is effected through a narrow vertical passage 61/2 feet in length. The cavity afterward imperceptibly widens, and, at a depth of 12 yards, reaches 61/2 feet in diameter, and at 15 yards 10 feet. Finally, in the widest part (at a depth of 62 feet) it measures about 16 feet (Fig. 1).
A glance at the section of the well, which I have drawn as accurately as possible (not an easy thing to do when one is standing upon a rope ladder), will give an idea of the form of this strange pocket formed in the limestone of the mountain through the most complex dislocations and erosions. Two lateral pockets attracted my attention because of the enormous quantity of clay and bones that obstructed them. The first, to the left, was about 15 feet from the orifice. When we had entirely emptied it, we found that it communicated with the bottom of the well by a narrow passage. An entire skeleton of the great cave bear had stopped up this narrow passage, and of this, by the aid of a small ladder, we gathered the greater part of the skeleton, the state of preservation of which was remarkable.
The second pocket, which was almost completely filled with clay, and situated a little lower than the other, likewise communicated with a third cavity that reached the bottom of the well. The clay of these different pockets contained so large a quantity of bones that we could hardly use our picks, and the excavation had to be performed with very short hooks, and often by hand. In this way I was enabled to remove the bones without accident. The lower pocket was dug out first, and with extreme care, the bones being hoisted out by means of a basket attached to a rope. Three or four candles sufficed to give us light. The air was heavy and very warm, and, after staying in it for two hours, it was necessary to come to the surface to breathe. After extracting the bones from the lower pocket, and when no more clay remained, we successively dug out the upper ones and threw the earth to the bottom of the well.
On the 20th of December, 1884, my excavating was finished. To-day the Oubliettes of Gargas are obstructed with the clay that it was impossible to carry elsewhere. The animals that I thus collected in the well were the following: The great bear (in abundance), the little bear (a variety of the preceding), the hyena, and the wolf. The pockets contained nearly entire skeletons of these species. How had the animals been able to penetrate this well? It is difficult to admit that it was through the aperture that I have mentioned. I endeavored to ascertain whether there was not another communication with the Gargas grotto, and had the satisfaction of finding a fissure that ended in the cave, and that probably was wider at the epoch at which the place served as a lair for the bear and hyena.
Very old individuals and other adults, and very young animals, were living in the grotto, and, being surprised, without power to save themselves, by a sudden inundation, reached the bottom of the well that we have described. The entire remains of these animals were carried along by the water and deposited in the pockets in the rock. Once buried in the argillaceous mud, the bones no longer underwent the action of the running water, and their preservation was thence secured.—F. Regnault, in La Nature.
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DEEP SHAFTS AND DEEP MINING.
A correspondent of the New York Sun, writing from Virginia City, Nevada, describes the progress of the work there on the Combination shaft of the Comstock lode, the deepest vertical shaft in America, and the second deepest in the world. It is being sunk by the Chollar Potosi, Hale & Norcross, and Savage mining companies; hence its name of the Combination shaft. This shaft has now reached a perpendicular depth of a little over 3,100 feet. There is only one deeper vertical shaft in the world—the Adalbent shaft of the silver-lead mines of Przibram, Bohemia, which at last accounts had reached a depth of 3,280 feet. The attainment of that depth was made the occasion of a festival, which continued three days, and was still further honored by the striking off of commemorative medals of the value of a florin each. There is no record of the beginning of work on this mine at Przibram, although its written history goes back to 1527.
Twenty years ago very few mining shafts in the world had reached a depth of 2,000 feet. The very deepest at that time was in a metalliferous mine in Hanover, which had been carried down 2,900 feet; but this was probably not a single perpendicular shaft. Two vertical shafts near Gilly, in Belgium, are sunk to the depth of 2,847 feet. At this point they are connected by a drift, from which an exploring shaft or winze is sunk to a further depth of 666 feet, and from that again was put down a bore hole 49 feet in depth, making the total depth reached 3,562 feet. As the bore hole did not reach the seam of coal sought for, they returned and resumed operations at the 2,847 level. In Europe it is thought worthy of particular note that there are vertical shafts of the following depths:
Feet. Eimkert's shaft of the Luganer Coal Mining Company, Saxony 2,653
Sampson shaft of the Oberhartz silver mine, near St. Andreasberg, Hanover. 2,437
The hoisting shaft of the Rosebridge Colliery, near Wigan, Lancashire, England. 2,458
Shaft of the coal mines of St. Luke, near St. Chaumont, France. 2,253
Amelia shaft, Shemnitz, Hungary. 1,782
The No. 1 Camphausen shaft, near Fishbach, in the department of the Saarbruck Collieries, Prussia. 1,650
Now, taking the mines of the Comstock for a distance of over a mile—from the Utah on the north to the Alto on the south—there is hardly a mine that is not down over 2,500 feet, and most of the shafts are deeper than those mentioned above; while the Union Consolidated shaft has a vertical depth of 2,900 feet, and the Yellow Jacket a depth of 3,030 feet. In his closing argument before the Congressional Committee on Mines and Mining in 1872, Adolph Sutro of the Sutro tunnel said: "The deepest hole dug by man since the world has existed is only 2,700 feet deep, and it remains for the youngest nation on earth to contribute more to science and geology by giving opportunities of studying the formation of mineral veins at a greater depth than has ever been accomplished by any other nation in the world." Mr. Sutro was of the opinion that the completion of his tunnel would enable our leading mining companies to reach a vertical depth of 5,000 feet.
This great depth has never yet been attained except in a bore hole or artesian well. The deepest points to which the crust of the earth has ever been penetrated have been by means of such borings in quest of salt, coal, or water. A bore hole for salt at Probst Jesar, near Lubtheen, for the Government of Mecklenberg-Schwerin, is down 3,315 feet, the size of which bore is twelve inches at the top and three inches at the bottom. A bore hole was put down for the Prussian Government to the depth of 4,183 feet. But in these bore holes the United States leads the world, as there is one near St. Louis, Mo., that is 5,500 feet in depth. Here on the Comstock, in the Union Consolidated mine, a depth of 3,300 feet has been attained, but not by means of a single vertical shaft. The vertical depth of the shaft is 2,900 feet; the remainder of the depth has been attained by means of winzes sunk from drifts. Several long drifts were run at this great depth without difficulty as regards ventilation or heat.
The combination shaft is situated much further east (in which direction the lode dips) than any other on the Comstock. It is 3,000 feet east of the point where the great vein crops out on the side of Mount Davidson; 2,200 feet east of the old Chollar-Potosi shaft, 1,800 ft. east of the old Hale & Norcross (or Fair) shaft, and 2,000 ft. east of the Savage shaft. Thus, it will be seen it is far out to the front in the country toward which the vein is going. The shaft is sunk in a very hard rock (andesite), every foot of which requires to be blasted. The opening is about thirty feet in length by ten feet in width. In timbering up this is divided into four different compartments, some for the hoisting and some for the pumping machinery, thus presenting the appearance at the top of four small shafts set in a row. Over the shaft stand several large buildings, all filled with ponderous machinery.
The Sutro drain tunnel (nearly four miles in length) connects with the shaft at a depth of 1,600 ft., up to which point all the water encountered below is pumped. The shaft was sunk to the depth of 2,200 ft. before more water was encountered than could be hoisted out in the "skips" with the dirt. At the 2,200 level two Cornish pumps, each with columns fifteen inches in diameter, were put in. At the 2,400 level the same pumps were used. On this level a drift was run that connected with the old Hale & Norcross and Savage shafts, producing a good circulation of air both in the shaft and in the mines mentioned. At this point, on account of the inflow from the mines consequent upon connecting with them by means of the drift, they had more water than the Cornish pumps could handle, and introduced the hydraulic pumps, which pumps are run by the pressure of water from the surface through a pipe running down from the top of the shaft, whereas the Cornish pumps are run by huge steam engines.
By means of the hydraulic pumps they were enabled to sink the shaft to the 2,600 level, and extended the Cornish pumps to that point, where another set of hydraulic pumps was put in. They then sunk the shaft to the 2,800 level, when they ran another drift westward, and tapped the vein. The prospects at this depth in the Hale & Norcross and Chollar mines were so encouraging that the management decided to sink the shaft to the depth of 3,000 ft. On reaching the 3,000 level, they ran a third drift through to the vein. The distance from the shaft to the east wall of the vein was found to be only 250 ft. At the depth of 3,000 ft. they put in one of the pair of hydraulic pumps that is to be set up there. The second pump is now arriving from San Francisco, and as soon as the several parts are on the ground, it will be at once put in place alongside its fellow on the 3,000 level. This additional pump will increase the capacity from 600,000 to 700,000 gallons in twenty-four hours, or about forty-five miners' inches.
Owing to the excellent showing of ore obtained on the 3,000 level by the Hale & Norcross Company, and to the continuation of the ore below that level (as shown by a winze sunk in the vein), the management determined to sink the shaft to the vertical depth of 3,200 ft. It is now 3,120 ft. deep, and it is safe to say that it will reach the depth of 3,200 ft. early in September, when it will lack but eighty feet of being as deep as the shaft at Przibram was at the time of the great festival. Although the shaft is of great size—about thirty feet by ten feet before the timbers are put in—the workmen lower it at the rate of about three feet a day, in rock as hard as flint.
The hydraulic pump now working at the 3,000 foot level of the shaft is the deepest in the world. In Europe the deepest is in a mine in the Hartz Mountains, Germany, which is working at the depth of 2,700 feet. It is, however, a small pump not half the size of the one in the Combination shaft. Although these pumps were first used in Europe, those in operation here are far superior in size, and in every other respect, to those of the Old World, several valuable improvements having been made in them by the machinists of the Pacific coast.
The capacity of the two Cornish pumps, which lift the water from the 2,900 foot level to the Sutro drain tunnel (at the 1,600 level), is about 1,000,000 gallons in twenty-four hours, and the capacity of the present hydraulic pumps is 3,500,000 gallons in the same time. They are now daily pumping, with both hydraulic and Cornish pumps, about 4,000,000 gallons, but could pump at least 500,000 gallons more in twenty-four hours than they are now doing. The daily capacity with the hydraulic pump now coming, and which will be set up as mate to that now in operation at the 3,000 foot level, will be 5,200,000 gallons.
The water which feeds the pressure pipe of the three sets of hydraulic pumps is brought from near Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The distance is about thirty miles, and the greater part of the way the water flows through iron pipes, which at one point cross a depression 1,720 feet in depth. The pressure pipe takes this water from a tank situated on the eastern slope of Mount Davidson, 3,500 feet west of the shaft. At the tank this pipe is twelve inches in diameter, but is only eight inches where it enters the top of the shaft. The tank whence the water is taken is 426 feet higher than the top of the shaft, therefore the vertical pressure upon the hydraulic pump at the 3,000 foot level is 3,426 feet. The pressure pipe is of ordinary galvanized iron where it receives the water at the tank, but gradually grows thicker and stronger, and at the 3,000 level it is constructed of cast iron, and is 21/2 inches in thickness. The pressure at this point is 1,500 pounds to the square inch.
In the early days of hydraulic mining in California the miners thought that with a vertical pressure of 300 feet they could almost tear the world to pieces, and not a man among them could have been made to believe that any pipe could be constructed that would withstand a vertical pressure of 1,000 feet; but we now see that a thickness of two and a half inches of cast iron will sustain a vertical pressure of over 3,400 feet.
There is only one pressure pipe for all the hydraulic pumps. This extends from the tank on the side of the mountain to the 3,000 foot level. It is tapped at the points where are situated the several sets of hydraulic pumps. The water from the pressure pipe enters one part of the pump, where it moves a piston-back and forth, just as the piston of a steam engine is moved by steam. This water engine moves a pump which not only raises to the surface the water which has been used as driving power, but also a vast quantity of water from the shaft, all of which is forced up to the Sutro drain tunnel through what is called a return pipe. Each set of hydraulic pumps has its return pipe; therefore there are three return pipes—one from the 2,400, one from the 2,600, and another from the 3,000 level.
Some idea may be formed of the great size of these hydraulic engines when it is known that the stations excavated for them at the several levels where they are placed are 85 feet long, 28 feet wide, and 12 feet high. All this space is so filled with machinery that only sufficient room is left to allow of the workmen moving about it. One of these stations would, on the surface, form a hall large enough for a ball room, and to those who are unacquainted with the skill of our miners it must seem wonderful that such great openings can be made and securely supported far down in the bowels of the earth; yet it is very effectually done. These great subterranean halls are supported by timbers 14x16 inches square set along the walls three feet apart, from center to center, and the caps or joists passing overhead are timbers of the same size. The timber used is mountain spruce. Not one of these huge stations has thus far cost one dollar for repairs. The station at the 2,400 level has been in use five years, that at the 2,600 three years, and the one at the 3,000 level eight months. Room for ventilation is left behind the timbers, and all are still sound. Timbers of the same kind are used in the shaft, and all are sound. The shaft has cost nothing for repairs. Being in hard andesite rock from top to bottom, the ground does not swell and crowd upon the timbers.
If it shall be thought advisable to go to a greater depth than 3,200 feet, a station of large size will be made on the east side of the present shaft, and in this station will be sunk a shaft of smaller size. The reason why the work will be continued in this way is that in a single hoist of 3,200 feet the weight of a steel wire cable of that length is very great—so great that the loaded cage it brings up is a mere trifle in comparison. In this secondary shaft the hoisting apparatus and pumps will be run by means of compressed air. As it is very expensive to make compressed air by steam power, the pressure pipe will be tapped at the level of the Sutro tunnel, and a stream of water taken out that will be used in running a turbine wheel of sufficient capacity to drive three air compressors. As there will be a vertical pressure upon the turbine at this depth of over 2,000 feet, a large stream of water will not be required. The water used in driving the wheel will flow out through the Sutro tunnel, and give no trouble in the shaft.
By means of this great shaft and its powerful hydraulic and Cornish pumps the crust of the earth will probably yet be penetrated to far greater depth than in any other place in the world. It has been only a little over ten years since the work of sinking it was begun, whereas in the mines of the Old World they have been delving since "time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary." The work on the Combination shaft has been by no means continuous. There have been long stoppages aside from those required at such times as they were engaged in running long drifts to the westward to tap the vein, and at times for many months, when the several companies interested in the shaft were engaged in prospecting the various levels it had opened up.
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REMARKABLE WELLS AND CAVERNS.
Yucatan is one of the most interesting States of Mexico, owing to the splendid ancient palaces and temples of once grand cities, now hidden in the forests. That country also presents great attractions for geologists and botanists, as well as naturalists, who there find rare and beautiful birds, insects, and reptiles.
There are no rivers on the surface of the land, but in many parts it is entirely undermined by extensive caverns, in which are basins of water fed by subterranean currents. The caverns are delightfully cool even at midday, and the fantastic forms of some of the stalactites and stalagmites are a never-ending source of interest. There are long winding passages and roomy chambers following one after another for great distances, with here and there some chink in the stony vault above, through which a sunbeam penetrates, enabling us to see to the right and left openings leading to untrodden places in the bowels of the earth. As few of these caves have been explored, the wildest accounts are given by the natives concerning the dark recesses where only wild beasts seek shelter. Before venturing far in, it is advisable to secure one end of a ball of twine at the entrance, and keep the ball in hand; nor is it safe to go without lanterns or torches, lest we step into some yawning chasm or deep water. The leader of one party suddenly saw a very dark spot just before him; he jumped over, instead of stepping on it, and told the others to halt. Examination proved the dark patch to be a pit that seemed bottomless.
Awe-inspiring as are the interiors of some of these caves, they are frequently most beautiful. The natural pillars are often grand in dimensions and sparkling with various hues, while stalactites and stalagmites sometimes resemble familiar objects with astonishing perfection. It is, however, not advisable to place implicit confidence in accounts of the natives, for the reality, no matter how beautiful, can hardly be equal to what the vivid imagination of the Indian has pictured. Anything bearing the least resemblance to a woman is called "a most beautiful Virgin Mary." Fantastic flutings become "an organ," and a level rock "an altar." Only once we were not disappointed, when, having been told to look for a pulpit, we found one that appeared as if man must have fashioned it, supported on a slender pyramidal base, the upper part very symmetrical, and ornamented with a perfect imitation of bunches of grapes and other fruit.
As I have already said, in these caves are sheets of water, some very large, others only a few feet in circumference, fed by subterranean currents. When the water is clear and sweet, it is peopled by a kind of bagre, a blind fish called by the natives tzau, also a species of Silurus. But there are likewise medicinal and thermal waters, by bathing in which many people claim to have been cured of most painful and obstinate diseases.
Strange stories are told of some of these waters. Of one it is said that those who approach it without holding their breath fall dead. People who live near the place swear it is so, and say the water appears to boil on such occasions. From the thermal waters, in some cases 100 feet below the soil, and without means of access except by buckets let down through an opening in the rock, warm vapors issue at early morn, but when the sun is high the water is cool and pleasant to drink.
The name senote is given to all these deposits of water, also to some immense natural circular wells from 50 to 300 feet in diameter. The walls are more or less perpendicular, generally covered with tropical vegetation. The current in some is swift, but no inlets or outlets are visible. The water is deliciously pure and sweet, much better than that of wells opened by man in the same country. These enormous deposits generally have a rugged path, sometimes very steep, leading to the water's edge, but daring natives throw themselves from the brink, afterward ascending by stout roots that hang like ropes down the walls, the trees above sucking through these roots the life-sustaining fluid more than a hundred feet below.
In the west part of Yucatan is a village called Bolonchen (nine wells), because in the public square there are nine circular openings cut through a stratum of rock. They are mouths of one immense cistern, if natural or made by hand the natives do not know, but in times of drought it is empty, which shows that it is not supplied by any subterranean spring. Then the people depend entirely on water found in a cave a mile and a half from the village; it is perhaps the most remarkable cavern in the whole country. The entrance is magnificently wild and picturesque. It is necessary to carry torches, for the way is dark and dangerous. After advancing sixty or seventy feet we descend a strong but rough ladder twenty feet long, placed against a very precipitous rock. Not the faintest glimmer of daylight reaches that spot; but after a while we stand on the brink of a perpendicular precipice, the bottom of which is strongly illuminated through a hole in the surface rock more than 200 feet above. Standing on the verge of this awful pit in the dim light, the rocks and crags seem to take on most weird shapes. We go down into the great hole by a ladder eighty feet high and twelve wide, and, reaching the bottom, are as yet but at the mouth of the cave, which, by the bye, is called Xtacunbi Xunan (the hidden lady), because, say the Indians, a lady was stolen from her mother and hidden there by her lover. Now, to our right, we find a narrow passage, and soon another ladder; the darkness is intense and the descent continuous, though irregular, like a series of hills and dales, ladders being placed against the steepest places.
After an exhausting journey we reach a vast chamber, from which crooked passages lead in various directions to wells, seven in all, each named according to the peculiar kind of water. One, always warm, is called Chocoha (hot water); another, O[c]iha* (milky water), and Akabha (dark water). About 400 paces away from the chamber, passing through a very narrow, close passage, there is a basin of red water that ebbs and flows like the sea, receding with the south wind, increasing with the northwest.
*Transcriber's note: [c] denotes upside-down 'c' in original.
To reach the most distant well, we go down yet one more ladder, the seventh. On one side of it there is a perpendicular wall, on the other a yawning gulf, so when one of the steps, merely round sticks tied with withes, gave way beneath our feet, we tightly grasped the stick above. Having reached the bottom of the ladder, we crawl on our hands and feet through a broken, winding passage about 800 feet long, then see before us a basin of crystalline water, and how thirsty we are! This basin is 1,400 feet from the mouth of the cave, and about 450 feet below the earth's surface. Several hundred people during five months in every year depend entirely on that source for all the water they use. With their frail pitchers and flaring torches they wend their way, gasping for breath, through the intricate passages, and reaching the water, are so profusely perspiring that they must wait before quenching their thirst. The way back is even harder, and they are tired and loaded; yet these people are such lovers of cleanliness that on their arrival at their poor huts, before tasting food, they will use some of the water that has cost them so much, to bathe their smoke-begrimed skin. As several women once fainted in the cave, men generally fetch the water now.
Yucatan is, and has been for ages past, quite free from earthquakes, while all surrounding countries are from time to time convulsed. This immunity may be due to the vast caverns and numerous great wells existing throughout the land. Pliny the Elder was of opinion that if numerous deep wells were made in the earth to serve as outlets for the gases that disturb its upper strata, the strength of the earthquakes would be diminished, and if we may judge by Yucatan, Pliny was right in his conjectures. After him, other scientists who have carefully studied the subject have expressed the same opinion with regard to the efficacy of large wells.
ALICE D. LE PLONGEON.
Brooklyn, July 15, 1885.
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Cholera failed to strike a single one of the 4,000 women employed in the national tobacco factory at Valencia, Spain, though the disease raged violently in that city, and the Medical World recalls that tobacco workers were also noticed to enjoy exemption from attack during an epidemic at Amsterdam.
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THE CABBAGE BUTTERFLY.
A patch of eggs and the minute caterpillars or larvae nearly emerged from them are seen on the leaf. These tiny eggs are at first quite white or pale yellow, and form an object for the microscope of remarkable beauty, which is worthy of the examination of all who take an interest in the garden and its insect life. An egg magnified is drawn at the bottom left-hand corner of the woodcut. When the eggs are near the hatching point they darken in color, and a magnifying glass reveals through the delicate transparent shell a sight which fills the observer with amazement; the embryo caterpillar is seen in gradual course of formation, and if patience and warmth have permitted it, the observer will witness slight movements within the life-case, and presently the shell will break and a black head with moving jaws will be thrust out; the little caterpillar unfolds and slowly crawls away from the egg-shell, and inserts its jaws into the green leaf. It is curious to witness how judiciously the little creatures avoid crowding together, but strike out in different directions, and thus they make sure of a plentiful supply of food, and distribute the effects of their depredations. These caterpillars eat continually, and hence rapidly increase in size, until they present the appearance shown in our drawing at the bottom of the illustration, which is a full grown caterpillar.
It will be observed that this insect is composed of thirteen segments from head to tail, which is a distinctive characteristic of all insects both in the larval and perfect states; but in the case of this and most other caterpillars these segments are sharply defined and readily recognized. It will also be noticed that the three segments or "joints" nearest the head bear a pair of legs each; these are the real feet, or claspers, as they are sometimes termed, which develop into the feet of the future butterfly. There are four pairs of false feet or suckers, which adhere to the ground by suction, and which disappear in the butterfly. On the last or tail end is a fifth pair of suckers also, which can attach themselves to a surface with considerable force, as any one can attest who has noticed the wrigglings of one of these caterpillars when feeling for new feeding ground.
The caterpillar now ceases to eat, and quietly betakes itself to a secluded corner, where in peace it spins a web around its body, and wrapt therein remains quiescent, awaiting its change into the butterfly. Although so dormant outwardly, activity reigns inside; processes are going on within that chrysalis-case which are the amazement and the puzzle of all naturalists. In course of time the worm is changed into the beautiful winged butterfly, which breaks its case and emerges soft and wet; but it quickly dries and spreads its wings to commence its life in the air and sunshine. The chrysalis is represented in the figure on the left. The butterfly, it will be recognized, is one of the common insects so familiar to all, with strongly veined white wings, bearing three black spots, two on the upper and one on the lower wing, and dark coloring on the corner of the upper wings. The antennae, as with all butterflies, are clubbed at the extremity—unlike moths', which are tapering—and the large black staring eyes are the optical apparatus, containing, we are told, thousands of lenses, each a perfect, simple eye.
The wings derive their chief coloring from the covering of scales, which lie on like slates on a roof, and are attached in a similar manner. A small portion of the wing magnified is represented at the bottom right hand corner, and detached scales more highly magnified next to it, exhibiting somewhat the form of battledoors.
THE PEACOCK BUTTERFLY.
Another well known insect is illustrated in the figure in the upper portion—the peacock butterfly (Vanessa Io). The curious spiked and spotted caterpillar feeds upon the common nettle. This beautiful butterfly—common in most districts—is brilliantly colored and figured on the upper side of the wings, but only of a mottled brown on the under surface, somewhat resembling a dried and brown leaf, so that it is no easy matter to detect the conspicuous, brightly-decked insect when it alights from flight upon foliage, and brings its wings together over its back after the manner of butterflies. At the left-hand corner is seen the head of the insect, magnified, showing the long spiral tongue.
This is a curious structure, and one that will repay the trouble of microscopic examination. In the figure the profile is seen, the large compound eye at the side and the long curved tongue, so elephantine-looking in form, though of minute size, is seen unrolled as it is when about to be inserted into flowers to pump up the honey-juice. This little piece of insect apparatus is a mass of muscles and sensitive nerves comprising a machine of greater complexity and of no less precision in its action than the modern printing machine. When not in use, the tongue rolls into a spiral and disappears under the head. A butterfly's tongue may readily be unrolled by carefully inserting a pin within the first spiral and gently drawing it out.—The Gardeners' Chronicle.
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THE BHOTAN CYPRESS.
This cypress, apart from its elegant growth, is interesting as being the only species of Cupressus indigenous to India. It is a native of the Himalayas in the Bhotan district, and it also occurs on the borders of Chinese Tartary. It forms, therefore, a connecting link, as it were, between the true cypresses of the extreme east and those that are natives of Europe. It is singular to note that this genus of conifers extends throughout the entire breadth of the northern hemisphere, Cupressus funebris representing the extreme east in China, and C. macrocarpa the extreme west on the Californian seacoast. The northerly and southerly limits, it is interesting to mark, are, on the contrary, singularly restricted, the most southerly being found in Mexico; the most northerly (C. nutkaensis) in Nootka Sound, and the subject of these remarks (C. torulosa) in Bhotan. The whole of the regions intervening between these extreme lateral points have their cypresses. The European species are C. lusitanica (the cedar of Goa), which inhabits Spain and Portugal; C. sempervirens (the Roman cypress), which is centered chiefly in the southeasterly parts of Europe, extending into Asia Minor. Farther eastward C. torulosa is met with, and the chain is extended eastward by C. funebris, also known as C. pendula. The headquarters of the cypresses are undoubtedly in the extreme west, for here may be found some four or five distinct species, including the well-known C. Lawsoniana, probably the most popular of all coniferae in gardens, C. Goveniana, C. Macnabiana, C. macrocarpa, and C. nutkaensis (spelt C. nutkanus by the Californian botanists). The eastern representative of the cypresses in the United States of North America is C. thyoides, popularly known as the white cedar. In Mexico three or four species occur, so that the genus in round numbers only contains about a dozen species. The Californian botanist Mr. Sereno Watson takes away Lawson's cypress from Cupressus and puts it in the genus Chamaecyparis, the chief points of distinction being the flattened two-ranked branchlets and the small globose cones maturing the first year.
All the cypresses are undoubtedly valuable from a garden point of view, but the various species vary in degree as regards their utility as ornamental subjects. I should rank them in the following order in point of merit: C. Lawsoniana, C. nutkaensis, C. macrocarpa, C. sempervirens, C. thyoides, C. Macnabiana, and C. Goveniana; then would follow C. torulosa, C. funebris, C. Knightiana, and other Mexican species. These are placed last, not because they are less elegant than the others, but on account of their tenderness, all being liable to succumb to our damp and cold winters. The species which concerns us at present, C. torulosa, is an old introduction, seeds of it having been sent to this country by Wallich so long back as 1824, and previous to this date it was found by Royle on the Himalayas, growing at elevations of some 11,500 feet above sea level. Coming from such a height, one would suppose it to be hardier than it really is, but its tenderness may probably be accounted for by the wood not getting thoroughly ripened during our summers. It is a very handsome tree, said to reach from 20 feet to 125 feet in height in its native habitat. It has a perfectly straight stem; the growth is pyramidal or rather conical, and the old wood is of a warm purplish-brown. The foliage is a glaucous gray-green, and the branches have a twisted and tufted appearance.
There are several varieties of it which are, or have been, in cultivation. Of these one of the best is corneyana, which Gordon ranked as a distinct species. It was supposed to be Chinese, and was introduced to cultivation by Messrs. Knight & Perry, the predecessors of Messrs. Veitch at the Chelsea Nurseries. It differs from C. torulosa proper, its habit being of low stature, and has slender pendulous branches; hence, it has been known in gardens by the names of C. gracilis, C. cernua, and C. pendula. Other varieties of C. torulosa are those named in gardens and nurseries—viridis, a kind devoid of the glaucous foliage of the original; majestica, a robust variety; and nana, a very dwarf and compact-growing sort. There is also a so-called variegated form, but it is not worthy of mention. The synonyms of C. torulosa itself are C. cashmeriana, C. nepalensis, and C. pendula. Having regard to the tenderness of this Bhotan cypress, it should only be planted in the warmest localities, and in dry sheltered positions; upland districts, too, provided they are sheltered, are undoubtedly suitable for it, inasmuch as growth is retarded in spring, and, therefore, the young shoots escape injury from late spring frosts.—W.G., in The Garden.
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THE PITCHER PLANT.
The variety of the pitcher plant (Sarracenia variolaris) found in North America is carnivorous, being a feeder on various animal substances.
Mrs. Mary Treat, an American naturalist, made, a few years ago, several experiments upon the plants of this species to be found in Florida; and to the labors of this lady the writer has been indebted, in some measure, in the preparation of this paper.
The Sarracenia derives its name of "pitcher plant" from the fact of its possessing the following curious characteristics: The median nerve is prolonged beyond the leaves in the manner of a tendril, and terminates in a species of cup or urn. This cup is ordinarily three or four inches in depth, and one to one and a half inches in width. The orifice of the cup is covered with a lid, which opens and shuts at certain periods. At sunrise the cup is found filled with sweet, limpid water, at which time the lid is down. In the course of the day the lid opens, when nearly half the water is evaporated; but during the night this loss is made up, and the next morning the cup is again quite full, and the lid is shut.
About the middle of March the plants put forth their leaves, which are from six to twelve inches long, hollow, and shaped something like a trumpet, while the aperture of the apex is formed almost precisely in the same manner as those of the plants previously described. A broad wing extends along one side of the leaf, from the base to the opening at the top; this wing is bound or edged with a purple cord, which extends likewise around the cup. This cord secretes a sweet fluid, and not only flying insects, but those also that crawl upon the ground, are attracted by it to the plants. Ants, especially, are very fond of this fluid, so that a line of aphides, extending from the base to the summit of a leaf, may frequently be observed slowly advancing toward the orifice of the cup, down which they disappear, never to return. Flying insects of every kind are equally drawn to the plant; and directly they taste the fluid, they act very curiously. After feeding upon the secretions for two or three minutes they become quite stupid, unsteady on their feet, and while trying to pass their legs over their wings to clear them, they fall down.
It is of no use to liberate any of the smaller insects; every fly, removed from the leaf upon which it had been feeding, returned immediately it was at liberty to do so, and walked down the fatal cup as though drawn to it by a species of irresistible fascination.
It is not alone that flies and other small insects are overpowered by the fluid which exudes from the cord in question. Even large insects succumb to it, although of course not so quickly. Mrs. Treat says: "A large cockroach was feeding on the secretion of a fresh leaf, which had caught but little or no prey. After feeding a short time the insect went down the tube so tight that I could not dislodge it, even when turning the leaf upside down and knocking it quite hard. It was late in the evening when I observed it enter; the next morning I cut the tube open; the cockroach was still alive, but it was covered with a secretion produced from the inner surface of the tube, and its legs fell off as I extricated it. From all appearance the terrible Sarracenia was eating its victim alive. And yet, perhaps, I should not say 'terrible,' for the plant seems to supply its victims with a Lethe-like draught before devouring them."
If only a few insects alight upon a leaf, no unpleasant smell is perceptible during or after the process of digestion; but if a large number of them be caught, which is commonly the case, a most offensive odor emanates from the cup, although the putrid matter does not appear to injure in any manner the inner surface of the tube, food, even in this condition, being readily absorbed, and going to nourish the plant. In fact, it would seem that the Sarracenia, like some animals, can feed upon carrion and thrive upon it.
In instances in which experiments have been made with fresh, raw beef or mutton, the meat has been covered in a few hours with the secretions of the leaves, and the blood extracted from it. There is, however, one difference between the digesting powers of the leaves when exercised upon insects or upon meat. Even if the bodies of insects have become putrid, the plant, as has already been stated, has no difficulty in assimilating them; but as regards meat, it is only when it is perfectly sweet that the secretions of the leaves will act upon it.
The pitcher plant undoubtedly derives its principal nourishment from the insects it eats. It, too—unlike most other carnivorous plants, which, when the quantity of food with which they have to deal is in excess of their powers of digestion, succumb to the effort and die—appears to find it easy to devour any number of insects, small or large, the operation being with it simply a question of time. Flies, beetles, or even cockroaches, at the expiration of three or four days at most, disappear, nothing being left of them save their wings and other hard, parts of their bodies.
The Sarracenia is, indeed, not only the most voracious of all known species of carnivorous plants, but the least fastidious as to the nature of the food upon which it feeds.—W.C.M., Nature.
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WHAT IS A PLANT?
Mr. Worsley-Benison has been discussing this question in a very interesting way, and he says in conclusion that "physiologically the most distinctive feature of plant-life is the power to manufacture protein from less complex bodies; that of animal-life, the absence of such power." He finds that in form, in the presence of starch, of chlorophyl, in power of locomotion, in the presence of circulatory organs, of the body called nitrogen, in the functions of respiration and sensation, there are no diagnostic characters. He finds, however, "fairly constant and well-marked distinctions" in the presence of a cellulose coat in the plant-cell, in digestion followed by absorption, and in the power to manufacture protein.
The morphological feature of plants is this cellulose coat; of animals, its absence; the physiological peculiarity of plants, this manufacturing power; of animals, the want of it. But after all the discussion he says: "To the question, Is this an animal or a plant? we must often reply, We do not know."—The Microscope.
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Next to the rose, no flower* is more beautiful or more useful than the camellia. It may readily be so managed that its natural season of blooming shall be from October to March, thus coming in at a time when roses can hardly be had without forcing. In every quality, with the single exception of scent, the camellia may be pronounced the equal of the rose. It can be used in all combinations or for all purposes for which roses can be employed. In form and color it is probably more perfect, and fully as brilliant. It is equally or more durable, either on the plant or as a cut flower. It is a little dearer to buy, and perhaps slightly more difficult to cultivate; but like most plants the camellia has crucial periods in its life, when it needs special treatment. That given, it may be grown with the utmost ease; that withheld, its culture becomes precarious, or a failure. The camellia is so hardy that it will live in the open air in many parts of Great Britain, and herein lies a danger to many cultivators. Because it is quite or almost hardy, they keep it almost cool. This is all very well if the cool treatment be not carried to extremes, and persisted in all the year round. Camellias in a dormant state will live and thrive in any temperature above the freezing point, and will take little or no hurt if subjected to from 3 deg.-4 deg. below it, or a temperature of 27 deg. Fahr.
* Transcriber's Note: Original "flour".
They will also bloom freely in a temperature of 40 deg., though 45 deg. suits them better. Hence, during the late summer and early autumn it is hardly possible to keep camellias too cool either out of doors or in. They are also particularly sensitive to heat just before the flower-buds begin to swell in late autumn or winter; a sudden or sensible rise of temperature at that stage sends the flower-buds off in showers. This is what too often happens, in fact, to the camellias of amateurs. No sooner do the buds begin to show then a natural impatience seizes the possessor's of well-budded camellias to have the flowers opened. More warmth, a closer atmosphere, is brought to bear upon them, and down fall the buds in showers on stage or floor—the chief cause of this slip between the buds and the open flowers being a rise of temperature. A close or arid atmosphere often leads to the same results. Camellias can hardly have too free a circulation of air or too low a temperature. Another frequent cause of buds dropping arises from either too little or too much water at the roots. Either a paucity or excess of water at the roots should lead to identical results. Most amateurs overwater their camellias during their flowering stages. Seeing so many buds expanding, they naturally rush to the conclusion that a good deal of water must be used to fill them to bursting point. But the opening of camellia buds is less a manufacture than a mere development, and the strain on the plant and drain on the roots is far less during this stage than many suppose. Of course the opposite extreme of over-dry roots must be provided against, else this would also cause the plants to cast off their buds.
But our object now is less to point out how buds are to be developed into fully expanded flowers than to show how they were to be formed in plenty, and the plants preserved in robust health year after year. One of the simplest and surest modes of reaching this desirable end is to adopt a system of semi-tropical treatment for two months or so after flowering. The moment or even before the late blooms fade, the plants should be pruned if necessary. Few plants bear the knife better than camellias, though it is folly to cut them unless they are too tall or too large for their quarters or have grown out of form. As a rule healthy camellias produce sufficient or even a redundancy of shoots without cutting back; but should they need pruning, after flowering is the best time to perform the operation.
During the breaking of the tender leaves and the growth of the young shoots in their first stages, the plant should be shaded from direct sunshine, unless, indeed, they are a long way from the glass, when the diffusion and dispersion of the rays of light tone down or break their scorching force; few young leaves and shoots are more tender and easily burned than camellia, and scorching not only disfigures the plants, but also hinders the formation of fine growths and the development of flower-buds.
The atmosphere during the early season of growth may almost touch saturation. It must not fail to be genial, and this geniality of the air must be kept up by the surface-sprinkling of paths, floors, stages, walls, and the plants themselves at least twice a day.
With the pots or border well drained it is hardly possible to overwater the roots of camellias during their period of wood-making. The temperature may range from 50 deg. to 65 deg. during most of the period. As the flower-buds form, and become more conspicuous, the tropical treatment may become less and less tropical, until the camellias are subjected to the common treatment of greenhouse or conservatory plants in summer. Even at this early stage it is wise to attend to the thinning of the buds. Many varieties of camellias—notably that most useful of all varieties, the double white—will often set and swell five or ten times more buds than it ought to be allowed to carry. Nothing is gained, but a good deal is lost, by allowing so many embryo flower-buds to be formed or partially developed. It is in fact far wiser to take off the majority of the excess at the earliest possible point, so as to concentrate the strength of the plant into those that remain.
As it is, however, often a point of great moment to have a succession of camellia flowers for as long a period as possible on the same plants, buds of all sizes should be selected to remain. Fortunately, it is found in practice that the plants, unless overweighted with blooms, do not cast off the smaller or later buds in their efforts to open their earlier and larger ones. With the setting, thinning, and partial swelling of the flower-buds the semi-tropical treatment of camellias must close; continued longer, the result would be their blooming out of season, or more probably their not blooming at all.
The best place for camellias from the time of setting their flower-buds to their blooming season is a vexed question, which can hardly be said to have been settled as yet. They may either be left in a cool greenhouse, or placed in a shaded, sheltered position in the open air. Some of the finest camellias ever seen have been placed in the open air from June to October. These in some cases have been stood behind south, and in others behind west walls. Those facing the east in their summer quarters were, on the whole, the finest, many of them being truly magnificent plants, not a few of them having been imported direct from Florence at a time when camellias were far less grown in England than now.
In all cases where camellias are placed in the open air in summer, care will be taken to place the pots on worm proof bases, and to shield the tops from direct sunshine from 10 to 4 o'clock. If these two points are attended to, and also shelter from high winds, it matters little where they stand. In all cases it is well to place camellias under glass shelter early in October, less for fear of cold than of saturating rains causing a sodden state of the soil in the pots.
While adverting, however, to the safety and usefulness of placing camellias in the open air in summer, it must not be inferred that this is essential to the successful culture; it is, in fact, far otherwise, as the majority of the finest camellias in the country are planted out in conservatories with immovable roofs. Many such houses are, however, treated to special semi-tropical treatment as has been described, and are kept as cool and open as possible after the flower-buds are fairly set, so that the cultural and climatic conditions approximate as closely as possible to those here indicated.
Soil and seasons of potting may be described as vexed questions in camellia culture. As to the first, some affect pure loam, others peat only, yet more a half and half of both, with a liberal proportion of gritty sand, or a little smashed charcoal or bruised bones as porous or feeding agents, or both. Most growers prefer the mixture, and as good camellias are grown in each of its constituents, it follows without saying that they may also be well grown in various proportions of both.
Under rather than over potting suits the plants best, and the best time is doubtless just before they are about to start into fresh growth, though many good cultivators elect to shift their plants in the late summer or autumn, that is, soon after the growth is finishing, and the flower-buds fairly and fully set for the next season. From all which it is obvious that the camellia is not only among the most useful and showy, but likewise among the most accommodating of plants.
Under good cultivation it is also one of the cleanest, though when scab gets on it, it is difficult to get rid of it. Mealy-bugs also occasionally make a hurried visit to camellias when making their growth, as well as aphides. But the leaves once formed and advanced to semi-maturity are too hard and leathery for such insects, while they will bear scale being rubbed off them with impunity. But really well-grown camellias, as a rule, are wholly free from insect pests, and their clean, dark, glossy leaves are only of secondary beauty to their brilliant, exquisitely formed, and many sized flowers.—D.T., The Gardeners' Chronicle.
* * * * *
Mast.; sp. nov.
Some few years since we had occasion to figure some very remarkable Himalayan species of this genus, in which the end of the spadix was prolonged into a very long, thread-like appendage thrown over the leaves of the plant or of its neighbors, and ultimately reaching the ground, and thus, it is presumed, affording ants and other insects means of access to the flowers, and consequent fertilization. These species were grown by Mr. Elwes, and exhibited by him before the Scientific Committee. The present species is of somewhat similar character, but is, we believe, new alike to gardens and to science. We met with it in the course of the autumn in the nursery of Messrs. Sander, at St. Alban's; but learn that it has since passed into the hands of Mr. W. Bull, of Chelsea. It was imported accidentally with orchids, probably from the Philippine Islands. It belongs to Engler's section, trisecta, having two stalked leaves, each deeply divided into three ovate acute glabrous segments. The petioles are long, pale purplish, rose-colored, sprinkled with small purplish spots. The spathes are oblong acute or acuminate, convolute at the base, brownish-purple, striped longitudinally with narrow whitish bands. The spadix is cylindrical, slender, terminating in along, whip-like extremity, much longer than the spathe. The flowers have the arrangement and structure common to the genus, the females being crowded at the base of the spadix, the males immediately above them, and these passing gradually into fleshy incurved processes, which in their turn pass gradually into long, slender, purplish threads, covering the whole of the free end of the spadix.—M.T.M., in The Gardeness' Chronicle.
* * * * *
STRIKING A LIGHT.
In the new edition of Mason's "Burma" we read that among other uses to which the bamboo is applied, not the least useful is that of producing fire by friction. For this purpose a joint of thoroughly dry bamboo is selected, about 11/2 inches in diameter, and this joint is then split in halves. A ball is now prepared by scraping off shavings from a perfectly dry bamboo, and this ball being placed on some firm support, as a fallen log or piece of rock, one of the above halves is held by its ends firmly down on it, so that the ball of soft fiber is pressed with some force against its inner or concave surface. Another man now takes a piece of bamboo a foot long or less, and shaped with a blunt edge, something like a paper knife, and commences a sawing motion backward and forward across the horizontal piece of bamboo, and just over the spot where the ball of soft fiber is held. The motion is slow at first, and by degrees a groove is formed, which soon deepens as the motion increases in quickness. Soon smoke arises, and the motion is now made as rapid as possible, and by the time the bamboo is cut through not only smoke but sparks are seen, which soon ignite the materials of which the ball beneath is composed. The first tender spark is now carefully blown, and when well alight the ball is withdrawn, and leaves and other inflammable materials heaped over it, and a fire secured. This is the only method that I am aware of for procuring fire by friction in Burma, but on the hills and out of the way parts, that philosophical toy, the "pyrophorus," is still in use. This consists of a short joint of a thick woody bamboo, neatly cut, which forms a cylinder. At the bottom of this a bit of tinder is placed, and a tightly-fitting piston inserted composed of some hard wood. The tube being now held in one hand, or firmly supported, the piston is driven violently down on the tinder by a smart blow from the hand, with the result of igniting the tinder beneath.
[Footnote 1: It is also made of a solid cylinder of buffalo's horn, with a central hollow of three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter and three inches deep burnt into it. The piston, which fits very tightly in it, is made of iron-wood or some wood equally hard.]
Another method of obtaining fire by friction from bamboos is thus described by Captain T.H. Lewin ("Hill Tracts of Chittagong, and the Dwellers Therein", Calcutta, 1869, p. 83), as practiced in the Chittagong Hills. The Tipporahs make use of an ingenious device to obtain fire; they take a piece of dry bamboo, about a foot long, split it in half, and on its outer round surface cut a nick, or notch, about an eighth of an inch broad, circling round the semi-circumference of the bamboo, shallow toward the edges, but deepening in the center until a minute slit of about a line in breadth pierces the inner surface of the bamboo fire-stick. Then a flexible strip of bamboo is taken, about 11/2 feet long and an eighth of an inch in breadth, to fit the circling notch, or groove, in the fire-stick. This slip or band is rubbed with fine dry sand, and then passed round the fire-stick, on which the operator stands, a foot on either end. Then the slip, grasped firmly, an end in each hand, is pulled steadily back and forth, increasing gradually in pressure and velocity as the smoke comes. By the time the fire-band snaps with the friction there ought to appear through the slit in the fire-stick some incandescent dust, and this placed, smouldering as it is, in a nest of dry bamboo shavings, can be gently blown into a flame.—The Gardeners' Chronicle.
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EXPERIMENTS IN MEMORY.
When we read how one mediaeval saint stood erect in his cell for a week without sleep or food, merely chewing a plantain-leaf out of humility, so as not to be too perfect; how another remained all night up to his neck in a pond that was freezing over; and how others still performed for the glory of God feats no less tasking to their energies, we are inclined to think, that, with the gods of yore, the men, too, have departed, and that the earth is handed over to a race whose will has become as feeble as its faith. But we ought not to yield to these instigations, by which the evil one tempts us to disparage our own generation. The gods have somewhat changed their shape, 'tis true, and the men their minds; but both are still alive and vigorous as ever for an eye that can look under superficial disguises. The human energy no longer freezes itself in fish-ponds, and starves itself in cells; but near the north pole, in central Africa, on Alpine "couloirs," and especially in what are nowadays called "psycho-physical laboratories," it maybe found as invincible as ever, and ready for every fresh demand. To most people a north pole expedition would be an easy task compared with those ineffably tedious measurements of simple mental processes of which Ernst Heinrich Weber set the fashion some forty years ago, and the necessity of extending which in every possible direction becomes more and more apparent to students of the mind. Think of making forty thousand estimates of which is the heavier of two weights, or seventy thousand answers as to whether your skin is touched at two points or at one, and then tabulating and mathematically discussing your results! Insight is to be gained at no less price than this. The new sort of study of the mind bears the same relation to the older psychology that the microscopic anatomy of the body does to the anatomy of its visible form, and the one will undoubtedly be as fruitful and as indispensable as the other.
Dr. Ebbinghaus makes an original addition to heroic psychological literature in the little work whose title we have given. For more than two years he has apparently spent a considerable time each day in committing to memory sets of meaningless syllables, and trying to trace numerically the laws according to which they were retained or forgotten. Most of his results, we are sorry to say, add nothing to our gross experience of the matter. Here, as in the case of the saints, heroism seems to be its own reward. But the incidental results are usually the most pregnant in this department; and two of those which Dr. Ebbinghaus has reached seems to us to amply justify his pains. The first is, that, in forgetting such things as these lists of syllables, the loss goes on very much more rapidly at first than later on. He measured the loss by the number of seconds required to relearn the list after it had been once learned. Roughly speaking, if it took a thousand seconds to learn the list, and five hundred to relearn it, the loss between the two learnings would have been one-half. Measured in this way, full half of the forgetting seems to occur within the first half-hour, while only four-fifths is forgotten at the end of a month. The nature of this result might have been anticipated, but hardly its numerical proportions.
[Footnote 1: "Ueber das Gedaechtniss. Untersuchungen zur experimentellen Psychologie." Von Herm. Ebbinghaus. Leipzig: Duncker u. Humblot, 1885. 10+169 pp. 8vo.]
The other important result relates to the question whether ideas are recalled only by those that previously came immediately before them, or whether an idea can possibly recall another idea, with which it was never in immediate contact, without passing through the intermediate mental links. The question is of theoretic importance with regard to the way in which the process of "association of ideas" must be conceived; and Dr. Ebbinghaus' attempt is as successful as it is original, in bringing two views, which seem at first sight inaccessible to proof, to a direct practical test, and giving the victory to one of them. His experiments conclusively show that an idea is not only "associated" directly with the one that follows it, and with the rest through that, but that it is directly associated with all that are near it, though in unequal degrees. He first measured the time needed to impress on the memory certain lists of syllables, and then the time needed to impress lists of the same syllables with gaps between them. Thus, representing the syllables by numbers, if the first list was 1, 2, 3, 4 ... 13, 14, 15, 16, the second would be 1, 3, 5 ... 15, 2, 4, 6 ... 16, and so forth, with many variations.
Now, if 1 and 3 in the first list were learned in that order merely by 1 calling up 2, and by 2 calling up 3, leaving out the 2 ought to leave 1 and 3 with no tie in the mind; and the second list ought to take as much time in the learning as if the first list had never been heard of. If, on the other hand, 1 has a direct influence on 3 as well as on 2, that influence should be exerted even when 2 is dropped out; and a person familiar with the first list ought to learn the second one more rapidly than otherwise he could. This latter case is what actually occurs; and Dr. Ebbinghaus has found that syllables originally separated by as many as seven intermediaries still reveal, by the increased rapidity with which they are learned in order, the strength of the tie that the original learning established between them, over the heads, so to speak, of all the rest. It may be that this particular series of experiments is the entering wedge of a new method of incalculable reach in such questions. The future alone can show. Meanwhile, when we add to Dr. Ebbinghaus' "heroism" in the pursuit of true averages, his high critical acumen, his modest tone, and his polished style, it will be seen that we have a new-comer in psychology from whom the best may be expected.—W.J., Science.
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SINKING OF THE QUIEVRECHAIN WORKING SHAFT.
The sinking of mine shafts in certain Belgian and French basins, where the coal deposit is covered with thick strata of watery earth, has from all times been considered as the most troublesome and delicate, and often the most difficult operation, of the miner's art. Of the few modern processes that have been employed for this purpose, that of Messrs. Kind and Chaudron has been found most satisfactory, although it leaves much to be desired where it is a question of traversing moving sand. An interesting modification of this well-known process has recently been described by Mr. E. Chavatte, in the Bulletin de la Societe Industrielle du Nord de la France. Two years ago the author had to sink a working shaft at Quievrechain, 111 feet of which was to traverse a mass of moving and flowing sand, inconsistent earth, gravel, and marls, and proceeded as follows:
He first put down two beams, A B (Pl. 1, Figs. 2, 3, and 9), each 82 feet in length and of 20x20 inch section in the center, and upon these placed two others, E F, of 16x16 inch section. Beneath the two first were inserted six joists, c c c c c c, about 82 feet in length and of 14 or 16 inch section in the center. Finally these were strengthened at their extremities with two others, d d, about 82 feet in length. All these timbers, having been connected by tie bands and bolts, constituted a rigid structure that covered a surface of nearly seven hundred square yards.
From the beams, A B and E F, there was suspended a red fir frame by means of thirty-four iron rods.
Upon this frame, which was entirely immersed in the moving sand, there was established brick masonry (Figs. 1, 2, and 3). As the ends of the timbers entered the latter, and were connected by 11/2 inch bolts, they concurred in making the entire affair perfectly solid. The frame, K K, was provided with an oaken ring, which was affixed to it with bolts.
After this, a cast iron tubbing, having a cutting edge, and being composed of rings 3.28 feet wide and made of six segments, was lowered. This tubbing was perfectly tight, all the surfaces of the joints having been made even and provided with strips of lead one-tenth of an inch thick. It weighed 4,000 pounds to the running foot.
It was first raised to a height of fifteen feet, so as to cause it to enter the sand by virtue of its own gravity. It thus penetrated to a depth of about twenty inches. After this the workmen were ordered to man the windlasses and hoist out some of the sand. This caused the tubbing to descend about eight inches more, when it came to a standstill. It was now loaded with 17,000 pounds of pig iron, but in vain, for it refused to budge. Mr. Chavatte therefore had recourse to a dredge with vertical axis, constructed as follows:
Upon a square axis, A B (Pl. 2, Figs. 1, 2, and 3), provided with double cross braces, C D, and strengthened by diagonals, were riveted, by their upper extremities, two cheeks, G H, whose lower extremities held the steel plates, I J I' J', which, in turn, were fastened to the axis, A B, by their other extremities. These plates were so inclined as to scrape the surface of the ground over which they were moved. They each carried two bags made of coarse canvas and strengthened by five strong leather straps (Figs. 2 and 4). To the steel plates were riveted two plates of iron containing numerous apertures, through which passed leather straps designed for fastening thereto the lower part of the mouth of the bags. That portion of the mouth of the latter that was to remain open was fastened in the same way to two other plates, X Y, X Y (Fig. 1), held between the lower cross-braces.
When the apparatus was revolved, the plates scraped the earth to be removed, and descended in measure as the latter entered the bags. These bags, when full, were hooked, by means of the five rings which they carried, to the device shown in Fig. 8 (Pl. 2), and raised to the surface and emptied into cars.
The dredge was set in motion by four oak levers (Figs. 5 and 6). Two of these were manned by workmen stationed upon the surface flooring, and the other two by workmen upon the flooring in the tubbing. The axis was elongated, in measure as the apparatus descended, by rods of the same dimensions fastened together by cast iron sleeves and bolts (Fig. 7).
The steel plates were not capable of acting alone, even in cases where they operated in pure moving sand containing no pebbles, for the sand was too compact to be easily scraped up by the steel, and so it had to be previously divided. For this purpose Mr. Chavatte used rakes which were in form exactly like those of the extirpators, U and V, of Figs. 1, 2, and 3, of Pl. 2, except that the dividers carried teeth that were not so strong as those of the extirpators, and that were set closer together. These rakes were let down and drawn up at will. They were maneuvered as follows:
The dredge descended with the extirpators pointing upward. When their heads reached the level of the upper floor, the tools were removed. Then the dredge was raised again. In this way the extirpators lay upon the floor, and, if the lifting was continued, they placed themselves in their working position, in which they were fixed by the bolts A" B" C" (Fig. 1). After this, the apparatus was let down and revolved. The rakes divided the earth, the scrapers collected it, and the bags pocketed it.
The great difficulty was to cause the tubbing to descend vertically, and also to overcome the enormous lateral pressure exerted upon it by the earth that was being traversed. Water put into the shaft helped somewhat, but the great stress to be exerted had to be effected by means of powerful jack screws. These were placed directly upon the tubbing, and bore against strong beams whose extremities were inserted into the masonry.
As a usual thing it is not easy to use more than four or six such jacks, since the number of beams that can be employed is limited, owing to the danger of obstructing the mouth of the shaft. Yet twelve were used by Mr. Chavatte, and this number might have been doubled had it been necessary. As we have seen, the frame, K K (Pl. 1, Fig. 3), was provided with an oak circle traversed by 32 bolts. The length of these latter was two inches and a quarter longer than they needed to have been, or they were provided with wooden collars of that thickness. Later on, these collars were replaced with iron bars that held the wood against which the jacks bore in order to press the tubbing downward (Pl. 1, Figs. 10, 11, 12, and 13).
Mr. Chavatte's great anxiety was to know whether he should succeed in causing the first section of tubbing to traverse the four feet of gravel; for in case it did not pass, he would be obliged to employ a second section of smaller diameter, thus increasing the expense. He was persuaded that the coarse gravel remaining in the side of the shaft would greatly retard the descent of the tubbing. So he had decided to remove such obstructions at the proper moment through divers or a diving bell. Then an idea occurred to him that dispensed with all that trouble, and allowed him to continue with the first section. This was to place upon the dredge two claw-bars, T (Pl. 2, Fig. 3), which effected the operation of widening with wonderful ease. To do this it was only necessary to turn up the bags, and revolve the apparatus during its descent. The claw at the extremity of the bar pulled out everything within its reach, and thus made an absolutely free passage for the tubbing.
The sands and gravels were passed by means of a single section of tubbing 31 feet in length, which was not stopped until it had penetrated a stratum of white chalk to a depth of two yards. This chalk had no consistency, although it contained thin plates of quite large dimensions. These were cut, as if with a punch, by means of the teeth of the extirpator.
It now remains to say a few words concerning the sinking of the shaft, which, after the operation of the dredge, was continued by the process called "natural level" The work was not easy until a depth of 111 feet had been reached. Up to this point it had been necessary to proceed with great prudence, and retain the shifting earth by means of four iron plate tubes weighing 54 tons. Before finding a means of widening the work already done by the dredge, Mr. Chavatte was certain that he would have to use two sections of tubbing, and so had given the first section a diameter of 161/2 feet. He could then greatly reduce the diameter, and bring it to 153/4 feet as soon as the ground auger was used.
After two yards of soil had been removed from beneath the edge of the tubbing, the earth began to give way. Seeing this, Mr. Chavatte let down a tube 13 feet in length and 15.4 in diameter. The exterior of this was provided with 12 oak guides, which sliding over the surface of the tubbing had the effect of causing the tube to descend vertically. And this was necessary, because this tube had to be driven down every time an excavation of half a yard had been made.
Afterward, a diameter of 15.35 feet was proceeded with, and the small central shaft of 41/4 feet diameter was begun. This latter had not as yet been sunk, for fear of causing a fall of the earth.
Next, the earth was excavated to a depth of 8.2 feet, and a tube 16.4 feet in length was inserted; then a further excavation of 8.2 feet was made, and the tube driven home.
After this an excavation of 261/4 feet was made, and a tube of the same length and 141/2 feet in diameter was driven down. Finally, the shifting soil was finished with a fourth tube 191/2 feet in length and 14 feet in diameter.
A depth of 111 feet had now been reached, and the material encountered was solid white chalk. From this point the work proceeded with a diameter of 13.9 feet to a depth of 450 feet. The small shaft had been sunk directly to a depth of 475 feet. At 450 feet the diameter was diminished by three inches. Then an advance of a foot was made, and the diameter reduced by one and a half inch.
The reason for this reduction in the diameter and change in the mode of deepening was as follows:
The Chaudron moss-box, when it chances to reach its seat intact, and can consequently operate well, undoubtedly makes a good wedging. But how many times does it not happen that it gets injured before reaching its destination? Besides, as it often rests upon earth that has caved in upon its seat during the descent of the tubbing, it gets askew, and later on has to be raised on one side by means of jacks or other apparatus. Under such circumstances, Mr. Chavatte considered this moss-box as more detrimental than useful, and not at all indispensable, and so substituted beton for it, as had previously been done by Mr. Bourg, director of the Bois-du-Luc coal mines.
This engineer likewise suppressed the balancing column, which is often a source of trouble in the descent of the tubbing, and forced his tubbing to center itself with the shaft through a guide with four branches riveted under the false bottom that entered the small shaft (Pl. 2, Fig. 10). Mr. Bourg so managed that there remained an empty space of ten inches to fill in with beton. Mr. Chavatte had at first intended to proceed in the same way, but the two last tubbings, upon which he had not counted, forced him to reduce the space to 53/4 inches. Under such circumstances it was not prudent to employ the same means for guiding the base of the tubbing, because, if the central shaft had not exactly the same center as the large one, there would have been danger of throwing the tubbing sideways and causing it to leak. Seeing which, Mr. Chavatte strengthened the lower part of the base ring and placed it upon another ring tapering downward, and 271/2 inches in height (Pl. 1, Fig. 5). The object of this lower ring was to force the tubbing to remain concentric with the shaft, to form a tight joint with its upper conical portion, and to form a joint upon the seat with its lower flange, so as to prevent the beton from flowing into the small shaft.
After the shaft was pumped out, digging by hand was begun with a diameter of 12 feet. After descending 20 inches an 8x10 inch curb was laid, in order to consolidate the earth and prevent any movement of the tubbing. Then the excavating was continued to a depth of 311/2 inches, and with a diameter of 93/4 feet. At this point another curb was put in for consolidating the earth. Finally, the bottom was widened out as shown in Fig. 7, so that three basal wedged curbs could be put in. This done, the false tubbing was put in place; and finally, when proceeding upward, the last ring composed of twelve pieces was reached, the earth was excavated and at once replaced with a collar composed of twelve pieces of oak tightened up by oak wedges. Each of these pieces was cemented separately and in measure as they were assembled.
Through motive of economy no masonry was placed under the base of the three wedged curbs. In fact, by replacing this with a wedged curb of wood traversed by six bolts designed to fix the cast iron curb immediately above, Mr. Chavatte obtained a third curb that he would have had to have made of cast iron.
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ON THE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF THE GAS-ENGINE.
[Footnote 1: A paper read before the Gas Institute, Manchester, June, 1885.]
By DENNY LANE, of Cork.
Among the most useful inventions of the latter half of the nineteenth century the gas-engine holds a prominent place. While its development has not been so brilliant or so startling as that which we can note in the employment of electricity, it holds, among the applications of heat, the most important place of any invention made within that period. Even amid the contrivances by which, in recent times, the other forces of nature have been subdued to the uses of man, there are only a few which rival the gas-engine in practical importance. With regard to the steam-engine itself, it is remarkable how little that is new has really been invented since the time of Watt and Woulfe. In the specifications of the former can be shown completely delineated, or fully foreshadowed, nearly every essential condition of the economy and efficiency attained in our own days; and it is only by a gradual "survival of the fittest" of the many contrivances which were made to carry out his broad ideas that the steam-engine of the present has attained its great economy.
It is but within the last fifty years that the laws of the relation between the different physical forces were first enunciated by Justice Grove, and confirmed by the classical researches of Dr. Joule—the one a lawyer, working hard at his profession, the other a man of business engaged in manufacture. Both are still living among us; the latter having withdrawn from business, while the former is a Judge of the High Court of Justice. I always regret that the claims of his profession have weaned Justice Grove from science; for, while it may be possible to find in the ranks of the Bar many who might worthily occupy his place on the Bench, it would be hard to find among men of science any with as wide-reaching and practical philosophy as that which he owns. The chemist demonstrated long since that it was impossible for man to create or destroy a single particle of ponderable matter; but it remained for our own time to prove that it was equally impossible to create or destroy any of the energy which existed in nature as heat, mechanical power, electricity, or chemical affinity. All that it is in the power of man to do is to convert one of these forms into another. This, perhaps the greatest of all scientific discoveries since the time of Newton, was first, I believe, enunciated in 1842 by Grove, in a lecture given at the London Institution; and it was experimentally proved by the researches of Joule, described in a paper which he read at the meeting of the British Association which was held at Cork—my native city—in 1843. My friend Dr. Sullivan, now President of Queen's College, Cork, and I myself had the privilege of being two of a select audience of half a dozen people, who alone took sufficient interest in the subject to hear for the first time developed the experimental proof of the theory which welds into one coherent system the whole physical forces of the universe, and enables one of these to be measured by another. One branch of the "correlation of physical forces," as it was termed by Grove, was the relation between mechanical power and heat, and the convertibility of each into the other, which, under the name of "Thermodynamics," has become one of the most important branches of practical science.
Joule's first experiments clearly proved that each of these forms of energy was convertible into the other; but some discrepancies arose in determining the exact equivalent of each. His subsequent researches, however, clearly demonstrated the true relation between both. Taking as the unit of heat the amount which would be necessary to raise 1 lb. of water 1 deg. of Fahrenheit's scale (now called "the English thermal unit"), he proved that this unit was equivalent to the mechanical power which would be required to raise 772 lb. 1 foot, or to raise 1 lb. 772 ft. perpendicularly against the force of gravity. The heat-unit—the pound-degree—which I will distinguish by the Greek letter [theta], is a compound unit of mass and temperature; the second—the foot-pound = f.p.—a compound unit of mass and space. This equation, called "Joule's equivalent," or 1 thermal unit = 772 foot-pounds, is the foundation and the corner-stone of thermodynamics.